From the Dench household to yours, our best wishes for a Thanksgiving filled with family, friends, joy, laughter and undying gratitude for those we love, for those in the military keeping us safe and protecting our liberty, for this amazing country which provides everything in abundance and gives us limitless opportunities to fulfill our personal potential and for a loving God who makes all things possible.
I just have to brag about my brilliant hubby a bit! From the Portland Press Herald:
“U.S. News Media Group and Best Lawyers® have released the 2014 Best Lawyers in America list, and Bryan Dench, an attorney with Skelton, Taintor & Abbott, was named “Lawyer of the Year” for Portland for tax law. [He was also named tax Lawyer of the Year in 2012.]
Dench also is recognized on the Best Lawyers list for the 15th time.”
Bryan is a Fellow of the American College of Trust and Estate Counsel, and a member of the Maine State Bar Association and the Androscoggin County Bar Association. He also has an AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rating in the distinguished legal directory, Martindale-Hubbell®.* He is listed in New England Super Lawyers.
Even though his professional accomplishments are many, to me his greatest success is a happy home life with a wife and children who adore him. I am so very lucky and blessed to be married to my hero.
One of the benefits of age – you really don’t care what people think about you anymore. In this respect and a few others, food blogger Gwyneth Paltrow and I actually agree.
Some excerpts taken from an interview she did with the UK magazine Red, in reference to the upcoming and highly anticipated smear piece from Vanity Fair:
“This is the thing: It’s like, the older I get, I realize it doesn’t matter what people who don’t know you think [of you] … it doesn’t matter,” Paltrow told the mag.
“You’re wasting your energy. It’s like, if your partner comes to you — or your best friend — and says, ‘Listen, I want to talk about something you did that hurt me, or I think you could improve,’ sit down and listen to what they have to say. But some friend of so-and-so’s — it’s like, who gives a sh*t?”
In the interview, Paltrow, 41, also condemned women who don’t support one another.
“I personally think that the work/life balance for a woman should be exactly what she feels is right for her. And nobody else can set her time schedule. And nobody else can tell her how many hours a week she needs to devote to this, that or the other,” the actress said. “F**k what anybody else says — It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
“That’s what we’ve got to let go of. That idea of ‘Oh God, if I don‘t show up to this concert, all the other (mothers) are going to think I’m terrible.’
“Well, ‘So f**king what!’ If anyone is going to ask my advice, I’d say, ‘Do what is right for you, and don’t give a sh*t what anyone else thinks.”
More from the PC crowd as Hallmark has provoked outrage and ridicule from its customers after changing the words of a traditional Christmas carol on a gaudy red sweater ornament.
Yep, they’ve dropped the word “gay” and substituted the word “fun” in the lyric from the carol Deck The Halls, a tune dating back to 16th century Wales when it was called Nos Galan.
“Don we now our FUN apparel” sorta loses a little something in the translation. This is the same crowd that wishes one a Happy Holiday instead of a Merry Christmas.
Surely not! A Michelle Obama crony responsible for the disastrous Obamacare website rollout? Well, I guess it (literally) pays to have friends in high places.
This is what the Obama administration thinks about the hard working American taxpayer.
From the Daily Mail:
The Obama administration has been accused of cronyism after it was revealed the First Lady’s Princeton classmate is a top executive at the company contracted to build the beleaguered Obamacare enrollment website.
Toni Townes-Whitley is senior vice president at CGI Federal, the U.S. arm of a Canadian company, which won the no-bid contract for the problem-plagued website.
Townes-Whitley, from the Princeton class of ’85, and Michelle Obama are members of the Association of Black Princeton Alumni, according to The Daily Caller.
Townes-Whitley reportedly joined CGI in May 2010 and leads the Civilian Agency Programs Business Unit for the Federal Group.
Earlier this month, Washington Examiner reported the Department of Health and Human Services Centers for Medicare and Medicaid handed CGI Obamacare account without putting the contract out to competitive tender.
It has since been revealed four companies submitted bids, but only CGI was considered.
Officials did not, however, explain the decision or name the companies.
CGI was one of 16 companies qualified under the Bush administration to provide certain tech services to the federal government.
Washington Examiner reported officials relied on a ‘little-known federal contracting system called ID/IQ, which is government jargon for ‘Indefinite Delivery and Indefinite Quantity’ to award the Healthcare.gov contract to CGI.
Tech bugs with Healthcare.gov aren’t limited to the sign-up process: Data files getting to insurance companies are often flawed as well Tech bugs with Healthcare.gov aren’t limited to the sign-up process: Data files getting to insurance companies are often flawed as well
CGI became an approved government vendor in 2007, an agreement meaning it could be assigned contracts worth up to $4 billion until 2017 without public notice or having to participate in a normal competitive tender.
This is reportedly how CGI gained the $93 million Obamacare contract, according to Washington Examiner.
The discovery of Michelle Obama’s relationship with a top executive at CGI Federal has sparked a social media storm, with Twitter punters accusing the Obama administration of cronyism.
Dan Carpenter wrote: ‘Isn’t this cozy????? Toni Townes-Whitley, Princeton class of ’85, is senior vice president at CGI.’
Citizenwells wrote: ‘CGI Obamacare website contract Obamas (Barack & Michelle) crony capitalism or poor judgement.’
Radio personality Mark Simone wrote: ‘How did bumbling CGI get a $678 mill no-bid contract to build the website? They were friends with Michelle.’
Meanwhile, Washington Examiner reported CGI has a troubled track record for the delivery of government contracts, highlighting a time when it failed to meet the deadline for a new online medical registry for diabetes patients and treatment providers.
Ontario, Canada, government officials cancelled the $46.2 million contract after 14 months of delay in September 2012. Ontario officials currently refuse to pay any fees to CGI for the failed IT project.
Nothing like voicing an opinion to bring out the haters. Most of the love notes I get from my Bangor Daily News pieces run along the lines of this, excerpted from one Rachael McDivitt’s communication:
“F*&^ you! You have no right to want anything anymore. You have no rights to act like a human being anymore.
No. Not f*&^ us. F*&^ YOU.”
Well, Rachael, that told me!
Rachael also wrote that “I’m a self-employed business woman running a store in a small town.” (I think that would be her Presque Isle shop, Twisted Knickers, an “adult novelty and lingerie boutique” in “a very classy little building.”) I applaud her initiative and taking the risk that all business owners do when starting a new enterprise. That takes vision, courage and belief in your abilities, all which should be lauded.
So if I wade through the rest of the heavily expletive-laden letter and try to make sense of what the heck Ms. McDivitt was trying to convey, I am a little puzzled that she doesn’t seem to want others to have what she has, as she continues:
“And I wish the worst kind of poverty upon you. The kind that seems like a dark pit from which you can never escape.”
Too late, I have already experienced that. Yep, I know what it’s like to look for change between the seats to put gas in the car and worry about having enough cash to pay for the groceries in the cart. But I always believed there was a light at the end of the tunnel, and that somehow I would reach it.
No, Rachael, I don’t wish “the worst kind of proverty” for you, nor do I wish it for any human being. It is crushing, humiliating, demeaning, degrading, dehumanizing.
Which is why I believe that our politicians have to be held accountable for spending our hard earned tax dollars responsibly – because every dollar they spend is a dollar I earned and no longer have to spend on my own needs. And which is why I fight for jobs for all able-bodied Americans. There is dignity in work, not to mention the satisfaction that can be taken in a job well done and the self-esteem that stems from being able to say, as you have, “I built that.”
I wish what you have for every American: The freedom to reach your potential, and the realization that if you work hard and play by the rules, you can be successful.
My best wishes on continued success for your business. (And I know you have a better vocabulary than the one you made a choice to use in your note.)
The Daily Mail always has interesting stories: I applaud these parents!
Parents had their own teenage girls arrested earlier this month after returning home unannounced from a weekend break to find a raucous party underway at their house.
The couple, from Glastonbury, Connecticut, called the police when they found underage children drinking at their home.
Police arrested a 15-year-old girl and 16-year-old girl who live at the home, according to the Hartford Courant.
Their identities have not been revealed because of their ages. The two females were charged with permitting a minor to possess alcohol.
Glastonbury police continue to investigate and asked anyone with information to contact authorities.
The girls had thrown parties on the Friday and Saturday nights that their parents were out of town. They had tried to get a third event going when they were surprised.
Police said that many children ran from the house when officers arrived and that the parents did the ‘right thing’ by calling them to the scene.
My thanks to Bill Nemitz with the Portland Press Herald for this story about my friendship with former Senate candidate Cynthia Dill. It speaks volumes about where we are and why so many females have chosen to check out of politics when two women at opposite ends of the political spectrum becoming friends is newsworthy. Disagreeing does not have to mean being uncivilized! Cynthia is warm, funny, smart and articulate and to be admired for putting herself out there in a contentious election. I thoroughly enjoy her company and look forward to our next get together!
Maybe we shouldn’t make too much out of a simple Twitter exchange.
Or maybe, as we survey the political rubble from the federal shutdown and what some are now calling the nation’s “near-debt experience,” hope springs eternal from a few simple tweets.
It started earlier this month, right around the time the federal government came to a grinding halt.
Cynthia Dill of Cape Elizabeth, the liberal Democrat who finished a distant third in Maine’s recent race for U.S. Senate, logged onto the Bangor Daily News website and read a debut column by Susan Dench, a self-described conservative from Falmouth whom Dill had never met.
Let’s go to the Twitter feed:
Dill: Agree to disagree over a conservatini sometime? I take mine with bean sprouts and kale. Congrats on the column.
Dench: Thanks, Cynthia, would love to get together – maybe we can find common ground over a Libertini? Next week?
Dill: oh, heck. Let’s compromise! One each for both of us. Next week sounds great.
Dench: I can do coffee any day but Wed, drinks Th or week of 10/21. What works for you?
I stumbled across this unlikely banter last week while checking out the Informed Women’s Network, founded earlier this year by Dench. The group finds itself in the headlines via leaked recordings of Gov. Paul LePage’s speech to its members last week – an hourlong address that, as usual, has the fact-checkers now working overtime.
LePage’s tall tales aside, I wondered if Dill and Dench actually followed through with their “tini” date.
Turns out they did – a week ago Friday. (Although they both eschewed the hard stuff and settled on matching cups of tea.)
And did they get through it without causing, shall we say, a disturbance?
Back to Twitter:
Dill: Thanks for the tea. Let’s keep in touch!
Dench: Thank you, Cynthia, and will do – I had a blast!
Struck by the sheer sisterhood of it all, I contacted Dill and Dench and asked if they’d like to do an encore – this time with a slack-jawed columnist along for the ride.
My question, as we settled in at a downtown Portland coffee shop: What in the name of the Great Political Divide is going on here? As the nation reels from its nastiest political fight in recent memory, why would you two even consider meeting each other, let alone delve into your many differences?
Because, they explained, they actually have some things in common.
Starting with the obvious: They’re both women.
“Men come at this from a different standpoint than women do,” said Dench. “With women, you talk about the personal first because you’re trying to establish a common bond. You’re trying to get to that common ground.”
Added Dill, a litigation lawyer, “There’s nothing I need to convince her to do.”
Thus they can wade into something as fundamental as what Dench still calls “women’s lib” without so much as a raised voice.
In the past month alone, Dench lamented, two women have actually apologized to her because they’re “just a wife and mother.” Important as those jobs may be, she said, they feel like they’ve let the feminist movement down by not doing more with their lives.
“I think women’s lib is one of the worst things that’s happened to women,” said Dench. “It presented a lot of opportunities, but I really think it knocked us off a pedestal. Frankly, I like being on a pedestal.”
I looked over at Dill, half expecting her hair to be on fire.
“I disagree,” Dill said calmly. “But I think it’s a conversation that is worth having. And if it’s about women’s issues and it is about whether or not women’s lib is the cause of good or bad, it’s important that publicly it be a conversation between women – not having Rush Limbaugh tell us how it is.”
It was but one of many moments when these two women, if they so chose, could have opened fire on each other.
Dill, after all, is the state legislator who turned many a head when she launched an online petition demanding a citizen-recall process for elected officials in Maine – starting, of course, with LePage.
Dench, on the other hand, repeatedly referred to the Obama residence in a recent column as the “Spite House.”
Yet here they sat, actually trading compliments between sips of tea, insisting that political disagreement need not derail civil dialogue.
What’s more, even when it came to such a lightning-rod catch-phrase as “fiscal responsibility,” each embraced the concept without so much as a sideways glance at the other.
Noted Dench: “A lot of us believe in the same thing. We just put different labels on it.”
Added Dill: “Everyone wants to be fiscally responsible. It all comes down to, ‘What is fiscal responsibility?’ ”
To Dill, it means not blowing an estimated $24 billion on a government shutdown. To Dench, it means not reflexively adding to a national debt that’s now “$17 trillion and climbing.”
To both, however, it meant listening to the other’s viewpoint without the eye-rolling, finger-pointing and constant interruption that fuel most male-dominated political debates.
Dill came prepared to illustrate that point, producing reports of two studies highlighting the near-absence of women’s voices among those who both make and report the news. One was by the Women’s Media Center, founded by Jane Fonda and Gloria Steinem; the other came from the World Association for Christian Communication.
“The lens tends to be through men. The voices that inform the public and collect ideas and express opinions are male,” said Dill. “I think it helps everybody to have both.”
“I completely agree with you, Cynthia,” replied Dench. “I think it is a male-dominated conversation.”
As they finished their tea, part of me wondered if this was simply the inevitable crossing of paths between two women practiced in the art of self-promotion.
But then I reminded myself that I dragged them under this spotlight, not the other way around. And that, however publicly they set up their first sit-down, they met in private with nothing more to gain than each other’s newfound friendship.
A lesson for us all?
“What I love about Cynthia is she thought she could make a difference and she ran (for public office),” said Dench. “After all the slings and arrows she’s been through, she still had the courage to run. That takes guts … that takes guts.”
“I figured we can meet each other so when I read (Dench’s column), I’ll know the woman behind the article,” said Dill. “I’ll know she’s funny and smart and educated and trying to make a difference. And that’s what we have in common.”
Libertini, conservatini – take your pick.
Maybe the whole country should invite itself out for a drink.
An honors student gets a call from a drunk friend and rushes out to pick her up and take her home. But moments after she arrives at the party, police arrive. They bust several kids for underage possession of alcohol and warned others — including Erin Cox — that they would be summoned to court for drinking, according to the Boston Herald.
Even though Erin wasn’t drinking and wasn’t in possession of alcohol — and despite a police officer vouching for her sobriety in writing — that wasn’t good enough for North Andover High School.
She’s been demoted from her captain’s position on the volleyball team and suspended for five games.
I mean, seriously? What sort of message are we sending a girl, a role model by all accounts, who acted responsibly? This is what happens with zero tolerance policies. Get a grip, North Andover High School.