Sunday, May 30, 2010

Memorial Day, By The Numbers

I love numbers and statistics, and this weekend, it seems, there a lot of numerical milestones. Most importantly, it has been 50 years since To Kill a Mockingbird was originally published. This Harper Lee classic, is home to my namesake, the unforgettable, and incomparable, Atticus Finch. Mr. Finch was beautifully portrayed by Gregory Peck in the movie version, which I believe to be one of the finest films ever produced.

The character of Atticus Finch is honorable, respectful, loyal, daring and a true individual. I strive to be all of these things, which is not that difficult, because, I believe, these traits parallel my congenital canine attributes. If Atticus Finch had been an over-eater, and a dog, we’d be identical.

Another interesting numerical tidbit this weekend, is that as of tomorrow, Memorial Day, we, as a country, have spent over one trillion dollars on the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. That’s twelve zeros, friends! And this trillion only accounts for the “on the books” costs. There is no number, or monetary amount, that can be tallied for the loss of American’s lives (over 5,000, and counting), and the interminably long list of wounded. Not to mention, the cost of destroying, and then rebuilding, sovereign nations that are not our own.

Another measurable factoid: This month marks the 7th anniversary of our previous president’s declaration of “mission accomplished”. Yet one more indicator that the former president may have been less astute than most dogs I know. Can anyone mispronounce nuclear?

And, since we’re talking a little politics, this week is also the week that gubernatorial candidate, Meg Shitman, passed the 80 million dollar mark in personal campaign spending. Eighty million dollars would certainly cover the cost of... teachers, parole officers, firemen, medical and elder support services, dogpark maintenance, etc., etc., etc.... But no. These eighty million dollars were, primarily, spent on derogatory and negative advertising.

What does she hope to gain out of possibly buying the Governor’s office? I really don’t understand how voters would be able to seriously consider a candidate who hasn’t even executed her most basic electoral right. The right to vote. Yes, I’m a dog, but I yearn for the privilege of casting my ballot, and would never belittle that right.

On a more personal note, tomorrow marks the second anniversary of my grandpa’s passing. My grandpa Del was greatly loved and admired, and, now, greatly missed. Actually, he had many of the same qualities that distinguish Atticus Finch. Grandpa Del was unusually special in the eyes of all he knew. His warmth, intelligence, and goofy humor, was exemplified in his every smile, and twinkle in his eyes. He had an uncanny ability to make everyone he met, human and animal alike, feel special and important and loved.

As Memorial Day is upon us, I reflect upon not only the brave servicemen and women of our country, but also on the memory of my beloved grandpa. Wishing you, enchanting readers, a reverent and memorable holiday.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Republicans can't win on what they believe

--A Democratic official: “We can't stop from losing some seats. But we know now that we can make this a choice, and that we can hold down our losses. And, as PA-12 showed, Republicans can't just run against Obama, Pelosi and health care - even in districts like PA-12, won by McCain and where Republicans expect to win. The problem for Republicans is that the only thing they have is opposition to Democrats and Obama, because everything they were for over the past decade -- tax breaks for the wealthy and big oil, trickle-down economics, ‘free market’ solutions to health care and energy, privatizing Social Security, deregulating Wall Street -- was all a failure that drove our country to the brink of disaster. Republicans can't win on what they believe, so they'll run against us. We aren't going to let them get away with it.”

From: Mike Allen's Playbook

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Shout Out To Patty Hughes

I am delirious with the news that our friend, Patty Hughes, will be meeting Bo’s Papa (known to some as POTUS), this week! You know that six degrees of Kevin Bacon thing? Well, I’m only one degree of separation from The Bacon, The Big Cheese, The Top Dog, since Patty will be meeting our Commander in Chief!

Dear friends, Patty is not meeting the President at some big fundraiser or gala, with the masses. No. Our Ms. Hughes has been invited to meet personally with Bo’s Papa. I cannot say that I’m surprised, in that Patty has done more for OFA and the Democratic Party in our region than most anyone. I am in awe of her hard work, tireless dedication and loyalty to her candidates and causes. Hard work, dedication and loyalty are the hallmark traits of a canine, maybe that’s why I admire Patty so much...I think she may be part canine.

Here’s to you, Patty --- our OFA pack leader!

ps Any chance of getting a pawtograph of Bo for me?

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Promises, Promises...

Being a canine politico, I enjoy the Sunday morning news shows. I was watching Meet the Press this morning, and, I must say, I was getting pretty angry when talk of the oil spill got going. As you know, dear readers, I have been very upset about this environmental travesty (in case you missed it, please refer to my “Shrill Baby Shrill” post).

As the law stands today, big oil companies are only liable for $75 million in damages, a cap put in place in the 1990 Oil Pollution Act. Considering the Exxon Valdez oil spill cost approximately $2.1 billion in clean up and damages, the cap seems a bit on the low side (that’s obvious even to this thoughtful canine). Sounds like an awfully sweet deal for Big Oil. You’d think the lawmakers that passed that bill were in the pockets of Big Oil, or something. Oh, I forgot...1990... Big Oil was running the White House.

Last week a group of Senators, led by Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), offered a bill that would push that cap from $75 million, to $10 billion. Big Oil reaps obscene profits quarter after quarter, regardless of the economy. They mess it up, they clean it up. Even a dog understands the importance of cleaning up what you dirty, so to me, it’s a no-brainer to up the cap. Those who make the mess need to take responsibility to clean it up... common sense, right?

Well, it’s not common sense to the GOP (Grand Obstructionist Party) side of the Senate. They effectively filibustered, and blocked the proposed legislation last week. As a canine, I’m dumbfounded by the plain old dumbness of some humans. I know that it’s their agenda to “just say no” to any and all proposals coming from the other side, but at the expense of taxpayers, their constituents? I simply don’t get it.

This morning on Meet the Press, Senator Jeff Sessions (R-Ala) said that raising the cap legislatively was unnecessary because “BP people have told me personally, they are going to be responsible for all legitimate claims made against them”. Well, gosh darn it, why hold BP lawfully accountable when they made the pinky-promise with Senator Sessions?

To me, this all stinks of graft and corruptionx. For a canine to say something stinks is quite a strong statement, because most anything humans find vile smelling, I adore. But this does stink. Even to one who loves the aroma of critter carcasses, spoiled cottage cheese, and cat stinks.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Central Valley Democratic Club - Next Meeting May 20th

Central Valley Democratic Club

Next Meeting May 20th

3848 McHenry Ave. Modesto
6pm Dinner 7pm Meeting

Special Guest Speakers

Balvino Irizarry

Geoffrey Hutcheson

Martha Carlton-Magana

Nancy Williamsen

“Get Out the Vote”

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Arizona, The New Berlin?

I’ve been following the developments regarding the new anti-immigration law in Arizona. You know, the ones encouraging police to question anyone who they suspect to be illegally in this country. Well, from what I’ve learned, this means anyone (human or canine, I have to assume) is suspect just for looking different, or dressing a certain way. This concerns me greatly, as I am of British decent and born in Canada.

I have papers, but never carry them around with me (how would I carry them?). My distinctive look and jaunty style might scream “foreigner” to an Arizona lawman. Plus, being Canadian, I flaunt my love of hockey and Molson beer, am ridiculously friendly & courteous, and sometimes hum “O Canada” in my sleep (catchiest of national anthems, I think). I also enjoy wearing bandanas, and I hear that’s a surefire giveaway of not being native.

The design of this latest law will undoubtedly result in abuses by law enforcement. I was hoping to visit my mama’s brother and his pack in Tucson in the near future, but I just can’t risk possible incarceration, or worse. I figure if some of these nuts in Arizona don’t believe that our President’s birth certificate is valid, they will never believe mine is valid! “No! No! Arizona lawman! Please don’t take me away from my mama because of questionable papers!” Forgive me, I’m letting instinct take over. Better have my rational brain ponder this... Conclusion: Don’t travel to Arizona.

Note: Originally posted 4/29/10 on my daily blog:

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Shrill, Baby, Shrill!

I’m very concerned about the creatures in the Gulf Coast, and the humans who’s livelihoods are threatened because of the ruptured under-sea oil well. This is a tragedy on all levels. So many species are being be harmed -- shrimp & jellyfish, crawdads & catfish, birds & reptiles....canines and humans.

I vividly remember (anxiety-provoking flashbacks, actually) the shrill cries of “drill, baby, drill”. The “shrill”, being an avid hunter (don’t even get me started on that subject), who quit her job, lost her race, went to multiple colleges to get her undergrad degree in journalism (a profession she now reviles as “lame-stream media”) and has a litter larger than my birth-mother. Mama or I scramble for the mute button the moment she’s on the telly, but I’ve heard that rally cry enough times to haunt my subconscious forever.

I am completely dumbfounded by the fact (polls?) that some people lick up this dribble (yes, that was a play on words...I was an English major). Granted, I’m just a canine with political aspirations, but I think I may have stronger qualifications to hold public office than “the shrill”. Please note: In today’s photo I am wearing the doggie version of the obligatory flag pin that candidates must wear, in order to assure the masses of our patriotism.

I can’t, in all fairness, put everything on the ex-beauty princess from Way-silly. Bo’s papa (note: I have a huge man-crush on Bo!), approved more off-shore drilling exploration just a few weeks ago. Yes, I was shocked, disillusioned & saddened (and I intuit that my bud, Bo, was feeling the same). I have confidence, though, that Bo’s papa will re-evaluate the alternatives after reviewing the devastation of the gulf.

I understand that I’m a dog, and not part of the voting public. But I have to believe that I put more thought into many of these issues than some humans. Renewable, sustainable energy seems to be a much better place to focus our attention than finite resources that carry a great risk to our planet and our well being. Why would this make sense to a dog, but not to all humans?

On an upbeat note, in regards to the oil spill, I think I have helped with reigning in some of the oil. I just had a major haircut (the dreaded “summer-cut), and I’m pretty sure I contributed to helping the cleanup effort. This is really cool, dear readers; check out this link to learn about my contribution and how you can help too:

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother's Day!

Mother’s Day History – Anna Jarvis founded this day to honor her beloved mother. It was in the year 1858 that Anna Jarvis started her efforts to help Mother’s Day gain commercial and political support. Mother’s Day Work Clubs were organized in West Virginia by Anna Jarvis with an objective of improving sanitary conditions and mortality rates in her area. Anna Jarvis had 13 children but sadly only 4 lived to adulthood.

All I am, or can be, I owe to my angel mother.

Abraham Lincoln

Saturday, May 1, 2010

CVDC Upcoming Events and Candidate Announcements

Upcoming Events and Candidate Announcements

May 1st

Organizing for America - Community Organizer and Data Training

Be a part of the President’s Field Team! Saturday!

Description: "Join the President’s field team and learn the VOTE 2010 Mid-Term Election Strategy and how you can help President Obama and the California state and local electoral. We are building teams in our area to help educate voters on important issues and to turn out 2008 first time voters to vote again in 2010.”

Time: Saturday, May 1 from 10:00 AM - 7:00 PM RSVP to:
Location: Stanislaus County Central Labor Council Office (Modesto, CA)

1125 Kansas Ave.

Modesto, CA 95351

May 1st

Put on your walking shoes and join Balvino Irizarry for a walk of Modesto’s Supervisory District # 4 this Saturday, May 1, at 9:30 am. Canvassers will meet at Graceada Park located close to downtown on Sycamore Ave./Needham Ave. the meeting place will be in the picnic area near the tennis courts. Juice and doughnuts will be provided.

May 1st

Saturday, May 1, 2010

March for Immigration Reform

Meet at 10am at 1337 Crowslanding Road, South Modesto, CA

Wear white t-shirts, good walking shoes and carry an American flag.

Marching as a parade entry in the Cinco de Mayo Parade

Maggie Mejia- Latino Community Roundtable (LCR) 303-2664

May 2nd

Join Martha Carlton-Magana candidate for Judge District for a “Picnic at the Red Rock” Sunday, May 2nd! Red Rock Media Center


915 14th St.

Food - music, good company; no ants. Everyone is welcome!

May 4th

Media Advisory - National Drinking Water Week.


Virginia Madueno, Clean Water Action 209-968-7052

Jennifer Clary, Clean Water Action 707-483-6352

Who: Residents from unincorporated communities in the northern SJV will join with local leaders including Luis Molina, Board Member of El Concilio and President of the Stanislaus County Office of Education, Maggie Mejia with Latino Community Roundtable, Virginia Madueno and their representatives in Modesto to call for a solution to the local drinking water crisis and commemorate National Drinking Water Week.

What: Residents of many disadvantaged unincorporated communities, who for years have been living with contaminated drinking water, and their supporters, will meet in Modesto to hold a press conference to call for Clean, Safe Drinking water now!

This is one of two press conferences taking place across the San Joaquin Valley to call for a solution to the Valley’s drinking water crisis. For more information on the Seville press conference, contact Maria Herrera of Community Water Center at (559) 733-0219,

When: Tuesday, May 4th, 2010 from 10-10:30 AM

Where: El Concilio, 1314 H Street, Modesto, CA

Visuals: Community residents calling for safe drinking water now

Real samples of water bottles filled with contaminated water from local communities

Stories of communities struggling for safe drinking water

Why: Many local valley communities have, for years, lacked safe drinking water on a daily basis in their homes, schools, and workplaces. These communities are forced to find and pay for alternative water supplies while they wait to obtain funding for projects that would help upgrade old infrastructure or install new treatment systems. As people across the country celebrate clean, safe drinking water during National Drinking Water Week, Clean Water Action and its community partners and supporters are highlighting the many families and residents who still lack this basic human right. We are calling on local and San Joaquin Valley Congressional representatives to provide direct emergency funding to communities regularly drinking toxic tap water and work to create long-term solutions to the San Joaquin Valley drinking water crisis. It is time to ensure that no community goes another day without access to safe water!
Sponsoring Organizations: Clean Water Action, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation, Communities for a New California, El Concilio and Latino Community Roundtable.

May 5th

Please Join and Help Elect

Assemblyman & Former Majority Leader

Alberto Torrico for Attorney General

“Meet & Greet” for Central Valley Democratic Club Members

Harvest Moon Restaurant

1213 I Street, Modesto

$25.00 per person

5:00p.m. - 6:00p.m.

Hor’s d’oeuvres

No host bar

RSVP to Patty Hughes (209) 869-5609

May 5th

Alberto Torrico Reception

At a Wine and Heavy Hors D’oeuvres Reception

Wednesday, May 5, 2009

6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Galletto Restorante

1101 J Street – Modesto

$2500 Sponsor, $500 Host, $250 Individual Ticket

For questions, please contact Sandy Pohl at (209) 576-6355.

Checks payable to Alberto Torrico for Attorney General, FPPC ID# 1315641, Tax ID# 26-4304287

1818 L Street, Ste. 615, Sacramento, CA 95811

Or by credit card at, click on “contribute”

May 8th

Congressman Cardoza’s 7th Annual Linguica Fest “Boogie on the Bayou!”

Hosted by the Lyons Family.

Old Fisherman’s Club - 10800 Maze Blvd., 6:00 p.m. Social – 7:00, Dinner and Dancing.

For ticket information go to:

May 8th

STATEWIDE Voter Registration Day-Organizing for America and the Central Valley Democratic Club

Sign up to help in your area!

May 11th

Candidate Forum CSU Stanislaus Democratic Club presents: We are hosting an on campus event Tuesday May 11th, 2010. The event will be held in the event center at 2:00p.m. and will run until 4:00p.m. This forum will feature several speakers from both state and local races. I hope you all can make it. After the event the club will be voting to endorse candidates.

We will be holding a raffle with some awesome prizes and there will be food, SO COME CHECK IT OUT!

Contact Jackie Shirley:

May 17th

Linda Leu has invited you to "Budget Justice Rally" on Monday, May 17 at 1:00pm.

Event: Budget Justice Rally

What: Rally

Start Time: Monday, May 17 at 1:00pm

End Time: Monday, May 17 at 2:30pm

Where: Chase Bank

Street: 2900 Standiford Ave (at Sisk)

City/Town: Modesto, CA

To see more details and RSVP, follow the link below:

Other News!

Congressman Cardoza, Blue Dogs Pass Bill to Rein in Wasteful and Fraudulent Spending

WASHINGTON, DC – The U.S. House of Representatives passed significant bipartisan legislation today aimed at eliminating $98 billion lost to waste, fraud and abuse due to poor oversight on the part of federal agencies. The Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act was cosponsored by Congressman Cardoza and is a key component of the Blue Dog Blueprint for Fiscal Reform.

Les Marsden for Congress Sign & Sticker pick-up contact Frank Ploof:

Modesto office for the Anna Caballero State Senate campaign!

We are located at:

The Pacific Center

1021 - 11 th Street (next door to Extreme Pizza)

Modesto, Ca 5354

You cannot miss the office, Caballero signs all around the windows and in a very visible location. We will have a grand opening office party in mid-May once we stage the office. Anna is very excited that she now has a local office to meet with supporters and volunteers alike. As Anna has stated so many times, she has an open door policy and looks forward to seeing you all in the very near future.

The campaign would appreciate any donations that you can offer. We need:

coffee machine (s)

folding tables (6 feet and smaller)

office supplies



folding chairs


end tables

water cooler

and much, much more.

We are also poised to begin phone banking and we will need folks to assist in this effort as well. These will be paid positions and very important to the overall campaign here in the City of Modesto. If you know folks that might be interested (college students, seniors, etc) have them contact me ASAP. We will begin training this weekend and kick-off the phone banking on Monday, May 3rd. Until our phones are installed I can be reached at 510-502-4871 or via email at