Friday, June 30, 2006

From Digby at Hullaballoo

But first there is a need to address more earthly concerns -- mainstream kind of concerns -- and once again, Susan Jacoby is doing the heavy lifting. Here she leads into a quotation made by Robert Green Ingersoll on July 4, 1876, the 100th anniversary of the Declaration of Independence:
Those who cherish secular values have too often allowed conservatives to frame public policy debates as conflicts between "value-free" secularists and religious representatives of supposedly unchanging moral principles. But secularists are not value-free; their values are simply grounded in earthly concerns rather than in anticipation of heavenly rewards or fear of infernal punishments. No one in public life today upholds secularism and humanism in the uncompromising terms used by Ingersoll more than 125 years ago.

"Secularism teaches us to be good here and now. I know nothing better than goodness. Secularism teaches us to be just here and now. It is impossible to be juster than just. Secularism has no 'castles in Spain.' It has no glorified fog. It depends upon realities, upon demonstrations; and its end is to make this world better every day -- to do away with poverty and crime, and to cover the world with happy and contented homes."

These values belong at the center, not in the margins, of the public square. It is past time to restore secularism, and its noble and essential contributions at every stage of the American experiment, to its proper place in our nation's historical memory and vision of the future.

Great words.....I'm actually inspired by them


Walkers Welcome!

Since July 4 is Independence Day, nothing is more fitting than to make a political statement, especially in the present "climate". I and several others are marching at noon on July 4 in the Pittsville Parade. Our group (Fair Wisconsin) is committed to defeating the ban on marriages and civil unions amendment on the November ballot in WI. We are meeting about 11:30 a.m. near the Lutheran Church as one approaches the town from the north. The walk will be fairly short (through downtown Pittsville) and the parade lasts about 1 hour. Please join us!

Thursday, June 29, 2006

I think it's official

Democracy Now! and Free Speech TV will NOT be coming to Marshfield Public Access. After a year of arguments, delays and revision after revision of contract language, I withdrew our request with the consent of the local sponsors. Why?

The last straw concerned the "allocation of costs" agreement. This had nothing to do with the contract with FSTV, rather, it was a statement by the local sponsors that they would be responsible for raising funds in the second year to keep the program on the air, JUST THE SAME AS WISCONSIN RAPIDS IS DOING NOW. We sent a letter assuring the City of such and waited for the City Attorney to get the revised contract back (with another version of the "indemnification clause"). Well, it came back last Saturday with the letter replaced with the aforementioned "Allocation of Costs Agreement" for local sponsors to's what its said

"Local sponsors may install the DISH Network receiving equipment and may, but shall not be obligated to, remove said equipment at any time within 30 days following the termination of the Agreement. Local sponsors shall repair any damage caused by removal of said equipment." (my emphasis added)

also this gem:

"Local Sponsors individually, jointly and severally, agree to indemnify City and hold City harmless from any and all liabilities, claims, and expenses, including reasonable attorney fees arising directly or indirectly as costs incurred to implement the Agreement and the retransmission of Free Speech TV programming. It is the intent and purpose of this Agreement and the Local Sponsors to facilitate retransmission of Free Speech TV programming in accordance with the Agreement at no cost to the City of Marshfield, Wisconsin and this Cost Allocation Agreement shall be construed and applied only in a manner which furthers the intent and purpose of the parties hereto." (again, my emphasis added)

I quit....nobody in their right mind would sign that agreement......

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Hello? Suicide prevention hotline...?

I spent eight hours yesterday in an Insurance Seminar for Continuing Education requirements...after about six hours they give you a break to keep you from impaling yourself with your own pen....


Next course?


Sunday, June 25, 2006

A Picture is worth a thousand words...

I took up the poster's invitation to copy and reproduce freely.....


Friday, June 23, 2006

The weekend is fast approaching....

I have an 8 hour CEU out of town on Monday morning so I'll spend most of the weekend anticipating that....

I'm waiting for the infamous friday 5pm news dump...when the Bush Administration dumps its bad news so it will die over the weekend.....I dunno...maybe the Financial records monitoring was the bad news.....

On that subject. I don't think it's quite as bad as some blog are making it out to be. The bad thing is that there is no indication that there were any safeguards put into place to assure...AFFIRMITIVELY ... that no abuse could take place. This Administration believes we should trust them without question but at the same time they're telling us that we can't trust government.

Anyway...feel free to hang comments on any subject you want on this post...if not...have a nice weekend...

(oh yeah, cooking drunken chicken while we talk. First try at it...hope it's good)

Congratulations Tom and company

Just received an email that Tom's Group Rapids Citizens for Peace has their new website up and running.

Here's the link:

They will also be in the parade in Wisconsin Rapids this weekend with a float. I am absolutely amazed at the dedication and committment of this group.

Congrats to all.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

typical (sigh) all too typical

It appears only 13 Democratic Senators voted for the Kerry-Feingold Amendment . As I write, the Dorgan amendment will be coming up. Here's the story

And then, of course, there's Rick Santorum... jumping on the news last night to announce "WE FOUND THE WMDS". The only problems however was that we actually didn't and the Department of Defense told him so. Read it here

Just about every report I see from the left as well as the right media say Santorum is in big, big trouble in his election bid....

more later...gotta run....


Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Hey John....

Did you know that you've got your hands on the "helm" of the County Organization?

Before Dave left on vacation, he said (specifically) "If anything comes up, well, John's THE MAN!"

I've been amusing myself all day trying to figure out how to precipitate a crisis and then give out John's phone number! (evilgrin off)

If Dave's fondest dream doesn't come true (the one about being captured by an unknown tribe of Australian female Super Models looking for then he'll be back early in July. Hope all goes smoothly until then.


Tuesday, June 20, 2006


I wrote a particularly long post early this morning and blogger ate it.....

I was very upset with the Talking Points Memo story this morning saying that big corporate money and high-powered lobbyists were now gravitating toward the DEMOCRATIC PARTY as opposed to the seems the "big money boys" are hedging their bets in case of a Democratic takeover of either of the two houses of Congress in the fall.

Insiders think this is WONDERFUL....

I don't....big money is poison for Republicans and it will end up poisoning the Democratic Party too.

Here's the link to the Wall Street Journal part of the story.

Two committee meetings today, two more tomorrow....still have some "homework" to do before tomorrow's meetings....

g'night all...


Monday, June 19, 2006

When you're up to you*ss in alligators....'s hard to remind yourself that your initial objective was to drain the swamp.

It's been a busy weekend and I haven't had much time for anything has a tendency to get in the way sometimes.....

Caught a few glimpses at the morning "talking heads" on the Sunday talk show rounds before I had to get busy this morning...a couple of observations...

Murtha on Meet the Press. Jack was incredible. He's been around long enough to know how to handle hacks like Tim Russert. Russert feels it is his journalistic duty to confront every Democrat on his show with every Republican talking point that comes over his fax machine, but Murtha just batted each point back to Russert like Agassi used to do at Wimbledon. Good job.

I also got to catch a few minutes of KOS appearing on Reliable Sources with Howie Kurtz....again, Kurtz had to pull the "gotcha" routine by confronting KOS with a quote from the days of the incident in Falluja which touched off the American assault on that city of 300,000 people. Kurtz also took a shot at KOS for appearing in a recent NED LAMONT commercial against Liebermann and asked if KOS was a "journalist or Democratic Party Activist"'s completely obvious that Kurtz has no clue about bloggers or blogging. Kos also got in a great shot about the problem with mainstream media...he said mainstream media was concerned about showing "both sides" regardless of the truth. Good call KOS...

Oh yes, I missed this one because I don't watch FAUX NEWS but apparently Cal Thomas got in a great quote about all the other cable TV networks trying to be like Fox....apparently he said, "There's only so much trailer park trash pie to go around."

Here's the video...

Gonna have a glass of wine, a hot shower and going to bed....

night all.....

Friday, June 16, 2006


Look at this website: It has all our favorite Democratic Contenders for State Senate and State Assembly.


It looks like Pat Kreitlow took the lead on this....this is GREAT...check it out!

on edit:

Here are a couple of "snippets"

A little round-up (of news)

Remember that "flame war" I talked about last night? Here's a link...enjoy flamewar There is some disagreement about the role of the resolutions at the Annual Convention and it appears that the acrimony on both sides has grown. As of noon today (Friday) it looks like the "flames" have subsided and maybe the debate will end. The Chair of the Resolutions and Platform Committee says he has printed out the thread and will bring it to the Administrative Committee for review. I trust it is being done in good faith.

Also...apparently the REPUBLICAN who was running against Herb Kohl has decided that the Republican Party has gone astray....sooooooo....he has joined the LIBERTARIAN PARTY to run against Kohl. Read the story here

On the so-called Net Neutrality Law, Russ Feingold "gets it". Read that story here . Russ seems to understand that consolidation in the internet providers industry is very much like the consolidation that took place in radio, tv and cable after the Telecommunications Act of 1995. We're still suffering the effects of that bill.

With great relief, Al Labelle is going to resume duties as publicity chairman. I truly appreciate his energy and efforts in behalf of the Wood County Democrats. Thank Al. Al will probably hate the picture but it was the easiest picture of him to find.

I don't know anybody who has been able to establish such a good working relationship with our local newspaper as Al. I have attempted to "smooze" with these guys and have met with little, if any success.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

There's so much going on it's hard to focus on one subject and deal with it thoroughly. I think that's a problem not for just me, but for almost all of us in the Democratic Party. Worse yet, each of us is either blessed or cursed (depending on your current situation) with this nasty little sphere called "personal life" which has a disturbing habit of interferring with our political or civic or recreational activities.

Accordingly it seems that each of us has had to choose one or two subjects (real masochists pick more!) and focus our attention and efforts on them. It is an efficient way of dealing with what we individually may see as our greatest priorities but it doesn't relieve us of the guilt for neglect of other issues we consider important.

Here's a catalogue (of sorts) of some of the things going on:

FAIR participation in parades in Rapids and Pittsville.

Tom O'Brien's group participating in the same parades.

Nomination papers for our candidates on State and National level (Dave Obey specifically)

Fund raising efforts for the party

A bit of a "food fight" brewing over the Platform and Resolutions process at the State Convention.

Gearing up for the November elections. (WDLB and WHFR gave AmySue's opponent a "freebie" telephone interview yesterday)

On the National scene:

KKKarl Rove is off the hook....
Ann Coulter is preaching her gospel of hate everywhere....
Bush is trying desperately to get a "bounce" out of Zarqwari's death.
Liebermann is in big trouble...may run as an independent.
Congress is debating the Iraq war AGAIN...Hillary and Kerry are arguing amongst themselves. (sigh)
"Net Neutrality" has everybody thoroughly confused.

Feel free to add anything I may have missed...I'm sure I missed a lot because I said....I need to FOCUS

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Tuesday Open Thread

I'm sort of is I'll just open a thread for you to hang comments on....

Talk about "friendly skies"!


Names to faces....

e got a chance to meet some Wisconsin bloggers over the weekend and while we were in LaCrosse, the YearlyKos was going on in Las Vegas. Here are some of our favorite bloggers.

"Kos" himself with Jane Hamser of firedoglake.

Kristi Harden Smith aka Reddhead of firedoglake.

Left: Andrew Republican blogger

Center: the ever-popular Wonkette: Ana Marie Cox, now with Time Magazine....

and the hard-core conservative Glenn Reynolds of Little Green Footballs.

I won't provide links to those sites....

edited 9:47pm

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Convention Wrap-up

Governor Jim Doyle gives his address
at Friday Night's Session of the
Annual Convention of the
Democratic Party of Wisconsin

Wood County was well-represented at the Democratic Party of Wisconsin Annual Convention in LaCrosse this weekend. Dave Wille, Dede, Gary, Bill, Lois, Shirley and Ed were part of the group that "hung out" together for most of the proceedings. AmySue Vruwink was seen at the Feingold reception Friday night with some other members (also Vruwinks, I think) but I didn't get to talk to them and I didn't run into them again on Saturday.

I think most of us who attended would agree that the Convention wasn't as exciting or interesting this year. The most interesting side issue going on was the race between Peg Lautenschlauger and Kathleen Falk for the nomination for Attorney General. The competition between the two at the convention was intense as each side tried to out "image" the other. I attended Peg's reception at the art museum and got to spend some time talking to her. Kathleen Falk had a hospitality room after the speeches on Friday night but I attended Feingold's and the "blogger" meetup instead.

Doug LaFollete has some serious competition for Secretary of State from Scot Ross. Quite frankly, that race surprises me.

The "straw poll" results were interesting. Peg Lautenschlager was ahead of Kathleen Falk something like 58% to 42% and Ross was ahead of LaFollete 65% to 35%....that was a shock.

You can read the straw poll results here

No surprise that Russ Feingold stole the show again. In the straw poll, Wisconsin Democrats favored Russ for the Presidential nomination by a huge margin (75% or more). As usual his speech brought the crowd to its feet again and again. He is a pleasure to watch on the political stage.

About that "STRAW POLL". I'm a little bit upset about that because the published results include the votes of not only the delegates to the convention, but also the "guests". Now consider this: The Falk campaign brought is at least one (and maybe two) busloads of supporters who were NOT delegates to the convention. I saw them first when they arrived to pose in front of the tv cameras chanting "Falk! Falk! Falk! as Kathleen walked in and then again on the convention floor....seated in the cordoned off guest area separated from the delegates. Those "guests" were allowed to vote and artificially inflated Kathleen's numbers. I think Ross
s numbers were inflated the same way.....I'm also suspicious because the second place finisher in the Presidential preference portion of the straw poll was HILLARY CLINTON.

We didn't get to haggle over the resolutions this year. Because of new rules of proceedure, the resolutions were passed by 5:30 pm on FRIDAY NIGHT! I understand there were only 40 or so people in the room when that happened. Note that the convention formally convened at 5pm that night. I want to formally complain about that.

We had a bit of excitement in the hotel on Friday night.....NO! NOT THAT KIND OF EXCITEMENT!

Around 1:40AM, lightning hit the Holiday Inn and set off the fire alarms. Management evacuated the building and roused us all outside. They said that it was just the sensors but I've talked with Dave and LoLo and we all agree that we smelled something burning on Lois' end of the hall. After we finally returned to the rooms and got settled back into bed, the alarms went off AGAIN! At that point I think everybody was in the mode of "screw it".

Dede and Gary were saying that their room was next to the College Democrats who apparently decided that sleeping was not a priority. Gary had to complain a couple of times to both the Dems and the Management about the noise.

By the way Dede and I made some good contacts for the 7th CD convention that we will host next year. Kudos to Dede for taking a lot of initiative there!

edit 7:57PM Thanks to LoLo for pointing out that the keynote speaker was NOT JIM DOYLE but the Governor of West Virginia.....

The blogger meetup was smaller than usual but we all know each other so well that it is always a good gathering....

Urgent! Canvassers Needed!

A few weeks ago, the group that is so active in trying to defeat the ban on civil unions and marriage did some canvassing in Wards 8,18, and 9 in Marshfield. At our last meeting, we decided to finish the job in these wards so that we could move on to other areas later. We arranged 2 door-to-door sessions and we need plenty of people to go out and get the job done.

The first session will be from 6:00 - 8:30 p.m., Thursday, June 22, hosted by Yvonne DeJean who lives at 806 W. 5th St., Marshfield.

The second session will be from 10:00 a.m. - 2:00 p.m. Saturday, June 24, hosted by Lois Greehling at 1703 Woodsview Drive, Marshfield (first condo on the right after driving west across the intersection of Lincoln and Arlington).

Ward maps, training, and refreshments will be provided at both sessions. If you can spare a few hours and help, please call Lois at (715)384.2659 or email:

This is IMPORTANT WORK THAT DEFINITELY WILL HAVE AN IMPACT! We all need to make a big push to get this amendment defeated in November.

One other thing: We need walkers for the float when we appear in the Pittsville parade on July 4. The parade begins at noon so anyone planning to walk needs to be on the land near the Lutheran Church in Pittsville before that. Several from the gay/lesbian community will be walking beside the float. We need lots of people to give them company and a high comfort level. A call to (715)384.2659 beforehand is recommended.

Returned safe from Convention

I'll have a longer update later but in the meantime I thought you might find this critique of Ann Coulter's journalistic style entertaining. It's one of the best written critiques I've seen so far.

Lance Mannion, risking his sanity on our behalf, spelunks the inner psyche of Ann Coulter and records the deafening roar of her moral and intellectual vacuity. She works the talkshow and lecture circuit the way a stripper works the pole, as a ritualized form of exhibitionism, going through the moves she knows will get the desired response.

Written, of course, by the incomparable James Wolcott at his blog here

More later:e

Thursday, June 08, 2006

A little "Pre-Convention" Humor

First, from This Modern World, Bob Harris writes from the future (July 4, 2007) with a bit of commentary.

here's a couple of snips.....

The story gained further notoriety when bloggers in the state of North Florida found that three days before the election, the Veterans Administration had declared the entire black population of the state as Killed In Action in the 1944 battle of Anzio, even though several hundred Republican votes in the state were apparently cast by manatees. Some activists have argued that manatees, which typically inhabit warm, shallow estuaries, would be unlikely to have reached the appropriate polling places.


The signing statement — Bush’s once-controversial practice of amending and interpreting laws as he signs them, arrogating to himself the traditional roles of both the Congress and Supreme Court — was the 1,745th of Bush’s presidency. Previous signing statements have negated the prohibition of torture, eliminated oversight of Bush’s use of the Patriot Act, and declared “Englesh” the official language of the United States.

And, for your amusement, a couple of pictures (if blogger will cooperate)

Speaker of the House, Dennis Hastert learns why it isn't a good

idea to consume 5 double cheeseburgers at lunch time...

food coma sets in.

"See that?

That's why you don't get your implants done

at Walmart!"

Hope to see you all at the convention!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Garrison Keillor in Salon

I love A Prairie Home Companion and listen to it when I'm able. I'll admit I'm not into the country and gospel music that Garrison likes to feature on the show, but his monologues alone are worth putting up with the music.

He writes in

You might not have always liked Republicans, but you could count on them to manage the bank. They might be lousy tippers, act snooty, talk through their noses, wear spats and splash mud on you as they race their Pierce-Arrows through the village, but you knew they could do the math. To see them produce a ninny and then follow him loyally into the swamp for five years is disconcerting, like seeing the Rolling Stones take up lite jazz. So here we are at an uneasy point in our history, mired in a costly war and getting nowhere, a supine Congress granting absolute power to a president who seems to get smaller and dimmer, and the best the Republicans can offer is San Franciscophobia? This is beyond pitiful. This is violently stupid.

It is painful to look at your father and realize the old man should not be allowed to manage his own money anymore. This is the discovery the country has made about the party in power. They are inept. The checkbook needs to be taken away. They will rant, they will screech, they will wave their canes at you and call you all sorts of names, but you have to do what you have to do.

Here's the link, you have to sit through a commercial to enter the site for free, but as always, Garrison makes it worth your time.



Tuesday, June 06, 2006

Republicans shooting themselves in the foot...

How unbelieveably stupid.

First the Wisconsin Republicans put the Protection of Marriage act on the ballot for November and then, GW Bush decides to make a national issue out of it for the November elections where it would (theoretically) help Republican candidates.


Conservatives from all over are branding Bush's efforts as a cynical, insincere grasping for straws effort that may blow up in his face.....the backlash from Bush's actions nationally may defeat the efforts of Wisconsin Republicans....

awwwwwwwww......too bad....sorta makes these people look like they're on the winning side doesn't it?

Monday, June 05, 2006

Here's the news release

on the man running against Amy-Sue. Now that he has announced, the campaign rules will apply.

Here's the Marshfield News-Herald Story

and a snippet or two:

We should learn to appreciate and protect what we have," he said. "Everyone wants to come up with a Band-Aid solution to a problem just to say they did something, but it takes time and hard adjustments to solve the problems or make them better."

Key issues Juncer would like to see addressed include citizens' right to bear arms and predatory lending, in which loan providers take advantage of people who can't afford a loan.

Okay. So he's a gun rights Republican. Nothing new there. But "predatory lending"? Isn't that one of OUR issues?


Sunday, June 04, 2006

News and Rumors


my first post was at 8:54 this morning.....and it has DISAPPEARED!

Blogspot strikes again.....I'll try to recreate this morning's post....

First the rumors:

Note: I am repeating what I was told so I can't verify the authenticity of you own "Due Dilligence".
The man who has been telling everybody that he's running against AmySue Vruwink was allegedly asked to leave the "Mayor's Breakfast" at Dairyfest. Apparently he was in a place that he wasn't supposed to be. I don't have any other details.
Mark Green, Repub for Governor had a table set up at the Mayor's Breakfast....didn't know you could do that...
Heard from two different sources the rumor that Alanna Feddick is running against AmySue also....I saw Alanna walking with Mark Green's "Green Team" and talked to her (about what good exercise it is to walk in a parade) afterwards but there were no overt signs that she was running....IOW she wasn't wearing a sign that said VOTE FOR ME!
Two of the Repubs wanting to run against Dave Obey were in the parade. The most organized was the guy from Superior who was a former staffer for The Heritage Foundation and an aid to a Republican Congressman. The other guy's "float" (if you could call it that) was most definitely "home grown" as was the campaign slogan, Time for a Change. (I suspect the slogan came from a Republican "Rent a Slogan" vendor)Republicans aren't generally known for their originality.
The people from FAIR had a great turnout. One of the participants I talked to said that they had about 21 people walking and handing out candy. LoLo said she had two people ask what the FAIR float was all about. Most people didn't have a clue.
Julie Lassa got a great response. I heard only one negative comment during the whole parade route. I didn't get any feedback on AmySue's response. Anybody know?
Just for fun:
My "spidey-sense" of the crowd was that they were looking to be entertained and to have fun. They didn't particularly want anything to make them think during the parade.
When are the Wisconsin Rapids and Pittsville parades coming up?
You know, I thought it might be a good idea if all the Wood County Dems who are participating in the parades could get-together somewhere after the parade......any thoughts?

Feingold News from the State of Maine

I just caught a post on entitled "Maine Democrats Pass Impeachment Resolution"...(Updated with Photos) by Alna Dem. This, in itself, was great news, but even better for our state was a photo of Russ Feingold with several flattering comments about his speech to their state convention delegates.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Dairyfest Appearances by our favorites:

In the Dairyfest parade today....


Thank You
Thank You
Thank You

to Norm Tritz for once again putting together the Wood County Dems Float and driving it (solo) in the Parade!

Amy Sue Vruwink Senator Julie Lassa

Friday, June 02, 2006

Republicans gather to discuss "strategery"

Chairman:"All those in favor of bombing Iran, say AYE!"


Chairman "I'll take that as an aye!"