Daily Archives: January 27, 2011

New White House Press Secretary Announced.

Jay Carney, who is currently Vice President Biden’s Communications Director, has just been appointed to the White House Press Secretary Position, replacing Robert Gibbs.

What makes Sam Brownback the Stupidest Governor in America…

Why, eliminating its State Arts Commission in his proposed budget… and, at the same time, eliminating countless jobs and over a million dollars in matching grants from outside of his state.

This article on “Artless Sam” from HuffPo:

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com

"Artless Sam" Brownback

Kansans suffered a painful embarrassment several years ago when a ruthlessly conservative school board rewrote its definition of science, paving the way for “intelligent design” to be taught alongside evolution in public schools. The decision since has been reversed, and sensible Kansans’ facial muscles only recently recovered from their collective cringe.

Now, though, they wince at a different sort of political horror: Newly elected governor Sam Brownback plans to issue executive orders eliminating the Kansas Arts Commission. (Brownback’s budget report for Fiscal Year 2012 is sub-titled, “Happy New Year, Art Fags.”)

The move, the commission states, would result in a monetary loss of nearly three-fold for the state: $778,300 in funding from the National Endowment for the Arts, plus $437,767 in partnership money from the Mid-America Arts Alliance. Not to mention countless jobs in the public and private sectors. Ripple effect, indeed.But maybe it’s not the state budget that drives the new governor. Perhaps Brownback, who threw his hat into the 2008 presidential election and likely has designs on the next one, views this move as draconian means of pleasing deep-pocketed fans among his fellow ideologues. “Want to keep government out of, well, everything?” he seems to be saying. “Then I’m your man.”

Meanwhile, it’s the people of Kansas — most pointedly, its children — who will suffer, as myriad organizations and programs fostering creativity and artistic expression go the way of the dinosaur (and other now-fossilized life forms that vex folks like Brownback, who raise their hands against the idea of evolution).

If Brownback is successful in abolishing this state agency, Kansas would be the only state in the nation — including the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands — without a state-funded arts commission.
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In my opinion, a state that can produce…and elect… a Sam Brownback desperately needs the intelligence and educational merits of more arts funding. What a terrible thing to bequeath to Kansas’ children. And this from a state that gave America Frederick Remington, Gordon Parks and Bruce Connor among many other well-known artists, photographers, writers and musicians.

Here’s some good news about Gabrielle Giffords…

Gabrielle Giffords, Democratic nominee and gen...

Gabrielle Giffords

It looks like her recovery therapy is going quite well and Gabbie Giffords may have a near-complete recovery. 




This from HuffPo:

clipped from www.huffingtonpost.com

HOUSTON — Rep. Gabrielle Giffords on Wednesday left intensive care for the first time since she was shot in the head in Arizona more than two weeks ago, the latest big step in the long road to recovery.

With her progress moving at “lightning speed,” doctors had the Arizona lawmaker moved to TIRR Memorial Hermann hospital, where she immediately began therapy that could last several months.

Doctors said she will have a valve inserted into her breathing tube to help her talk.
When asked if the congresswoman was able to speak, neurosurgeon Dr. Dong Kim said, “we can say that her speech function, along with everything else, is improving” but declined to elaborate.
Doctors had previously reported that Giffords was having difficulty moving the right side of her body. On Wednesday, they described that as “weakness” and said her ability to move had improved.
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Looks like we got about 6″ of snow overnight…

Looking out the window, I’m dreading walking the dogs. Yesterday, I slipped and fell on an icy patch in the road in front of our townhouse and, remarkably, I didn’t let go of the dogs’ leashes, but I also couldn’t get up given my useless knees… my first devastating sign of old age.

Fortunately, someone was out shoveling their walk and came to my assistance with a large football player (a Shepherd student of course) who helped me tom my feet… but it left me worried about getting around all day. Now Elly is taking my car (I have All Wheel Drive) and heading off to work (HCC is starting 2 hours late this morning) and I am contemplating the terror of walking the dogs in this mess.

We have a rehearsal for “Claudie Hukill” tonite at Full Circle Theater, and I hope the streets in town get plowed out so there is parking. As I recall this time last year when I was directing “The Hunting of the Snark“, the opera for kids that I wrote in the seventies with composer Edwin Roberts, we had this kind of a snowfall which was followed by even more snow and we had to delay the production by two weeks. This could easily happen again.

We don’t get a lot of snow around here (the weather bureau says we get 20.9″ annually, but that is just a tiny percentage of what we got when we lived in Connecticut… they’ve had over seven feet already this year… and most of it comes in February. Just have to grit my teeth and get through this.