Tuesday, October 30, 2007

A message from Russ


Yeah, THAT Russ...

Russ Feingold writes:

Dear Wisconsin Progressive,

As you may remember, I made a campaign pledge back in 1992 to hold a Listening Session in each of Wisconsin’s 72 counties every year. Over the past 15 years, I’ve held over 1,050 such meetings and traveled the equivalent of almost six times around the world—all within the state of Wisconsin.

A few issues consistently come up at these and other meetings; the unwise war in Iraq, of course, as does our nation’s continuing fight against international terrorism. Earlier this summer, I heard numerous concerns about the USDA’s failure to ensure accurate dairy price reporting, and I am increasingly reminded that our nation must end our dangerous addiction to oil and begin advancing renewable sources of energy to break this addiction.

All of these issues are very important. But the single most common issue that people bring up, the issue that really gets people talking is health care.

Everywhere I go, I hear about the rising cost of health care and the double-digit increases that small business owners must pay every year to continue providing coverage to their employees. I hear about the sacrifices that Wisconsinites are forced to make each year to ensure that they and their family members are covered.

Improving access to health care—and making health care coverage available to all Americans—has been one of my long-time goals. I support an overhaul of our current health care system, and I have recently introduced a new bill with Senator Lindsay Graham (R-SC) which will move us toward health care for all Americans.

Our bipartisan bill -- the State-Based Reform Health Care Act -- offers an American-style approach to health care reform. Under our plan, the federal government would help states provide health insurance to all their residents, but leave it to those individual states to decide how to go about it.

This legislation starts us down the road of health care coverage for all Americans by giving funding and authority to a select number of pilot states to provide health care coverage for all of their citizens, and encourage a flexible approach that allows each state to come up with innovative ways of achieving universal coverage. Our plan makes fiscal sense—providing $40 billion in funding that would be entirely offset—and would stipulate that all citizens must be covered and that the coverage be at least as good as the health care that members of Congress receive.

It’s time to break the logjam and I’m going to continue my efforts to give everyone affordable, quality health care.

With high hopes,

Russ Feingold
United States Senator

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Cross post....yeah, I know...

but I think it's worth it...

About the Sunday talk show lineup

Let's see here.............

Laura Bush is on Faux News Sunday.

George Stephanopolis for some unknown reason thinks interviewing Senator John McCain is relevant.

Little "Timmy" Russert, (you know, BIG RUSS'S boy) is playing "gotcha" journalism with Chris Dodd...probably because Dodd did something courageous last week....

but really ....

I mean ....really...

thanks to WTF is it Now! for the image...

Friday, October 26, 2007

LoLo's back

and some (blue-footed) boobies in her honor!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Finally, word from Riverbend

For those of you unfamiliar with Riverbend, I'll explain:

Riverbend is the blog name for an Iraqi citizen, presumably a woman, who for a long time wrote a blog from her home in downtown Baghdad. Her posts were anxiously awaited by the members of the blogosphere for a first-hand account of exactly what was happening during and after the United States Military occupied Iraq. There were long periods of silence and only sporadic posts from her during the last year or so but when she did post, each entry was an eloquent description of the almost desperate situation in Baghdad for the long-time residents.

Finally, on Sept 6 of this year, Riverbend posted that she and her entire family had left Iraq and sought safety in Syria. We had heard nothing from her since that date.

Thanks to our friend, Alwayshope commenting on Last Chance Democracy Cafe, we see that Riverbend posted again.....and this one....this one breaks my heart.....

here are some snippets and the link is here.....

By the time we had reentered the Syrian border and were headed back to the cab ready to take us into Kameshli, I had resigned myself to the fact that we were refugees. I read about refugees on the Internet daily… in the newspapers… hear about them on TV. I hear about the estimated 1.5 million plus Iraqi refugees in Syria and shake my head, never really considering myself or my family as one of them. After all, refugees are people who sleep in tents and have no potable water or plumbing, right? Refugees carry their belongings in bags instead of suitcases and they don’t have cell phones or Internet access, right? Grasping my passport in my hand like my life depended on it, with two extra months in Syria stamped inside, it hit me how wrong I was. We were all refugees. I was suddenly a number. No matter how wealthy or educated or comfortable, a refugee is a refugee. A refugee is someone who isn’t really welcome in any country- including their own... especially their own.

and the entire occupation...the entire Iraq misadventure...or as Dave Obey calls it, "this misbegotten war"....is summed up in this snippet:

The first evening we arrived, exhausted, dragging suitcases behind us, morale a little bit bruised, the Kurdish family sent over their representative – a 9 year old boy missing two front teeth, holding a lopsided cake, “We’re Abu Mohammed’s house- across from you- mama says if you need anything, just ask- this is our number. Abu Dalia’s family live upstairs, this is their number. We’re all Iraqi too... Welcome to the building.”

I cried that night because for the first time in a long time, so far away from home, I felt the unity that had been stolen from us in 2003.

I'm crying for you too Riverbend......all humanity is crying.....

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Republican Rhetoric

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe:
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.

"Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
The jaws that bite, the claws that catch!
Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun
The frumious Bandersnatch!"

He took his vorpal sword in hand:
Long time the manxome foe he sought --
So rested he by the Tumtum tree,
And stood awhile in thought.

And, as in uffish thought he stood,
The Jabberwock, with eyes of flame,
Came whiffling through the tulgey wood,
And burbled as it came!

One, two! One, two!
And through and through
The vorpal blade went snicker-snack!
He left it dead, and with its head
He went galumphing back.

"And, has thou slain the Jabberwock?
Come to my arms, my beamish boy!
O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay!'
He chortled in his joy.

`Twas brillig, and the slithy toves
Did gyre and gimble in the wabe;
All mimsy were the borogoves,
And the mome raths outgrabe.


Lewis Carrol has nothing on modern day NEOCONS....even Jabberwocky makes more sense than some of the crap comoing out of the Mighty Republican Wurlitzer.......

witness Glenn Beck courtesy of Digby

When I say on the air, and I've said it a lot lately, that we need to come together and we need to get back into the center, we're being pushed on to the edges -- I want you to understand, that is not on policies. I don't mean that we come in the center on policies. We come to the center on principles. We come back to the center of the melting pot, that we're all one America, that just because I disagree with you doesn't mean you hate America, and I love America. We all love America. We just disagree on how we should function, what we should do, big government, small government. It doesn't mean you hate America. I think there is a handful of people who hate America. Unfortunately for them, a lot of them are losing their homes in a forest fire today.

Okay Glen....we need to "come together" but then you divide us again....I definitely think Jabberwocky made more sense....oh yeah...and Jabberwocky wasn't hateful, bigotted and just plain mean as Glenn Beck...

Monday, October 22, 2007

Interesting Post

this came from CT_democrat over at Democraticunderground....thought it was interesting:

Logical Fallacy : "You need Independent/Republican votes to win.

"Status: False.

Most people believe that to win an election, any election, you need votes from Independents and the opposite party. This is, of course, totally false. It has been proven that not everyone votes, and more importantly, not everyone votes in every election. Meticulous statistical data has been gathered, and has proven that some people, who have voted in the past, simply do not vote sometimes. And also, some people who almost never vote, sometimes do. In other words, a person is not simply "a voter" or "a non-voter". The amount of people that vote fluctuates.

Thusly, in order to win an election, one does not need to pander to the middle, be centrist, or get Independent and/or cross-over votes from the other party. All they need to do, is get their OWN BASE off their asses and to the polls to vote, and they will win.

Maybe some of the National Democratic leadership needs to read this....especially since they were "taken to the woodshed" by nonother than the New York Times on yesterday's editorial page..

Sunday, October 21, 2007

News and view...

Yeah, I know it's lame but here are a few tidbits that our membership needs to catch up on...

First, CONGRATULATIONS to the Clark County Democratic Party on their very, very successful 39th Annual Clark County Democrats Dinner. I attended and it was wonderful. Mel and Jordan do an excellent job of organizing the affair and it is becoming an "absolute must" for politicians of State-wide stature. Last night I was entertained by Senator Pat Kreitlow who was one of the three upset victories that helped put the State Senate in Democratic Party control. Pat is a great speaker. Then Dave Obey graced us with stories of the "old days" in the State Legislature. Dave is past the "red-meat politician" stage now and quickly becoming a respected "elder statesman". I'll be sure to be on hand for the 40th dinner.

Hmmmmm....maybe we should throw an "annual dinner"...what do you think?

Next....good news....the Governor stepped in like a stern parent and forced a compromise budget bill on Friday night. I talked to some "insiders" at the dinner on Saturday night and they all seem very pleased with the budget.....I'm not sure I understand the detail, but one of the "biggies" said in a speech that apparently the "Wisconsin Republicans (unlike George W. Bush) believe in global warming, because there's no money for the Department of Transportation in the budget so they must think there won't be any more snow."

The budget which has been agreed upon by Republican leader Huebsch, Democratic leader Judy Robson and the Governor still takes money from the Malpractice Trust Fund and INCREASES the amount taken from $175 Million to $200 Million....

I'm adding a personal note here.

At last Thursday night's meeting Dave Wille was nominated for another term as County Chair. He said he doesn't want to be Chair for life and I think he was a bit afraid after he said it that it might have indicated a reluctance on his part to assume the position once again.


Don't worry. We didn't take that the "wrong" way.

Oh yeah........

LoLo should be returning from Africa tomorrow....anxious to hear the stories.

Interesting times we live in huh?


Thursday, October 18, 2007

Don't forget the meeting tonight!

Nominations for next year's officers tonight....voting at next month's meeting....

Time: 6:30 P. M.

Place: Pittsville American Legion Hall (by the bank....sheeeeez...four years there and I still don't know the name of the street)

Oh, yeah.....special guest tonight.....

Amy Sue is going to talk about her budget vote....

And, of course, we'll see the two best Democrats in Wisconsin!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Trust me....vote for me again.....

In case you're wondering what I'm talking about, check out this article and the snippet:

They defeated the plan 53-44. Two Democrats - Sheldon Wasserman of Milwaukee and Amy Sue Vruwink of Milladore - sided with the bulk of the Republicans. A third Democrat, Rep. Bob Ziegelbauer of Manitowoc, did not vote but said he opposed Doyle's plan.

Like Jane at firedoglake says: I'm getting tired of trying to kick another football. h/t to Jane for the pic.....

Monday, October 15, 2007

Thanks to Dependable Renegade

I needed a laugh today and Dependable Renegade gave us this:

Caption: "I'm Sorry in Klingon"

rofl rofl rofl rofl...

Saturday, October 13, 2007


Kargo X says what has only been whispered ...

But it's not just that. If Qwest's competitors were already abetting this bloodless(?) coup before 9/11, then the "administration's" domestic spying not only has little if anything to do with response to terrorism, but it also objectively failed to prevent 9/11.

If this is true, the implications are absolutely staggering. And just for the record, the information that sprung this didn't come from any third-tier conspiracy blog, it came from court records....

Think about it>

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Quote of the Day?

There's a fine line between Hayekian learning-by-doing, Oakeshottian trial-and-error and simply fucking up.dsquared 10.08.07 - 4:32 am #

Whiskey Tango Foxtrot?

Read the whole thing here.

Or maybe this is a more understandable description of Bush's war policy...through the words of Kipling, no less:

Kipling had it on not learning by doing:
"As it will be in the future, it was at the birth of Man
There are only four things certain since Social Progress began:
That the Dog returns to his Vomit and the Sow returns to her Mire,
And the burnt Fool's bandaged finger goes wabbling back to the Fire..."
Iran. anybody?James Wimberley 10.08.07 - 7:33 am #

Monday, October 08, 2007

Tragedy in Crandon

By now I'm sure you've all heard the news.

I'll give a brief recap and a couple of photographs from AP:

A young, 20 year old Forest County Deputy Sheriff and Part time City of Crandon Police officer went into the home of his ex-girlfriend near downtown Crandon and killed her and five other people in the home. Here's a link to the updated story.
In Wisconsin, we're not accustomed to such stories. They're usually reserved for big cities, or, if they're in a rural area, we always think of them as being very distant from us. This tragedy hits home because that's not who we are in Wisconsin. We're not known to be violent, unstable persons who "go off" at the drop of a hat.


That's not us.

Not by a longshot.

Another blogger friend of mine commented on another tragic story the other day, and, after reviewing the facts of the case, determined that nobody did anything illegal; nobody did anything to provoke the tragedy except the person who committed it. I think that's the case here. There is no obvious platform to blame a "gun culture"...after all the perpetrator was a Deputy Sheriff for Forest County. He was authorized to carry a gun.

I read the first Associated Press Article on this story this morning and already they were playing the "Neighbors ask : How did shooter get through the system?" card early this morning. In my opinion, that's a stupid question.

Why is it a stupid question?
Because there probably wasn't (and in many cases there never is) any sign of this kind of emotional instability before. It was just one of those instances where somebody "snapped". As much as we'd like to point to some sign; point to some incident that "should have" tipped us off to potential instability, it's probably fruitless...or worse, anything said in retrospect is like trying to conjure up an image in tea-leaves.

Sometimes these things happen.
We don't know why.

I think this police officer feels theway most of us do.

And maybe it's better to just leave it that way.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Got some "catchin-up" to do....


Been gone for four days...lots happening...

first, this post from the Rude Pundit caught my eye....

The Rude Pundit has not been one of the loud drum beaters for impeachment out here in Left Blogsylvania because of the practicality of achieving it. But he has to say that the longer these depraved motherf****** get to go unpunished, the more obvious it is that the Congress and, indeed, the citizens of this fallen nation have decided what kind of people they are.

He was referring, of course, to this article that appeared in the New York Times: Apparently, as soon as "Alberto"...ummmm "I can't recall" Gonzales took over the Justice Department, torture was "okay" in the eyes of the Administration. It's a long article and because I was at the convention, I missed it. But the best summation of how is feel is just like "the rude one" states above.....the Bush Administration MUST be brought to justice for these crimes.

Then, there was the SCHIPS veto. Read that here. You know, there isn't a bottom to the "low" that Bush can sink to. This sucks....this is as bad as it gets....

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., decried Bush's action as a "heartless veto."

"Never has it been clearer how detached President Bush is from the priorities of the American people," Reid said in a statement. "By vetoing a bipartisan bill to renew the successful Children's Health Insurance Program, President Bush is denying health care to millions of low-income kids in America."

Democratic congressional leaders said they may put off the override attempt for as long as two weeks to maximize pressure on Republican House members whose votes will be critical.

There's soooooo much more to write but for now I just want to put my feet up and relax for a while...I'll write more this weekend.

Oh yeah....LoLo is OFF TO AFRICA!

psssst.....LoLo....don't ask "What's for dinner?"

Monday, October 01, 2007

Just me and the troll....

I'm the one on the right.....


Madison trip planned for the day has been CANCELLED!

Milwaukee tomorrow....