Week-ends (11/30/19)

A look back at the people and events that made news the past week. Week-ends is a regular weekly feature of  This Just In…


Florence Teeters

Toddler ‘NYPD lieutenant’ twins

Symond Boschetto


The Washington Post

Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman


“In the latest Politico/Morning Consult poll, released on November 19, Independents opposed impeachment and removal from office 46% to 39%, a number close to the rolling averages of the last few weeks. It is notable that the poll was fielded after the first public impeachment hearings. Even the compelling testimony of witnesses like Marie Yovanovitch, the former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine, failed to move the needle on public opinion.”
Vanity Fair

“I think what we’re starting to see, you know, is when the impeachment inquiry was first announced and [Democrats] started to do these depositions, a lot of people were asking, ‘Can Nancy Pelosi peel off any Republicans? “But I increasingly think the question is becoming does [Nancy Pelosi] lose more Democrats? Because Republicans have really unified behind the president, and although two Democrats voted against the impeachment inquiry rules that they voted on a couple of weeks ago, we are hearing behind-the-scenes there are moderates getting cold feet. And it comes back to these ads and people being afraid for being punished for voting to impeach the president.”
Washington Post Congressional Reporter Rachael Bade is admitting Democrats are having cold feet pursuing the impeachment agenda

“Tom Steyer spent $6.2 million for every minute of speaking time he garnered in (the) Democratic presidential debate in Atlanta, which is just over $133,000 per second. The California billionaire, who is self-financing his campaign, had 8 minutes and 24 seconds of speaking time, ranking next-to-last for the night ahead of entrepreneur Andrew Yang. Steyer finished dead last among the candidates in speaking time in his first debate in October.”
The Washington Free Beacon

“Are you afraid, Mr. Mayor, that you could be indicted?”
Fox News host Ed Henry questioning  Donald Trump’s attorney Rudy Giuliani

“Oh, wow, how long have you known me, Ed? Do you think I’m afraid? Do you think I get afraid? I did the right thing. I represented my client in a very, very effective way. I was so effective that I’ve discovered a pattern of corruption that the Washington press has been covering up for three or four years. You should have jumped all over this in 2015 when this awful conflict was mentioned and it was hidden and suppressed by the Washington press. The reality is, I’m embarrassing you because you didn’t do your job, and I’m also going to bring out a pay-for-play scheme in the Obama administration that will be devastating to the Democrat Party.

“I expected, the moment I heard Biden’s name, I told my colleagues, they’re (the Mafia) going to try to kill me. Because they’re going to kill the messenger. But damn it, the Mafia couldn’t kill me, your colleagues are not going to kill me.”
Giuliani responding to Henry

“As she took the stage at approximately 11:25 a.m., (the first lady) was greeted with some cheers but also a resounding chorus of loud boos, which lasted for about one minute. More talking over her remarks went on for about the first two minutes of her speech. The talking has died down, but there is still a lot of audience noise — lots of talking in the background.”
From a White House transcript of the FLOTUS pool report about Melania Trump’s speech at a youth summit urging students to avoid misusing drugs

“We live in a democracy and everyone is entitled to their opinion, but the fact is we have a serious crisis in our country and I remain committed to educating children on the dangers and deadly consequences of drug abuse.”
Melania trump in a statement about the booing

“Folks, this is important. A new United Nations report warns that countries are running out of time to limit — just limit, the climate crisis and it could soon be too late to prevent temperatures around the world from rising to near catastrophic levels. This is real!

“The most effective things that folks can do when you’re sitting around on Thanksgiving talking about it, as a citizen laying on your elected leaders but also as a consumer laying on the brands you care about, saying ‘Hey, what are you doing about it?’”
CNN Newsroom co-host Jim Sciutto spent time Wednesday warning it may be “too late” to stop the upcoming environmental global catastrophe. While most Americans were going to be enjoying their families and remembering what they are thankful for this holiday, Sciutto claimed families would be sitting around worrying about how the world is going to become uninhabitable in the next decade. Absolutely absurd.

“It’s important that older people simply don’t go out and shovel and clear heavy, wet snow. Unfortunately, every year when you’ve got major snowfalls you hear of people who go out and die suddenly. Any discomfort that comes from the belly button on up could be an angina equivalent and would signal that you should stop shoveling immediately.”
Barry Franklin, director of preventative cardiology and cardiac rehabilitation at William Beaumont Health in Royal Oak, Michigan. Snow removal led to about 100 deaths and 11,500 injuries that required a trip to the emergency room each year between 1990 and 2006, a study published in the peer-reviewed American Journal of Emergency Medicine found.

“I got the phone call, and I walked out and the kids came in and they didn’t know if I’d won the lottery or seen a ghost.”
Wellie Jackson of North Carolina—the Butterball turkey farmer whose birds were selected for the Presidential turkey pardon

“A 160 pound person would have to run at a moderate pace for four hours, swim for five hours or walk 30 miles to burn off a 3,000-calorie Thanksgiving Day meal.”
Dr. Cedric Bryant,
chief exercise physiologist at the American Council on Exercise

“And you’re all dead wrong. Anyone who picked cranberry sauce wouldn’t know the wet sucking sound of the gel leaving the can from the hole in the ground into which you’d like to bury said can. Its tangy sweetness has a dessert-like quality and is so cloying it removes any lingering ideas that you are indeed eating a substance vaguely linked to a fruit. The gel starts to dissolve the moment it hits the tongue. Connoisseurs may swish it around their mouths, like fine wine, which it does not at all resemble. Their eyes will light up, a salute to the processed delicacy that has passed through machines that meticulously eradicate any discernible texture.”
Scott Craven of the Arizona Republic reacting to a Harris Poll that asked for people’s least favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner. The winner was canned cranberry sauce, chosen by 46% of those polled.

“I think it’s funny to make fun of people that are full of themselves. Liberals have a very small window of sense of humor about themselves, so I love poking at it. Two years ago, it was the conservatives, or whatever it is. But right now liberals, particularly progressives, hide behind large concepts. If you don’t agree with them, if you don’t agree with that position, then you hate women, and you hate gay people, and you hate pro-choice people, whatever. And I said, ‘That doesn’t fit.”
Comedian Tim Allen


2 million Americans don’t have access to running water and basic plumbing


Who are the racists?


What gender is Conan the hero dog?


Millennials and Secret Santas

Airport secrets

Act of kindness softens police sorrow over spilled doughnuts

The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (11/30/19)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it’s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  Windy with a very good chance of rain. High of 39. “F”

SUNDAY:  Cloudy with rain and snow. High of 39.  “F”

Now, here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog.

Regular readers have come to know that when it to comes to my blogging about dogs, I write about what truly interests me. Kevin says that’s what a good blogger should do.

What fascinates me is the science surrounding dogs. What makes them tick? What makes them think? What’s really going through their dog minds? Why do they behave the way they do? What about their feelings? How do they see the world around them?

Interesting that there are ongoing studies and research being conducted on these and other dog mysteries.

In my next life I want to be like Gregory Berns, professor of psychology at Emory University and the author of …


In this installment we revisit his work on the brains of pooches.

Berns defends the work of neuroscientists because, after all, he is one. He rightfully claims he and his peers know a lot more today than researchers of 40 years ago.

Here comes the part that piques my fascination. How did Berns discover some of the latest revelations about how the brains of dogs function? By getting them to voluntarily pop into MRI scanners.

“Now, after hundreds of scan sessions…Not only can we have a pretty good idea of what it’s like to be a dog, we can use this technology to know what a dog really wants.”

Berns wrote that in an article for Scientific American where he also tied in the angle of pets’ well being in custody disputes.

You can read Berns’ article here.

Keep the good work coming Professor Berns and I’ll keep blogging about it!
—-Jennifer Fischer

Thanks Jennifer!

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

We normally end The Barking Lot with our video(s) but make an exception this week. Back on Monday, in the Rose Garden at the White House…

Conan was not the only dog hero. There’s “Pecky.”

Not again.

Veterans Join Airlines in Pushback Against Conduct Unbecoming a Support Dog.

Some injured veterans say the growing use of comfort animals on airplanes is making life harder on them.

Stray Dog in Canada Found Cuddling Orphaned Kittens Stuck in the Snow to Keep Them Warm.

Meet the man who fills his home with senior and special needs pets.

It has happened…again.



We begin with, of course…

President Donald Trump, Vice President Mike Pence and first lady Melania Trump present Conan, the military working dog injured in the successful operation targeting IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, in the Rose Garden at the White House, Nov. 25, 2019. Photo: AP

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Photo: The White House

https://s.hdnux.com/photos/01/07/11/06/18649511/3/920x920.jpgHunter, a young Belgian Malinois, keeps an eye on Jazz, a nine-day-old giraffe, at the Rhino orphanage in the Limpopo province of South Africa. Jazz, who was brought in after being abandoned by her mother at birth, is being taken care of and fed at the orphanage some three hours North of Johannesburg, and has been befriended by Hunter and its sibling Duke. Photo: Jerome Delay, AP


Airport therapy pigs may become the next big thing. Just ask almost 5-year-old LiLou the pig and owner Tatyana Danilova. LiLou is a therapy pig certified by San Francisco’s Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF SPCA). Danilova posts frequently about LiLou on her Instagram page, @lilou_sfpig. LiLou joined the “Wag Brigade” at San Francisco International Airport (SFO) more than three years ago, according to Danilova. The airport partners with the SF SPCA to bring animals to the airport to de-stress passengers and airport staff. Danilova touts LiLou as the world’s first airport therapy pig; LiLou visits San Francisco International Airport once or twice monthly on a volunteer basis. Scroll through the gallery to see LiLou in action. Photos: Courtesy of @lilou_sfpig

We close as we always do with our closing video. We’ve got a couple.


Meet Zoey.

That’s it for this week. Thanks for stopping by.

We’d really appreciate it if you forward this on to other dog lovers you know. Let them have some fun!

See ya, BARK, next Saturday!

Reuters photo

Goodnight everyone, and have a child-like Christmas weekend!

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.

“Christmas is sights, especially the sights of Christmas reflected in the eyes of a child.”
William Saroyan

“There’s nothing sadder in this world than to awake Christmas morning and not be a child.”
Erma Bombeck

“Never worry about the size of your Christmas tree. In the eyes of children, they are all 30 feet tall.”
Larry Wilde

“One of the most glorious messes in the world is the mess created in the living room on Christmas day. Don’t clean it up too quickly.”
Andy Rooney

“Nothing’s as mean as giving a little child something useful for Christmas.”
Kin Hubbard

“My first copies of Treasure Island and Huckleberry Finn still have some blue-spruce needles scattered in the pages. They smell of Christmas still.”
Charlton Heston

Let’s smooth our way into Saturday and Sunday.

Tonight, we continue our musical march to Christmas.

We all know Christmas is about the kids. This week’s musical selections are for the children, and the child in all of us this time of year.

We begin with the beautiful voice of Maureen McGovern who asks a musical question.

Juan Martinez hoists his daughter Kamila Martinez, 6, up so she can get a better view of the tree during the Macy’s Tree Lighting Ceremony at Downtown Crossings in Boston on Nov. 29, 2013 (Photo: Essdras M Suarez/Boston Globe Staff)

In the mid-to-late 1970’s the Salsoul Orchestra had some huge disco recordings and, like all entertainers, eventually released their own Christmas album.|

The children sing in this selection.

People walk in the Light Labyrinth in the Wilanow Palace Garden in Warsaw, Poland, Dec. 6, 2013. The Labyrinth, made of over 150,000 color lamps and based on themes from “Alice in Wonderland” is a winter attraction for children. (Photo: Alik Keplicz/Associated Press)

Our next song is not about Christmas though it has become a Christmas song. Maybe because of the lyrics that include “Brown paper packages tied up with strings.”

Julie Andrews, and much, much later, Carrie Underwood sang it in “The Sound of Music.”

A legend does it more than justice here.


Children play during the opening ceremony of Christmas season at the main square of Bogota, Colombia, Nov. 29. The Mayor of Bogota, Gustavo Petro, inaugurated officially the Christmas season with millions of light bulbs in different parts of the city. (Photo: Fernando Vergara/Associated Press)

When I was a kid and we were buying records by Elvis and the Beatles it was our parents who were spending money on recordings by Bert Kaempfert, a composer of light, very popular melodies who hailed from Hamburg.

Kaempfert met Paul McCartney, John Lennon, George Harrison and Pete Best at the Top Ten Club on the Reeperbahn. They called themselves the “Beat Brothers” and did backup for British singer and guitarist Tony Sheridan. Kaempfert produced their single, “My Bonnie,” the first official recording ever made by the Fab Four.

On March 20, 1965, the Top Ten of the Billboard chart included artists like the Beatles, the Supremes, Roger Miller, Herman’s Hermits, Gerry and the Pacemakers, the Temptations, and Gary Lewis and the Playboys.  Kaempfert was good enough to reach #11 with “Red Roses for a Blue Lady.”

His only Christmas album released in 1963 has the usual batch of Christmas tunes, and this original written by Kaempfert. The album notes predicted this would become a lasting favorite.


Kelly Orchard stops to look at trees that are illuminated at a preview for the Enchanted Christmas at the Forestry Commissions National Arboretum at Westonbirt, Gloucestershire on Nov. 27, 2013, in Tetbury, England. Enchanted Christmas, is Westonbirts signature winter event, aimed to inspire festive cheer with an illuminated one mile tree-lined trail. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

We’re not done yet.

At the Mouse House in Orlando, an undeniable favorite during the Christmas parade are the toy soldiers. It takes a special kind to march in that parade.

From 1961, here’s Tommy Sands & friends.

Christmas in Alaska came early to nearly 300 students attending school in the Yup’ik Eskimo village of Kwethluk. Thanks to the volunteer program coordinated by the Alaska National Guard, Santa and Mrs. Claus greeted children in the western Alaska community on December 11, 2013, and took pictures with them before helper elves handed out gifts. AP photo, Mark Thiessen

Listen to Christmas music on the radio and you’re certain to hear the same version of Little Drummer Boy by the Harry Simeone Chorale. Let’s liven it up a bit, shall we.

Deployed troops share their Christmas stockings with children. Operation Give, a troop-support group, sends more than 20,000 stockings to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan as part of its annual Operation Christmas Stocking collection in 2013.  Photo: US Defense Department

Here’s another Christmas classic you never hear on the radio, performed by Chicago and some special guests.

Young choristers take part in Bath Abbey’s candlelit Advent Procession on Dec. 1, in Bath, England. One of the most popular services of the historic Abbey’s year, which marks the beginning of Advent and the Christian year, takes the congregation from darkness into light with a mixture of readings and music supported by the Abbey’s choirs. (Photo: Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

That’s it for this week’s segment.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

For my money, the best Christmas album with angelic vocals and lush arrangements is by the Carpenters.

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Friday Night Forgotten Oldie: They booked him on a 4096325-096704

A very serious intro to this week’s oldie.

Dragnet was a radio and TV series in the 1950’s about two Los Angeles police detectives. It also was a TV series in the late 1960’s. Actor Jack Webb created both the radio and TV versions.


TV Guide wrote that the “voice-over narration became the stuff of parody.” That’s where this week’s oldie comes in, the parody.

I used to hear this oldie on the radio, though very infrequently, decades ago. Hosts that had certain programming freedom to incorporate this longer, non-conventional recording would pop it on the air as something special and out of the ordinary. It’s not the typical TOP 40 single, hymn or a carol.

The comic genius of Stan Freberg is highlighted in this 1953 recording, a spoof of the “Dragnet” radio/TV series. Freberg plays the character of Joe Wednesday, which is a take-off on the name of Jack Webb’s Joe Friday character from “Dragnet’. The name of the Frank Jones character is a take-off on Frank Smith, who was Joe Friday’s partner for most of the original “Dragnet” series.


  • Stan Freberg (voice of Joe Wednesday)
  • Daws Butler (voices of Frank Jones, Grudge, & the brownie)
  • Nathan Scott (orchestra conductor)

Written by:

  • Stan Freberg & Daws Butler (script)
  • Walter Schumann (music)

You can find “Christmas Dragnet” on this CD:

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Today’s highly interesting read (11/29/19): Keeping a gratitude journal

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As the Thanksgiving holiday continues our read today is from author Mark Batterson. It’s an excerpt from his book. Here’s a portion of the excerpt. Batterson has quite an idea.

Lora and I have each kept a gratitude journal for the better part of a decade.  We decided to start numbering our gratitudes every year with the goal of hitting a thousand.

Why is it so important to keep a gratitude journal? It’s the way we take inventory of the blessings of God. Then, and only then, are we able to flip those blessings and pass them on to others.

Read the entire column here.

Today’s highly interesting read (11/28/19): It’s a Wonderful Time to Be Alive

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Our Thanksgiving Day read is from Michael Tanner, a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. Here’s an excerpt.

For those of us who spend far too much time following the news these days, it is easy to feel that everything is falling apart. Regardless of your political ideology, there is no doubt that this country is politically divided and facing serious challenges. To make matters worse, we are entering an election season. Politicians will be trying their best to convince us that we are one vote away from choosing between Nazi Germany and Venezuela.

Yet, as we gather with friends and family this Thanksgiving, it is worth remembering that, beyond the headlines, things are actually pretty darn good. As both individuals and a country, we really have more than enough to be thankful for.

Start with…

Tanner nails it here.

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Today’s highly interesting read (11/27/19) : Impeachment fight leaves voters cold in contested Wisconsin

https://storage.googleapis.com/afs-prod/media/1dc2a8b147574caeb2ef0c63fc65084f/1000.jpegHarry Rose talks about the impeachment hearings at dinner Friday, Nov. 22, 2019, in Sturtevant, Wis. (AP Photo/Morry Gash)

The Associated Press, not exactly a conservative news outlet, just published a man-on-the street piece done in SE Wisconsin.

“He’s probably guilty of something. … I thought he might run into problems because it’s just the way he is,” said Scott Davis, a 67-year-old landscaper from Sturtevant, a manufacturing town that’s a key base for Republican votes in the county.

But Davis said his business has flourished, and he lauded Trump’s handling of the economy. Controversies or not, Davis said he sees no reason not to support the president in 2020.

Read the AP article here.