Louisiana Purchase Day: All over including the shouting

December 20, 2011

December 20 is the anniversary of the 1803 completion of the Louisiana Purchase, with the formal transfer of title at a ceremony in New Orleans.  Ceremony could have been in Paris, Washington, or New Orleans.

Did our forefathers know about how to party, or what?

The documents, from the Library of Congress:

Transfer of Louisiana title from France to the U.S., December 20, 1803

History of the Transfer, according to the 8th Congress - Image 1 (Click image for a larger view at the Library of Congress)

 

Transfer of Louisiana from France to the U.S., December 20, 1803 -- documents from Congress history

Documents of transfer of Louisiana, from France to the U.S., December 20, 1803 - Library of Congress images - Image 2

Louisiana transfer, December 20, 1803 -- official records - Library of Congress

Louisiana transfer, Image 3

 


Tom Peters’s new book close: Don’t forget why you’re here

December 20, 2011

Tom Peters reminds people to remember their noble intentions

Tom Peters reminds people to remember their noble intentions

Tom Peters offers advice to lawyers, businessmen, politicians, teachers, education administrators, journalists, fathers, mothers, husbands, wives, and friends from his book, The Littel BIG Things audio edition; go listen:

Click this headline:  Tom Peters – Don’t forget why you’re here!

Tom Peters logo


Tea Partiers slip into “elite lifestyle,” with parties and aides to do everything . . .

December 20, 2011

From the venerable and regenerated Capitol Hill journal Roll Call:

Heard on the Hill: Steven Palazzo’s Staffers Tapped for Odd Jobs

Covering the office of Rep. Steven Palazzo (R-Miss.) has almost become a job unto itself for HOH. There are his staffers’ wild parties in Annapolis, the fallout of which involved pecans. There are his Mississippi accounting firm’s interesting ownership and business classification issues. And now there are his, or more specifically his staffers’, adventures in odd jobs.

Sources close to the office revealed that Palazzo and his wife, Lisa, used at least two staffers as de facto babysitters here in Washington and tapped federal employees to help the family move into a new apartment.

House ethics rules prohibit Members of Congress from using staffers for their “personal benefit” — see the farmer-staffer program of ex-Rep. Jim Traficant (D-Ohio) — though some personal tasks, such as picking up dry cleaning, can occasionally be categorized as official business.

One former aide apparently logged about 40 hours helping the Palazzos relocate from Capitol Hill to Penn Quarter in August. That time was spent moving and arranging the Palazzo personal effects as well as pingponging between the new apartment and home-decorating stores at the behest of Lisa Palazzo.

Palazzo aides confirmed that fellow staffers participated in the move but maintain those involved were compensated for their time from the Palazzos’ personal accounts.

During the course of a month, “the employees worked nine and 15 hours [during work days] respectively,” Palazzo Deputy Chief of Staff Hunter Lipscomb asserted. According to Lipscomb, the then-office manager and Lisa Palazzo calculated the staffers’ hourly wages to be $16.83 an hour. The office deducted $151.47 and $252.45 from the respective staffers’ paychecks to account for the Congressional work hours lost.

“Out of an abundance of caution, the office budget manager, who has over twenty years of Congressional pay roll experience, recommended the strict following of standard Pay Roll Office practice of reducing pay and reimbursing with personal funds for work voluntarily done by the two former staffers during office hours. Any out of pocket expenses incurred have been reimbursed to the former staffers and they were compensated with personal funds for any additional after hour voluntary work. The office fully followed the recommendation of the office budget manager and has been in consultation with the Office of the Chief Administrative Officer to ensure total compliance,” Palazzo Chief of Staff Jamie Miller explained in an email statement.

At least one staffer acknowledged receiving a check from the Palazzos in October.

Whether any money changed hands for untold hours of babysitting remains in question.

Sources say that during the summer, the three Palazzo children were chauffeured to the weeks-long Capitol Experience Camp in the Cannon House Office Building — where Palazzo’s office is located ­— by a staffer each morning. After camp let out, a staffer — sometimes two — would collect the children and then return them home. Aides would routinely bathe and feed the children, chaperone them at the pool or movies and eventually put them to bed.

By all accounts, Palazzo covered all meals and extracurricular activities. The office insists staffers were also paid in cash for their lost personal time, a claim at least one babysitter refuted.

WarrenRojas@cqrollcall.com | @WARojas
NedaSemnani@rollcall.com | @neda_semnani

So now we know:  What will Tea Party people do to bring government closer to the people when they get elected?  They won’t do anything, but, perhaps, suggest the people should eat cake.  That could be the new Tea Party bumper sticker:  “Let them eat cake!”

Will the Tea Party complain? I wouldn’t bet on it.  It’s a “party” after all, right?

Will the news even make it back to Mississippi?

Tip of the old scrub brush to Sojourner Jim Stanley.


Scenes from a beach: At the edge of the sea

December 20, 2011

Interesting little bauble in the Biloxi-Gulfport (Mississippi) Sun-Herald, I think from their columnist George Thatcher:

Cover of Rachel Carson's "The Edge of the Sea"

Good teacher resource for National Environmental Week, April 15-21, 2012

December 20 Scenes from the beach

“To stand at the edge of the sea,” wrote Rachel Carson, “… is to have knowledge of things that are as eternal, as any earthly life can be.”* The things that we see this morning–a cerulean sea and sky, the shorebirds, the sun still near the horizon — are identically the same objects that could be seen in Cambrian times, eons ago. There is a sense of the eternal in the objects viewed today. And I suppose there will be little change in a faraway eon that lies in some future age. — Diary, autumn 2011

* At the Edge of the Sea by Rachel Carson; Signet Books, New York (1955)

Read more here: http://www.sunherald.com/2011/12/19/3641733/december-20-scenes-from-the-beach.html#storylink=cpy

One should read Rachel Carson to get closer to the universe, not for political reasons, not necessarily for the science.  But being scientifically accurate, and being close to the pulse of the universe, Carson’s views will change your politics for the better if you really read and listen.


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