HAPPY NEW YEAR ALL!!! I must say it was a novelty this year. I've spent 14 New Years' Eves walking a beat in downtown Reno and this is the first one I can recall where we had a reenactment of the Battle of Stalingrad, complete with 2 foot snowdrifts, a driving storm, German soldiers (cleverly disguised as tourists and revelers) and simulated artillery barrages provided by the casinos in the form of fireworks. Thankfully it's over and I'm nearly recovered which means it's back to bidness around here. First off a big Ol' Hook'em Horns to my beloved UT football team taking the Rose Bowl on Saturday. I know reader Larry Smith down there in Vegas was pulling for UT and since one good turn deserves another, I will turn my considerable rooting powers to his beloved Sooners tomorrow night. Besides, it wouldn't do to have a NCAA Champion team from a blue state so we need to all pull for OU or Auburn....
Now is anyone out there besides me paying any attention to the perfidy that is taking place in the PRW? (People's Republic of Washington) It seems that on Election day, a good sound Republican candidate won the governorship. It being a very close election, the dems howled for a recount and guess what? They lost again although the margin of victory for Republican Dino Rossi was cut. So then the seditious ones asked for yet another recount, by hand and it seems their candidate has miraculously taken a lead. Now out of some 3 million votes cast, the dem wins by less than 200. Of course now that the will of those voters (actual, living, breathing voters as opposed to the dead, illegal and repeat voters that the dems regularly attract) has been subverted, the dems are trying to declare victory and make everyone forget there is still a governorship on the line.
Not so fast slicksters...seems there are numerous reports, substantiated by the Washington Secretary of State's office that many precincts are reporting ballot totals higher than their rolls of registered voters. This is typical leftist fraud. Count until the votes favor your candidate and then declare victory before too many questions get asked about the veracity of the votes. Of course the Republican, Dino Rossi proposed a perfectly reasonable course in asking the democrat to accede to another election given the contentiousness and disputes over the current state of affairs. Needless to say, with fairness staring the dems in the face, they balked at such a display. Of course with questions continuing to mount about repeat ballots, unqualified voters and questionable provisional ballots, look for the Republicans to challenge this race.
And certainly, while many of you are tuning in for this weeks' recipe, no column would be complete without Smilin' Paul rebutting the shrill cries from the left concerning our supposed "tardiness" to respond to the crisis caused by the Tsunamis' in South Asia. The battle cry of the socialists is that President Bush didn't react quickly enough to the crisis and that it took him 4 days to cancel his Christmas vacation and who can forget the sniveling UN official who decried American's "stingy" contributions to relief efforts. Well as the Brits might say..."touch off".
Now our National commitment to relief aid is set at some $350 million and this does not even factor in the staggering costs associated with military assets being deployed to deliver the aid and assist in recovery. America stingy? Not only will the EU not equal our monetary commitment, their pathetic military capabilities, (the peace dividend of our winning the Cold War) cannot begin to meaningfully assist in recovery efforts. What is the cost of daily operations for two American Naval battle groups? Millions more I'm certain. Make no mistake here, I am happy to see our armed forces engaged in the recovery efforts and I am not averse to our tax dollars being used in a humanitarian fashion but I don't want our altruistic tendencies forgotten or belittled by effete Euros, medieval Islamists or America hating democrats.
Lest we forget, or in case you haven't heard, individual donations to charitable organizations for Tsunami relief has now exceeded those contributions made in the wake of the September 11th 2001 attacks on us. Apparently Americans are quite capable of tossing aside the age old saw about charity beginning at home. I'm certain that the media will never report the staggering sums of individual contributions Americans will make. America stingy? Sure, the same country that defeated Japan and Germany and rebuilt both. The same country that today pours millions and even billions into the reconstruction of Iraq and Afghanistan. The left and their allies in Europe never cease to amaze me with the intensity of their hatred for America.
This being the first days of January, I certain that some of you have some post Christmas ham leftover in the refrigerator or the freezer. What I like to do with it is make Ham and Bean soup. A nice comfort food dish to keep you warm through the long winter days. If your ham is still attached to a hambone, this dish is even better and so simple.
1 lb of Northern White Beans, soaked and prepared for cooking.
leftover ham. (I had a bone with at least a pound of ham still attached)
1/4 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp cumin seed
8 cups water.
This is almost too easy. If you can't make this dish, you're just bone lazy. Once the beans are sorted, soaked and rinsed put them in a crockpot with any leftover ham and bone. Add the 8 cups of water and spices and turn that pot on high. (This will induce a very low simmer after a few hours.) The beauty of this dish is that you can let it cook all day and the beans only get more tender and the dish more tasty. Serve this will nice fresh buttered bread and you'll be thinking of home...Good eatin' on ya!!!!
Smilin' Paul Villa U.S. Senate 2010
Proud Member of the Vast Right Wing Conspiracy and 2 SUV Family