Monday, April 30, 2007

Pictures to follow

Unfortunately I was too preoccupied to take pictures during the actual convention.
But I know others who were busily snapping pictures during the event and I am trying to contact them and get the pictures uploaded for both here and the Website...which, unfortunately, I've had to neglect for a month.
At any rate, pictures will be added soon.

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Thank you, Thank You, Thank You....

There is an inherent danger in trying to thank each individual but I'm going to give it a shot anyway....

We heard compliment after compliment from the delegates to the 7th Congressional District Convention at the Clearwaters Hotel and Convention Center. Even Marlys was happy!

And I'm absolutely thrilled that our party members pulled together as a team to make this happen. Many people who were so busy otherwise found time to get together to make it all happen and there were also those who simple recognized that something needed to be done and just went off and did it. I'm so proud to be associated with all of you.

There are sooooooo many people to thank that I'm not sure to begin.

Dede and Gary! Thanks so put in a lot of hours and did a lot of running for this and you contributed greatly to this success.

Al......what can I say? Your experience as a former treasurer was invaluable...when we needed answers from "a higher authority" (Marlys) you got them for us...Thanks Al.

Dave Wille thanks so much for being the coordinator of the process. I know you were worried right up until the very end that you'd have to be substitute chair but you took on all of it well.

Dean...your attention to detail saved our behinds...thanks Sir. I can really appreciate you.
And Jeanette ...thanks for getting the great cranberry juice for the "goodybags"

And Lois...even though you couldn't make it to the convention, thanks for rounding up goodies for the silent auction....We appreciated that (ahem $$$$$) from that too. (Hopoe your trip was great)

And all the volunteers at the registration tables, the silent auction, the greeters and (again DeDe and Al for being terrific host and hostess)

A special thanks to our good friends and neighbors from Clark County Jordan and Melanie. Thank you, thank you, thank you. These two were the only people we knew who had experience and they were there for us every step of the way.....they were absolutely beyond value.
Thanks were all wonderful....

Just for fun...Here's a "clip and paste" of a couple of comments I received about the convention:

"... I pity those that have to try and live up to your standards. We had a great time"


"You throw an awesome convention."

"Thanks for making it all happen,"

btw...those are three different "posts".
Enjoy the compliments, you all earned them.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

What's our BRAND?

Maybe "brand" is the wrong word but as I go along here I may define it a little bit better.

This is the "infamous" post I have been talking about for a couple of days. Highly edited of course because a lot of the first draft was pretty much a "stream of consciousness" approach....I've got to be careful to avoid falling into that again.

Here's the basis for the thoughts:

Democrats are being branded by Bush, Cheney and their loyal parrots in both the house and the Senate as "defeat-o-crats", wimps and surrender monkeys. Truthfully we're in the MAJORITY not just in numerical senses as in having a majority of votes in both the House and Senate, but also in terms of poll numbers. The majority of Americans support the positions of the Democratic party in the results of poll after poll.

And yet......

Because we are obeying the will of the people and setting a time limit for the slaughter deployment of troops in Iraq, we are defined by Republicans as wimps and defeatists. I'm not alone with my fellow dems in that I get suckered into the argument with Republicans on their terms (Are too!! Am Not!!!) on a regular basis.

but you and I gentle readers have forgotten one very important lesson.....

Remember right after 9/11 when we stood almost shoulder-to-shoulder with all of our fellow Americans in wanting to defeat/punish the terrorist? We were all (or almost all) in favor of invading Afghanistan to defeat the Taliban who, by that time, were almost indistinguishable from Al Quada. We have NEVER disagreed that our real enemy is AQ and Osama Bin NEVER was Iraq or Saddam Hussein.
Let's repeat that....


Iraq IS NOT our enemy.

We still want to defeat Al Queda where ever they may be.

We want to fight the REAL war on terror and defeat those who wish to do us harm..that would be the radical SUNNI FUNDAMENTALIST SECT OF THE WAHHABI'S ....not the Shiia of Iraq...OR IRAN...

If the American people will stick with us, we'll go after AQ in a sane, rational and efficient way....we won't send American Men and Women into a slaughterhouse from which there is no escape.
That's our BRAND

Bless and protect our Men and Women in uniform who tonight find themselves in harm's way in a foreign and hostile land....give us the moral strength to make the right decisions for their safety and the safety of our nation.

I'm not a religious person by nature....but I am calling upon all I know to instill in our leaders the common sense to fight THE RIGHT WAR....
I am a Wood County Democratand I'm proud to be an American

Two Days 'til Convention Time

We spent almost three hours at Dave's house last night putting the convention packages together....
I stopped off at the hotel again this morning and put the finishing touches on the instructions to the staff....
Here's the schedule...subject of course to change by executive fiat...Congressional preference....winds of change....and because they can change it simply if they damned well want to.....
1:00PM Setup time until 4:00PM...posters tables and decorations are set up...volunteers should have been notified by now but anybody reading this who wants to show up and help is welcome.

5:30P>M> Welcome party for out-of-town and overnighter guests and
Cocktails, beer and swimming as you wish or can desire...note: no harpoons allowed in swimming area and no cries of "whale off the port bow!" We already know of a few bloggers who are attending, including jackpineradical, goddess40 and goddess40mom, classwarrior, madashell, sybylla, woodman possibly dinger.

8:30 Doors Open
9:00 Executive Committee Meeting (District, not County)

9:0o Registration Begins
10:00 Convention Called to Order

Welcoming speeches by County/local officials

As time on resolutions
Registration ends at 11:00

11:30 Dave Obey gives keynote address.

12:15 Lunch
1:00 Election of Officers

finish resolutions as required

3:00 Adjourn...

If you need directions to the site call me at 715 498-6219 Here's a link to the google map site:

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

For LoLo

(if she checks in.....)

His name is Duster......

Rudely, rudely I say unto you....


This isn't the post I've been working on for so long...(I have to edit it down because it's beginning to look like War and Peace) but this post by The Rude Pundit was too good to pass up. As usual, I'll give you fair warning...profanity lies behind the link...if you can't tolerate it, don't click it...

But here are the (cleaned up) snippets:

The Rude Pundit has not met one parent who believes that Alec Baldwin should be condemned for getting angry at and yelling at his daughter in a phone message. The general consensus was, "Was he a dick? Sure. Welcome to parenting."

Right away, I find myself agreeing with "The Rude One" and than he makes "the great leap"!


All of the grown-ups seemed well-adjusted and not horribly scarred and rendered impotent or some such s___ for the verbal abuse. Most even agreed that, even if Baldwin was paying a visit to A__holeland, sometimes a kid needs a verbal beatdown, especially if that kid's being a "rude, thoughtless little pig."

And that's just what Harry Reid's been doing to the Bush administration and congressional Republicans. See, up until now, the Bush White House has been allowed to let their worst childishly indulgent ids run wild and unchecked, with the Republican Congress merely occasionally shaking its collective head and shrugging in a kind of "Well, what are ya gonna do?" way when, say, Alberto Gonzales downgraded the meaning of "torture." At that point, a functioning Congress would have brought Gonzales in, had him drop his pants, and spanked his cheeks bright red.

In a way, I think he's right....Harry Reid and the Democrats have been holding Bush and his band of syncophants accountable....and yes. Yes he HAS been treating Bush like the spoiled little man-child that he is.

The article is humorous as usual and I invite you to click on the link and read it.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Working on a new post

on some major issues facing us nationally, that takes a LOT of research and additional reading.

busy schedule this week....most of you will hear from me via telephone during the next couple of days....

Tons of meetings this week outside of party six....

more soon

Friday, April 20, 2007

Just heard from Dave

who heard from Marlys....

about 250 people have signed up for the 7th CD Convention....if we get the normal rate of 1/2 who signed up actually attending, then our attendance goal is right on target.....


if all 250 show up.....

"We're gonna need a bigger boat"


What did I miss last night?

be polite....

add a comment

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Don't forget the Meeting Tonight

The Regular Monthly Meeting will be at 6:30 PM tonight at the American Legion Hall in Pittsville....

I have another important meeting tonight so I've briefed Dave on the information about the 7th CD Convention...also....Dave and I picked up the Marshfield part of the VIP packets this morning (cool...Wenzel's beef sticks, figi's cheese, pens and cranberry snacks, thanks to Jeanette we'll also have Cranberry Juice for everybody) Also we've got notepads, pens and I think there's more coming from Wausau (7th CD).

We're going to do the final assembly in Dave's garage next Wednesday night at 6:30 P.M.. We'll do the final assignments of jobs at that time...or let Dave know your preferences tonight.

Setup for the Convention will take place on Friday, the 27th...we'll meet at Clearwaters around 10 AM to start putting up the decorations....the "pool party" should start around 5....or so....


Tuesday, April 17, 2007


It always happens...these stories come out in the wake of these tragedies...

Professor Liviu Librescu, 76, threw himself in front of the shooter when the man attempted to enter his classroom. The Israeli mechanics and engineering lecturer was shot to death, "but all the students lived - because of him," Virginia Tech student Asael Arad - also an Israeli - told Army Radio.

Several of Librescu's other students sent e-mails to his wife, Marlena, telling of how he blocked the gunman's way and saved their lives, said Librescu's son, Joe.

That story of a man who survived the his life to save his students....

I'm too choked up to write anymore.

Fast compassion

I've noted on other blogs this morning that I've given up trying to make sense of the Virginia Tech shootings...because you can't make sense of the senseless....

But as I traveled around town yesterday afternoon and asked my companions as I met them if they had heard of the Virginia Tech shootings, I got a reply that stopped me in my was something like, "Oh yeah, I heard. tsk, tsk, tsk...what's this world coming to?" And then they went on with the "business at hand".

I couldn't understand that. I STILL can't understand it.

As it turns out, I'm not alone.

In one of his most brilliant posts, The Rude Pundit takes note:


But that's not why the Rude Pundit paid attention at the rest stop. It was because, to him, it mattered. We're so filled with stories, local crimes and small incidents, celebrity lives and deaths, animal attacks and house fires, that it's hard to discern anymore when something really matters. For everyone that the Rude Pundit saw in that fast food dining area, it was more of the noise of information. They had places to be. They had cell phones and Blackberries and GPS systems, and all of that technology told them that their lives were more important, always more important, than the lives of others.


But mostly we are a dead-souled country, so inured to horror that even when something of incredible violence occurs on our soil, well, heck, we've been reminded of 9/11 so often that anything lesser hardly seems worthy of time in our Palm Pilots. For to pay attention means that we must feel compelled to act, and, as we've been taught by our government, our media, our culture, what good comes of acting?


But to act is anathemic to our war and terrorist-influenced American mindset. God, if we were told to just go about our business after 9/11 and that they only thing we can sacrifice for the war is our peace of mind when we happen to tune to the wrong channels on our digital cable systems, why in the world would we want to do anything for this?

Oh, yeah, there is something we'll be asked to do. Pray. To whomever. And then continue to eat your fried chicken strips and drink your Diet Cokes. After a while, not feeling in the mood for that cupcake, the Rude Pundit hit the road, too.

I remember an old Doonesbury cartoon that has stuck with me for many years now. The main characters were having a reunion of the old "New Frontier" group from the days of the John F. Kennedy Presidency. One of the characters asked the others, "Do you still remember all that stuff?" And one replies with this line from Kennedy's inaugural speech:

"The energy we bring to our endeavors will enkindle a flame, and the light from that flame will surely enlighten the world."

At the end of the quote the whole group breaks out laughing....and suddenly realize how cynical they have become...and "Mike Doonesbury" asks, " What's happened to us man?, What's happened?"

I can see clearly in my mind's eye the scene The Rude Pundit describes...and I ask myself,

"What's happened to us Man?"

Monday, April 16, 2007

Tommy's Foot-In-Mouth Disease.


Tommy Thompson can't seriously think he has a chance at being President does he?

Even if he does, this sort of thing won't exactly help him....snippet follows:

WASHINGTON - Former Wisconsin governor and Republican presidential hopeful Tommy Thompson told Jewish activists Monday that making money is "part of the Jewish tradition," and something that he applauded.Speaking to an audience at the Religious Action Center of Reform Judaism in Washington D.C., Thompson said that, "I'm in the private sector and for the first time in my life I'm earning money. You know that's sort of part of the Jewish tradition and I do not find anything wrong with that."

Thompson later apologized for the comments that had caused a stir in the audience, saying that he had meant it as a compliment, and had only wanted to highlight the "accomplishments" of the Jewish religion.

to which Atrios replies:

I would like to compliment my African-American readers on their dancing abilities and athletic prowess, my Asian-American readers on their studiousness, and of course my female readers for their excellence in homemaking....almost forgot to congratulate my white male readers for their astounding successes in the face of unprecedented oppression.
Tommy Thompson is TOAST

To our Brothers and Sisters in Wisconsin Rapids

I'm guilty as charged....

of geocentrism anyway....

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in what's going on in my own neighborhood, I forget that there are equally important things going on in other Wisconsin Rapids.

I was doing a follow-up on a story this morning when I "bopped" over to the Wisconsin Rapids Tribune site, over to their editorial page and up on the blog....

Holy S***!

You guys in 'Rapids are busy......!

There's the whole School Board controversy which I only partially understand (our own Jennifer P is acting Board President after the resignation of Pankratz)....and then there's the Sheriff (Our own Sheriff Tom) proposal to do away with the "Huber Jail"...and go to electronic monitoring...and that has touched some raw nerves.

I read a lot of blogs and I've got to tell you....that's some NASTY stuff going on over those is my personal policy, I've never registered on the "Trib" site and won't post there....

I had no idea. It's also interesting that issues like the Huber/Electronic monitoring issue don't make front page news in this part of the county......why not?

Can you Woodco Dems give me a "heads up" when some of these issues come along? Maybe (if it's a county-wide issue) we can join forces?

Friday, April 13, 2007

First, last and ONLY words about Don Imus

I wondered for years how long Imus was going to be able to get away with the racist, misogynist bullshit he and his adolescent suck-ups spewed on his show every morning.....I had stopped watching it years ago but through the blogs, every once in a while you'd run across a post that said, "Wow! Can you believe what Imus just said?", or, possible something like, "Don Imus is a s**thead and should be thrown off the airwaves".

I suspect, but can't confirm since I was by no means a regular consumer of his lame-ass humor, that as his ratings began to tank, he and his troop began to reach for more and more outrageous behavior in order to shore up or maybe even bolster their ratings.

But here's a surprise.

MSNBC and CBS didn't fire Imus until the advertisers started pulling out.

In other words Imus' biggest sin wasn't his racist, misogynistic remarks, it was that HE LOST MONEY FOR THE NETWORKS.

There are "shock jocks" who do far worse than Imus who will continue to get away with it. You have to consider the delicious irony of CNN having Glenn Beck on the Anderson Cooper 360 show to chastise Imus for behavior that is mild compared to the crap that Beck pulls on CNN every single day...

I dislike Imus immensely, but will admit that he's only a sacrificial lamb.

Worse yet, I think we're starting a trip down the proverbial slippery slope and I have no clue where it will end up.

Yeah....sure....good riddence to bad rubbish and all that crap....but I think we're in trouble anyway.

Belated farewell to Kurt Vonnegut...

I like this from The Rude Pundit

So much of what he wrote and said was prescient about our neverending stupidity, or, as he put it, our "nitwit primitive" ways. In 1992, he wrote in the Guardian, "[A]s a German-American I may be, although not necessarily, more sensitive to similarities between some of the attitudes and enterprises of my own government and the Nazi thing than are some of the other hyphens." Sensitive he was - and he cut to the goddamned point. "If you invade someone’s country,” Vonnegut said about the current war, “they’re going to fight back. Evidently that wasn’t taught at Yale."

And Brother Attaturk, thoughtfully gave us this collection of Vonnegut quotes:

* Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!

* Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.

* Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.

* Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.

* During my three years in Vietnam, I certainly heard plenty of last words by dying American footsoldiers. Not one of them, however, had illusions that he had somehow accomplished something worthwhile in the process of making the Supreme Sacrifice.

I read every one of his short stories, I marvelled over Slaughter House Five and Breakfast of Champions. Once, when my son was young, we watched the movie version of Slaughter House Five on television together. My son was fascinated. We discussed what we saw and then I got the book off of the shelf and read passages to him. On Thursday morning, my son called and said he was saddened by the news of Vonnegut's death. Hmmmm....Vonnegut will be remembered by at least one more generation. I suppose that's as good as it gets.

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Haven't done this in a while.....

Probably need to come up to speed on a few things....

The big domestic news today is:


The White House "lost" the emails
from the Republican National Committee provided
Computers and servers.



All KKKarl Rove's emails were those lost!

I smell subpeonas's a linky-thing and a couple of choice snippets:

WASHINGTON --The White House said Wednesday it had mishandled Republican Party-sponsored e-mail accounts used by nearly two dozen presidential aides, resulting in the loss of an undetermined number of e-mails concerning official White House business.

Congressional investigators looking into the administration's firing of eight federal prosecutors already had the nongovernmental e-mail accounts in their sights because some White House aides used them to help plan the U.S. attorneys' ouster. Democrats were questioning whether the use of the GOP-provided e-mail accounts was proof that the firings were political.

And of course the suicide bomber in THE CAFETERIA OF THE PARLIMENT in Iraq, which just happens to be in the much bally-hood santum OF THE GREEN ZONE killed three politicians (at least two of which were described as "Sunni" Representatives). Here's the linky thing on that

If that wasn't bad enough, another suicide bomber blew up a "major" bridge into's the link
and the snippet courtesy of the Associated Press:

BAGHDAD - A suicide truck bomb exploded on a major bridge in Baghdad early Thursday, collapsing the steel structure and sending cars toppling into the Tigris River below, police and witnesses said.

At least 10 people were killed and 26 injured, according to hospital officials. That toll was expected to rise.
Police were trying to rescue as many as 20 people whose cars plummeted into the waters below.
The photo at right is also from the Associated Press.

And still.....John McCain is looking for the pony.....think progress explains


One blogger, Ed Morrissey, asked about efforts by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to oppose the new U.S. Baghdad security plan. According to two reports of the call, McCain repeated his prediction that Sadr wouldn’t end up opposing U.S. forces, but admitted he may be “digging for the pony.”

If you don't know what "digging for the pony means" ....well, drop me a line.

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Rep Gary Sherman on the Georgia Thompson issue

I've told some of our Wood County Delegation that I admire the Assemblyman from the 74th District (Ashland, Bayfiled, Douglas Counties) for his courage and insight....his recent press release from the Wheeler Report is a good example of his are some snippets:

Post hoc ergo prompter hoc: Latin for "after this, therefore because of
this," is a logical fallacy (of the questionable cause variety) which
assumes or asserts that if one event happens after another, then the first
must be the cause of the second.

One of the most frustrating aspects of the low quality of public discourse is the
prevalence of faulty reasoning. At the top of my list is the ubiquitous application of the
post hoc ergo prompter hoc fallacy. Hardly a day goes by without some questionable
conclusion being drawn on the basis of this form of sloppy thinking.

Most of what we now call superstition arises from post hoc reasoning. A black cat
crosses your path and afterward you become ill. You break a mirror and the stock
market falls. You step on a crack . . . well, maybe that is too farfetched to consider.

and so just how does this apply to Georgia Thompson? Read on:

A recent example involves the case of Georgia Thompson, a state employee found guilty
of fixing the bidding of a state contract. The evidence was that she awarded a contract
to a particular travel agency despite the opposition of other people on the panel
considering the contract. Later, there was a substantial campaign contribution given to
the Governor’s campaign.

Is it a reasonable inference that the two events are causally related? Although many
people are predisposed to believe all substantial campaign contributions are given for
corrupt purposes, in the absence of more evidence, the conclusion is unreasonable.

For example, it would seem to be essential to know if Ms. Thompson knew that the
campaign contribution was going to occur. Without that knowledge, the causal
relationship could not possibly exist. The contribution simply could have been an
expression of spontaneous gratitude. Or, it could have been the result of corrupt intent
unknown to Ms. Thompson. Or it could have been a reflection of the donors’ sincerely
held political support for the Governor.

Sherman does a great job of instructing us on how our political :reasoning, or what passes these days for political reasoning is often mistaken. He's a "thinker".....we need more of those.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Georgia Thompson is Innocent!

The U. S. Attorney Scandal touches Wisconsin....

An now, the New York Times knows it too. Here's the running commentary and "link-to-links" from KOS.
And the stench is that of a "Turd Blossom"

"Sources tell No Quarter that Rick Wiley, then the executive director of the state GOP, directed a staffer in 2005 to prepare a 30-page report on election abuses in Wisconsin so Wiley could pass it along to a top White House official.That document, entitled "Fraud in Wisconsin 2004: A Timeline/Summary," turned up last week in the horde of White House and U.S. Justice Department records released by the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the firing of eight U.S. attorneys."The report was prepared for Karl Rove," said a source with knowledge of the situation. "Rick wanted it so he could give it to Karl Rove."...

So this was how the U.S. Attorney in Milwaukee kept his job. You have to read the whole article to get the full sense of what happened.

The depth of the misuse of public office is breath-taking. How could we have ever let this happen? WHO let it happen? How do we prevent it from happening again?

Sunday, April 08, 2007

It's the "I-word" again.....with a twist....

Frank Boyle, an Assemblyman from Superior Wisconsin is introducing a bill in the state Legislature to impeach President's the KOS story on Boyle and the details about state-generated articles of impeachment.
According to KargoX at Kos:
Wisconsin and Hawaii join eight predecessors: California, Illinois, Vermont, Minnesota, New Mexico, Washington, Missouri, and Texas.That makes 10 states and 80 state legislators cosponsoring the call to impeach since bills began being introduced last year.

Now, some may be overjoyed at the thought of impeachment, reality is that this resolution probably won't make it past the committee, or if it does, it won't make it through the legisalture.
Further, Democrats control the Senate by a slim margin but I'm not certain that Boyle will even get all the Democratic Senators to buy into this one.

But....this is where is gets interesting....

Just this last week ...Wednesday as a matter of fact, Bush succeeded in "punishing Wisconsin" for their liberal-leaning ways by having his Secretary of Health and Social Services deny the state's request for a waiver to continue it's popular (and incredibly efficient) Senior Care Program. Now the program must be abandoned and the 107,000 Seniors who relied on the program for affordable prescripton drugs will have to go to the infamous Medicare Part D programs under other insurance companies. That's 107,000 very unhappy campers.

Every member of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation, Congressmen and Senators, Republicans and Democrats alike, petitioned for renewal of the program but Levitt wrote a nasty, snarky letter blaming the non-renewal on Doyle in one of the most blatantly partisan moves undertaken by a cabinet agency that I can ever remember. In addition, almost every newspaper in the State has lined up (editorially) with Doyle.


Let's see how clever Boyle really is....

Can he parlay wide-spread anger at Bush and his Administration (especially DHSS) into pressure on Assembly Republicans and recalcitrant Democrats to votes on impeachment? Or, can the simple THREAT that this anger could lead to passage of an impeachment bill force GWB to have Leavitt RECONSIDER the denial?

Interesting huh?

I think so......

Tell us what you REALLY think Christy!

A few of us are almost addicted to the brilliant commentators over at firedoglake. Jane Hamser, Christy Hardin Smith, Marcy Wheeler (emptywheel) , Pacachetuek, tigerlilly....are all great writers and their collective work during the Libby trial was one of the finest examples of professional journalism we've seen in years.

This morning, Christy riffs on the the Press and its relationship with the President. She is particularly hard on the vaunted "White House Press Corps." She ends it with this:

I am an American, I refuse to sit back and quake in my chair, waiting for someone to strike. I will be damned if some crazy terrorist — or some smarmy political operative — is going to silence me, or frighten me, or make me do anything other than live my life to the fullest in my own way every day. To do otherwise is to hand over control of my life and my thoughts to someone else — and that is about as unAmerican as it comes. Everything else is counterproductive to the notions of justice, liberty and freedom. Try keeping that in mind, folks in the media and in politics, would you?

What we LOVE about firedoglake is that they aren't afraid to speak their minds. Way to go on the link in the blogroll...

Saturday, April 07, 2007

"Damn! Is it midnight already?"

There are lots of reasons we all loved the late Molly Ivans, but this exerpt from one of her last works is a great example of why we love her so much.

"And just to prove to you that it’s not some crazy out in MillValley, we had one the other day, a small town in South Carolina, the perp was extremely drunk. And he had decided in his drunken state that it would be fun to screw a pumpkin, and so he did. And the police came up to him and said, "sir, are you aware that you’re screwing a pumpkin?"And he said, "damn, is it midnight already?""

The light bulb over the head feeling...

We've all experienced that.

It happens all the time but sometimes the effect is more profound than others.....

This morning was one of those times. To appreciate it you have to read this short diary over at KOS.

Evidently it's a story that is being passed around the web (presumably in Liberal circles) and the author clearly points out that it's not her own story. As such the veracity of it is somewhat less that courtroom grade (okay...a lot less) but it's a beautiful story nonetheless.

The "light bulb" moment for me comes from this passage:

And I noticed my new best friend -- by now we were holding hands -- had a potted plant poking out of her bag, some medicinal thing, with green furry leaves. Such an old country traveling tradition. Always carry a plant. Always stay rooted to somewhere.

Always stay rooted somewhere.

This Palestinian woman was carrying her "roots" with her. How important is her homeland to her? How willing would she and her sons and daughters be to fight to the death for their "roots"?

The entire scope of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict just became very clear to me....on a personal and very profound level.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

"Everybody is a Liberal In Heaven."

Well, at least that's what FDR says.....yeah....THAT Franklin D. Roosevelt....

It seems our friend Steve over at Last Chance Democracy Cafe had a little chat with FDR the other night and the above caption was just PART of what FDR had to tell us.....

and really now, you didn't think I'd end without a few snippets of the conversation did you?

Here's part of it:

“The truth is,” he began, “there are only certain times when liberal advocacy has a ghost of a chance of making any significant headway in the United States . . . times when a majority of people are willing to look past their own selfish interests and give serious weight to the good of the national community as a whole. I’m not talking about wars of national survival like we faced in World War II, when, of course, Americans always rally ‘round the flag. No, this is about the willingness of people to sacrifice to make major changes in order to build a better, more just society. I was president at such a time, of course. So was Eleanor’s uncle, Teddy Roosevelt. And what I came here to talk about is the fact that I’m convinced . . . almost dead certain, in fact, that you’re entering into just such a time again today.”


“So you’re saying we’re at the beginning of a new liberal era?”

Franklin slammed his fist on the bar top. “No! I’m not saying that at all. Nothing’s guaranteed . . . nothing ever is. Even the New Deal didn’t have to happen. There was nothing written in the stars saying things had to turn out the way they did. The nation could just as easily have turned to the right in its panic, finding hope in a tyrant . . . the fabled man on a white horse. Progressive change doesn’t just happen. Those who benefit under an existing economic order, no matter how unfair, never give up without a fight. Never! Certainly, there are always individuals who, like me, are accused of betraying their class in order to help the downtrodden, but they will always be the exception. Every major progressive stride that has ever been achieved in this country . . . every single one, has come about as a result of a knock-down-drag-out fight.”

I finally understood. “That’s what you
were saying before about the power of political partisanship to bring about good, right?”

What a powerful message......

Okay. We all know that the Cafe is only virtual and the conversation with FDR is fictional....maybe... but the point is profound. Go along to get along will not rid the country of the creeping tyranny that the Bush adminsitration, or 12 years of a Republican-controlled Congress, or the eitght years of "Reganonmics" , or the George H.W. Bush era brought us. Change by its very nature is painful. And unless we're willing to take the stand and pay the price of the subsequent pain it inflicts, we will never see the fundamental change we need.

Even on our local level, we see a reluctance to engage in hard, partisan warfare but without it we will not go forward. Franklin (through Steve) makes the stakes very, very clear:

.... “Anyway, all of these people insisting that the Democrats should just try to get along and work out compromises with Bush and the Republicans, make no mistake, what they’re really calling for is surrender, pure and simple. Because the plutocrats . . . the same people who finance the GOP today, have one heck of a sweet deal going and they’re not going to give it up without a fight. They never do. Bipartisanship didn’t create the New Deal. And it won’t bring about the kind of major change that’s needed to return fairness to America today.”

Got it?

I can't help but imagine that if FDR were alive today that the very same conversation wouldn't have taken place...."click through" and read the whole entry...

As usual, Steve inspires us all.

Juggling Chainsaws....


There's a lot going on.....

I don't know about the rest of you but there seems to be an awful lot going on these days....and every single bit of it requires YOUR UNDIVIDED ATTENTION!

Need to mention a few things.

I don't know if I mentioned it but I want to publically thank Jeannette for getting the Cranberry Juice Donation for the 7th CD Convention. Jeanette, you're a SAINT!

Also, thanks to LoLo for donating some great liberal books for the "silent auction" at the 7th CD Convention.

If anybody has anything else they'd like to donate, please let us know by leaving a comment.

Got to get back to juggling.......see you soon.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Good Briefing.....

Got a great briefing and update from Dave....he's not afraid to tell the truth, even when the truth is something you don't want to hear....for instance, it looks like Secretary Levitt (DHSS) is going to cancel the waiver that allows Wisconsin's Senior Care Program to exist.....say bye-bye to one of the best Senior Health plans in the nation.....Unfortuantely this is an Executive Branch Decision and Congress has no say....even when EVERY member of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation, Senators and Representatives, Democratic AND Republican have written to Bush and Levitt to support the program.....

Something I really liked about Dave's briefing was that Dave explained why he has taken the positions he did and he stood behind them WITHOUT APOLOGY. Even if you don't agree with him, you have to admire him....I met him in 1975 ...shortly after he came to congress (six years?) and I've always respected him for his ability to "say where he stands and stand where he says.."

That's OUR Dave!

Tuesday, April 03, 2007


You might notice that I finally learned how to add a "blogroll" to our blog site....

I did this at the suggestion of The Existentialist Cowboy who has promised to reciprocate by "blogrolling" us...(actually it sounds kind of dirty doesn't it?)

I'll be adding more sites as we go along.

If you have a favorite you want me to add, just tell me who/what in a comment section....

Other than that I need to mention that I'm up to my.....uh...NECK...(yeah that's it) in Alligators again and I will have to take care of a lot of Civic duties today.....and tomorrow....and Thursday.....

BTW: Dave Obey will be at the University of Wisconsin Center, Wood County - Marshfield tomorrow at 10 o'clock.....I understand he'll be all over Wood County during the day but I don't have his schedule to give you. I assume he'll be in Pittsville and Rapids too. If you know when and where drop me a comment. I plan on seeing him just to holler, "Give 'em Hell, Dave!", if nothing else.....

I had almost forgotten that on the anniversary of Dave's 30th year in Congress we presented him with a pair of red, white and blue, star-studded BOXING GLOVES....that was at the 7th CD Convention in 2003 in Stevens Point, Wisconsin.......Were any of us SURPRISED! When he made headlines for being "combative"?

Ha! Here's a picture of the gloves we (the Wood County Dems gave him back then.......pretty nifty huh?


Just a quick reminder that today is Voting Day and it's time to annoy all your co-workers, neighbors and friends by insisting that they go to the polls....

If you have to.....NAG them to the Polls!

Of course, the "big" race is for Wisconsin Supreme Court. If you think it doesn't matter who gets on the Supreme Court just take a look at what happened yesterday in the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS)

We (progressives) won one and lost one....

In one, the court "punted" on the issue of Habeus Corpus (read about it here)

but the biggie was that they ruled that the EPA does, in fact, have the constitutional authority to regulate emissions. (read that one here)

In Wisconsin we're up against the traditionl "sock-puppet" dance that the GOP is so fond of....WISCONSIN MANUFACTURERS AND COMMERC (WMC) is trying to buy themselves a judge now that they successfully bought themselves an Attorney General. And they're using all the standard GOP tactics that they always use....fear their candidate is "tough on crime", "tough on sex offenders" etc.,

Russ Feingold is supporting Linda Clifford and has urged many of us to do so also. She is the best choice as far as I can tell. She doesn't come with the ethical baggage that the WMC candidate carries and she has a long and distinguished career as an attorney.
Anyway whatever you do, get out and vote today....

Sunday, April 01, 2007

Bill Olielly and black holes?

I guess I'm making up for sparse posting during the week by catching up on a few of our favorite blogs and linking you to them...

Here's from our fictional pal Winston over at Last Chance Democracy Cafe (hows that again? a fictional person in a fictional cafe on a virtual site in a virtual world?....geeezzz)

"I must confess to harboring a secret wish that one day the density of the combined narcissism of these professional gasbags will become so great that it will curve in upon itself producing a singularity — a black hole whose gravitational pull will be so strong that not even Bill O’Reilly’s ego can escape." on the link...

TPM Muckracker has a great article on Bush's Monica....Monica Goodling that is...

a snippet is in order....

Among Goodling's close associates were Barbara Comstock, head of opposition research for the RNC and later the chief spokeswoman for Ashcroft; Griffin, Comstock's deputy...; and Mark Corallo, who in 2003 took the helm of the Justice Department's Public Affairs Office after Comstock.

This is the lady who got her BA from Jerry Falwell's Liberty University and her Law Degree from Falwell's Messiah Law School.

Dare I say it?

I've been reading some right-wing blogs and I notice that whenever they talk about us liberals they deride or patriotism because "THE NATION IS AT WAR....." and all of us cowardly, unpatriotic,traitorous, commie-loving (no, really, they really say that on some blogs) leftist, Maoists, cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys, (usually under the code name "French") just won't "get on the winning team".

Well......I'm going to take the plunger here....


This Global War on Terror is rhetorical only. It is (or at least should be) an international cooperative effort through intelligence, law enforcement and special forces when necessary and appropriate, to identify, locate and detain would-be terrorists.

Oh yeah, and while I'm at it....Iraq is not, was not and never will be part of the global terror network called Al Queda....

Conservatives get this straight...

the pResident NEVER asked for a declaration of war.

there is NO SOVEREIGN NATION threatening to attack us, that sponsored the attack on us, or outwardly, blatantly harbors the terrorists.

the pResident never once asked us, as a nation, to make a single sacrifice, to accept a tax increase to pay for his "war" which is really faux military interventionism........

So all this Uber-Patriotism is because, you, my good conservative friends, drank the kool-aid....

or, to put it another way......

Not only did you inhale the smoke that Bush blew at you, you drank the water from the bong!

Badtux, the Snarky Penguin puts it in another way....

Courtesy of The Truffle, I find out that creepy Little Rickie Santorum of fetus fondling fame (and one-time senator from Pennsylvania) is making a movie about the danger that "radical Islam" poses to America.

So... does "radical Islam" have the world's best tanks, like Nazi Germany had? Or maybe "radical Islam" has thousands of nuclear-tipped missiles pointing at us, like the Soviet Union had? Or maybe "radical Islam" has dozens of battleships and aircraft carriers like Imperial Japan had?


Good distinction heh?

John Stewert Mill...and us....

This is a cross post from here but I think it's worth it....

I've been known to go off the deep end on political philosophy, with a particular emphasis on the origins of Conservative Philosophy, and I have received only lukewarm reception to it. But I found another site that engages in those efforts as much as I do and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

The name of the site is The Existentialist Cowboy...and you can read it here....

I'll have to admit that I haven't paid a lot of attention to John Stewert Mill, but I found his relevancy to be very high in our current political climate.

The "cowboy" surmizes:

Mill understood that the democratic ideal -a government of the people -
isoften not the case in fact. Those exerting the power of the government
-electedofficials, bureaucrats, the judiciary - develop their own interests,
influencedby special interests and their constituencies in ways at odds with the
interestsand liberties of individuals, minorities, or, indeed, the greater good
of thesociety as a whole. Indeed, a majority may become tyrannical when its
interestsare at odds with the legitimate interests of a minority or an
individual. Millsees no difference between a tyranny of one and a tyranny of
many. Amajority running roughshod over the rights of individuals and
minorities is noless a tyrant because it is a majority, because it is elected, or because it iselected by a majority.

So how does that apply to our current political situation?

Well, consider this:

Under the guise of protecting us, the Bush Administration has taken to itself powers unheard of by any other administration in our history. Although Bush was arguably elected "legitimately" in 2000 and then again in 2004, by a "majority" (except it wasn't a majority in 2000) the "majority" cannot take away rights guaranteed by the constitution. Of course they (the majority) could legitimately AMEND the Constitution but I suspect that upon proposing that the "majority" would quickly disappear. But, as they say, here we are.....

Illegal wiretapping has been taking place even beyond the draconian and constitutionally questionable provisions of the Patriot Act.

Persons suspected of being terrorists are detained (not only on the battlefield but also on US soil) and detained without charge;without trial indefinitely.

Dissent is stiffled from the Bully Pulpit of the Presidency.

Congress is bullied and threatened by the President for the legitimate exercise of both their oversite power and exercise of the "power of the purse".

To underscore how tragic this has become, take a look at this from Glenn Greenwald's column today:

Two of the three leading Republican candidates for President
eitherembrace or are open to embracing the idea that the President can
imprisonAmericans without any review, based solely on the unchecked decree of
thePresident. And, of course, that is nothing new, since the current
RepublicanPresident not only believes he has that power but has exercised it
against U.S.citizens and legal residents in the U.S. -- including those arrested
not on the"battlefield," but on American soil.

What kind of American isn't just instinctively repulsed by
thenotion that the President has the power to imprison Americans with no
charges?And what does it say about the current state of our political culture
that oneof the two political parties has all but adopted as a plank in its
platform aview of presidential powers and the federal government that is --
literally --the exact opposite of what this country is?

So the Cowboy's premise is right. The Bush Administration is illegitimate as hell......from a philosophical standpoint, from a legal standpoint, and from a moral standpoint.

I've thought all the talk about impeachment to be "crazy talk"...... now......well, I'm not sure how "crazy" it is.