Author: The BPI Squirrel

Furthermore! – Be Afraud, Be Very Afraud

Squirrels don’t care much for Halloween. What you call trick-or-treating is pretty much like how we get food all the time, except for the costumes and ringing the doorbells and the candy. But we’re not big on costumes, your doorbells are too high for us to reach, and we prefer nuts over candy anyway. We do like Big Scary Monster movies because it’s fun to watch humans experience life from a squirrel’s perspective. As for the other kind of Halloween movies, well, we wonder why you humans feel a need to be terrified. It’s not just at Halloween either, as I learned this weekend while researching my thesis on 21st Century Political Nuttitude. It seems Rep. Dennis Rehberg (R-MT), expected to challenge Sen. John Tester (D) for a Senate seat next year, had a Sunday dinner squabble with his sister, Shanna Henry. Henry is the principal of a local elementary school, and she and her brother were arguing about Title I, a federal program that provides school funding based on the number of students who qualify for free or reduced-price lunches. So she invited her brother to visit the school and talk with Brenda Koch, the district director of K-12 education. Henry and Koch explained that over half of the students at Miles Elementary School in Billings qualify for free or reduced-price lunches, based on their parents’ income. The...

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Furthermore! – The H-word

I’ve got to say, I’m all atwitter with the idea of more babies. Even Regis – that would be Regis P. Fluffytail IV, formerly known as the baby – is excited. The Great Name Debate continues, though we’re to Elizabeth (Warren), Nancy (Pelosi), or Debbie (Wasserman-Schultz) for girls and Barack, Barney (Frank), and Bernie (Sanders) for boys. And just last night, Mrs. Squirrel asked me to put a paw on her tummy. I think she’s pregnant with a soccer team. At least one of them sure knows how to kick. When I felt that, my heart went ka-thudda-ka-thudda-ka-thudda. “Well that proves you’re not a Republican,” Regis said. He was of course talking about the H-word, the latest brouhaha among the Republican presidential contenders. The story starts back in 2001, when Gov. Rick Perry signed a law that passed the Texas House and Senate by a combined 177-4. That law offers in-state tuition to the children of undocumented immigrants who attend Texas state colleges and universities. When asked about that law in a GOP debate last week, Gov. Perry said anyone who opposes that law “doesn’t have a heart.” Well how dare he? Or so asked other Republican presidential candidates. Even not-yet-but-maybe-candidate Chris Christie joined in. So did right wing talk radio hosts Glenn Beck, Mark Steyn, and Rush Limbaugh. Steyn was especially annoying … er … annoyed: [I]’m sick...

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Furthermore! – A Christie Diet-Tribe

Maybe I’m extra sensitive because Chef put me on a diet after I covered a Republican presidential candidates debate, although I found a better diet plan through Massachusetts Senate candidate Elizabeth Warren. Maybe it’s because Mrs. Squirrel is visibly pregnant. Or maybe I just think progressives should focus on issues that matter instead of joining the race to the rhetorical bottom. But enough already about New Jersey Governor and rumored Republican presidential contender Chris Christie’s weight problem. Instead let’s talk about Gov. Christie’s anti-union problem. He called the state teacher’s union “political thugs” on ABC News, and pushed for a bill that would end collective bargaining for public employee unions. Or let’s talk about Gov. Christie’s class-warrior-for-the-rich problem. He twice vetoed Democratic bills to raise tax rates for New Jersey’s wealthiest citizens, and said “If you tax them, they will leave.” Never mind that the study he cited didn’t make that claim, and other studies have shown it’s not true. And his 2011 budget proposed tax hikes for the working poor and tax cuts for the rich. We can even talk about Gov. Christie’s slash-Social-Security-and-Medicare problem. When he spoke at an anti-Obama fundraiser hosted by the Koch brothers, Gov. Christie said: We know the answers. They’re painful answers. We’re going to have to reduce Medicare benefits. We’re going to have to reduce Medicaid benefits. We’re going to have to...

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Furthermore! – My New Diet Plan

Okay, I’ve mentioned once or twice (or thrice or fice) that I eat macadamias when I get grumpy. Last week I covered the Republican presidential candidates debate and got so grumpy, and ate so many macadamias, that I couldn’t even climb back into my tree by the time I got home. Chef got worried and put me on a diet. Chef also told me to do deep breathing exercises when I get grumpy. I tried that and Mrs. Squirrel asked if I was trying to have a baby. Maybe it was a way of telling me her news. It seems our anniversary to the tree where we first met created a Little Surprise. The baby is already listing names. Yes, I’m thrilled. The point is, deep breathing exercises sound very strange from a squirrel, so I needed another way to deal with my grumpiness. So Chef suggested I try exercise. I suggested she climb up and down my tree several times a day and get back to me. And I already enjoy the BPI hot tub faculty lounge squirrel bath, so a relaxing soak in a tub wasn’t the answer either. Elizabeth Warren was. She’s not just brilliant. She also has a knack for explaining progressive ideas in terms that make sense for anyone. Take her recent statement on the Republicans’ “class warfare” talking point: I hear all this,...

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Furthermore! – Cartoon Journalism

I took a break from Spheres of Squirrelcraft – how was I to know Pecans of Power would make those squorcs get bigger? – to do some research for my thesis on 21st Century Political Nuttitude. And what do I come across? A cartoon squirrel in a story about bad journalism. Ahem. For non-football fans, this story concerns on-screen graphics and commentary during the Chicago Bears game against the Atlanta Falcons. The Bears led 30-6 at the start of the fourth quarter, and perhaps the Fox Sports team thought fans might be getting bored. So they decided to revisit a controversy – really a non-troversy – from last season. Early in the second quarter of the NFC Championship game against Green Bay back in January, Packers defensive lineman Ryan Pickett landed on Bears quarterback Jay Cutler’s left knee during a pass attempt. Cutler finished the first half, but left for the locker room ahead of his teammates. Doctors examined him, determined Cutler’s knee was injured, and recommended he not play the second half. Cutler asked for and was given a local anesthetic, and played the opening series of the third quarter. His knee buckled again on a routine hand-off, and he left the game for good. An MRI the next day showed a Grade II tear in his medial collateral ligament. I’m not a doctor and BPI won’t pay...

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