Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Can You Identify All three of these...personalities?
And can anyone come up with JUST ONE plausible reason
as to why they would be
photographed together?

This is more like it!!

This picture shows Longshoremen in New Jersey protesting the takeover of their port by the UAE firm. They are angry that the sale will compromise US port security.




"George Bush in the flight suit on that carrier was Bode Miller in the Nike ads before the Olympics, all image and promise. No substance and sacrifice, no guts and inner fire."


To be honest, I never thought about that comparisom....whew...this guy is brutal!

Health Care Initiative

At last night's forum on the Democrats State-Wide Health Initiative, the speakers in the audience got to vent their frustrations with a myriad of problems in the State's health care system.

When I checked the newspaper this morning, the story was focused on a couple of the more dramatic presentations. You can read the account here:


One speaker told the legislators to "follow the money" a la the advice of Deepthroat if they wanted to solve the health care crisis.

Another speaker decried the lack of Dental Coverage in Badger Care, the State's low-income health care program.

And, of course, the Marshfield Clinic took the opportunity to make a presentation. Dr Phillips made at least one excellent point, in my opinion. He suggested that insurance, or at least some outside entity, should provide first dollar coverage for preventive medicine and deductibles or copays be reserved for treatment of actual medical procedures. The reason I found this appealing is because in a de facto manner, it is placing public or insurance money squarely into the PREVENTION side of the equation which, as a public official, you always instinctively gravitate toward.

I had the opportunity to talk to Julie, Amy-Sue and Louis afterward and I'm sorry I didn't get to meet Donna Seidel.

Will any of this amount to meaningful health care reform?

There weren't any Republican legislatiors in the room. They control both houses of the legislature.

What does that tell you?

Open thread...Health Care Comments?

I'll ry to get some pictures up as well as comments from some other members...probabl y tomorow.
In the meantime feel free to offer your impressions of the Health Care Forum

Monday, February 27, 2006

I had almost forgotten!

Take a good look at the person on the right hand side of this picture. Looks like John Bolton doesn't it?

That's because IT IS JOHN BOLTON!

Bolton was sent to Florida in 2000 to make sure Bush won the election. Did you ever wonder just exactly WHY Bush has been so loyal to Bolton? Why Bush stubbornly gave him a "recess appointment" to become Ambassador to the United Nations when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee refused to confirm him?

Well this picture should explain it all.

Can you say Culture of Corruption?

Monday Morning Open Thread

Sorry, but this picture makes me think of the movie line:
I'll get you...and your little dog too!
Wizard of Oz

Hi everybody.

Hope you had a good weekend.

Need to catch up on a couple of things:

First don't forget the Health Care Roundtable this afternoon at the UW Center, Marshfield. It's from 4:30PM until 6:00PM.

Second, I've realized that I'm sort of hogging all the bandwidth here so I've reactivated my own blog and you're free to visit and argue with me whenever you feel like it...here's the "linky-thing".


If you have the time, drop in at TBOGG and pick up on the antics of the 101st Fighting Keyboardists. (They brave carpal tunnel for Dubya) http://photos1.blogger.com/hello/145/1296/640/skippysdown.jpg

Maybe more tonight ...If I can get to the forum, I'll blog it for you...

Sunday, February 26, 2006

This is too good to pass up

In case you don't recognize this person, it's Congress-woman Katherine Harris of Florida. Yes. It's THAT KATHERINE HARRIS. She's the former Florida Secretary of State of the infamous election 2000 debacle. She parlayed that little fiasco into a seat in Congress and is now running against Senator Bill Nelson (Democrat...sometimes of Florida). Harris recently caused a stir by appearing on Faux News' Hannity and Colmes * show "posing" to show off the wonders of modern ...er.....ummmm...."enhancement surgery".

So I cordially invite you to "caption this picture". note: Keep it clean.

on edit: In case you haven't noticed, Katherine Harris was mentioned in the "sentencing recommendation" for the briber of Congressman Randy "Duke" Cunningham. In the sentencing recommendation, the Defense Contractor, Mitchell Wade admitted that he had illegally raised campaign donations for Harris by having his top employees make the donations and then he reimbursed them. After presenting Harris with the donations, he then met with her and proposed a project to benefit his firm. Harris sponsored the legislation but it didn't go anywhere which probably saved her from a bribery indictment. Harris says she didn't know the donations were raised illegally. (That's probably true, but the quid-pro-quo nature should have been obvious) Details are at Talking Points Memo..here:


* Colmes....you know, I'm not a Democrat but I do play one on TV.....


Saturday, February 25, 2006

Okay...this time I'm angry!

When I saw this picture of the eagle on another site it immediately struck me as symbolic of how most Democrats have felt for a long time (5+years) and how more and more "middle Americans" are feeling every day.

Think about it.

It's almost an outrage per day with the Bush Administraion. Their arrogance and shear audacity are breath-taking. What has been done to our system of checks and balances is shameful as well as frightening.

I've spoken before about "scandal fatigue". It seems that we, the loyal opposition, can never focus quickly enough or sharp enough on a single outrage before the next one erupts and drags our attention away. I've noticed that over the last five years and believe me, I've lost count of the number of incidents that have raised calls to "man the barricades" from activists all over the country. I used to think that our inability to bring any single outrage to some conclusion that would require the Bush administration to stand accountable was due to a political version of "attention deficit disorder" but now I am convinced that it has to do with a certain powerlessness to do anything BUT be enraged. My fondest hope is that all the unresolved outrages and scandals triggered by this administration will act more like open, festering wounds and eventually grow so fetid that they will, in aggregate, bring this administration to an ignomius end.

The saddest of all, however, is the evil that these people have done is about to erupt into more violence and bloodshed than we could have ever imagined. I'm talking about Iraq, of course.

Reading on-line news and blogs this morning about Iraq is absolutely frightening. One obscure foreign policy blog I read this morning pointed out that in 1996 a middle-eastern think tank study rightly noted that the only thing keeping Iraq from descending into the hellacious realm of sectarian civil was the brutal control of Saddam Hussein. Neocon scholars of the time decided that even in light of the risk of civil war that Iraq needed a "clean sweep" and from the chaos, democracy and peace would flourish.

I think that's what the (cough: idiot) pundit Terry Jeffreys was trying to say on Blitzer's show yesterday...that civil war in Iraq meant George Bush's plan is working.....(I swear you can't make this crap up!)

The sooner Bush and his administration are removed from office, the better as far as I'm concerned. Strangly enough, during the first two years of Bush's term of office a person to whom I am close said, "I never knew one person could screw up so much in such a short length of time." God help us if he finishes the next three years.


Friday, February 24, 2006

Okay....just to keep it fair.....

Hi Amy-Sue!


The Beast MUST be fed!

On another forum, a Central Wisconsin member posted information about Dave Obey's opponents from the Republican Party (there's also a "GREEN" running but I'll just concentrate on the Republicans here). Each of the Republican Candidates has a website and I browsed each one of them. I won't post links (you can email me if you're really machochistic enough to go to those sites) and I won't mention the candidates by name in order to deny them of any additional "google hits". But on one of the sites, I found this little gem:

"My opponent just voted for a bill that protects the gun-making industry from frivolous lawsuits. There were just two problems with this bill. The first is that it requires the sale of a trigger lock with each gun. We are now just one small step away from the mandatory purchase of trigger locks for all guns. The second is that it does NOT protect a gun owner from a lawsuit stemming from his stolen gun being used in a crime.

I would not have voted for this bad bill and, once in Congress, I will fight diligently to repeal the trigger lock provision and protect gun owners no matter if their gun was “locked” or not. We do not need gun control in the U.S.A. "(emphasis his)

Okay, I admit it. A Republican against even the MILDEST form of gun safety isn't exactly front page news. But notice how he started off his tirade.

"My opponent just voted for a bill that protects the gun-making industry from frivolous lawsuits. "

"My opponent" is obviously Dave Obey. We all know that Dave is a Second Amendment advocate and frequently votes with the NRA but look at what it gets him. He is going to be targeted as a "gun control" liberal by the Republicans anyway. It doesn't matter if he votes with the NRA. They're going after him as if he was the most rabid, foaming-at-the-mouth, take-their-guns-away-and-give-them-to-the-criminals- liberal there ever was.

The point is this: there is no appeasment of the right wing. Not on gun control. Not on anything. No matter how hard you try, the BEAST MUST BE FED and the opposition will use lies, smears, distortion and slander to feed the beast.

I'm not terribly worried about Dave in this next election. He's certainly a fighter and knows how to take care of himself in a political street brawl. If he needs a loyal precinct worker, I'll be here to help.

But all our office holders are not Dave Obey quality. (at least not yet) So maybe they'll learn something.

In other news:


I smell a "bait and switch" coming on the Port Deal...the UAE said they would delay implementation of the Ports Deal until President Bush could calm the fears of Congress. However, they will sign the contract next week. We're probably going to see a massive PR campaign in the next two weeks and it should be interesting. The White House still hasn't developed a coherent message.

Why did the New York Times scrub their headline about Iraq descending into Civil War? Here's the scoop:



President Arroyo of the Phillipines declares a state of emergency because of coup attempt.



Friday Open Thread


I emailed Dave and asked him to get this out to you, but I got a call from Senator Lassa's office a little while ago to notify me about a meeting on Health Care Issues sponsored by Julie

Date: Monday, February 27
Time: 4:30 to 6:00PM
Place: Commons Area of UW Wood County, Marshfield

I'm told that other electedofficials will be there including: Amy Sue Vruwink, Louie Molepske, and Donna Seidel.

This seems sort of like a "short fuse" notice/meeting but it may be a great opportunity to discuss health care issues with our elected Representatives. Personally, I am under the impression that any face-to-face contact with legislator is a good thing because it has a tendency to "humanize them", which they sorely need after being in Madison for any extended period of time.

Hehehehe....nice picture of Julie....

more news and snark later on.....


Thursday, February 23, 2006

Ohhhhhhh....nice framing

I don't know who did this but it was posted on another board which was, in turn, posted from Craiglist.

From craigslist messageboard:-----"It's amazing: Bush Invades Iraq where there is no connection to Terrorists or WMD. But he will sell out America to a Country UAE where there is concrete proof that they supported Terrorism and financed them.They are not a Democracy, there is nothing Democratic about them.Bush Terrorism in Living Color". ~5165

I like that one...it's simple, short and to the point.

Another nice one from this morning's blogs concerning MSNBC showing Olympic Woman's Curling instead of Imus in the Morning: "Better CURLING than HURLING!" from Democratic Underground.

And for lots of laughs, The Rude Pundit (hereinafter referred to as "The rude one") sums up George the Lesser's Black History month speech like this:

How bizarre it must have been for the gathered audience, including that noted friend of the black people, Dick Cheney, listening to the history of African Americans reduced to a list of mostly entertainers and the achievements of George W. Bush. But, then again, the President's attitude toward the whole event is perhaps best summarized by his closing remarks. For after the citations for the President's Volunteer Service Awards were read, Bush ended, no, not gracefully, not with words for peace and justice and equality to triumph, but with the resolve of a man who wants to watch women's curling on the Olympics, saying, "That's it. Thanks for coming. God bless. Appreciate you all." Done and done with the Negroes until next February demands his attention.


There was a blow-by-blow blogging of the "briefing" on the Ports deal which was apparently shown on CSPAN...the sense I get from the blogs was that it was a standard administration "dog-and-pony-show". Anybody else see it?

This is too sweet

It has to be karma, or divine providence, or cosmic justice or something beyond human control.

Think about it. For over five (5) years George Bush and his political boy-genius, KKKarl Rove, have been masters at “framing” the debate in their favor. Under the tutelage of master-manipulator, Frank Lutz, the Bush administration has managed to turn a bill allowing polluters to prosper into the “Clear Air Act”. They turned a bill gutting education into the “The No Child Left Behind Act”. They turned a bill that allowed unprecedented logging in our national forests into the “Healthy Forest Initiative.”

The Lutz formula is ever-so-simple. Reduce issues to short, simple-minded, euphemisms easily digested by common Americans along with their coffee and donuts at the local café. There is no need to get into the messy and intellectually taxing (notice the “framing” there) business of discussing policy implications. That is far too nuanced.

And therein lies the beauty of the Dubai Ports deal.

This is something that George and KKKarl cannot reduce to a simple-minded sound bite. For once, their side of the argument requires a long, detailed explanation. Ignore, for the moment that even their long, detailed explanation is wrong for America. Just the fact that they have to take their time explaining places them squarely on the defensive.

In addition, for once, our side of the argument IS simple and easy to explain in a sound bite.

For once, our side of the argument is digestible with coffee and donuts.

I’m reveling in the image of Frank Lutz spending hours-upon hours in front of electronic thesaurus trying to find just the right word, with just the right number of letters, just the right sound, to bail George the Lesser out of this mess.

Amazing. Just amazing. George is so incompetent that he can even mess up framing.

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

Afternoon Open thread

Hi everybody...hope everybody is having a good day.

I went up to Northway Mall for a few hours to walk through the "Farm Show" being held in the wide-open (read: empty) spaces of the mall. The show drew a lot of people but there actually aren't many stores there that can take advantage of the increased traffic.

As most of you know I worked in the ag industry for over 10 years and this Northway Mall show was one of the staples of the company I worked for. They weren't even represented there today. I also noticed that the exhibitors came from companies much farther away than usual. Chilton, Pound Fond du Lac, Eau Claire. Usually this was just a local show for local dealers. I think consolidation in the ag industry has reached a tipping point....it's sad really.

I talked to one of my old competitors and he said that the show was "slow" and the people he talked to were sort of down in the dumps...why? Because milk futures took another big hit just yesterday. AND The Bush* budget eliminates or reduces two subsidies that the dairy farmers rely upon AND ADD A MILK TAX. That's the way to kill an ag industry isn't it. Less $$$$ = fewer farmers and fewer farmers = fewer dealers and fewer dealers =fewer manufacturers and fewer manufacturers = fewer manufacturing jobs.

I think I'm going to have to get used to this....better practice for my next career....

Sir, would you like fries with that order?


This, that and a few other things.....

First Nancy Greggs has a Democratic Underground guest editorial...


"We beg your Pardon:
a couple of snippets:

As I watched Harry Whittington speak last week, I was struck by his heartfelt apology to Dick Cheney and the Cheney family for the trouble he had caused by so thoughtlessly being severely injured. You see, I was raised in a time, apparently now long gone, when victims were on the receiving end of an apology - especially in those rare instances when they had been on the receiving end of a face full of birdshot.


We, the parents who have had children killed or wounded in Iraq, beg forgiveness for their foolish inability to avoid meandering into the line of fire, and our own infantile whining about the lack of body armour necessary to keep them safe as they fight for this Noble Cause. We also sincerely apologize for continuing to ask exactly what that Noble Cause might be, and why the justifications for its pursuit constantly change. Most importantly, we are sorry for the financial burden we have placed on all of you by way of medical treatment for our erstwhile offspring, as well as the cost of shipping their remains back to us for burial.


We, the victims of Katrina, who have lost our homes, our jobs, and our family members, humbly beg your pardon for expecting aid when we needed it most. In the aftermath, we realize how selfish we were to ask for assistance at a time when those in charge had other priorities to consider. We are truly sorry that we interrupted dinner arrangements, shopping sprees, Broadway show attendances and vacation plans. As for the dollar value of those FEMA trailers that have been left to rust in Arkansas, if we are ever fortunate enough to have a home address again, I think it's only fair that you mail us the bill.

The absurdity of the "apology to Cheney" was almost more than I could take, I'm glad Nancy was able to find some humor in it.

Jennifer Dolans has announced the launch of http://www.woodcosource.com/. She emailed a lot of us to announce it and sort of apologized for the "humble" beginnings, but hey, Jenny, from tiny acorns grow mighty Oaks....good luck Jenny, we're all behind you.

Any Wisconsin Rapids people want to comment on the primary for Mayor yesterday? I wrongly reported that there were three candidates while there were actually four...guess I'll have to read the Rapids Tribune more closely. Sounds like the race is going to be ....ummmmmm.....interesting. I'm anxious to hear your thoughts.

Here's something to ponder: Former Presidnet Jimmy Carter came out with a statement IN SUPPORT of the Dubai port deal. The world has truly turned upside down.

Concerning the port deal, Bush is now claiming he didn't know about it. Is that his "exit strategy" from this mess? (Or is that stratergery?)

Then, there is this confusing headline from Rawstory: Democrat: White House chief of staff nixed NSA wiretap briefing RAW STORY

So apparently the "deal" to keep hearings on the illegal wiretapping from happening between the White House and their Senatorial Waterboy, Pat Roberts of Kansas has been violated. The deal was, as Roberts explained it on Friday, that there would be additional and in-depth briefings of Congress and introduction of new legislation in leiu of hearings. Trust these guys? Never!

Add comments at will...enjoy..

Into the Heart of the Port Storm

More on the perfect storm created by news that Dubai Ports World has been approved by CFIUS (Committee for Foreign Investment in U.S.) to take control over some operations in 6 U.S. ports. John Snow is now the chairman at CFIUS. Before Snow became Secretary of the Treasury under Bush, he was on the CSX railroad corportation for about 20 years. In 2004, Snow was instrumental in selling CSX's own port to Dubai Ports World. Have we come full circle, or what? Or as Jack Cafferty said again yesterday,"Do the math!"

This port thing is a really big deal because port security has been underfunded and slipshod under this administration Only a small percentage of containers coming in to the U.S. are now examined (approx. 4-7 %) Furthermore, about 30 % of our port terminals are now controlled by foreign companies, not including the possible entrance by Dubai Ports World.

During the next few days, the AFL-CIO blog news (a link is provided to this on Daily Kos) will print letters from longshoresmen on current security issues at some of these ports. I wonder what else we will discover!

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Six Ports in the Storm

Wow! What an exciting news day this has been! Democrats and Republicans falling all over each other to unite against allowing 6 American ports to be controlled by Dubai Ports World. Bush then immediately defying them all by promising to veto any legislation against this company's new role. Since I couldn't name any other bill that the President had ever vetoed, and also since I was puzzled by the vehemence of his stance, I turned to Daily Kos. Someone had already done my homework. On the Dubai company's site, it was disclosed that Dave Sanborn, who has been working for this same outfit, has recently been nominated by the President to be Maritime Administrator, a position which is quite top-drawer, and in which he would report personally to Minetta, head of the Transportation Dept. I then processed this information along with a passing reference which CNN mentioned today about Sanborn's nomination possibly being in jeopardy now that Congress is opposed to the Middle Eastern company's taking charge of our ports and decided that perhaps the President's fear that his nomination might not go through was driving his hostile stance. At any rate, it was a pleasure watching Lou Dobbs and Jack Cafferty spew indignation over this whole issue!

Just to open up a thread

Thanks to Tbogg.....http://tbogg.blogspot.com/

Republican Conventioneers Arrive?


Step #1: Elect the Dog Catcher

Okay. I admit the headline is chocked just full of "snark" but maybe it at least got your attention. And now, having your undivided, let's talk seriously.

As long as there has been political parties, the phrase "From the Courthouse to the Whitehouse" has been a battle cry. As near as I can tell, both parties have used it from time-to-time but it generally rings hollow to most of us and serves as little more than a reminder to go farther down the ballot than selections for President, US Senator and Congressman. The truth is, even though we don't consider it, those local races are critical to our agenda.

Ever since I graduated from college, I have been a "local government" junkie. I got hooked on City Planning and public administration in my junior year of college and never let go. Most of my fellow "Polysci" buddies were completely hooked on International Affairs but not nerdy 'ole me. I knew that local government was "where the action" is. A decision made by a local council person or even a local bureaucrat can have a direct and immediate impact on hundreds if not thousands of lives almost instanteously. And even more significantly, that council person or bureaucrat has to have day-to-day contact with the very people who either benefitted or suffered with his or her decision. Yes. Local government IS where the action is.

Moreover, the progressive agenda works best at the local level. I often marvelled at how anyone could serve a term of office as a local Mayor and still call themselves a conservative (or more appropriately Libertarian). The progressive agenda is played out modestly and simply on the local level: Government protects the weak from the strong, promotes the general well-being of the community, and safeguards the health and safety of its citizens. It's really quite elegant.

The Republican Godfather of the "Conservative Revolution" , Richard Vigeire, said that conservatives started their own "Courthouse to the Whitehouse" movement in the 70's after Nixon practically destroyed the Republican Party. They felt that conservatives had to start influencing from the ground up...or from the grass-roots up. And they've been very successful.

Now Nathan Newman reminds us that we have to do the same. We have to start the progressive revolution all over again. And we do it one elected position at a time. Here's his take on it.


The point of the report, "Governing the Nation from the Statehouses: The Rightwing Agenda in the States and How Progressives Can Fight Back", is that progressives are too fixated on the White House and Capitol Hill and are ignoring the rightwing's campaigns in the states, where the Right can not only have as much influence on changing policy in the country as at the national level but can also undermine progressives political power in profound ways.
But there's another reason progressives should be paying more attention to state politics and policies. If you hadn't noticed, those in power in DC don't care what progressives think. We can win an occasional defensive fight, as with protecting social security, but we can't win any progressive victories.

If there's a primary in your neighborhood, be sure to get out and vote today. And don't just pick off the "top" of the ticket.....look for that dogcatcher too....


Good Luck to my "blog buddies"

The energy we bring to these endeavors will enkindle a flame.
And the light from that flame
shall enlighten the world.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy
Inauguration speech 1961

Two of my "blog buddies" are involved in primaries tomorrow. I'm so proud to know these two ladies whom I have had the opportunity to meet in person (a rarity in the blogosphere).

One is running for County Board in and the other is running for City Council . Both are great Democrats and actively participated in another forum that I often frequent. These two ladies have ansered the call and put themselves on the line so to speak for our democracy.

Good luck Sybylla and Goddess40. I'm pulling for you!

Monday, February 20, 2006

Calling all Wood Co. Democrats!

Tomorrow is primary day for some places for local offices....

Wisconsin Rapids has FOUR (4) Candidates for Mayor....

Marshfield has three (but no primary thanks to a decsion of the City Council) I guess one candidate has dropped out but will still be on the April ballot.

What's going on in your area?

What's happening with the WI Rapids School Board races?

What's happening with the County Board Races?

What's going on in Arpin?

What's going on in Pittsville?

Any political rumors or intrigue?

post your comments here.......


Best Advice I've seen

I have no clue who "Pachacutec" is. I have no clue if Pachacutec is a "he" or a "she". But I do have some suspicions. For instance:

I suspect Pachacutec is an "elder statesman" of the party because he/she is able to correctly reference the last 30 years of the Neoconservative agenda.

I suspect Pachacutec is a political professional because he/she correctly differentiates between policy and personality in politics.

I suspect Pachacutec is RIGHT!


From Pachacutec:

Political parties are like brands in business.Nike has a brand, a "personality:" winning. It's also young and a little edgy in its self-conscious presentation

.Of course this is absurd. A corporation is not a personality, though corporations and organizations do have cultures. There are ugly dark sides to Nike's culture, and I won't get into them here (it's a tangent).People buy brands as a way of buying an identity, or at least, buying into one and declaring it by way of the brand's label. Think of all those Apple people who rebel, as an identity, from Microsoft.Political parties are brands.

The Republican brand as it has developed over the last 30 years is aggressive, masculine and "moral." They have built this branding image by promoting personalities and "policies" designed to be products that position the brand. These policies are not focused on governing but on brand placement, and as a way to wedge the competing brand.

In a two party system, you can only force dominance of your brand by rebranding your opposition in the worst possible light. They've been doing that for 30 years too.

So, essential to their attempt to brand themselves as strong, masculine, aggressive and "moral," they have done all they can to define Dems as wimps, charlatans, profligates and pansies. Add a heavy dose of racist code language, stir and repeat repeat repeat, and you have the history of the last 30 years.

For us to turn the tide, many have rightly pointed out that the Republicans could not have succeeded without cowing the media into submission. Notice that the 80's were saturated with books and arguments about the liberal media.That chestnut does not get the saturation it once did, since the media war has been won by their side. We're just beginning to fight back now through citizen voices. The Internet has allowed for the wide dissemination of voices not controlled by corporate editors.

The Dem establishment has grown up in this last 30 years, and they don't know the game. They've become veal on farms.

To rebrand, we must accept some things. One is mentioned above, that personality in a media age precedes policy. Policy is only meaningful insofar as it betokens personality.To rebrand the party, we must

1 - fight, fight, fight

2 - be coordinated when we fight, because that's the only way to connote strength

3 - play to personality before policy (Senators are bad at this. The Senate tends to bleach out passion, though Feingold is against the grain)

4 - Slash, burn and discredit their brand. We need as much of what I call "honest calumny" as we can get. Be brutal. We do it on this sight.

It's true the top carrier of our brand should be more sunny and affable in his or her personality, but he or she needs to be backed up by brutal attack dogs like us.

We can rebrand them as corrupt, aristocratic, incompetent, cowardly and dangerous (elements, for example, that all exist in the shooting story on some level). In fact, we must do this, if we are to win and change the 30 year tide. We must rebrand ourselves as honest, public spirited, accountable, aggressive and tough. We can revive elements of the FDR brand but we can't replay it without updates, in my opinion.

If we can do this, then the branding war will have turned around. In the long term, if we want to make policy matter more, then we must promote education. But the dumbing down of America has served the Republicans (don't think they don't know it), and it will take some time to redevelop the nation's brain cells.

This essay should be a Sunday afternoon discussion for one of our groups. Anybody up for it?


Monday Open Thread

Hi all....

just posting to open up a thread for people to post on...

pick your own topic...rant as long as you want....enjoy!

btw: Did you know that Bush* was in Milwaukee this morning? Evidently he was at Johnson Controls but they kept the exact plant location pretty quiet until late yesterday. Some Democratic activists were planning a generic protest but it was very hastily organized so I don't know how many people showed up.

Oh yeah, and Cheney is going to be in DePere! Evidently it's a fundraiser for John Gard who DOES have a primary opponent, (Terri McDonald I think) but that doesn't seem to matter to Repubs...

post away...have fun!

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Just a few observations to end the weekend with

The recent cold snap seems to be over....I have to admit I was a little surprised by the -23 temp and -35 wind chills on Saturday morning...those temps are usually reserved for early January, not February. I think it will be milder from here on out but we can still look forward to the traditional "Boys State Basketball Tournement Blizzard".

I think I'm going to be sending out emails to some of our membership that I know is very active on the web to make invitations to post here. I know there are a lot of really good ideas out there and I know some of our membership has been very active in various causes. I'd like them to comment or blog about them.

So if you see an email from me, keep your cotton-pickin' paws off the "delete" key.


Blogging my brains out...

What a rare Sunday for me.

The "food nazi" is gone for the day. My "honey-do" list is done. I don't have any insurance or city council reading to do....soooooo I can blog my brains out.

I switched back and forth between Meet the Press and This Week before I had to leave the house this morning. I wondered if anybody got the same impressions as I did. Apparently so.

Here's a nice clip from http://firedoglake.blogspot.com/ via Wolcott concerning this morning's edition of Meet the Press.

And I think our reader Prairie Sunshine cuts nicely through the crap:
Watching MTP in Real Time and have these observations: Matalin's spinning so hard she's about to explode."the frequency of such accidents..." BULLSHIT. Hunting accidents are noteworthy for their INFREQUENCY.Gregory apologizes for telling Scott McClellan he was being a jerk [off camera] when McClellan was--HELLO...--being a jerk.In the Real World, it is about the average American says Matalin. Well, Mary Matalin DOES NOT SPEAK for me. I've hunted, and this south Texas Republican BWANA hunting is not real hunting. And the shooting, the coverup and the blame the vic, blame the press [who are the only ones with a modicum of opportunity to serve as my proxy in getting information out of this WH] tactics should have the bright light of day shown on them until all questions are answered.

Then, of course there was that "charming moment" on This Week, where the intellectual giant, George Will asked Katrina Van den Hueval, the question we've all been waiting to hear. "Do you still have a Kerry-Edwards sticker on your car?" He then postulated that if she did then she must be ANGRY!

Angry? OK....I get it. If you're against George W. Bush then you must be an ANGRY, IRRATIONAL individual. See? That's what's wrong with Democrats. They have an IRRATIONAL dislike of George W. Bush. Way to go George Will....how very....ummmmmmm....Ken Mehlmen of you! Yes, Ken Mehlmen the Chairman of the Republican National Committee (RNC) just happened to try out this theme earlier in the week by classifying Hillary Clinton as ANGRY. Damn....the RNC must have burned up a dozen fax machines to get that one out.

Oh yes, Meet the Press also had NBC White House Correspondent, David Gregory on the show. He apologized for calling Presidental Press Secretary Scott McClelland a jerk off-camera, when Snotty Scotty was, indeed being a.....ummmmm....jerk. (Apologies to Jane Hamser...the wording is identical to hers but it's sooooo appropriate) But otherwise he did quite well. You can see a video clip from Crooks and Liars at this link.


By the way, feel free to jump in to the COMMENTS section any time and put your $.02 into the mix. It would be a great way for us to keep in contact.

Going surfing the blogs for a while....


Saturday, February 18, 2006

Just a quick roundup

The Economy is doing great!
Headline....Radio Shack to Close 400-700 Stores


Oh Yes! Bush is unpopular across the country

This 50-state polling chart compiled by USA Survey is quite telling. Bush's approval rating is above 50% in only 6 states in the entire country, and Texas is not one of them. In 40 out of 50 states -- 80% of the country -- more people disapprove of Bush than approve of him.

on edit: Note that if you click on the "50-state polling chart" you can get individual state results. Also worthy to note: Bush popularity in Wisconsin 38%. Bush popularity in Ohio: 37%

What? The state that put Bush over the top in the 04 elections only gives him a 37% approval rating? Something is definitely wrong here...definitely wrong...


Can you handle it? I mean really......a video (courtesy of the Huffington Post) of the video that appeared on Bill Maher's show last night...Cheney as a gangsta rapper.


and finally, Tbogg just can't seem to help himself to a little fun...


Have a nice Saturday ya'll....

One Last Evening Post

I just stumbled across this on a link from our old buddy Dailykos...

It concerns Ralph Reed who is currently being .....er.....discouraged from running for Lt Gov. of Georgia..You may remember the name. He was the founder (with the sponsorship of Pat Robertson) of the Christian Coalition and was responsible for getting lots of Republicans elected. After the Coalition, he worked for the Bush Campaign and after that, a lobbying group associated with his college Young Republican buddy, Jack Abramoff.

I've been following Reed's career for a lot of years. He's frightening. Apparently others are just as leary of him....for your pleasure:


Anybody "blog" Maher?

For those who don't have/get HBO.....if you want me (or Lolo?) to blog Maher's show, just drop a comment below....I'll try to keep up...


Friday, February 17, 2006

Friday Open Thread

Hi folks...hope everybody dug out from the snow...the Marshfield News-Herald says we got between 10-14" of snow...I believe it. The good news was that the temperature dropped so fast that the snow was pretty powdery so the snow blower worked fine. The bad news was that the temperature dropped so fast...

I did the cleanup from drifting this morning...man it was cold!!

Don't forget to watch Bill Maher tonight...Russ Feingold is going to be on... 10 O'clock our time. HBO I think...

Some fun links...

First, the Keyboard Commandos

Ann Coulter gets busted:

Harry Apologized TO CHENEY?

And here, I'm going to copy and paste the text instead of giving the link to Blogslut....after all, she does write for a pornography industry newsletter so the site is a little ...ummmm...explicit....so just the quotes, okay?

While I'm sure Mr. Cheney never intended to shoot Harry Whttington,
I don't believe the "victim covered by shooter who was swinging on game"
explanation. I think the real story is stupider than that. My guess? Cheney
dropped his gun and it went off.

Yes, I know. It's just a hunting accident. It's not like Dick Cheney got a blowjob. It's a non-story story with a non-apology apology response from the Vice President.

The real story is Dick Cheney's disregard for the responsibilities of his job as a public servant. Dick Cheney doesn't care for the press. Tough xxxx . If he didn't want the press
around, then he shouldn't have chosen himself for the position. Dick Cheney
works for us. He's our bitch. Not the other way around. It's about damned time
we remember that.

Nice rant huh?

Ready! Aim! Comment!

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Maher Show Time Correction

The time of the Bill Maher show is 10:00 p.m. CST, not 11:00. Sorry for the blooper!

Watch Russ on Bill Maher

I just received an email reminding me that Russ Feingold will appear on Bill Maher's show tomorrow (Friday, February 17) night. I believe that would be HBO at 11:00 p.m. Don't forget to watch if you are able to get HBO.

Let's discuss this

Our good ally over at The Last Chance Democracy Cafe, has a few thoughts for our Democratic office holders.


And where was the loyal opposition through these and all of the other outrages? Speaking as a lifelong Democrat, I have to tell you there were times during the last few years when I actually wondered whether my party’s representatives in Congress had been assimilated by the Borg. You know, those alien invaders in the Star Trek series who use cybernetic implants to control people, destroying their individuality and causing them to chant over and over again, “Resistance is futile! Resistance is futile!” Kind of fits, doesn’t it? Now, in fairness, here recently congressional Democrats have actually started showing signs of life — not as much as might be wished, but enough perhaps to justify sending the mortician home for the night.

But my God, what took them so long? I mean, how many times did Bush &Have have to hit them below the belt before they finally figured out these guys don’t play fair. This isn’t rocket science. Ask any school kid. There’s no compromising with a bully. They won’t meet you half way. They won’t make nice to you because you make nice to them. You can’t reason with them. When faced with a bully, eventually you come down to one of two choices — stand your ground or reconcile yourself to getting your face rubbed in the snow. It’s that simple.


This episode deals with a "bully" in The Last Chance Democracy Cafe. Like always it's a great read for a snowy day...or any day for that matter.

Stephen C. Day is fast becoming a hero of the progressive side of the aisle.



Guess Why Tonight's Meeting is Cancelled!

Yep, that's right. S. N. O. W.

It's been a relatively dry winter so in some circles, (ahem...Dave Wille) the snow is quite welcome.

If you're out on the roads today, be careful, Especially those good Democrats in Southern Wood County where the brunt of the snowfall is expected.

Take care, and blog about anything you wish by pressing "comments".


Update and Open thread

Democracy Now! and FSTV.

I don't know where FSTV originates but I suspect it must be on the West Coast somewhere because I gota call from our contact person, Than, telling me that, sadly, FSTV could not accept the changes to the agreement made by the Marshfield Cable Access Committee. We discussed it for some time and it occurred to me that we weren't talking about the same agreement. When I finally asked him if he received my FAX of the new contract, he seemed puzzled and took a minute to look through the "pile on his desk" and found the new agreement....He apologized for not getting back to me and said he would have to take the new agreement to his boss for approval....maybe another two days...it sounds like we have one more phrase to parse and define before it will be final but maybe....just maybe this nightmare is coming to an end and we will FINALLY get Democracy Now! on the Marshfield Cable system.

Jenny Dolan got Democracy Now! on the Wisconsin Rapids system with great ease. I wish it could have gone as easily here....

Hope to see everybody tomorrow night...weather permitting...

feel free to post whatever comments you feel like posting...the thread is OPEN

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Two Snow Storms on the Way!

That's right TWO Snow Storms are going to hit us tonight.

The first one hits at 6 PM EST when Vice President Richard Cheney gives and exclusive interview to Brit Hume on the "f-word" channel. Expect a heavy accumulation of (political) snow. Note that the interview was done on tape, not live. Early reports say that the Vice President "took full responsibility" for the shooting.

Well DUH!

Actually he's only about four (4) days late in doing this. Well, now we can all relax and the media can get back to their normally scheduled Bush Administration Butt-kissing. As always Chris Matthews on MSNBC's Hardball will be a pace-setter in this field.

the other snow storm is a real blizzard....well, I'm told technically it's not a blizzard unless there is snow, heavy wind and rapidly falling temperatures, but then again, what do I know. At any rate, there is a possibility that it might make travel to tomorrow night's meeting a little bit hazardous. Be smart. Don't take any unnecessary risks if the weather is bad. There will be other meetings.

I have to tell you that I was pleasantly surprised at last night's Marshfield City Council Meeting. There was a presentation Mayor of Washburn, Wisconsin and resolution sponsored by Marshfield City Administrator, Mike Brehm (who is not one of my favorite people) to Adopt a Sustainable Community Development Policy and to Designate the City of Marshfield as an Eco-Municipality. The Mayor, Irene Blakely, gave a lengthy presentation but the council ended up tabling the resolution indefinitely because they were concerned about "what we might be committing to.."

Washburn and Ashland have already done this and are in the process of finding ecological and economical ways of implementing a sustainable community economy. They go first for what they call "low hanging fruit"; things as simple as replacing an old, oil-fired hot water heater with a "tankless, gas-fired" unit; things as simple as replacing all the old flourescent light bulbs in municipal buildings with high-efficiency bulbs.

The council behaved as I suspected: cautious to a fault. We'll see where this goes. I'll write more later.

By the way, the Agreement between the City of Marshfield and Free Speech TV was faxed to FSTV on Monday. So far, no word on whether they will accept the City of Marshfield's modifications to the agreement. Hope to hear something before tomorrow night.

IMPORTANT: We need another local (Marshfield) sponsor for Democracy Now! if it is broadcasted on local public access. Can I get a volunteer?

more tomorrow


Tuesday, February 14, 2006

WoodCo Democrats' Guilty Pleasure


It's an open thread!

Go ahead...rant away...get it off your chest....

Democratic Office -Holders Revolt against unruly Voters


This is too funny! But it's also scary at the same time. Take a few minutes to read the whole article because it puts the dilema we find ourselves in today in a different perspective.

"The first mission of any institution is SURVIVAL". That is the mantra of the elected official. We've heard the argument a hundred times, "I've got to vote with the majority on this issue because if I don't, I won't be around to vote on other issues." Having been an elected official before, I can understand what they're talking about. I've been in the position of facing a meeting room packed with people who were "looking for a tall tree and a short rope". But I gess I'm not like other people because more than once in my life I've walked away from a job over a matter of principle and stood for principles against the will of the majority even when it cost me votes.

My old boss, and first political mentor, was the one who first offered me the bromide, "Son, the only thing you'll find in the middle of the road is yellow stripes and dead skunks." (Jim Hightower put a Texas flavor on it in his book of the same name except "skunk" was replaced with "armadillos".) Obviously this is in direct conflict with the "mission statement" above and seems to present and insoluble problem for the elected official. I think it's a different problem.

I think it has to do with leadership.

Read the article and comments.


Monday, February 13, 2006

Open Thread

Click on Comments and rant away on any subject you'd like.....

go ahead....

ya KNOW ya want to.......


Sunday, February 12, 2006

The blogs are having just too much fun

with Vice President Cheney's accidental shooting of his hunting partner....

from Bob Geiger we get the Top Ten Reasons why Cheney shot His Hunting Partner.

Dick Cheney’s Top 10 Excuses For Shooting Fellow Hunter
From the home office in blue-state New York, here’s Vice President Dick Cheney’s top 10 excuses for shooting fellow hunter Harry Whittington on Saturday:

10. Sick and tired of Whittington’s “Hey, I’m having a heart attack” jokes
9. Pushed over edge by Dixie Chicks and Streisand blasting on pick-up truck stereo
8. Ongoing dispute over whether it’s acceptable to torture quail before shooting them
7. Thought he saw Michael Moore on other side of tree line
6. Bombed out of his gourd on Wild Turkey and Lone Star Beer
5. Companion’s ill-advised decision to wear Moveon.org sweatshirt
4. Was trying to impress Jodie Foster
3. Whittington’s repeated ribbing that Bush is actually the “real president”
2. Targeting scope on rifle made by Halliburton

And the number one excuse given by Dick Cheney for almost blowing away hunting companion Harry Whittington…

1. Because he’s a wartime vice president, damn it
posted by Bob Geiger http://bobgeiger.blogspot.com/

Cheney Accidentially Shoots Fellow Hunter

Remember: Guns don't shoot People. Vice Presidents do!

Vice President Dick Cheney accidentally shot and injured a man during a weekend quail hunting trip in Texas, his spokeswoman said Sunday. Harry Whittington, 78, was "alert and doing fine" after Cheney sprayed Whittington with shotgun pellets on Saturday at the Armstrong Ranch in south Texas, said property owner Katharine Armstrong. Armstrong said Cheney turned to shoot a bird and accidentally hit Whittington. She said Whittington was taken to Corpus Christi Memorial Hospital by ambulance. Cheney's spokeswoman, Lea Anne McBride, said the vice president was with Whittington, a lawyer from Austin, Texas, and his wife at the hospital on Sunday afternoon.

From all indications, it was a pretty common hunting accident. The only surprises were:

a. Cheney is a very experienced hunter so this is sort of bizarre.

b. This happened SATURDAY and it is just being reported around 3PM on SUNDAY....

on edit....an update: tongue in cheek style:

Harry Whittington, 78, was "alert and doing fine" after Cheney sprayed Whittington with shotgun pellets on Saturday at the Armstrong Ranch in south Texas, said property owner Katharine Armstrong.Armstrong said Cheney turned to shoot a bird and accidentally hit Whittington. She said Whittington was taken to Corpus Christi Memorial Hospital by ambulance.

Following the incident, Cheney reportedly claimed that Whittington's ties to the quail were "pretty well established".

Despite hitting only Mr. Whittington with his shotgun blast, Cheney was heard to be insisting hours later that the quail, since flown away, was in its "last throes".

Cheney has a history of misdirecting fire, famously playing a key role in the drive to invade Iraq after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. The mastermind of those attacks, Osama bin Laden, is still at large.

Thanks to DUer "Cocoa" for the Humor!

Americans really DON'T want Civil Liberties Suspended

If you've been watching the news for the past couple of weeks you have no doubt seen the Republican spinmeisters talking about the "polls" that support the pResident (yeah, I know that's a little snarky)in the Domestic Surviellance program. Well, it does have to do with how you ask the question. One of the "polls" I saw asked simply "Do you support the President's program to wiretap terrorists?" Well DUH!!!

Apparently the American Bar Association wanted to know the answer to a more precise question, like this:

The American Bar Association, via Harris Interactive, conducted a poll this week, surveying 1,000 respondents by asking a perfectly framed question: Can the president suspend constitutional freedoms "anytime the President thinks it is necessary to protect the country"? A staggering 77% answered with a resounding NO.

Thanks to Dailykos for the link....

Dave Wille sent out the agenda for Thurdsay Night's meeting. It's at 6:30 (as usual) at the Pittsville Legion Hall (as usual).

Aside from these things, the Sunday Morning talk shows were their usual scream provoking fare. One exception: Late Edition (which I watched quite by accident) had Joe Lieberman and Chuck Hagel on at the same time discussing Iran and Wiretapping...at least the part I saw...it was absolutely Alice Through the Looking Glass time because I could have sworn Hagel was the Democrat and Joe was the Republican.....

Did anybody see "Brownie's " Testimony on Friday? I hear he rated out the whole Bush administration...they knew about the levee breaks at least 12 hours earlier than they said they did...FEMA had been gutted and was unable to do its job....Chertoff isn't interested in National Disasters, just terrorism....ouch....that's gotta leave a scar!


Saturday, February 11, 2006

The message? What message?

Digby asked how liberals/progressives/Democrats should shape their message on the illegal NSA wiretapping.

check his link here:


The fact that we even have to ask this question really bothers me. In my mind, the issue is obvious: There can be NO tapping of Americans phones, emails etc without a warrant. But somehow, someway the issue is being presented as Are you strong or weak on National Defense? Now just how the #$%@^& did that happen? Who changed the subject?

Well, as usual, the Republicans changed the subject. They got caught red-handed breaking the law and decided the best way out of it was to change the subject. But I suggest we change it back. I suggest that we keep it simple and to the point.

Wiretapping without a warrant is NEVER acceptable!

Wiretapping without a warrant is against the law.

Wiretapping without a warrant violtates the 4th Amendment of the Constitution.


Friday, February 10, 2006

When Bush tells the truth:

It seems our leader's revaltion about foiling an Al Queda Plot to fly a plane into the "Library Tower" (now a Bank Building) in Los Angeles was a little ....ummmm....exaggerated Here are some snippets from an AP story today:

KUALA LUMPUR, Malaysia - A Malaysian recruited by al-Qaida to pilot a plane in a second wave of Sept. 11-style attacks on the United States pulled out after observing the carnage of the 2001 assaults, Southeast Asian officials said Friday.

After returning to Malaysia the same year, Zaini enrolled in a flight school and obtained a license to fly a small plane. He then began making inquiries in Australia about getting a license to fly a jet, the official said.

But Zaini was never told what his mission for al-Qaida would be. When he saw media coverage of the Sept. 11 attacks, he severed his ties with the militants.

Here's the link: http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20060210/ap_on_re_as/terror_plots



Thursday, February 09, 2006

It's been one of "THOSE" days.....

When I was a Community Development Planner, my boss put a poster on the cork board that went something like this:

It is the responsibility of every professional member of this staff to be completely prepared for any contingency, and, when faced with unanticipated events, to address and solve them swiftly and completely. That is our mission.


When you're up to your ass in ALLIGATORS, it's hard to remind yourself that your initial objective was TO DRAIN THE SWAMP!

Today, the alligators won......

News Items for the day....

Maury Waas of Washington Post reports that Libby testified under oath that Cheney authorized him to leak classified information to the reporters from Time and our old friend Judy Miller of the New York Times.

More reports linking Reid to Abramoff, but sketchy at best.
And...the pres gave a speech in California where he said that the spying kept the "shoebomber" from hijacking a plane and flying it into the "Liberty Building in LA"......er...Mr. President, that's the LIBRARY BUILDING in Los Angeles....he's getting a lot of headlines on it but a fellow blogger gave a pretty good rebuttle here:
what it should be ... pass this on to Dean!)

It is good to hear that this plot was stopped by our allies, but this does not address the issue of illegal wiretapping of American citizens. There is no evidence that President Bush's illegal wiretapping had anything to do with this incident. There is no evidence that proper FISA procedures could or could not have been used to capture these individuals. I do no think it is proper for President Bush to discuss operational details regarding this incident, or to imply that his illegal wiretapping had anything to do with this incident, as that would, in fact, give our enemies vital information. The last thing we want is for these criminals to escape prosecution by having their case dismissed because the evidence used to arrest them was obtained by an illegal wiretap.

Ooops...here's another alligator...see you later..

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Holy Crap! It's a SNEAK ATTACK!!!!

Bush HIDES SOCIAL SECURITY Privatization in Budget.
Edited on Wed Feb-08-06 11:53 AM by ewagner

Holy Crap!

Didn't anybody catch this?

In my opinion, this is BIG, BIG BIG STUFF!

even more important than the elimination of the SS Death Benefit.



But anyone who thought that Bush would wait for bipartisanship to deal with Social Security was wrong. Instead, he stuck his own privatization proposals into his proposed budget.

"The Democrats were laughing all the way to the funeral of Social Security modernization," White House spokesman Trent Duffy told me in an interview Tuesday, but "the president still cares deeply about this. " Duffy asserted that Bush would have been remiss not to include in the budget the cost of something that he feels so strongly about, and he seemed surprised at my surprise that Social Security privatization had been written into the budget without any advance fanfare.



Spoiled rotten man-child....WILL HAVE HIS WAY!


Again, Jane Hamser at firedoglake has a good handle on the "Wellstoning" phenom....


UPDATE #2: From Wilson46201 in the comments:
Jeff Greenfield on CNN this morning explained clearly how it worked. He pointed out that Drudge had the whining up on his website before the service was even finished. Hannity and Limbaugh then picked it up. Kate OBeirne then whined on MSNBC with Tweety. That's how the story was developed.
Mehlman and Rove are laughing all the way to the polls: "angry, disrespectful Democrats trash dignified funeral!"

And, if a picture is worth a 1000 words.....

The "Wellstoning" of Coretta...

I have a good friend in Minnesota who is a classic, stereotypical Minnesota liberal. He's a great guy. He puts his money (and time) where his mouth is by helping neighbors in need and has probably performed hundreds of acts of anonomyous kindness over the 12 or 13 years I've known him.

So you can imagine my surprise a few years back when we got together for coffee and started talking politics and he told me "The Democrats really went too far at the Wellstone funeral, didn't they?" All I had heard at that point was what the talking heads were saying about the funeral and, because I sometimes had to listen to Limbaugh while on the road, I knew how "outraged" Limbaugh had been about the behavior of the Democrats at Wellstone's memorial Service. Later, of course, I heard the other side of the story and also saw the video tapes which were NOTHING like what my friend or Limbaugh described.

The Mighty Republican Wurlitzer had cranked out a version of the event that was far, far removed from reality and designed solely to benefit the Republican candidate for Wellstone's now vacant seat... And it was successful. The concerted effort was so successful that the term "Wellstoning" has worked it's way into the political lexicon to connote a PR campaign to trash Democrats.

And now, Coretta Scott King is being "Wellstoned".

It started last night almost immediately after the airing of the funeral. On Lou Dobbs and Chris Matthews the spin started up. "Democrats behave disgracefully". Democrats criticizing the President at the funeral was "inappropriate", "tasteless". An the ever-popular Kate O'Bierne had to add that Former President Carter is "becoming a worse ex-president that he was president".

And the Wurlitzer played on this morning with Miles O'Brien on CNN proclaiming "Some people say it was a Wellstone moment".

Blog reports show Republican Radio Stars Bill Bennet (I'll give you odds...) and Laura Ingraham not only repeated the meme but also hosted plenty of "Afro-American Callers" who were appalled by the comments of Carter and Reverand Lowrey. (Yeah, right.)

In my worse tin-foil-hat moments I wonder if the sudden, last-moment change of heart by Bush to attend the funeral wasn't deliberately calculated to create enough faux outrage to distract from the domestic spying scandal, the really bad budget proposal, or ... or something worse that we don't know about yet.

Einstein said there was no such thing as coincidence....okay...then why did my friend from Minnesota call me at 10 O'clock last night to tell me he's coming into town and we should get together for coffee tonight? (cue theme from Twilight Zone


Tuesday, February 07, 2006

RIP Coretta Scott King

In the years since that horrible April day in 1968, Coretta Scott King has born the mantle of the Civil Rights Movement....in fact, I learned today that the day AFTER Martin was killmed, Mrs. King went to Memphis and on the Saturday afer Martin's death, she participated in a march for equal pay for sanitation workers in Memphis. She wore the mantle with grace and dignity. Her calm demeanor kept the movement together during those turbulent timees. There were plenty of factions out there and there were, of course, the inevitable power struggles within the movement. I always believed it was Mrs King who kept the movement from splintering. I don't think her speeches ever soared to the rhetoical heights of Martin's, but in their own way they were effective.

Rest in Peace Mrs King....America is a better place because of you and Martin.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Listen to Gonzo...take the pledge...

Listening to Gonzales' tortured (sic) defense of the domestic spying program, this seems all too likely.... (Thanks to firedoglake

By the way, you should stop in at . Jane Hamser and Reddhead do a fine job...you can even join in the "Name Nora O'Donnell Contest...although somebody at MSNBC may have been trying to tell us something with this screen capture:

Don't mess with Russ!

Just broke one of my own work rules and went downstairs and turned on the TV to watch Russ Feingold take his turn at questioning Attorney General Alberto Gonzales. Actually I think this was the second round for Russ and he pretty much tore Gonzales up the first time too. Russ has been very tough on Gonzales today but then again, so has Senator Durbin of Illinois, Senator Leahy of Vermont, Charles (Chuck ) Schumer of New York, and even Feinstein of California. Wow! The Democrats are showing some spine even though the Chairman of the Committee, Sen Spectre of Pennsylvania has used the power of the Chair and the majority to thwart almost anything the Dems wanted to do. ... that included REFUSING TO PUT GONZALES UNDER OATH before the committee.

The most amusing aspect to observe is that everytime a Democratic Senator scores a few points, the next Republican Senator has to come along and do damage control. I swear, I haven't seen people "beg the question" so badly since I watched my son's 5th grade science fair....cheeeezzzz....

What is becoming obvious though...from the Attorney General's bobbing and weaving... is that the administrations has, more than likely, listened in on innocent Americans, entered homes without warrants, and opened first class mail without warrants....

I never thought I'd see the day when we would even be discussing this kind of thing in the United States.

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Say it ain't so.....


This is an actual picture of the sign for the campaign headquarters of Congressman Bob Ney, (R-Ohio)...yes THE BOB NEY of Abramoff fame.....It seems he opened a campaign headquarters office in a strip mall next to....well...a picture is worth a 1000 words. Considering that indictments are pending, the choice is "unfortunate".

In other news:

Congressman Bernie Sanders collapsed at a funeral in Maine today...hope he's okay....

Gonzales "leaked" the essence of his testimony on the NSA spying....he's attacking the media and any opponents ....surprise, surprise....

Superbowl coming on in a while.....not sure I'm going to watch even though I've been an admirer of Bill Cowar (spelling?) for years...As near as I can tell, he's one of the good guys....

Rumors are that there will be a "blogger meet-up" at the 7th CD convention. Nice to put faces on the posts....anybody who blogs/posts/comments here is more than welcome.

on edit:

I've been following the Channel 4 story out of Great Britain about Bush and Blair's schemes to go into Iraq with or without UN approval and even Bush's half-baked plan to paint an airplane in UN colors and bait Saddam into shooting at it in order to provoke a conflict.

Some bloggers are excited about this story butI'm not because it originates in another one of those memos that can't be viewed by the public because of the "Official Secrets Act". In my mind, if the memo can't be publicly scrutinized, it's worthless. I don't doubt that it's there, but consider it "unhelpful in documenting Bush and Blair's crimes in lying us into war. Thoughts

7th CD Convention

Thanks to my on-line buddy JackpineRadical I've been informed that the 7th CD Convention is going to be on April 22. I understand we'll be presenting resolutions at our March Meeting....I'm very impressed with the quality of the resolutions coming from Wood County.

Make plans for April 22

more later


Saturday, February 04, 2006

Feingold's reaction to SOTU

I had seen the headlines about Russ's comments but didn't realize how tough Russ got on Dubya until I read it on Dailykos.com. Wow! He has really taken off the "kid gloves"!

  • http://dailykos.com/storyonly/2006/2/2/10581/84829

  • This administration reacts to any questions about spying on American citizens by saying that those of us who stand up for our rights and freedoms are somehow living in a "pre-September 11th, 2001 world."

    In fact, the President is living in a pre-1776 world.

    Our Founders lived in dangerous times, and they risked everything for freedom. Patrick Henry said, "Give me liberty or give me death." The President's pre-1776 mentality is hurting America and fracturing the foundation on which our country has stood for 230 years. The President can't just bypass two branches of government, and obey only those laws he wants to obey. Deciding unilaterally which of our freedoms still apply in the fight against terrorism is unacceptable and needs to be stopped immediately.

    Now we all know that Russ is eyeing a run for the Democratic Nomination for the Presidency.....to restate it may seem like I'm having a "duhhhh" moment...so his comments might easily be dismissed as campaign hype. But even if it is, it's a direct contradiction of the "conventional wisdom" to play it safe, play it in the middle, be moderate in running for National office.

    No, I don't think this is campaign rhetoric. I think Bush and his extremist policies have finally driven Russ to get tough..

    Good on him!

    Thursday, February 02, 2006

    Exclusive Picture!

    Bush's original suit for the State of the Union Address

    Thanks to Jane Hamser at firedoglake.blogspot.com for the picture.....

    Thursday Open Thread

    Hi everybody. I've been tied up for two days so I haven't had much time to post.

    Just a few quick notes:

    Did anybody see the State of the Union speech on Tuesday night? I have to admit I couldn't stand to watch so I followed along on Air America Radio with Sam Seder...the running commentary and jokes actually made it worthwhile.

    News today that Republicans elected a new majority leader...after screwing up the first ballot and taking a "mulligan" on the vote. How incredibly ironic. When the dust settled, they elected Congressman Boehner (pronounced BAH-ner...not like it's spelled hehehehehehehehe) in an upset over Delay's hand-picked successor.

    I just got off the phone with my favorite stock broker. I asked, "Should I stick my head in the oven?" He replied, "No, but open the door".

    I got an email from the Chairperson of the City's Cable TV committee with new wording in the agreement with FSTV (Free Speech TV) and the airing of Democracy Now!. It's much better in the sense that it spells out that they will only preempt the program if it fails to meet standards for PUBLIC PROGRAMMING. Believe me, it's loose enough where I'm not too worried anymore. This is much better than the language that allowed preemption for any reason at any time with no recourse or appeal.

    Feel free to jump in....

    Any events happening that we should know about?


    Wednesday, February 01, 2006

    Governor's Veto Upheld

    Once again, the state's 133 year ban on concealed weapons has been upheld. If any of you, like me, are dancing in the streets over this, and would like to thank the two Democratic Representatives who changed their votes and supported the Governor's veto, here is their contact information from the latest WI Blue Book:

    John Steinbrink 65th Assembly District Room 307 West, State Capitol, P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708 Phone: Office: 608.266.0455 District: 262694.5863
    email: Rep.Steinbrink@legis.state.wi.us

    Terry Van Akkeren 26th Assembly District Room 220 North, State Capitol, P.O. Box 8953, Madison, WI 53708
    Phone: Office: 608.266.0656 District: 920.458.4398
    email: Rep.VanAkkeren@legis.state.wi.us