That was the view off my deck a few evenings ago. It doesn’t get much prettier than that, in my opinion. I will take a winter sunset to a summer sunset any day of the week.
It’s the middle of December and so far Old Man Winter has been fairly kind to us. Any time it gets above 45 degrees with some sunshine, I take that as good weather. Winter is only a state of mind.
The usual yard animals have been able to pick and choose where they eat. The birds seem to be dining elsewhere. I guess they aren’t desperate enough to eat oil sunflower seeds. I won’t put that other stuff out. It makes weeds in the yard come spring. I like the volunteer sunflowers that come up.
I did set out some peanuts for the bushy tailed rats that visit us. Those got gobbled up. Does anyone have chipmunks? I don’t think I have ever seen one in my yard.
New York Times (email)
In a deal negotiated during 18 months of secret talks hosted largely by Canada and encouraged by Pope Francis, who hosted a final culminating meeting at the Vatican, President Obama and President Raul Castro of Cuba agreed in a telephone call to put aside decades of hostility to find a new relationship between the island nation just 90 minutes off the American coast.
The contractor, Alan Gross, boarded an American government plane bound for the United States on Wednesday morning and the United States sent back three Cuban spies who have been in an American prison since 1981. American officials said the Cuban spies were swapped for a United States intelligence agent who has been in a Cuban prison for nearly 20 years and said Mr. Gross was not technically part of the swap but released separately on “humanitarian grounds.”
In addition, the United States will ease restrictions on remittances, travel and banking relations and Cuba will release 53 Cuban prisoners identified as political prisoners by the United States government. Although the decades-old American embargo on Cuba will remain in place for now, the administration signaled that it would welcome a move by Congress to ease or lift it should lawmakers choose to.
“Today, the United States is taking historic steps to chart a new course in our relations with Cuba and to further engage and empower the Cuban people,” the White House said in a written statement.
This is probably a very good idea. We have restored diplomatic relations with almost every other “enemy” in the world, including Vietnam, which for me was a hard pill to swallow. Hopefully, soon new trade will exist as well as flourishing tourism. Its much easier to stay made at people than to get along.
Restoring diplomatic relations also should be welcomed by millions of Cuban Americans who probably miss the mother country. Cuba has been an enemy of the state ever since I was a child.
Republicans and Democrats are calling on Del. Joseph D. Morrissey (D-Henrico) to resign from the Virginia House of Delegates after his conviction Friday on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
Morrissey was given a 12-month jail sentence with six months suspended in a case stemming from his connection with a 17-year-old female receptionist.
The terms of his sentence allow Morrissey to continue to serve in the General Assembly while incarcerated. But Gov. Terry McAuliffe (D) and the leader of the House Democratic Caucus are urging him not to come back in light of his conviction on what a spokesman for the governor called “disturbing charges.”
Morrissey entered an Alford plea to one misdemeanor count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor. Alford pleas allow the accused to maintain innocence but acknowledge that there is enough evidence for a conviction.
This is a no-brainer. Morrissey needs to go. He is unwise at best, a criminal at worst. Regardless of the conditions of his sentencing, he needs to resign.
Morrissey is 57 years old and is too old to be messing around with teenagers. The charges are disturbing. Morressy sounds like a perv.
Moe clarifies his opinion on the timing, on torture, and on the possible dangers of releasing such a report.
Moe resigned his commission over the use of torture to obtain information while he was the chief prosecutor at Gitmo.
Further explanation from Moe about where he stood and why he resigned his commission.
Is Bob McDonnell corrupt or just dumb?
A suspiciously large public grant from the controversial Virginia tobacco commission to a natural gas project in the southern part of the state should add to citizens’ misgivings over how business gets done in the Old Dominion.
The tobacco commission dished out $30 million for a gas pipeline even though its staff calculated that the project merited just $6.5 million based on the commission’s own economic formulas.
Intriguingly, commission staff said the larger grant was made because of political pressure from the office of former governor Bob McDonnell, according to a draft report by the state inspector general’s office recently made public by the Associated Press.
Neither the commission’s acting head, Tim Pfohl, nor McDonnell’s lawyers denied that such lobbying might have occurred.
Pfohl insisted, however, that the larger grant was made to ensure that a $1 billion power plant and $300 million pipeline would be built in tobacco country, which the commission is supposed to serve, rather than in a competing location.
Apparently Andrea thinks torture is a good thing and makes us awesome.
The enhanced interrogation report makes you sick to hear. The fact that Congress and the President were lied to is inexcusable–criminal even.
The report cost $40 million dollars and took years to complete. Was it wise to release the report? I guess it had to be. Are we now under greater terrorist threat? Apparently. Should those who broke the law be prosecuted?
Probably. This report is distressing and not reflective of America’s finest hour.