[As Impish will attest my ‘Brown Gold’ Coffee blend is nothing short of magical. You want proof you say? Well just one sip renders him speechless. Two sips and he’s actually awake and alert. Half a cup and he’ll actually do a full days honest work load. Now if THAT isn’t magic I don’t know what is!]
I’ve got to believe whatever is left of the Founding Fathers is rolling over in their graves faster than a jet turbine over our current and future Presidential situations.
I was informed by a fellow Texan who is a reader that Texas is a ‘Dog State’. Therefore here’s a gratuitous Texas Dog shot.
Last weeks evil clown in Impish’s Little Dragon’s Room actually turned out to be beneficial. See unknown to anyone he’d been suffering from a bit of a case of ‘cheese butt’. The clown on the potty lid gimmick apparently totally resolved that issue for him and he was in and out of there in under a half hour each time for most of the week That’s like Olympic time for him). However I notice his time is increasing again so I figured he needed a ‘little booster’ to get things moving again. I suspect this crawling out from under the sink in there should just about do the trick.
A short one this time from our newest feature.
And when I say ‘OH HELLS NO!’ in this case I’m not talking just about the snails!
Clearly another Darwin Award candidate in the running!
OK everyone place their beverages in the cup holders provided. Hopefully the gimbal mountings will prevent any spillage and injury. Seat belts everyone please as well! NO we’re not doing this out of sympathy for Ginny and her weak knees, tis time around it’s the big guy I’m worried about hitting the floor or dashing out of the room willy nilly full speed for the kitchens. See right off I’m messing with something very near and dear to his heart (stomachs?) Lasagna. Fall is here and to me Fall heralds the return of soup time so I started digging into my files and found this one from last year that I never got to post.
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- kosher salt
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tbsp. dried oregano
- 5 c. low-sodium chicken broth
- 8 oz. lasagna noodles, broke into 2″ pieces
- 2 c. shredded mozzarella
- Grated Parmesan, for garnish
- Torn fresh basil, for garnish
- In a large skillet over medium heat, heat oil. Add onions and season with salt. Cook until tender and golden, 5 minutes, then add beef and cook until no longer pink. Drain fat and return to pot.
- Add garlic and stir until fragrant, 1 minute, then add crushed tomatoes and dried oregano.
- Pour in chicken broth and bring to a simmer.
- Add lasagna noodles and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, 10 minutes.
- Add mozzarella and stir, letting melt into soup.
- Garnish with Parm and basil.
I like using leftover homemade spaghetti sauce, particularly if I made meatballs and have leftovers (admittedly they usually wind up as sandwich fare the next day) for this dish. Just start where they’re adding the chicken broth to the pan and have reheated your left over sauce first. Once you add the chicken stock give it a gentle stir for a minute then remove the meatballs if you’d like and halve or quarter them before returning to the pot. They’ll come out cleaner and easier to manage this way.
I’ve also been known to use loose Italian Sausage in place of the Ground Beef and Cheese and Spinach Ravioli in place of the Lasagna Noodles.
Cracker Barrel-Inspired Broccoli Cheddar Chicken Casserole
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- salt and pepper, for seasoning chicken
- 1 c. milk
- 1 can cheddar cheese soup (10.75 ounces)
- 1/2 tsp. paprika
- 1 c. shredded sharp Cheddar cheese
- 1 bag frozen broccoli florets (10 ounces)
- 1 c. crushed Ritz crackers
- Preheat the oven to 350°F.
- Pat each chicken breast dry using paper towels. Lightly season both sides of the chicken with salt and pepper, and place them in an oven-safe casserole dish.
- In a large mixing bowl, combine milk, cheddar cheese soup, paprika and shredded cheese. Fold in the broccoli and 1/2 c. Ritz crackers. Pour over the chicken, covering it entirely.
- Top with remaining Ritz crackers. Bake in the oven for 45-50 minutes, or until chicken is fully cooked and no longer pink in the center. (If you take a piece out and pierce it with a knife, the juices should run clear.)
I like serving it with Mac & Cheese or Scalloped Cheddar Potatoes and a salad.
The head of Hezbollah has found someone he hates even more than Israelis
If there were any doubt as to just how toxic sectarian politics has become in the Middle East, the latest statement from the leader of the Iran-backed Lebanese Shia militant group Hezbollah should clear things right up.
Hassan Nasrallah, the secretary general of a group that has been fighting Israel for decades, declared on Tuesday that “Wahhabism is more evil than Israel,” Lebanon’s Al Akhbar newspaper reported.
Wahhabism is the ultra-fundamentalist strain of Sunni Islam that Saudi Arabia’s government promotes and that strongly influences the ideology of Sunni jihadist groups like al-Qaeda and ISIS.
In other words, things have gotten so bad that Hezbollah, Israel’s mortal enemy, now considers Wahhabis — that is, fellow Muslims — to be worse than Israel. Bear in mind, this is coming from the same man who has described Israel as “a cancerous entity and the root of all the crises and wars” and pledged that Israel’s destiny “is manifested in our motto: ‘Death to Israel.”
It’s also coming from a man at the helm of a group that has engaged in numerous conflicts with Israel, including a horrifically bloody all-out war in 2006 that resulted in the deaths of around 1,300 Lebanese, mostly civilians, and 165 Israelis, 121 of whom were soldiers. Israeli security officials say the group now has the capacity to batter their country with more than 1,000 rockets a day.
But despite how it may seem, Nasrallah’s statement is not, at its base, a conflict about religion. Though there are certainly strong religious disagreements between Sunni and Shia — and especially between extreme fundamentalist Sunnis and extreme fundamentalist Shia — the conflict between Iran and Saudi Arabia has little to do with dogma. It’s actually about something far less exotic: power and influence.
This is just another salvo in the proxy war between Iran and Saudi Arabia
Tehran’s Shia government and Riyadh’s Sunni one have spent years waging a Cold War–style proxy fight for dominance of the Middle East and the broader Muslim world. The two countries haven’t openly fought each other, but they back extremist groups around the Middle East who share their worldviews — and who are willing to fight, kill, and die on their behalf.
This proxy war plays out in conflicts all over the Middle East. For instance, Saudi Arabia, with US military assistance, is engaged in a brutal air war against Iranian-backed Houthi fighters inside Yemen that has sparked a massive humanitarian crisis in the impoverished country. The United Nations recently estimated that at least 10,000 civilians have died, and acknowledged that that number was almost certainly lower than the actual toll.
Saudi Arabia’s proxy fight with Iran is also helping to fuel the bloodshed in Syria, where an estimated 400,000 people have been killed over the past five years while millions more have fled the country and sparked the biggest refugee crisis in decades.
Hezbollah — the strongest and most influential of Iran’s various surrogate groups — has sent between 5,000 and 8,000 fighters to Syria on behalf of the Syrian regime of Bashar al-Assad. Fighting against them are myriad secular and Islamist groups, including some more extreme Wahhabi-influenced groups that are being supported by Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia wants its preferred groups to topple Assad in order to remove the pro-Iranian leader and install a more Saudi-friendly (preferably Sunni) regime. Iran, naturally, would very much like to prevent that from happening.
The (potentially even deadlier) war of words
In the past few weeks, the hottest front in the showdown between Saudi Arabia and Iran has taken place online, in the press, and on social media. The New York Times published a scathing op-ed by Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif in which Tehran’s top diplomat argued that “the key driver of violence” in the Middle East has been Wahhabism, the “extremist ideology promoted by Saudi Arabia.”
Saudi Arabia responded by publishing a series of tweets from its US embassy’s official Twitter account accusing Iran of having “supported violent extremist groups all over the world” and stating that “Iran or its proxies have been blamed for terrorist attacks around the world.”
The new statement from Hezbollah’s secretary general may be the latest attack in this ongoing tit-for-tat war of words playing out across the internet, but it won’t be the last. The proxy war between the two countries, sadly, also shows no signs of coming to a peaceful end anytime soon.
FINALLY THE LIGHT DAWNS UNDER THOSE DAMNED TURBANS! OK, true it is a lone voice of reason amid the sand sea of insanity that is Islam and the Middle East, but every social reform, movement, idea, change we have ever experienced has begun with a lone voice crying out that something was morally unacceptable and needed to be stopped.
Here’s hoping this is the lone voice signaling the start of the swan song of Islamic Extremism
There are several good videos that I cannot post here on the site. Click the link above.
WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress voted overwhelmingly Wednesday to allow families of Sept. 11 victims to sue Saudi Arabia for its alleged backing of the attackers, handing Barack Obama the first veto override of his presidency.
Both the House and Senate voted decisively to reverse Obama’s decision to scuttle the legislation. Democrats in both chambers abandoned the president in large numbers despite warnings from Obama and top national security officials that flaws in the bill could put U.S. interests, troops, and intelligence personnel at risk.
The Senate vote was 97-1. The House vote a few hours later was 348-77.
Lawmakers said their priority was the 9/11 victims and their families, not Saudi Arabia.
“The White House and the executive branch (are) far more interested in diplomatic considerations,” said Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., a sponsor of the bill. “We’re more interested in the families and in justice.”
Speaking at a forum in Washington, CIA Director John Brennan said he was concerned about how Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally in the Middle East, would interpret the bill. He said the Saudis provide significant amounts of information to the U.S. to help foil extremist plots.
“It would an absolute shame if this legislation, in any way, influenced the Saudi willingness to continue to be among our best counterterrorism partners,” Brennan said.
Brennan, who said he visited lawmakers Wednesday to argue against an override of Obama’s veto, noted that there is a tremendous amount of Saudi investment in the United States. “Do they want to leave them here so they could potentially be attached by some type of court ruling that is going to award the litigants?” he asked.
After senators acted, White House spokesman Josh Earnest called the vote the “single most embarrassing thing” the Senate has done in decades and “an abdication” of its responsibility. He accused members of the Senate Judiciary Committee of not understanding the legislation and its impact on the military.
Five weeks before state and national elections, lawmakers refused to oppose a measure strongly supported by 9/11 families who say they are still seeking justice 15 years after attackers killed nearly 3,000 people. Saudi Arabia, an important U.S. ally in the Middle East, is staunchly opposed to the measure.
Despite reversing Obama’s decision, a group of senators acknowledged that defects in the bill could open a legal Pandora’s box, triggering lawsuits from people in other countries seeking redress for injuries or deaths caused by military actions in which the U.S. may have had a role.
In a letter sent Tuesday to Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Obama said the bill would erode sovereign immunity principles that prevent foreign litigants “from second-guessing our counterterrorism operations and other actions that we take every day.”
But proponents of the bill dismissed Obama’s concerns as unpersuasive. Sen. John Cornyn of Texas, the Senate’s No. 2 Republican, and other supporters said the bill is narrowly tailored and applies only to acts of terrorism that occur on U.S. soil.
“This bill is about respecting the voices and rights of American victims,” Cornyn said.
Families of the victims and their attorneys dismissed concerns over the legislation as fearmongering.
Sen. Ben Cardin of Maryland, one of the Democrats who broke with Obama and voted to override, said, “The risks of shielding the perpetrators of terrorism from justice are greater than the risks this legislation may pose to America’s presence around the world.”
The legislation gives victims’ families the right to sue in U.S. court for any role that elements of the Saudi government may have played in the 2001 attacks. Fifteen of the 19 Sept. 11 hijackers were Saudis. Courts would be permitted to waive a claim of foreign sovereign immunity when an act of terrorism occurred inside U.S. borders, according to the terms of the bill.
A group of national-security minded legislators pledged to discuss how to repair problem areas during the upcoming lame-duck session of Congress. But the fact that legislation could pass both chambers of Congress without closer scrutiny left at least a few senators chiding themselves for not examining its ramifications more closely.
The Justice Against Sponsors of Terrorism Act, or JASTA, moved to the floor of the Senate in May and was passed by voice vote. The bill cleared the House earlier this month, also by voice vote.
“We didn’t pay much attention to this,” said Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California, the top Democrat on the Senate intelligence committee. “And boy is that ever a lesson learned.”
Obama vetoed the measure last week, telling lawmakers the bill would make the U.S. vulnerable to retaliatory litigation.
In his letter to Reid, the president said other countries could attempt to use JASTA to justify similar immunity exceptions to target U.S. policies and activities that they oppose.
In a separate letter sent Monday to a senior House member, Defense Secretary Ash Carter described the potential for foreign litigants to seek classified intelligence data and analysis and sensitive operational information to establish their cases in what could be an “intrusive discovery process.”
Missing the vote were Sens. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Tim Kaine, D-Va.
It’s about time those two faced Saudi’s as well as their sycophant bowing ass kisser Obama were scared of the American people. As I said earlier (graphically) Society has gotten to the point where everyone has a right but nobody has a responsibility. The Saudi’s are the world leader in this philosophy IMHO with the Black Live Matter mob hard on their heels.
You want to bet when it starts costing the Saudi Royal Family out of their robes for terrorist activities they’ve historically turned a blind eye towards in the name of appeasement that they’ll find the motivation to start rooting them out and putting a stop to it? Want to bet that they’ll start pressuring other Middle Eastern counties into getting their anti-terrorist act together?
Best of all from where I sit is the other edge of the sword which means that the US Government will think several more times before they send troops charging off to play policeman to the world. Let everyone else do it for a while we do it and they fail to repay us as agreed and we’re out the troops and the money. Well now if the US Government has to worry about being sued for collateral damage in drone strikes and missile attacks maybe they’ll be more inclined to show the UN their shiny white backside and tell them to kiss it and deal with the problem themselves for a change.
Oops! I see it’s time for my afternoon Doctor prescribed tipple! I’ll be taking my leave of you now. See you next week.