Shut Up And Sing: The Partridge Family

December 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

A reader writes:

"Whale Song" is not only a preachy and syrupy affront to Top 10 AM radio, it is an affront to bubblegum television. You know that a teen idol TV vehicle has jumped the shark when it features the stock-in-trade evil entrepreneur/capitalist who will exploit a stranded whale for his own advantage. The telegenic family publicizes the sad plight of this whale, whales in general, and the whole environmental mess of the 1970s – clad in velvet and ruffled jumpsuits with the whale singing along. The world is enlightened and a whale is saved – in 30 minutes! (counting, um, commercial breaks)

But no song at all to the ones who won't hear
And if people don't listen, and if people don't know
Might the song of the man be the next song to go.

We know what song needs to go.





Email this Article
Add to digg
Add to Reddit
Add to Twitter
Add to del.icio.us
Add to StumbleUpon
Add to Facebook




The Daily Dish | By Andrew Sullivan

Another Whitehouse Insider Reveals Unwanted Truths About Barack Obama and The Obama Family – Get Ready to be Amazed

December 2, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comments Off 

Image via Wikipedia From left to right: Barack Obama, Sasha Obama, Michelle Obama, Marian Robinson (Michelle Obama’s mother) and Malia Obama on April 13th 2009 on the South Portico of the White House. They look, to all intents and purposes, like a nice, happy family. This article uncovers the truth about the Obamas so hold off judgement until you have read it all.

Image via Wikipedia Michelle Obama, with her husband Barack following on behind, is greeted by Queen Elizabeth Windsor (Elizabeth II of Great Britain and the Commonwealth). It looks pretty friendly doesn’t it. The Obamas and the Queen are smiling. Bit what happened behind the scenes. Did Queen Elizabeth actually like the Obamas? Did sh actually suspect that he was an imposter who has no right to the presidency of the United States of America? Read the remainder of the article to find out.

Image via Wikipedia Barack and Michelle Obama with American icon Oprah Winfrey. We have always assumed that Queen Oprah liked the Obamas and what the Obamas stand for but have we been wrong all this time? Is it really the case that Oprah detests Barack even more than she does Michelle? Read the article below the official portrait of President Barack Obama to find out the answers to all these questions when they are answered by our White House insider.

Image via Wikipedia An official portrait of President Barack Obama. He seems like a presentable, well mannered and likeable man but the camera can lie as we all know. Perhaps he really smells! Perhaps he has just said something too awful to contemplate to our White House Insider who was there when this picture was taken. We reveal all in the remainder if this article.

Question: Are the Obama family really nasty?

I have found that the Obama family are well mannered, considerate and caring of others. They treat their staff very well and do not lord it around the place like the family of W Bush. Obama is perhaps the most hard working president we have ever had too.

Question: How did the Obamas get on with the Queen of England?

The Queen of England is a complete fan of the Obamas. She thought that Barack but particularly Michelle were some of the nicest, warmest and sincere people she has ever met in an official or inofficial capacity. She much preferred them to George W Bush.

What does Oprah Winfrey think of the Obamas?

Oprah Winfrey simply adores the Obamas. She will support them come what may. She always knew that Obama would face selfish and greedy Americans who have inveigled themselves into positions of power and will do what they can to protect their lion’s share of wealth from the average American but she is in no doubt that Obama’s popularity will rise again and he will get the second term in office that the country needs him to get.

Question: Is Barack Obama a nice person?

Yes! He is also determined to make America a better place for all its citizens and save the lives of its ypungsters and restore the position of America in the affections of foreign peoples.

 


Newsflavor

CNN FAMILY FEUD! Parker HATES Spitzer

December 1, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Maybe he likes to wear nothing but socks in the green room, or it could be that his dressing room has  #9 fastened to the door, but the word is that Elliot Spitzer the former NY Governor/Client #9 has not enamored himself to his co-host Washington Post columnist Kathleen Parker

According to the NY Post,  Parker actually stormed off the set of the “Parker Spitzer” show during a pre-taping a few weeks ago angry that Spitzer is continually allowed to take charge of their nightly CNN chat-fest, the insiders said. Although still fuming, Parker did return to wrap up the segment, they said.

But she’s still angry, especially since that the show’s is not doing well and in her opinion the producers are allegedly doing nothing to play up her strengths.

To be honest, I have only watched the show once and Spitzer was made to look stupid by Big Journalism Editor-in-Chief /Radio Host Dana Loesch

The Staff is split on who to blame for Spitzer’s domination of the show:

Some staffers said Spitzer — the hard-charging, former state attorney general who resigned as governor in 2008 after admitting to patronizing prostitutes — thrust himself up front and center right out of the gate, leaving Parker without a chance.

But other insiders said the Pulitzer Prize-winning Parker has only herself to blame.

While Parker — a conservative, nationally syndicated newspaper journalist — is widely respected, she’s no TV personality, critics said. “Her weaknesses are felt internally,” a source said.

Meanwhile, Spitzer is exceeding everyone’s expectations, a source said. “He’s smart, tenacious — he turned out better than they thought,” the source said.

Incensed over her lesser position on the one-hour show, Parker has now been privately grumbling that the show’s executive producer, Liza McGuirk, isn’t making the changes needed to boost Parker’s image, the sources said.

Someone could soon be shown the door over the behind-the-scenes battling — and over the fact that show has done so poorly in the all-important Nielsen ratings, the sources said.

“CNN is standing by the show,” network spokeswoman Barbara Levin told The Post.

“Liza’s a terrific producer, and any suggestion that she’s on her way out is patently false.

“We love Kathleen,” too, Levin added.

And of course the scene-stealing former prosecutor has a reputation of loving just about everybody.




YID With LID

Another Day, Another Conyers Family Ethics Problem

November 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

**Written by Doug Powers

Has John Conyers, not to mention members of his family, earned the benefit of the doubt with their years of honest service? Should we just assume there’s a reasonable explanation for this? I didn’t think so:

DETROIT (WJBK) – The son of Rep. John Conyers, D-Mich., says items were stolen out of the government vehicle he was driving last Wednesday in downtown Detroit, FOX 2′s Simon Shaykhet reports.

John Conyers III, 20, told police two Apple MacBooks, valued at $ 1,100 apiece, and more than $ 27,000 worth of concert tickets to the Fillmore were stolen out of a burgundy 2010 Cadillac Escalade registered to the 14th Congressional District.
[…]
Shaykhet says the incident brings into question why the son of a congressman was driving a registered government vehicle.

“I don’t know of a single person in congress in the 16 years I was there who had to put vehicle titles in the name of the government,” former U.S. Rep. Joe Knollenberg tells FOX 2.

According to the U.S. General Services Administration Web site , if an employee allows an unauthorized person to use a government vehicle, that employee could be suspended or fired.

“I would tell you that they better use this (vehicle) just for the purpose of what they had been required to do,” said Knollenberg. “Not to get into the hands of a relative or a friend or whatever.”

Move along, nothing to see here!

At least the Playboys weren’t stolen. Whew! That was a close call.

Today, Rep. Conyers apologized for the absolutely, positively one-time-only incident:

Democratic Congressman John Conyers says he’s learned that his son inappropriately used a government vehicle in Detroit and plans to reimburse the Treasury for any non-official use.

The House Judiciary Committee chairman says in a statement Tuesday the vehicle was used during the Thanksgiving holiday. The 81-year-old congressman apologized and says he’ll make sure it won’t happen again.

It’s bad enough that John Conyers gets to tool around in a $ 75,000 vehicle on the taxpayers’ dime, let alone his son. Maybe Junior just got used to driving the thing when dad had his license suspended.

As of Tuesday afternoon, there’s no word of what was on the computers that were stolen (the info will probably be a part of the next round of Wikileaks), why Conyers had $ 27,000 worth of concert tickets in his car, or who they belonged to. Maybe Conyers is just a really big Joe Satriani fan.

**Written by Doug Powers

Twitter @ThePowersThatBe

Michelle Malkin

Michael Steele’s Longtime Assistant, Her Family Living Large On RNC’s Dime

November 30, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The 2012 Republican Convention in Tampa, Fla. won’t get underway for another 636 days. But that hasn’t stopped the Republican National Committee from spending over $ 636,800 on the convention more than a year and a half before it starts.

That’s 18 times the amount spent that was spent in a comparable time frame four years ago, the Washington Post reported, causing more than a few raised eyebrows within the party.

Critics of RNC Chairman Michael Steele have also focused on a lucrative job given to his longtime aide, Belinda Cook, convention-related gigs given to her family and friends and a variety of large expenses footed by the RNC.

The Washington Times first reported on Cook’s salary — which is nearly three times what her predecessor made — earlier this month. Over two years ahead of the 2012 convention in Tampa, Steele signed a contract making Cook a “convention liaison” and paying her $ 15,000 per month.

FEC records show that Cook was also paid $ 25,000 for “Political Strategy Consulting” back in July. Records reflect thousands of dollars in additional reimbursements made to Cook for travel, food and beverages.

The Daily Caller reported that Cook’s niece (Pamela Kesner), her son (Lee Cook), her son’s college friend (Erik Rohrmann) her former assistant (Grace Cushing) are all on the RNC payroll. Cook’s sister, Betina Barcus, has been paid over $ 25,000 for hotel management consulting, according to Federal Elections Commission records.

The RNC is also renting for Cook a waterfront mansion that measures 3,200 square feet and comes with private pool and dock, the Daily Caller reported. All in all, “The extended Cook cabal took home a total of $ 139,923 in the three month reporting period from July 1 to Sept. 30,” the Daily Caller wrote.

Solomon Yue, an RNC member from Oregon, is calling on the RNC’s executive committee to freeze both hiring and spending and conduct a review of all RNC contracts.

“My first reaction [to the press reports about convention spending] was ‘how do we fix this?” Yue told TPM.

Yue told TPM he’s sensitive to claims that an investigation into Steele’s fiscal management of the RNC so close to the chair elections could appear unseemly to Steele supporters. He said he’ll create a 16-member investigative panel he says will include more than a few members who have strongly supported Steele in the past.

He promised the process would be transparent and said he’s open to criticism.

“If critics want to see a problem with the process, they can let me know and I’ll fix it,” Yue, a member of the executive committee member and a founder of the Republican National Conservative Caucus, told TPM. “We’re taking an open approach.”

Belinda Cook — who formerly defended the Tampa Bay Host Committee’s minaret-featuring logo — did not return an e-mail seeking comment.

Additional reporting by Evan McMorris-Santoro.









TPMMuckraker

Focus On The Family Saves Students’ Anti-Homosexuality Day

November 29, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

In the wake of a number of gay students’ suicides this fall, and a national conversation about bullying, Exodus International, a group dedicated to “freedom from homosexuality through the power of Jesus Christ,” announced that it would no longer sponsor The Day of Truth. An annual event that encourages students to “counter the promotion of homosexual behavior,” The Day of Truth has been organized as a counter-event to the much larger, Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network-sponsored Day of Silence held every April.

But The Day of Truth is not going away. The James Dobson-founded Christian ministry Focus on the Family has stepped in to replace Exodus International as the event’s sponsor, and has re-branded and re-framed it The Day of Dialogue.

Since 1996, The National Day of Silence has brought “attention to anti-LGBT name-calling, bullying and harassment in schools,” according to GLSEN’s website. Participating students refrain from speaking for a day, and GLSEN says hundreds of thousands of students take part nationwide. Meanwhile, since 2005, The Day of Truth has promoted a particular kind of Christian perspective on homosexuality, and Exodus International says 6,000 students participated last April. This year, though, Exodus International appears to have had a change of heart.

“All the recent attention to bullying helped us realize that we need to equip kids to live out biblical tolerance and grace while treating their neighbors as they’d like to be treated, whether they agree with them or not,” Alan Chambers, President of Exodus International, told CNN in October. Some statement, coming from a group that views homosexuality as outside of God’s will, and promotes a “message of liberation from homosexuality.”

Just weeks after Exodus International made its move, Focus on the Family announced that it was adopting the event.

“We’re trying to raise awareness that more than one side needs to be heard on the issue of homosexuality, and we’re helping to ensure Christian students have the chance to express their viewpoint,” Focus on the Family education analyst Candi Cushman said in a news release. The Alliance Defense Fund, which actually founded the event before handing control over to Exodus International, said it would also remain in a supporting role.

“The Day of Dialogue is an excellent opportunity for students to respectfully present a different viewpoint than the Day of Silence,” ADF Senior Counsel David Cortman said. “ADF always stands ready to offer pro-bono legal assistance to student participants who have their First Amendment rights violated.”

A few months ago, TPM reported that Cushman said gay advocates “are being deceptive in using anti-bullying rhetoric to introduce their viewpoints” in schools. Now, Focus on the Family is sponsoring the counterpoint to one of the most high-profile anti-bullying initiatives in the country.

Gary Schneeberger, Vice President of Communications for Focus on the Family, told TPM that the group was looking forward to a “productive” event, but that “we’re still going to learn a little bit about how we’re going to do it.”

The Day of Dialogue’s very rudimentary new website does address bullying. “Any form of bullying and harassment of others is always wrong,” it reads. “Even when we disagree with others, we should always demonstrate the utmost compassion and respect for them.”

Schneeberger stressed that Focus on the Family has a “100% zero tolerance for bullying” over sexual orientation or anything else. He said The Day of Dialogue aims to “ensure that Christian students feel comfortable having the opportunity to bring their view of god’s design for sexuality.”

On the flip side, Schneeberger also said that Focus on the Family was aware that some might think the name change was shying away from an assertion of God’s “truth.”

“One of the things that’s interesting about the name change is there are some folks who would agree with our view of God’s design for sexuality who might think that we in some ways have backed away from or given wiggle room on God’s design on sexuality,” he said. “[But] to have a dialogue about an issue is not to abandon truth.”

Meanwhile, GLSEN Executive Director Eliza Byard told TPM that she thought Exodus International’s decision to abandon the event was “a very humane response to a very difficult time for everyone who cares about young people.” She argued that Focus on the Family was seizing the opportunity to “proselytize for a certain set of very specific Christian views.”

Byard rejected the idea that that the two events speak to each other.

“The Day of Silence is a day when people say that words like ‘faggot’ and ‘dyke’ hurt people,” she said, while The Day of Dialogue says “your sexuality is broken and you can be saved by faith in Jesus.”

“Mostly I think The Day of Truth has been a non-event,” she said.

The Day of Dialogue is scheduled for April 18, 2011, three days after The Day Of Silence.

(h/t Colorado Springs Gazette)







TPMMuckraker

Illinois Family Institute: Civil Unions Will Lead To Polygamous Marriages

November 26, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

The Illinois Family Institute, a SLPC-certified hate group, says that if civil unions are approved in Illinois, polygamous marriages will be next.

Section 10 of this bill states that any partner in a civil union shall be legally considered a “spouse” and “family.” “This is same-sex marriage sans the name,” said David E. Smith, executive director of the Illinois Family Institute. “That is simply something that American voters have rejected time and time again. Voters in 31 states have rejected redefining marriage and family at the ballot box. The people in Illinois are no different.”

Those who want to redefine marriage often insist that the only necessary qualification for marriage is “love.” Under that rationale, there can logically be no boundaries as to what constitutes marriage. Any combination or number of consenting individuals must ultimately gain the same legal and societal sanction as traditional marriage. While love is vital, it is not the definitive element of marriage, and love is certainly not the concern of government. We love many people we do not marry.

RELATED: Last week the Illinois Family Institute declared that Dan Savage promotes “anti-Christian evil” and therefore no public figure should associate themselves with the It Gets Better Project. The IFI also supports the repeal of any laws offering civil rights or hate crimes protections to LGBT Americans. From 2003-2006 the executive director of the IFI was Porno Pete LaBarbera.

Joe. My. God.

Nonprofit will designate the Family Research Council a ‘hate group’

November 26, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Washington (CNN) – The Southern Poverty Law Center will designate the Family Research Council, a powerful conservative advocacy organization, as a hate group next year because of its anti-gay views. For its part, the council is already firing back in a statement calling the announcement a “smear campaign.”

In the most recent edition of its publication “Intelligence Report,” the SPLC included its analysis of 14 years’ worth of hate crimes data. The study concluded that gays were more likely to be victims of a violent hate crime than any other minority group. As part of its study, the SPLC made a list titled “18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda.” The SPLC said it would designate 13 of the 18 groups on the list as “hate groups” in 2011, including the Family Research Council.

The SPLC’s criteria for listing these organizations was “generally… based on their propagation of known falsehoods – claims about LGBT people that have been thoroughly discredited by scientific authorities – and repeated, groundless name-calling.”

In making its case against the Family Research Council, the SPLC cites the work and comments of several people associated with the influential conservative group. According to the report, Robert Sprigg, a senior research fellow, told MSNBC’s Chris Matthews “I think there would be a place for criminal sanctions on homosexual behavior.” The report also alleges Sprigg opposed allowing gays to openly serve in the military because it would “lead to an increase in gay-on-straight sexual assaults.”

Family Research Council president Tony Perkins blasted the SPLC report and called for an apology. In a written statement, Perkins says “The Southern Poverty Law Center is a massively funded liberal organization that operates under a veneer of public justice when, in fact, they seem more interested in fundraising ploys than fighting wrongdoing. This is a deliberately timed smear campaign by the SPLC.”

“The Left is losing the debate over ideas and the direction of public policy so all that is left for them is character assassination. It’s a sad day in America when we can not, with integrity, have a legitimate discussion over policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures, and the courts without resorting to juvenile tactics of name calling.”

SPLC list of anti-gay organizations

Full statement from Family Research Council President Tony Perkins:

“Family Research Council has, for nearly 30 years, advanced faith, family, and freedom in public discourse. We do so with civility and compassion. We hold to the indisputable fact that the family – a Dad, a Mom, and children – is the best building block of a good society, which is why we oppose efforts to transform it based on personal sexual preference.

“The Southern Poverty Law Center is a massively funded liberal organization that operates under a veneer of public justice when, in fact, they seem more interested in fundraising ploys than fighting wrongdoing.

“This is a deliberately timed smear campaign by the SPLC. The Left is losing the debate over ideas and the direction of public policy so all that is left for them is character assassination. It’s a sad day in America when we can not, with integrity, have a legitimate discussion over policy issues that are being considered by Congress, legislatures, and the courts without resorting to juvenile tactics of name calling.”

“The Left’s smear campaigns of conservatives is also being driven by the clear evidence that the American public is losing patience with their radical policy agenda as seen in the recent election and in the fact that every state, currently more than thirty, that has had the opportunity to defend the natural definition of marriage has done so. Earlier this month, voters in Iowa sent a powerful message when they removed three Supreme Court justices who imposed same-sex marriage on the state. Would the SPLC also smear the good people of Iowa?”

“Family Research Council will continue to champion marriage and family as the foundation of our society and will not acquiesce to those seeking to silence the Judeo-Christian views held by millions of Americans. We call on the Southern Poverty Law Center to apologize for this slanderous attack and attempted character assassination.”


CNN Political Ticker

An Obama Family Anti-Obesity Thanksgiving Dinner

November 25, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Imagine if they weren’t eating healthy


Too many appetizers to bother listing. Kick-off the main event with: Turkey And then some Ham And a choice of stuffings: Cornbread Stuffing or Oyster Stuffing Or WTH have both. Then some Greens naturally. And, of course, Sweet Potatoes. And it would be anti-American not to have Mashed Potatoes. And don’t forget the Green Bean […]

Read this post »

Hot Air » Top Picks

Taiwanese animators take on the Palin family

November 25, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Taiwanese animators are at it again, with an absurd and humorous take on the week of Palin news, and her family’s appearances on dancing show and their reality series.

A palette cleanser of the week of Palin.

Liberty Pundits Blog

My Thanksgiving Herald column: a little chat with my American family

November 25, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

It’s Thanksgiving, which means many of us will spend the day watching football, eating too much and pretending not to be annoyed by our relatives. There will, of course, be that family member who shows up, has a few too many and tells the whole family what they really think. Well, consider this column that […]
The Reid Report

“I work as a minicab driver…But these people are my friends and my family and it’s my duty to come to fight the jihad with them”

November 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Muslims in the U.K. are traveling to Afghanistan and spending part of the year fighting jihad for the Taliban. Then they go back to driving cabs in Birmingham. “UK-based Taliban spend months fighting Nato forces in Afghanistan,” by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad and Jon Boone in the Guardian, November 24:

British-based men of Afghan origin are spending months at a time in Afghanistan fighting Nato forces before returning to the UK, the Guardian has learned. They also send money to the Taliban.

A Taliban fighter in Dhani-Ghorri in northern Afghanistan last month told the Guardian he lived most of the time in east London, but came to Afghanistan for three months of the year for combat.

“I work as a minicab driver,” said the man, who has the rank of a mid-level Taliban commander. “I make good money there [in the UK], you know. But these people are my friends and my family and it’s my duty to come to fight the jihad with them.”

“There are many people like me in London,” he added. “We collect money for the jihad all year and come and fight if we can.”

His older brother, a senior cleric or mawlawi who also fought in Dhani-Ghorri, lives in London as well.

Intelligence officials have long suspected that British Muslims travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan each year to train with extremist groups.

Last year it was reported that RAF spy planes operating in Helmand in southern Afghanistan had detected strong Yorkshire and Birmingham accents on fighters using radios and telephones. They apparently spoke the main Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtu, but lapsed into English when they were lost for the right words. The threat was deemed sufficiently serious that spy planes have patrolled British skies in the hope of picking up the same voice signatures of the fighters after their return to the UK.

The dead body of an insurgent who had an Aston Villa tattoo has also been discovered in southern Afghanistan….

Jihad Watch

“I work as a minicab driver…But these people are my friends and my family and it’s my duty to come to fight the jihad with them”

November 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Muslims in the U.K. are traveling to Afghanistan and spending part of the year fighting jihad for the Taliban. Then they go back to driving cabs in Birmingham. “UK-based Taliban spend months fighting Nato forces in Afghanistan,” by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad and Jon Boone in the Guardian, November 24:

British-based men of Afghan origin are spending months at a time in Afghanistan fighting Nato forces before returning to the UK, the Guardian has learned. They also send money to the Taliban.

A Taliban fighter in Dhani-Ghorri in northern Afghanistan last month told the Guardian he lived most of the time in east London, but came to Afghanistan for three months of the year for combat.

“I work as a minicab driver,” said the man, who has the rank of a mid-level Taliban commander. “I make good money there [in the UK], you know. But these people are my friends and my family and it’s my duty to come to fight the jihad with them.”

“There are many people like me in London,” he added. “We collect money for the jihad all year and come and fight if we can.”

His older brother, a senior cleric or mawlawi who also fought in Dhani-Ghorri, lives in London as well.

Intelligence officials have long suspected that British Muslims travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan each year to train with extremist groups.

Last year it was reported that RAF spy planes operating in Helmand in southern Afghanistan had detected strong Yorkshire and Birmingham accents on fighters using radios and telephones. They apparently spoke the main Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtu, but lapsed into English when they were lost for the right words. The threat was deemed sufficiently serious that spy planes have patrolled British skies in the hope of picking up the same voice signatures of the fighters after their return to the UK.

The dead body of an insurgent who had an Aston Villa tattoo has also been discovered in southern Afghanistan….

Jihad Watch

“I work as a minicab driver…But these people are my friends and my family and it’s my duty to come to fight the jihad with them”

November 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

Muslims in the U.K. are traveling to Afghanistan and spending part of the year fighting jihad for the Taliban. Then they go back to driving cabs in Birmingham. “UK-based Taliban spend months fighting Nato forces in Afghanistan,” by Ghaith Abdul-Ahad and Jon Boone in the Guardian, November 24:

British-based men of Afghan origin are spending months at a time in Afghanistan fighting Nato forces before returning to the UK, the Guardian has learned. They also send money to the Taliban.

A Taliban fighter in Dhani-Ghorri in northern Afghanistan last month told the Guardian he lived most of the time in east London, but came to Afghanistan for three months of the year for combat.

“I work as a minicab driver,” said the man, who has the rank of a mid-level Taliban commander. “I make good money there [in the UK], you know. But these people are my friends and my family and it’s my duty to come to fight the jihad with them.”

“There are many people like me in London,” he added. “We collect money for the jihad all year and come and fight if we can.”

His older brother, a senior cleric or mawlawi who also fought in Dhani-Ghorri, lives in London as well.

Intelligence officials have long suspected that British Muslims travel to Afghanistan and Pakistan each year to train with extremist groups.

Last year it was reported that RAF spy planes operating in Helmand in southern Afghanistan had detected strong Yorkshire and Birmingham accents on fighters using radios and telephones. They apparently spoke the main Afghan languages of Dari and Pashtu, but lapsed into English when they were lost for the right words. The threat was deemed sufficiently serious that spy planes have patrolled British skies in the hope of picking up the same voice signatures of the fighters after their return to the UK.

The dead body of an insurgent who had an Aston Villa tattoo has also been discovered in southern Afghanistan….

Jihad Watch

The Reality of 24/7 Home Care of a Loved One With Alzheimer’s: The Family Caregivers who are front line soldiers doing all the work, are seen by government as only ‘informal support…’

November 24, 2010 · Posted in The Capitol · Comment 

During this holiday, we can be thankful for those who labor 24/7 to care for our elderly and our broken mind ones. This is a Guest Contributor on The Reality of 24/7 Home Care of a Loved One With Alzheimer’s: The Family Caregivers who are front line soldiers doing all the work, are seen by government as only ‘informal support…’

by Carol Wright
Far from the purple banners of the recent “Alzheimer’s awareness” events sit an estimated 6.6 million family caregivers for an estimated 5.5 Alzheimer’s sufferers (nobody really knows the exact figures for either group.) Compare that with 300 million people in the US total +/-. It’s a lot of disabled people, a lot of caregivers who cannot work outside the home while caregiving in the home.

Some of these caregivers include supportive extended family, but all too many caregivers are toiling alone and unpaid, caring for a frail senior suffering from dementia. This often means, an aging woman caring for her elderly parents, a senior spouse struggling to keep their loved one home, out of the nursing home just one more month.

The recent “Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s,” emphasizes that it’s the women who overwhelmingly take on caregiving duties.

But some light should fall in the corners too: More than a few families have forsaken their own. Often just a single brave, compassionate soul steps forward for that end of life walk with the afflicted one. Their other relatives, their own children, their own sisters, brothers, former friends, even spouses, turn away or come around only once in a very long while for a very few minutes.

“Informal support.” This is what we 24/7 caregivers are most recently called by government and parroted by media, we who tend to our loved ones day in and day out.

“Informal.” Inferring not serious work, when in fact each day caring at home for an Alzheimer’s patient is deadly serious work of lifting, hauling, hefting, guiding, feeding, issues of urine, feces, medicine, cooking, cleaning, bathing, laundry and so much more.

Sole caregivers are especially brutalized by this burden, and they catch the flack, the very bulldozing brunt impact of frontline dementia care. The hours can be 24 on and zero off. Days are seven on and on and on.

Perhaps a neighbor comes for a few hours to seniorsit so the caregiver can get a break that is not a break. It’s scramble to shop for groceries, medicines. To rake up the leaves so the grass doesn’t die. Take dying cat to the vet and have put to sleep. Get back before patience of friend wears thin, or person with dementia gets out of control. Hope for no sudden feces situation, or friend will not return again.

“Informal support.” Caregiverscannot snag a full night’s sleep. Often their charges are up half the night, pulling out drawers and emptying on the floor. There is assistance needed always with trips to the commode and changing protective pads on the bed. Start first load of laundry for the day at 3 am. In our house, my mother wakes up screaming about something “out there…out THERE!…oh gawd gawd!” Last night it was a fire she saw, which was really a shiny birthday hat. I spent hours extinguishing a birthday hat, reassuring my mother, and even after removing such and other items from environs, my mother continues to no longer be able to tell the real from the imagined.

“Informal support.” Communicating with someone who has dementia is often like herding cats, and one has to, in order to help with the most simple actions, give repetitive instructions for every phase of aid. “Put foot through here, no through …. the pant leg…this here. Put your foot through here. Your FOOT. Point your TOE, now foot…”

“Informal support.” Often the day comes when the outbursts need more meds (some will say). This happened to my mother. She had unexplained nausea after a fall, and I took her for many tests in the ER. No answers, and not better. Finally a four-day stay in the hospital. She had a few delusional/puzzled episodes while there, and she pushed away prodding, hurtful hands. She was labeled “combative; they said, We’ll try Seroquel.”

Two months later, my mother slumped to the side her chair so much I had to tie her in to keep her from falling. I stood guard so she wouldn’t be hurt while she thrashed in bed, now padded everywhere. Sometimes she stiffened, slid from her chair like a 2×6 board. Now on the floor, face contorted, tongue choking, eyes rolling.

I see a Seroquel TV ad with voice-over droning “Not for use by elderly dementia patients.” I see Mom writhing on floor. Is this advancing Alzheimer’s demanding a larger dose or ?? Who will tell us? I plead. Doctors don’t know. Or different docs give different answers. I research online. So many of the bad side effects -she has them! Her doctors have made my mother straightjacket insane. We stop the Seroquel, but Mom is switched then to Ativan to stop paranoia. The Ativan leads to chilling paranoia as Mom channels cold eyes up from the DeadZone.

“Informal support.” Each family caregiver is front line to strong daily challenges like these, often complicated by illnesses anyone might come down with. Deafness and dementia. Leukemia and diabetes…and dementia. Colon cancer…and dementia. Congested nasal passages and dementia.
“Informal support.” Caregivers carry the brunt of the work at great personal sacrifice on every level, their health and dental go downhill, they are not able to earn income, a certain amount of sanity that one has charge of one’s own life goes out the window. A social life; there is none. An eroded future occurs because a dedicated caregiver has no idea when this vigil might draw to a close, and can only plan to remain in situ.

For caregivers, there is little outside direct assistance available. We’re not even in the system noted as having a need. No cash grants, no benefits, no medical or dental coverage for us in any quarter; there are no unemployment checks. Some benefits overshoot the caregiver; the patient is qualified (vets qualify for some home caregiving hours) but payments go to licensed caregivers only, not to family members. Government sees the home caregiver as a resource until worn out, then tossed aside when parent dies or is placed in a nursing home. The governments, state, local, federal…the corporations… call it “informal support.”
I cannot quite tell you what it is like to be surrounded on almost all sides by government ‘officials,’ people who say do this or that with what meagher resources are left to us, medical personnel of many different and often opposing ideas, deadbeat relatives, drug companies… too often many wear a smug face of impunity. Something goes wrong, say a bad drug reaction, or financial abuse by a government employee who is supposed to have squeaky clean and timely oversight… it is only the sole caregiver who is cornered, totally responsible for others’ errors, lateness, underperformance. It’s the caretaker who has to scrounge, beg, step up threadbare. Everyone else walks free.

The Shriver Report and Alzheimer’s Association step up their action plans. I poked around the Alzheimer’s Association website to see if there was a hint of direct aid to family caregivers. In the report at http://www.alz.org/documents/national/World_Alzheimer_Report_2010_Summary%281%29.pdf
I read the summary report and recommendations. There I could finally see myself. Twice was I, the unpaid family caregiver, mentioned as “informal support.” Unpaid family caregiver. Excuse me, INFORMAL?? Recommendations to help us, even informally? There was nothing written to help us. Nothing. Big report, but nothing’s changed. Things are stable and predictable according to report writers. No support will be given to ‘informal support’ that is, human beings who nearly single-handedly are giving all they’ve got, now, again or it seems ever.
I wondered: Was this moniker “informal support” commonly used in studies, theses, and legislation. I Googled the term, and found this to be true. Basically, it means our caregiving is a “contribution.” Not a life and death necessity to keep a loved one as safe as possible, clean and fed and helped in whatever way we can… and without leave.
And as Maria Shriver points out in “The Shriver Report: A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s,” three-fifths of the US caregivers are women. “The truth is,” she writes, “it’s women who are the ones who generally do the hands-on grunt work of caregiving—cleaning their parents or spouses and changing their diapers, feeding them, babysitting them, dispensing medicine to them. While men do represent about a third of family caregivers, they tend to arrange or supervise outside services.”

http://www.shriverreport.com/shriver.html

The time is now for direct support for the family caregiver.
Researching the cause and treatments for Alzheimer’s or other diseases tends to draw the most attention and official funding.
But please, it is now time to actively support the real FORMAL caregivers on the front lines of eldercare, the family caregiver. Caregivers need assistance with respite care (typically the only aid offered), and though there is now some protection for caregivers to some day, perhaps, return to a job they may have left to take on caregiving duties… that assumes a short duration and no pay throughout. But, Alzheimers disease, is not a killer like cancer per se. It is a disorder that makes a person eventually as helpless to care for themselves as a new born infant, though often combative as well but with the body of an adult. And a person with dementia and no other illness can live to be in their nineties, as my mother is presently, and beyond.
What about people like me with so far over eight years sacrificed of sole caregiving? We need help with medical and dental, and with reentry into the work force.
I suggest a few simple approaches to help the formal family caregiver continue in their important duties and caregiving. One idea is to give the family caregiver payments in a “like amount” in a kind of disability pay. If their loved one is fully disabled from dementia, then the caregiver is also “disabled from being able to earn a living”—which is so true—anyone who has ever cared for a person with dementia, in home, knows one has to stop even a home business, for the loved one needs constant aid and supervision.
Another solution is to make the family caregiver eligible for welfare, full Medicare and Social Security benefits while care giving. If the caregiver returns to the workforce, then benefits are stopped until normally eligible at x age. This kind of approach does not add a whole layer of bureaucracy, no new programs; it just extends eligibility to a new level, to a new recipient.
But, how to replace the phrase “informal support” that so covers over the often desperate reality? I note a visible name change in the daily news is the change from “illegal alien” to “undocumented immigrant.” However, the immigrant issue is always hot news, where family caregiver headlines (until last month’s of Maria Shriver’s media appearances) are nonexistent. The term “Informal support” generally shows up in studies, scholarly theses, and reports; and these reports and studies are often the basis for legislation and grant requests, and carry the profound bias of naming THE essential caregiver as some seeming ‘nice but not necessary’ support. But what an impact this diminuizing term has had on the real front line for PFCG? That’s me, primary female caregiver.)
My next article will deal with what is called the Beers Criteria, a list of medications and protocols for weaning elderly patients off some of their prescription drugs. This drug free approach has resulted in a dramatic improvement in my mother’s mental and physical condition for periods of time. Three months ago, she was slumped over and headed for hospice. Most recently, she is attentively watching a DVD about a Cuban jazz musician while reading “National Enquirer.” This past week, we had to go to the ER, however. It is as they say, a roller coaster ride, of needs and aid to the one who has Alzheimers. It does not have an ending point.
_____________
Guest columnist Carol Wright was 54 when she left her home where she’d lived for the past eighteen years, to travel across three states to care for her mother in her final few months of life. That was 8.5 years ago. Carol has been primary, sole caregiver for her mother all this time, and has had some respite caregiver assistance only for the past year. She recently was honored as Caregiver of the Month by the Caregiver’s Voice here.

You can read and see more about her caregiving experience at her blogs here and here, and at and at YouTube

The Shriver Report’s book, written with the Alzheimer’s Association, is titled “A Woman’s Nation Takes on Alzheimer’s”; it is available in ebook format for $ 9.99. You can read excerpts here.
Government report from 1998 showing expectation that women shoulder the burden and take on the sacrifices of eldercare, and that their growing preference to stay in the workplace will rock the boat. Basically, the government assumes women will/should contribute this service, and their choice to now stay at their careers is a troublesome trend. Read more here.
There are a few programs to help pay family caregivers, and resources will vary from state to state. Read this article from the Alzheimer’s Association website.


The Moderate Voice

Next Page »

  • Laptop ac adapters, keyboards, batteries, inverters, LCD screens at LaptopZ.com
  • National Business Furniture, Inc
  • Toshiba - Toshibadirect.com
  • Save 10% for Orders Over $129 at GadgetTown.com