Thursday, April 05, 2007

Thanks Giving Thursday -- There's a New Candidate in Town

Money talks, and $25 million says a lot. Barack Obama raised over $25 million in the first quarter of this year alone, a sure sign he is a serious contender for the Democratic nomination. Notably, Obama reported donations from 100,000 people compared to donations from only 50,000 for Hillary Clinton, indicating broader support for Obama and possibly a continuation of the grassroots level of involvement repopularized by the Howard Dean presidential campaign.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Wacky Wednesday -- What's In a Name

I look back fondly on the 80's, but not this fondly.

Yahoo! News
Couple fights to name baby 'Metallica'
Tue Apr 3, 4:15 PM ET

STOCKHOLM, Sweden - Metallica may be a cool name for a heavy metal band, but a Swedish couple is struggling to convince officials it is also suitable for a baby girl.

So well-reasoned too:

"It suits her," Karolina Tomaro, 27, said Tuesday of the name. "She's decisive and she knows what she wants."

Apparently "Prudence" just wouldn't do. Perhaps Metallica has a much different ring in Swedish.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Goodling in the Spotlight Again

How pivotal is what Goodling knows?

As the Justice Department's former White House Liaison and senior counsel to Attorney General Gonzales, Monica Goodling was involved in ongoing meetings about the dismissals for months. She was one of five senior Justice Department Aides in a November 27 meeting with Gonzales in which he approved a detailed plan for the dismissals even though he claims he was only minimally aware of plans to remove the prosecutors.

Perhaps just as importantly, as a participant in an April 6, 2006, phone call between the Justice Department and Senator Pete Domenici (R-N.M.), she may have first hand knowledge regarding the nature and extent of the Senator's urging that then U.S. Attorney David Iglesias focus more on a corruption probe against Democrats leading up to the 2006 elections.

Dems seek to interview Gonzales aide
By JULIE HIRSCHFELD DAVIS, Associated Press Writer
Tue Apr 3, 8:24 PM ET
from Yahoo! News

WASHINGTON - House Democrats on Tuesday asked a top Justice Department aide to come to Capitol Hill for a private interview in the next week on the firing of federal prosecutors, arguing that she cannot simply refuse to testify on the matter.

Monica Goodling, who has said she would assert her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination to avoid appearing at Senate hearings, must tell Congress which specific questions she's refusing to answer, Democrats said in a letter to her lawyer. . .

Potty Train -- Hip Hip Who Pottied?

The potty dance is the dance. At least it's the dance at our house. It's the celebratory dance, it's the cheering baby on dance, it's the please remain seated on the potty dance.

Here at Chateau ZoKai, there is no end to the foolery in which I will engage to make the potty training transition easier. I even purchased a potty that sings. Yes, a potty that sings! It sings not just one, but many songs, about potty time, toilet paper, and all sorts of things potty related.

This fabulous potty rewards baby with a congratulatory "You did it!" each time she abruptly sticks her tiny little hand in the potty. Not quite what I expected. In fact I can see this feature combined with its inopportune "now it's time to flush" reminders leading to bigger problems down the road, especially with twins.

Alas, the ill-fated musical potty shall spend most of its days with its power switch in the off position.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Mombot Monday -- Mommy's Little Internet Secret -- One Step Ahead

I like things trendy and adore things classically stylish, but I love, love, love things practical. It is this love of things practical, greatly enhanced by becoming a twin mom, that led me to the discovery of the ultimate retailer of practical products for mommies and babies. One Step Ahead is the online place to go when you think, "Surely someone must have invented a ___(fill in the blank)___ for this by now."

A couple of weeks ago I was thinking there must be someone who sells wipes in a teeny tiny package rather than those ridiculously envelope-size "portable" wipe containers you see so many retailers peddling to moms. (I don't care what luxurious fabric you cover them in, they are still insanely oversize for carrying five or six wipes.)

Voila! This week my One Step Ahead catalog arrived featuring these:

I think I'm in love.

Of course that wasn't all to be found in the One Step Ahead treasure trove of practicality.

There is also this ultra large sun canopy which attaches to almost any stroller, a product I purchased last year and have enjoyed so much that I am considering buying another.

As if that isn't enough, there is also this:

The incredible insta-bib! Actually, they just call them bib clips, but imagine the convenience of never again having to tuck another dirty bib into your already overcrowded diaper bag. Just take it apart and throw the dirty part away. Yippee! While I haven't tried these yet, they are definitely on my short list of products to buy.

Another product I have tried is the Cozy Crib Tent. One of my girls has always been an incredible kicker, even before she was born. She was constantly kicking her leg through the crib slats and then getting stuck. Fearing she would seriously injure herself, I looked at many different solutions. The Cozy Crib Tent offered the perfect solution because it protected her from getting her limbs stuck between the crib slats and also prevented her from climbing out, leading to crib falls, when older. Additionally it allows excellent air flow and is transparent.

One Step Ahead offers many more products ranging from tub spout covers to a car seat that converts to a stroller for travel convenience. You can check them out yourself online at

(*I'm not receiving any sort of recompense for the glowing review above. I really just enjoy their products that much.)

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Testimony and Emails Fanning Flames of Political Firestorm Surrounding U.S. Attorney Firings

This week Kyle Sampson, former Department of Justice Chief of Staff, dropped a political bombshell when he flatly rebutted U.S. Attorney General Gonzales' statement that he was not directly involved in decision making regarding the plan to fire U.S. Attorneys. The flames of the ensuing political firestorm are being fanned by documentation available from Department of Justice and White House emails (some of which are available for review online) showing not only the factual inaccuracy of Gonzales' statements, but also a surprisingly cavalier attitude toward the dismissals and their impact.

Easy access to breaking information in the investigation of the firing of U.S. Attorneys can be found at the following sites:

Attorney Firing Investigation page on with video of Sampson's testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee, documents selected for public release by the Department of Justice, and video of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales' press Conference.

Full Coverage: U.S. Attorney Firings from Yahoo! News, featuring links to news stories, editorials, video, audio, and related websites

Full audio files for NPR's continuing coverage at

For a view from outside the United States, read the latest on the "U.S. Prosecutors Row" as reported by the BBC.