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Archive for February, 2010

To Serve Cat

Hat Tip goes to the radio station I was listening to this morning which talked about this story.  Sadly, I was scanning through the stations, so I have no idea which one it was.

Italy’s state-owned television broadcaster has dropped a popular chef for sharing a recipe with viewers to cook cat.

Beppe Bigazzi told CNN that while he would miss collaborating with the RAI-Uno TV network, he would not apologize for his comments because they reflected historical facts, not just his opinion.

He blamed the furor on animal rights activists saying “It’s their problem, not mine!”

During a live broadcast February 10, the grandfatherly Italian cooking expert noted that in decades past, Italians in the region of Tuscany did eat cat meat.

Bigazzi, 77, told viewers there was a saying for this time of year that “if you don’t have meat, kill the cat.”

The popular TV chef then went on to describe how you can tenderize the meat by letting it soak for three days in running spring water.

As Chef Beppe continued, his co-host of ‘La Prova del Cuco,’ Elisa Isoardi looked aghast.

The young hostess declared “My Othello in a stew? No!” Othello is the name of her pet cat. But Beppe wasn’t finished.

He told viewers he had dined on cat many times and that the meat tasted better than chicken or rabbit.

I’m very well aware that some cultures it’s perfectly normal for people to use dogs and cats as a meat source.  However, I wonder if this is the first mentioning of it involving a Western European nation and classically-trained chef from the region.

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Paul Ryan: “Hiding Spending Doesn’t Reduce Spending”

Yesterday, I commented that liberals and Democrats needed to be careful what they wished for when word came out that Wisconsin’s Paul Ryan, R-Janesville, was part of the GOP’s team for the Health Care Summit.

He didn’t disappoint.

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Favre to Do Leno

Get the TiVO ready, he’s taking the “Hamlet Act” to Late Night…again.

From ESPN’s NFC North Blog:

The most interesting part of Brett Favre’s scheduled television appearance is whether we’ll know anything about his future before then.

Yes, Favre is on Jay Leno’s official guest list for the March 4 taping of the Tonight Show. (I believe SportsbyBrooks.com gets the hat tip for this one.) Will Favre make an announcement, prolong the speculation or wax poetic about a decision he could conceivably make before then? I imagine Minnesota will know Favre’s plans before Leno, but you never know.

In an auspicious bit of timing, the show will air less than two hours before the official start of the NFL’s free agent market.

The last time Favre appeared on late night television, it was with CBS’s David Letterman in 2008, where he began his public ambiguity about having retired less than a month before.

May the Vikings fans enjoy this saga as much as we have.

And, don’t expect to hear an answer from Favre on if/when he might be coming back until a week or so before training camp.  After a promise of missing all “Organized Team Activities” (OTAs) and half of training camp has been secured.  It’s how Favre operates; get used to it.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Ryan Gets “Health Care Summit” Nod

Just got this press release from the Boehner Press office, at the direction of the Ryan Press office.

“I appreciate the invitation and look forward to sharing common-sense solutions on fixing what’s broken in health care.  I share the concerns of many Americans that tomorrow’s summit will be staged more about showmanship than true bipartisanship.  While the cameras roll at the health care summit, we’re told the Majority continues to meet in secret, cutting deals behind closed doors to jam a government-takeover through Congress.

“I hope that’s not the case. I hope we can have a sincere discussion tomorrow – focusing on reforms that actually lower health care costs, instead of exploding our already unsustainable debt and piling more tax hikes on the American people.  I stand ready to continue to advance solutions that fix what’s broken in health care, without breaking what’s working. We should scrap this massive bill and start over.”

Predictably, many blogs on the left are already starting to drool about the prospect of using Ryan’s presence at the Summit to hope the White House will nail Republicans to Ryan’s “Roadmap” budget plan; which is not the official GOP budget plan, despite many media attempts to paint it as such.  Here’s Christina Bellantoni, a former Washington Times writer, now “reporting” for Talking Points Memo’s DC bureau and her lede.

(Yeah, the  juxtaposition of her career past will cause a few brain aneurysms out there.)

Minority Leader John Boehner has named Rep. Paul Ryan as one of his picks to attend the White House health care summit, something President Obama might use to put Republicans on the spot about Ryan’s proposal to cut Social Security and create a voucher system for Medicare.

Boehner will bring Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) Rep. Charles Boustany (R-LA), Rep. Peter Roskam (R-IL) and Ryan (R-WI), the Daily Caller reported.

You have to love TPM.  No iota of objectivity or balance there.

Well, be careful what you ask for.

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OSHA: Congress is a Work Place Hazard

Knowing the history of OSHA, one has to wonder if the late Wisconsin Representative Bill Steiger (R-Oshkosh) is laughing, crying, or turning over in his grave at this discovery.

Then again, this is better than it has been in the past.

More than 70 percent of congressional offices have violated worker safety standards over the past year.

While the majority of all lawmaker offices on Capitol Hill have at least one health or safety hazard violation, this year’s inspection data from the Office of Compliance inspections is an improvement over last year’s.

The number of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) violations found in each office has significantly decreased over the years as well — from an average of about 8.15 violations per office in 2007 to an average of 1.75 hazards in each office this year.

The type of violations is also shifting, from what used to be gross safety risks to what are now relatively minor infractions, like lengths of electric cord strung together or a blocked electrical outlet.

“In the past, we’ve found serious fire hazards such as blocked sprinkler heads, stacks of paper on heaters, fire doors obstructed by furniture and outlets with exposed live wires,” said Peter Ames Eveleth, general counsel of the Office of Compliance.

“We are talking about serious hazards that have plagued congressional offices for years.”

Of the 541 offices in Congress, 154 were found to be completely in compliance with OSHA standards — those of 64 senators and 90 House lawmakers — leaving 387 offices that had at least one violation. This is a marked increase from 2008, when only 37 offices were found to be in complete accordance, or in 2006, when only seven offices were in compliance.

As someone who’s been in a few Congressional and Senatorial offices over the past few years, I can tell you with certainty there are two different areas.  I like to call them “The Parlor” and “The Maze.”  “The Parlor” is pretty much the area the public sees.  It mainly includes the lobby, the Congressman’s or Senator’s office, and the Press Secretary’s office.  The rest of the place looks like it was hit by a series of paperwork tornadoes because of the sheer volume of work — legislative and constituent — that goes through these places.

“The Maze” is where the bulk of work is done in a Congressional office.  People are stacked as much as three or four in an office and it gets to be quite cluttered with papers, TVs (if it’s a press office), and other electrical devices.  There are very little chairs for visitors to “The Maze” since visitors aren’t expected, let alone planned for.

So the easiest way to stop having Congressional offices from being work hazards is to either clean the offices up, or better yet, shrink the size of government in our lives so the amount of paperwork these folks have to do (Not that they won’t still be busy mind you) is greatly reduced.

Notice I’m not advocating the other logical choice: Bigger, newer, more expensive offices.

No thanks.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Russ Feingold: Man of Principle

From an RPW press release, which may or may not have been taken from this post by Jim Geraghty at National Review.

“Reconciliation is intended for legislation that reduces the deficit. I have strongly opposed past efforts to use reconciliation to address policy matters, such as drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. It wasn’t appropriate then; it isn’t appropriate now.” (Sen. Feingold, Congressional Record, S.4289, 4/2/09)
“U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold said Saturday he supports the movement within the Senate to pass a health care bill with a public option under reconciliation rules, which require a simple majority without a filibuster.” (La Crosse Tribune, 2/21/10)

How “mavericky” of Russ?  No wonder OWN and DPW are focusing on Wall’s tax record, they can’t seem to be able to defend a Feingold “Flip-Flop.”

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Canadian Premier Unapologetic About American Heart Surgery

But of course, socialized medicine’s for the plebes, the naive, and the useful idiots.

An unapologetic Danny Williams says he was aware his trip to the United States for heart surgery earlier this month would spark outcry, but he concluded his personal health trumped any public fallout over the controversial decision.

In an interview with The Canadian Press, Williams said he went to Miami to have a “minimally invasive” surgery for an ailment first detected nearly a year ago, based on the advice of his doctors.

“This was my heart, my choice and my health,” Williams said late Monday from his condominium in Sarasota, Fla.

“I did not sign away my right to get the best possible health care for myself when I entered politics.”

The 60-year-old Williams said doctors detected a heart murmur last spring and told him that one of his heart valves wasn’t closing properly, creating a leakage.

He said he was told at the time that the problem was “moderate” and that he should come back for a checkup in six months.

Williams did defend his decision to go to the United States for heart surgery by saying either way, he’d have been persecuted in the Canadian press.  See, had he had the surgery in Canada — one deemed non-emergency — he’d have jumped the waiting list.

He said he spoke with and provided his medical information to a leading cardiac surgeon in New Jersey who is also from Newfoundland and Labrador. He advised him to seek treatment at the Mount Sinai Medical Center in Miami.

That’s where he was treated by Dr. Joseph Lamelas, a cardiac surgeon who has performed more than 8,000 open-heart surgeries.

Williams said Lamelas made an incision under his arm that didn’t require any bone breakage.

“I wanted to get in, get out fast, get back to work in a short period of time,” the premier said.

Williams said he didn’t announce his departure south of the border because he didn’t want to create “a media gong show,” but added that criticism would’ve followed him had he chose to have surgery in Canada.

“I would’ve been criticized if I had stayed in Canada and had been perceived as jumping a line or a wait list. … I accept that. That’s public life,” he said.

“(But) this is not a unique phenomenon to me. This is something that happens with lots of families throughout this country, so I make no apologies for that.”

Williams said his decision to go to the U.S. did not reflect any lack of faith in his own province’s health care system.

No, of course not.  Just enjoy your health…from your condo in Sarasota.  Drive that Ford while selling us all General Motors.

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Hitler Finds Out About USA-Canada Hockey Game

“Hope Heatley Drives the Bus.”


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