Wednesday, February 28, 2007

A Few Things...

First, the Libby jury has shown some signs of life....asking a question about a certain charge...for the Plameologists, that's the Cooper Perjury charge. Jane, Marcy and Christie think that charge should be an acquittal..... Live blogging going on from the Prettyman (hehehehe...I love that name) Courthouse.

Next, Laura Bush lost the "sympathy vote" by appearing with Larry King and saying (paraphrased) that things are going pretty good in Iraq except for the "one bombing a day"......Sorry Laura, the reports show over 200 attacks a day. The news only shows us the most significant. Jon Stewert and The Daily Show did a take on it last night. Here's the link.

The Rude Pundit had some suggestions for what Laura SHOULD have said but as usual, it's pretty RUDE...

Glenn Greenwald takes a few shots at the favorite right-wing pundit technique of picking "random" anonymous comments on Left wing blogs as an example of the "unhinged" nature of Left wing bloggers. He relates this (rightly, I think) to the intellectully dishonest practice of using anecdotal stories as "evidence" of the whole. It's an excellent article. You can link to it here. Glenn puts it well here:

"UPDATE II: This whole issue raises a broader point: the reliance by idiots and deceivers on the fallacy of argument by anecdote, one of the lowest (and most commonly invoked) forms of fallacious reasoning. "

and "hits it out of the park "here:


Those who rely on that cheap, tawdry tactic are really indistinguishable -- just in terms of the methods -- from, say, websites run by white supremacists who, every day, troll the news wires and post individual stories of crimes committed by African-Americans and then think that they've made a broader point. In that context, most people can see how transparently fallacious the tactic is, but in other contexts, they are blind to it. "

And finally, courtesy of Miss Cellania, a quick PHOTO LESSON:
As you might have guessed, I'm still enjoying my discovery of Miss Cellania's site(s)...her links take you to some.....ummmmmm.....interesting places. But I'll let you explore that yourself.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Oops....almost forgot

Here's a picture of Linda Clifford, candiate for Wisconsin Supreme Court.....

and, just because there should be is her campaign site.

Is that you Dave?

There's a LOT at stake.... the Wisconsin Supreme Court Race.

If you think it doesn't matter, well, obviously the Conservatives do.....look at what showed up in The Capital Times

An e-mail and a voice message arrived Thursday from a public relations flack named Tim Scheiderer.
It's not strange in my job to get PR pitches, but this one reveals just how far a new right-wing cabal is going to get conservatives like Annette Ziegler elected to states' highest courts.

Scheiderer's voice message, which I assume was sent to most of the media in Wisconsin, explained how important the race between Ziegler and Madison attorney Linda Clifford is to "the future of the court," as if I didn't know.

But, to help me and presumably other newspaper editors understand that importance, Scheiderer said he is willing to set up an off-the-record interview with David W. Simon and Rick Esenberg.

Okay....I'll this point I had no clue who Scheiderer is...but the reporter is an experienced political reporter and, (dare I say it?) he did some digging.

I'll let him tell it from here..

"Here is where it gets more interesting. The phone number for Scheiderer isn't a Wisconsin one, but belongs to a PR firm called CRC (Creative Response Concepts) Public Relations headquartered in Alexandria, Va.
And who is CRC Public Relations? Hold onto your hat. It's the same public relations outfit that did a lot of the dirty work for the so-called Swift Boat Veterans for Truth, the sinister organization that sought to destroy John Kerry's military record. Among its other clients are the Republican National Committee, the Christian Coalition, Grover Norquist's National Taxpayers Union, and Regnery Publishing, the right-wing book producer.
It also promotes right-wing blogs, including the one that attacked Dan Rather's report on George W. Bush's sorry National Guard record during the last presidential campaign.

Scheiderer acted surprised when I asked him who was paying his firm. He ducked the question, claiming instead that CRC works closely with the "Federalist Society," a group comprised mainly of conservative lawyers, but not known for shelling out money on election campaigns.

Dave Zwiefel goes on to say that he expects this to be the dirtiest Supreme Court race in Wisconsin history....WMC (Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce) is already sinking tons of cash into Linda Clifford's opponent's race (I won't print the opponents name because of trolls.....) It could get ugly/

If the Republicans and their conservative surrogate organizations think this "little, bittty, eency-weency, Wisconsin Supreme Court race is this important, then mayby, just maybe. IT IS!!!

Thankfully the Capital Times reporter, Dave Zweifel, (pictured above courtesy of the Capital Times)is an experienced journalist with great Wisconsin connections (and apparently a good memory). He exposed this in the Capital Times today but this information needs to get out far and to this post in emails to your friends.

Better yet.....

Volunteer for the Campaign
Write a Check


Rude but true...

I actually meant to comment on this on Sunday but there was far too much snow shoveling to do to sit down and write it out...and by delaying....The Rude Pundit beat me to the thought......quite rudely.....
The thought?
Well, again, it involved a tidbit (almsot a sidebar) from Sy Hersch's article in The New Yorker Magazine where he outlined the Bush Administration's "Rube Goldberg Strategy for the Middle East.
In case you've forgotten, the Shiite based government we support in Iraq, is too friendly with Iran, so in order to counter them, we're supporting their opponents (in a clandestine manner through their terrorist groups) the Sunni, who, in case you've forgotten are the Sect that Osama Bin Laden bleongs to AND are supported by Al Quada in Lebanon, so that they can fight the Shiia who are protecting us from the Sunni insurgents in it?
If you understand me.....or pour me one of whatever you're drinking....
But that's not the "sidebar"...
The sidebar is that the one person who refuses out of principle to have anything to do with this is...wait for it...
or, as the Rude one put it:
"...that the depraved (deleted) who turned a blind eye to (and ensured funding for) Honduran death squads that plagued Central America back in the Reagan era (known these days to liberals as "Jesus, who'd've thought it could get worse?"), who was at the center of Iran-Contra, would sound, in the screwed up context of the players in Hersh's article, like the good guy? It's not unlike saying that Charle Manson is the most likeable serial killer because at least he surrounded himself with buddies."
Yep, that about explains it....Negroponte stepped down from Director of National Intelligence to take a lower-level job in the State Department because:
Leaving Congress out of the loop on how the Bush adminstration is funneling money through intermediaries in order to divide the Middle East on along Sunni-Shiite lines has the Bush administration dancing to Dexy's Midnight Runners. But, unlike, you know, Cheney, Elliot Abrams, and others, Negroponte seems to be feeling the cold breath of final judgment on his neck. Says Hersh, A "former senior intelligence official also told me that Negroponte did not want a repeat of his experience in the Reagan Administration, when he served as Ambassador to Honduras. 'Negroponte said, "No way. I’m not going down that road again, with the N.S.C. running operations off the books, with no finding."' (In the case of covert C.I.A. operations, the President must issue a written finding and inform Congress.) Negroponte stayed on as Deputy Secretary of State, he added, because 'he believes he can influence the government in a positive way.'
In the land of Left Blogsylvania, Negroponte's name is not to be mentioned in polite company. He's been branded as a terrorist, a killer, an enabler and, most recently, he has been blamed for starting up "death squads" in Iraq to try to quell the Sunni insurgency there.
The Rude one is right....for somebody with Negorponte's past to come off as a "good guy" in this mess must mean the whole thing is pretty messed up......pretty BADLY messed up..
Okay rude beat me to it.....and did it better than I could...although I don't think I can be that rude....

Monday, February 26, 2007

The source of EXECUTIVE POWER?

on edit: In case what you're wondering what brought this on....well...check this out:

King Arthur: I am your king. Woman: Well I didn't vote for you. King Arthur: You don't vote for kings. Woman: Well how'd you become king then? [Angelic music plays... ] King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. THAT is why I am your king. Dennis: [interrupting] Listen, strange women lyin' in ponds distributin' swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
Dennis: Oh, but you can't expect to wield supreme executive power just because some watery tart threw a sword at you.
Dennis: Oh but if I went 'round sayin' I was Emperor, just because some moistened bint lobbed a scimitar at me, they'd put me away.

Somebody should tell Bush......rofl

Sy Hersch scares me...

This guy has been talking about pentagon planning for an attack on Iran for almost a year now. He hasn't been correct on it yet but his sources are usually unimpeachable...anyway...he came out with a new article in New Yorker Magazine yesterday and this one is even scarier than the others because it outlines the Middle EAst Strategy of the Bush administration and, as usual, it's a Rube Goldberg Strategy....

On top of that, he went on CNN with Wolf Blitzer yesterday. Here's the link to the Crroks & Liars video.

Here are the high points:

The Bush Administration is secretly funding covert actions in Lebanon aimed at STRENGTHENING SUNNI extremist combat the SHIIA EXTREMIST GROUPS. Oh, did I mention some of the SUNNI groups are associated with AL QUEDA? Did you remember that Osama Bin Laden is also a Sunni?

It is being funded by money that disappeared in IRAQ and also with money from Prince Bandar (aka Bandar Bush) in Saudi Arabia.

Negroponte's resignation as head of DCI and reappointment to a relatively minor job in the State Department is because he suspected the above activities resembled IRAN-CONTRA too closely for comfort and wanted no part of it.

Our good friend, Jesus General, gives us a graphic to sort things out more clearly.

We're definitely not is Kansas anymore.......

Sunday, February 25, 2007 snowed...

Keep in mind that we had BARE GROUND on Friday morning.....

And after a "wee bit" of shoveling.......

How much snow did you get? Got pictures? email them to

Friday, February 23, 2007

Open thread....

I've been pretty busy most of the day....AND there isn't much happening in the blogosphere tonight....



Cultural Fair tomorrow but I think it may get snowed out.....

That Stevens Point Mayoral Race is getting interesting....there's a recount under way because of "a mechanical error" that the Stevens Point Journal didn't go into ...

I'm interested because our "statcounter" showed a bunch of hits on this site from Stevens Point in the last week or so...the "referring link" was always a google search for "Joe Roppe".

Remember Joe?

He spoke at one of our meetings representing a group that wants to bring AIR AMERICA to Central Wisconsin and I put a post up here for people to go to his site for Stevens Point Air America...hence...a google search turned up our blog....but why were people looking for Joe Roppe?

Because Joe got involved in the Stevens Point Mayor's race by publishing a web site criticising one of the candidates.....and that candidate's supporters "googled" Joe and found our site.....

Interesting huh?

Here's the link to what apparentl y triggered the activity

Thursday, February 22, 2007

Hanging out at the Cafe...

It's Thursday....

better than that, it's the every-other-Thursday when the latest episode of The Last Chance Democracy Cafe' is in between phone calls and CEUs, I've been "hanging out" over at Stephen C. Day's virtual Cafe and eavesdropping on what Tom, Winston, Zach and the rest of the gang have to say.

As usual, they gave me something to think about.....and...because as Albert Einstein said, "there is no such thing as coincidence." a large part of what Steve and the "guys" (although Molly does make a cameo appearance today) are discussing shows up in a nasty little food fight between KOS and Joe Klein in today's blog "The Swamp".
In case I lost you there....let me tie it together for you.
The title of today's episode in the Cafe' is: BE AUDACIOUS OR DIE!
It starts out by asking if the Democratic Party is a "One-hit-Wonder"...(all of us baby-boomers and American Bandstand babies should know what that means)and goes on to talk about the fact that while the Democrats won a least a "taste" of power in the 06 election, the Republicans still maintain a HUGE structural advantage because of the infrastructure they have built up over the past 20 years or so.
(note: there is an interesting discussion of the Clinton years in there which I find remarkably it...comment on it...)
The point is that the Democratic Party must be audaciuos enough to make structural changes that will either negate or eliminate the Republican advantages in money, media and think tanks or it will lose in the upcoming elections.
So how does the KOS/Klein food-fight play into this?
Easy....because KOS and Klein each represent very divergent views of how the party should proceed. There is the "centrist" position of the establishment (Klein) and then there is the Liberal/Progessive position represented by KOS (and hehehehehe...the blogosphere in general). The liberal/progressive wing wants to be audacious and the establishment wing want to be cautious....
For the record, the current food fight involves Congresswoman Ellen Tauscher (D-Dalifornia) and the Washington Post sums the battle up like this:
The Democratic majority was only three weeks old, but by Jan. 26, the grass-roots and Net-roots activists of the party's left wing had already settled on their new enemy: Rep. Ellen O. Tauscher (D-Calif.), the outspoken chair of the centrist New Democrat Coalition.
Progressive blogs -- including two new ones, Ellen Tauscher Weekly and Dump Ellen Tauscher -- were bashing her as a traitor to her party. A new liberal political action committee had just named her its "Worst Offender." And in Tauscher's East Bay district office that day in January, eight activists were accusing her of helping President Bush send more troops to Iraq.
And KOS has been leading the charge...
As we tried to do in Connecticut. While we didn't get rid of Joe Lieberman, we helped to effectively marginalize him. He's now stuck to a failed and disastrously unpopular president, and is in a no-man's land of politics--useless to the Republicans because he won't support many of their pet causes, and a pariah in his own party. Contrast that to Jane Harman, as Markos does in this story:

But Kos points to Harman as a perfect example of how the Net roots can keep Democrats in line. He said Harman used to be a constant irritant, a go-to quote for reporters looking for a Democrat to tweak liberals -- until she had to fight off a primary challenge from the left in 2006. "She's been great ever since," he said. Now Harman even writes on the liberal Huffington Post blog.
Klein, of course, disagrees:
Update Atrios makes my point for me. If you want to tell me how you're going to guarantee a left-wing challenger won't weaken Tauscher, or perhaps see her replaced by a moderate Republican, I'm all ears.As for Ezra, I disagree with Tauscher on the estate tax and bankruptcy, but once again--you think a Republican would vote differently? And I very much liked Jane Harman, before she was mau-maued, and wish she were the Chair of the House Intelligence Committee now. Unlike the current Pelosi-selected chairman, she knows the difference between a sunni and shi'ite.

And finally: While you infants are getting all self-righteous about the sins of moderates and littering the space with pornographic comments, the Republicans have spent the day sending bombs like
this to people like me. They've done one for each Democratic candidate for President. Some perspective, please, from the commentariat.
I won't get into the "bloggers are uncivil" argument right now, but I thought Joe had seen the light and said so in an earlier post...
Good material for thought this morning...pour a cup of coffee, grab a sweetroll, and settle into the Last Chance Democracy Cafe' (and leave a comment)

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Catching up..catching my breath....

catching my breath...almost literally....trying to track (what seems like) 50 issues at the same time...

but here's a quick roundup of the goodies going on in the blogosphere...

Primary Election Results....

Supreme Court Justice primary election was yesterday and had to mnarrow the field down from three to two...Russ Feingold endorsed Linda Clifford and the "other side" was pushing Annette Zeigler...Well...both Zeigler and Clifford made it through the primary. Our Wood County results were:

Annette K. Ziegler - 1618
Linda M. Clifford - 653
Joseph Sommers - 567

Sommers got more votes here (per centage-wise) than on the state level...

Clifford has A LOT OF WORK to do.

On the National Level:

Democrats were quick to respond to the Washington Post articles about the absolutely DEPLORABLE conditions for our Vets at Walter Reed. Apparently Rep Louise Slaught wants some anwers. Here is her letter to the VA. Evidently Senators Barbara Michalkski, Sen Claire McKaskill and Senator Barack Obama have weighed and also and are demanding answers....


Snow told the press corps that if they wanted to know what was going on at Walter Reed, those responsible for working on the problem "work on the other side of the river." In other words, it's the Pentagon's fault, and the Pentagon's responsibility for fixing it -- as if George Bush has no say over what the Pentagon does (or no desire). C'mon. They work for Bush over at the Pentagon, they are PART OF the Bush Administration

Yeah....that's some way to support the troops guys....

For Plameologists...and Firedoglake fans...

The Libby trial concluded yesterday with a very animated Patrick Fitzgerald making the final closing rebuttal.

As noted Plame scholar Marcey Wheeler said MONTHS AGO, Fitzgerald indicted Cheney verbally if not legally and made the Vice President a center-piece of his argument...a rough transcript is here....

"There is a cloud over the VP. He wrote those columns, he had those meetings, He sent Libby off to the meeting with Judy. Where Plame was discussed. That cloud remains because the defendant obstructed justice. That cloud was there. That cloud is something that we just can't pretend isn't there."

There's a nice "wrap-up" article of yesterday's proceedings and a great video of Jane, Christie and Marcey here.

Update: The Jury has been given their instructions and now....we wait.

How would you like a short excursion into right-wing crazy world?

Here's a good one. Right Wing Blogger from Town Hall (Wingnut Blogger WelfareLand) "weighs in" (sorry, couldn't resist) on the Tim Hardaway controversy with his own analogy.... snip:

Tim Hardaway (and most of his former NBA teammates) wouldn’t welcome openly gay players into the locker room any more than they’d welcome profoundly unattractive, morbidly obese women. I specify unattractive females because if a young lady is attractive (or, even better, downright “hot”) most guys, very much including the notorious love machines of the National Basketball Association, would probably welcome her joining their showers. The ill-favored, grossly overweight female is the right counterpart to a gay male because, like the homosexual, she causes discomfort due to the fact that attraction can only operate in one direction. She might well feel drawn to the straight guys with whom she’s grouped, while they feel downright repulsed at the very idea of sex with her. which Brother Attaturk responds:

"Over to you K-Lo."

Note: K-Lo is his reference to Right Wing Blogger from "The Corner", NRO's site, Katherine-Jean Lopez who is not a Victoria's Secret Model. Sorry, I can't find the picture ...

Tuesday, February 20, 2007



(in blogese, that means end of message)

Monday, February 19, 2007

If Republicans owned the newspapers

during the revolutionary war....thanks to Attaturk.....

OKAY! You Win!

I'll buy AFLAC

Wouldn't you know it!!!!`

Tomorrow is primary election day and when I went to mark it on the calendar, guess what I found?

I'm due for my 6 month checkup at the clinic!

test after test after test....


That doesn't mean that I can't vote between tests


That YOU can't vote sometime during the day!

I got a "robo-call" from Linda Clifford last night and another one from Russ Feingold this morning....I guess they want to be sure we get to vote 'bout you? You gettin' any? (calls, that is)

Sunday open thread....

Just want to open up a thread for you to hang comments on if you feel like it....

Concerning the David Brooks (aka Bobo by some other bloggers) wrote a column for the New York Times today that doesn't stand up to academic scrutiny's an incredible review here.

There's a link to the article in the link....I think the commentary on it is some of the best I've seen...I tell why here

But the NYT wasn't the only place carrying Republican "water" today...from Firedoglake, we learn:

How else are we to explain the editorial decisions to propel Byron York's inept and hapless crayon scribblings yesterday, followed by the propagandistic, defamatory rantings of longtime Barbara Comstock sister in crime Victoria Toensing today? Barbara Comstock currently serves as the PR flack for the Libby defense team, and has been a key fundraiser for his defense.
We'll be getting into more substantive dissections of the lies and diversions propelled by these political campaigning players, but for the moment, I'd like to call everyone's attention to the fact that the Washington Post has made the decision to be the outlet for the Libby PR machine led by Barbara Comstock.

It's late...more tomorrow

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Don't delete that....

If you're like me, you probably get tons and tons of email from various Democratic-based organizations....and they almost always say the same thing:



Well, I think what I heard about The Progressive Patriots Fund will change that habit. As you know the founder of the Progressive Patriots Fund is our own Senator Russ Feingold. When he first started it, us cynical, battle-scarred political types all said the same thing: "Neat ploy, Russ. We know it's the basis for your bid for the nomination, but (wink-wink, nod-nod) we'll play along anyway." We actually weren't paying attention to the fact that campaign finance reform being what it is/was, ( was CALLED McCain-Feingold, remember?) that kind of money couldn't be used for a Presidential campaign bid.

When Russ actually announced that he would not seek the Democratic nomination, I think I was one of the few fans of Russ Feingold who was actually .... well... relieved. I was never thrilled with the idea of Russ running for, or for that matter, being, President. He has spent his entire life in the legislative branch of government and has almost no Executive Branch experience. That worried me....almost as much as losing one of the best U.S. Senators we have ever seen. But as he dropped out of the race, the question about the use of the Progressive Patriots Fund/foundation came to the surface....

Could it be that he was actually going to use it for what he SAID he was going to use if for? You promote candidates candidates public office.

That's exactly what they did.....

The Progressive Patriots Fund selected 20 candidates for congress in 2006. They provided them with $5,000 cash and, most importantly with a trained staff person to help run their campaign....

Out of the twenty....12 are now members of Congress....


Just remind me now.....just exactly how big is the Democratic Majority in the House of Representatives?......

If I remember it's 31.....and 12 or the 31 are because of Russ's efforts.....

He's building a grass roots organization and tackling the Republican stranglehold on Congress one district at a time......

Want to go one better?

We're a year in advance of the next campaign and the Progressive Patriot's fund is already "on the streets" meeting with locals and planning for next year.....(I've been preaching this kind of long-term activism for years but this is beyond my wildest expectations.)

I don't think I'm going to hit the "delete" key next time I get one of those emails.....

Friday, February 16, 2007

Sorry I missed the meeting...

I did, however, engage in good, honest Democratic Party work last night...

One of the items that came out of the meeting I attended last night was a reminder that we have a PRIMARY ELECTION on February 20th that a lot of people have forgotten....It's a primary for State Supreme Court and if you think it doesn't matter, you're very, very mistaken. If you listened to the candidates on the radio (Joy Cardin's show on Wisconsin Public Radio) you know that one of the candidates is the favorite of the conservative party and another is favored by our side of the ledger. In fact, Senator Russ Feingold has endorsed Linda Clifford so that should give you an idea.I liked what Linda had to say on the radio and felt comfortable that she would apply the law fairly and equitably if elected. Here's her campaign site in case you want to know more about her. I know that these elections are supposed to be "nonpartisan" but I'm hearing the sound of the partisan "dog whistles" (activist judges, greedy trial lawyers, etc ) coming from one of the campaigns and it isn't see what I'm talking about take a look at some of the letters supporting her Her opponent is starting radio and TV ads this week so you'll see some action but off-year primaries are notorious for LOW VOTER TURNOUT and this election doesn't look much different. There is a lot at stake so be sure to get out and vote and get all your friends out there too.

I understand Dave and Lolo had a good laugh or two on me last night but that's okay......ask LoLo about her book club...

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Don't forget the Meeting tonight!



6:30 P.M.





Coming up:
-March meeting-Resolutions
-Possible Madison field trip, dinner meeting later this spring

Blog roundup

I haven't done one of these in a long time....

The truth is, I found so much good stuff on the blogs this morning I couldn't decide what to share with you. So here are a few of my favorites:

On Bush’s press conference yesterday, the Rude one writes:

No matter how many times his plans have failed, you have to give his latest Iraq plan a chance to work. It's sort of like having your mom insist that you hire your just-released-from-prison pyromaniac brother to work in your fireworks factory. See, just because he burned down three houses and two giant warehouses doesn't mean he'll do it again. Give him a chance.

The Rude Pundit

So now because there is more danger in Afghanistan, somehow it’s NATO’S Kos writes:

Bush screws up Afghanistan by turning his attention to Iraq when we had the Taliban, Osama Bin Laden, and Al Qaida on the run. Now, five years later, having screwed up not just Iraq, but also a war we should've won relatively easily years ago, Bush is demanding that other NATO countries bail him out.


This is sort of neat. It's the headline from this morning's New York Times and for the first time, in a long time, they got it just about right! The article does a great job on the live blogging that was done by Jane Hamser, Jerylyn Merrit, Marcy Wheeler, Swopa,and Christy Hardin Smith at the Libby trial. It rightly pointed out how professional these bloggers were; how knowledgeable they were and how they added credibility to the whole proceeding. I need to add my congratulations to Jane and the whole firedoglake crew for the incredible job they've done at the Libby trial AND their podcasts from Plame House. By the way, by clicking on the link you can see the Politics TV blogcast from Plame House

For Liberal Bloggers, Libby Trial Is Fun and Fodder

Congratulations to Jane Hamsher and her merry team of bloggers at firedoglake both for the stellar work they've done on the Libby trial and also for making the front page of the New York Times. And the headline describes perfectly what blogging is about:
One final thing about that headline. Jane, and by extension, our larger patch of the blogosphere has been - will wonders never cease? - accurately described. We are liberal bloggers, and the Times knows this, resisting the use of a more prejudicial and inaccurate adjective with the same number of letters that would please the rightwingers (can u guess what it is?). While the Times, disgracefully, still permits its reporters to take dictation from Bush and print it as reporting, this is a refreshing, and hopeful sign. It wasn't too long ago that the Times, under Raines, would provide creationists free advertising on their front page. It's not much of a step forward to describe Jane as a liberal blogger and not, inaccurately, as a _____, but it is a step.

Tristero on Digby’s

Tbogg had a link to a story that involved both Bill O'Reilly and Dennis Miller, but the link to the Miller part of the article didn't work so I won' inflict it here......

Then my favorite over at Last Chance Democracy Cafe, it's "Ask Winston day". And somebody writes in this:

Am I wrong to be terrified about what Bush may do in Iran? I just can’t get over the thought that if he decides he wants to bomb there, no power on earth will be able to stop him. And everyone with any expertise at all on the subject seems to agree that attacking Iran would prove to be a disaster for our country.

to which Winston answers (in part):

Without a doubt, the next two years are going to be among the most dangerous in the history of the republic. We have a president who worships the aggressive use of military force as devoutly as Bill O’Reilly worships the sound of his own voice. War has become both a sacrament to him and the ultimate proof of his manhood. And as with many true believers, he seems incapable of hearing any music except that coming from his own choir.

Letters to Winston at

and who is Winston?

and scroll down….

Enjoy....there's a lot to read there.....

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Zippedy Do Da!

The first cut of the Web site is up...

You can visit the site here...

I'm screaming at the top of my lungs....

A couple of other Bloggers (actually prominent bloggers) have been rightfully outraged over the media attention to the kerfluffle (for lack of a better term) over Edwards hiring two bloggers who, in the past, had used foul language in their blog posts, and, one of which, was critical of the Catholic Church and their respective policies on birth control, abortion and condoms.

Keith Olbermann took on a piece of it earlier this week by naming William Donahue as at least the Worser person in the world in his nightly Worse, Worser, Worst Person in the World Segment by noting that Donahue had used similar ... (yeah, right) language in describing "Hollywood" in the very recent past.

Digby and Attaturk had riffed on the "double standard" of excoriating Liberal Blogger and columnists while giving Conservative Bloggers and Columnists a pass. I'm going to add to this....

Glenn Greenwald at Unclaimed Territory (which has moved up to Salon) gets into the most egregious example to date. He cites Frank Gaffney's column in today's Washington Times (owned by the Moonies no less)

Frank Gaffney, one of the country's most influential and well-connected neoconservatives, has a column in today's Washington Times in which he argues that the debate taking place in Congress over the war in Iraq constitutes treason. Gaffney specifically argues that the condemnations of Douglas Feith from Sen. Rockefeller "really should be a hanging offense."

Gaffney begins his column by purporting to quote Abraham Lincoln. Gaffney claims that Lincoln said:
Congressmen who willfully take actions during wartime that damage morale and undermine the military are saboteurs and should be arrested, exiled, or hanged.

But this quote is completely invented. Lincoln never said it. This "quote" was first attributed to Lincoln by J. Michael Waller in Insight Magazine, in a 2003 article revealingly entitled: Democrats Usher in an Age of Treason. But as Waller himself now admits, the quote attributed to Lincoln is completely fraudulent. Waller wrote in an e-mail to (h/t William Wolfrum):

The supposed quote in question is not a quote at all, and I never intended it to be construed as one. It was my lead sentence in the article that a copy editor mistakenly turned into a quote by incorrectly inserting quotation marks.

Of course, that doesn't stop Gaffney from building an entire column around the quote and using it to suggest that Congressmen who dare debate this issue on the floor of the House of Representatives are guilty of TREASON.

Here's what steams me:

Aside from Glenn's excellent article, nobody else is talking about this, especially in that lofty realm we sometimes refer to as The MainStream Media (MSM).

We don't see Chris Matthews talking about it. We don't see him breathlessly (I think he does everything "breathlessly") pounding on Gaffney saying, "Is DISSENT TREASON? Yes or No?....Yes or No?"

We certainly don't see the Bill O'Reilly (isn't he supposed to be the one "Watching out for you?) wagging his finger or putting Gaffney "on notice" for his anti-American article.

We don't see anybody taking them to task for inventing a quote for Lincoln...

Instead we're letting them get away with fomenting hatred and dissent and galvanizing intolerance for any opinion other than their own.

This is ridiculous...................

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Back to the "grown-up" stuff.

If you're an avid follower of most of the blogs of the Kingdom of Left Blogsylvania, then you know that Time's Joe Klein is not one of our most favored persons. First, he wrote that terrible hit piece on the Clintons called Primary Colors, and then, as a frequent talking head on Network and Cable news shows, he claims to be a "liberal" or Democrat and then proceeds to bash the living crap out of us, often reinforcing or fueling the fires of Republican talking points.

Most recently, Mr Klein has taken on the folk of Left Blogsylvania as his cause celeb...he has been extremely critical of us for our "anger" and our "incivility". (Hmmmm "anger and incivility"? Weren't those two key elements of the Republican campaigns in 04?)

But Joe Klein has seen the light....

As TRex over at firedoglake writes so beautifully:

Klein:As a newcomer to this blogging business, I've been interested in the Edwards dust-up. As readers know, I've been critical of the tone of the left-wing blogosphere in the past.

TRex: We understand that, Joe. It's because we hate America and all. But we're willing to look past that long enough for you to impart this critical knowledge that you have recently obtained, oh bold and intrepid purveyor of truthiness:

Klein: But I think that Yglesias raises an important point here and anyone reading the comments section of any Swampland post knows that troglyditic right-wing cavedwellers fester there, in a vomitously vile manner, too.

TRex: What? There are brainless attack-morons on the Right? You don't say!

And then, Klein discovers Marconi's fabulous invention: RADIO!

Klein: And I'd add this: Radio. I was driving into Springfield, Ill last night for the Obama festivities and caught the ever-vile Sean Hannity "interviewing" the even-more-vile Dick Morris about Hillary. Just disgraceful…and they were mild compared to the crap I've heard from Rush and others over the years.

No Kidding, Joe!

I'll let you read the whole article for yourself but there is an important point to be made here. Later in the article Klein points out several reasons why Democrats are angry....not just angry, FURIOUS! JUSTIFIABLY are his three reasons:

Klein:It's also a product of the times: There's a whole generation of people who believe that serious political discourse consists of Pat Buchanan and Eleanor Clift screaming at each other. The intemperance on the left has three other sources
(1) justifiable fury over the Bush administration

TRex: Yes!

Klein: (2) justifiable fury over the way the media treated Clinton and, to a certain extent, Bush

TRex: Yes, yes!

Klein: and (3) ideologues of any sort tend to be obnoxious.

Finally Klein "gets it"....Democrats are outraged over the obnoxious, heavy-handed and downright mean treatment they have received from the right wing for the past twenty years.


WE ARE JUSTIFIABLY PISSED....because we've been lied into an unnecessary war, had habeus corpus taken away, been spied on, let torture take place and had our patriotism questioned.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Ow! that's gonna leave a scar!

In good news though....

Congratulations to THE DIXIE CHICKS.....if not for their music alone, then at least for their perserverance and just plain guts!

No, I didn't forget.....

Sometimes I get engrossed in some of the Nationally prominent issues and forget about our own, State-wide issues and our STATE ELECTED OFFICIALS.... Well, here they are:

Senator Julie Lassa

Assembly Person Marlin Schneider

Assembly person Amy Sue Vruwink

Sunday, February 11, 2007

Honestly...I'm working on it...

I'm still working on our's a matter of time AND learning curve...I spent about three hours on it this's coming along...

trust me....

Fool Me Once.....

I can't believe the New York Times reprinted without critical assessment the newest hype for war with Iran...


The link that American intelligence has drawn to Iran is based on a number of factors, including an analysis of captured devices, examination of debris after attacks, and intelligence on training of Shiite militants in Iran and in Iraq by the Iranian Revolutionary Guard and by Hezbollah militants believed to be working at the behest of Tehran.


' In the last three months of 2006, attacks using the weapons accounted for a significant portion of Americans killed and wounded in Iraq, though less than a quarter of the total, military officials say.'

It's Judith Miller all over again.....and it's just as inaccurate (or unlikely) this time as it was in 2002...Juan Cole over at Informed Comment summarizes it for us...

This claim is one hundred percent wrong. Because 25 percent of US troops were not killed fighting Shiites in those three months. Day after day, the casualty reports specify al-Anbar Province or Diyala or Salahuddin or Babil, or Baghdad districts such as al-Dura, Ghaziliyah, Amiriyah, etc.--and the enemy fighting is clearly Sunni Arab guerrillas. And, Iran is not giving high tech weapons to Baathists and Salafi Shiite-killers. It is true that some casualties were in "East Baghdad" and that Baghdad is beginning to rival al-Anbar as a cemetery for US troops

Robert Burns of AP observes,

"The increasingly urban nature of the war is reflected in the fact that a
higher percentage of U.S. deaths have been in Baghdad lately. Over the course of
the war through Feb. 6, at least 1,142 U.S. troops have died in Anbar province,
the heart of the Sunni Arab insurgency, according to an AP count. That compares
with 713 in Baghdad. But since Dec. 28, 2006, there were more in Baghdad than in
Anbar - 33 to 31."

In addition to this, there was a briefing on the same subject in Baghdad this morning making basically the same claims Here's the Reuters link. Later reports tell us that the "briefing" was "off camera" and made by officials who remained anonymous. Hmmmmmmm......

Just for the record, the saying is:

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on ME!

Howie Kurtz rant

I went a little "bananas" over the representation of "typical blog reaction" presented by Howie Kurtz

You can read what it's all about at THIS SPACE RESERVED
There is also some thought being given to the recent works of Francis Fukuyama (a "reformed neocon"?) about the what the neocons have learned over the past five years. An exerpt from his most recent work is printed in The Guardian here but it has raised some serious points which I think must be discussed in detail so I'll probably "riff" on it at This Space Reserved.

Hint: What they've learned rhymes with "Nero"

Saturday, February 10, 2007

For your Saturday amusement...

This picture (photoshop job) comes to use courtesy of I don't know who runs the site but they have an absolutely WICKED SENSE OF HUMOR....

Those of you following the "Scooter" Libby trial will appreciate this more than others...

Friday, February 09, 2007


and to the point....

I just stopped in for my friday dose of "Izzard Blogging" on TBogg's blog...and the picture that was staring at me, the caption and the story...well...see for yourself

We interrupt this interruption....

If you're watching CNN, you probably think the untimely death of Anna Nicole is THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT EVENT IN AMERICAN HISTORY....and why wouldn't we when we have such luminaries as Wolf (if I'm breathless, this must be important)Blitzer and LARRY(for the hourrr..) KING to tell us so.

Brother Attaturk has a few (ahem)"thoughts" on the matter here.

Among the most notable of his observations:

In fact, thanks to CNN, I know that being shocked and dismayed is akin to deep feelings of annoyance. Because during the non-stop coverage of the event I was pretty sure that I was incredibly annoyed throughout. But no, Wolf told me that I was shocked and dismayed. I await Chris Matthews breathless malaprops during the "modest" State Funeral.

But, being the contrarian that I am, I think THESE are important issues today:

Over at TPM, they find an Inspector General's report that shows the OSP (Office of Special Projects) which "stovepiped" raw (pronounced BOGUS) intelligence straight to Cheney and the White House in order to build a case for the war was "INAPPROPRIATE". Ya Think? duhhhhh.

Actually the report is much more critical than that and subsequent updates show Feith and a few others backpeddling as fast as they can (Feith ran the office and was branded by General Tommy Frank's as "the dumbest son-of -a-bitch I ever met". ) Here's a flavor of a few of the replies....You can read the actual findings here

Word from the Senate, where Sen. Carl Levin (D-MI) has been presiding over a Armed Services Committee hearing on the Inspector General's report.Levin says that, dividing the work with the Senate intelligence committee, they will seriously pursue the issue and plan to interview members of the administration who received briefings from Doug Feith, including National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley and former chief of staff to VP Cheney (and current criminal defendant) Scooter Libby.
One of the more interesting assertions in both
Douglas Feith's and Eric Edelman's reactions to the IG report on the Office of Special Plans is that the office's activity can't be inappropriate because it was authorized by Donald Rumsfeld and Paul Wolfowitz, then the secretary and deputy secretary of defense. As Feith puts it:
It is bizarre for the Inspector General to disapprove of policy officials' doing work that they were directed to do by the Secretary or Deputy Secretary of Defense, given that those tasks were lawful and authorized and the Inspector General found nothing at all wrong with the Secretary and Deputy Secretary directing that the work be done.

So it was "inappropriate but not illegal". There are several interesting battles going on here. First, Feith and Edelman are saying that Wolfowitz and Rummy told them to do it so it can't be illegal, and it really wasn't intelligence gathering (which would have been illegal) it was actually "something else".

So that's brewing ...

And while that's going on, Secretary of Defense Gates releases his intel report on IRAN. This report was held up several times and was hyped as the "smoking gun" about Iran's involvement in Iraq. The Administration has backed off that claim and reaction to the report has been an overwhelming "yawn".

SEVILLE, Spain - Serial numbers and markings on explosives used in Iraq provide "pretty good" evidence that Iran is providing either weapons or technology for militants there, Defense Secretary Robert Gates asserted Friday.Offering some of the first public details of evidence the military has collected, Gates said, "I think there's some serial numbers, there may be some markings on some of the projectile fragments that we found," that point to Iran.

At the same time, however, he said he was somewhat surprised that recent raids by coalition and Iraqi forces in Iraq swept up some Iranians

Let's see here: The Shiia Militia are allies of Iran. We've effectively made Iraq a client-state of Iran. We support the Shiia-lead Government and we're "surprised" to find Iranians in Iraq?

Has the whole world gone mad?

Over at The Washington Post, a former "contract interrogator" by the name of Eric Fair gets a load off his chest. And I DO MEAN LOAD! Wow.

The lead interrogator at the DIF had given me specific instructions: I was to deprive the detainee of sleep during my 12-hour shift by opening his cell every hour, forcing him to stand in a corner and stripping him of his clothes. Three years later the tables have turned. It is rare that I sleep through the night without a visit from this man. His memory harasses me as I once harassed him.
Despite my best efforts, I cannot ignore the mistakes I made at the interrogation facility in Fallujah. I failed to disobey a meritless order, I failed to protect a prisoner in my custody, and I failed to uphold the standards of human decency. Instead, I intimidated, degraded and humiliated a man who could not defend himself. I compromised my values. I will never forgive myself.

I may be making a mistake here but I am assuming that the Washington Post has vetted this man and his story to determine it's accuracy. There was a time when you didn't have to worry about making such assumptions because the integrity of the press (the much-derided M-S-M (main stream media) ) was beyond reproach. Now even if the news supports your side of the political argument, you still have to still have to be careful. For the sake of Eric Fair, if that is his real name, I hope his past is sqeeky clean...his story corraborated by hundreds of others...that all the "i's" are dotted and all the "t's" are crossed...and I hope he's wearing clean underwear because he is about to be assaulted in a way that he could never imagine....We call it "Swiftboating" these days.

And now,

We return you to coverage of the life, death and wake of Anna Nicole Smith.....

I don't know why

but this reminds me of Republicans....

sort of like that terrible old song by Joe South "The Games People Play"

"people walking up to you


then they try to sock it to ya.

In the name of the lord"

So while you're looking at the cute little ducklings...they're picking your pocket

Thursday, February 08, 2007

What a PROUD Heritage we have!

It took Stephen Day and his newest episode of Last Chance Democracy Cafe to teach me this, but we in Wisconsin have A LOT to be proud of....let me explain:

In today's newest episode of Last Chance Democracy Cafe, the regulars are putting together a time capsule to be opened in 50 years which will remind people of what it's like to be a free country....just in case, in fifity years, we're NOT a free country with all the bells and whistles that the original Bill of Rights granted to us. So the regulars are deciding exactly what documents to put in the time capsule.

Some choices are obvious....I'll give this snippet of Steve's commentary:

United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the Declaration of Independence, Jefferson’s famous A Bill for Establishing Religious Freedom and Henry David Thoreau’s Civil Disobedience. Many other literary works were also promptly approved (with priority, sadly, going almost as much for compactness as quality), especially books on political philosophy, such as Thomas Paine’s The Rights of Man and John Stuart Mill’s On Liberty.

A lot of speeches made the cut as well, Martin Luther King, Jr., “
I Have a Dream,” Robert La Follette, “Free Speech in Wartime,” Eugene Debs, “Statement to the Court Upon Being Convicted of Violating the Sedition Act,” Margaret Chase Smith, “Declaration of Conscience,” Mary Church Terrell, “What It Means to be Colored in the Capital of the U.S.,” Eleanor Roosevelt, “The Struggle for Human Rights” and Hubert H. Humphrey, “1948 Civil Rights Speech.”

Wait a minute.....did you see that? That familiar name to all Wisconsinites?

I never read that speech. Hell, I never even knew it existed but thanks to Steve, it was hyper-linked and I took the time to call it up and read the whole thing.....and I admit, I was teary-eyed at the end.


Because you see, we, as a country have been through all of this before. We've lived through "War Fever" We've survived a "War Party". We have seen the patriotism of those who opposed war questioned and we have seen citizens threatened with bodily harm for their opposition to "war fever". We have seen citizens arrested and held without charge (no habeus corpus?). We have seen rights guaranteed under the Bill of Rights ignored, suspended, violated and generally trampled upon.

But there was a man who had the strenght of character to stand up. He stood and he spoke against it.

It was Senator Robert LaFollette of Wisconsin. I encourage you to "click on the link" and read the whole speech but it is worthy of a few snippets:

"Prior to the declaration of war every man who had venture to oppose our entrance into it had been condemned as a coward or worse, and even the President had by no means been immune from these attacks.

Since the declaration of war, the triumphant war press has pursued those Senators and Representative who voted against war with malicious falsehood and recklessly libelous attacks, going to the extreme limit of charging them with treason against their country.
Any of that sound familiar? (Almost all except for the President being excoriated by the press) Remember, this was October 6, 1917!
another snippet:

But, sir, it is not alone Members of Congress that the war party in this country has sought to intimidate. The mandate seems to have gone forth to the sovereign people of this country that they must be silent while those things are being done by their Government which most vitally concern their well-being, their happiness, and their lives. Today, and for weeks past, honest and law-abiding citizens of this country are being terrorized and outraged in their rights by those sworn to uphold the laws and protect the rights of the people. I have in my possession numerous affidavits establishing the fact that people are being unlawfully arrested, thrown into jail, held incommunicado for days, only to be eventually discharged without ever having been taken into court, because they have committed no crime. Private residences are being invaded, loyal citizens of undoubted integrity and probity arrested, cross-examined, and the most sacred constitutional rights guaranteed to every American citizen are being violated.

and then, he speaks the words that were sooooo true then and could have even been spoken with equal confidence in their truth on the floor of the U. S. Senate this week:

More than in times of peace it is necessary that the channels for free public discussion of governmental policies shall be open and unclogged. I believe, Mr. President, that I am now touching upon the most important question in this country today -- and that is the right of the citizens of this country and their representatives in Congress to discuss in an orderly way, frankly and publicly and without fear, from the platform and through the press, every important phase of this war; its causes, and manner in which it should be conducted, and the terms upon which peace should be made.

What does that say about the Republicans who have blocked debate in the Senate? What does that say about the strength of our democracy? Where are the men of integrity and wisdom? Where are the men of moral courage today?

I'm starting to mentally draw some comparisoms between our modern-day Russ Feingold and fightin' Bob but I'm not sure that I should. Perhaps Fightin Bob was in a class by himself as Russ Feingold might indeed be in a class by himself. They are both treasures of our State nevertheless and we need to honor them.

At the moment, I'm just damned proud to be in Wisconsin