TV-Review-"Commander-in-Chief"; Pampered Pet-Notes from the Vet, Squirrels; Fishgiggles

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Indulge this political junkie as I re-visit the new series on ABC, Commander-In-Chief. My first review on this show is HERE.

For this series is alleged, scurrilously, to be a way to clear the way for a Hillary Clinton presidency.

Something I'm skeptical of in that I hardly think ABC would risk money and reputation for a presidential candidate, no matter who it might be. Yet Rush Limbaugh mentioned this intriguing suggestion just recently.

Even if such a thing is even possible, so what? Conservatives, which I consider myself one, are always bitching about West Wing and such as being "too liberal". I argue get up off of that big business money and sponsor your own damn conservative series and stop bitching that the liberals have the lock on political TV shows. We've got freedom of speech here in case the conservatives don't know it.

So if Commander-In-Chief is somehow the brainchild of Hillary Clinton's campaign and if the notion that the series will somehow pave the way for a female President (the premise of the show), then more power to her for being so darn clever.

Rumors and innuendo aside, I'd like to visit two recent episodes of Commander-In-Chief. One was aired on 11/01/05 and the other on 11/08/05.
For I have some thoughts on the political process as depicted on the series as well as some of the ill-thought premises.

First, let me say that like so many conservatives who disavow watching such "liberal" mouthpieces, I do watch the show with a passion and quite enjoy it. And there are some serious truths revealed in the series.

I like the way the writers portray "the first man". This is a character that absolutely calls out for ridicule and derision. In Commander-In-Chief, the husband of "Mac", played by Geena Davis, is portrayed very believably. Sure he wrestles with his role in the grand scheme of it all. He also looks to find his niche in the world, once actively courted to be the Commissioner of Baseball. That scenario makes this First Husband come off as intelligent and capable on his own. That he turns down the offer to work alongside of his wife in her presidential duties is a plot that works well. The viewer understands this fellow is no slouch and has other options than being Nanny to the President of the United States.

The unkind would say that Bill Clinton wants to be Ambassador to the UN. He would turn that post down to help Hillary, surely? I'll be kind, heh, and say the thought never crossed my mind.

I do NOT like the character portrayed by Donald Southerland. An evil Republican, is that lame or what? Although I'll allow as the conflict between the Speaker of the House, who WOULD have been President has Mac stepped down, and Mac, is important to the series. It's so stereotypical is what I'm saying here.

As for Geena Davis' Mac character, I have to give Davis credit. I can't think of anybody that would portray the first female President better than Davis. She seems, as portrayed, to have a healthy and even balance with her home life and her life as leader of the free world. The first charge that would be hurled at a female President would be that either her family or the nation would suffer. Davis manages to squelch that notion handily with her portrayal.

The writers do an average job of creating presidential scenarios that are on the mark. On the 11/1/05 episode, the plot involved a large oil tanker floundering off the coast of Florida. The Governor, aided by the nefarious Southerland character, refuses to allow the President to haul the leaking vessel into Florida's coastline. The other alternative to deal with a leaky oil tanker was to haul it out to sea and sink it. Mac refused that option as it would leave the problem, so she alleged, to "future generations".

Through some weird manipulation and clever chicanery, Mac managed to overrule Florida's Governor and get the tanker hauled into a Florida Coast Guard yard.

NOT a believable scenario.

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Why not sink the tanker into the sea? It's utter crap that future generations would have to deal with it. First, deal with what? The story line alleged that the salt water would eventually erode the ship and the oil would be released into an ocean to do all manner of damage. That salt water erosion alluded to occur on a distant date given that "future generations" would have it burst while the "current generation" should have no problem.

This is the United States of America for God's sake. Had that ship been sunk surely we'd figure out a way to get a big hose down there and pump out the oil without harming the ocean. The Army Corps of Engineers managed to pump out the entire city of New Orleans in about nine days go to hell. The leaky tanker could be pumped out sometime BEFORE future generations had an ecological disaster on their hands is what I'm saying here. Since the ship was only leaking, so went the plot line, and even the leak had somehow been plugged up, there was even an option on where to sink the thing for later accessibility.

But ah, it was a happy ending, with the very clever, and non-political so the series would have the viewer believe, Mac foiling the evil Governor of Florida and Speaker of the House. It's the pro forma for the show's writers.

The more recent episode involved the revelation that the President who died, leaving Mac, then the Vice-President, to fill his position, asked her to step down before his death. Sure, the deceased President only made Mac his VP to get the soccer mom vote. But when it was time for her to step up to the podium, well I guess the notion was that a woman wasn't good enough.

There was a big flap over the revelation. As would be expected in a political environment.

In this case, the new female President did the RIGHT thing. The only problem, from the writers' perspective, what Mac did would NEVER happen in the real world of DC politics.

The writers of Commander-In-Chief really believe that a President would stand up tall and proud, just as Mac did when asked whether the former President really asked her to step down, and tell the damn truth? Politicians never tell the truth. Mac, yes she did, she gave the truth, pure, simple and sweet. She affirmed that indeed the deceased President asked her to resign right before he died but she chose not to take that action. "I was elected to this position and for him to ask me to step down was not right," I paraphrase.

Mac then vowed she would answer every reporter's question about the incident until they got sick of asking. Then, Mac vowed, the matter would never be broached again.

Well I certainly liked this action and by me it was the BEST possible way to handle it. No politician who ever had a mother would do such a thing. Politicians like to call for investigations and inquiries. They like to assemble on "Meet the Press" and constantly discuss the issues that they appear bright and articulate. Political enemies use such a thing to bash and beat their political opponents.

So yeah, the writers of Commander-In-Chief got it right, in how it SHOULD be done. It's just highly improbable this is how it WOULD be done.

I'll keep tuning into Commander-In-Chief on Tuesday nights, 9:00 pm, ABC. One because I'm a political junkie. Two because there's an interesting sub-plot going on involving Mac's replacement VP, a decorated war hero who's been compromised by who else? The evil Republican Speaker of the House.

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From the Vet

Record Pets: Work's a bit hit and myth
By Neil McIntosh
Source: Scottish Daily Record

MANY pet owners absolutely persist in harbouring some terrible misconceptions. This really is not acceptable and must be remedied forthwith . . . or, failing that, at least immediately The first misconception is simple, but it has caused me to be wokenfrom a deep and peaceful slumber on many occasions - and this fact alone places it high up on my most-hated list.

It is this: retching dogs do not have something stuck in their throat. If they can eat and drink, if they are coughing up white or clear froth but are otherwise well, they do not (yes, I repeat) do not have something stuck in their throat.

It is not an emergency. You do not need to phone me. Go to sleep.

The second myth should also be obvious. It has cost me many hours of gentle persuasion, days of arguing and the loss of some very dear friends.

It is this: if your pet is fat, you are feeding it too much. No excuses (well, except for hypothyroidism in dogs, which has caught me out a few times).

Don't tell me they only get one little meal a day. Don't tell me you hardly feed them anything. Don't tell me they are big boned. Fat pet equals too much food. Stop it.

Misconception number three isa personal favourite. It first came to my attention some two days, four hours and 16 minutes into my veterinary career and the physical scars are still visible, more than 21 years later. I hide the mental torment well.

It is this: veterinary surgeons bleed, veterinary surgeons find it painful to be bitten and veterinary surgeons usually need functioning digits to be able to work efficiently.

So don't tell me just after your wee sweety-pie has sunk his teeth deep into my hand he always does that when people go to pat him.

For goodness sake, tell me before! I'll love you for it. Really My last misconception cuts right to the heart of the client and vet relationship. I accept it is based upon the trust you place in us and high esteem in which you hold us.

I am aware revealing this will cause dismay, even shock among some of you, but reveal it I must.

It is this: even we can't give tablets to really nasty cats. I know. I've hurt you haven't I? Oh, don't get me wrong. Most cats are fine. It's just that the ones you bring to the surgery because you can't give them tablets tend to bite us too (seemisconception three above).

Which is why I am delighted to inform you of a revolution in veterinary medicine. Wait for it . . . it is this: for the first time a complete wormer that will safely and successfully kill roundworms, tapeworms and hookworms is available for cats in aspot- on preparation. It's called Profender. And I love it. Seriously

(C) 2005 Scottish Daily Record. via ProQuest Information and Learning Company; All Rights Reserved


Squirrel-Rodents-Love Them or Hate Them

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The Drunk Driver

A policeman pulls over a driver for swerving in and out of lanes on the highway. He tells the guy to blow a breath into a breathalyzer.

"I can't do that, officer."

"Why not?"

"Because I'm an asthmatic. I could get an asthma attack if I blow into that tube."

"Okay, we'll just get a urine sample down at the station."

"Can't do that either, officer."

"Why not?"

"Because I'm a diabetic. I could get low blood sugar if I pee in a cup."

"Alright, we could get a blood sample."

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"Can't do that either, officer."

"Why not?"

"Because I'm a hemophiliac. If I give blood I could die."

"Fine then, just walk this white line."

"Can't do that either, officer."

"Why not?"

"Because I'm drunk."


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