Sunday, August 30, 2009

Sunday: Weeding

This week I have been doing something completely unrelated to ... anything. I have been pulling weeds. We had some guys come earlier in the summer and do our back yard, they landscaped it and put pachysandra on the slope along the street-side for groundcover. They said to water it but did not mention that it would get full of weeds. So by now you have a "good" plant every eight or twelve inches, and a hundred weeds in between.

There are two ways to pull weeds. You can sit or you can bend over. The way these are distributed, you can't sit or you'll sit on a good one. So you bend over. I've been doing this for a couple of weeks and ... it hurts. There is a strip about forty or fifty feet long in the back yard, along the street, and another strip outside the fence, and you start this kind of job with the knowledge that just as soon as you finish you'll have to start again.

Some of the weeds were tall when I started, those pokeweeds will turn into trees, I tell you! So the first thing I did was to go through and get the really big ones. I pull them up by the roots but sometimes they break off, so I keep a hoe handy to dig out the roots. There is a bit of a problem though if the hoe is not within reach, if you have to go get it sometimes you come back and can't remember where the roots are that you wanted to dig out. Some of the roots to these weeds, even the small ones, were as big as potatoes, obviously some of them have been chopped down and grown back repeatedly. There might be new ones in the future but the old weeds won't come back after I'm finished with them.

I remember after my first day, standing back and looking at the slope, there was a little strip of brown where you could see dirt, where I'd cleared it. I was proud of that little strip but it was discouraging too, I could not imagine weeding the whole area, it was just too much.

So weeding became a kind of personal challenge for me. You weeds aren't going to take over my backyard! Every evening after work, if I didn't have something else scheduled, I would go out with my leather gloves on and bend over and pull those buggers out of the ground, one after the other. The brown strip got wider, and then there was a time when I realized I had done nearly half of it, and it occurred to me that I could win. Until then it had been a kind of exercise, something I thought I should do but I never really expected to complete the task. But seeing some results I started to believe I could succeed.

You can't imagine how this makes a person sweat. This is August on the East Coast, people, the temperature has been get into the upper eighties, the nineties, and the humidity -- you can almost drink the air outdoors. Pulling weeds does not really require what you'd call "exertion," you only bend over and pull things up. You can't much complain about how hard it is, it's just work. But man do you sweat. I started wearing yesterday's dirty clothes when I went out, because they end up soaked as if they had been put into a tub full of water and there no use ruining reasonably clean clothes, if that makes any sense. And shorts, you have never seen me in shorts, woo hoo. There is apparently something living in the weeds called "bugs." And these bugs seem to have an appetite for something that is called "me." From the knees down I am bumpy and scabby from scratching. People have told me I should put insect repellent on my skin, or that I should put something on me to make the itching stop but it's not that bad, and I don't blame them for being hungry and wanting me to get out of their weed patch. At the front end of the slope I came across what might have been a nest of crickets, or maybe it was just a place with conditions they liked. There were a million of them. I haven't seen any crickets in the house yet but trust me, they're out there. There are also box elder bugs swarming around their home tree out front, and eventually they'll get to the house and come in under the door, but that's a different story.

Every once in a while, not often but several times, I'd reach down and pull up a clump of weeds and there would be a "good" plant in it. I tried to re-plant these, so far they all appear to be surviving, but you know, it can happen.

The best thing is when you have a single weed that covers a good amount of area. There is something here that in Arizona, where I grew up, we called Johnson grass, maybe you call it crabgrass out here but we used a different word when I was a kid. And that doesn't reflect well on crabs, which we love here in Maryland. It appears that plowing up some earth, fertilizing it, and planting something good in it is like Miss Garden getting on the phone and calling Mister Johnson Grass and asking him coyly to come do lunch sometime, and Mister Johnson Grass was never known for being real good at resisting temptation. He showed up there, and there, and over there, and he's hard to dig out. This grass grows with heavy roots, the blades extend out from a center and where they touch the ground they put down roots again to start another center. Plus the roots themselves will spread out and new connected centers will pop up nearby. Working with a trowel I can dig around a central growth of Johnson grass, loosening it carefully all around, and pull up a concentric chunk that covers several square feet of area. So in one effortful stroke you can clear a pretty good area. You hold the bunch up and shake the mud out of the roots, the point is not to destroy the whole garden but to remove the ugliness, and then the grass gets thrown in the heap with about a hundred other weeds, to go out later in a big paper bag.

A few days ago I got to a point where I thought maybe I could finish. Well, look, you don't finish, the stuff is growing while you're digging it out, there is no need for illusory wishful thinking here. But the good news is that the weeds don't grow as fast as a motivated person can remove them. I got to where it was maybe ninety percent done, the end was in sight and I went out to finish it, but it started getting dark. This was where I got into the crickets, they were hopping all over the place while I destroyed their habitat. And as it was getting dark, I also pulled out a couple of pachysandra plants, and had to pause to put them back. I got that last jungle strip down to about two yards wide, and it was getting dark, and I kept going, and ha! With the help of a half moon I got to the end of it. I hopped down the slope with my hoe, and stood and looked at it. Not bad.

The next morning I went out and looked again, and that last couple of yards really wasn't very well done, there were lots of clumps of clover left, and dandelions that I had torn the leaves off but missed the main plant. Plus there were terrible weeds growing at the top of the slope, above where the pachysandra was planted, I had left that knowing that I could go through like an avenging angel slaughtering everything in sight, pulling up handfuls of green stuff without looking at it. There was one raspberry plant up there that I decided to leave, I do like raspberries. I also left one petunia, I have no idea how that got there but it's pretty.

Yesterday I was out doing errands, and when I came home I noticed the area facing the street. The slope I had been working on goes up to a fence, and then there is a strip about a foot wide along the sidewalk where they also planted pachysandra, and same thing. The public part of our yard was as bad as the private part had been. So I put on my gloves and stood out there in a light rain while the sun went down, pulling out the big ones and digging out the Johnson grass. When I came in I was drenched with sweat again, and sore! My legs hurt, my back, my shoulders, I think the only part of me that didn't hurt was my face.

I still need to bag some of the dead stuff. We ran out of the big paper bags, and I couldn't find any in our neighborhood, so we went over to that cool hardware store in Kensington for some lawn bags, and some other things. It looks hot out there, but I will go out and finish the part by the street and bag everything else as soon as I finish writing this, and then have a shower.

I know it's growing back, I have already had to pull up a couple of big ones that sprang up in the last week. We will have a few more weeks of summer, and I'll need to keep an eye on it until it gets cool. Eventually the pachysandra will get strong and send out runners and form a solid groundcover that will not leave any opportunity, or at least any welcome, to new weeds whose seeds happen to fall on my turf.

60 Comments:

Blogger Tish said...

You've probably already gotten a bunch of useless free advice, so please allow me to add mine.

Put cardboard in the spaces between the plants. Use plain brown (or white)cardboard, or if it has heavily printed labels on it, peel away the printed outer layer. Remove all tape and staples. Place the cardboard between the plants you want to encourage, over lapping the edges. This is basically a super-dense mulch. For looks, cover the cardboard with mulch. I would use chipped leaves, but bark mulch is fine if that's what you want between your plants for the next couple of years.

The cardboard will smother the weeds, but it will also break down and you can dig it into the ground next spring. The worms love the channels in corrugated board and the will start in on it pretty quickly. Water will not seep down into the soil very quickly, so when you water you will need to be sure that the plants you want are getting watered through their openings in the cardboard. By next spring the cardboard will be composted enough that it the plants grow new roots where they lay on the ground, they will be able to penetrate the cardboard easily.

If you want to dig a new garden bed this cardboard method is a good way to get started. It kills the weeds and draws up the worms so they do a good bit of the soil softening for you. I have done this successfully with several garden beds.

You can also do this with newspaper several sheets thick, but the worms don't love the news the way they love an old box.

August 30, 2009 8:58 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Thanks for the tips, Tish. Your recital today was wonderful, I love your voice and the way you selected and interpreted the material. I got there late because I was out in the yard weeding and not keeping track of the time.

Your last sentence, ending with "... the worms don't love the news the way they love an old box ..." sounds somehow like it means more than it does, y'know what I mean?

JimK

August 30, 2009 9:18 PM  
Blogger Tish said...

Type, send, regret.

Well, this IS a pro-sex-ed group, so maybe it was just a matter of time until we started talking dirty about invertebrates.

Thank you for coming to the recital and for your kind review. It was fun but I'm glad it's over. There's talk of doing another when we all turn 60. In the meantime, maybe I'll wear the tiara to the next TTF board meeting.

August 30, 2009 9:28 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That's is a great tip Tish, I have been struggling with creeper vines in my very large hedge and will probably try that next year.

I have another question on the whole health care issue.

I have seen countless posts here complaining about the Patriot act and the govt having the ability to listen to the conversations of suspected terrorists (granted by the cell phone company that the suscribe to...).

This apparently was an enormous invasion of privacy.

So how come not a peep about the health care bill, which will require the IRS to turn over to the health care commissioner EVERYONES tax records and financial information ?

How come ?

August 31, 2009 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh that last post was Theresa.

August 31, 2009 10:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

leave the weeds, Jim

they're an acquired taste but they fight global warming

August 31, 2009 11:02 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

So how come not a peep about the health care bill, which will require the IRS to turn over to the health care commissioner EVERYONES tax records and financial information ?

The IRS is part of the government, Theresa. The feds know what you earn and the health commission will need to know that too so they can determine who will get what subsidy to pay for their health care.

Why do you try whip this provision up like it's something to fear when the purpose is to help people pay their premiums? You never once complained that Congress approved the Patriot Act, UNREAD, when it allows the government to track people so closely as to know what books you read at the library.

August 31, 2009 11:47 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

repealing the amendment to the Constitution allowing an income tax would be a major step forward for our rights

the health care proposal is a step backward

August 31, 2009 2:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bea.
before one agency of govt could not share information about you with another agency of govt without asking your permission.

this gives all your information to the health care commissioner without asking any permission at all.

that doesn't bother you ? they are also asking for access to EVERYONE's bank account !

I think your financial information is a bit more sensitve than what books you read at the library....

theresa

August 31, 2009 2:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey, this adminstration has the last one beat by a LONG shot on unread bills.

how about the stimulus or cap and trade (final amendments posted at 3 am to the tune of 300 pages with a vote at 5 pm ....).

so much for transparency and giving the american public a change to digest the legislation.


theresa

August 31, 2009 2:29 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Funny how unread bills didn't bother you as long as the tax cuts were coming your way, Theresa.

August 31, 2009 2:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

bea.
the bush tax cuts were for everyone. and when they expire taxes will go UP for everyone.

did you know that when two people in a family work, close to 70% of the second income goes to pay the increase in taxes ...

you don't think that is enough ?
what do you think is appropriate ?

theresa

August 31, 2009 3:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the projected deficits are so astronomical, before the health care bill, that they will destroy this country

Obama's hypocrisy after campaigning against Bush's relatively paltry deficits is egregious

we need a plan to bring these deficits to a manageable level before we decide if we can afford to give free health care to 50 million people

if not, you're shuffling around turned over bowls

if we can stand to tax rich people more to cover everyone's health insurance, why wouldn't we want to use the money to save the country?

we should take measures to lower health costs, like tort reform, now

next, we tackle the deficit

then, after some stability has returned, we can ponder if we have the resources to create a massive new entitlement

maybe, in Obama's second term (wink-wink)

August 31, 2009 3:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.law.virginia.edu/html/news/2004_spr/brown_tax.htm

"Meanwhile, the most astonishing sentence in the op-ed is this one: “His plan would not raise any taxes on couples making less than $250,000 a year, nor on any single person with income under $200,000.” It amounts to a declaration of war on two-income families, a marriage penalty of punitive proportions.

If those two single persons with income just under $200,000 get married, Mr. Obama is going to hammer them with a huge tax increase. If the second earner, who in many cases is the woman, is going to have to give 54% of what she earns to the government, she might as well stay home with the children. Mr. Obama may be able to get away with symbolic slights to women, such as not picking Senator Clinton as vice president. But punishing them with confiscatory taxes for participating in the workforce at a high income level moves the slight into the realm of substance."

Obama = destruction of careers for working moms. why aren't the feminists up in arms ?

theresa

August 31, 2009 3:48 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Obama uses "fear":

"In August our ubiquitous president became the nation's elevator music, always out and about, heard but not really listened to, like audible wallpaper.

And now, as Congress returns to resume wrestling with health care reform, we shall see if he continues his August project of proving that the idea of an Ivy League Huey Long is not oxymoronic.

Barack Obama in August became a Huey for today, a rabble rouser with a better tailor, an unrumpled and modulated tribune of downtrodden Americans, telling them that opponents of his reform plan—which actually does not yet exist—are fearmongers employing scare tactics.

He also told Americans to be afraid, very afraid of health-insurance providers because they are dishonest (and will remain so until there is a "public option" to make them "honest").

And to be afraid, very afraid of pediatricians who unnecessarily extract children's tonsils for monetary rather than medical reasons.

And to be afraid, very afraid of doctors generally because so many of them are so rapacious that they prefer lopping off limbs of diabetes patients rather than engaging in lifestyle counseling that for "a pittance" could prevent diabetes.

Sen. Olympia Snowe, the Maine Republican whom Democrats hope will lend a patina of bipartisanship to their health legislation whenever it gets written, says that one thing we learned from the cacophonous town halls of August is "that there are many people who are satisfied with their health insurance."

Actually, long before this debate began we knew that a large majority of Americans have insurance, and a large majority of that majority are content with their care.

That is why the president has become shrill: There is no underlying discontent commensurate with the scale of the changes he is trying to propel.

Another reason that reasonable people are wary of any government plan for a grandiose rearrangement of the health-care sector's 17 percent of the economy is that, regarding grandiosity, the president, after less than eight months in office, is a recidivist. His health-care crusade comes after a $787 billion stimulus (which has effectively made the Energy Department into the nation's largest venture-capital firm, scattering scores of billions of dollars to speculative energy investments) and the semi-nationalization of two car companies. August ended with the unembarrassable administration uttering a $2 trillion "Oops!" by estimating that the 10-year budget-deficit projection is about $9 trillion rather than $7.1 trillion. The supposed means of paying for the president's $1 trillion health-care plan include substantial Medicare cuts that will never happen, and the auction of carbon-emission permits that, instead, would be given away by the Waxman--Markey cap-and-trade legislation the House has sent to the Senate.

That legislation is a particularly lurid illustration of why no serious person nowadays takes seriously Washington's increasingly infantile bandying of numbers.

The point of cap-and-trade is to impose a ceiling on the nation's greenhouse-gas emissions—primarily.

The legislation endorses the goal of holding the global carbon--dioxide level to a maximum of 450 parts per million by 2050.

That.

Will.

Not.

Happen.

Steven Hayward and Kenneth Green of the American Enterprise Institute do the math. Hayward and Green say that historical data indicate that the last time emissions were that low was 1875.

Obviously Hayward and Green are correct that meeting the 2.4-ton goal "is not going to be seriously attempted."

So why do the same politicians who want to radically expand government's control of health care pretend otherwise?

Because they are not serious people.

Which is why so many Americans are seriously alarmed."

August 31, 2009 3:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

http://www.nysun.com/opinion/obama-wife-penalty/84829/

August 31, 2009 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

did you know that when two people in a family work, close to 70% of the second income goes to pay the increase in taxes

What I know is taxes are progressive and that means the more you make, the more you pay. I also know what's true in your high income bracket is not true for the vast majority of Americans like me, you know, people who cannot afford private school tuition for our kids and/or memberships in fancy health clubs in Bethesda.

It amounts to a declaration of war on two-income families, a marriage penalty of punitive proportions...two single persons with income just under $200,000

Lord have mercy, Theresa, this is who you want us to worry about, "single persons with income just under $200,000.00" and families making over $250,000.00?

According to US Census Bureau, in 2007 the MEDIAN FAMILY INCOME was $50,740.00, which is in the neighborhood of what Uncle Beau and I earn each year.

You don't really expect sympathy for families earning $250,000.00 every year or individuals earning $200,000.00 (or just under it) every year, do you?

August 31, 2009 6:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think that taxes should not go above 50% total. That's high enough.


I didn't just stumble on this Bea.

When my sister was out partying and flunked out of college I was busting my tail.

when she decided to quit and stay home with her kids I kept working. working with 3 little kids is really, really hard. now they are older and it is somewhat easier, but you never have any free time at all when they are little. do you have kids ? have you ever tried this ? it is not easy.

so if my family where both people work makes double what hers does so be it. She made that choice. She had a good job (80K a year) and decided to quit to stay home with the kids. So for folks like her and like you to turn around and be snide about it... you make your own choices in this country and if you work hard, you can absolutely succeed. you don't work and continue working to turn around and give it all to the govt. She is a left wing liberal and is angry and jealous of the extra income we have... BUT SHE MADE THAT CHOICE.

and believe me, you don't want my kids in your public school because I would simply not tolerate the constant violations of a families trust I see on display here constantly.. robert and his "tolerance training" before class starts for his homeroom for instance.

I work to keep my kids OUT of the public schools, not to give the the second income to the government. I work to keep that money for MY family. Most Moms who continue to work believe that the financial security that they can bring their family is worth it. that's why they do it, not to give it to the govt in higher taxes, otherwise WHY BOTHER ?


If the govt takes fully 1/2 - which it does - you are left with 100 out of 200 which is not that much for montgomery county.

not when you consider that if you didn't bother having the second person work and brought in 100 you would have 70 or 80 left. So you are working for what ... 30K more ? which by the time you pay for child care is gone.

Progressive income tax system ? How about confiscatory income tax system.

So basically obama's message to working moms is STAY HOME.

Don't you see that ?

I see it as a direct attack on professional career moms.

How can you interpret his tax code as anything else ?

August 31, 2009 7:25 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

and by the way, if you are in a lower tax bracket you can get ALL SORTs of credits to go back to school.

My babysitter did it, I sponsored her for legal status which she now has, she went and got a PA degree (somewhat funded by student loans, but mostly grants and scholarships..)

She got her PA degree (while continuing to work 3 or 4 jobs... part-time for me as the kids got older, part time as a night nurse, tutoring all sorts of stuff...

put herself through school and is now making a PA's 80K salary.

My husband put himself through school at UCLA years ago working part-time in a liquor store and part time as an intern.

so if you are unhappy about your salary level, go back to school and change it.

this is the land of opportunity, or at least it used to be.

August 31, 2009 7:30 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theresa is completely right.

High marginal tax rates discourage the production of income and lead to a lower GDP and lower standard of living for us all.

This was a lesson our country learned long ago. Socialists the world over discovered we were right and have imitated us.

Sadly, in the place where this was first realized, Dems are now trying to turn back the clock on history.

We won't let them get away with it.

Except for those in real poverty, every worker in America should pay the same rate.

There's no reason Theresa should pay a higher rate than Anon-B.

For the baby boomers out there, here's a quote from a song by Alvin Lee of Ten Years After, one of the bands that played Woodstock:

"Tax the rich

Feed the poor

Til there are no rich no more

and tell me where's there sanity"

August 31, 2009 7:44 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh good grief, anonymous.

You screwed up that song just like u are trying to screw up this blog entry.

Everywhere is freaks and hairies
Dykes and fairies, tell me where is sanity
Tax the rich, feed the poor
Till there are no rich no more

I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you


Population keeps on breeding
Nation bleeding, still more feeding economy
Life is funny, skies are sunny
Bees make honey, who needs money, No more for me

I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you

o yah

World pollution, there's no solution
Institution, electrocution
Just black and white, rich or poor
Senators stop the war

I'd love to change the world
But I don't know what to do
So I'll leave it up to you

Not that it matters because you will make up some dumb explanation as to why you screwed up the song. And please stop with the "Obama is a socialist" implication. I don't know your sister but based on your ability to repeat the latest anti-Obama jargon, I wonder if what you are saying is true. I mean you nearly had me before you started repeating that Glenn Beck mess.

August 31, 2009 10:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't screw up anything about the song.

"And please stop with the "Obama is a socialist" implication."

Was that an implication?

Let me be more direct:

Obama has a socialist agenda.

August 31, 2009 10:36 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Poor Theresa. Do you mean to tell me that with all their many years of complaining about the marriage tax penalty, and after six years of absolute control of government, your beloved GOP did not manage to eliminate the marriage tax penalty?

Maybe that's because like Virginia Gubernatorial Candidate McDonnell, they secretly believe women should be home, barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen. McConnell's Masters thesis for Regent University said working women are "detrimental" to the traditional family and said that federal tax credits for child care are a bad idea because they encourage women to leave the home and enter the workforce. He even criticized the Supreme Court for legalizing contraception.

You support the GOP, Theresa, and then you decry their anti-working woman stance. Maybe you should think about that for a while.

On another note, imagine how much more money the government could raise with the marriage tax penalty if same sex couples could legally wed too.

September 01, 2009 8:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

those of us who went to college, anon-B, which include most voters in Northern Virginia, would not like to held to everything they wrote in a paper in college

that time in life is supposed to be a time to bounce around ideas without fear of it haunting you for life

voters intuitively agree with this, which is why this pathetic attempt to mischaracterize McDonnell will get no traction with the voters

McDonnell, btw, has passed several bills specifically designed to help working women

I guess if you didn't secretly want to destroy the institution of marriage, you'd realize that

the resentment you display toward Theresa's success is unAmerican

we rejoice with those who succeed rather than envy them

it's one of the reasons we're a vital and vibrant society as opposed to the dying civilization in Western Europe

September 01, 2009 8:52 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

the resentment you display toward Theresa's success is unAmerican

I did not express one bit of resentment about Theresa's success and dare you to find a statement I made doing so.

Theresa is the one who's complaining about what her success means, yet she knew what it would mean because the laws haven't changed. Theresa continues to support the GOP who did nothing during the six years it had complete control of government to eliminate the marriage penalty she so bitterly complains about. She's even maligned her own sister on this blog for making the choices she made.

We see who resents who, it's clear as day.

September 01, 2009 9:09 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

And Theresa your assumption that I want to make more money to get into your tax bracket and pay private school tuition and membership to a fancy spa in Betheda is completely wrong.

I much prefer the public school experience and the diversity my kids learned about here in Montgomery County Public Schools and I prefer a nice long walk in the woods enjoying nature to sitting in an upscale sauna with other naked ladies.

I'm happy with my choices. You are the one voicing dissatisfaction with yours.

September 01, 2009 9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Theresa...do you ever object to paying your weekly tithe to the Kingdom of God?

September 01, 2009 9:55 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I did not express one bit of resentment about Theresa's success and dare you to find a statement I made doing so."

"Americans like me, you know, people who cannot afford private school tuition for our kids and/or memberships in fancy health clubs in Bethesda."

September 01, 2009 11:20 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

those of us who went to college, anon-B, which include most voters in Northern Virginia, would not like to held to everything they wrote in a paper in college

Bob McConnell graduated from college in 1976. He wrote his master's thesis more than a decade later, in 1989, at the age of 34 for the Christian Broadcasting Network University.

So how old do you think Mr. McConnell needs to be before we can hold him to what he says?

September 01, 2009 3:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

oh, it's not a matter of age

it's the concept of academic exploration

let school be considered a place apart

even if a crazy old bat like you went back to college, I think we could let you bat around a few concepts without holding you responsible

it's a necessary part of exploring concepts

Deeds doesn't realize this because he's a hillbilly

September 01, 2009 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Bea.

I resent the extra taxes I am charged which are outrageous. In the Bush tax cuts there was relief for married couples who fill MFJ. Those will disappear with the Bush tax cuts.

My brother's wife, who lives in VA, and is also a Democrat and voted for Obama, is voting for McConnell this time around. She is also a working Mom and has figured out that she will have more money to keep for her family with the Republicans. It will be an interesting election.

Malign my sister ? Her and her husband - The only democrats in the family (besides my brother's wife) - are convinced that they lost their house because of Bush.

However, when her husband lost his job she didn't go back to work. She could have, when she finally tried (after they lost their house after her husband had been laid off twice).... she managed to land an excellent job again. She is smart and writes extremely well.

Years ago, when she decided to quit to stay home with the kids - I told her she was nuts, my other sister told her she was nuts, my brother told her she was nuts.

She said the quality of her kids life was more important to her, and implied I wasn't doing all that hot a job taking care of mine....

Wow. Sweet.

I indicated in return that my families financial security was the most important thing. She then said that her families financial security was just fine, and again indicated that I wasn't doing so hot a job taking care of my kids because I hadn't quit to stay home with them. I still have that email chain. One of these days when she is on another of her liberal tirades I may just pick it up and send it to her.

Then her husband lost his job. Again, I told her to find a job, my other sister told her to go back to work, my brother told her to go back to work. You see, the rest of the family are all dual income families as well.

She didn't. Her husband landed a job for about 6 months. Then he got laid off again. I told her to go back to work, my sister told her to go back to work, my brother told her to go back to work, my mother told her to go back to work.

She didn't. She didn't even try.

They sold the house and moved in with his parents while her husband again looked for job.

My mother subsidized their income. His parents subsized income for them. My sister, during this time, decided that a DVD player for the kids in the car was a necessity and came home with that one day (while her husband's parents were supporting them). Her husband's parents weren't too happy with that and kicked them out. She couldn't understand that. Thought they were being unreasonable.

Then my sister (finally) started looking for a job. Which she landed fairly quickly, and even got close to the salary level she was making when quit 5 years before to stay home with the kids.

So, was this whole scenario Bush's fault, or my sisters ? See, I put the blame quite squarely on my sister. She had a great job and could have picked up the phone and called her old boss before she was finally forced to....

But don't try to tell my sister that. It was all Bush's fault that her husband lost her job and couldn't manage to keep one again. All Bush's fault. Was it Bush's fault that she didn't pick up the phone and call her old boss and decide to go back to work ? Your call.

Am I terrible to my sister ? No just terribly disappointed in her lack of responsibility. You see, I let her live with me for free when I graduated and even picked up a couple years tuition for her after my parents had given up on her. I forgave 2K worth of debt she had run up on a credit card I gave her when she got married.

So Bea, you can walk in the forest all you want. Go for it.

If you decide that you would rather not work hard don't ask for my money to support you.. through tax credits, through health care, through whatever.

Your decision.
Your choices.
Your consequences.

September 01, 2009 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Feel better airing all that family history on TTF's Vigilance blog, Theresa?

Maybe today you should make time for a nice relaxing sauna.

September 02, 2009 8:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

feelin' better having something to say that doesn't involve a sad attempt to defend the hopeless Obama administration?

David Axelrod is saying this morning that Barry's going to fix everything up by addressing the public on TV

let's hope he wears a cardigan and brings up the national malaise threatening the very fabric of our society

also, Dem leaders will be holding closed door meetings to reassure nervous Democratic legislators after Americans let me know what they think of the deficit- exploding health care bill

better lock the door on the way out, Harry, and keep them there until the vote

otherwise, they'll realize they don't have to drink that Kool-Aid

September 02, 2009 9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

btw, Dems announced yesterday that they are delaying the vote on cap and trade until later in the fall

(pssst...they don't have 60 votes)

when Obama ran for President, he had never demonstrated any executive skills

he still hasn't

we took a gamble on a longshot

the wheel's stop spinning now and the ball has fallen into its slot

we lost

September 02, 2009 9:38 AM  
Anonymous henry said...

I don't think the American people are in a mood to double down

September 02, 2009 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

did you know we can't afford universal health insurance?

it's true

we don't have the money

"Thousands of voters at town-hall meetings this summer. It's not just the proposed overhaul of health care that has them upset. They also feel betrayed. In spite of their hope for change, it still appears that the government in Washington is run for its own benefit and that of special interests—not that of the American people. Thet don't trust politicians in Washington to address mounting long-term challenges to our economy.

It's not just the attendees of town-halls meetings. Voters across the country are telling Washington what's on their mind, if only more people inside the Beltway would listen. A Rasmussen poll released last month showed that 40% of voters said that cutting the deficit in half by 2012 should be Obama's top priority. Only 21% said health-care reform should be his priority.

Notwithstanding these polls, the Democrats have responded by trying to win public support on the strength of an argument that's too clever to be true. They say that the key to saving money is spending money, a lot of money. And they've done just that with a $787 billion stimulus program as well as billions in bailouts and proposals to spend vast sums on health-care reform and other things. Their belief seems to be that every government expenditure grows the economy or can be counterbalanced with cost savings.

It's a confusing argument, and it's flat wrong, particularly with regard to health care. The Congressional Budget Office has said as much when it stated a few weeks ago that the health-care legislation before Congress fails to restrain costs and instead "significantly expands the federal responsibility for health-care costs."

A more convincing argument would be this: Let's save money by spending less. This argument doesn't require a clever explanation, but it does requiring putting the government in the position where it has to set realistic priorities. Most families realize that they can't live indefinitely on borrowed money and would be delighted if the government joined them in the real world of tough spending choices.

However, Congress has shown no sign of departing from the status quo. Spending bills continue to grow faster than the rate of inflation as members still earmark funds for special projects for parochial interests. The most recent appropriations bill to pass the Senate, the Agriculture Department bill, included a 15% spending increase over the previous year's bill, which itself was a 21% spending increase over the preceding year. In today's economy, such spending increases make Americans realize that the political class isn't even close to getting it.

Last week, OMB director Peter Orszag released a review of the budget that adjusted our long-term deficit up by $2 trillion—more than double the cost of the wars of Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001. In his 750 word report, Mr. Orszag cast blame on the Bush administration five times and didn't once take aim at today's Congress or the annual orgy of wasteful, duplicative and special-interest spending in which it is now engaging.

Voters understand that our economic challenges hardly started with George W. Bush, and that at some point the administration has to stop blaming the last guy and start providing real solutions. America is facing an economic reckoning because the cornerstone programs of the welfare state—Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security—will soon be bankrupt and will likely require massive tax increases to stay afloat.

Congressional leaders have been using apocalyptic rhetoric about angry "mobs," "un-American" protestors and "evil-mongers" at town halls because they know that voter concerns about spending may not only derail the "public option" in health-care reform but could turn into a referendum on our real problems—our crushing burden of government and the politicians who defend the status quo. For the sake of future generations, such a referendum couldn't come soon enough."

September 02, 2009 11:27 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Tom Coburn, author of the WSJ editorial "What I learned from the 'Mob,' posted by Anon above, should ignore the industry funded 'mob' and listen to his constituents, especially this one.

September 02, 2009 3:41 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

constituents?

unless CBS News is part of the "mob"
you're referring to, looks like his constituents have the same view as him:

"(CBS) President Obama's approval rating on health care has dropped six points since July to 40 percent, and now more Americans, 47 percent, disapprove of his handling of health care, according to a new CBS News poll taken between Aug 27 - 31."

what you and other gangrenous elements of our society fail to realize is that when they hear issues they agree with raised at a town hall meeting and then hear Dems in Congress call them a "mob", it confirms a suspicion that is spreading:

the Democrats in Congress are far to the left of the American people

thanks for the help on the issue

and keep up the lunatic rhetoric!

September 02, 2009 3:58 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 02, 2009 5:22 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

September 02, 2009 5:22 PM  
Blogger JimK said...

Anon, you could just post a link, you don't have to fill the blog with this.

Politics Daily: Bob McDonnell: More Catholic than the Pope?

JimK

September 02, 2009 5:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

now, for a word from the constituents:

"A new CNN/Opinion Research poll found that 53 percent of Americans disapproved of Obama's handling of health care"

September 02, 2009 7:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

on McDonnell, the article you posted assume that views written twenty years ago in a college paper accurately reflect someone's views today

no reason to think that and plenty to think not

he's authored legislation to make it easier for women to work and personally employs many women

it's OK to give words some weight when there are no actions, but McDonnell has plenty of track record that says otherwise

he's going to be in the Senate in early 2010 so your side would do better not to stereotype him because then he'll think there's no reason to work with you

save yourself some leverage

September 02, 2009 7:39 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"the article you posted assume that views written twenty years ago in a college paper accurately reflect someone's views today

no reason to think that and plenty to think not"

There are 10 reasons to think that. According to the article that was posted, "McDonnell has said his views have "evolved" since he wrote his thesis, though reports show that IN RECENT YEARS AS A STATE LEGISLATOR HE TRIED TO ENACT 10 OUT OF 15 OF THE ACTION POINTS IN HIS 1989 PAPER."

September 02, 2009 9:07 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DO YOU KNOW WHICH TEN HE TRIED TO ENACT AND WHAT "REPORTS" THOSE WERE?

OR DO YOU BELIEVE EVERYTHING YOU READ?

I MIGHT BE FOND OF SOME OF THOSE FIFTEEN POINTS ME OWN SELF.

DO YOU HAVE A MIND?

September 02, 2009 9:52 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

Bob McConnell was a 34 year old veteran, married with two children when he wrote "The Republican Party's Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of The Decade" to fulfill the requirements of the two degrees he was seeking at the Christian Broadcasting Network University, a master of arts in public policy and a juris doctor in law.

DO YOU KNOW WHICH TEN HE TRIED TO ENACT

The Virginia LIS website not easy to search, but here are *some* of the thesis-related bills Bob McConnell has sponsored over the years:

http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?981+ful+HB1159
http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?981+ful+HB1056
http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?991+ful+HB2736
http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?001+ful+HB1534
http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?051+ful+HB1524
http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?011+ful+HB2570S1
http://leg1.state.va.us/cgi-bin/legp504.exe?011+ful+HB2570

I MIGHT BE FOND OF SOME OF THOSE FIFTEEN POINTS ME OWN SELF.

Well good for you, but McConnell recently told the WaPo:

"Virginians will judge me on my 18-year record as a legislator and Attorney General and the specific plans I have laid out for our future -- not on a decades-old academic paper I wrote as a student during the Reagan era and haven't thought about in years."

Then again, judging from his legislative record as recently as 2005, I must say I'm with The City Paper's blog, The Sexist, on this one:

"It’s possible that some of those views changed preeeetty recently."

So what does Bob McConnell really stand for? He says he hasn't "thought about" his "decades-old academic paper" in years yet he has sponsored legislation consistent with it for years. Who can tell what he stands for or against when his words try to deny his own prior words and actions?

September 03, 2009 11:46 AM  
Anonymous herbert O said...

"Who can tell what he stands for or against when his words try to deny his own prior words and actions?"

No one's having any trouble with this who was supporting McDonnell before.

Liberal papers say he has tried to enact the items in the paper. If so, why is any more problem now than before? The paper is irrelevant.

He apparently had some ideas about strengthening families. Maybe some were good ideas, maybe some weren't.

Regardless, no one going to be too offended. We all like families.

btw, few working women are offended. Most women with children would prefer that the government make it easier to stay home with their children than make it easier to work.

September 03, 2009 11:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon-B, as usual, hides behind links above to make it appear she has addressed more than she has.

His links are really diffeent versions of two bills.

One is to make "covenant marriage" available in Virginia. Basically, it requires premarital counseling to qualify for this type of marriage and that the partners agree that marriage is lifelong. Grounds for divorce are also specified.

Scandalous, simply scandalous.

The other is a requirement that women receive certain factual information before having an abortion.

Oh, dear. More scandal.

The hyperbole against McDonnell is vague and misleading.

TTFer:

"reports show that IN RECENT YEARS AS A STATE LEGISLATOR HE TRIED TO ENACT 10 OUT OF 15 OF THE ACTION POINTS IN HIS 1989 PAPER"

question asked by brilliant-anon which TTF is unable to answer:

"DO YOU KNOW WHICH TEN HE TRIED TO ENACT AND WHAT "REPORTS" THOSE WERE?"

Could it be that TTFers post but don't know what they are talking about?

Do they have a mind?

September 04, 2009 12:14 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

really diffeent [sic] versions of two bills.

Here's the heading found at each link I provided:

HOUSE BILL NO. 1159
Offered January 26, 1998

HOUSE BILL NO. 1056
Offered January 26, 1998

HOUSE BILL NO. 2736
Offered January 21, 1999

HOUSE BILL NO. 1534
Offered January 28, 2000

HOUSE BILL NO. 1524
Offered January 12, 2005

HOUSE BILL NO. 2570
AMENDMENT IN THE NATURE OF A SUBSTITUTE
(Proposed by the Senate Committee for Courts of Justice
on February 14, 2001)

HOUSE BILL NO. 2570
Offered January 10, 2001

The last two are different versions of the same bill, Number 2570. The rest are different versions of bills McConnell offered again and again over the years.

These facts trump Anon's spin.

And as I said in my original comment about the bills McConnell has sponsored, The Virginia LIS website not easy to search, but here are *some* of the thesis-related bills Bob McConnell has sponsored over the years. There are more bills sponsored by McConnell at that Virginia government website.

I'll give this to McConnell, he has been persistent in trying to enact his version of "The Republican Party's Vision for the Family: The Compelling Issue of The Decade" for nearly two decades now, belying his claims that his opinions have "evolved."

McConnell is an ultraconservative campaigning as a centrist because he knows the "compelling issues" he has sponsored as bills to get enacted into law for years won't get him elected in Virginia.

McConnell's record shows he has not evolved, he's mired in the primordial goo.

September 04, 2009 9:25 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

The other is a requirement that women receive certain factual information before having an abortion.

Oh, dear. More scandal.

The hyperbole against McDonnell is vague and misleading.


Oh no, the case against this type of bill is very clear.

These bills, repeatedly introduced by McConnell, demonstrate his desire and his efforts to come between patients and their doctors by forcing doctors to tell their patients what politicians want patients to hear.

The same people who support these abortion bills to provide "information" and require "waiting periods" (even though the later the abortion the riskier it is) are the same people who do not want the government coming between patients and their doctors in the health care reform battle.

They **want** the government to come between doctors and patients every time the procedure is abortion.

September 04, 2009 9:40 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

btw, few working women are offended. Most women with children would prefer that the government make it easier to stay home with their children than make it easier to work

< eye roll >

Oh yeah, I'm sure that's what Theresa meant when she said:

Years ago, when she decided to quit to stay home with the kids - I told her she was nuts, my other sister told her she was nuts, my brother told her she was nuts.

She said the quality of her kids life was more important to her, and implied I wasn't doing all that hot a job taking care of mine....

Wow. Sweet.

I indicated in return that my families financial security was the most important thing.


Well, money's more important than raising your children full time to some people and to others it's the other way around, they'd rather give up the money and raise their kids, full time.

McConnell's "compelling issues" support Theresa's sister's decision to stay home with her kids and if he'd been able to enact legislation for each his "compelling issues," would have taken even more of Theresa's earnings in taxes, so to de-motivate her from working outside her home.

September 04, 2009 9:57 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

you guys said there were ten points of his fifteen that he has been trying to pass

when questioned for specifics, you've come up with two

the creation of a covenant marriage is not something most would object to

requiring that doctors provide the facts to women seeking abortion is not controversial either

in a country where 51% of Americans say they are pro-life, that number is higher in Virginia

the only publicized element of McDonnell's paper is that working mothers are not the best thing for families

while some may disagree, few do vehemently

it's a subject almost all Americans have mixed feelings on

furthermore, there is no evidence he has sought any legislation related to this

it's a cute political game you're playing but Virginians aren't going to fall for vague, unspecified charges

September 04, 2009 9:58 AM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

there is no evidence he has sought any legislation related to this

it's a cute political game you're playing


McConnell's the one playing hide and seek with his record, seeking to appear moderate when he's anything but.

Fact check time

The statement: McDonnell has said his views have "evolved" since he wrote his thesis, though reports show that in recent years as a state legislator he tried to enact 10 out of 15 of the action points in his 1989 paper.

was not made by TTF, but was made by David Gibson, in his article entitled Bob McDonnell: More Catholic than the Pope? posted on 9/2/09 at PoliticsDaily.com

Mr. Gibson is not the only one pointing out this fact.

Washington Post:

During his 14 years in the General Assembly, McDonnell pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out in that research paper, including abortion restrictions, covenant marriage, school vouchers and tax policies to favor his view of the traditional family. In 2001, he voted against a resolution in support of ending wage discrimination between men and women.

Novatownhall blog points his record out and likes it:

During his 14 years in the General Assembly, McDonnell pursued at least 10 of the policy goals he laid out in that research paper, including abortion restrictions, covenant marriage, school vouchers and tax policies to favor his view of the traditional family.

Oh, damn, his actions actually follow his words.


Huffington Post:

Lest you think he was a young, impressionable student-type when he held these views, not so. He wrote this manifesto at age 34, already a married father of two. But Bob McConnell is not only a man of words: he is a man of action. In the two decades that McDonnell has been in office, he has sponsored or co-sponsored more than 35 anti-choice pieces of legislation -- in fact, his primary focus in elective office has been to restrict women's access to reproductive health care. "Working women" have gotten little or no help from him as well, since McDonnell voted against ending wage discrimination between men and women.

Fake Virginia blog which has posted a video of Bob McConnell on the 700 Club and reports (misspelling McConnell as "McDonnell"):

McDonnell [sic] has pursued 10 of the 15 policy goals laid out in his thesis...He wrote this after he had already earned an undergraduate degree and a masters degree at other institutions. He was 34 years old at the time...he laid out a 15 point plan for the GOP. As an elected official, he’s pursued 10 of these 15 goals...now that he needs the votes of moderates to get elected Governor, he’s trying to cover up his real feelings.

Don’t be fooled. Watch Bob McDonnell [sic] talk about the Garden of Eden and his views of marriage. [video link]


Pretent all you want that only TTF is telling the truth about McConnell's legislative record, for all the good it'll do you.

September 04, 2009 10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OK, I'll keep pretenting, whatever that is

Anon-B, you've now done it again

line after line and still demonstrating that you have no idea what those ten of a fifteen are

yes, covenant marriage; he tried to create that option for Virginians

I have no objection and can't imagine why the "everyone should marry whatever they want" crowd at TTF would either

yes, he's pro-life; so are most Americans and most Virginians

people have begun to realize that legalized abortion is an evil chapter of history

twenty years from now, people will read of those who supported the murder of unborn children and wonder "how could they be so wretched?"

and, now, the one new item in your post: he voted against a wage gender discrimination bill

they are many reason that might have been justifiable; not exactly a smoking gun and it only happened once

"Don’t be fooled. Watch Bob McDonnell talk about the Garden of Eden and his views of marriage."

Hopefully, Deeds will put this in a commercial. Voters won't exclude people who have a view of marriage based on their religious beliefs from public office.

That's a hallucination you're having.

September 04, 2009 11:11 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"twenty years from now, people will read of those who supported the murder of unborn children and wonder "how could they be so wretched?" "

It's been nearly twice 20 years, 36 years in fact, since abortion was legalized in the US and it's still legal. You want 20 more years? Sure, take all the time you want.

September 04, 2009 12:43 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

time for what?

every year since then, pro-life forces have grown

this year, polls have show the majority of Americans now consider themselves pro-life

September 04, 2009 3:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Quandry:
If life begins at conception, how come we don't sing "Happy Conception Day to You"? Is a birth day now obsolete?
How come there is no common, universal agreement that "life begins at conception"? Many people believe that life begins at birth. These people consider themselves to be "pro-life" Who, then, is really pro-life? Who is empowered to play God? Which Bible annoints them?
Some writers here think that people who have beliefs that differ from theirs are condemned to hell. They judge, contrary to God's desire. Where is hell?

September 04, 2009 10:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

"If life begins at conception, how come we don't sing "Happy Conception Day to You"?"

Why should we?

"Is a birth day now obsolete?"

No.

"How come there is no common, universal agreement that "life begins at conception"?"

There is. The majority of Americans are pro-life.

"Many people believe that life begins at birth."

No they don't.

And it's more than a belief.

There's scientific evidence.

"These people consider themselves to be "pro-life" Who, then, is really pro-life?"

What?

"Who is empowered to play God?"

Nobody.

But to say that opposing murder is "playing God" is quite a rationalization for condoning evil.

I'm sure you wouldn't say it was "playing God" to oppose murdering adults.

You're biased against the weak.

"Which Bible annoints them?"

The Bible is an inanimate object. It doesn't anoint.

There's only one Bible, btw.

"Some writers here think that people who have beliefs that differ from theirs are condemned to hell."

Really?

I've never heard anyone here say that.

Can you show us an example?

"They judge, contrary to God's desire."

I didn't see that either.

I musta been sleeping when that happened.

Again, show us.

"Where is hell?"

It's a place where one is completely seperated from God and his sustenance and protection.

It's a sad end for anybody.

September 04, 2009 11:51 PM  
Anonymous Aunt Bea said...

"Many people believe that life begins at birth."

No they don't.


In the eyes of the law, life begins at birth.

While there are some states that count the murder of a pregnant woman as two murders, similar to how hate crime laws add another crime for the hate that motivates the murder, you can't get a Social Security Number for a pregnancy, only for a living person who has been born and you can't itemize another dependent on your income tax return for a pregnancy either. Once a live birth results, then you can deduct another dependent.

September 06, 2009 9:31 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

so what?

September 07, 2009 5:17 PM  

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