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Archive for February, 2012

Whew! Romney takes Michigan and Arizona

By , Washington Post

Primary Results

Click on a state name to view full results.

Candidate Michigan Arizona
Mitt Romney 41% 47%
Rick Santorum 38 27
Newt Gingrich 7 16
Ron Paul 12 8
Others 3 2
% of precincts reporting >99% 100%

SOURCE: AP

Results as of 7:51 AM ET  |   0:37

More from PostPolitics

No tea-party love for Ron Paul

No tea-party love for Ron Paul

Washington Post Staff FEB 28

FULL COVERAGE | Get the latest news from the Michigan and Arizona GOP primaries.

What Romney’s wins mean

What Romney’s wins mean

Chris Cillizza FEB 28

THE FIX | His wins in Ariz., Mich. prove a simple political fact: Winning isn’t everything, it’s the only thing.

Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe to retire

Maine Sen. Olympia Snowe to retire

Chris Cillizza and Aaron Blake FEB 28

THE FIX | Retirement represents major setback for the GOP efforts to retake the Senate in 2012.

 

“We didn’t win by a lot, but we won by enough. And that’s all that counts,” Romney told supporters Tuesday night in the Detroit suburb of Novi.

He said nothing about Santorum in his speech, instead criticizing President Obama at length and trying to boil down a complicated economic message.

“I’m going to deliver on more jobs, less debt, smaller government,” Romney said. Later, he returned to another three-point message about government: “I’ll make it simpler, smaller and smarter.”

Santorum and former House speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.) have won a total of five states. On Tuesday night, Santorum cast the close outcome in Michigan as a sign of success, noting that it came in Romney’s “back yard.”

“A month ago, they didn’t know who we are, but they do now,” Santorum told supporters in Grand Rapids. “The people of Michigan looked into the hearts of the candidates, and all I have to say is ‘I love you back.’ ”

Santorum avoided the kind of incendiary rhetoric that has drawn criticism in recent days — including an attack on Obama for suggesting that young people should go to college. Instead, Santorum talked about small government and praised the women in his family for their hard work at home and in their careers. He spoke about how his mother had gone to college and received at least one advanced degree.

Romney’s victories on Tuesday are unlikely to solve the larger problems that have held back his campaign. Even after months of work and millions of dollars spent, he has not won over a vast swath of Republicans.

That was clear from Michigan exit polls, which showed that Santorum had beaten Romney decisively among important Republican blocs. The former senator from Pennsylvania held a 15-point lead among voters who identify themselves as “very conservative,” a 40-point edge among those who say they want their candidate to be “a true conservative” and a 41-point advantage among those who want a candidate with “strong moral character.”

Romney, by contrast, bested Santorum among voters who care strongly about beating Obama in November, and among those who say the economy is their chief concern.

He may have been helped by Santorum’s strident stands on social issues in recent days. The former senator called Obama a “snob” for wanting young people to attend college and said that he almost vomited after reading a speech by John F. Kennedy about the separation of church and state. Santorum later said he wished he could take back that statement.

Among his fellow Catholics, Santorum lost to Romney by 43 percent to 37 percent, according to exit polls.

Negativity takes toll

As voting was underway, an unkind race turned positively insulting. Santorum called Romney a “bully,” and Romney called Santorum an “economic lightweight” who was engaging in political dirty tricks.

Do U.S. territories vote in the Primaries?

I thought this was an appropriate question as Arizona and Michigan voters head to the polls today.  The answer comes from Scholastic.com.

Do U.S. territories vote in the primaries?

Yes. A territory is a part of the United States that has its own government but is not considered a state. Voters in U.S. territories do hold primaries and caucuses to help select the party nominees for President. But because territories are not states, their citizens do not get to vote for the President in the general election. These include American Samoa, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the United States Virgin Islands.

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The Mom Vivant / The Humor Gap

This is an article from Vanity Fair asking why women aren’t as funny as men. Huh? The really funny stuff is in the women’s responses. So after you’ve read the article, click here http://www.vanityfair.com/culture/features/2008/04/hitchens_letters200804

Why Women Aren’t Funny

What makes the female so much deadlier than the male? With assists from Fran Lebowitz, Nora Ephron, and a recent Stanford-medical-school study, the author investigates the reasons for the humor gap.
 

From the John Springer Collection/Corbis.

Be your gender what it may, you will certainly have heard the following from a female friend who is enumerating the charms of a new (male) squeeze: “He’s really quite cute, and he’s kind to my friends, and he knows all kinds of stuff, and he’s so funny … ” (If you yourself are a guy, and you know the man in question, you will often have said to yourself, “Funny? He wouldn’t know a joke if it came served on a bed of lettuce with sauce béarnaise.“) However, there is something that you absolutely never hear from a male friend who is hymning his latest (female) love interest: “She’s a real honey, has a life of her own … [interlude for attributes that are none of your business] … and, man, does she ever make ’em laugh.”

Now, why is this? Why is it the case?, I mean. Why are women, who have the whole male world at their mercy, not funny? Please do not pretend not to know what I am talking about.

All right—try it the other way (as the bishop said to the barmaid). Why are men, taken on average and as a whole, funnier than women? Well, for one thing, they had damn well better be. The chief task in life that a man has to perform is that of impressing the opposite sex, and Mother Nature (as we laughingly call her) is not so kind to men. In fact, she equips many fellows with very little armament for the struggle. An average man has just one, outside chance: he had better be able to make the lady laugh. Making them laugh has been one of the crucial preoccupations of my life. If you can stimulate her to laughter—I am talking about that real, out-loud, head-back, mouth-open-to-expose-the-full-horseshoe-of-lovely-teeth, involuntary, full, and deep-throated mirth; the kind that is accompanied by a shocked surprise and a slight (no, make that a loud) peal of delight—well, then, you have at least caused her to loosen up and to change her expression. I shall not elaborate further.

Women have no corresponding need to appeal to men in this way. They already appeal to men, if you catch my drift. Indeed, we now have all the joy of a scientific study, which illuminates the difference. At the Stanford University School of Medicine (a place, as it happens, where I once underwent an absolutely hilarious procedure with a sigmoidoscope), the grim-faced researchers showed 10 men and 10 women a sample of 70 black-and-white cartoons and got them to rate the gags on a “funniness scale.” To annex for a moment the fall-about language of the report as it was summarized in Biotech Week:

The researchers found that men and women share much of the same humor-response system; both use to a similar degree the part of the brain responsible for semantic knowledge and juxtaposition and the part involved in language processing. But they also found that some brain regions were activated more in women. These included the left prefrontal cortex, suggesting a greater emphasis on language and executive processing in women, and the nucleus accumbens … which is part of the mesolimbic reward center.

This has all the charm and address of the learned Professor Scully’s attempt to define a smile, as cited by Richard Usborne in his treatise on P. G. Wodehouse: “the drawing back and slight lifting of the corners of the mouth, which partially uncover the teeth; the curving of the naso-labial furrows … ” But have no fear—it gets worse:

“Women appeared to have less expectation of a reward, which in this case was the punch line of the cartoon,” said the report’s author, Dr. Allan Reiss. “So when they got to the joke’s punch line, they were more pleased about it.” The report also found that “women were quicker at identifying material they considered unfunny.”

Slower to get it, more pleased when they do, and swift to locate the unfunny—for this we need the Stanford University School of Medicine? And remember, this is women when confronted with humor. Is it any wonder that they are backward in generating it?

This is not to say that women are humorless, or cannot make great wits and comedians. And if they did not operate on the humor wavelength, there would be scant point in half killing oneself in the attempt to make them writhe and scream (uproariously). Wit, after all, is the unfailing symptom of intelligence. Men will laugh at almost anything, often precisely because it is—or they are—extremely stupid. Women aren’t like that. And the wits and comics among them are formidable beyond compare: Dorothy Parker, Nora Ephron, Fran Lebowitz, Ellen DeGeneres. (Though ask yourself, was Dorothy Parker ever really funny?) Greatly daring—or so I thought—I resolved to call up Ms. Lebowitz and Ms. Ephron to try out my theories. Fran responded: “The cultural values are male; for a woman to say a man is funny is the equivalent of a man saying that a woman is pretty. Also, humor is largely aggressive and pre-emptive, and what’s more male than that?” Ms. Ephron did not disagree. She did, however, in what I thought was a slightly feline way, accuse me of plagiarizing a rant by Jerry Lewis that said much the same thing. (I have only once seen Lewis in action, in The King of Comedy, where it was really Sandra Bernhard who was funny.)

In any case, my argument doesn’t say that there are no decent women comedians. There are more terrible female comedians than there are terrible male comedians, but there are some impressive ladies out there. Most of them, though, when you come to review the situation, are hefty or dykey or Jewish, or some combo of the three. When Roseanne stands up and tells biker jokes and invites people who don’t dig her shtick to suck her dick—know what I am saying? And the Sapphic faction may have its own reasons for wanting what I want—the sweet surrender of female laughter. While Jewish humor, boiling as it is with angst and self-deprecation, is almost masculine by definition.

Substitute the term “self-defecation” (which I actually heard being used inadvertently once) and almost all men will laugh right away, if only to pass the time. Probe a little deeper, though, and you will see what Nietzsche meant when he described a witticism as an epitaph on the death of a feeling. Male humor prefers the laugh to be at someone’s expense, and understands that life is quite possibly a joke to begin with—and often a joke in extremely poor taste. Humor is part of the armor-plate with which to resist what is already farcical enough. (Perhaps not by coincidence, battered as they are by motherfucking nature, men tend to refer to life itself as a bitch.) Whereas women, bless their tender hearts, would prefer that life be fair, and even sweet, rather than the sordid mess it actually is. Jokes about calamitous visits to the doctor or the shrink or the bathroom, or the venting of sexual frustration on furry domestic animals, are a male province. It must have been a man who originated the phrase “funny like a heart attack.” In all the millions of cartoons that feature a patient listening glum-faced to a physician (“There’s no cure. There isn’t even a race for a cure”), do you remember even one where the patient is a woman? I thought as much.

Precisely because humor is a sign of intelligence (and many women believe, or were taught by their mothers, that they become threatening to men if they appear too bright), it could be that in some way men do not want women to be funny. They want them as an audience, not as rivals. And there is a huge, brimming reservoir of male unease, which it would be too easy for women to exploit. (Men can tell jokes about what happened to John Wayne Bobbitt, but they don’t want women doing so.) Men have prostate glands, hysterically enough, and these have a tendency to give out, along with their hearts and, it has to be said, their dicks. This is funny only in male company. For some reason, women do not find their own physical decay and absurdity to be so riotously amusing, which is why we admire Lucille Ball and Helen Fielding, who do see the funny side of it. But this is so rare as to be like Dr. Johnson’s comparison of a woman preaching to a dog walking on its hind legs: the surprise is that it is done at all.

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Turkey cutlets with potatoes and mushrooms

  • From MarthaStewart.com
  • 1 pound red potatoes, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 1/2 pounds small white button mushrooms, stems trimmed
  • 2 strips bacon (2 ounces), cut crosswise into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried sage
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 turkey cutlets (3 to 4 ounces each)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • Grainy mustard, for serving

Directions

  1. Heat broiler. If using a broiler-proof rimmed baking sheet, set rack 4 inches from heat; if using a broiler pan, set rack so that top of pan is 4 inches from heat. On sheet (or pan), arrange potatoes and mushrooms in a single layer. Sprinkle with bacon, sage, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
  2. Broil, tossing every 5 to 6 minutes, until potatoes are tender and browned, 20 to 25 minutes. Transfer to a serving bowl (reserve sheet).
  3. Place turkey cutlets on sheet; season with salt and pepper, and sprinkle with Parmesan, dividing evenly. Broil until cheese is golden and turkey is opaque throughout, 6 to 8 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, toss potatoes and mushrooms with parsley; season with salt and pepper. Keep warm.
  5. Serve turkey cutlets with potato-mushroom mixture, accompanied by grainy mustard.
Stop that kidnapper!

Stop that kidnapper!

A wacky and wild election year has just taken another weird turn. First of all, we love that Mitt Romney appealed to his inner moderate and said he is “not willing to light his hair on fire” to attract the social firebrands that are lining up behind Rick Santorum in Michigan. The strangest thing to us political neophytes is that Santorum is urging Democrats to come out and vote. Why? Because it is an open primary. That means voters from either party can vote in it.  Why would a Republican candidate for President encourage Democrats to come out? Because he knows they’re going to vote for him. Because at this point, they think he has less of a chance of beating Barack Obama in a general election than Mitt Romney. What happened to that nice Catholic boy who plays by the rules. Memo to Rick, “This is not nice.”  Mitt, in the meantime, is accusing Santorum of kidnapping the primary. 

The polls are showing Romney and Santorum neck and neck today. But how would either do against Obama in a general election? Well, if you ask the folks at George Washington University, in a head to head match up, the answer is Obama would win. If you talk to the folks at USA Today and Gallup, it’s either Romney or Santorum but NOT Obama in key 2012 swing states.

Romney needs to win Michigan today to avoid losing in a third state that he won in 2008.  His Dad was governor of Michigan and it should have been easier than it’s been. The reality is a lot of folks are still hurting there. And Romney, unfortunately, is getting maligned because he is wealthy and successful. It didn’t help that he said his wife had two Cadillacs but I really can’t understand why it hurt him as much as it did. I think there are a lot of middle class car buffs out there with a second car in the yard, aren’t there? 

http://www.npr.org/2012/02/28/147561573/weekly-standard-polls-split-on-gop-against-obama 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/29/us/politics/romney-admits-mistakes-as-michigan-votes-in-crucial-primary.html?_r=1&ref=republicanparty

The Catholic Factor

I was reading an article today about the fact that Catholics split their vote between both parties and that the Catholic vote could be even more significant this year.  And I wondered how the Catholics who vote Republican are feeling about Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum.  Below is a sampling of some of the different views on this today. 

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/02/22/opinion/dowd-ricks-religious-fanaticism.html /

http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/02/michigan-republican-chief-predicts-a-successful-primary-for-mitt-romney/

http://firstread.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/02/22/10474814-nbc-poll-romney-santorum-deadlocked-in-michigan-romney-leads-in-arizona /

http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/02/21/can-santorum-win-in-november/?ref=global-home

The Daily Dose

Panera Bread’s pay what you can approach is working in Michigan /

Colorado girl who borrowed a fellow student’s asthma inhaler is expelled from school

The Mom Vivant / Debbie Baldwin of Ladue News

Like, Wow

So Facebook went public. Now you can own a piece of the social networking website, as well as troll around on it, killing time. It was quite a success story: A bitter, self-loathing computer genius goes from creating sites to demean women to becoming one of the richest men in the world. For the record, I am basing all of my knowledge of the creation of Facebook on the movie.

When Cranky turned 13, she created a Facebook page. That’s adorable, i thought. She’ll friend her little group of classmates and they can post photos from the latest mixer or league dance. Imagine my surprise when I noticed a post on her page congratulating her on her 700th friend. Seven hundred friends? I’m not sure I know 700 people.

That’s when something occurred to me: Yes, Facebook is a wonderful way to stay in touch with college friends, see your brother’s vacation photos and learn how your godson did in a spelling bee. But on another level, Facebook fulfills that deep desire that left most of us scarred and bitter from high school: the desire to be popular.

There is no downside to it. All you know is that someone wants to be your friend. Sure, someone could refuse your friend request or defriend (unfriend?) you, but so what? You just stay focused on the positive: Look at all the friends you do have – hundreds! You are popular. Then when you start to develop a tolerance for that drug, Facebook takes it up a notch with a little thing called the “like” button. You can like a person, a celebrity or a post. According to Yahoo, Eminem is the most liked person on Facebook with almost 60 million “likes.” He seems like a surprising front-runner. Can you threaten people into liking you?

According to Facebook’s IPO information, the site generates about 3 billion likes and comments a day. That’s the thing about the “like” button. It’s not overly enthusiastic. It’s easy to “like” someone or something. Plus, it’s safe. I don’t risk typos or court controversy. I can like the article my brother posted about John Huntsman. That doesn’t mean I don’t support Romney, or Obama for that matter. It’s like getting credit for a comment without making a comment at all. You’re just letting people know you care, and people seem to like that.

Beef and pineapple tacos

FromRealSimple.com

Ingredients

Directions

  1. Season the steak with 1 teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat and cook the steak to the desired doneness, 2 to 3 minutes per side for medium-rare; slice.
  2. Add the pineapple and chili to the skillet and cook, tossing frequently, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  3. Dividing evenly, top the tortillas with the steak and pineapple. Serve with the cilantro and lime wedges.

By Charlyne Mattox,  October 2011