Friday, March 31, 2006

A thread in the tapestry of life

In case you haven't noticed, I haven't posted much....

here's why:

My 93 year old Mother-in-Law passed away on Thursaday morning. It was a 17 year struggle with alzheimer's that ended like we always knew it would, actually, like we knew it must.

It was strange that it took so long because we met other families along the way whose loved ones were afflicted with alzheimers and they came to an end much quicker.

In some ways my Mother-in-law was luckier than most in that almost the first thing she lost was any sense of awareness that anything was actually was wrong.

The event that led to the end of her independent living was one evening when I was on the phone with her and she started coughing. I asked if she had a cold and she said "No, there's just so much smoke in the house that I can't breathe." She had been cooking bacon in a pan and let it set on fire but had no idea that the fire was unusual. Losing that awareness, we think, kept her from suffering.

The next five days or so will be tied up in the minutae of funerals and family visits.

No grips.

No whining.

No complaining.

It's all a part of the tapestry of life.
See you later.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Open thread for Wednesday Night

I've been a bit pre-occupied recently....

But there's a lot going on...

Feingold is getting his hearing on the Censure Resolution on Friday and he has called as a witness, John Dean. That's actually brilliant because nobody knows more about the impeachable offenses than John Dean, likewise, nobody left alive symbolizes the corruption of the Nixon administration like John Dean....the imagry is fantastic.

Another day, another Republican Liar:

This guy is a real piece of work....thanks to the good researchers at DemocraticUnderground.come fo pulling this one off.. Here's a brief description of the story:

Howard Kaloogian (R) has posted a photograph on his campaign website which he claims to have recently taken in downtown Baghdad, to show how "calm" and "stable" the city was during his visit.

Here's the picture
Nice, calm shopping district huh? Sure it is...only it's not's TURKEY.....


Ready for the punch line?

Okay here it is: This Kaloogian is running for the seat in congress opened up by the resignation of Randy "Duke" Cunningham who was convicted of co

I can't make this stuff up.... the YOU CAN'T MAKE THIS STUFF UP DEPARTMENT!

Guess who's in deep doo-doo with the election officials in West Palm Beach Florida? Would you believe it's the Republicans very own blonde hatchett lady ANN COULTER? Seems like she voted in the wrong precinct....Crooks and Liars has the story.

I think Repubs are running amok......



Tuesday, March 28, 2006

It's been a while

Hi everybody....

I managed to catch a bad case of the flu for a couple of days and couldn't post in any rational manner...(see my personal blog for an example of posting under the influence of the flu bug) I've been trying to catch up on all the blogs and the latest news and I'll try to digest some of it for you.

First of all, our old friends Christy and Jane over at firedoglake have initiated another net roots project. Notice, by the way, that firedoglake has a new sure to add it to your "favorites". Jane and Christy made sure that the infamous NETROOTS lit up the FAX machines of the Senate Judiciary Committee Yesterday and are now embarking on the "Rubber Stamp Congress" Project. Here's how she describes it:

But wait, there’s more. We’re asking you to take the next step in citizen action with us. And it is a doozy: we’re asking you to purchase a rubber stamp and send it to a specified address — which we plan on delivering to a member of Congress. (Since this will be a surprise for them, we’re not revealing to whom just yet.) A huge thank you to Matt Stoller of MyDD for agreeing to be our patriot delivery person.
The stamp will say "Rubber Stamp Republican Congress."

The latest report is that they have generated over 200 rubber stamps so far.

Check it out here We're lucky to have people like Christy Smith and Jane Hamser.

Aside from that, the New York Times printed the story on Bush's plans to go to war regardless of the UN Weapon inspectors or any additional resolutions from the UN. The evidence is mounting that this war was pre-ordained. Keith Olberman picked up the story last night and you can see the clip on Crooks and Liars.

Crooks and Liars also has a clip on "The War Memo" up today. You can see that here.

Can you believe it? Even TWEETY is talking about it?

In other news:

Andrew Card has resigned...being replaced by a friend of Rove...

(Gomer Pyle voice: Suprise, surprise...suuuuurpriiiiiiiisssse!)

Casper Weinberger has passed away...and so has Len Nofzinger....RIP Gentlemen.

more later.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Wow...they finally get it...

By now, most of you know that a man in Afghanistan has been sentenced to death....for the crime of converting to CHRISTIANITY! Here's the NY Times story. This may or may not actually come to pass but it has had a completely unexpected consequence, and one that may boggle the mind of everybody inhabiting the inhabiting the village known to some (actually coined by The Rude Pundit) as Left Blogospheria.

What is this earth-shattering event?

Well, one of the groups that we have always considered one of our mortal, political enemies, The Family Research Council through it's President, Tony Perkins has finally realized that by this henious action, Afghanistan has proven that it's not a "liberal, Christian Democracy" and that human rights there are no better now than they were under the Taliban. And just guess who they think has been selling them (and us) a "bill of goods" about spreading democracy? Why George W. Bush! The link above gives the text of his press release and letter to Bush.

For the moment at least, there is common ground between this far right wing, christian organization and the progressive left. Now would be a good time to literally reach out across the divide and embrace our old nemisis to relieve ourselves of a common enemy: the present occupant of the White House.

But who is it that can represent us?

Who can take the lead in consolidating this incredible opportunity?

The other side finally gets it.

Now I hope ours does.


Friday, March 24, 2006

Good Job Amy Sue

I tuned in to Ryan Lindsay's Insight Program this morning and caught our own Amy Sue Vruwink on the show.

She did well handling a variety of issues but really shined when she talking about the now infamous Highway A - US Highway 10 Intersection problem. She proved that she was on top of the issue by telling everybody that she had already set up a meeting with the Department of Transportation to discuss the issue.

Excellent job Amy-Sue.

(We'll probably argue "tong- and- hammer" over other issues but you deserve credit on this one.)


Thursday, March 23, 2006

Did You Notice?

I can't imagine that there are many in our group/circle who missed Russ Feingold's appearance on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart last night.

Russ did very well in keeping serious while adding just a touch of humor to the conversation. He spoke seriously about breaking of laws by the President and also about the fact that the Democratic establishment seemed almost fearful to join him in holding the President accountable.

Jon Stewart was his normal, brilliant self and even got in a plug at the end for his favorite topic, campaign finance reform.

But this doesn't begin to capture the essence of the show.

Not by a long shot.

What made the show so "electric" was that the audience was going wild for Feingold. They cheered him on in a raucous celebration. They hungrily devoured every word he said.

Jane Hamser put it this way:

The audience at the Daily Show was effusive; you could hear the the ardor he inspired. Feingold was funny without being glib and he came across as self-effacing, principled, and just awkward enough with the format to be thoroughly charming. And his message set the crowd to cheering.

I got the distinct impression that if Russ had told the audience that he was going to "storm the bastille", they would have followed him en masse to the pull down the gates.

The Democratic Party leadership had better take note of what happened last night. They can now either jump on the band wagon or stand by timidly while Russ Feingold marches off triumphantly with the support of true, honest, hard-working Democrats who have hungered for leadership for five long years. They will be relegated to the dustbin of history if they don't embrace what Feingold is doing.

The saddest irony of the lack of support for Feingold is this single, terrible truth: George Bush enjoys (or used to) enjoy support from proverbial "middle America" because it was said that they admired his ability to take a stand and stick with it. Can we ever gain the support of Middle America if we refuse to take a stand? Or worse yet, if we don't "stand" for anything?


on edit: In case you didn't catch it, here's the Crooks and Liars video clip.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Simplify, simplify, simplify....Or lie

The spin on the Feingold Censure Resolution is in full swing. I haven't heard the radio ads yet but I have seen some of the spin on the net.

The Left Coaster had this:

In same write-up where the vicious persecution of Helen Thomas was fully noted, Carolyn Lockhead of the San Francisco Chronicle let a rank, total Bush lie just sit there:

“They ought to take their message to the people and say, vote for me, I promise we're not going to have a terrorist surveillance program."

This is a childish, complete lie. The NSA issue is that the President was caught and even admitted to breaking the surveillance law by spying upon Americans. Nothing whatsoever has been said by anyone about stopping surveillance on terrorists. FeingoldÂ’s censure calls for condemning BushÂ’s felonies; so far the response from Bush is that as President he can do anything outside of the law in wartime.

The true problem with that lie is its simplicity. The Republican manual (there actually IS a manual written by master word-smith, Frank Luntz) is very clear that a simple catch-phrase (lie) is much better than a complicated (nuanced) truth. What Russ Feingold needs is a simple, emotionally charged catch phrase to challenge the attack ads.

Because I have an ego as large as all outdoors, and because I like Russ, I've been trying to come up with just the right, Luntzian retort for Russ to use. I humbly invite all our Wood County Dem Bloggers to jump right in.

Let's try this:

This Administration has been wrong about so much in the war of Terror, how can we trust that they are spying on REAL TERRORIST and not INNOCENT AMERICANS? without a Court acting asrefereeree?


If the President is allowed to pick and choose which laws he wants to obey, then we lost much more than the TWIN TOWERS on Septemb11th1th.


The real question here is this: Do we want an a la Carte Constitution? Do we want the President to pick which parts of the Constitution he want to obey?

Jump right in....enjoy....


Well, there's some small justice

It seems like the Republicans in Connenecutt have decided to run somebody against Lieberman too (Ned Lamont is running against him in the Democratic Primary) and Lieberman's campaign manage is very disappointed in the Republicans...

all together now... awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

I guess kissing George W Bush didn't work out quite the way he was planning on it...

You can read Jane's references here

The lesson Lieberman should learn is best told in this parable/song....

When I was in my teens there was a popular song about a woman who found a "green and purple snake" along her path beside the lake...half she took it home and left it beside the fireside with some honey and some milk while she went to work....

when she came home, the snake has been revived...

she held it to her breast and said it was sooo beautiful but instead of being grateful, the snake gave her a vicious bite.

"You're damned said the woman, and you've bitten me but why? You know your bite is poisonous and now I'll surely die"?

"Oh shut up silly woman said that reptile with a grin, you knew damn well I was a snake BEFORE you took me in." the whole lyrics are here

You see, Senator Lieberman, a snake is always going to behave like a snake and if you insist on playing with them, you can expect to get bitten.

Oh, yeah, Senator, just in case you don't get it, substitute the word "Republican for the word snake and it will all be a little clearer.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Drive-by post

Hi...sorry for this but for some rather strange technical reasons, I need to post here that firedoglake has moved to a new site.

Here's the address:

notice it's not anymore.....

Also a note to sFree....I've requested status to get you on blogger....waiting, waiting, waiting......


Attack Ad Alert!

The first RNC attack ads have been aired today in Milwaukee and Madison against Sen. Feingold's cesure resolution. Progressive Patriots Fund website announces this, shows a repy to it by Feingold, and asks for contributions. Click on "Dannyinia" diary for more perspective. Be sure to read the comments to this diary. They are both entertaining and creative!

Monday, March 20, 2006

I think I should run for Congress (snark alert)


How hard could it be?

I mean most of the really hard things that Congress used to do aren't done anymore.

You don't have to actually write legislation anymore. The lobbyists, pharmeceutical companies, oil companies, credit card companies and industrial trade groups write legislation for you now. You don't even have to pretend to understand the arcane detail in the legislation you're voting on.

You don't have to review the budget. You see, the numbers don't really matter anymore. When you run out of money the treasury will just print more. The numbers are so big that they boggle the mind anyway so you can't possibly be expected to grasp the consequences of your spending.

You don't have to actually KNOW what the legislation is all about before you vote on it. This is really the beautiful part. All you have to do is watch your caucaus leader. If the leader gives a "thumbs up", you vote yes; thumbs down, you vote no. Simple. This way you're assured that you get all the benefits that party membership brings, like plumb committee assignments, "fact finding" missions to Hawaii or the Bahamas, and unfettered access to lobbyists with unlimited campaign contributions.

You don't have to practice silly, old-fashioned things like "oversight" of the Executive Branch. Whatever the Executive Branch wants you should just "trust them". We are at war you know, so the President MUST be given unlimited power and we'll just have to put the Legislative and Judicial Branches on ice until the war is over.

Actually campaigning will be easy too. The campaign slogan is simply, "I'll do whatever the President wants me to do." And, even if my opponent beats me to the punch by using that slogan first, I'll simply change it to "I can suck up to the President Better than my opponent."

See? It's all very, very simple....but

I can't understand how Dave Obey keeps getting re-elected. He doesn't do any of that.


60 Minutes Profiles James Hansen

Media alert! Remember my mention several weeks ago that a top global warming scientist James Hansen claimed that he was being muzzled by the present administration? Well, this same Hansen appeared on 60 Minutes last night, using all the words to describe the threat of global warming (including "dangerous") that he had been stopped from using before by lawyers working for the government. Examples of government edits flashed across the screen. Whole paragraphs of Hansen's writings had been crossed out. Words and phrases had been removed and entirely misleading words inserted in their place to make it appear that global warming is not the imminent threat that Hansen claims it is.

Check out for several blog stories about James Hansen. The authors of the two I read are "dark syde" and mole 333. Both give excellent background and both describe at length what was covered on Hansen's 60 Minutes appearance. The site is buzzing today with other interesting political events as well.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

I think I was right

Jane Hamser over at firedoglake wrote this:

The idea that somehow this will hurt the Democrats in the 2006 election is beyond witless. That Feingold is being selfish, only stoking his own 2008 chances, throwing 2006 to the dogs. Please. Can someone explain to me how forcing the Republicans to rally around an unpopular President just as they're trying to distance themselves from him is going to hurt the Democrats? Lincoln Chafee knows it -- he's in the fight of his life for his Rhode Island Senate seat, and is notably the only Republican who said Feingold has raised good points and he wouldn't rule out voting for the measure. (emphasis mine)


great minds think alike...


Digby took apart the various arguments against Russ's resolution on The Huffington Post this morning. You can read it at this link.

His post gave me an idea that I'd like to toss out for discussion.

Look at this as a strategy

Bush is wildly unpopular because he has made so many bone-headed moves that even his base is furious with him. The Republican strategy is to RUN AWAY FROM BUSH as fast as they can...


If the Feingold Censure resolution gets debated in the Senate, either in committee or on the floor, the Republicans HAVE NO CHOICE BUT TO RALLY AROUND BUSH...

Thus, the Republicans bind unto themselves all the incompetence of the Bush Administration just in time for the '06 elections.....

Risky?MaybeHigh risk...high reward.

Or as my old, reprobate father used to say, "No guts, no blue chips!"


Saturday, March 18, 2006

Cool Hand Russ...errrr...Luke

This has been bothering me all week.

Some of you know that I struggled a lot with the first news of Russ introducing his Censure Resolution. I, like every other Democrat in the United States, know that under the best of circumstances we would be out voted on the floor of the Senate. The best of circumstances implies that all Democratic Senators would stand shoulder-to-shoulder on this issue, which was not ever actually in the cards. So we wondered, out loud and in print, just what strategy Russ had in mind for this effort.

Is this an exercise in futility?

Is this a Quixotic quest which will amount to nothing?

Actually I'm beginning to think it's more like Cool Hand Luke

s a description about how Cool Hand Luke (Paul Newman) operates while in prison:

He also proves himself a hero and endears himself to the inmates during a poker game. With a winning hand of 'nothin', easy-going, stone-faced Luke successfully bluffs his opponent. After winning the pot, Luke is anointed with his prison name:

Dragline (laughing): Nothin'. A handful of nothin'. (To the losing, card-playing convict) You stupid mullet-head. He [Luke] beat you with nothin'. Just like today when he kept comin' back at me - with nothin'.
Luke: Yeah, well, sometimes nothin' can be a real Cool Hand.

Well, that's what we've got: a hand of "nuthin"; not even a pair of dueces.

But what if we make the Republicans defend the President's actions? There's an old axiom in politics that says "if you're explaining, you're losing. Maybe that's Russ's master strategy. Make the Republicans explain. Maybe they can only explain by using nuance god forbid!

But, you may ask, didn't Russ give the Republicans a reason to say that Democrats are "helping the enemy?" I've got a news flash for you.

They're going to do that no matter what
So if we're going to lose anyway., we might as well just go down swinging because the voters will actually respect us more for standing up for what we believe in than standing for nothing.
Sometimes 'nothin' is the coolest hand you can have.

Grrrrr...MICROSOFT ate my post

I worked on a post for almost an hour and it was a thing of beauty....then I got this message:

Windows has encountered a problem
with the website you are viewing
Windows will now shut down.
I'll let this stand as an "open thread" for you hang your favorite subjects on and I'll open another thread in a few minutes.

More Feingold News

A Rasmussen poll shows "Feingold Approval Rating Jumps 30 points to 52 %" according to a story on DailyKos (and also aired on Friday evening, March 17, on Fox News--Yes, I lead a completely balanced life--I watched Fox before I viewed Bill Maher!) The link:

The blogger for the above goes by "Bouwerie Boy" and it is listed in the recommended blogs on the right side of your window. Click on "comments" when you finish the blog---many interesting viewpoints about Feingold are offered.

Friday, March 17, 2006

Late night open thread

Well, not ALL that late....before Bill Maher comes on anyway....

I just wanted to make a couple of observations before I shut my PCs down for the night.

First, Congrats to LoLo and Dave for writing the resolutions. I've posted it on several blogs and I know for certain that other County level Democratic Party organizations have picked up on our efforts. In addition, there are apparently several other efforts to show support for Russ going on in addition to ours.

I got an email today from from Dr. Steve Kagen who is a candidate for Congress in the 8th District (Mark Green's old district) He put together his own petition/resolution to support Feingold but I suspect it has more to do with hitching onto a "winning" issue than anything else. What that means of course is that the massive grassroots (and "netroots")support of Feingold is being recognized by other politicians. This is a good may mean that the "powers that be" in the Democratic Party will see this also.

Anyway congrats to LoLo and Dave....


A few updates and opening of a new thread

Hi everybody....

First, a very important update. I just got a call from Paula Zellner who is with Feingold's Progressive Patriots Fund. She has received word of our Resolution and is really pleased. She emailed me a copy of the petition to become a "Citizen Co-Sponsor" of the Censor Resolution. If you want it, just email me and I'll email a copy back to you.

Oh yeah, about that picture. It MUST be authentic...see the yellow rug? It says "Optomistic Person."

Next, the Repubs are at it again. This from the Huffington Post. It seems like four Republican Senators have introduced legislation to legalize Bush's illegal NSA spying......

some snippets:

Committee Vice Chairman John D. Rockefeller IV (D-W.Va.) said through a spokeswoman that it is "too soon to consider legislation until the oversight subcommittee can answer critical questions about the program."
DeWine told reporters that White House officials "agree with the general concept" of the bill. Most Americans think "this type of surveillance should continue," he said, but Congress must impose oversight.

Hey Dewine! If you ask Americans if we should wire tap Al Queda, you'll get no argument from Democrats. Wiretaping American Citizens randomly without warrants is a WHOLE 'NOTHER MATTER...

DailyKos has a good summary of what is at stake:

So, let's review, shall we? Striking out part of the Bill of Rights? Check. Unfettered Executive authority to conduct massive, intrusive spying on Americans in secret? Check. A paralyzed Congress bound, blindfolded and gagged? Check. Establishing the precedent that the President can flat-out ignore the law of the land? Check. A Congress filled with Rubber-Stamp Republicans who couldn't give a shit about the rule of law as long as they make this scandal go away? Check. e

Good News!

I just caught the story on that a Federal Court has dealt the Bush administration a major blow by overturning the EPA's recent efforts to bypass the requirement for older polluting factories to update with modern detox equipment. Fourteen states, including WI, have just won this lawsuit.

Thanks, Ed, for all your recent and successful efforts to inform the print media that we are supporting the Feingold Censure Resolution, and thanks also for contacting Sen. Feingold's office.

Final form of Resolution

Hi everybody,

The County Party passed the resolution to support Russ Feingold last night. Actually, there were three resolutions and the final was an amalagamation of the three. Here's the final wording

WHEREAS President George W. Bush has approved domestic wiretaps on American citizens without seeking a legally required court order, and

WHEREAS he has misled the public prior to public disclosure of the National Security Agency surveillance program by indicating that his administration was relying on court orders to wiretap suspected terrorists inside the United States, and

WHEREAS Senator Russ Feingold has introduced a resolution to censure this unlawful action by the President,

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the membership of the Wood County Democratic Party supports the Senate Feingold Resolution, and urges all Wisconsin Democratic elected representatives to do likewise.

I notified Feingold's Middleton, WI office this morning and, needless to say, they were very happy to hear the news.

Also, I received word this morning that Marathon County passed a similar resolution supporting Russ last night, and, word was also received that "Brew-Town County" is about to consider the same resolution. (I thought they passed it but I was corrected on this.)

We have now learned from The Raw Story that a plurality (46%) support Russ's censure resolution while only 44% oppose it. This from a Pew Research Poll. Surprisingly, in the same poll, 42% actually FAVOR IMPEACHMENT! I guess I'm not that radical afterall.

It was great seeing the new faces at the meeting last night.....not to mention the joy of being in the company of old friends also.... :>)


Thursday, March 16, 2006

Time to Call their BLUFF!

The Conservative airwaves and web sites are all abuzz with a new Republican goes something like this:


And, as a collary, to this theme, it's also being passed around that the poor, depressed Republican base has now been ENERGIZED by Feingold's Censure Resolution and the Democrats have handed the Republicans a victory that they so desperately needed.

I call BULLSH*T!

All we need to do is stand up and fight.....millions of us are begging for leadership from our party leaders and we're getting NOTHING.....

It's up to us on the local level to make this happen...our leaders are going to have to be DRAGGED KICKING AND SCREAMING into the battle.


It COULD have happened just this way.....

"Skinner" on put toghether this hypothetical transcript of a conversation between Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and Senator Russ Feingold. It's PURE FICTION but it isn't hard to imagine that it could have very well gone down just this way.

Here's the linky thing

and a snippet for your enjoyment:

SEN. REID: What? Look, politics is much too important to be left to a bunch of well-meaning-but-misguided liberals from the Northeast and West Coast.

SEN. FEINGOLD: I'm from Wisconsin. It's closer to the middle of the country than Nevada.

SEN. REID: Wisconsin! Bah! Wisconsin is just Vermont with cows and cheese.

SEN. FEINGOLD: I'm pretty sure Vermont has cows and cheese, too. But we're getting off topic here. Are we going to go after the president or not?

SEN. REID: We will. But we can't do it now. His poll numbers are too low. We'd look mean for kicking a man when he's down.

SEN. FEINGOLD: So, can we go after him when his poll numbers come back up?

SEN. REID: Certainly not! It would be suicide to attack a popular president. Are you insane? You have to think one step ahead here. Always anticipate the response. If it's bad, then you keep your powder dry.

Be sure to read the's funny


Info on Stevens Point Rally

Tom O'Brien gave me this information originally but another blog had a "confirmed" schedule.... anyway, here's the information:

Updated information about a peace rally to be held this Saturday in Stevens Point as we now approach the third year of the war in Iraq:
March 18th: Wisconsin State Rally & March for PeaceStevens Point, WI USA
New place & times:
Place: PJ Jacobs Middle School, 2400 Main St.
11:30 AM - Indoor Rally - Speakers & Music - PJ Jacobs
1:00 PM - March through downtown Stevens Point
3:00 PM - Peace Fair - Great food, tabling & workshops - PJ Jacobs
5:00 PM - Concert - Devon Evans (formerly of Bob Marley & the Wailers) and Floydian Slip - Mission Coffee

HouseMore info: /contact: Steve Bartelt

Just a quick post:

First, I think I got a little "carried away" here....(funny what frustrations can do eh?)

Second, here is the Resolution for tomorrow night: (thanks to LoLo)

WHEREAS President George W. Bush has approved domestic wiretaps on American citizens without seeking a legally required court order, and

WHEREAS he has misled the public prior to public disclosure of the National Security Agency surveillance program by indicating that his administration was relying on court orders to wiretap suspected terrorists inside the United States, and

WHEREAS Senator Russ Feingold has introduced a resolution to censure this unlawful action by the President,

BE IT THEREFORE RESOLVED that the membership of the Wood County Democratic Party supports the Senate Feingold Resolution.

Thanks the imortal words of "Andy of Mayberry", You done goooooddddd.


Wednesday, March 15, 2006

If it's Thursday it must be winter.....

Those pretty pink and blue colors mean
The weather outlook for tomorrow night isn't looking too good....Winter Storm watches for the west of us and "snow advisory" for our area. NWS/NOAA forecast here

Anybody needing a ride from Marshfield let me know.....
Are You Outraged Yet?

As of this afternoon, on dear, old, loyal Tom Harkin of Iowa has signed on to stand up with Russ Feingold. I don't understand this: Bush's approval rating is a measley 33% so just what are the Congressional Democrats afraid of?

I've emailed Reid.

I had a chat (coughrantcough) with Sen. Kohl's aide this morning face-to-face. I think I ruined her breakfast because I brought up two subjects.

I've signed two petitions and emailed our DNC rep and Howard Dean's staff.

I don't know what else I can do but I feel like I've got to do something. I haven't heard a progressive/liberal radio host, blogger or columnist who is against Russ's resolution...not one...every Democrat I've talked to is supporting Russ's effort. So why aren't these guys in Washington listening? Why aren't they falling all over themselves to support Russ?

I did have one encouraging thought though....remember what happened last summer? Out of the blue came Cindy Sheehan announcing that she was going to Crawford, Texas to ask President Bush "what noble cause did her son die for?"

One woman.

On her own.

Without Party Sanction or Support.


The entire anti-war movement found a voice because of Cindy. And the strength of that voice called elected Democrats to join the cause. Maybe. Just maybe, Russ's courage will start another movement. I get a feeling that we're on the verge of seeing history made right before our eyes.

What do you think?

Candidates Forum

I went to the BGA (Better Government Association) breakfast and Candidate's forum this morning to hear the candidates for County Board, City Council and Mayor from Marshfield and the surrounding districts. I doubt seriously that any of the North County/South County rivalry will end any time soon no matter who gets elected. I did, however, find some support for a Justice Center located in PITTSVILLE from some candidates. Could be interesting if money weren't an issue.

Got to see Amy Sue there.....hope to see her tomorrow night....if the good lord's willing and the creeks don't rise....or snow isn't too deep.

As always comments are welcome...encouraged....

Anybody interested in setting up a "net meeting" on the blog? I'll talk about it tomorrow night.


Tuesday, March 14, 2006

I'm really torn on this....

I wasn't too sure Feingold's efforts should have been made, but now that he's made the Resolution on the floor of the Senate, we HAVE to support him as a party?

Here's the question:

Should our Party pass a resolution supporting Russ Feingold's resolution to censure President Bush?

What do you think?

Post your comments

Embrace the blogs?

I've been following some of the "inside-baseball" like discussions about the role of the blogosphere in politics. There are some interesting things going on.

First most liberal/progressive blogs are hopping mad that a legislative aid to a powerful Democratic Congressman has characterized the blogs and the bloggers who write them in some terms of "unwashed masses". In official Washington-dom...there is a terrible mistrust of bloggers. The only thing Washington politicians HAVE come to understand about blogs is that they are incredibly efficient money makers and can turn big bucks for a candidate or cause very quickly. One aid suggested that he would like to find a way of capturing the blogs ability to raise money without buying into their activist agenda. They want the money and they want it now. And boy-oh-boy can they turn money quickly.

I have personal experience with a blog which discovered one of its members had a rare form of cancer and no health insurance. The hospital demanded $50,000 UP FRONT. The blog went to work immediately and raised $55,000 in less than a weekend. has on several occassions raised in excess of $250,000 to finance production and playing of TV commercials.

firedoglake, atrios, Kos, Digby and several others put their faith behind a candidate named Rodreguez against Vichy Democrat Henry Cuellar and damn near pulled it off except for the open primary cross voting.


But even so, the blogs have yet to pull off an electoral victory.

The most inspired partisans, the most dedicated party activists all reside on the blogs. We communicate with one another regularly we pass information we coordinate events and people and share talking points. Almost every ingredient is present to become an effective political force but there is something missing. The blogs are lacking at least one more element and I have yet to define what it is. At the moment there are much brighter people than me trying to figure this out and put the pieces in place.

By the way, the most current call for activist work involves trying to get as many Senators as possible to back Russ Feingold's censure resolution. It's a long shot but worth the effort.


Monday, March 13, 2006

The Grand Opening of an Open Thread!


Just want to remind you that the March Monthly Meeting is Thursday Night in Pittsville.

Also, if you have any resolutions, bring them to the meeting.

There are some thoughts cooking here but I haven't had time this morning to develop them for your consideration.

Feel free to drop comments where ever you wish.


Sunday, March 12, 2006

Feingold to introduce Censure Resolution

I just watched Russ on This Week with George Snuffleuppagus...(yeah, I know its sarcastic) where he announced that he will intoduce a resolution to Censure the President for his illegal NSA wiretapping. Russ gave some incredibly good, solid reasons why the Senate as a whole should support the Censure resolution and most of them centered around re-establishing the checks and balances instituted by the Constitution. He's saying, in essence, that the Senate must quickly and firmly assert its oversight function or it will forever be lost.

Immediately after Russ was on, there was, of course, Senator Bill Frist who said he will personally see to it that Russ's resolution NEVER gets to the full Senate for a vote. There doesn't seem to be any limit to how far Frist will go to protect this President...even if it means permanently damaging the Senate as an institution. He also used the term "stunt" when referring to the resolution.

In some regards, it IS a stunt. Russ is no fool and knows that the Republicans will do everything in their power to kill this resolution. He may even have trouble getting a co-sponsor from within his OWN PARTY. But the point is that it will keep the illegal wiretaps in the news. It will make headlines and get media attention for at least another week. In short, it will set the table for a Democratic Party feast in the November elections.

Good luck Russ.


Friday, March 10, 2006

Snort....chuckle...more time with the family...bwahahahahaha

Gail Norton, Secretary of the Interior for the Bush Administration for the last five years has resigned her position and expects to vacate the office at the end of March. Now, under normal circumstances, most of American doesnt give a "fig" about the Secretary of the Interior or, the Department of the Interior and probably won't in this case unless their ears pick up the phrase "Indian Gaming Contracts". Or, maybe they might recognize the name, Jack Abramoff. Now it that starting to make sense? Just in case you're wondering, Abramoff is the person pictured on the far right here with Gale Norton. Here's the AP story:
(second edit:the photo is apparently courtesy of AP and their FOIA request)

The Raw Story has these snippets:

Rudy wrote Abramoff that same day promising he had “good news” about securing a meeting with Norton, forwarding information about the environmental group Norton had founded, according to e-mails obtained by investigators and reviewed by The Associated Press. Rudy’s message to Abramoff was sent from Congress’ official e-mail system.

"Within months, Abramoff clients donated heavily to the Norton-founded group and to DeLay’s personal charity. The Coushatta Indian tribe, for instance, wrote checks in March 2001 for $50,000 to the Norton group and $10,000 to the DeLay Foundation, tribal records show.

The name of the "charitable group was Council of Republicans for Environmental Advocacy (If that strikes you the same way that Chickens for Colonel Sanders, then you're not alone.) and Abramoff had his clients contrbute to the Council. Of course, those clients had interests in the Indian Gaming Contracts which Abramoff represented. Nice scam huh?

According to the AP release, Norton said she's going to look for additional "challenges in the private sector". I suspect the biggest challenge will be keeping out of jail.

One edit: The Next Hurrah has a better article than I could even think of. Click on the link but here's a tempting snippet:

Republicans must go to Hallmark wilderness rhetoric training school or something. First there was Scooter Libby's remarkable Aspen Turning letter. And now there's Gale Norton's resignation letter (PDF), boasting of pillaging the wilderness in the language of a stoned nature lover (or, of a bad high school poet).

Mr. Bush, Gail Norton says. I've been to the mountaintop. And they yelled at me there. They yelled at me for raping the land. When I broke the law, they told me I broke the law. Mr. Bush, they were mean to me on that mountain. I tried to steal money and they held me in contempt. Mr. Bush, I don't like this mountaintop, I don't like this mountaintop at all.
Martin Luther King Jr. must be rolling in his grave right now.



On the Lighter side

Jesus General has an open letter to the Tennessee State Senator who has introduced a bill to outlaw "sex toys" in the entire State. If the bill is passed, it will be illegal to sell or display certain "appliances"...or even show them to somebody else....

the General writes:

That's where I come in. I've prepared a few talking points to help you manage their interviews:
• Sexual devices cause women to have unreal expectations about men.

Some of these devices are 4 inches or longer in length and over an inch in diameter.

These devices stay hard all of the time, even when wrestling isn't on the TV.

These devices seldom cause a woman to cry or vomit.

Enjoy the rest of the post....this guy is really creative.


oh , yes, one more note: I have discovered that it just as possible to scream at the streaming stock quotes on the computer screen as it it to scream at Blitzer, Tweety, Scarborough and other assorted Republicans on the TV....and it does just about as much good.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Of hatred and churches and, of course, "Tweety"

Well, well, well....two boys have been arrested and charged with the vandalism of all those churches in Alabama. And guess what? They say it was a "prank that got out of hand."

I remember being particularly incensed when the Church fires first hit the national news and our dear, dear friend, Chris Matthews had this to say on his show Hardball

"MATTHEWS: Is there anything in the papers down there where the Baptist Church has taken a position on some social issue: gay marriage -- something that's hot -- where that would have aroused somebody?"

CAVANAUGH: I haven't seen that, Chris, but it's very viable, because, you know, we had an arson of a Unitarian church in rural Virginia back in the summer and it was right after the church, on a national level, had embraced some gay members. And then there was an attack on this church in Staunton, Virginia, so things like that can happen."

MATTHEWS: That's why I'm thinking like that, because the more liberal churches would drive some people on the right crazy and maybe a more liberal person who is gay for example would feel that they've been terrorized by the beliefs of another church too. We don't know."

(transcript from MSNBC by way of The Rude Pundit)

Chris was ever so eager to push the blame on some gay, liberal radical that he jumped to conclusions very, very quickly. I remember shooting off an email to his at the time that said something like: "Hey Chris, here's a novel idea. Why don't you wait for some FACTS before you hang the blame on somebody."

Of course, I got the standard "auto-reply" and I doubt if Chris ever say the email.

Actually it's been a really bad day for Chris (or, as he is known in the liberal blogosphere, Tweety, because of his big head covered with blonde hair.)

The Last Chance Democracy Cafe had an article entitled Still a Skunk after all these years which documented Tweety's snearing partisanship during the 2000 election and the horrible aftermath. Here's a snippet:

At first, the major networks were all over the story — lots of talk of constitutional crisis and all that. But as the drama wore on, they naturally moved back to less civic, and more profitable, fare: The only option left to the true junkie was cable news, CNN, MSNBC and, of course, good old Fox — on second thought, let’s not even go there. So I spent a lot of time staring at Matthews (not something I would recommend) who not only left absolutely no doubt as to where he stood on the controversy — 100% with Bush — but who did so in an insufferable, contemptuous and arrogant fashion.

It gets even better.

Then, there was The Raw Story with their expose' of Tweety's Speaking engagements at primarily Right Wing or Business-Oriented venues. It seems that an idnependent researcher was able to get his hands on all the speaking engagements that Matthews has been involved in through two separate speaking bureaus. His speaking fees weren't mentioned and the Researcher tried to contact MSNBC to find out if they STILL had the policy of not permitting their show hosts to collect outside speaking fees but MSNBC gave no answers.

So it wasn't a good day for Matthews.

Good. I wish him many happy returns of this day.

Rainbow after "storm"???

Two events worth noting today--Dubai Ports World announced that their control of U.S. port terminals would go to an American company (details to be given later, apparently), this newsworthy announcement being read just as the vote to end cloture on a House ethics bill with amendment to end Dubai authority introduced by Chuck Schummer was completed with the "nays" winning. (that's our side!!!) and the other news is that we have decided to close that hellhole of iniquity, Abu Ghraib Prison in Iraq. Prisoners will be transferred to other facilities, completing the move in 2 to 3 months. I, being a very naughty Democrat, loved to watch Bill Frist squirm as the debate unfolded this morning on CSPAN!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Blogger went squirrley!


It's back....

There wasn't any access to Blogger yesterday afternoon. In addition to not being able to access here to post, some of my favorite sites were also inaccessable. Glad to have it back.

I'm a little disappointed with the news from yesterday. There were two primaries in Texas (yeah, I know, why hold out any hope for Texas?) One in which Tom Delay faced three challengers and another in which Democrat- in- name- only (DINO) Henry Cuellar who rushed to the aisle to be kissed by George Bush at the State of the Union speech was running against Ciro Rodriiguez. Delay and Cuellar both won. I didn't realize until this morning that Texas has an "open primary" system similar to Wisconsin so it's apparent that Cuellar (who had tremendous amounts of money to spend) benefited from a lot of cross-over Republican voting. In the Delay primary, I expected him to win by leaving a trail of broken kneecaps along the way, but I was hoping that Republicans would turn their back on him....

If there's any good news about the elections, it's that Delay will face a nasty, nasty challenge from Democrats in the general election.

By the way....did everybody get the email from Dave on Health Security America? It's 147 pages so I haven't read through it all yet....We may need to kick that around a little bit here.

Like yesterday, I have a ton of work to do today so I'll just open this thread and let you have at it.....

Look forward to your comments.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Be it Resolved...

The more "electronically connected" among us have probably already received Dave's email concerning resolutions for the next meeting. It will be our last chance to get them in before the 7th Congressional District Convention on April 22.

There are no limitations on what the Resolutions can cover. They can can be state, national or party issues. But there are a few rules about the "form" of the resolutions.

First, I must start with Whereas... (yeah, like we didn't know that)

Second, it can't be more than 100 words (including the infamous "Whereas")

and finally, it must conclude with the passage Resolved.

Dave noted in the email that we had some really good resolutions last year and that one of our resolutions made it all the way to State Convention. (Was that Shirley's resolution?....memory is the second thing to go and I can't remember the first)

Any way, have fun and post 'em if ya' got 'em!


Blurring another line

We've been talking (actually ranting) about the Bush Administration blurring the line between Church and State since he first took office. Many of us on our side of the aisle winced everytime George II talked about "Faith Based Initiatives". But take a good look at the picture to the left. Can you spot another line being blurred here?

Let's identify what's going on here . The blonde lady standing at the podium is Colorado Republican Congresswoman Marilyn Musgrave and the two UNIFORMED Marines behind her are honored guests at a Republican Lincoln Day Dinner. (Lincoln Day dinners are sort of like our version of Jefferson-Jackson Day Dinners except they're more hypocritical (snark-button off) So what's wrong with this picture?

Well, for one thing Military Personnel are prohibited by the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ) from participating in political events while in uniform. The other is that this is a conscious Republican strategy. Here's what Robert (I outed Valerie Plame) Novak had to say about it.

At the same time, the Bush administration is going directly to the public with its war message. Raul Damas, associate director of political affairs at the White House, has been on the phone directly to Republican county chairmen to arrange local speeches by active duty military personnel to talk about their experiences in Iraq. To some Republican members, this unusual venture connotes a desire to go directly to the people to sell the president's position without having to deal with members of Congress.
(Source: Inside Report by Robert Novak ; Lincoln Tribune 2/11/06)

So why is this a big deal? It's a big deal because of two issues really.

The first and, in my mind most important is that in our Democracy, the military subordinates itself to civilian leadership which is (theoretically at least) elected by the people and stands accountable to the voters. The military does not run the government and the military does not dictate who our leaders will be in the same way that Caeser's praetorian Guard did in ancient Rome. At least they don't yet.

The second reason is stated very eloquently by Josh Marshall in Talking Points Memo

The existence of this ban and the enforcement of it are hugely important both to good order and discipline within the military and to preserving our democratic republic. The military can't be made into an arm of one or the other political party. Nor can the executive be allowed to enlist members of the armed forces, either individually or en masse, willingly or not, as soldiers in his domestic political battles.

I know, I know I know......

there are just too many battles to fight at one time.

I may address that issue in a post later on but for now, just know that we're being co-opted by the Republicans again. Watch for it in your neighborhood.


on edit 8:20 PM...I expounded on those thoughts over here Feel free to jump in...


Sunday, March 05, 2006

Beware Gay Marriage Ban on Ballot

Last evening, I attended a forum at the University in Marshfield to hear Deb Price speak. She is a lesbian journalist who has been writing for the Detroit News for about 14 years now. She is married (Canadian license) to Joyce Murdoch, her partner of many years. and together they have weathered the storms of outing, civil unions, and finally legal marriage. They have also written at least 2 books together. I have known about Deb for a few years now, mainly because her column sometimes appears in USA Today and at times in the Marshfield News-Herald. I came away from that forum newly energized and motivated to drive home to people what havoc this suggested amendment would create, not only in the lives of gay/lesbians but also among heterosexual couples and their children. (I refer to couples living together without benefit of marriage.) An amendment such as this, being a so-called "Super Doma", would outlaw civil unions and put partnership benefits in deep peril, subjecting many legal disagreements to the decision of our already over-taxed court system. I was pleased to see that a large crowd attended this forum, and that we all seemed single-minded in our determination to keep the state of WI progressive and to vote no on this hate-filled and prejucial amendment.

Along these lines, I was also pleased that 2 of our local representatives have spoken loudly and clearly against this ballot issue. Rep. Amy Vruwink and Rep. Louis Molepske both spoke against it in the local Sunday paper,Central Wisconsin Sunday. I wrote to both and thanked them. After all, they will get some hate mail, so I figured they might like a pleasant letter as well.

I think a simple strategy is in order when we talk about this possible ban. Instead of dwelling on the "hate the gay" emotion which this bill is designed to engender, we need to inform people of just how deeply this ban would affect heterosexuals as well. I doubt that the average voter really knows the full danger inherent in this ballot proposal.

Saturday, March 04, 2006


I know "the food Nazi" wouldn't approve, but I have a real taste for "Bleeding Heart Spareribs".

Or maybe a Republican Pork Barrel Sandwich (packed with so much pork that even Senator (Bridge to Nowhere) Stevens would blush!)

Or maybe Antonin Scalia Original Intent Fried Chicken. (fixed the way your great, great, great, great grandmother would have fixed it.)

At the risk of sounding like a "gushing fan", I will once again refer you to my (fictional) friends at The Last Chance Democracy Cafe. Something has changed since the last time I posted a link though. This time Stephen C. Day has his own site and it's sort of a blog because it has posts on current news but it's also home to more great episodes with Winston, Zach, Horace and Tom.

You can join in the fun here:

And don't forget to register so you can join in the discussion. I'll have to say that some of the most thoughtful and thought-provoking posts on the web can be found appended to Day's works.

And in current news.....
I find it incredibly strange that Bush would personally visit Pakistan. Mussariff is in a tenuous position in his country and we' re just one coup de etat away from having Pakistan as a nuclear armed, long-range missile possessing Islamic State. Why would they want to stir up the country?
Yes, and about Pakistan being a democracy? I don't think so. Mussariff took over at the point of a gun and dissidents were rounded up and put under house arrest before Bush arrived....oh...wait a minute....Bush thinks that IS a democracy.
And meantime, back in old foggy bottom (Washington D.C.). Senator Rockefeller rounded up enough votes on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence(SSCI) to call for an inquiry into the NIA wiretapping. The SSCI has operated under special rules since 1974 to have an equal number of Democrats and Republicans no matter what the majority party of the Senate is. But since they've "mutinied", Senator Bill Frist is threatening to change the rules to put a Republican Majority on the committee to stop the inquiry. Click here and scroll down.
Feel free to jump in anytime...the more the merrier! Oh yeah...snow scheduled for tomorrow...good day for blogging.

Friday, March 03, 2006

The dilemma

One of my favorites, The Rude Pundit has a few suggestions for How to Start a Civil War in the Republican Party.

Here's how he starts out:

There's reasons that Karl Rove vomits blood at the thought of the Rude Pundit actually advising Democrats in a less blocky, more official capacity: because the Rude Pundit knows how to use the Lee Atwater bag o' tricks that Rove has drawn from (along with a few thuggish sleights of hand of his own). What Rove knows is that having power is all that matters: how you get the power is so much sh*t under the fingernails of the elephant cage cleaners. 'Cause you can be as noble and as right-minded as you like: without the power, you can do f***-all about your agenda. But once you have power, held high like the head of a deposed king, then the world can be yours.

Read the rest here

This is a dilemma I've written about and debated with some of my more radical friends on the blogosphere for some time. I was brought up in politics during the Lee Atwater reign of terror. I got to see first hand what he was capable of and I shudder to think of KKKarl Rove as a Lee Atwater without a conscience. The truth is that the Atwater School of Campaign Politics was absolutely brutal and now KKKarl has raised it to an art form. But we, as Democrats disdain those kind of tactics. We abhor the kind of dirty tricks and less-than-ethical activities that Atwater and his latter day disciples engage in.

...and yet....

They aren't going to quit. They're going to win if we don't match them....We can't go to a knife fight with a hacky-sak....

So do we abandon our principles?

What do you think?

Note on the picture: This is a picture of the infamous Brooks Brothers Riot in the Dade County Courthouse which STOPPED THE RECOUNT of Ballots in Dade County and helped give George W. Bush a 512 Vote win in Florida. The picture has been labelled to identify the people who were engaged in the "riot" to stop the counting. They were not, as portrayed by the press, "angry citizens". Instead, they are ALL Republican Staffers including one working for Tom Delay. I thought it was appropriate to display this picture to illustrate the "dirty tricks" that Republicans are capable of.


Thursday, March 02, 2006

Katherine, Katherine, Katherine.....

Things just aren't getting
any better for
Katherine Harris

It seems that our favorite "Congressfloozie" has been caught lying. This time she's been caught lying to a Newspaper reporter which, in my humble opinion, is really stupid. Read the whole story here in The Daily Muck from Talking Points Memo. Here are some snippets:


Now, Wade told the government that neither Harris nor Goode knew that the contributions were illegal, i.e. that Wade reimbursed his employees and their spouses for the $2K they laid out to the campaigns.


What the heck had Wade, MZM's CEO, wanted from Harris in return for that money?
Harris has claimed, to me and other journalists, that she didn't have any idea. She insisted that she had assumed all those MZM-connected people -- who didn't live in Florida and whose $2,000 checks arrived in bundles -- just liked her stands on the issues and wanted to see her re-elected.


As Wade plea makes clear, Wade wanted something very specific from Harris: help with a defense appropriation. He even drafted a proposal and forwarded it on to her office. And she followed up on it, writing a letter to the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee asking for the money, estimated at $10M. (Wade's plea, The Ledger)

Sigh.....Katherine, I'm sooooo disappointed. I mean, I didn't actually think you were a rocket scientist or anything but I didn't think you were this.....challenged.

Oh yeah, that picture was all over the web after her famous appearance on Hannity and Colmes. It's the same picture that prompted the monicker "Prom Queen Gone to Seed".

Have fun folks...


Thursday Open Thread

Thanks to firedoglake for the image
from the Mardi Gras in New Orleans
The human spirit survives despite everything, there is no limit to what it can acheive.
Thanks to everybody who is participating in the blogging. Hope to hear from more and more of our members as we go along.
So what's in the news this morning?
Well, it seems the traditional media is still in a "tither" about Bush's tape. (see firedoglake link above)
And surprise, surprise, surrrrrr prisssssssee! Associate Justice Alito sent Rev Dobbs (of Focus on the Family) a thank you letter. Here
John Bolton takes another excursion into "stupid land".
The Wisconsin Legislature finds its way to the pages of the blogosphere. Interesting to note that the Marshfield News-Herald editorial today called for voters to "think twice" about the Marriage Amendment shoved through the legislature by the Republicans.
Pop into anyone of the high-lited links and then drop a comment.....

I'm shocked....MSM using the tape

In case you haven't heard about it, somebody released a tape to the AP showing Bush and Chertoff getting a complete briefing on Hurricane Katrina before the storm hit! The tape shows Bush assuring local officials that "We're completely prepared.".

Now for the good part....Hardball and Wolf Blitzer Reports are both showing the video tape. This is embarrassing for Bush.

The full story from Yahoo is here (see, I finally learned how to link)

Couple of things to ponder here:

  • Who leaked this tape? Brownie? FEMA workers tired of taking the rap for the disaster?
  • How will Dubya spin his way out of this one?
  • How many lies can he be caught in before the Country says: ENOUGH?

Another day, another lie.


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

The Repubs now have their WEDGE ISSUE

Assembly Repubs Celebrate Victory....?????

for the November elections...

That's a vote of 63-31 the Republican=Controlled Assembly passed the bill to put Marriage-One Man-one Woman on the ballot for November. Why worked last time...I mean if you want to drive the more rabid base out to vote, what better way than to strike up a little homophobia?

Oh yeah, did I mention that six (6)DEMOCRATS voted with them?

Here they are:

Van Akkeren
A. Williams
(I think I got them all) Is "A. Williams" the one from Medford?

edit at 2:56PM..... We should note that our Reps...Vruwink , Schneider and Molepske voted NO! (It's okay to count Louey as "ours" isn't it?)

Spew Alert!

Put your coffee down
reading the link
(You don't want to get coffee all over your keyboard)