Thursday, May 31, 2007

Where are the PICTURES??

Well, 13 of us made it to the First Annual Wood County Democrats Field Trip to the State Capital! Al was taking pictures like crazy but I haven't seen them yet. We got a tour of the capital...although we were told that the best tour guide in Madison is our own Marlin Schneider...but they didn't tell us that until it was too late. We got to visit with Marlin Schneider and Amy-Sue Vruwink and, of course Julie Lassa....who may be a 2nd time Mom by the time you read this. In addition, our neighboring Assemblyman Louis Molespki stopped in to say hello.

We got to sit in on some Senate Committee Hearings but the one we thought would be most interesting, Joint Finance, adjourned when our group walked in.

I think we have to give the award for most AUDACIOUS MEMBER of our delegation to our friend Al Labelle, although DeDe gets a close runner-up award. Al essentially walked in and introduced himself to the Lt Governor's office staff and got an "audience" with the Lt Governor, Barbara Lawton herself. DeDe then distinguished herself by telling the Lt Governor that she was "disappointed" that she didn't get to see the Governor's Office.....the Lt Governor responded by PERSONALLY escorting the small delegation up the stairs to the Governor's office for an abbreviated tour.

We aren't shy in Wood County.

We had a great but very short meal at The Great Dane on Dody Street and then a small delegation went on to a meeting with Joe may see it in the newspapers....or not....

For those who had to go home before the meeting with Joe ended, here's a brief synopsis:

We could not come to an agreement with Joe concerning his lobbying. He still maintains it is proper and we maintain it is inappropriate. Nothing is resolved on this issue.

We agreed to seek common ground for a floor resolution setting a policy for lobbying in the future....
that's all.

No bells and victories as such but certainly there was no anybody.
The rest of the day was a lot of fun...I enjoyed spending time with you guys.....

Monday, May 28, 2007

On Memorial Day

I've thought about this a lot over the years and I think I've posted on this before. But here are a few of the things I've learned over the years:

We honor those who fell in service to the country.

We mourn their loss and respect their sacrifice.

War is not glamorous.

War is not a game.


War is NOT a demonstration of a nation's collective "manhood".

Thanks to those who served.

Saturday, May 26, 2007


I've now read two accounts, one on Kos that I can't find the link to and now another on Rude Pundit, that explain the Democratic Party Surrender to the Bush on the supplemental bill....and

Additionally, I've seen the explanations of Congressmen Kagen and Kind and also Senator Kohl about their votes on the bill.

In the first case, it appears that everybody's favorite Democrat, Joe Liebermann, threatened to bolt to the Republican Caucus if Reid and the Dems didn't back off. The results would have cost us our slim one-vote majority in the Senate which would be other words BLACKMAIL.

In the latter case, renewal to Wisconsin's highly successful and incredibly popular Senior Care program was put in the supplemental funding bill as an....ahem...incentive for Congressman Kind, Congressman Kagen and Senator Kohl to vote for the other words BRIBERY.


Hold the healthcare of our Senior Citizens hostage to this terribly planned and executed war...and while we're at it...throw in a self-serving egomaniac like Lieberman to ensure the death of more kids.

What has this country come to?

Monday, May 21, 2007

Road Trip!!!!!!!!!


Did you sign up for the field trip to Madison?

May 30, the Wood County Dems will take their first ever field trip to the State Capital. Among the events scheduled is:

Meeting with Marlin Schneider
Meeting with Amy-Sue Vruwink
Sit in on Joint Finance Committee debate on Campaign financing..

Tour Capital building....with a class of 4th Graders....good thing we have a couple of retired school teachers to go along with us....

Couple of other things...

Maybe a meeting with Joe Wineke in his office...arrangements are still pending.

Meal at The Great Dane (dutch treat)

Give Dave a call....

Saturday, May 19, 2007


The meeting last Thursday night proved momentous....

It was momentous because Democrats of Wood County voted to stand up for integrity matter what the "politically correct" thing to do is... matter what the "politically smart" thing to do is...

The Wood County Dems voted to stand against the mere "appearance of impropriety"

The Wood County Dems voted to stand against the influence of money in the political system

They voted to ask Joe Wineke to resign his lobbying position with AT & T and, failing that, to resign his position as Chair of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin.

Remember how the Repubs tried to paint Governor Doyle's administration as corrupt during last November's election? No more will we allow our party members to feed the repubs more more will we tolerate actions which bring disrepute on our party.

At the same time our Party did that, the Eau Claire County Dems voted to unconditionally ask Joe for his resignation....others are pending as we speak.

Damn I'm proud of these folks.....

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Don't forget!

Dinner meeting tonight at Charlie's Pinecrest Supper Club on Highway 13 just North of Pittsville. 6:30 PM....

good food,
good progressive company....
what more could you ask for?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Wow! How close to dictatorship did we come?

Read this from yesterday's testimony of former Assistant Attorney General James Comey in the Senate and tell me...just tell doesn't scare the ....bejeeesus out of you. Here's the Kos link to it

and a snippet:

Comey: So I hung up the phone, immediately called my chief of staff, told him to get as many of my people as possible to the hospital immediately. I hung up, called [FBI] Director Mueller, with whom I'd been discussing this particular matter and who'd been a great help to me over that week, and told him what was happening. He said, "I'll meet you at the hospital right now."
I told my security detail that I needed to get to George Washington Hospital immediately. They turned on the emergency equipment and drove very quickly to the hospital. I got out of the car and ran up -- literally ran up the stairs with my security detail...

Sen. Schumer: What was your concern? You were in, obviously, a huge hurry.
Comey: I was concerned that given how ill I knew the Attorney General was, that there might be an effort to ask him to overrule me, when he was in no condition to do that.

Schumer: Right.

Comey: I was worried about him, frankly. So I raced to the hospital room, entered, and Mrs. Ashcroft was standing by the hospital bed. Mr. Ashcroft was lying down in the bed, the room was darkened. And I immediately began speaking to him, trying to orient him as to time and place, and try to see if he could focus on what was happening. And it wasn't clear to me that he could. He seemed pretty bad off.

Schumer: And at that point it was you, Mrs. Aschroft and the Attorney General, and maybe medical personnel in the room. No other Justice Department or government officials.

Comey: It was just the three of us at that point. I tried to see if I could help him get oriented. As I said, it wasn't clear that I had succeeded. I went out in the hallway, spoke to Director Mueller by phone. He was on his way. He handed the phone to the director of the security detail, and Director Mueller instructed the FBI agents present not to allow me to be removed from the room under any circumstances. And I went back in the room.

A few minutes later, Andrew Card and Roberto Gonzales arrive at the hospital, and here's what happens next:

Card and Gonzales arrived shortly thereafter, tried to persuade Ashcroft to authorize their activities, but failed and ultimately left the room. Within minutes after that, Card called Comey and demanded an immediate meeting on his turf, in the White House. Comey told Card that:

After the conduct I had just witnessed, that I would not meet with him without a witness present. He said, "What conduct? We were just there to wish him well."

I said again, after what I just witnessed, I will not with you without a witness, and I intend that witness to be the Solicitor General of the United States.

That's a scene right out of The Godfather Part I.

Here's what Glenn Greenwald had to say about it today (thanks to Digby for the post)...

J]ust consider what it says about this administration. Not only did Comey think that he had to rush to the hospital room to protect Ashcroft from having a conniving Card and Gonzales manipulate his severe illness and confusion by coercing his signature on a document -- behavior that is seen only in the worst cases of deceitful, conniving relatives coercing a sick and confused person to sign a new will -- but the administration's own FBI Director thought it was necessary to instruct his FBI agents not to allow Comey to be removed from the room.

Comey and Mueller were clearly both operating on the premise that Card and Gonzales were basically thugs. Indeed, Comey said that when Card ordred him to the White House, Comey refused to meet with Card without a witness being present, and that Card refused to allow Comey's summoned witness (Solicitor General Ted Olson) even to enter Card's office. These are the most trusted intimates of the White House -- the ones who are politically sympathetic to them and know them best -- and they prepared for, defended themselves against, the most extreme acts of corruption and thuggery from the President's Chief of Staff and his then-legal counsel (and current Attorney General of the United States)...

And then we have Greenwald again, quoting the Washington Post and riffing on it too:

Even The Washington Post Editorial Board -- long tepid, at best, concerning the NSA scandal -- recognizes that Comey has offered "an account of Bush administration lawlessness so shocking it would have been unbelievable coming from a less reputable source." And as I documented yesterday, these "shocking" revelations were long concealed due to Alberto Gonzales' patently false assurances that the testimony of Comey and Ashcroft -- which Democrats on the Senate Judiicary Committee sought last year -- would not "add to the discussion."

Let's repeat that just for the effect of reading it again, shall we?

" account of Bush administration lawlessness so shocking it would have been unbelievable coming from a less reputable source."

Key words?




Folks we came very close to a dictatorship and unbelieveably we have Ashcroft to thank for NOT becoming a dictatorship.....whodathunk?

Monday, May 14, 2007


Remember that I posted last week about our State Chair Joe Wineke signing on as a lobbyist for AT & T?

Well.....look what was printed in the Capitol Times over the weekend:

And also from today's Journal Sentinel:

Democrats who control the Senate refused to take up Republican amendments to the bill that would have barred felons from lobbying and banned the chairs of political parties from lobbying.Voting against the bill were Sen. Scott Fitzgerald (R-Juneau), Sen. Mike Ellis (R-Neenah) and Sen. Alan Lasee (R-De Pere).

Fitzgerald said the bill was not comprehensive enough because it did not address the fact that state Democratic Party Chairman Joe Wineke registered as a lobbyist for AT&T last week. His term is up in June.

"It's embarrassing for anyone serving in the body that the chairman of the Democratic Party has been hired to lobby," said Fitzgerald, the Senate Republican leader.

The bill Wineke and 15 other AT&T lobbyists are pushing cleared the Assembly on Wednesday. The bill would end local cable TV franchises and replace them with permanent state-issued licenses.

Great....just freaking great...we're getting mocked in Political Cartoons and the Republicans are making us look like we're just as corrupt as they are.....

I'll be bringing a resolution on this matter to the County group on Thursday night.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Just have to share this

with all our good liberal friends.....

you know......when Bush finally leaves office (through the natural end of his term or impeachment...which is beginning to sound better all the time), I am going to miss poking fun at him and his Mayberry Machiavellis....


Could it be?

Some scuttlebutt about Gore jumping into the race in the November/December time frame...

What do you think?

Friday, May 11, 2007

Thursday, May 10, 2007's just too easy.....

I don't think this needs any captioning.

Thanks to Jesus General for the picture

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Back to Basics.

There is a vote going on today to re-establish the habeus Corpus laws that Bush's Military Commissions Act did away with last year. Don't think it's important?

Listen to what Glenn Greenwald has to say:

The Military Commissions Act of 2006 is, without question, the single worst law enacted during the Bush presidency, and is one of the most destructive laws passed in the last several decades. It is not merely a bad law. It vests in the President the power to detain people indefinitely with no meaningful opportunity to contest the government's accusations. That is the very power the Founders sought first and foremost to prohibit.

More significantly, whether a country permits its political leaders to imprison people arbitrarily and with no process is one of the few defining attributes dividing free and civilized countries from lawless tyrannies. Or, as Thomas Jefferson put it in his 1789 letter to Thomas Paine: "I consider [trial by jury] as the only anchor ever yet imagined by man, by which a government can be held to the principles of its constitution." To vest the President with the power to imprison people indefinitely with no charges is fundamentally to transform the type of country we are.

Greenwald goes on to say:

But none of that even matters. The right to be free of arbitrary executive imprisonment is -- and, since the founding of America, always has been -- a defining and distinguishing attribute of our country (notwithstanding shameful instances in our past where that right has been denied). All citizens -- including, actually especially, those sent to represent the people in Congress -- have an obligation to protect that right from government officials who seek to abolish it.

Christie (Redhead) over at Firedoglake is helping provide phone numbers to key Congressional People so that our Democratic Lawmakers understand just how important this is.....

Monday, May 07, 2007

Busy ...

I thought things would slow down after the convention but I'm back in the thick of it again....

Want to remind everybody about the first (in recent memory anyway) DINNER MEETING of the Wood County Democrats at Charlie's Pinecrest Supper Club on Thursday the 17th at 6:30 PM. I'm supposed to be at another meeting that night but I'll skip it so I can make this meeting. It could be a lot of fun and I'm anxiously looking forward to it....

I got to see LoLo last Friday after her return from the Galapagos Islands....that lady has courage...I don't think I could handle a trip like that.
Evidentially, the boat was small and the terrain was rugged but she and her hubby managed to hike it with the rest of the group. The scenery looks beautiful in a rugged, desolate kind of way....
At any rate welcome home LoLo!

Al is supposed to be sending me some pictures to post on the site and also to put up a convention page on the web site.....I sent him links to mine....

Did you hear?

Joe Weneike, our State Chair, just last week signed up as a LOBBYIST FOR AT & T. I didn't think that he could do that....Apparently he's lobbying for the Cable Communications Bill in behalf of AT & T...Common Cause Wisconsin is asking it that's "the official position of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin."on's the linky-poo

This could get interesting...

Friday, May 04, 2007

Reading always does this to me.....

I spent the afternoon going off the deep

Last one in is a rotten egg.....!

Comedy of Republicans...

I've been following reports about the Republican Presidential Candidates "debate"....debate if it means answering questions one-at-a-time without rebuttal...and laughing all day.

There seems so much comedy in there they should make these regular events...

From "Tweety's" softball (oops, I thought it was supposed to be Hardball ) questions to the stupid, sometimes barely coherent answers, to Tommy Thompsons, denial afterwards, it was are some of my favorite commentaries on the event.

Well, that illustrious group of geriatric honkeys known as the Republican presidential wannabes disembarked last night in what is for them the political equivalent of Taj Mahal, The Torture Museum in Amsterdam and a night out in Bangkok trolling for "massages" all rolled into one: Ronnie's Library. Also known as The House That Illicit Funds From Iran-For-Hostages Built. So what did we learn from this inevitably regal event?

1) Being a Republican means not only that Bin Laden is "Wanted Dead Or Alive" but also that "Bin Laden Is Going To Pay And He Will Die" (Romney) and you'll "Follow Bin Laden To The Gates Of Hell" (McCain). Because among your atavistic-anthropoid base, talking like you're in a John Wayne movie makes up for the fact that you guys couldn't catch The West Nile Virus--while sunning on the banks of The Nile, in the Full Monty and more sweat-drenched than Bill Bennett dreaming about the Bellagio.

6) Being a Republican means you absolutely detest the "culture of Hollywood." Even though if you'd played a drinking game last night for every time those silly sycophants on the stage mentioned Ronald Reagan, you'd have become Paula Abdul.

This from Cliff Schecter:

Romney: Bin Laden Is Going To Pay And "He Will Die"...McCain: I'll Follow Bin Laden "To The Gates Of Hell"...Hmmm...Where have I seen this before, um...That's right:"Wanted Dead Or Alive."

Here's the not so funny thing. He's alive. And we don't have him. So keep up the John Wayne talk guys, while your boss who you're so hesitant to criticize continues his six-year record of failing to catch the man who pulled off the single most deadly terrorist attack against the United States in our history.

And this from "The Rude Pundit"

It's truly hard to pick out the creepiest moment of last night's visit to the Gipper's Chamber of Horrors, the Republican candidates' debate at the Ronald Reagan Library (a name that still makes the Rude Pundit giggle). For sheer crazed insanity, it's hard to beat when John McCain proclaimed about Osama bin Laden, "We will track him down. We will capture him. We will bring him to justice, and I will follow him to the gates of hell," and then he smiled. Not just a regular smile - a full-on face-engulfing, scarred-cheek-stretching smile that McCain must have done thinking about gutting his captors while hanging by his arms on a bamboo wall in the Hanoi Hilton just before they beat him again. Scary, scary stuff.

And this from Digby

So, this will end up being a contest for best Ronald Reagan imitator, with Matthews no doubt feeding them straight lines. (It's too bad Rich Little bombed so badly because his Ronnie impression is actually damned good --- and I think he'd make a much better president than any of these guys.)If that sounds as stultifying to you as it does to me, perhaps you can liven it up with a rousing game of Conservative Failure Buzzword Bingo! It may be the only way to get through it.

And to bring us "home" here's the incomparable Tbogg riffing on Ann Althouse's live blog.

Which leads us to the best live-blogging ever.Let's start with point number two and let it flow over us
2. I didn't realize there was a debate today until someone asked me this morning if I was going to watch it. Oh, no. I guess I am. But how many candidates? 8 for the Democrats was pretty annoying, though the 8th guy -- Gravel -- did provide some comic relief. I have to listen to 10 Republicans? 10! Who the hell are they? 10? Let's see there's Giuliani and McCain... uh.... and Tommy Thompson but not Fred Thompson... conversation about whether Tommy gets any boost in popularity by having the same name as the strangely longed-for non-candidate Fred... so, come on, you only got 3. There's 10! Where's my coffee? I can't believe you don't even remember Romney. Oh, yeah, Romney. How could I forget? Who else? A Senator from Kansas? A Senator from Kansas, really? Not Dole... Brownback! Oh, he's from Kansas. How perfectly boring. Huckabee. Oh, yeah, Huckabee. He used to be fat. Yikes, that's still only 6! Who are the other 4? And I'm committing to listening to them? Ron Paul. He might be amusing. Who else? I look it up: Jim Gilmore, Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo. Oh, the pain.

Several "coffees" later:

13. Wow! Romney on health care! I have no idea if his policy is good. I'll have to read about it. But his form of expression was great here.


Suddenly a lightbulb goes off:

19. Guy! They're all guys! It just hit me. They're all white too. Should be a question on that

.At which point I was reminded of this:
Arthur: You're a hooker? Jesus, I forgot! I just thought I was doing GREAT with you!

When you get caught between the moon and Mogen David.I know it's crazy, but it's true

Thursday, May 03, 2007

So...What happens After the Veto?

Bush finally used his mighty veto pen....after revving up the mighty Republican MSM Wurlitzer to make it look like the Democrats were:

1. Leaving the soldiers without bullets, food, equipment, health care, or oreo cookies.

2. Substituting "Political judgement" for "Military Judgement".

In reality neither of those things are true but CNN's little interview with correspondent Barbara Starr willfully, shamelessly and without any sense of irony at all, dutifully read a list of "cutbacks" the Pentagon was going to make if the funding isn't passed. They ignored the fact that present funds will last at least until the end of June and maybe even longer than that.

Further, CNN never bothered to mention that all the President has to do is accept the "benchmarks" his administration had previously supported which the Democrats put in the funding bill and VIOLA! ....all the money you requested (and more actually if you count the money that Dave Obey added for Veterans Health Care) is immediately available.

But my point here wasn't to carp about the media's DISGRACEFUL and that's all that needs to be said.

My point is that Harry Reid and Nancy have said all along that they EXPECTED Bush to veto the bill and that they had a readily available "Plan B".

Something like this? Are there backup bills waiting in the wings? Or, will they follow the advice that John Edwards is touting in his recent "emergency campaign ad" that urges Congress to keep sending the same bill back to the White House, again and again and again until pressure from the public overwhelms him....

I hope Nancy and Harry have their act together. This is a crucial time for the party as well as the country as a whole. The American people spoke very clearly in November for change. They rejected Bush and his incompetent administration and their equally incompetent policies. The Democrats have a mandate and they'd damned well better use it. It's time to take lessons from Paul Wellstone and Russ Feingold and GROW A DAMNED SPINE!

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Here's a very flattering account of our convention (and our whole Congressional District for that matter) by the Edwards Campaign people who attended the convention.

Notice this:

In almost every account, compliment or positive comment we have received, the compliment was directed to either WOOD COUNTY or the WOOD COUNTY DEMOCRATS..not Marshfield.

I'm quite pleased with that.

here are a few choice snippets

One of the finer examples of what CD parties can be and should be is the 7th Congressional District. Since 1969, Representative Dave Obey has served the northern part of the state in the U.S. House and is currently the chair of the House Appropriations Committee. In some ways, just as importantly, Dave Obey has been one of the most important people in the history of the modern Democratic Party in Wisconsin.


Then the speakers started. State legislators, the CD party chair, and activists of note all spoke to the delegates not just of how Republican rule in D.C and Madison had failed, but also how Democrats were going about changing it. They was not just an air of outrage, but also one of enthusiasm for working on a Democratic agenda now and how we'll really get things done for "the people" after 2008, when we electe a Democrat to the Whte House, re-take the assembly and add to our margins in the senate in Wisconsin, add to our margins in both the U.S. House and Senate, and overall, make sure people understand that the Democratic Party is working for them, not just the privileged and the corporations that dominate politics now.


And I couldn't have had a better time up in the 7th Congressional District, the Northwoods. They're great Democrats up there, and tremendous supporters of John Edwards - and they highlight why he is the best Democrat for 2008.

At first I was slightly offended by his continual references to us as "rural" and "Northwoods" but I understand that he's referring to parts of our district who do consider themselves as "rural" and Northwoods" . Maybe I'm too sensitive to the Madison/Milwaukee mentality.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Did you notice? (xpost)

There was an interesting bit of news on the blogs today...and it's been picked up by the infamous EmmEssEmm (MSM = Main Stream Media) but they seem to have overlooked an important detail. Here's the baseline story from Kos:

Iraq (CNN) -- Unconfirmed reports that al Qaeda in Iraq leader Abu Ayyub al-Masri has been killed come from local tribes and not Iraq's intelligence services or military, an Iraqi government spokesman said Tuesday. [...]"Iraqi security forces do not have the body," al-Dabbagh said on Iraqi state TV.

"Iraqi security forces and Multi-National Forces are trying to retrieve the body for visual identification and DNA tests."The reports of al-Masri's death emerged after a confrontation Tuesday between Sunni tribes and al Qaeda in Iraq at a bridge in an area under Sunni tribal control, Dabbagh said.

Earlier Tuesday, an Iraqi Interior Ministry spokesman said "very strong intelligence" indicated al-Masri was killed in fighting between rival militant groups north of Baghdad. [...]The U.S. military and U.S. Embassy in Baghdad had no information on the reports.

The media seems to be taking off on the "unconfirmed" nature of the reports but the text I highlighted in red above are incredibly significant.....and incredibly damaging to Bush and Company.

And just why would that be?

Glad you asked.

There are two aspect to this that make the tiny snippet of information important. The first is that even though the Sunni tribes and Al Qaeda share the same Wahhabi roots, there is no way on earth the Sunni will subjugate themselves and their religion to Al Qaeda. In short, they dislike AQ as much as we do.

Oh yeah, did I mention that Saddam Hussein was Sunni?

So this business about Saddam being in league with Al Qaeda that was supposed to be such an "imminent threat" to America was just pure fiction. It was deliberately distorted to drum up a case for a war they wanted to get into anyway. If Americans were paying ANY kind of attention at all to these stories they would immediately see the lie exposed in Cecil B De mil, wide-screen, living, techni-color.

The other aspect, and perhaps equally troubling is this snippet from yesterday's news. This from the Washington Post:

BAGHDAD, April 29 -- A department of the Iraqi prime minister's office is playing a leading role in the arrest and removal of senior Iraqi army and national police officers, some of whom had apparently worked too aggressively to combat violent Shiite militias, according to U.S. military officials in Baghdad.

Since March 1, at least 16 army and national police commanders have been fired, detained or pressured to resign; at least nine of them are Sunnis, according to U.S. military documents shown to The Washington Post.

Okay. Let's break that down a little.

Our "boy" Maliki, the Prime Minister upon whom we are relying to bring peace and stability to Iraq (at least enough where we can leave "with honor"....deja vu anybody...) is firing Sunni's who are cracking down on the Shiite militias who have been waging war and reprisals against Sunni's...the same Sunnis who are fighting Al Qaeda...

So, in case you're keeping score or at least trying to, in general, Iran supports the Shiia and Saudi Arabia supports the Sunni. So we're supporting the Milaki government who supports the Shiia and we're against Iran who also supports the Shiia but we're friends with the Saudi who are supporting the Sunni who are fighting Al Qaeda who are fighting the Shiia who we're supporting.

blblblblblblblblblblblblblblblblblb Benny Hill would have been proud......

This war was ill-conceived from the beginning and the total incompetence of the Bush Administration just keeps making it worse.

Look who' News!

Opened up (electronically) this morning's paper and look who is on the front page.

That's our own Judy and Shirley. Dems are making a difference everywhere they go!