Thursday, August 31, 2006

Another great quote

this one is from frequent commentor "Chuck" over at Last Chance Democracy Cafe. His comments on the Rumsfeld speech have been excellent all along but today, he outdid himself.

“The Question I find intriguing is whether a nation so extrodinarily endowed as the United States can overcome that arroggance of power which has afflicted, weakened and, in some cases, destroyed great nations in the past. Power tends to confuse itself with virtue and a great nation is peculiarly susceptible to the idea that its power is the sign of God’s favor, conferring upon it a special resposibility for other nations–to make them richer and happier and wiser, to remake them, that is, in its own shinning image.”J. William Fulbright, 1966

Damn! Liberals are soooooooo smart!


Tears of joy running down my face.....

I've always been a sucker...or maybe a "softie" when it comes to patriotic things and Keith Olberman just unleashed the waterfall of patriotic tears for me.

I'm reprinting Keith's commentary in full...


The man who sees absolutes, where all other men see nuances and
shades of meaning, is either a prophet, or a quack.
Donald S. Rumsfeld is not a prophet.
Mr. Rumsfeld’s remarkable comments to the Veterans of Foreign Wars
yesterday demand the deep analysis - and the sober contemplation - of every
For they do not merely serve to impugn the morality or
intelligence - indeed, the loyalty — of the majority of Americans who
oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land;
Worse, still, they credit those same transient occupants - our
employees — with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither
common sense, nor this administration’s track record at home or abroad,
suggests they deserve.
Dissent and disagreement with government is the life’s blood of
human freedom; And not merely because it is the first roadblock against the
kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as "his" troops still
fight, this very evening, in Iraq.
It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile… it
is right — and the power to which it speaks, is wrong.
In a small irony, however, Mr. Rumsfeld’s speechwriter was
adroit in invoking the memory of the appeasement of the Nazis.
For, in their time, there was another government faced with true
peril - with a growing evil - powerful and remorseless.
That government, like Mr. Rumsfeld’s, had a monopoly on all the
facts. It, too, had the secret information. It alone had the true
picture of the threat. It too dismissed and insulted its critics in
terms like Mr. Rumsfeld’s - questioning their intellect and their
That government was England’s, in the 1930’s.
It knew Hitler posed no true threat to Europe, let alone
It knew Germany was not re-arming, in violation of all
treaties and accords.
It knew that the hard evidence it received, which
contradicted policies, conclusions - and omniscience — needed to be
The English government of Neville Chamberlain already knew
the truth.
Most relevant of all - it "knew" that its staunchest critics
needed to be marginalized and isolated. In fact, it portrayed the foremost
of them as a blood-thirsty war-monger who was, if not truly senile - at
best… morally or intellectually confused.
That critic’s name… was Winston Churchill.
Sadly, we have no Winston Churchills evident among us this
evening. We have only Donald Rumsfelds, demonizing disagreement, the way
Neville Chamberlain demonized Winston Churchill.
History - and 163 million pounds of Luftwaffe bombs over England
- taught us that all Mr. Chamberlain had was his certainty - and his own
confusion. A confusion that suggested that the office can not only make the
man, but that the office can also make the facts.
Thus did Mr. Rumsfeld make an apt historical analogy.
Excepting the fact that he has the battery plugged in backwards.
His government, absolute - and exclusive - in its knowledge, is not the
modern version of the one which stood up to the Nazis. It is the modern
version of the government… of Neville Chamberlain.
But back to today’s Omniscients.
That about which Mr. Rumsfeld is confused… is simply this:
This is a Democracy. Still. Sometimes just barely. And as such,
all voices count — not just his. Had he or his President perhaps
proven any of their prior claims of omniscience - about Osama Bin
Laden’s plans five years ago - about Saddam Hussein’s weapons four years ago
- about Hurricane Katrina’s impact one* year ago - we all might be able to
swallow hard, and accept their omniscience as a bearable, even useful
recipe, of fact, plus ego.
But, to date, this government has proved little besides its own
arrogance, and its own hubris.
Mr. Rumsfeld is also personally confused, morally or
intellectually, about his own standing in this matter. From Iraq to
Katrina, to the entire "Fog of Fear" which continues to enveloppe this
nation - he, Mr. Bush, Mr. Cheney, and their cronies, have - inadvertently
or intentionally - profited and benefited, both personally, and politically.
And yet he can stand up, in public, and question the morality and
the intellect of those of us who dare ask just for the receipt for the
Emporer’s New Clothes.
In what country was Mr. Rumsfeld raised?
As a child, of whose heroism did he read?
On what side of the battle for freedom did he dream one day
to fight?
With what country has he confused… the United States of
The confusion we — as its citizens - must now address, is
stark and forbidding. But variations of it have faced our forefathers, when
men like Nixon and McCarthy and Curtis LeMay have darkened our skies and
obscured our flag. Note - with hope in your heart - that those earlier
Americans always found their way to the light… and we can, too.
The confusion is about whether this Secretary of Defense, and
this Administration, are in fact now accomplishing what they claim the
terrorists seek: The destruction of our freedoms, the very ones for
which the same veterans Mr. Rumsfeld addressed yesterday in Salt Lake City,
so valiantly fought.
And about Mr. Rumsfeld’s other main assertion, that this country
faces a "new type of fascism."
As he was correct to remind us how a government that knew
everything could get everything wrong, so too was he right when he
said that — though probably not in the way he thought he meant it.
This country faces a new type of fascism - indeed.
Although I presumptuously use his sign-off each night, in feeble
tribute… I have utterly no claim to the words of the exemplary journalist
Edward R. Murrow.
But never in the trial of a thousand years of writing could I
come close to matching how he phrased a warning to an earlier generation of
us, at a time when other politicians thought they (and they alone) knew
everything, and branded those who disagreed, "confused" or "immoral."
Thus forgive me for reading Murrow in full:
"We must not confuse dissent with disloyalty," he said, in 1954.
"We must remember always that accusation is not proof, and that conviction
depends upon evidence and due process of law.
"We will not walk in fear - one, of another. We will not be
driven by fear into an age of un-reason, if we dig deep in our history
and our doctrine, and remember that we are not descended from fearful men;
"Not from men who feared to write, to speak, to associate, and to
defend causes that were - for the moment - unpopular."

God Bless You Keith!

Finally a journalist stood up and said what needed to be said. And, if irony is not, as they say, DEAD, you will note that he quoted his journalistic hero, Edward R. Murrow in his most famous moment: the penultimate battle against McCarthisism, and in doing so created what I believe is a penultimate moment for struggle against creeping fascism in America today.

The video is here.

Oooooooooohhhh! Keith Olberman strikes back!

This was posted on the MSNBC site doing the promo for Keith's show seems that Keith is a at Rumsfeld's comments comparing ANYBODY who criticizes the administration with "appeasers" of the Nazi regime...said this is a "different kind of "fascism". Here's Keith's opening volley:

""It demands the deep analysis—and the sober contemplation—of every American.For it did not merely serve to impugn the morality or intelligence - indeed, the loyalty—of the majority of Americans who oppose the transient occupants of the highest offices in the land;

Worse, still, it credits those same transient occupants - our employees—with a total omniscience; a total omniscience which neither common sense, nor this administration’s track record at home or abroad, suggests they deserve.

Dissent and disagreement with government is the life’s blood of human freedom; And not merely because it is the first roadblock against the kind of tyranny the men Mr. Rumsfeld likes to think of as “his” troops still fight, this very evening, in Iraq.It is also essential. Because just every once in awhile… it is right—and the power to which it speaks, is wrong."

Here's the "linky-thing"

And that's not all....Stephen Day at Last Chance Democracy Cafe, had some great words today...and so did some of his commenters.

the linky-thing here:

and a snippet or two:

The bottom line, according to Rumsfeld’s “logic” is that the only way to be a patriotic American is to blindly follow his lead.

Yet, based upon what has happened during the last five years, only a fool would do that.

So, I guess what that means is, according to Rumsfeld, only fools can be patriots.

I think "good 'ole Rummy" finally crossed the line. The line where only those truly dilusional folks can stand with him anymore. Only those "true believers" will swallow this phoney-baloney bullshit without gagging on it. Only those who have a direct, financial interest in perpetuating this corrupt administration will buy wholesale bullshit anymore.

At least, that's my hope.


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Lest we forget

Here's what it's all about.....


then, there's Lieberman

Monday, August 28, 2006

A good reason to read blogs....

Every once in a while something extraordinary happens. On rare, rare occasions, I am allowed to sit at the feet of a master...a master of literature...of philosophy...a master of understanding of that strange, illusive thing we call "the human condition" This morning was one of those rare occasions brought to me from a truly unexpected source, Poputonian, writing for Digby's blog Hullabaloo.

No, I'm not heaping lavish praise on Poputonian, only the fact that he brought us the words of a true master, Kurt Vonnegut and excerpted parts of his latest work, Man Without a Country. So inspiring are the words, that later this morning, I will be traveling approximately 40 miles to the nearest Barnes and Noble's book store to purchase the book regardless of the price. (Those who know what a "tightwad" I am are probably gasping in disbelief.)

I once responded to the question, "What would you do if you won the lottery?" with the reply, "I would go back to college and stay there!" It's true. I would. There is a singular joy in learning just for the sake of learning. There is no feeling in the world as great as that you get when you feel all your brain cells working overtime to grasp difficult and obscure concepts and apply them. And finally, there isn't any better feeling than the "eureka!" moment when you finally "get it".

I've read all of Vonnegut's fiction. He has a way of providing me with eureka! moments in almost everything he writes and today's excerpts are no exception. Read the whole post that I linked above but in the meantime here are a few savory "appetizer" for you.


It so happens that idealism enough for anyone is not made of perfumed pink clouds. It is the law! It is the U.S. Constitution.

But I myself feel that our country, for whose Constitution I fought in a just war, might as well have been invaded by Martians and body snatchers. Sometimes I wish it had been. What has happened instead is that it was taken over by means of the sleaziest, low-comedy, Keystone Cops-styple coup d'etat imaginable.

I left out part of the discussion about how Vonnegut's (arguably) most famous work, Slaughterhouse Five, came to be. His explanation brought me another "eureka!" moment about Veterans. Read it. You'll understand.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

Divide that number by 2.....

Sometimes my memory does strange things.

Sometimes I make connections that others think ...well...strange....

take this for instance...

This evening I was enjoying sitting out on the porch, sipping a glass of wine and contemplating many of the (political) events of the last week. When suddenly, I thought about a really, really stupid movie I saw a few years back about professional beach volley-ball players. I don't even remember the name of the movie but I remember the lame, hackneyed know it too...the washed up champion teaming up with a hot-shot, selfish maverick to win the biggest prize in the beach-volleyball circuit...the same theme has been done over and over and over again just substituting volleyball for...(insert sport name here).

The thing I remembered though was something that was unique to this sports movie from others that I've seen. You see, apparently, in beach volleyball teamwork is important. Like maybe it is in ALL SPORTS ...(well duhhhhhhh) the character playing the grizzled, old pro set out to teach the young, upstart maverick all about teamwork and he did it in a unique way. Whenever he served or did a "set" he would call out a number, and the maverick was instructed to DIVIDE THAT NUMBER BY TWO and shout out the result. The effect, of course, was that the maverick would have to concentrate ON THAT NUMBER and forget about grandstanding, showboating, hot-dogging or playing to the camera, thereby becoming....are you ready for this???? A TEAM PLAYER

So why do you think this popped into my mind this evening?


Politics is a team sport too. And recently, it seems, from the National level all the way down to the grass roots we're seeing a lot of brash, mavericks. It's almost in the "every man (woman) for himself" mode right now....but the truth is that no Democrats can prosper individually unless all of us Democrats prosper collectively.


The next time we have a party project to do.....when our leaders call out a number, divide it by two and shout it out while you do the project.

Have a nice weekend everybody.....

Friday, August 25, 2006

Visiting an Old Friend

I "stopped in" to visit an old friend: Stephen C. Day at Last Chance Democracy Cafe.

Sometimes I feel guilty stopping in there because I always take something rich and valuable away with me when I leave. I try occassionally to leave a comment behind in payment but my meager words hardly seem just compensation for his excellent insights and beautiful prose.

I'll also have to admit that I find stopping in to take in the latest episode of the Last Chance Democracy Cafe and visiting with Horace and Tom and the "guys" is just as fulfilling as stopping down at The Daily Grind and having coffee with the locals.

At any rate, let me treat you to a visit also. Here are a few snippets from his post entitled, "Like a Mesquito at a Nudist Colony" . Enjoy.

Republicans have always claimed that they’re against big government. But then a funny thing happened when they started running the whole show in Washington. Government didn’t get smaller. It got bigger. It got a lot bigger. And you want to know something else funny: The last time a Democrat, Bill Clinton, was president government got smaller. A lot smaller.


It’s the same sorry story over and over again. Big Government Republican Style is all about using our government as a slush fund to pay off Republican campaign contributors. They even have a name for it — it’s called the K Street Project. That’s how brazen they’ve become. That’s how little they even try to hide it anymore.

Steve is absolutely right, you know....there's so much to choose from in this campaign, it's hard to know where to begin....Maybe Democrats aren't in disarray...maybe we just have too many choices on how to defeat the Republicans...


On edit: I found this lovely "snippet" in the "Ask Winston" (one of the regulars in the cafe) Column....

Dear Winston,
Instead of just bellyaching all the time, why don’t you Democrats ever talk about all of the good things President Bush has done?
Pissed Off in Peoria
* * *
Dear Pissed Off,
For pretty much the same reason we never talk about all the good things the Bubonic Plague has done.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

For your enjoyment

Courtesy of the blogger known as "Ownedbyferrets".....hey, I didn't make this up

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Who is d.Sidhe?

and why is he/she so angry?////

Oh, no. These assholes don't get to unshackle themselves from Bush and his failed policies, to include any wars he's already started and any he plans on starting, and retreat back into "We're Reagan Conservatives!" until they apologize publicly for voting for the son of a bitch twice, and do some significant community service, and then sign papers saying they will never, ever again speak in a room with more than three people who are not of their own immediate family.

Ideally I want to see their asses painting up a bunch of schools in Iraq, and I want these bastards to pay for the paint themselves.

Jesus, the mess these people have made of the planet, and we're supposed to trust that there's some reason for optimism and accept that it's all the media's fault, that the liberals caused all this and they were just sitting there watching in passive voice? Screw them. Screw them all.

The whole system is so broken I don't think we'll ever fix it, and they're already making plans to announce that Bush just didn't kill enough people because he was too compassionate and too scared of the liberal media

.Screw them. Tie Bush around their necks, tie Iraq around their necks, like a fucking millstone, and let's watch the whole conservative, paleo or neo, sink deep into the ocean trenches. You failed, boys. Failed badly.

And one of the consequences of failing this badly is that you have to shut up and let actual adults take charge and clean this shit up. I don't give a rat's ass whether you're ready to live with it. Sit down, and don't raise your hand again until you have something useful to say.D. Sidhe 08.23.06 - 8:03 am #

Here's part of the answer...he/she was responding to this post by a prominent RW Blogger.....

It could simply be misplaced faith and optimism on my part, but I feel like there almost must be things going on in the background that we’re not seeing. Otherwise, I’d be despairing, too.
Because if this is it—if all we can manage politically at this point, even with someone as stubborn Bush in office, is to declare victory by staying the course—than our adversarial press and the cynical opportunists on the left (with an assist from the nativists on the paleocon right) will have shown the world that America is indeed the weak horse, crippled by its own inner tensions and power struggles, and by the soft transnational leftism that, by controlling the narrative and sowing seeds of manipulated dissent, pushes us ever closer to its goal of turning the US into a kind of European satellite nation and prevents us from committing to the kind of difficult, long-term projects that may just affect the kind of change necessary to stave of an otherwise inevitable worldwide conflagration brought about by an emboldened and resolute Islamism.

And I'm just not ready to live with that.

Why do I expect that many of us feel like D.sidhe?


on edit: The picture on the top of the page is of a statue in's the caption:

A statue of the Ancient Mariner at Watchet Harbour, Somerset, England, unveiled in September 2003 as a tribute to Samuel Taylor Coleridge.

Ah ! well a-day !

what evil looks

Had I from old and young !

Instead of the cross, the AlbatrossAbout my neck was hung.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Best Political Cartoon Ever?

Maybe....just maybe it is...we're all cynical these days, but this cartoonist, I think has cornered the market.


Monday, August 21, 2006

FLASH...Rude Pundit on Dubya's presser.....

But there was something good to come at this latest example of Bush's ability to veer with whiplash speed from joking endlessly about a reporter's seersucker suit to pounding the podium about "freedom" in Iraq. (Indeed, some might call that "compartmentalization," but the rest of us in the real world would call that "f***ing insane.") The DNC should put together a ten or fifteen-second spot that consists solely of the reporter asking, "What did Iraq have to do with the attacks of September 11?" and Bush answering, firmly, decisively, "Nothing." And air that motherf***er on every station where the election is even within pissing distance for the Democrats.

Beyond "Cut and Run"

I'm fed up with the Republican rhetoric of "cut and run" regarding our troops in Iraq. I'm equally fed up with their assertion that "we cannot fail" in Iraq because "the terrorists will follow us home".

Let's face the truth....

Let's face reality....

The truth? Bush invaded Iraq and destabilized the entire middle east and, especially, IRAQ. Now that it is destabilized it is becoming an fundamentalist Islamic state...Even by their constitution they embrace Muslim customs we consider extreme.

The truth? Whether we stay or leave, Iraq will continue to wallow in secretarian violence and religious strife. There is absolutely nothing we can do to stop the trend toward civil war.

In other words, Iraq was a failure as soon as we toppled Saddam....a brutal dictator who's very brutality kept civil war at bay.....(ironic isn't it?)

One of my favorite lessons in College came from a book entitled "Something of Value" Here's a review of the book that sums it up quite nicely:

Those of us old enough to remember a rather trite movie from 1957 titled Something of Value, based on a book of the same name by Robert Ruark about the Mau Mau insurrection in Kenya, might remember this quote, allegedly an old African saying:

"When you take away the customs, culture and religion of a people, we better replace it with something of value."

In other words, we had nothing to offer the Iraqi people in return for toppling Saddam. We did nothing to guarantee them the (relative) security they enjoyed under Saddam (remember religious freedom WAS infact practiced under Saddam...including a Jewish Synagogue in Downtown Baghdad)

So what can we do?

What is the alternative to another Iran-like country in the middle east in our absence? How do we stem the tide of anti-Americanism...of hatred of the West in general by the long-suffering people of the middle east?

I'm guessing that we will have to suffer for a number of years while the people of the region sort this out for themselves. I suspect that in the vacuum of leadership, a new leader, perhaps even a dictator more brutal than Saddam, will emerge and stability, of a sort, will eventually settle in. Additionally, it will take decades to overcome the hatred and resentment of the United States that has been engendered in the region.

I'm not sure there is any way to prevent the scenario above. Maybe keeping US Troops and warplanes
"over the horizon" in case there has to be a "surgical" strike for some strategic reason is a reasonable idea but keeping US troops in country to become targets of both (three?) sides of the dispute is simply not acceptable.

Some have suggested partitioning Iraq into three zones and giving control to all three with some distribution of oil revenues to lessen the impact.....I doubt that will work....

What do you think? What's beyond American occupation of Iraq?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Matt Taibbi nailed it...just right

Of the million-and-one things written about the Lamont/Lieberman battle, I think this has to be one of the most to-the-point editorials yet.

Here is his editorial from Rolling Stone Magazine and a few "snippets" for your enjoyment:

"If the people of Connecticut are good enough to send me back to Washington . . . " he began, "I promise them I will keep fighting for the same progressive new ideas and for stronger national security . . . "

At the words progressive new ideas I couldn't help myself and let out a little laugh, recalling Lieberman's determination to yank funding from public schools that counseled suicidal teens that it was OK to be gay. Was that the kind of progressive idea he was talking about? I really did try to muffle it, but it was too late -- a middle-aged woman with big dangly earrings in a Lieberman T-shirt whipped around and glared at me.
At the words progressive new ideas I couldn't help myself and let out a little laugh, recalling Lieberman's determination to yank funding from public schools that counseled suicidal teens that it was OK to be gay. Was that the kind of progressive idea he was talking about? I really did try to muffle it, but it was too late -- a middle-aged woman with big dangly earrings in a Lieberman T-shirt whipped around and glared at me.

Read the whole's worth it...


Friday, August 18, 2006

Air America in Central Wisconsin

I posted before about this but I'm going to post it again because we had a presentation last night by Joe Roppe who is the point man for Air America coming to Central Wisconsin. Here's the site to buy a pixel or two (actually just to make a donation, if you can't afford to buy a block (10 x 10 pixels for $100) but if you want to get involved, here's how to do it.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

When "Moderate" became "Radical"

Let me start off with a few disclaimers.

First, as always, this is my opinion and not that of any one else, OR FOR THAT MATTER, it isn't Official Party Doctrine.

Second, again as always, the purpose of the post is to stimulate discussion and those of you who regularly read this blog are invited to put your shyness away and jump into the discussion. This disucssion, I think, is more important than many we've had before.

The Internet has been a god-send to me and many of my like-minded friends. It has been (and hopefully will remain) an outlet for the frustrations and outright rage many of us have felt since that fateful day. No! Not September 11, 2001. December 12, 2000! In case you've forgotten, that was the day that the Supreme Court of the United States ruled in a "one-time only", "not for future use as a precedent" statement that continuing the counting of votes in the State of Florida for the Presidency of the United States, would "violate the 14th Amendment Rights of George W. Bush" (nobody asked about, or even questioned the 14th Amendment rights of another guy....Al Gore of Tennessee) The rage started then but never erupted on the surface, instead, it simmered quietly below the surface. After all, that was the "responsible" thing to do wasn't it? I mean "taking it to the streets" was too radical...besides, there was Christmas shopping to do...(sic)

There were others who were, at first timidly, making noises of dissatisfaction on the web. One of the precursors to blogs as we know them today was the so-called Message boards or chat rooms that had begun to spring up on the web. I participated in a few of them which were under the sponsorship of two Television Networks : MSNBC and CNN. They were real free-for alls because there were all different views on the boards and there were irresponsible "spammers", disruptors and Agents provocateur' on the boards. I went there because it was an outlet...and I tried to be:


whenever I was on those boards. But my opponents were rarely any of the things above. It was "in-your-face", take-no-prisoners, no-holds-barred time for the victors. The "boards" were soon taken down by each of the news agencies.

I put away my "radical" persona when I left college and entered the military. I worked in mainstream politics for many years where it was career suicide to be thought of as radical in any sense. I became a card-carrying, tan-slacks-and-blue-blazer-wearing moderate. But something was still troubling me, and, guess what? I wasn't alone. Take a peek at this quote from Digby today:

Read the whole post here.

Those of moderate political temperament are naturally resistent to the rather radical belief that politics have become an ugly, bare knuckle battle in which winning is defined as stopping the other side cold --- or winning elections and passing legislation through brute partisan force if necessary


It took me a little while to recognize what was happening too. I was a Clintonite who was willing to see if the third way could work. But I've got a strong streak of anti-authoritarianism in me that viscerally recoiled at the conservative movement's partisan misuse of the congress and the legal system during that era. Perhaps because I grew up in a rightwing household I understood that the bipartisan rules we had all assumed were a permanent fixture in American politics were no longer operative. By 2000, I was thoroughly radicalized and believed that Democrats had to play a different, more disciplined, brand of politics even if it meant losing in the short term (which, after 9/11, I figured would happen anyway.)It was clear to me that third way politics had no future once the Republicans had a taste of power and revealed themselves.

So I wasn't alone.

And now, something quit remarkable has happened. The so-called moderate voices of the Democratic party have been repudiated by Democratic Voters in Connecticutt. shorthand: Ned Lamont beat Joe Lieberman. Atrios has a succinct explanation for just WHY that happend. Again, Atrios through Digby:


The politics side has to do with a Democratic party in which all the leading Democrats are forever running against their own party. Triangulation can work for one man, but when every leading Democrat is constantly falling all over themselves (yes, this is exaggeration) to distance themselves from Those Damn Dirty Democrats, you have a party which is without foundation and where capitulation is confused with bipartisanship.

end snip

The new message is based on two words: CONTRAST AND CONFRONTATION

Our moderation and calls for restraint have lost us elections since 1994 (except for Clinton's re-election) and the use of "Triangulation" as a political tool has outgrown its usefulness.

Again, Digby sums it up better:


But because of this recent shift among Dem moderates, I think there's some hope that the Independents and moderate Republicans who are appalled at the results of total Republican rule may also see that the Democrats are getting their act together and are willing and able to confront the Republicans and change course. I believe our biggest problem among those people has not been the hippie boogeyman (which nobody under 50 really gets anyway) but rather the idea that Democrats don't stand for anything and are ineffectual against the Republicans.

People won't vote for you if they feel that it's pointless. Going with the confident winners and hoping they will learn from experience is a better bet. No matter how upsetting the current political situation may seem or how unpopular the Republicans are, if people feel that it will make no difference they won't bother to vote. A strong, united Democratic party can change that. I think we might be getting there.

It's worth thinking about......let's talk about it.


Tuesday, August 15, 2006


In case some of you didn't get Dave's message, we have some "wish lists" for our Marshfield office (and I suspect the Wisconsin Rapids Office eventually) If you can donate any of these things.

1. MONEY- We will once again have two offices, one in Rapids and one in Marshfield, open and staffed for the 2006 election season. This will be quite costly. We desperately need dollars.
We have already raised some money from our regulars at county party meetings and a special mailing to likely donors. It’s vitally important to raise significant additional funds for fall. Can we count on you for a special contribution to keep out county party offices open?
2. TIME (Call me at 715-384-8764 to volunteer)
We need volunteers this fall to man the offices in the two venues. We also need volunteers to work the booth at the Central Wisconsin State Fair Labor Day weekend in Marshfield.
Our Marshfield office is located at 230 S. Central Avenue. We have moved in and are in the process of opening soon. John and Dede looked at Rapids office sites yesterday. We anticipate a post-Labor Day opening there.
3. STUFF (Call me at 715-384-8764 )
We need a fall loan or an outright donation of the following items to furnish our offices:
-a large American flag with a holder that can be mounted
-working computers/equipment (preferably with newer systems Windows 2000 or newer)
-a tv stand
-a table/stand to support a stereo system
-desks, tables and a free standing coat rack
-a bar stool
-a DVD player

Monday, August 14, 2006

Weekends are too busy....

One careful look at the calendar told me the awful truth.

Summer is coming to an end and all those projects I was going to do "this summer" are staring me in the face in an acquising fashion.

I've been more productive around the house for the past two days than I've been all summer and managed to whittle things down a little bit.

I need a know, like Jimmy Stewart had in the movie Harvey. A giant rabbit that makes time stand still. Yeah. I could use one of those.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

..and we can't forget "Jesus General"

Then yesterday, after I read your piece attacking Ned Lamont for integrating his campaign, the answer occurred to me. You were referring to the five brown Congresspeople (Rangel, Conyers, Millender-McDonald, Thompson, and Velázquez) who are in line to become committee chairs when the Democrats take the House. The thought of brown people with that much power scares the living hell out of you.I don't blame you. Pigmentation is scary. Who knows what those brown Congresspeople will do if they get to be committee chairs. We might even be forced to take them seriously.

Wait. We won't have to do anything. DW Griffith's Birth of a Nation would be almost perfect as is. All we'd need to do is add a Toby Keith soundtrack. And the scene where all the brown reconstruction-era legislators are eating fried chicken, drinking whiskey, and leering at white women in the House Gallery would make a great trailer and poster--people wouldn't even need to see the film to get our message.

don't know about Birth of a Nation...follow the link above....

A Couple of gems from DIGBY

From Wes Clark via Digby:

You see, despite what Joe Lieberman believes, invading Iraq and diverting our attention away from Al Qaeda and Osama bin Laden is not being strong on national security. Blind allegiance to George W. Bush and his failed "stay the course" strategy is not being strong on national security. And no, Senator Lieberman, no matter how you demonize your opponents, there is no "antisecurity wing" of the Democratic Party.

And from Digby himself:

The fact is that most Democrats, not being natural authoritarians, don't put up with this crap from their leaders, of either party. They hold them accountable. Now I realize that for some twisted illogical reason that means they are seen as unserious and irresponsible in American politics, but it doesn't change the fact that it's the right thing to do. When your country is engaged in dangerous wars based on lies and obscure reasoning, it is immoral to say nothing simply because you are afraid it will make you look bad. I'm proud of the history of Democrats standing up and opposing these two wars.

Read the whole post here

Please, don't make me choose....again....

Actually life can be pretty simple.

If we do our jobs, collect our paycheck, pay our bills, buy that extra special "thing" we've always wanted, (or maybe just fantasize about buying it), turn off the TV news, let the newspapers and magazines pile up on the scrap paper rack...well, life can be pretty easy.

If that's all we do, then we won't have to inconvenience ourselves with tough moral decisons; we won't have to inconvenience ourselves by doing "doors" or making phone calls; we won't have to spend any of that money we were putting away for that special "thing" by giving it to a candidate or cause. We will only be forced to leave this comfortable, almost blissful environment, if we choose to....and that's a tough choice.

as fellow blogger "kpete" has to say:

On edit: actually, kpete was quoting from a Washington Post editorial, it appears here

The time has passed for what a New York Times editorial aptly characterized as Sen. Joseph Lieberman's "warped version of bipartisanship, in which the never-ending war on terror becomes an excuse for silence and inaction." People don't want Democratic politicians whose grotesquely nuanced positions on issues make their utterances incomprehensible or meaningless or both.

They want a new direction.The pendulum is swinging, driven by the all-too-apparent shortcomings of the Bush administration. To paraphrase a great Democrat, the only thing Democratic leaders have to fear is timidity in the face of opportunity.

There is that awful, nagging feeling that kpete is right. This is a time for opportunity and the time to choose. We can remain comfortable or we can rise to the opportunity. We can be bold or we can be comfortable.

What happened Tuesday in Connecticut was a watershed moment for the Democratic Party. Ned Lamont's victory over Lieberman was NOT the work of left-wing radicals and wild-eyed bloggers (yo...that would kicking a "centrist" out of the party. It was the voice of the rank-and-file Democrats saying precisely what the NY Times and kpete said above.

I am struck by the comments made by nationally known Democrats on the Lamont victory....and my political senses tell me that something is changing.

Russ Feingold didn't hesitate to endorse Lamont, and, in fact, sent him $5,000 from his PAC.

And take a look at this quote from the normally centrist and cautious Rahm Emmanual. :

“This shows what blind loyalty to George Bush and being his love child means,” said Representative Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, the leader of the Democratic House Congressional campaign. “This is not about the war. It’s blind loyalty to Bush.”

My gut reaction to this is that the "finger-in-the-air" politicians have picked up on the change in the political winds and will soon be joining the chorus of those who have been considered "outside the mainstream" for so long.

We, the rank-and-file of our local party organization, will soon be asked to choose which course we want to take.


Just when I was getting comfortable again.

another edit note: I've "uploaded" two images so far this morning and blogger won't print either of them...


Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Okay. NOW. I. GET. IT!

I have an hour to spare so I thought I'd treat you to these quotes
From the 1976 Movie Network

Strangely enough, the quotes a EVEN MORE RELEVANT TODAY than they were in 1976,

Diana Christenson (Fay Dunaway playing the role of Diana Christenson) Well, in a nutshell, it said: "The American people are turning sullen. They've been clobbered on all sides by Vietnam, Watergate, the inflation, the depression; they've turned off, shot up, and they've fucked themselves limp, and nothing helps." So, this concept analysis report concludes, "The American people want somebody to articulate their rage for them." I've been telling you people since I took this job six months ago that I want angry shows. I don't want conventional programming on this network. I want counterculture, I want anti-establishment. I don't want to play butch boss with you people, but when I took over this department, it had the worst programming record in television history. This network hasn't one show in the top twenty. This network is an industry joke, and we'd better start putting together one winner for next September. I want a show developed based on the activities of a terrorist group, "Joseph Stalin and His Merry Band of Bolsheviks," I want ideas from you people. This is what you're paid for.

or even this tidbit:

Max Schumacher (William Holden playing the role of Max Schumacher)It's too late, Diana. There's nothing left in you that I can live with. You're one of Howard's humanoids. If I stay with you, I'll be destroyed. Like Howard Beale was destroyed. Like Laureen Hobbs was destroyed. Like everything you and the institution of television touch is destroyed. You're television incarnate, Diana: Indifferent to suffering; insensitive to joy. All of life is reduced to the common rubble of banality. War, murder, death are all the same to you as bottles of beer. And the daily business of life is a corrupt comedy. You even shatter the sensations of time and space into split seconds and instant replays. You're madness, Diana. Virulent madness. And everything you touch dies with you. But not me. Not as long as I can feel pleasure, and pain... and love. [Kisses her]

Monday, August 07, 2006

Office Pictures

Here are some pictures of the new Marshfield Office:

Marshfield office opening is getting Close

Hi everybody!

Just a quick note to let you know that thanks to some great efforts, the Marshfield Democratic Party Headquarters Office is very close to opening up.

Saturday saw moving in of some of the major items and then Sunday, Lolo and a group of volunteers brought in more supplies and cleaned the place from top to bottom. I'm very enthusiastic about this.

I'll try to post some pictures later on today but for now:

Friday, August 04, 2006

Too funny

In his first and only attempt at riding a horse, then Governor Bush was helped aboard a carefully chosen steed and, once he was firmly in the saddle, the horse was released.Almost immediately, Mr Bush lost control and, in a frightening scene, tumbled from the saddle, his foot caught in a stirrup. The horse continued on as Mr Bush, screaming wildly, was dragged behind it. His aides rushed to help but there seemed little they could do -- the horse was so wild and Mr Bush was so tangled in the rig. Onward the horse rushed as Gov. Bush's head bounced violently on the ground. It seemed all was lost and the witnesses were convinced Mr Bush would be maimed, if not killed outright. Fortunately, the Wal-Mart manager came out in the nick of time and pulled the plug, otherwise Mr Bush might have been trampled before his quarter's-worth of time expired.Ever since, Mr Bush has shied away from the ponies.

I don't know who wrote the original text above but I've seen a couple of versions of it on the web. The "kernel of Truth" in it of course, is the widely-reported information that GWB is actually afraid of horses.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

I almost forgot about this:

Okay, read this:

Amendment XIV *

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the state wherein they reside. No state shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

In case you didn't recognize the above, it's the 14th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States.

Mary Scott O'Conner is subbing for the Rude Pundit today and she has the most rational "rant" over the so-called "Protection of Marriage" amendments I have ever seen. She makes some excellent points that I haven't considered in this debate and she' s well worth the read.

For instance, I have never "FRAMED" the question quite the way she does when she asks (paraphrasing), how is it that we can use who a person "sleeps with" as a basis for granting them civil rights? There's that pesky 14th amendment again. Here's a link to the article.

As an aside, I wonder, I just wonder what would happen if I went door to door with a petition that requested putting the language of the 14th Amendment on the ballot as a referendum question.....

What do you think would happen?

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

...and pinch hitting for THE RUDE PUNDIT....

is Shakespear's Sister. And She (I assume it's a she) is every bit as RUDE as the RUDE ONE HIMSELF.

If you're offended by rude, crude language, then this link IS NOT FOR YOU.
and a snippet for your amusement:
There are a lot of apathetic jerkoffs in this country who love to take a long slug of shitty beer and utter what they consider the epitome of nuanced political thought: “There’s no difference between the two parties, anyway.” Stunningly original, I’ll acquiesce, but incorrect nonetheless. That this tired drip of dogwank wisdom is still hanging around after six years of indisputable evidence that there was indeed a great deal of difference between George Bush and Al Gore, whose contest in 2000 was defined by that nugget of nonsense, is indicative of how lazy and unengaged the people who employ it really are. I’d have more respect for them if they were honest enough to admit, “I don’t care enough to pay attention, so I don’t have an opinion.” And if they were brave enough to add, “Which makes me a completely useless fuck who has no basis for complaint,” I’d give them a bloody medal.

Martin County (Florida) Dems have a sense of humor

Apparently the Martin County Democrats have been archiving political cartoons on their website and invite us all to join in the fun..... here is a link to their website and for your enjoyment.......

And one more just for fun:

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


On a very Serious Note:
Our Condolences to Amy-Sue Vruwink on the passing of her Mother, Donna Mae

Donna Mae Vruwink, 66, of 3840 Vruwink Road, Milladore, died early Sunday morning, July 30, 2006, at her residence.

Funeral services will be held at 10:30 a.m. Wednesday at St. James Catholic Church in Vesper. The Revs. Jude Ndugbu and Chester Osowski will officiate. Burial will be in Fairview Cemetery in the town of Sherry.
You can find the rest of the obituary here
Dave Wille told me that appropriate tributes are being arranged in behalf of the County Organization.
Rest In Peace, Donna Mae Vruwink.