Moderate Moment | Moderate Moms

Archive for April, 2014

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Will racist remarks force sale of Los Angeles Clippers

Let’s ask the Kids …

Adults have mixed opinons on blogs and in articles surrounding the recent Coast Guard rescue of an ill infant and her family. Let’s ask the kids what they think. Would you want to live like this? Is it exciting or scary? What would school be like?

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Congress is out on recess again!

The Mom Vivant / Debbie Baldwin of Ladue News

Posted: Thursday, April 17, 2014 12:00 pm

By Debbie Baldwin

It seems most of what comes out of Hollywood these days are sequels and prequels…and remakes and re-imaginings and reinterpretations. It’s green, actually: Reuse, reduce, recycle. If there’s an additional dollar to be made…like I said, green. So it may surprise you to know that at some point, industry executives dropped the ball. Either that or they exercised some discretion and halted work on an ill-conceived sequel. Perhaps someone learned a valuable lesson from Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo and Weekend at Bernie’s 2. Believe it or not, according to, these sequels were actually in the works until the plug—for whatever reason—was pulled.

Forrest Gump 2: Gump and Co.

Honestly, there was so much going on in the first movie, I can’t imagine what was left to film. You can only cover so many decades.

E.T. II: Nocturnal Fears

As a child, I’d often hoped for E.T.’s return. Sure, that freakishly adorable alien was ‘right here’ in our hearts, but I wanted to see that darn bike fly again. As time passed, it occurred to me that the perfect sequel would be a film where Elliott is an off-track adult with a family of his own and E.T. returns. The sequel they actually had planned involved evil aliens invading and abducting children. Go big or go home. Fortunately, they went home.

The Breakfast Club 2

At least, there was no ridiculous subtitle following the colon. The film would have reconnected with the high-school outcasts: the nerd (Anthony Michael Hall), the princess (Molly Ringwald), the jock (Emilio Estevez), the rebel (Judd Nelson) and the poet (Ally Sheedy). The film fell through when star Judd Nelson had a very public falling out with writer/director John Hughes. Maybe Nelson knew he was the only one who wouldn’t have a career going forward.

Gladiator 2

Always an interesting undertaking when the main character dies in the first film, rumor has it this sequel involved Russell Crowe’s Maximus in the afterlife. Fortunately, everyone came to their senses.

Napoleon Dynamite 2

I guess there is only so much pot people can smoke.

Kill Bill Vol. 3

This may be the only regrettable decision on this list. Tarantino planned to follow Vernita Green’s (Vivica A. Fox) daughter as she grows up, with a life mission to avenge her mother’s death and kill The Bride (Uma Thurman). It’s not too late.

Elf 2

It may not star Will Ferrell, but this will happen—trust me.

Ferris Bueller 2: Another Day Off

OK, maybe not another day off in high school or even college, but the idea of Ferris as a buttoned-up lawyer who has lost his zest for life taking a day off, that’s appealing. Maybe Ferris’ hypochondriac buddy Cameron (Alan Ruck) changed the course of his life when he liberated his father’s Ferrari from its glass garage. Maybe sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) ran off with the bad boy (Charlie Sheen) in the police station. Think of the possibilities.

One need only look at the American Pie franchise or Ocean’s Eleven to see the lengths to which Hollywood is willing to go to milk a concept. For now, everything seems fine on the sequel front. If Stallone tries to turn Grudge Match into another Rocky franchise, we may have a problem.

Cajun Catfish With Black-Eyed Peas from

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Serves 4| Hands-On Time: | Total Time: 



  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add the collard greens, tomatoes (with their juices), and ½ cup water. Cover and cook, tossing occasionally, until the greens are tender, 18 to 20 minutes (if the pan becomes dry, add up to ½ cup water).
  3. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the remaining oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Season the fish with the Cajun seasoning and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cook, in 2 batches, until opaque throughout, 3 to 4 minutes per side.
  4. Heat the black-eyed peas with 2 tablespoons water and the remaining tablespoon of oil in a small pot over medium heat until warmed through, 2 to 4 minutes.
  5. Serve the fish with the collard greens, black-eyed peas, and lemon wedges.

By Charlyne Mattox , December, 2012

Nutritional Information

  • Per Serving
  • Calories 453
  • Fat 23g
  • Sat Fat 4g
  • Cholesterol 97mg
  • Sodium 888mg
  • Protein 36g
  • Carbohydrate 25g
  • Sugar 4g
  • Fiber 9g
  • Iron 5mg
  • Calcium 307mg
What does this mean? See Nutrition 101 .

Quick Tip

Spice rack
You can make your own Cajun seasoning by mixing 1 teaspoon sweet paprika, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, ½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, and ¼ teaspoon each salt and pepper. 

Did you try this recipe? How did you like it?

From Fight to Fix on Obamacare

I just got a letter in my inbox the other day from someone calling on Missouri Republicans to dig in on Obamacare. But across the country, the dial is moving away from a fight to a fix. Some moderate Republicans who were against the concept of government run healthcare (and still are) are trying to tweak the law. The good news is there are lots of good ideas being floated by Republicans.  Unfortunately, we are not hearing enough about them. Instead of criticizing these pragmatic Republicans for being flip floppers, we should maybe take a look at the programs they’re proposing. I have Obamacare and I am not happy with it. I wanted patient centered catastrophic coverage connected to a health savings plan and to be able to choose my own doctors. I can’t even connect with the salesperson at my provider to try to switch.

It is interesting to me that the solution will lie somewhere in the middle. On the one hand, we have Presidential candidate Gov. Bobby Jindahl proposing a plan to cover 10 million of the 40 million Americans without insurance. On the other hand, only 8 million people have signed up. Maybe that is close to the number of people who wanted it and needed this safety net to help them get it. And maybe, if we can dial down the pre-primary partisanship, we will see there are moderate solutions in front of us. 

  • Monica Wehby, Oregon GOP Senate Candidate, Shifts Message On Obamacare Repeal
Posted: Updated: 

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WASHINGTON — Monica Wehby, a Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in Oregon, has spent months positioning herself as the moderate, establishment candidate in the crowded GOP primary to challenge Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley.

She’s struck a milder tone on issues such as abortion, immigration, and gay marriage, mindful of voters who have not elected a Republican to statewide office since 2002. But as the GOP moves to frame this year’s midterm elections around Obamacare, it’s not entirely clear where Wehby stands on the health care law.

In her first television ad, titled “It’s Not Brain Surgery,” Wehby draws upon her experience as a pediatric neurosurgeon to discuss “how devastating Obamacare is for Oregon families and patients.”

She also notes her call for a federal investigation into Cover Oregon, the state’s health care exchange. And in her approval of the message, Wehby states, “As your senator I will fight to repeal and replace Obamacare.”

Watch the ad above.

Wehby released a radio ad Thursday stating she’s “the only candidate for Senate who has fought to stop” Obamacare.

Her views on Obamacare appear to have changed from a couple of months ago. During an interview with the Portland Business Journal in November, Wehby was specifically asked if she would repeal Obamacare if elected.

“That’s not politically viable at this point,” Wehby answered. “We can’t get it repealed with Obama in office. We have to focus on coming together with solutions.”

Wehby suggested creating a health care system where individuals could purchase insurance plans with pretax dollars across state lines. “Expand health savings accounts … Allow people who want it to have catastrophic policies,” she said of her proposals.

Wehby has also expressed support in the past for the Healthy Americans Act, legislation introduced years ago by Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.). Wehby told The Oregonian in February that the bill, often referred to as “Wydencare,” was “a good plan.”

“It was a market-based approach,” Wehby said, adding that while she didn’t support every aspect of the plan, she and Wyden “think a lot alike in regards to health care.”

State Rep. Jason Conger (R-Bend), Wehby’s main opponent in the GOP primary, has used such statements to attack her. “In principle, it’s 90 percent there with Obamacare,” he said of Wyden’s proposal.

Conger put out a radio ad last month tying Wehby to both the Wyden and Obama health care plans. “If it sounds like Obamacare, regulates like Obamacare, and costs like Obamacare, it is Monica Wehby’s Obamacare,” he said.

Wehby has pointed to some parts of Obamacare that she would like to keep, such as coverage for individuals with preexisting conditions and allowing parents to keep their children on their health plans until age 26.

Charlie Pearce, a spokesman for Wehby’s campaign, denied that Wehby was not in favor of repealing the health care law.

“Dr. Wehby has stated on many occasion that ideally she would vote to repeal the ACA and replace it with a patient centered, market based approach, similar to the replacement plan she outlined last November,” Pearce told The Huffington Post in an email. “Dr. Wehby has never stated she would not vote for repeal, only that it is not politically viable at this point, which is a statement of fact,” he added. “However, with a strong likelihood that Republicans take back the Senate this fall, there is a good chance that a replacement plan similar to Dr. Wehby’s will be enacted by Congress next year.”

Wehby isn’t the only Republican Senate candidate to send mixed messages on Obamacare repeal. Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.) has focused on fixing the law rather than repealing it, but now touts his commitment to fighting Obamacare in an ad.

Given the number of GOP primaries pitting tea party candidates against establishment contenders, moderate Republicans face a complicated task. On one hand, they have to convince conservatives they staunchly oppose Obamacare. On the other, they must grapple with surging enrollment in the health care exchanges, which the president announced Thursday has surpassed 8 million.


The R Word

Poor Gov. Bobby Jindal. He knows he won’t get through the Republican primary if he doesn’t use the R word or “Repeal”. 

The Republicans are ready to craft their own version of healthcare reform and to make it a front line issue in the next Presidential elections. That’s a good sign. But any American who thinks they can walk away from yesterday’s victory by the Democrats and repeal healthcare reform outright is woefully out-of-touch.  Americans want reform. They just don’t like this highly imperfect first draft. 

Let’s hear what Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal has to say. He has the credentials to at least merit polite attention. After all, he was the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services. And let’s encourage the Republicans to try a little harder to appeal to the many Americans who are looking for old-school compromise out of Washington.  I like that he said that fellow Republicans should feel free to cut and paste what they like and don’t like about his plan. (See below for my thoughts on abortion and birth control) I just hope Jindal doesn’t get pummeled by those Tea Party chicken littles who can’t get off that runaway “Repeal or Die” train.  The ones who think government doesn’t play any role in protecting the most vulnerable.  

From what I just read on, Gov. Jindal, is advocating a plan to cover the 10 million Americans who can’t afford even a low deductible or who have been denied benefits because of pre-existing conditions.  Jindal is calling for a flat rate deductible for all health insurance plans. Those who can’t afford it would get help from a special government fund that would allocate 100 billion dollars over ten years. The biggest change from the Affordable Care Act is that Jindal would provide block grants for Medicaid that states could use to determine who is and isn’t eligible for coverage and what that coverage looks like. No federal mandates on abortion inducing pills or birth control. He also would bar insurers from refusing to renew customers’ plans.  (That after 93,000 citizens in his home state of Louisiana had their policies cancelled under The Affordable Care Act%