All the President’s Men……

My dog Susie says

Who are these guys?

Since we already know a lot about President Obama, I decided to find out about Mitt Romney.

Personal Information: His full Name is: Willard Mitt Romney  (Do you think anyone calls him Willie?)

He was Born: March 12, 1947 and is 65 years old. (Wow, he’s way older than my Big Daddy)
His Father: George W. Romney, former Governor of the State of Michigan & President of American Motors. They made Jeep & Rambler during the 50’s & 60’s. (
What’s a Rambler?)
He was raised in Bloomfield Hills , Michigan (
Michigan is really nice for about 6 months out of the year) He is Married to Ann Romney since 1969; they have five children and a bunch of grandchildren.


Education:B.A. from Brigham Young University ,
J.D. and M.B.A. from Harvard University
(Now this is just crazy smart)


Religion: Mormon – The Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (Why were they late?)


Working Background:
After high school, he spent 30 months in France as a Mormon missionary.
(But I doubt  it was the Riviera!)

After going to both Harvard Business School and Harvard Law School simultaneously, he passed the Michigan bar exam, but never worked as an attorney. (He’s smarter than I thought)

In 1984, he co-founded Bain Capital a private equity investment firm, one of the largest such firms in the United States . (Lehman Brothers and Bear Stearns sure wished that Romney ran them instead.)

In 1994, he ran for Senator of Massachusetts and lost to Ted Kennedy. (Who didn’t?)

He was President and CEO of the 2002 Winter Olympic Games. (Park City has the best snow on Earth)


In 2002, he was elected Governor of the State of Massachusetts where he eliminated a 1.5 billion deficit.

Some Interesting Facts about Romney:Bain Capital, starting with one small office supply store in Massachusetts , turned it into Staples; now with 2,000 stores employing over 90,000 people. ( I wonder if Mitt could do the same for an organic dog food company I’d like to start?)

Bain Capital also worked to perform the same kind of business successes again and again, with companies like Domino’s,Sealy,TheWeather Channel, Burger King, Warner Music, HomeDepot, and hundreds of others. (So, after eating a Cheeseburger for lunch and a Pizza delivered for dinner, you can listen to music while lying on a comfortable bed, watching TV for a weather update, thanks to Mitt.)

He was an unpaid volunteer campaign worker for his dad’s gubernatorial campaign 1 year.
He was an unpaid intern in his dad’s governor’s office for eight years.
He was an unpaid bishop and president of his church for ten years.
(Where does the collection plate go?)

He was an unpaid President of the Salt Lake Olympic Committee for three years. ( Hope he got free skiing)
He took no salary and was the unpaid Governor of Massachusetts for four years. (
But he got all the freelobster and clam chowder he wanted)
He gave his entire inheritance from his father to charity.
(So he started with no money?)

Mitt Romney is one of the wealthiest self-made men in our country, but has given more back to its citizens in terms of money, service and time than most men. (See list of wealthiest Presidents below) And in 2011 Mitt Romney gave over $4 million to charity, almost 19% of his income. Over his lifetime, it’s been rumored that he’s given over $250 million to various charities.

To me, Mitt Romney seems trustworthy and qualified to run for President of the United States.

Because of the recent shooting tragedy in Colorado recently, all the “Presidential “ negative advertising was pulled and we all got a few days of no attack ads:  Thank Goodness!

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy,

P.S. My big Mommy and Daddy always vote as independents. I don’t really know who they’ll vote for this time around. However, from what I’ve heard, both Mitt Romney (dog on top of car) and President Obama (eats dogs for dinner) have a way to go to before this Border Collie is convinced who is better!

Also, I researched what some of the past Presidents were worth in today’s dollars: 

  1. Bill Clinton $100 million
  2. George W. Bush $ 20 million
  3. Lyndon Johnson $100 million
  4. James Madison $101 million
  5. Andrew Jackson $120 million
  6. Franklin D. Roosevelt $ 90 million
  7. Thomas Jefferson $212 million
  8. Teddy Roosevelt $125 million
  9. John F. Kennedy $400 million

And the most interesting fact is that the wealthiest and poorest of our past Presidents are considered our very best:

George Washington was worth $525 million and Abraham Lincoln was worth less than $250,000.  Who knew?

 

 

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Dogs Have Olympics Too!

My dog Susie says

13 Hundred Years of Sport?

All the current fuss about America’s “Chinese” uniforms for the upcoming Olympics in London, got me thinking about when, where and what the Olympics are really all about. Did you know that they first started in 776 BC and ran for almost 1200 years before being discontinued? The original games were held in Olympia, Greece during this entire period. The contestants competed in 20 events including track, wrestling, boxing and chariot racing. And a cool fact was that the first Olympic Champion was a cook but he didn’t win for cooking.

One of the most interesting facts about these “Ancient Olympic Games” is that during the two weeks of competition all wars and feuds between cities and nations were discontinued. The winners were so revered that poems were written and statues built to immortalize them. Is this where and when the idolization of modern athletes of today began? Anyway, the Olympic games were discontinued around 400 AD because Rome had supplanted Greece as the premier power nation on Earth. The Greeks really didn’t like Rome or Italians in general, so the games were placed in hibernation for the next 1500 years.

In 1859 the Olympic Games were restored in Greece because of the individual generosity of a wealthy Romanian-Greek philanthropist. In 1896 in Athens, the games brought together 14 nations with 241 athletes competing in 43 events. The next two Olympics were held in Paris (1900) and St. Louis, Missouri (1904). Bet you didn’t know America had its first Olympic Games back then. And, more importantly, women were allowed to compete for the first time, before they even won the right to vote. Now, the London Games are expecting over 10,000 competitors from 204 nations to compete in more than 90 different events. That’s a bunch of uniforms!

Most humans don’t realize that for 20 years or longer there have been “Doggie Olympics” held in May, September and October in numerous states including Indiana, North Carolina and Colorado. Awards are bestowed for twenty different events for “Best-Tricks, High Jump, Limbo, Musical-Sit and Kisses” I know I could win for the limbo because I can crawl lower than any dog I know. And the gold medal will definitely be mine for Kissing cause nobody kisses better or more often than me! Two major reasons I can see for watching dogs over human competitors are: dogs are true amateurs that aren’t paid any money, and they also don’t need any fancy uniforms from China.

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy

P.S. Since the first Olympic Games were contested exclusively by male athletes who were completely naked, what’s the big deal about the manufactured uniforms they now wear today? Maybe we should go back to the original Olympic “uniforms” not created by any country, individual or company. And since women are now allowed to compete, think of the huge ratings!

For more barks from Susie: http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com

For more information on Sandy Steele:  http://sandysteele.com

Has America gone to the Dogs?

My dog Susie says

The Sky is Falling”

 

 

Chicken Little is famed for proclaiming, after being hit on the head with an acorn, that the sky was falling. Her friends, hen, duck, and goose, helped sound the alarm to all the animals when they heard the news. Mr. Fox, however, didn’t really believe it. Instead he used their fears to lure them to his inviting safe den where he enjoyed a great feast of fowl. There’s a lesson to be learned here I reckon.

 

My Big Mommy and Daddy have been watching the news and there always seems to be somebody on TV telling us that the sky is falling. I know things are bad, but are they as bad as World War II?  Or World War One? Or Viet Nam? The Cold War? How about the 10 year Depression in the 30’s? I don’t think so!

 

One advantage to being a dog instead of a human is that we sort of keep things in perspective. And since we don’t live very long compared to people, we sort of keep things more positive. We don’t sweat the small things and try to stay ahead of the pack by watching what’s around us at all times. You never know when you might run into a bear or mountain lion in the woods. So, let’s look at the facts and see if it’s fixable.

 

This current economic downturn began in 2006 according to most experts. But it really began in 1996. That year mortgage companies started giving generous discounts on mortgages to congressmen and women. Over the years, these representatives stated that they only received the same benefits as anyone else and only a few special mortgages were actually utilized. Oh really? CNN reported today that House and Senate members received lower mortgage rates and no up-front fees. Can the average person get this? Also, over a ten year period from 1996-2006, about 17,000 of these special mortgages were given out to our elected officials and other selected individuals. That works out to over 1700 mortgages a year for a total of 100 Senate and 435 House members. So a bunch of their staff and worker-bees must have received these discounted mortgages as well. What about the Presidents office? Hummmm.

 

Then in 1999 another interesting thing happened. The repeal of a major finance law called Glass-Steagall which was implemented after the bank failures in 1933. The collapse of the banking system is regarded as the main reason for the Great Depression. This law had worked perfectly since then and kept the banks from risking their depositors’ money. So why change a good thing? Was the fox getting into the hen house?

 

Congress smelled a golden opportunity to use the banks to not only loan money directly to homeowners, but to allow banks to “securitize” these loans into bundles that the banks could sell and own for themselves. This meant that an unlimited amount of money was now available to purchase homes by virtually anyone. Next, Congress decided to dramatically reduce the qualifications and down-payment requirements to purchase a home. Through Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the two largest mortgage companies in America, pressure was brought again by “well-meaning” Congresspeople to make it easy to buy as many homes as you wished.  Everyone, including undocumented people, jumped on the bandwagon.  How could we lose?

 

The Stock Market went up to its highest level and peaked in 2007. Much of it was the result of an exploding real estate market. Coincidentally, it was recently acknowledged that all Congresspeople can do something that the average person can’t. In fact, if you do this, you might go straight to jail for a long time.

 

Unbelievably, these same Congressmen and women can trade on “inside information” for their own stock accounts. In other words, when they decide to do something that might affect an individual company or industry, they can buy stock way before the average citizen knows anything. So let’s summarize:

 

Starting in 1996, our elected officials could buy a home on special terms. Next, in 1999 a powerful but simple law, Glass-Steagall, which many believe would have prevented our current “Great Recession” was repealed. Wall Street was encouraged to make available trillions of new credit available via the bundling of these “easy” mortgages. The result was a explosion in home values and stock prices. I wonder how many elected officials became millionaires during this time as a result of their actions. This period in history reminds me of a children’s game where you run around chairs until there aren’t enough to sit down and everyone loses but one. Are we the losers and Washington officials the “one”? Maybe Chicken Little was right!

 

Eventually, the whole financial domino game imploded. My Daddy frequently follows a premise in all his business dealings. “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” Where would we all be, if Washington had followed this?

 

Catch you later,

 

Sandy and Susie

 

P.S. I had a lot of help with this as my Big Mommy and Big Daddy are business people. However, being a Border Collie I’m smarter than you think. How smart? Well, I know which city has the most people making over $200,000 a year. Is it New York, Dallas, Chicago, Los Angeles, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Houston? Nope. It’s Washington D,C. There you go!

 

To read a few more “Susie says” barks: http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com

 

More info on Sandy Steele:  http://sandysteele.com

 

 

 

Civil is part of Civilization

My dog Susie says

What’s the world coming to?

It seems to me that our country and the world is in a dubious position. As a smarter than your average dog, Border Collie, I feel that my observations do have a little merit. First, why is everyone so dang angry? It can’t just be the upcoming elections, is it? And why are different religions so mad at each other. Didn’t they all start out by basically believing in a God that loves? Animals don’t hate each other and only kill for food. Where are we heading and can anything be done to change our course for the better?

One of my Big Mommy’s favorite sayings is “If you want to know what’s going to happen in the future, look at the past.” So that led me to Google. Now our country sort of resembles the Roman Empire of thousands of years ago. For hundreds and hundreds of years Rome ruled the world. Then it fell apart. Why? 

First, by trying to maintain their occupation of so many countries and land, it made everyone mad at them. Second, the taxes on paying for the armies to maintain control helped create two distinct classes of citizens. The wealthy and the poor. Third, because the average citizen was becoming frustrated by their diminishing lifestyle caused by taxes and such, they became very despondent. And the rich were so bored that they cried out for “free” entertainment. This resulted in the Colosseum having weekly events where gladiators slaughtered lower class citizens and all types of animals. How gross is that? If this happened today, would it be broadcast over cable and YouTube? Just think of the ratings and hits. So have people really come that far in evolution? Seems the animals still only do bad things to exist, while humans do “bad” things for entertainment, politics or religion. 

Now Sandy, my Big  mommy, is the eternal optimist-cheerleader type, so she feels more positive about things than me. She sees a world that, because of electronics, is now totally connected. Bad behavior, no matter where it occurs, can be identified and altered if possible… hopefully peacefully. Anyway, she’s lived a lot longer than me so I hope she’s right. Time will tell.

The creation of America was against all odds and unexpected. Our country changed the way things were done around the entire world: how people could control their own destinies and government. Didn’t matter if you were black, white, man, woman, rich or poor, a human could become something they dreamed of. After America’s independence,  France’s independence followed a decade later. Then more and more countries around the world became independent and free. Lately, the Middle-East is finding freedom for their individual citizens. The Soviet Union became Russia, a land of  freer enterprise, and look what’s happening in China today. Freedom and hope is spreading all over the planet with a little help from us and our strong beliefs in freedom and individuality.

Now we seem to be at a crossroads. One path leads to the same events as the collapse of the Roman Empire. The other road leads to an unbridled explosion in human connections and positive feelings spreading around the globe: The hopeful result:  “Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All.”

Since I’m just a dog, I think “goodwill to all” should mean ALL living things on Earth. 

Catch you later,

Susie & Sandy

P.S. Here’s a “Singles” ad that ran recently in the L.A. Times.

SINGLE WHITE FEMALE  Seeks male companionship..looks not important.  I love long walks in the mountains and lying naked on the beach. Rub me the right way and I’ll do anything. When you get home from work, I’ll meet you wearing nothing. Hug and kiss me and I’m yours forever. Lassie xoxo

To see more barks from Susie go to:  http://sandy-steele.blogspot.com

For info on Sandy Steele go to:  http://sandysteele.com

Animal House

 

My dog Susie says

History repeats itself?

I was reading my USA TODAY and realized that the world is in real turmoil. We give lots of money to nations that give us oil, but they’re mad at us. Our friends in Europe whom we’ve supported for years don’t particularly like us either. We buy things from the Chinese, who then give us back lots of money, don’t really trust or like us. We give money both to the Republicans and Democrats whom really don’t like each other in Congress. And the President is constantly mad at Congress and half of the nation. We also pay his salary don’t we? Rich against poor, haves against have-nots, the 99% vs. the 1%. What does all this mean and is there a solution? 

It seems that the problem is money! Even if you’re a dog, you can’t buy real love or friendship by simply paying for it. If you’re mean to me, than I won’t like you even if you feed me filet mignon every night. I do have my principles. My first principle is “to treat someone like I’d want to be treated.” And speaking of treats( my favorite subject), if Mom loaded me up every day and night for years with treats, I’d become very fat and die at an early age. So you see by paying all of these countries and people lots of money for all of these years has made them resent us in the end. And the same with our elected officials. The more we give the more they disdain us. So why don’t we try something different but very simple. Stop giving any of them any money or support. Take it away and let them be on their own for a while. They won’t starve and maybe just maybe, they might appreciate what “We the people…” means!  

I decided to call a little quorum in my neighborhood to see what ideas the animals could come up with. Meeting in the local park, the dogs, cats, parrots, eagles, pigeons and squirrels all had opinions on what humans should think about doing to fix the problem. The dogs, cats and parrots all were taken care of by humans. The eagles, pigeons and squirrels were all on their own. So it was sort of a have and have-not conference. An animal house. Perfect! 

After hours of ideas and debating, it seemed that the best recommendation came from an Italian Greyhound named Luigi. It seems that being an Italian by birth, Luigi was a history buff as well. He had a quote from some American businessman named Buffet that he really liked, “If you want to know what’s going to happen in the future, look at the past.” Hence Luigi said we should examine what’s happened over the last few thousand years or so. 

A long time ago the most powerful nation on earth was Rome. The people of Rome worked hard for themselves, trained armies and conquered one nation after another. Slowly, year after year , century after century, the Roman people became fat and sassy. Their Senate and Caesar ruled and taxed everyone and graft was the rule of the day. To keep the armies happy, the people had to keep spending huge sums on keeping the conquered empire intact. The ultra rich became so bored with daily life, their emperor was obliged to create entertainment for the masses. Hence, the Coliseum was created to watch man battle man, and man slaughter animals. And to keep paying for everything the people with money were constantly taxed and the people without much became servants or slaves. The soul and spirit of their great nation, along with the Coliseum, began to crumble, eventually died and never returned to its former glory. Luigi said everyone in Washington D.C and Congress should be given an assignment to read the “ The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire.”  

Our little group of animals hope that the humans of this great nation study a little and try harder to solve the Country’s problems together, without the animosity. If cats and dogs and eagles and squirrels can all get along, don’t you think the “smartest” race on earth can too?  

Catch you later,

Susie and Sandy, 

P.S. A stranger in town approached me. “Lay down, lay down doggie,” ordered the man. “Lay down, I say!”

Soon a bystander approached the stranger and stated. “ Mister, you’ll have to say, ‘Lie down, Lie down‘, because that’s a Border Collie.” 

To see more of Susie’s barks go to: www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com 

For additional info on Sandy Steele go to: www.sandysteele.com

Superman and Lois Lane to the rescue?

 

My dog Susie says 

The Great Debate 

Watching one of TV’s top-rated shows recently with mom and dad has been interesting, entertaining and funny. I’m talking about the Republican debates for President. Sandy my mom, was a democrat for years and Richard my dad, was a republican for decades. Somehow they’re now both Independents! Seems they’re so fed up with the goings-on in Washington, that they don’t really like either party. Seems that all the elected officials promise one thing to get elected, and then do whatever they can to get re-elected starting on their second day in office. President Obama promised “Hope and Change” and now everyone wants “Change and Hope!”  

Dad worked on Wall Street for years but please don’t hold that against him. Wall Street used to help the little guy who had an idea, but no money, get the money to make that idea succeed. He helped companies like FedEx, Nike, Microsoft and Apple become public. People who invested in them made a lot of money over the decades. He also helped my favorite store Toys-R-Us when it was having difficult times. Now we have people occupying Wall Street that are mad, but don’t seem to know exactly who they’re mad at. We all need to chill out for a while. 

Back to the debates. Right now there seven men and one attractive woman trying to beat each other up. Since I’m a girl, I’m rooting for the woman, Michele Bachmann. I was trying to discover if she had any family dogs, but all I found was a picture on YouTube of her slowly eating a thick foot-long hot-dog. People thought that was too sexual for some reason. Maybe she’s too hot to run for president? 

Then there are two fellows from my neck of the woods, Georgia. One has been a politician for a very long time, Newt Gingrich, and the other, Herman Cain has never been one for even a day. Not counting numerous affairs, Newt has been married 3 times and swears this one is for real. Herman has been “happily married” for over 40 years and swears this one is obviously for real. Hold the presses! Seems that Mr. Cain has some serious baggage with the ladies. So because of their peccadilloes, I’m eliminating both of these guys from any consideration.  

Texas has produced two interesting candidates. One is a doctor and the other is a cowboy. Ron Paul has been running for president for decades. He wants our country to balance its checkbook and use gold to buy things. Rick Perry likes to shoot guns and forget things when he’s talking. Seems to me we might do better. 

Being an unattached young lady, I sure like the way Mitt Romney looks. But I wouldn’t vote for someone just because they look like a movie star. Mitt has tons of dogs including a Golden Retriever, Bichon and Weimaraner. He signed a new law when he was Governor of Massachusetts to severely increase penalties for animal cruelty and also created a statewide “Dog Owners Month.” Mitt once saved an entire family and their dog from drowning in a lake when their boat suddenly sank. Maybe he’s really Clark Kent in disguise?  

The other two candidates are so forgettable that I can’t remember their names right now. I’m having a Rick Perry moment. Anyway, where are all the great men who have helped our great nation during difficult times? Lincoln, Washington, Jefferson, both Roosevelts, and Ronald Reagan. They all managed to save our nation from wars, recessions and depressions. Wait a second, here comes someone who swears he can save us all: Donald Trump! 

Catch you later, 

Susie and Sandy, 

P.S. A famous lady politician once said about men and marriage: “I never married because it’s not needed. I have three pets at home who are perfect substitutes. I have a dog who howls and growls in the morning. My parrot cusses all day and my cat staggers home late every night.” 

To see more of Susie’s barks go to: www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com

For more info on Sandy Steele go to: www.sandysteele.com

All the President’s dogs

 

My dog Susie says 

Where stars become President 

As you know if you’ve been reading my blog for the last few months, Sandy and I live half the year in the Southern mountains and the rest on the beaches of Southern California. So we spend a lot of time seeing and talking with movie stars and beach bums. Also, when I wrote my very first “blog”, I said that I hated that word blog and could someone come up with something better. Well, an Italian Shepherd from Italy emailed me and said why don’t you call it a “bark”? Perfect!! I also heard from a German Shepherd( from guess where) who thought it should be named a “bitch.” Leave it to those happy-go-lucky Germans. Let’s go with the Italians. Sandy loves warmer Lake Como so much better than snowy Berlin anyway. 

Now when you go to LA, there are two great places to visit to get the scoop on what’s happening around town. The first is the park in Santa Monica and the second is the Santa Monica Pier on the beach. There are dogs of every shape, age and size at both locations. There are dogs hanging out there that have lived for over 100 in human years, with stories passed along from their relatives covering the entire previous century. The last time we were there I met a few of these woolly historians.  

My bark will only cover tales that interest Sandy and me. So, if I leave anything out, I’ll bark about it in later posts. One of Sandy’s favorite shows is “Sex and the City.” Also, Sandy’s husband Richard once met the show’s lead Sarah Jessica Parker, and one of his favorite movies “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” stars her husband Matthew Broderick. I found out from my buddies here at the park that Sarah and Matthew bought a dog named Sally from a farmer on a highway in California. So they sort of rescued Sally. Sallie is also a Border Collie like me which makes this more special. Hey, we might be cousins. 

Actress Drew Barrymore, whose Grandfather John once played President Lincoln, has many types of dogs with two favorites, “Templeton” and “Flossie” both of Labrador/Chow mix. Templeton was found at an LA flea market and Flossie was a stray she adopted. Good for her. To show her great appreciation for being rescued, Flossie actually saved Drew and her husband by waking them from a deadly fire that burned their house completely down. One good turn deserves another!  

Actor Chevy Chase has owned numerous types of dogs and once actually played a mutt in “Oh! Heavenly Dog.” He became famous on Saturday Night Live by imitating President Gerald Ford falling down over and over. And speaking of Presidents and their dogs: With the Presidential election now on the horizon, I was particularly interested in any gossip about presidential dogs my friends on the beach might know. Now two guys that ran our country were from around here: Ronald Reagan and Richard Nixon. Nixon had a couple of dogs,“Checkers” a Cocker Spaniel and “King Timahoe” an Irish Setter. He also once owned a French poodle named “Vicky.” When Nixon was running for office, he was accused of accepting numerous illegal bribes. He answered by appearing on national TV and saying the only thing he every received for free was his little dog Checkers. So Checkers helped “bail” out a future President of the United States. 

Former actor turned President, Ronald Reagan was a neighbor of Sandy and Richard in LA for a number of years. When they would see him walking around in the early evening, he would be accompanied by Secret Service agents and one of his dogs. His favorite was “Lucky” a large Sheepdog. He sure was “lucky” to survive an assassin’s bullet that almost killed him. President Reagan and Nancy also had a “King Charles Spaniel” named “Rex.” Very appropriate for a President

.I also learned that President Lyndon Johnson owned a number of Beagles and had a bad habit of lifting them up by their ears. Now how would you feel if someone lifted you up by your breasts or ba**s? Also, this Texan was so brilliant that he named his Beagles; Her, Him, Little Beagle, and Beagle. And to think he was once a school teacher. 

Walking on the Santa Monica beach, I also learned that actress Marilyn Monroe frequently met President JFK at a home built right here on the sand nearby. She owned a Basset Hound named “Hugo” given to her by husband and famous author Arthur Miller. Her favorite pet was a Poodle given to her by good friend Frank Sinatra. She named it “Mafia.”  

Well, I’m a little worn out by all this information, so I’m going to go begging for some left-over turkey from Thanksgiving.  

Catch you later, 

Susie & Sandy 

P.S. The biggest baddest cowboy hero of all time was John Wayne. His nickname was “Duke,” who was his childhood dog! 

To see more of Susie’s barks, go to www.sandy-steele.blogspot.com     For more info on Sandy go to www.sandysteele.com