Thursday, September 28, 2006

Democratic Party Campaign Theme 2006

Better late than never I guess, but this was just printed as a Buzzflash Guest Editorial today and althought I think the author (Brent Budowsky) missed some opportunities, I still think this is a great theme. I've edited it for our purposes here on the blog but I strongly encourage you to click the link and read the whole thing.

It is, in my opinion...the type of theme that we have been grasping for and I think he found it.....


America is a big and good country, based on some big and good ideas, beginning with a respect for truth, a respect for the diversity of our people, a respect for the integrity of our democratic debate, a respect for the idea of an informed people making intelligent decisions in a country that believes the truth will keep us free.


America is a big country and a good country and at the heart of it all, is a respect for truth, and what we have lost, is this respect for truth. Nothing is more dangerous to our democracy than leaders who promote the disrespect for truth.


America is a big country and a good country, and our people hunger for a return to the first principles of our freedom, the respect for the integrity of our debates, the respect for the insitutions of our democracy, the respect for the very notion of truth itself.


America is a big country and a good country, where we are all welcome in the real America, where Lady Liberty raises her torch without regard to our color, where the Liberty Bell rings without regard to our religion, where the great documents of our democracy rest in our archives not as dead hands of the past, not as cheap words for the politicians, but as time honored truths to preserve, protect and defend.

America is a big country and a good country, and that is the case we take to the country, in this election year.
Brent Budowsky I offer you Democrats a challenge....USE THE THEME....and add your own reason why America is a big country and a good country .....add it along in the comments section...and maybe, just maybe we'll submit it to the NEWSPAPERS


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Tuesday Open Thread

We have a celebrity in our midst....

Amy Goodman of Democracy Now!

and one of our own.....

Monday, September 25, 2006



Lots and lots going on in Wood and Clark Counties

You're Invited
Open House/Grand Opening of the N Wood County Democratic Headquarters
230 S. Central Ave, Marshfield, WI
6:00PM to 9:00PM

Too good to pass up

Remember how Chris Wallace accused Clinton of "not doing anything" to stop Bin Laden?

Well, thanks to the "waybackmachine" (archives) some liberals have found out exactly what the Freepers (free republic blogsite) had to say about Clinton's attempts to get Bin Laden all the way back to 1998.

Here are some of the more "choice" comments: (I've added bold for emphasis)

Wag The Dog ! Wag the Dog! We are bombing Afganhistan (sic)8/20

Last time it was Iraq, Now we are bombing Afghanistan and Sudan to deflect attention from Clinton's troubles

To: Wil H
SEE!!!! YOU DUMB A** LIBERALS. NOW HE IS PLACING YOUR PRECIOUS CHILDREN IN HARMS WAY TO SAVE HIS OWN BUTT. HIS GOING TO KILL YOUR CHILDREN. PLEASE GOD HELP US!!!! I AM THE STUPID1 ----- please excuse me for yelling, but now I'm really scared of the lenghts this man is willing to go. I'm a 28 year old man with a beautiful family, may hands are shaking. nothing follows
From: stupid1 () *
08/20/98 14:24:40 EDT

To: All
Please pray for our pilots and sailors and that this does not escacalate. This is so sad. Afgahnistan ought to be our ally.
From: Arthur Wildfire! March ( ) *
08/20/98 14:01:42 EDT

To: R of Belesme
I think I heard Sudan is another target (CBS)-- did I hear correctly?
Important point: Islamic extremists are Islamic first, very tight knit. I grudgingly respect their unity. This could spill over to many other countries. Our only hope is that the Islamics believe our administration was righteous in what it did. This is a litmus test of Clinton's ability ot handle a diplomatic mess. PLEASE PRAY.
From: Arthur Wildfire! March ( ) *
08/20/98 14:11:15 EDT

To: Arthur Wildfire! March
Clinton Orders Military Strikes
EDGARTOWN, Mass. (AP) -- President Clinton said today he had ordered U.S. armed forces to strike at ``terrorist facilities'' in Afghanistan and Sudan in retaliation for the embassy bombings in Africa.

Clinton said he ordered the attacks because ``we have compelling information they were planning additional terrorist acts.''

``Today we have struck back,'' the president declared.

The president said the U.S. struck a terrorist base in Afghanistan and a chemical weapons facility in Sudan.

``We have convincing evidence these groups played the key role in the embassy bombings in Kenya and Tanzania,'' Clinton said. ``Terrorists must have no doubt that in the face of their threat, America will protect its citizens.''

Clinton made his remarks before cutting short a family vacation on Martha's Vineyard to return to Washington.
From: donna () *
08/20/98 14:12:16 EDT

To: Arthur Wildfire! March
From: disgusted inFl ( ) *
08/20/98 14:14:25 EDT

To: donna
This brash act by a brash child-man is a direct threat to the security of every citizen inside our own borders for the people against whom he acted are non-forgiving and have no fear of death.
And, make no mistake, they are here!!!!!!

By the time the helicopter gets back to D.C. we may well be witness to a reprise of 1814.
From: Old Professer (emailname) *
08/20/98 14:17:50 EDT

This is actually fun to see right wing hypocrisy played out so blatantly......

(I left the spelling in the original just for fun)

WHAT Liberal Media?

This is making me just a little bit crazy.

It’s an article of faith among Republicans that anything, and I DO MEAN ANYTHING, that supports a liberal/progressive point of view is simply prima facie evidence of the existence of the LIBERAL MEDIA.

The truth, however, if far, far from the that and today, we have two examples of the “liberal media” at work. The first is put forward from the folks at The Daily Howler is a little bit long but extremely well documented and I reprint snippets here to give you and idea of the context of the piece but I encourage you to read the whole thing.

The second example is simply visual and it says it all.

Here's the snippet from The Daily Howler:

But in this same column, this Dean of All Pundits serves up a startling confession. Finally, more than six years later, we’re finally told why this Pundit Dean worked so hard to put Bush where he is. Here is Broder’s fuller passage about our “lawless” commander:

BRODER: Bush was elected twice, over Democrats Al Gore and John Kerry, whose know-it-all arrogance rankled Midwesterners such as myself. The country thought Bush was a pleasant, down-to-earth guy who would not rock the boat. Instead, swayed by some inner impulse or the influence of Dick Cheney, he has proved to be lawless and reckless. He started a war he cannot finish, drove the government into debt and repeatedly defied the Constitution

But David Broder didn’t always see things that way. In fact during the 2000 Campaign, he had THIS to say about Bush.

BRODER (8/6/00): Lifted by an acceptance speech of exceptional eloquence and powered by a party enjoying unusual unity, Texas Gov. George W. Bush embarks on the final stage of his quest for the White House with prospects that almost measure up to his brimming self-confidence.

He has passed the first three tests on the way to the presidency with room to spare. He won the nomination early and with minimal bloodshed. He picked a solid running mate in former defense secretary Dick Cheney...And the acceptance speech he delivered Thursday night was a success.

It contained almost everything good political rhetoric can provide—humor, personal warmth, effective jibes at the opposition and glimpses of what his father, the former president, used to call "the vision thing." And Bush had rehearsed it enough to make it his own.

The Daily Howler article meticulously documents how Broder and his fellow journalists carried out a well planned, well scripted vendetta against Al Gore and in favor of George W. Bush. The press corps branded Gore (an later Kerry) a “Know-it-all” and never missed an opportunity to publicly brand them as such. Broder and his bretheran knew quite well that their efforts would turn certain key classes of voters against Gore (and Kerry) and by persisting they would “anoint” George W. Bush.

And now, the Newsweek covers. Just look at what is being told OUTSIDE of the United States as opposed to what is being told to US! Protecting the administration? I think so.

On a final, note!

Liberal media my ass!


Don't forget this:

I suppose this comes under the shameless plug category, huh?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

I'm not really a fan, but............

Dammit..Clinton did a good Job!
I watched the tape of the interview (read: ambush) that Chris Wallace (the evil spawn of Mike Wallace) tried to pull on Clinton and watched in amazement when Clinton defended himself, his administration and fought back in the only way FAUX NEWS understands.
See a "sanitized version" here on the msnbc site:
The whole thing was an ambush...Fox News got the Clinton interview by promising to talk about the Clinton Global Initiative and instead, started reading from the Path to 9/11 script, blaming Clinton for the events of 9/11/01.
Clinton did what Dems should be doing...he fought back...and fought back with facts, and righteous anger, and indignation. He did a great job.
Now watch the Repubs use words like, crazy and unhinged to describe Clinton's magnificent defense of himself, his administration and the Democratic Party....that's all they're left with.

Attaturk, Digby and Jane....I'm in good company we all knew that the "revolt" by McCain, Warner and Graham was just a kubuki dance. We knew, for instance, that "Huckleberry Graham" (thanks to Digby for the nickname) has played this game before. He pretends to buck Bush and his administration, makes a big show of "standing on principle" and then uses a thin compromise or "great reflection" to cave in to the demands of the administration. He did it again, only this time, he was aided and abetted by Warner and John McCain. They struck a deal, a "compromise" with the administration that lets Bush decide exactly what toruture essence, they have legitimized Abu Gahib and the secret prisions in Europe.

It's outrageous all right but here's the worst part. Harry Reid ...OUR SENATE LEADER, HARRY REID, has complimented the three Republicans.

Here's a small sampling of the outrage from the land of Right Blogistan. First, Champillion, in Rising Hegemon

The MSM has for days now been spewing nonsense about the great compromise reached between the Cheney administration and three principled senators who had the courage to stand-up to the White House. No writer has said it better than Digby (Attaturk links below), who probably says exactly what most of us are thinking: once we begin debating just how much torture is acceptable, the debate is already over and lost. Here they talk as if compromise is always a good end, kind of like Joe Lieberman uses the word "bipartisan". There are times when the act of compromise is not a good outcome, when looking for middle ground is not a desirable end. Generally that is when we are talking about accepting a diminution in the principles and ideals that separate our society from those we could never imagine we could become.

And then, there's Digby:

People and societies don't just wake up one morning to find they no longer recognize themselves. It's a process. And we are in the process in this country of "defining deviancy down" in ways I never thought possible. We are legitimizing torture and indefinite detention --- saying that we will only do this to the people who really deserve it. One cannot help but wonder what "really deserves it" will mean in the years to come as we fight our endless war against terror. Sure, right now it's just a bunch of foreigners and I guess we don't feel foreigners are entitled to basic human rights. They must not be human --- or at least not as human as "we" are.

When you think about it, who knows who "we" are either? Right wingers make millions of dollars writing books about how liberals are godless, death-loving, traitors within. Many people who read those books probably believe these liberals are only one step away from being sub-human too ---- they are, after all, godless traitors.

And finally, Jane Hamser at Firedoglake:

We are now officially the country of torture. The image above of the hooded prisoner is the one that gets used the most not because it is iconic (although it is), but because the others are so horrific people instinctively turn away and don’t want to face the conversation any more. The fact that Levin and Reid would applaud this as "standing up to the administration" is absolutely appalling. Totally aside from the moral bankruptcy and the political naivite they showed in getting punk’d by GOP kabuki, it is anything but an efficacious November strategy.

You should really check out the links. They're quite good and I wish I could add something as profound, or, maybe inspiring or motivating to the conversation. I guess I'll just have to be content with being disgusted. The only consolation is that I' m in very good company.


Saturday, September 23, 2006

It's DINNER TIME (Democratic Party Dinner, that is.)

Our Nieghbors over in CLARK COUNTY, (the Clark County Democratic Party) are getting ready for their
38th Annual Clark County Democratic Dinner.
It will be on OCTOBER 7 2006, at the AMERICAN LEGION HALL in Thorp, Wisconsin (it used to be held in Greenwood) and, as usual, it's going to be a (Democratic) Star-Studded event. It will start off at 4:30 with and "Early Bird" Reception for Senator Herb Kohl. Dinner will be at 6:30PM and the featured speaker will be our very own DAVE OBEY.

Honored guests will also include Congressman Ron Kind, State Senate Candidate Pat Krietlow, and Assembly Candidate Tim Swiggum.

Mel tells me that the entrees will include Kielbasa and Kraut for those who are tired of the traditional "rubber chicken" dinners BUT.........rubber chicken will be available for those who cannot kick the habit.

Tickets are $15.00 per person but you can get two tickets for $25.00.

You can reserve tickets by calling 715-659-4964 or you can email

This dinner is gathering quite a reputation throughout the state. The Clark County Dems make a lot of money off of this dinner and it's also a premier event for Democrats/liberals/Progressives who want to gather and hear what the party leaders have to say.

Give it a try.....

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Back to the basics

Today is September 21......primaries are over and the push for the November elections is looming.....

There are polls that tell us that (Nationally at least) Democrats are in good shape and the Republicans are being held in contempt by the voters......

If we allow ourselves to believe that the electorate has "finally seen the light" and will automatically vote Democratic, we're deluding ourselves. We need to work as hard or harder than we did in the 2004 campaigns because control of Congress depends on this election. This election is just as important as the Presidential election in '04. It doesn't have the "glitz" of a Presidential election but it is nonetheless important.
It is our PATRIOTIC DUTY to get out and get people to vote is our DUTY to TAKE BACK AMERICA!

Also a reminder....the Democratic Party of Wood County monthly meeting is tonight in Pittsville at 6:30. We have the agenda item called "Save the World in 120 Seconds". It's a time when ANYONE in the audience can stand up and speak ON ANY SUBJECT for two minutes. If you have an idea, plan or issue, or, if you just want to VENT this is a great opportunity to do so.............

See you tonight.....


Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Classic (repub) bait-and-switch..

Like most of you, I've been listening to the "debate" about what interrogation techniques should be used on Al Queda and/or Taliban prisoners and the relation to the Geneva Conventions....I've even taken the time to read Common Article III which our pResident claims is "vague". (Hint: it isn't "vague" it's BROAD) I'll admit I almost jumped into that debate with both feet, that is, until the "bs buzzer" went off and I noticed that we're engaged in another classic bait-and-switch debate.

I think this article via MSNBC newsblog was what set the "buzzer" off . See if it doesn't do the same for you. (a link and a snip)

Arar, now 36, was detained by U.S. authorities as he changed planes in New York on Sept. 26, 2002. He was held for questioning for 12 days, then flown by jet to Jordan and driven to Syria. He was beaten, forced to confess to having trained in Afghanistan -- where he never has been -- and then kept in a coffin-size dungeon for 10 months before he was released, the Canadian inquiry commission found.

But it was the case of Arar, a reserved, soft-spoken father of two, that created an outrage in Canada after he returned in 2003 and said he wanted the public to know what had happened to him.
The report said agents of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police "overstated" Arar's importance in the broad investigation they began of potential Canadian suspects after Sept. 11.

Cavalluzzo said the Canadian agents apparently operated without proper training. "The best one can say is that it was sheer incompetence. They did not appreciate the fact that the branding of someone as a 'target'or 'suspect' or 'Islamic extremist' to Americans in 2002 could lead to disastrous consequences."


Yep, he was tortured alright....
Yep, he was subject to "extraordinary rendition" (can you say "kidnapping"?)

But the point is that there was NO DUE PROCESS....Incompetence and error were allowed to go unchecked. We didn't get the right guy in the first place.

An innocent man was imprisoned, tortured and forced to confess to crimes he didn't commit because the right we Americans hold to be one of our basic freedoms was taken away...DUE PROCESS...THE RIGHT TO CONFRONT YOUR ACCUSERS...THE RIGHT TO SEE THE EVIDENCE PRESENT AGAINST YOU...

In all the arguments from the Kingdom of Right Blogastan, there is the charge that we, liberals, are coddling the terrorists...the the RightBlogistanians haven't answered the basic question: " How the F$$$ do you KNOW they're terrorists?" They just blindly assume that if the pResident(the same guy who said Saddam was supporting AlQueda, Saddam had vast stockpiles of WMDs, Nobody could have anticipated the levees in New Orleans would fail, "You're doing a heckuva job Brownie"...yeah THAT GUY) SAYS that they are terrorist, then they must be................bzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz............WRONG!

We can argue about what IS or IS NOT torture all we want but it won't take away the fact that the administration is taking away one of the very basic TRUTHS WE HOLD SELF-EVIDENT" and that, my friends is what we should be outraged over.

RANT OFF..............

Monday, September 18, 2006

hehehehehe..somebody proved my point....

Yesterday's post about the Repub dinosaurs sort of got a boost through TBOGG this morning

via the Pajamas Media (a right wing funded)blog of Victor David Hansen:

In matters of the present war, I have given up on most of the neoconservatives, many of whom, following the perceived pulse of the battlefield, have either renounced their decade-long, pre-September11 rants to remove Saddam (despite the 140,000 brave souls still on the field of battle who took them at their word), or turned on the President on grounds that he is not waging the perfect fight and thus is not pursuing the good war. The Paleo-right is as frightening as is the lunatic Left. My old Democratic party is long dead, their jackals trying to tear apart the solitary and stumbling noble stag Joe Liebermann, the old center taken over by the Kerry and Soros billionaires, and the guilt-ridden academic, celebrity and media cadres.

So we really are left with very little in these pivotal times—the will of George Bush, of course, the Old Breed unchanged since Okinawa and the Bulge that still anchors the US military, the courage and skill of a very few brave writers like a Hitchens, Krauthammer, and the tireless and brilliant Mark Steyn, but very, very few others.

Joe Lieberman....a "stumbling old stag"?

About those (us) "old hippies".....

I don't know how many times I've been branded by our Conservative bretheren as "an old hippie". Being cast in the image of the dinosaur left over from the Civil Rights Movement and maybe the anti-war movements of the 60's.

But watching Republican Candidate for Governor Mark Green debate Jim Doyle last Friday night made me understand that we liberals aren't the only party to have "dinosaurs".

Get this:

Green was playing like a broken record (record = that was a vinyl recording device used before CDs and DVD for those of you too young to know)the lame, tired old Republican Battle Cry, TAXES ARE TOO HIGH, TAXES ARE TOO HIGH, TAXES ARE TOO HIGH! That's the same theme that Howard Jarvis coined in California in the late 1970's that started the so-called Taxpayer's Revolt and consequently the beginning of the conservative movement prior to Ronald Reagan.

Since the days of Howard Jarvis, voters in California, Colorado and most recently, Florida* have found out just exactly what that Republican ploy of tax cuts and tax rebates actually means. .. and they don't like it.

Cutting taxes means that roads don't get paved.
Cutting taxes means fewer "first responders".
Cutting taxes means higher and higher tuition costs for college students
Cutting taxes means larger classroom sizes and less individual attention to students.
Cutting taxes means holding bake sales (in Colorado) to pay the electric bill for the schools
Cutting taxes means libraries closing or cutting back hours

Taxpayers and voters (one and the same really) have come to learn all too well what the actual cost of that $300 state rebate check really is ....

But the "cut taxes" dinosaurs of the Republican party are still hoping to graze at the electoral trough one more time with Mark Green leading the herd....and Mark Green is pandering to those dinosaurs in the worst possible way.


* on edit....One Florida newspaper is reporting a "taxpayers revolt" against high property taxes in the state...mostly because the state isn't funding anything anymore.....the most memorable quote was "It's getting so a respectable redneck can't afford to live here anymore." I read it on Friday and I'll find the link shortly. 2nd edit a link and a snippet:

Floridians are in a foul mood over rising property taxes, and soon they will elect a new governor.

Crowds of sign-waving, fist-pumping taxpayers are packing hearings across the state.
What's fueling their hostility is that cities and counties have reaped a windfall from soaring property values but have not rolled back local property taxes.
In what taxpayers see as a shell game, local politicians promise to hold the line on taxes, but they mean the tax rate, not the tax you pay. There's a huge difference. In Florida, holding the line amounts to a tax increase because the value of property keeps going up.
But county officials note that while legislators have lowered taxes in Tallahassee, they have played their own shell game by shifting a growing share of the cost of government to the local level, especially for schools.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Successful Event

Thanks to a substantial and enthusiastic crowd and helpful staff, we had a great time hosting the Doyle-Green debate at the Marshfield Wood County Democratic Office last night Much appreciated also, is the fact that several of our guests traveled from Wisconsin Rapids and other parts of Central Wisconsin to be with us at this event.

Of course, it goes without saying that Governor Doyle clearly was the winner in the debate!!!

Friday, September 15, 2006

A press release I'd like to see

From Talking Points Memo

"The president wants us to forget the mistakes he's made in Iraq. He says capturing bin Laden isn't a priority for him. And now he's off caught up in a fight with senators of his own party about which kinds of torture we should use. This president just can't or won't keep his eye on the ball. President Bush took his eye off the ball in Afghanistan when bin Laden was in our grasp because he wanted to hurry up and get into Iraq. And now he wants us to forget about Iraq because he doesn't want to take responsibility for all the mistakes he's made in Iraq. The American people have a choice on November 7th. If you think our country is going in the right direction, if you think Iraq is making us safer, vote Republican. If you've had enough and thinks it's time for a change, vote Democratic." -- quoted from a (fictional) congressional candidate.
-- Josh Marshall

Nicely done Josh, nicely done.....

Thursday, September 14, 2006

LIVE! From Headquarters.....

Hi folks

Thanks to Tom O'Brien, we're blogging live from Headquarters in Marshfield......

We're starting to look like a real office......
The rally will now be held in Rose Hall, Room 250, on the UW-Green Bay campus.
Please join:Wisconsin Democrats
For a Unity Rally with:
Governor Jim DoyleSenator Herb Kohl Attorney General Peg LautenschlagerDane County Executive Kathleen Falkand8th Congressional District Candidates Steve Kagen, Nancy Nusbaum, and Jamie Wall
Hosted by
Senator Russ FeingoldOnSaturday, September 16, 2006
With the November elections rapidly approachingwe need to unite in support of our Democratic nomineesWHEN:Saturday, September 16, 20064:00 p.m.
WHERE:Rose Hall, Room 250UW-Green BayGreen Bay, WI

And now just for fun, a picture of two of my favorite bloggers: Jane Hamser and Christy Hardin Smith of firedoglake fame...oh yeah, I almost forgot...the other person in the picture is BILL CLINTON!

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

The Primaries are over...

Congratulations to the successful Democratic Candidates.

Now it's time to unite to defeat the Republicans.

A few interesting statistics from yesterday's races:

The highest number of votes cast in the Democratic primaries were in the race for Wood County Sheriff where there were 5581 total votes cast.
In the 2000 primary, Unopposed Huer (Repub) got 1751 votes and Unopposed Yankovich got 2547 votes.

The highest number of votes cast in any Republican Primary race was in the Bucher/VanHollen race with a total of 1925 votes.

Unopposed Doyle got 4674 votes while Unopposed Green got 1913 votes.

I guess Democrats are more inclined to vote than Repubs, huh?

Oh yes, I found the GOP 2006 Campaign logo on the it is!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

In case you forgot!

I'm becoming Keith Olbermann's scribe again

I swear....Olbermann is becoming the leading voice of the "loyal opposition". He did it again last night in a stunning, blistering commentary. I wonder how long the Corporate bosses as MSNBC (coughWestinghousecough) are going to let him continue...or...quite possibly, MSNBC and Westinghouse are beginning to understand that the political pendulum has begun its swing back to the left and there's money to be made on that side of the fence too....

at any rate...I'll post the link and a few snippets of that remarkable piece of televised journalism from last night.

first, the link:
and a few choice snippet or two:

At the dedication of the Gettysburg Memorial — barely four months after the last soldier staggered from another Pennsylvania field, Mr. Lincoln said "we can not dedicate - we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."
Lincoln used those words to immortalize their sacrifice.
Today our leaders could use those same words to rationalize their reprehensible inaction. "We can nto dedicate — we can not consecrate — we can not hallow — this ground." So we won’t.
Instead they bicker and buck-pass. They thwart private efforts, and jostle to claim credit for initiatives that go nowhere. They spend the money on irrelevant wars, and elaborate self-congratulations, and buying off columnists to write how good a job they’re doing — instead of doing any job at all.


When those who dissent are told time and time again — as we will be, if not tonight by the President, then tomorrow by his portable public chorus — that he is preserving our freedom, but that if we use any of it, we are somehow un-American…
When we are scolded, that if we merely question, we have "forgotten the lessons of 9/11"… look into this empty space behind me and the bi-partisanship upon which this administration also did not build, and tell me:
Who has left this hole in the ground?
We have not forgotten, Mr. President.
You have.
May this country forgive you.

Wow....just wow............

Debate Night--Marshfield Democractic Office, Friday, Sept. 15, 6:30 p.m.

You are all invited to view a debate between Governor Doyle and Mark Green at our Marshfield office located at 230 S. Central in the Franklin Building, on Friday, Sept. 15, at 6:30 p.m. Snacks will be provided and Ed's recent donation of "rabbit ears" should make TV viewing a reality instead of just an empty promise!

Monday, September 11, 2006

Interesting Sept 11 commentaries


There a surprisingly good editorial in (of all places) The Marshfield News-Herald and an incredibly thoughtful one in Firedoglake and, (surprise) the always relevant James Wolcott added to the fray. Snippets and links follow:

From Firedoglake

When will we have won the War on Terror? When the government can peer into the living rooms of every person on the planet? Because that is what it will take to stop all the terrorists in the world. The whole hallmark of terrorists is that they work outside of governmental systems. There could be terrorists anywhere. They are secretive. They are largely invisible until they strike, which is why they are only defeatable through the efforts of law enforcement. You cannot fight terrorists with the military. Armies are made to fight other armies. We are seeing the futility of fighting terrorists with the military playing out every day in the horrors of Fallujah, Kabul, and Tyre. Thousands of civilians die while the actual perpetrators melt into the scenery and regroup elsewhere.


And that is the disgrace our nation will bear well into the rest of this century. When faced with extraordinary circumstances, we responded in a deeply unextraordinary, C-student way.

From the News-Herald

Five years after the most devastating attack in U.S. history, we had joined together with allies around the world and defeated tyrants ravenous for territory and power.


On Sept. 11, 2006, we are a nation that does not know victory.

Five years after the attack that will forever scar this generation, we are fighting on two fronts with no end in sight. We're a people divided with no shared sense of sacrifice or purpose. Rather than rallying allies to fight a shared enemy, we largely are alone on the world stage, the good will of five years ago squandered.

There are things that must be said on this day -- the anniversary of the day that terrorism visited our shores and forever changed our society and our people.

And James Wolcott:

Even if The Path to 9/11 were politically pure, its raison d'etre would be suspect. How many times and how many ways must the adrenaline be pumped, the tragedy replayed, and the suffering exploited? The fall of the towers has become a ritual fetish, an annual haunting, that doesn't exorcise fear, but replenishes it.

"What has changed, grotesquely, is the aftershock,"
Simon Jenkins writes in The Guardian, delivering a splash of cold reality. "Terrorism is 10% bang and 90% an echo effect composed of media hysteria, political overkill and kneejerk executive action, usually retribution against some wider group treated as collectively responsible. This response has become 24-hour, seven-day-a-week amplification by the new politico-media complex, especially shrill where the dead are white people. It is this that puts global terror into the bang. While we take ever more extravagant steps to ward off the bangs, we do the opposite with the terrorist aftershock. We turn up its volume. We seem to wallow in fear.

I have a lot of thoughts about this day...presently and on September 11, 2001... but I won't even try to compete with the golden prose of those presented above. I'm actually humbled by them.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Best Political Cartoon of the week?

Maybe it is!

Nick Anderson from the Houston Chronicle

btw: Our power came back on at around 6:45 this morning....I don't know how long it was off but I discovered it at 5:30 this know what freaked me out though?

All the devices in the house WITH BATTERY BACK-UP went out also....I was thinking in terms of EMP (Electro magnetic pulse in nuclear explosions)


Oh yeah, I almost forgot:



Susang takes off on Repubs for failure to "fact check" The Road to 9/11:

Because no matter how stupid you think conservatives are -- you get two or more of them in a group, and it's like a singularity of stupid, from which no actual competence can escape. They're just that goddamn dumb.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Fighting Bob Fest

I just returned from another energizing, motivating Fighting Bob Fest in Baraboo. Last year, Amy Goodman of Democracy Now! fame cancelled to be in New Orleans during the aftereffects of the hurricane, but she made a most welcome appearance this year and gave a long but riveting speech. I bought her new book, got her autograph, and shook her hand. She then asked me if I watched her and I got to tell her that I used to until our city attorney drew up a legal contract that no one in his right mind would ever sign. At this point, she grabbed her cell phone and summoned her outreach director. He appeared, heard my story, and gave me his card with all the contact information necessary in case we wish to lodge a complaint. I was really impressed that a busy celebrity would take the time to listen to me and try to help.

As we left the parking lot to return home, we spied our favorite bumper sticker of the day. It read as follows: When Fascism comes to America, it will arrive draped in the flag, and carrying a cross. Sinclair Lewis

Time for some local activism..... That link will take you to your local ABC affilliate where you can call or email to protest the showing of The Road to 9/11....or more appropriately, THE ROAD TO SMEARING ALL DEMOCRATS


Friday, September 08, 2006

Waving the Bloody Shirt....

As some of you may know, I was raised in the South and during the time I grew up there was still a substantial resentment of the North (derisively referred to as "Yankees"), and, up until the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1965, Republicans. It should be no surprise then that the term "Waving the Bloody Shirt" was much more well known and commonly used in the south than it was in the North because generations of southerners had resentments of post-Civil War Reconstruction bred into them so deeply that it became almost genetic.

The reason I'm devoting an entire post to the term is because it turns out that the term was a Republican adopted and utilized technique which they found very handy in pushing through punishing, unfair and downright MEAN legislation against the Southern States. Take a look a Wikipedia's definition:

Are you beginning to get the connection?

Every year, for the past four years, we Democrats stand by the sidelines and howl loudly about the Bush Administration "politicizing" 9/11. And we hate it when Bush uses 9/11 to justify everything from illegal wiretapping, to secret prisions to invading Iraq (and now possibly Iran or Syria or both). But we see that the technique is nothing's been used before and the Republicans know it. They know how to pull out the "old playbook" and make it work again.

Take a look at this entry from the blog "Discrininations"

For those of you who are too young to remember Reconstruction and its aftermath, ?waving the bloody shirt? refers to the anti-Southern demagogy Northern Republicans would employ in the latter part of the 19th Century whenever it appeared the Democrats (the party of ?Rum, Romanism, and Rebellion?) were gaining. The ?bloody shirt? referred, of course, to the sacrifices of the Union in the Civil War.
A good example is this bit from R
obert Ingersoll, a Union officer and post-war orator of some note:
Every man that denied Union prisoners even the worm-eaten crust of famine, and when some poor emaciated Union patriot, driven to insanity by famine, saw in an insane dream the face of his mother, and she beckoned him and he followed, hoping to press her lips once again against his fevered face, and when he stepped one step beyond the dead line the wretch that put the bullet through his loving, throbbing heart was and is a Democrat
. Link here

Democrats, killed that poor, fevered Union Soldier just as, today, Democrats caused 9/11. (It was all Clinton's fault you know.)

Sound familiar?

Of course it does. It's the same old rhetoric trotted out in new clothes to fit the new era.

And it works.

It worked in the 1870's and it will work again today unless we counter it with our own, effective message. The trouble is that we, as Democrats, have yet to develop a message quite as effective as "The Bloody Shirt" and until we do, Bush and his media cronies will trott out the BRIGHT, SHINEY, 9/11 PONEY (thanks to Blogslut for the her work here.) and it will work, in 2006, 2007 and maybe even 2008. We need the a message with the same emotional impact and the same harmonic resonance that will capture the public imagination.

Perhaps calling out Republicans publicly for "waving the bloody shirt" is a start....maybe it's the start of a new round of public discourse...

or not.

Thursday, September 07, 2006


Scholastic Inc just's the "linky-thing"

and a snippet or two:

"After a thorough review of the original guide that we offered onlineto about 25,000 high school teachers, we determined that the materials didnot meet our high standards for dealing with controversial issues," saidDick Robinson, Chairman, President and CEO of Scholastic. "At the sametime, we believe that developing critical thinking and media literacyskills is crucial for students in today's society in order to participatefully in our democracy and that a program such as 'The Path to 9/11'provides a very 'teachable moment' for developing these skills at the highschool level. We encourage teachers not to shy away from the controversysurrounding the program, but rather to engage their students in meaningful,in-depth discussion."

"As we have done with many discussion guides in the past related tomajor events, we encourage teachers to engage their students in theseimportant discussions about news, media and public opinion. Understandingand evaluating media messages can be challenging for adults and youngpeople alike and developing media literacy skills is critical for studentsin order for them to be well-informed participants in our democraticsociety," added Robinson.

my comment: "No S$#@ Sherlock!

Well, at least Scholastic is trying to do the right thing.....ABC? WELL, NOT SO MUCH....

Walt Disney must be...

...churning in his pod that is..........

Check out the controversy over

The Road to 9/11

which will be aired as a two-part "mini-series on ABC on September (what else?) 11.

The story is purported to be based on the 9/11 Commission report but even members of the commission admit that it is factually WRONG and NOT BASED ON THEIR FINDINGS.

It gets even worse, Scholastic Inc., which provides text books to schools has put out a "study guide" for Teachers to use to in discussion of the film in their classrooms...activists are working on both ABC and SCHOLASTIC.

Primary time...less than one week away


I've always been of two minds regarding some very, very rare cases (can you say Leiberman?) they are a tool to maintain party discipline and clarity of message but for the most part, they have become nasty little blood-letting affairs.

When we look on the State and local level we find some primary races which could, in this next hectic week deteriorate into one of those affairs.

Primaries have always been with us and maybe my memory is playing tricks on me but I don't remember primaries being as divisive as they have now become. I'd like to think that the reason had to do with the differences in how politicians see themselves. Let me try and wade through this philosophical swamp for a moment.

There was a time when the term "politician" wasn't a bad word. In fact, in some circles, a politician was someone who resolved conflicts, who accomodated competing interests, who (in the words of an old mentor of mine) was so skilled at rhetoric that he could " tell his opponent to go to hell in such a way that the opponent looked forward to the trip." If and when two of these old style politicians ever faced each other in a primary, you could count on one thing at the end: there would be a photograph of the loser holding up the hand of the winner in a traditional victory sign to indicate that there was unity among the two. In addition, the winner would give reconciliatory speeches for the loser, adopt some of his/her (there rarely was a her) platforms or ideas and, if elected, make certain that an appointment was made even if only an honorary position was offered. The end result was party solidarity and loyalty among competing interests within the party.

When and where this gave way to the "winner take all" mentality, I don't know but I think we, as a party and as a community are worse off for it.

btw: Blogger has been down since last night so I haven't been able to post and update.....

I need to mention that I was a very impressed with the job that DeDe and her volutneers did with the Wisconsin Rapids headquarters in the Wisconsin Rapids Mall. GREAT JOB GUYS!!! Send pictures of the office via email when you get a chance.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

We're gonna fight, fight, fight, for F. S. U......

FSU 13, U of Miami 10....

Now as long as they beat that "other" school down in Gainesville I don't care what else happens to them this season......

perfect end to the labor day weekend..

and speaking of such.....

Congratulations and a tip of the hat to Wisconsin Rapids for sponsoring a great TRADITIONAL LABOR DAY PICNIC. I read the account of it in Today's News-Herald and thought about how great it is for Rapids to Celebrate Labor Day the way it was intended to be.

Here's the picture from our paper.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Happy Labor Day

I remember when this day was a day for honoring workers...I remember Union Picnics and, it's just another "long weekend"...

My neighbors lined their street with American Flags though which is a good thing, I think.

And then there is this snarky reminder of WHY labor needs to be organized and WHY we need a Democratic Congress


Hi Ho ...come to the FAIR!

I readily admit that I am not one who would go the a County/State Fair if I didn't have to....I've just never been a fan of fairs...not even in my youth did I enjoy a county fair...


Recently there has been one, strong, over-riding, compelling reason to go....

Because that's where the PEOPLE ARE!!!


Anyway I was there twice in the last two days and spent an awful lot of time just talking to people. I had a particularly long conversation with an officer in the local Republican Party and I am pleased to report to you that he is NEITHER an A**hole nor fact, we had a great discussion.

I also noticed something a bit different about this year at the Fair...there was a distinct ABSENCE of harrassing members of the other party...I noticed one yesterday but during my four-hour shift today there wasn't a single, belligerent, in-your-face opponent. Amazing.

I also had the opportunity to work with some great people from the FAIR WISCONSIN group. They are among the most knowledgeable and deidcated persons I've had the pleasure to work with.

Oh yeah....did I mention that Governor JIM DOYLE was there yesterday? Well, he was and you know what...he said he would come to visit us and he did....he kept his promise....also with him was our own Amy-Sue Vruwink and Mayor Mike Meyers of Marshfield.

If you're a "people person", working a booth at the fair is a kick.....viewing the rest of the Fair? Well, not so much...for me anyway