President Biden and his wife Jill participated in the National Christmas Tree Lighting Ceremony ?? outside the White House to usher in the holiday season https://t.co/mh6jb7LkHl pic.twitter.com/h3StyD0LIz
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 3, 2021
Biden at White House menorah lighting ceremony: "Whether it's in the temple of Jerusalem or the temple of our democracy, nothing broken or profane is beyond repair, nothing. We can always build back better, perhaps build back brighter." pic.twitter.com/toejOMOp51
— Jennifer Epstein (@jeneps) December 1, 2021
From @reuterspictures: President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden unveiled their White House Christmas decorations with the theme 'Gifts from the Heart.' More ?? https://t.co/w8CRzwfu5J pic.twitter.com/HnTCwMlajW
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 3, 2021
The Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate passed a bill to fund the government through mid-February, averting the risk of a shutdown after overcoming a bid by some Republicans to delay the vote https://t.co/yRC4ICLWhR pic.twitter.com/OCVP3y0cur
— Reuters (@Reuters) December 3, 2021
Keeping schools open this winter and students in them is a priority, says @POTUS; he encourages the @CDC to release new guidelines on "test to stay" policies that would help children avoid forced quarantine after #COVID19 exposure
— Margaret Brennan (@margbrennan) December 2, 2021
States, Native American tribes and U.S. territories are set to receive $7.4 billion in 2022 to improve water quality and access. It's the first installment from the infrastructure bill that President Joe Biden signed into law last month. https://t.co/qlvQi5VOHu
— The Associated Press (@AP) December 3, 2021
Yeah, but with Friday.
Good morning, merry sunshine!
@germy: Least surprisingly thing in the GQP media world.
Welp, looks like another defeat for us ‘War on Xmas’ warriors. Wait till next year! Bah. Humbug.
@germy: So much has happened in recent years that would have used to make my head explode, that I don’t bother putting the pieces back together anymore.
The Moar You Know
I see Biden has decided to write off the educator’s vote: I understand why, in the wake of the VA elections. But this won’t end well for Dems.
Good Morning Everyone ???
Final Account review – German war testimonies chill the blood
‘It became crystal clear they were lying’: the man who made Germans admit complicity in the Holocaust
Mandating the vaccine for kids 5-17 would go a long way in keeping schools open
I see what you did there – end of year ritual = Rs holding country hostage over raising the debt ceiling and Ds working to stop them. It only cost $357 million this time!
This is fallout from the Lin Wood feud. They’re doxing each other, releasing embarrassing info, private texts, etc.
When these nutjobs fight each other I’m a happy guy.
We were told there was a turkey shortage this Thanksgiving. I made a brief foray into Wally World on Wednesday and what did I see? Hundreds!, nay thousands! of left over turkeys stacked to the rafters, priced to move at 87 cents a pound.
That Biden guy really screwed the poor turkey farmers this year.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
@The Moar You Know:
Hasn’t it been the case that a lot of people are frustrated that kids haven’t been able to stay in schools consistently? Perhaps Biden is betting that vaccinations among school-age children will increase
@The Moar You Know: Not a teacher, but I don’t think that’s unreasonable at all as long as rapid tests are available to ensure safety.
Dorothy A. Winsor
Good essay by a writer whose YA books were banned in Texas.
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
@The Moar You Know: How does that follow? This sounds a lot like having repeated testing for exposed kids instead of mandatory quarantine, but I would expect they’d still need negative test results to stay in school. I’m not sure why that would be an issue to teachers?
“The Democratic-controlled U.S. Senate passed a bill to fund the government through mid-February, averting the risk of a shutdown after overcoming a bid by some Republicans to delay the vote”
Let’s remember that the “bid” was “try to prevent the institution of vaccine mandates”.
@rikyrah: It sure would, but I’m pretty sure that’s down to the states and not the federal government.
My grandkids’ school district in Washington already has a “test to stay” policy. The 11 year old has already been pulled out of class three times and given rapid tests for exposure (mostly on the bus), missing some classes to wait for a negative test but not the immediate quarantine for 5 days. I hope more district do this because it is very popular with students and parents.
@OzarkHillbilly: Such powerful and important testimony. Thanks for sharing this.
Democrats need to repeat, over and over and over, that they put a lot of money in the Covid relief bill to help schools get open and stay open safely, because they know how important that is. Don’t let Republicans who are trying to block vaccines and other mitigation strategies take credit for opening schools, because it wasn’t them who did it! They voted against that money; tell people that, over and over and over again. I do think that’s one weakness too many Democrats have, not understanding that you have to repeat things a lot to get them to sink in, especially in the face of having a whole news network dedicated to spreading lies about what they are doing and saying. You can’t just say it a few times and think people will remember.
@The Moar You Know: How is that “writing off the educator’s vote”? Do teachers love forcing a lot of kids who aren’t infected to quarantine for several days?
Goku (aka Amerikan Baka)
I wonder if individual school districts could try to impose mandates? I assume they could if state governments don’t try to outright ban it
@Soprano2: Dems aren’t the ones getting invited on the Sunday shows to repeat talking points over and over again without any push back from the hosts. It’s not easy for us to just say things over and over again in a way that will actually reach people. We don’t have any platforms to do that on besides Twitter. And Twitter doesn’t really count.
Local organizing and individuals pushing that point in their social circles is what we’re left with, media won’t help.
Tuned in for the eight o’clock redo of the Morning Joe opening. Looks like it might have been live instead this morning. Joe and Willie MIA, Mika running a deskload of taking heads by herself. They started off with that Stryker poll of voters that sounds a little fishy (discussed here last night), and then they meandered off into rehashing the Virginia gubernatorial election. Click—over to HGTV for me. Nate and Jeremiah are not my favorites, but they’ll hold me until Perry Mason at 9:00 gives me my dose of illusory faith in justice and order in the universe.
But enough about my trash TV viewing habits. Background video wallpaper for obsessive reading of political awfulness on the Internet.
Last night I started to feel a little antsy about my minor surgery coming up on Tuesday. Same feeling as before a trip: fretting about stuff I “need” to do beforehand (but really don’t) and feeling less and less enthusiastic about the event itself—understandable in this case. I’m having a benign cyst removed from my scrotum. It’s minor surgery—I’ll be in and out in a matter of hours—but “minor” in the sense of “only when it happens to someone else,” of course. ?
Bro’ Man will be ferrying me to and from the medical center, and I’ll be convalescing at Sighthound Hall for at least a couple of days. I was iffy about that—once I get up the stairs to my apartment I can subsist indefinitely, and I would be in my own space—but he insisted, so I agreed. I’ll be moving . . . gingerly for a while, to say the least. But I’m going to have my car there in case I need to make my escape.
@Dorothy A. Winsor: They want to secede again, clearly.
@germy: Heh, too true.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@Steeplejack: Best of luck to you. All shall be well.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@Steeplejack: Best of luck to you. All shall be well.
@The Moar You Know: Honestly, I don’t get what you are thinking at all. Testing to stay seems perfectly reasonable, and I think teachers will be happy for it. In the long term with Covid permanent, this is going to be the only possible healthy policy and not just for schools. Its good policy.
comrade scotts agenda of rage
That reminds me of when ‘Shoah’ was released decades ago. The film maker secretly filmed his interview with a Polish concentration camp guard. Chilling.
Everybody should read Karen Finell’s book “Good-bye to the Mermaids”. She was born in 1933 and lived in Berlin. Fascinating look at life from the perspective of anti-Nazi Germans. I corresponded with her for many years as I learned what actually happened to her mother’s boyfriend in 1945. They always thought he was caught by the Soviets and shipped off to Russia. I learned he was probably on one of the last two flights out of Berlin, both of which went down with everybody dying.
@Steeplejack: Ouch. Here’s hoping the scalpel doesn’t “slip.”
I’m not a native Floridian, so maybe this is normal. But I find it very disturbing.
We will have great weather in the Mid Atlantic this weekend: sunny, with warm temperatures. I’m especially glad for President Biden, who will be staying with family at Camp David. I hope he has a nice, restful weekend. He certainly deserves it.
Agree totally. Dems have to find a way to get their message out. Maybe use the presidential bully pulpit more as that’s what we have– networks cannot (or do not) ignore POTUS as they do cabinet members.
@Steeplejack: Wishing you a quick and uneventful recovery, and I’m glad you are staying with your brother. It’s good to have someone else around just in case they are needed. I learned this from experience.
@Goku (aka Amerikan Baka):
Here in The People’s Republic of California, the Governor has mandated vaccinations for schools starting next school year, but only if the vaccines are off emergency approval and get the final approval. We now have individual districts threatening to defy this mandate (like the red county when we live), writing letters to the Governor claiming that they will lose 50% of in-class students and therefore all that state money per student. Sheesh.
It defies logic. Really? Half the students in the entire district will be home-schooled once the mandate is in effect? All those working parents will now stay home to homeschool their kids? Really? I think not.
They also urged the Governor (in that letter) to reinstate all those shady vaccine waivers that were finally ended years ago. So of course, the reinstated waivers would also apply to other childhood vaccines. Sigh.
Shaheen disembowels Cotton over Putin — I hope this gets widespread attention:
@Scout211: Even if the red counties are right, I don’t see the problem. Once the students leave, they won’t need as much state money to run the schools. They might even be able to cut local taxes! Win-win all around. Except for the kids.
(Hmm, on re-read, mixed messages. Let me label: Sarcasm, except for the last sentence fragment.)
What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?
@OzarkHillbilly: Another “Biden disaster” that failed to manifest in reality. I swear we’re on a constant loop of the news media predicting some catastrophe that might happen in a few weeks or months that they imply is somehow Biden’s fault, or at least that Biden needs to do something to fix it…and then either he fixes it or it never happens and they never cover the looming disaster that didn’t happen and why it didn’t happen. They just move on to the hyperventilating about the next hypothetical disaster on the horizon.
It’s like if everything doesn’t go 100% right while Biden is in charge he failed, but every time the other guys are in charge it sure seems like they ignore many of the clusterfucks that occur and put the best possible spin on the ones they do cover. And then praise the few successes to the rafters, while Biden’s successes get ignored or called inadequate because reasons.
@Dorothy A. Winsor, @OzarkHillbilly, @Josie:
Thanks. I haven’t had any pain, and I mostly just want it to be over and done with. It has been delayed for quite a while because of scheduling and personnel problems at the med center (because of COVID, etc.).
For example, I still don’t know what time to show up on Tuesday. They’re supposed to call me Monday to let me know. Go figure.
@stinger: “These tweets are protected”
Guest columnist at NYT who was adopted as an infant is as appalled as we were at Amy Bony Carrot’s blithe suggestion that abortion rights aren’t needed since women can just relinquish their unwanted children. It’s worth a read if you have a subscription or free click to burn:
Yep. As the author points out, Bony Carrot should know this, having adopted kids and given birth to them herself. But Bony Carrot is an extremely privileged fanatic, so it’s not surprising that she either doesn’t comprehend or doesn’t care how enshrining her religious beliefs in law affects people’s lives.
@stinger: I can’t view it via that route. I had better luck here.
@Steeplejack: Good luck. Keeping my paws crossed for you.
The subplots have really jumped the shark this season!
I went thru the same thing with my shoulder recently. I had never had that happen before and can only think it has to do with Covid policies/procedures at the hospital somehow someway.
shrug… Who knows?
@Cameron: You’re right to find it disturbing. Lots of disturbing news out of Florida over the last few days, including the revelation that the state withheld COVID data from the CDC and used the resulting incorrect COVID transmission maps from the CDC to lie about public safety. And also the news that FP&L execs were involved in the GOP “ghost candidate” scheme that resulted in at least one state senator being seated through election fraud. But yeah, troops who report only to the governor is definitely alarming.
Thanks. I’m sure it will be fine. I just want to get it over with.
Secede, hell- let’s expel the SOBS, cut off the blue state welfare and watch them eat tumbleweeds for dinner. T he ones who die from horse paste to own the libs are slow-motion suicide bombers. I’d call them terrorists but the MSM insists on “extremists”.
OK, this might not be a realistic solution but I vented and feel much better now. Thanks all!
By the way, good morning :)
This pretty much describes the world at my house right now:
FTFY, Betty. Free of charge because as a front pager you already work too hard.
@Steeplejack: Best wishes for an UNeventful recovery.
@Dorothy A. Winsor: NPR’s 1A program did a similar piece a few weeks ago about TX banning YA, and other, books: The Writers’ Room: When Schools Ban Books It’s an approximately 45 min interview/listen.
That has always been the case at the hospital where we have had all of our procedures over the years. I guess the hospital gets the final schedule done the day before for several reasons, including the possibility of emergency procedures added at the last minute and staffing issues. It’s a pain and does feel a bit unsettling but it’s not unusual. At least at our local hospital.
We both recently had cataract surgeries with the same experience. The ophthalmology group has their own surgery suite and they did the same thing. We didn’t know when to arrive until they called us the day before the surgery.
Good luck. I hope it is an easy experience for you.
@sdhays: Ah, yes, the “one and only one thing in the world is important and we will do that 16/7″ stage of childhood development. I’m told in my case it was trains.
That makes sense. My only point of comparison is that when I had surgery on my arm in 2019 I was told the time some days in advance. (That also involved anesthesia and occuping a bed for some hours.)
@OzarkHillbilly: Local media in a lot of places seems to have hyped the story that Thanksgiving groceries this year was going to be so expensive, don’t even bother. But I’m seeing this at my local market as well — frozen turkeys as far as they eye can see for well under a dollar a pound. Plenty of toys and video games, too, at the local megalomart.
If Biden’s trying to destroy Christmas, by my estimation he’s really fucking it up.
@stinger: @Another Scott: here you go:
@jonas: Biden is no ally of mine in the War on Xmas.
@Betty Cracker: Someone yesterday said that Carrot “put the cult stuff aside” when their wife knew her in high school. The cult is never put aside. That’s the bullshit they give out to civilians.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@jonas: flew under my radar, but apparently they tried to expand the theatre of The War On Christmas not just to Thanksgiving but to Hallowe’en!
(by Catherine Rampell). I know I should be careful about what I wish for these days, but I am bit surprised and a bit disappointed that Dollar Store Ivanka had enough self-awareness to stay out of the NC Senate race. Then, of course, I’m sure Big Daddy, who per Mary Trump said “I could barely remember her name!” (or something like that) until she started campaigning for him probably let it be known that she was a loser who would stink up the brand.
@germy: OMG, I have to work. What is this ridiculous story that I now have to spend several hours delving into?
@Bex: Some equivalent of Rumspringa? /s
Opportune time to curl up with some Balzac?
@Steeplejack: Ooh. I hope all goes well.
@Betty Cracker: thanks for linking to this. That column is spot on. Just adopting out kids willy-nilly isn’t some solution to abortion, it’s a dystopian nightmare, particularly since, as we all know, most states will simply outlaw abortion and do shit all to fund social services that support foster care and adoption. It’s not just the legal fees and other expenses — has Carrot thought about who’s going to be lining up to adopt all the babies with deformities, FAS, cerebral palsy, and so on? What do you do with them in the meantime? Stick them in bleak, eastern European-style orphanages until some saint comes along to take them?
These people have no clue…
@Jim, Foolish Literalist: Huh. I thought Halloween was a Satanic plot to destroy Christian America. And now Biden’s trying to cancel it? Who knew?
@Betty Cracker: She comprehends, she doesn’t care.
@NotMax: Only if you pronounce it like Hermione Gingold.
Vicious animal (pet) King Henry conducts all-out, guerilla war on Christmas, from repeatedly knocking Jesus out of a nativity and into the floor to leaping into the Xmas tree at about the 2/3 high level, where he burrows in and presents the disturbing sight of a pair of eyes peering out of the tree at a human’s eye level so as to discourage properly reverent Christmas vibes and instead instill fear of the holiday. Just as Biden planned when not lapsing into dementia-driven naps.
Putting Henry’s picture in the month of April on your secular humanist calendar is obviously an attempt to downplay his attacks on everything Real Americans hold dear during the holiday season.
No doubt he illegally entered the country before hiding out in a seemingly harmless, rural NC animal shelter until his control showed up as planned by the Librul Establishment.
That’s all. Just Friday morning good vibes. =)
@What Have The Romans Ever Done for Us?: They went on and on about the Turkey shortages even on the local pop radio stations along with « this is how much more you’ll pay for Thanksgiving dinner this year. » There weren’t any shortages near me either.Now there’s a chicken tender shortage apparently. Did they badger TFG about the chicken wing shortage?
Florida isn’t the only state hiding information about COVID.Missouri hid the results of a study that showed mask mandates work.
Oh, jeez, my five-year-old nephew is truck crazy! Always has (at least) one in his hands.
He had a near-religious experience last summer when the family took the ferry from Lewes, DE, to Cape May, NJ, and back. Lots of big, noisy trucks at the terminal! Trucks getting on the big ferry! Then riding the ferry! Squee!
@jonas: Every sperm is sacred.
Postscript to this: I am fortunate that my brother is available all day to take me to and from the med center, but not everybody has that option of an open schedule. They don’t know that many people with cars, or those people can’t take a whole day off work to act as chauffeur. I understand why the facilities do it, but it can be a hardship.
(Note: You can’t just take an Uber when you undergo anesthesia. The med center requires a known, responsible person to accompany you.)
@Steeplejack: Same here. When I had a procedure they made it clear that if my ride was an Uber or Lyft they’d cancel and reschedule. Had to be a family member/friend willing to be there from start to finish (either in lobby or in car in parking lot).
Good thing my facility didn’t require that. I’d have been up the proverbial creek without the proverbial paddle!
Sorry to learn from Richard Armitage’s twitter that Antony Sher died.
You can get the gist from reading the brief Twitter thread.
Delete your account.
@jonas: I thought the same about the disabled children. Boney Carrot likes to think all pregnancies are uncomplicated and end with a healthy baby, but as people who live in the real world know, that is hardly the case. I used to be a volunteer Guardian ad Litem for our family court and had several cases of kids with profound disabilities. They are often abandoned in the hospital because the parents can’t care for them. It was heartbreaking; and of course Republicans won’t provide any more resources to care for these children. Sometimes the problems are caused by a lack of prenatal care. I feel myself getting on my soapbox but I’m preaching to the choir here (end clichés).
Hermione does Hats.
@NotMax: Very cute! The other woman looks familiar. Was she Beaver Cleaver’s teacher or something?
@zhena gogolia: Maybe she’s Miss Landers’ mom.
@Betty Cracker: I have no basis to criticize Florida seeing that I’ve spent less than 2 weeks there in my +60 years. Nicely I used to call it a comma that collects hurricanes but now it’s impossible to fathom how much further up the crazy pole it’s going to climb. Yikes.
@hueyplong: Oh, I forgot about Miss Landers. Maybe she’s the principal. But I don’t think so. Lumpy’s mother
ETA: Wow, Lumpy’s mother was Majel Barrett. I’m thinking of Larry Mondello’s mother, Madge Blake, but I don’t think she’s the woman in the video, although similar
DeSantis claims about his private army
Maybe the federal government should cease to encumber him with all that filthy dirty federal money it hands to him every year, around 17% of the state budget
Final Account. Such a chilling and fitting title.
Dorothy A. Winsor
@Leto: Laurie Halse Anderson is a fabulous writer. She made me enjoy a book about prom. But mostly she writes about serious topics. Screw the book banners.
@The Moar You Know:
RE: he encourages the @CDC
to release new guidelines on “test to stay” policies that would help children avoid forced quarantine after #COVID19 exposure
I think you are wrong here.
A lot of people want the schools open. And so the issue becomes how to do it safely and effectively.
Conservatives seem to want to make this into a “get back to normal” thing and ignore public health policy. They just want the little bastards back in the classroom.
But it makes sense to try to develop mitigation procedures and other policies to make going back to school practical and safe.
@Cameron: Given the depth of artistic talent here, could someome with fashion sense do some designs for their uniform? I mean, since Hugo Boss is not available?
@Eolirin: I agree that this is a problem, and it’s especially a problem that we don’t have a news network fluffing our politicians all the time. I don’t know what can be done about that until some wealthy Democrat starts a news network.
@Magdi Semrau just put up an interesting series of tweets on the bogus Buttegieg vs. Harris “rivalry.” I appreciate Ms. Semrau because she is both illuminating and calming. A good combination these days.
Yeah. State mischief. Not good.
This from the Florida governor is typical, but telling:
The short answer, of course, is that anti-vaxxers and idiot right wing state officials keep blocking progress.
But the deeper question is why these dopes cling to denial. I have not seen a single conservative leader or pundit offer any alternative approaches to dealing with the pandemic. Nor have I seen the press ask tough questions of these morons.
Instead, it’s “Biden didn’t do enough.”
I am so tired of this bullshit
Best of luck to you. Take care.
Link to Magdi Semrau’s thread.
@Steeplejack: Good luck and quick recovery Steep!
@Eunicecycle: A long time ago I knew of a case where people adopted a baby, then when it turned out the baby had cystic fibrosis they “gave it back”, which evidently people could do within a certain time period. The mother was a 15-year-old girl; I have no idea what happened to that baby, it probably became a ward of the state or whatever you call it now. Not all adoptions end as “happily ever after”.
@Steeplejack: Thanks. Hope you enjoy this beautiful weekend.
Involuntary manslaughter charges for the parents in the MII shooting
This is going to be really interesting – bold move for a county prosecutor!
If we can start to have a different discussion about who is partly responsible for the daily gun slaughter in the US it could change things.
Right now the public shoulders all the risk and the gun nuts accept none
thats not a given
And a postscript thread.
Scheduled my Septoplasty/Turbinate Reduction surgery for 2/21/22! Very excited at the prospect of eventually sleeping through the night without breathing issues after suffering serious sleep deprivation for at least a decade.
It’s akin to “parents who host lose the most” for underage drinking
What if we started to hold people responsible for the guns they recklessly and stupidly give to kids?
Changes the risk allocation, right? Puts some small share of the cost on the gun nuts?
I have been waiting for someone to try something – anything at this point
just TRY – if they lose ok but take a risk and throw something at them – make them defend
@Kay: Yeah. Aaron Rupar has some devastating clips from the press conference.
J R in WV
@The Moar You Know:
I take you out of the pie safe, and look how you repay me, two days later, with abject stupidity. Begone, foul will o’ the wisp!!
It’s tricky though because the gun purchase was legal
But someone has to break this impasse – the current situation is untenable – they cannot keep contributing to these slaughters with no accountability
Good luck! Hope you get some relief.
Yep. A very ugly truth.
Yeah: this bit really caught my attention:
BTW, “searching for ammunition” seems to be that Ethan was looking for it online – during class – the reported cause for the conference he and his folks had to attend.
Later in that same Rothschild thread:
Crap like being betrayed by a guy whose kid got a college rec from you? (And whole lot of other crap too, of course.)
Humpty Dumpty sat on a wall
Humpty Dumpty had great fall
All the king’s horses
And all the king’s men
Looked at the broken pieces and said,
“Whatever. What’s the point in putting him back together,
If he’s just gonna fall and scatter the pieces all over again?”
Jewish college friend’s father – who liberated one of the camps – said the smell was obvious 5 miles away. “Everyone living there knew what was going on,” he told us.
@Eunicecycle: Thank you for telling us about your real lived experience. This exposes the heartlessness of people whose dogma renders them incapable of walking in anyone else’s shoes, especially the most vulnerable. Coney Barrett probably believes that once these vulnerable children have left the womb they are no longer ‘pure’ and not worthy of exalting her God.
@dopey-o: my dad was at the liberation of Dachau and said the same. He said they (Allies) forced the local leaders to tour the camps. Not sure exactly what that proved but at least those leaders couldn’t deny it in the future.
@Dan B: It was a difficult job and I had to give it up after 4 years because I was emotionally worn out. We had GALs who did it for many years but I couldn’t detach enough.
@Eunicecycle: I volunteered to support people with AIDS who had no family support or support from friends. There were several whose families didn’t know their son / sibling was gay, probably because they were very “religious”. After the family of one guy who’d just been incubated showed up in total shock I developed PTSD. This guy was extremely closeted, likely to the point he had anonymous sex and zero caring gay friends, or any caring friends. The only support he had were a couple strangers there to do what they could as he suffocated in terror. He was much like your disabled children, a throwaway. Their stories are, tragically, profoundly invisible.
You did heroic service. Thank you.
@Dan B: I could never have done what you did. Being there for someone at the worst time of their lives, often rejected by family and friends… you are the true hero.
@Another Scott: Sorry!
Cotton was accusing Biden and Dem Senators of being soft on Russia. Shaheen took the mike and pointed out that she herself had been denied a Russian visa because she’d been tough on Putin, but Cotton had had no problem getting a visa.
@OzarkHillbilly: Thank you!