Thursday Reads

Good Morning!!

Fall is here, and suddenly, I find myself seeking out foods made with pumpkin, like pumpkin-apple muffins. I’ve never had a pumpkin spice latte, but I’m thinking of trying one. I found a recipe for pumpkin syrup on line.

Pumpkin Spice Syrup

1½ cups water
1½ cups sugar
4 cinnamon sticks
1 tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground ginger
½ tsp. ground cloves
3 tbsp. pumpkin puree


Combine the water and sugar in a medium saucepan and heat over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has completely dissolved. Toss in the cinnamon sticks and whisk in the remaining spices and the pumpkin puree. Continue to cook for about 5 minutes, stirring frequently, without letting the mixture come to a boil. Remove from the heat and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes. Strain the syrup through a fine mesh strainer or cheesecloth and store in your container of choice. Store in the refrigerator. Make sure that your refrigerator is working properly for preserving purposes. If not, you can look for refrigeration repair kingsport tn services online.

To make a pumpkin spice latte, combine 2 ounces of hot coffee or 1 shot of hot espresso (about 1-1½ ounces) with 5-6 ounces of steamed low-fat milk. Stir in 1½-2 tablespoons of the pumpkin spice syrup. Taste and adjust amounts accordingly. Top as desired with freshly whipped cream, ground cinnamon and drizzle with caramel sauce (optional – sort of).

I’ve also heard that pumpkin oatmeal is really good. I’m might try that with the leftovers. Now, let’s see what’s in the news this morning.

Yesterday, I posted about Romney’s crass exploitation of the death of former Navy Seal Glen Doherty in the September 11 attack on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi. Last night I learned that Doherty was active in the fight to prevent right-wing fundamentalists from completely taking over the U.S. military. Mikey Weinstein, who has fought the good fight for years, wrote about it at Huffington Post.

I had the extreme good fortune, honor and privilege to work alongside Glen for years as a longtime member of the Advisory Board of the four-time, Nobel Peace Prize-nominated, civil rights charitable organization I founded and currently serve as president of called the Military Religious Freedom Foundation (MRFF). We currently are assisting over 30,000 American military personnel fighting against Christian fundamentalist religious extremism in our own armed forces. Glen selflessly served as a passionate, ’round-the-clock’ supporter of MRFF based on his fervent belief in its mission to protect the secular nature of the U.S. Military and the imperative this secular nature has to our national security. Separation of church and state in the United States military was not a trivial matter for Glen. It was his mantra.

Based upon our profound, mutual working experiences with MRFF, I’m truly fascinated about what Mitt Romney actually “learned about him”. During his chance meeting with Glen at that Christmas party a few years ago, did candidate Romney learn about his close personal and professional relationship with MRFF? Other fascinating learning opportunities for Mr. Romney regarding Glen’s deep support of and belief in MRFF and what we stand for may have revealed to him some very “uncomfortable” facts about the life of this true American Hero.

Please click the link and read the list of initiatives that Doherty supported. Of Romney’s shameful use of Doherty’s story for political purposes, Weinstein writes:

As informed citizens of the United States, we are all too aware of the rampant grandiose hyperbole generated as a result of our political campaigns. This absolutely disgusting, opportunistic travesty however was so much more, and so much lower, than the usual political ‘pablum’ that courses through our normal campaign emissions. This “performance” was simply naked and shameful exploitation of the life and memory of an actual American Hero. Romney did not “know” Glen. His insinuation that he somehow had a connection to Glen is disingenuous at best and a naked lie at worst. It is bold and bald untruthfulness. As Alfred Tennyson said, “A lie that is half truth is the darkest of all lies.” A timely and heartfelt apology is truly in order here.

I couldn’t bring myself to watch the Warren-Brown debate last night, but I read a good review of it at Dailykos by Joan McCarter. Apparently the moderator this time wasn’t an idiot.

What a refreshing Massachusetts Senate debate. From the beginning, when moderator Jim Madigan (thank you WGBY and public television), announced that the questions would be from and based on what the public had sent in, there was hope. When the first question was not about Elizabeth Warren’s heritage, but instead about unemployment and job creation, you knew we were in for a debate of substance.

Without that initial attack on Warren to set Brown up, he came off a little discombobulated. Brown was often scattered, incoherent, and thrown off by the time clock, resorting to mixing all his talking points on “bipartisan” and “job creators” into a mish-mash of word salad when he found himself with extra time. That was regardless of the question asked of him. He also failed in controlling the nasty, taking several cheap shots at “Professor” Warren, including blaming her salary and benefits as a Harvard professor for the spiraling costs of higher education.

This debate featured a far more Republican-sounding Brown that any of the previous debates. He railed about tax hikes, on his fealty to Grover Norquist, on the job-killing Obamacare. It was a bizarre juxtaposition to see the guy the tea party was so excited to get elected in 2010 and the “second-most bipartisan senator” fighting for the same brain. The results were bad for Brown.

Read the rest at the link. I’m still glad I didn’t watch it. Watching Paul Ryan tonight will be bad enough for one week.

In another hard-fought Senate race in Missouri, Claire McCaskill has released three new ads in her battle with Todd Akin. Each ad features a rape survivor talking about Akin’s anti-woman policies. Here’s one of the ads:

You can watch the other two ads at the above link.

There’s another terrific war-on-woman ad released by Deb Butler, a Democrat running for the North Carolina state senate. The ad features a transvaginal probe.

North Carolina state Senate candidate Deb Butler has released a new ad that slams Republican incumbent Thom Goolsby for supporting anti-abortion legislation.

“He wouldn’t dare show you this, but this is Thom Goolsby’s contribution to women’s health,” Butler says in the ad, holding a trans-vaginal ultrasound wand. “A medically unnecessary and invasive procedure that is now required by state law. He promised us his first priority would be jobs, but instead he’s following us into the doctor’s office.”

The New York Times offers Trip Gabriel’s Six Things to Watch for in the Biden-Ryan Debate. Gabriel predicts:

1. Biden will hit Ryan (and Romney) with everything he’s got.

Expect Mr. Biden, who is able to deliver cutting sarcasm without seeming angry, to continue to make up for Mr. Obama’s passivity at the first debate by accusing Mr. Romney of dissembling about long-held policies.

2. Biden will attack the Ryan budget.

Republicans and Democrats both rejoiced when Mr. Romney picked Mr. Ryan because the ticket was married to Mr. Ryan’s audacious House budgets with deep cuts in federal spending.

Although the budget, which Mr. Romney has largely endorsed, does not specify how programs will be cut, Mr. Biden will happily fill in the blanks by saying that an equal, across-the-board cut would mean eliminating 38,000 teachers and dropping 200,000 children from Head Start.

The remaining issues are Medicare cuts, the fiscal cliff, foreign affairs, and possible gaffes, especially by Biden. Of course we’ll have a live blog of the debate tonight.

The Supreme Court yesterday refused to hear a suit against telcoms who received immunity for spying on American citizens.

The Supreme Court has ended a 6-year-old class-action lawsuit against the nation’s telecommunications carriers for secretly helping the National Security Agency monitor phone calls and emails coming into and out of this country.

The suit was dealt a death blow in 2008 when Congress granted retroactive immunity to people or companies aiding U.S. intelligence agents.

Without comment, the justices turned down appeals from civil liberties advocates who contended this mass surveillance was unconstitutional and illegal.

This month the justices are set to hear a separate case to decide whether NSA officials can be sued for authorizing this allegedly unconstitutional mass wiretapping.

That should be enough to get some discussion started. Now what are you reading and blogging about?

52 Comments on “Thursday Reads”

  1. ecocatwoman says:

    Ahhh, pumpkin season. I love all things pumpkin. Have you tried pumpkin butter? It’s delicious. Here’s a link to a simple recipe:

    Those ads are great. I saw the Deb Butler ad on O’Donnell’s show last night. He seemed visibly shaken by the sight of the transvaginal wand.

    I’m lookng forward to tonight’s debate. Handling Ryan should be easy for Biden, at least easier than Palin & Biden did a great job with her.

    • bostonboomer says:

      I’ve eaten pumpkin butter, but never made it from scratch.

      • Fannie says:

        This from Recipe Girl:

        Pumkin Spice Latte
        1/2 c. whole milk
        `1 tab. unsweetened canned pumkin puree
        1 teas. light brown sugar
        1 teas vanilla
        1 cup hot brewed strong coffee
        2 tab half half
        1 teas grandulated sugar
        whipped cream/ground nutmeg

        In bowl, mix pumkin brown sugar, spice and vanilla…………micro 1/2 minutes – remove when milk is hot/frothy. Pour pumkin milk into a tall mug/glass, add hot coffee, pour in cream, 1 teas. sugar, stir, taste, add more sugar if you desire. Optional, whipped cream/sprinkle nutmeg.

        Can us the non fat milke, fat free half and half…………make your own pumkin spice: equal parts ciannamon, ginger, allspice and nutmeg.

        My great grandmother’s name was Spicy………..

    • Fannie says:

      Luv pumpkin, was in starbucks, they have the pumkin spice latte………………….wow, was too sweet.

  2. Beata says:

    Great links, BB. Thanks. Hope you, JJ, and other Skydancers are feeling better.

    I’ve been busy writing lyrics to a new song, “Send in the Neo-Cons”, but I hope to be around for the Biden-Eddie Haskell debate.

  3. ANonOMouse says:

    Excellent Post BB!!!! Thank you.

    As an added bonus Joe Cannon is knocking Mitt Romney’s socks off in an excellent expose of Mitt Romney’s 1st Debate LIES.

  4. ANonOMouse says:

    Can’t they just LEAVE TEH GAY, especially the dead gay, alone?

    The FRC (Family Research Council) makes an absurd claim about the death of Sally Ride

    “Our latest research into recent homosexual obituaries from San Francisco indicates that lesbians are dying on average around 60ish. Ride fits the pattern of lesbian deaths, but not that of married women’s deaths, which usually extend into the early-to-mid 80s. Is this proof that homosexual activity leads to an early death? No, of course not. Had she stayed married, Sally Ride might have died at the same age and of the same malady. But, on average, her death fits a consistent pattern suggesting that homosexuality is associated with an early demise.”

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Struck down for her “sins”, no doubt, by the christofascist god. The mainstream christian community is nothing like the christianity I was taught as a child. Love thy neighbor, do unto others, judge not lest ye be judged, turn the other cheek. The christianity on parade these days is judgemental, mean spirited, hateful, greedy & glorifies ignorance. If they are really looking for the devil, all they need to do is look in the mirror.

    • Pat Johnson says:

      I’m speechless!

      The absurdity of these people is beyond comprehension! There is something really wrong with these people who concentrate on matters that have no bearing whatsoever on public policy or the public’s “right to know” when it comes to privacy or biologicial information.

      The hatred this stuff churns up, along with the ignorance that is put on display and argued as if it mattered, is disgusting.

      This woman’s achievements is all we need to know about her yet these evildoers will stop at nothing to smear another human being for reasons that are beyond my ability to understand.

      What did this article manage to achieve beyond offereing another example of pure hate disguised as bullsh*t.

      Whoever offers tv time for these groups to spread their diseased minds should be banned.

      I am so sick of listening to diseased minds offer this crap as a means to “enlighten” an audience of morons who buy into their twisted theories.

    • bostonboomer says:

      WTF?!! Married women “usually” live into their 80s? These people are worse at math than they are at history.

      • ANonOMouse says:

        I’m with you BB. That’s a line of BS I’ve never heard. The FRC is just full of these horseshit proclaimations that have no basis in anything but their homophobia.

        I’ve know many old women, both gay and straight and I’ve never seen any trend of TEH GAY dying sooner than the straight, or the married living longer than the unmarried. The people I’ve known who’ve lived the longest were both unmarried women, one lived to be 103, one lived to 99.

      • janicen says:

        That’s what they use to form their conclusions. If you start discussing actual numbers and facts with them then you are an elitist snob.

    • NW Luna says:

      Family Sloppy Research Council. Their “databases” include “obituaries in the homosexual press” and surveys on the average age of people getting HIV tests!

      Their idea of research science is so absurd they’d probably think creationism was a science. Oh wait, they do.


    • ANonOMouse says:

      He did a great job of dissecting MItt’s tax myth and in the process made the math so simple that anyone who is interested can see that Mitt is lying.

  5. ecocatwoman says:

    Controversy, alleged bias of VP debate moderator: Of course, it’s coming from The Daily Beast & then Drudge. This is important, how?

  6. ANonOMouse says:


    10/8 – 10/10

    1500 LV


    Romney 47

    Obama 48

    Obama +1

    • ecocatwoman says:

      Did you check out RCP’s Electoral College changes? Since the debate, they have moved 50 EC votes out of Obama’s column. YIKES.

      • RalphB says:

        Since the debate there has been a rash of right wing polls done by Gravis Marketing and even some by a pollster for Citizens United that got put in their averages. Gravis is even in this list again.

        Here are the latest polls from the battleground states:

        Colorado: Romney 48%, Obama 47% (CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac)

        Florida: Obama 47%, Romney 46% (NBC/WSJ/Marist)

        Michigan: Obama 49%, Romney 42% (Detroit News)

        Michigan: Obama 46%, Romney 44% (Gravis)

        Nevada: Obama 47%, Romney 45% (Suffolk)

        Ohio: Obama 51%, Romney 45% (NBC/WSJ/Marist)

        Virginia: Romney 48%, Obama 47% (NBC/WSJ/Marist)

        Virginia: Obama 51%, Romney 46% (CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac)

        Wisconsin: Obama 50%, Romney 47% (CBS/NYT/Quinnipiac)

  7. bostonboomer says:

    Wisconsin state rep. Roger Rivard says his father told him “some girls rape easy.”

    Freshman Rep. Roger Rivard (R-Rice Lake) in December discussed a case with the Chetek Alert newspaper in which a 17-year-old high school senior was charged with sexual assault for having sex with an underage girl in the school’s band room.

    The newspaper quoted him as saying his father warned him, “Some girls rape easy” – meaning that after the fact they can change what they say about whether sex was consensual. On Wednesday, Rivard told the Journal Sentinel that the article did not provide full context of his comments and that his father’s exact words had been slightly different from how they appeared in the Chetek Alert.

    He told the Journal Sentinel that his father had advised him not to have premarital sex, and he took that seriously.

    “He also told me one thing, ‘If you do (have premarital sex), just remember, consensual sex can turn into rape in an awful hurry,’ ” Rivard said. “Because all of a sudden a young lady gets pregnant and the parents are madder than a wet hen and she’s not going to say, ‘Oh, yeah, I was part of the program.’ All that she has to say or the parents have to say is it was rape because she’s underage. And he just said, ‘Remember, Roger, if you go down that road, some girls,’ he said, ‘they rape so easy.’

    “What the whole genesis of it was, it was advice to me, telling me, ‘If you’re going to go down that road, you may have consensual sex that night and then the next morning it may be rape.’ So the way he said it was, ‘Just remember, Roger, some girls, they rape so easy. It may be rape the next morning.’

  8. bostonboomer says:

    Romney claims Americans don’t die because they lack health insurance.

    In the real world, 45,000 Americans die every year because they don’t have health insurance.

  9. bostonboomer says:

    NBC First Thoughts:

    Headline from our new NBC/WSJ/Marist polls: A marginal — but not substantial — improvement for Romney since last week’s debate…

    So how much did the political environment change after last week’s presidential debate as we head into tonight’s VP showdown here in Kentucky? According to our new NBC/WSJ/Marist polls of three of the most important battleground states, it changed at the margins — but not substantially. A week ago, right before the debate, our NBC/WSJ/Marist poll of Florida had President Obama with a one-point lead among likely voters, 47%-46%; now it is still one point, 48%-47%. In Ohio, Obama was ahead by eight points; now it is by six, 51%-45%. And in Virginia, Obama had a two-point edge last week, 48%-46%; now it is Romney by one, 48%-47%. So our poll shows some improvement for the GOP presidential nominee, but we seem to be back to where we were before the conventions: It’s a very close race with Obama still enjoying a structural edge in the battleground states. And why was there only a little change in these surveys — conducted Oct. 7-9 — since last week’s debate? These numbers probably tell the story: More than 90% of the likely voters in these three states say they made up their minds BEFORE the debate. Here is a question to be asked: Is Romney over-performing in national polls and under-performing in the battlegrounds? Sure seems like it.

    • RalphB says:

      Perhaps the freak outs can finally stop? If not for the over the top reaction from liberals and the MSM, I would bet there would have been even less change at the margins.

      • bostonboomer says:

        I agree. I’m just hoping Biden comes through tonight. Obama also sounded very determined last night talking to Diane Sawyer.

  10. janicen says:

    Geez, I’ve been away so long. WordPress made me log in again. I’m sorry I missed yesterday’s post about Mitt Romney dropping in on the house party of Glen Doherty, who was killed in the attack in Benghazi. The part about Romney reintroducing himself several times to the same person drove home the point that he does not relate to people on a personal level and see them as human beings. It reveals so much about him. I’m reminded of stories about Bill Clinton and how he would remember minute facts about people when he met them a second time. My dad, who was a union president of a medium sized local union back in the 1950’s and 60’s used to tell the story about the time he met John and Jackie Kennedy when they were out campaigning. He met them once, briefly only to shake hands and say hello. Then a few weeks later there was another event where they were both present and not only John Kennedy but Jackie Kennedy called my dad by his first name when they saw him again. My dad was bowled over. He wasn’t a politician or national figure by any stretch of the imagination and this was long before the days of internet bios or any kind of briefings that would have refreshed their memories, but they remembered his name. That’s what a skilled politician does. That shows that you give a shit about people. Mitt Romney will never be that good because he has no empathy or compassion and he’s not good at anything other than bullying.

  11. bostonboomer says:

    Sam Stein ‏@samsteinhp
    i predicted this, i think. per Fox biz “BREAKING NEWS: Issa to Hold Hearings on September Employment Numbers”

  12. RalphB says:

    Dana Milbank commits an act of journalism.

    WaPo: Letting us in on a secret

    When House Republicans called a hearing in the middle of their long recess, you knew it would be something big, and indeed it was: They accidentally blew the CIA’s cover.

    The purpose of Wednesday’s hearing of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee was to examine security lapses that led to the killing in Benghazi last month of the U.S. ambassador to Libya and three others. But in doing so, the lawmakers reminded us why “congressional intelligence” is an oxymoron.

    Through their outbursts, cryptic language and boneheaded questioning of State Department officials, the committee members left little doubt that one of the two compounds at which the Americans were killed, described by the administration as a “consulate” and a nearby “annex,” was a CIA base. They did this, helpfully, in a televised public hearing.

    Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) was the first to unmask the spooks.
    In their questioning and in the public testimony they invited, the lawmakers managed to disclose, without ever mentioning Langley directly, that there was a seven-member “rapid response force” in the compound the State Department was calling an annex. One of the State Department security officials was forced to acknowledge that “not necessarily all of the security people” at the Benghazi compounds “fell under my direct operational control.”

    And whose control might they have fallen under? Well, presumably it’s the “other government agency” or “other government entity” the lawmakers and witnesses referred to; Issa informed the public that this agency was not the FBI.

    “Other government agency,” or “OGA,” is a common euphemism in Washington for the CIA. This “other government agency,” the lawmakers’ questioning further revealed, was in possession of a video of the attack but wasn’t releasing it because it was undergoing “an investigative process.”

    Or maybe they were referring to the Department of Agriculture.
    The Republican lawmakers, in their outbursts, alternated between scolding the State Department officials for hiding behind classified material and blaming them for disclosing information that should have been classified. But the lawmakers created the situation by ordering a public hearing on a matter that belonged behind closed doors.

    Republicans were aiming to embarrass the Obama administration over State Department security lapses. But they inadvertently caused a different picture to emerge than the one that has been publicly known: that the victims may have been let down not by the State Department but by the CIA. If the CIA was playing such a major role in these events, which was the unmistakable impression left by Wednesday’s hearing, having a televised probe of the matter was absurd.

    The chairman, attempting to close his can of worms, finally suggested that “the entire committee have a classified briefing as to any and all other assets that were not drawn upon but could have been drawn upon” in Benghazi.

    Good idea. Too bad he didn’t think of that before putting the CIA on C-SPAN.

  13. RalphB says:

    Know the enemy. They just keep getting worse and worse.

    Gentleman in Virginia Romney Office Has Novel Idea For Welfare Reform: Execute ‘Illegitimate’ Parents, Adopt Out Their Kids

    Clifford Russell, a nice man working in the Mitt Romney campaign office in Bedford, Virginia, has a plan to reduce this awful entitlement culture that we have here in US Amercia. During a visit from freelance writer Christopher D Cook., Mr. Russell expounded on a number of important issues, proclaiming that global warming is “a total fiction,” that the NAACP is “the most racist organization in America,” that “Everyone in Iraq under Hussein was a terrorist,” and of course that the best way to address poverty would be … well, let’s let Clifford Russell speak for himself, with Cook offering him chances to walk back or clarify his views:

    “I’ll tell you what really need to do with these illegitimate families on welfar — give all the kids up for adoption and execute the parents.”

    I stare at him and blink in a glaze of shock.

    Just to be sure I heard him right, I ask him to repeat it, twice.

    “Yes, I mean it. Get rid of all of them, give the kids up for adoption, execute the parents, and you get rid of the problem.” (When I call him back to revisit the issue, he elaborates: “put the children up for adoption and execute the parents, and word would get out soon” that poor people shouldn’t have kids.)

    • ecocatwoman says:

      But the “poor” women can’t get abortions so I guess if you’re poor you are not given a government issued photo ID to partake in sex. Spay & neuter ’em all, I tell ya’. That would solve all the problems, wouldn’t Mr. Russell? Oh, but then the rich kids would have fight & die in your neocon wars. What to do, what to do. It’s a real di-lemma.

      • HT says:

        Brilliant – the rich kids having to fight I mean. About time if you ask me. I remember the Viet Nam debacle too well. About time that the men (and they are largely men) sending kids to war should have to pony up their own kids to their wet dreams.
        As far as murdering parents and stealing their kids (cause that’s what it is) – what the hell has happened to rational thought? And they want to stop teaching critical thinking in Texas? There is a deep sickness in the world that needs to be treated and by golly it needs to be treated PDQ.