Saturday, March 31, 2007

So....just how big is a "cubet"?

I drove through some of this rain earlier this evening on the way back from I sit typing this, the rain is pounding on the windows so loudly that I had to turn the tv up to hear over the noise......If it keeps up too long I'm going to have to start gathering animals, two-by-two.

Friday, March 30, 2007

Hey S. Woodco Dems!

You've got a chance to see Russ Feingold tomorrow morning....

He's holding a listening session in Nekoosa at 9:15 tomorrow the library....

If you get the chance ....drop by and see him.....

Wasserman from the Boston Globe

sort of sets things in

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Late night "musing".....

Ya know....

That look on Bush's face in the first of the posts below....??????

It just occurred to me....that's more emotion/expression than he showed when Andy Card, whispered in his ear: "Mr President. America is under attack."


September 11, 2001...

in a grade school in Florida

I wonder what she said?

Could it have been:

"George, the "Articles" have already been drafted."


"You know when you use PRIVATE email accounts, then EXECUTIVE PRIVILEGE doesn't apply."


"I'm sooooo looking forward to seeing Karl Rove testify under oath."


Attaturk has been a very, very bad here.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

And the hits keep comin'

Man....this was supposed to be an "uneventful day" as far as Congressional Action was concerned. Tomorrow is supposed to bring fireworks but then THIS HAPPENED TODAY.

I wonder what's going to happen least two Bush Officials, and maybe more....almost all of those involved in the briefing could be charged with violations of THE HATCH ACT.....can you say 10 years in prison? These people had to be NUTS (seepicture at right snark,snark,snark)

The good part? of them works for Karl's how Kos writes it up...

Watch the shameless Doan duck and dodge when she's asked to explain what in God's name she thought she was doing when she convened a national teleconference of GSA managers for a briefing from White House political staffers on how they could best use federal government resources to help "our candidates" in 2008 -- a presentation, by the way, that included a list of the Top 20 targeted Democrats for 2008

Here's a link to THE GAVEL which has a bunch of video links.....

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

A certain majesty....

I first saw the State Capitol just a few months after I moved to Wisconsin.....I had been in "other" state Capitol buildings before but that didn't detract from the feeling of .....well...majesty...about the building.....

I was there again today...and I took a few minutes to do some things that I always enjoy.

I stood on the floor of the Senate Chambers. It was empty but I could hear the earnest voices of our past statesmen...passionately arguing for the ideals that made us the beacon of light in the progressive world...

I stood at the "bar" of the Supreme Court and imagined the eloquent arguments on fine points of law.....

I sat through a hearing on a bill on cable communications...and watched the process of law-making in all its splendor...with warts and all....

Yeah....It's pretty impressive....after all these years I'm still in awe that it actually works.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Convention Call!

Hi folks......

Just a quick reminder....if you're reading this you probably already got Dave's email about the 7th CD Convention. We want to fill our whole compliment of delegates so contact Dave and get your name on the list....last convention was great! (see pic at right)

I've also been asked about the proper attire for the get-together on friday night. The pic at the left shows acceptable attire.....(insert evilgrin icon here)

And, of course, we expect some REPUBLICAN girls at the party.....sure...they'll eventually marry Republican boys but they want to date Democratic Boys first because, after all, they do deserve SOME FUN in life.....(insert snarky evilgrin here)

Thanks, Josh....I needed that...

Sometimes somebody cuts through the fog of the political swamp and shows you the a ray of sunshine....

Here's Josh at Talking Points Memo

"None of this is about Alberto Gonzales. This is about the president and the White House, which is where this entire plan was hatched. Gonzales was just following orders, executing the president's plans.
This is about this president and this White House, which ...
let's be honest, everyone on both sides of the aisle already knows."

Earlier, he said:

"This isn't a case where Alberto Gonzales has fallen short of the president's standards or bungled some process. This is the standard. The Attorney General has done and is doing precisely what is expected of him."

Don't forget this.....this IS President Bush's scandal....he and his advisors "cooked" this plan and Gonzales and his staff inplemented it. It isn't that Gonzales is a renegade Attorney General, he's a loyal (to a fault, really) "Bushie"

And never forget, this wasn't just some "inside the beltway" also reminds us of what this is really about (again):

"...What we seem to see are repeated cases in which US Attorneys were fired for not pursuing bogus prosecutions of persons of the opposite party. Or vice versa. There's little doubt that that is why McKay and Iglesias were fired and there's mounting evidence that this was the case in other firings as well. The idea that a senator calls a US Attorney at home just weeks before a federal elections and tries to jawbone him into indicting someone to help a friend get reelected is shocking. Think about it for a second. It's genuinely shocking. At a minimum one would imagine such bad acts take place with more indirection and deniability. And yet the Domenici-Iglesias call has now been relegated to the status of a footnote in the expanding scandal, notwithstanding the fact that there's now documentary evidence showing that Domenici's substantial calls to the White House and Justice Department played a direct role in getting Iglesias fired."

I dunno.......that whole "impeachment thing" is beginning to make sense....

Sunday, March 25, 2007

How 'bout a Declaration of War?

I'm enjoying Digby's commentary again today and he has sparked a marvelous idea that springs from teh 1970 era where Congress (finally) took a stand against the war in Viet Nam. Here's how Rick Pearlstein (via Digby) describes it:

"...McGovern, D-S.D., and Mark Hatfield, R-Ore., were in charge of the granddaddy of them all: an amendment requiring the president to either go to Congress for a declaration of war or end the war, by Dec. 31, 1970. Walter Shapiro wrote that a "skittish" Congress made sure its antiwar legislation had "loopholes" to permit the president to take action to protect U.S. troops in the field" -- which means no genuine congressional exit mandate at all. But McGovern-Hatfield had no such "loopholes." (Of course, McGovern Hatfield didn't pass, and thus wasn't subject to the arduous political negotiating process that might have added them.) It was four sentences long, and said: Without a declaration of war, Congress would appropriate no money for Vietnam other than "to pay costs relating to the withdrawal of all U.S. forces, to the termination of United States military operations ... to the arrangement for exchanges of prisoners of war," and to "food and other non-military supplies and services" for the Vietnamese...." ingenious....Hatfield and McGovern were using the subtle (and sometime maddening) quirk in the Constitution that only Congress can declare war but only the President can commit troops, to force the hand of the President. Implicit in that quirk is that the President can only maneauver troops IF THERE IS A DECLARED WAR. All this "police action" stuff was being used to circumvent the Congress and their sole mandate to declare war....much like what is being done today.

The infamous ATUMF (Authorization to use military force) resolution was a was done deliberately to skirt the issue and avoid the legal, diplomatic and internationally sensitive issues of going to war. It also cleverly by-passed any kind of Congressional Debate that might have undermined the already suspect reasons for going to war.

So why not force his hand?

If it's a war, as he calls it, the GLOBAL WAR ON TERROR, which even conservatives are now questioning, let him ask Congress for a formal declaration....or lose funding except asn McGovern and Hatfield provided in 1972.

Of course, as Digby noted, McGovern - Hatfield did not pass...but it served a purpose...and, as it turns out, a very important purpose....Digby explains:

With McGovern-Hatfield holding down the left flank, the moderate-seeming Cooper-Church passed out of the Foreign Relations Committee almost immediately. Was the president on the defensive? And how. His people rushed out a substitute "to make clear that the Senate wants us out of Cambodia as soon as possible." Two of the most hawkish and powerful Southern Democrats, Fritz Hollings and Eugene Talmadge, announced they were sick of handing blank checks to the president. A tide had turned, decisively.

Digby thinks that the passage of the budget resolution that Dave Obey put together last week restored the public's faith in the Democratic party....they were beginning to lose faith because they voted in November a STRONG messsage to get us out of Iraq and almost four months later had done next to nothing. He has a nice summary:

Having said all that, let me just emphasize again that a strong left flank is tremendously important to making that (ending the war...ed note)happen. Without the grassroots pressure and the "out of Iraq" caucus publicly holding the line on the vote and then offering to free certain members who were willing to vote for the bill at the last moment, it wouldn't have passed --- and the liberals wouldn't have collected the chits they need for the next round (or received a standing ovation from their caucus.) This is what a functioning political coalition that is working together looks like. It isn't pretty, but it's how things get done.

(Note: he praises the coalition without once mentioning the name of Dave Obey.....I'm a little miffed)

But what about forcing the President to defend his war? Waht about making him justify his extravagant expenditures. What about making him come before Congress (to address a joint session maybe?) and to also send his staff up to hearings to testify UNDER OATH why we need to have a declaration of war? It's a fascinating proposition and I hope Digby or Atrios or Kos riff on the idea soon....I think the "netroots" could make it happen.

Sunday (Political) Comics

Here's a nice link to a lot of "funnies" here

Friday, March 23, 2007

Digby is worth reading...

Digby ended the week right for me....and gave me plenty to "riff on".

Let's review:The Republican talking point de jour regarding the firing of the US Attorneys is that "it's perfectly normal, legal and common....fercrissakkes...CLINTON even did it." Even some liberal commentators, or perhaps members of the "chattering class" are parrotting the points that the Attorney's "Serve at the Pleasure of the President".

It follows, then, that if those things are true, then this must be just some form of "scandal mongering" from the Democrats.

I have been forced to personnally defend this position a couple of times this week, and, as is my nature, my explanation tends to get lost in the details and overlooks the simple, straight-forward truth of the matter. Digby does much better. Here's how he explains it:

"What they don't expect is that the political apparatus of the White
House will use the Department of Justice as a tool to protect criminal
wrongdoing among their own and trump up charges against their political
opponents. That is not just a different focus or legal prioity. That's
corruption, pure and simple, and may constitute obstruction of justice. (And
believe me, if there had been any evidence that Clionton had such motivations
the Republican congress would have investigated it in 1994 when they took
office. They investigated everything.) ..."

What lead Digby to go through this explanation for the "umpteenth time" is columnist Michael Kinsley at Time Magazines blogspot, The Swamp, who still can't see the problem with the firings....

It's the "obstruction of justice", Stupid! Could be the watchword now days.....

There's something even more ironic in Kinsley's article though, and Digby was quick to jump on it. It was that Kinsley essentially prefers that matters like this be handled through the ballot box as opposed to the "investigation and hearings " process.

The irony should be burning your soul by now.....because,in addition to ridding themselves of U. S. Attorneys who dared prosecute Republicans, the Attorneys were also to be removed for FAILING TO PROSECUTE DEMOCRATS on charges of "election fraud" know, like registering voters, or maybe like allowing people of color to vote...or, maybe daring to register voters, you know, THAT kind of "election fraud". The record shows clearly that there were multiple attempts to get Attorneys to file such charges and, with the exception of a few cases, they were almost always FALSE. Kinsley's precious sanctity of the ballot box was in fact the target of the obstruction of justice....irony, indeed.

It isn't a conspiracy theory any more. The Republican party apparatus intends (notice it's not the past tense, "intended") to create a permanent Conservative Majority by controlling the ballot boxes, the election process, and access to voting itself.Of course, Digby writes much better than I so go read him.

He also links to: John Dean at Findlaw as well as Josh Marshall at Talking Points Memo.on the same subject....also well worth clicking on...
UPDATE....UPDATE... 5:38P.M.
Evidently McClatchy Newspapers has an update that's brought to us from TALKING POINTS MEMO MUCKRAKER (TPM Muckraker)
from McClatchy:
Last April, while the Justice Department and the White House were planning the firings, Rove gave a speech in Washington to the Republican National Lawyers Association. He ticked off 11 states that he said could be pivotal in 2008. Bush has appointed new U.S. attorneys in nine of them since 2005: Florida, Colorado, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Arkansas, Michigan, Nevada and New Mexico. U.S. attorneys in the latter four were among those fired.

Rove thanked the audience for “all that you are doing in those hot spots around the country to ensure that the integrity of the ballot is protected.” He added, “A lot in American politics is up for grabs.”...

One audience member asked Rove whether he’d “thought about using the bully pulpit of the White House to talk about election reform and an election integrity agenda that would put the Democrats back on the defensive.”

“Yes, it’s an interesting idea,” Rove responded.

Wooohoo! Obey Strikes Back!

It's amazing isn't it?

Our own Dave Obey is the only one I know of who has the courage to stand up on the floor of the House of Representatives and tell-it-like-it-is.....

He did it again today....from Talking Points Memo

Let me submit to you the problem we have today is not that we didn't
listen enough to people like The Washington Post. It's that we listened too
much. They endorsed going to war in the first place. They helped drive the
drumbeat that drove almost two-thirds of the people in this chamber to vote for
that misbegotten, stupid, ill-advised war that has destroyed our influence over
a third of the world. So I make no apology if the moral sensibilities of some
people on this floor, or the editorial writers of The Washington Post, are
offended because they don't like the specific language contained in our
benchmarks or in our timelines.

What matters in the end is not what the specific language is. What
matters is whether or not we produce a product today that puts pressure on this
Administration and sends a message to Iraq, to the Iraqi politicians that we're
going to end the permanent long-term dead end babysitting service. That's what
we're trying to do. And if The Washington Post is offended about the way we do
it, that's just too bad.

Way to go Dave! (TPM has the video on the link to view it...)

Hel'll be in the District on April 3 (election Day) and also he will be the keynote speaker at our 7th CD Convention on April 28....It will be a pleasure to shake his hand again....

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Interesting newspaper article....

here's a snippet:

"...if this country once begins to suspect them, or any among them, of any dispostion to make political capital at home out of a course that would lead us to war, it will never forgive them."

Damn that Bush administration!

Oh, wait a minute, you want the cite from the paper huh?

Here it is, The Times of London, OCTOBER 2, 1922 (Taken from A Peace to End All Peace, David Fromkin, Owl Books 1989, pg, 542)

In case you're wondering, I didn't cite that to exhonorate Bush, Blair and their respective administrations, but rather, to point out that super powers have always played some version of "the great game" with countries of the Middle East, and Iraq has been their personal ping-pong ball for almost 100 years.

That same book also points to a terrible harbinger of things to come by quoting from a letter to the wife of a Standard Oil Company geologist in Iraq, who claims he it there to map out the greatest known source of oil now remaining and to "claim it for America as it rightly belongs." Unfortunately that happened under the British Protectorate of Iraq after King Feisel was installed. It caused quite a stir. King Feisel banned Standard Oil from surveying which eventually lead to Standard Oil and the American Consulate proclaiming that they supported the "protectorate" and had no intentions of undermining it (as long as they got to drill for oil) and....privately, they wrote that Iraq was a country of such warring tribes that the British "protectorate" was absolutely essential in protecting Standard Oil's interests...

Things haven't changed much have they?

Meet the New Boss
Same as the old Boss.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Video replay

of Bush's press conference yesterday (Courtesy of Digby)

and because you're probably nosey...YES I did finish my lessons for the day...


About that "reasonable" offer...

okay, okay, okay.....I KNOW I'm procrastinating....but I've just got to get this off my chest.....

Bush claimed in his press conference (the Rude pundit calls it something else...rudely) that he had made a "reasonable offer to the Democratic controlled Congress to allow Harriet Meirs and KKKarl Rove to testify. Really reasonable....

No oaths to be taken
Done behind Closed doors...
No transcripts of the hearing....

I used to work in the agricultural industry and I KNOW THE SMELL OF BULLSHIT ...and this IS BULLSHIT.

TBogg snarks it better than I do:

Bush said:

"If the Democrats truly do want to move forward and find the right
information, they ought to accept what I proposed," Bush said. "If scoring
political points is the desire, then the rejection of this reasonable proposal
will really be evident for the American people to see."

and Tbogg responds:

No oath, no transcript.
Just a little chat over Zimas and everything will be right as rain.

Jesus on Jeopardy, not even Doug Feith is that stupid.

As of around 10:30 this morning, the Democrats in the House of Representatives, proved they were indeed smarter than Doug's the link

and the lede paragraph:

WASHINGTON - A House panel on Wednesday defied the White House and authorized subpoenas for President Bush’s political adviser, Karl Rove and other top aides, setting up a constitutional showdown over the firings of eight federal prosecutors.

This constitutional showdown has been brewing for a long time folks....hop in, buckle up and HOLD's gonna be quite a ride....

Okay....back to CEUS

A few quick things...

Sometimes I get carried away up here in Left Blogsylvania and forget that there's another (I won't say "real" life outside of the "net". I actually get sort of grumpy when that "other" life intrudes.....but intrude, it has, and with a vengence. The "civic" responsibilities I've taken on are requiring a substantial amount of research and due dilligence....more than they should actually...and there are some professional obligations (C.E.U.'s) that are making me nuts....soooooooo blogging will be sparse for the next 48 hours....


Want to jump in?

I'll post a couple of things here and then head off to the "other" world.


I like Glenn Greewald's take on this. It seems suddenly, the Republicans in Congress (especially the House of Representatives) have discovered that their job is "oversight" of the Executive Branch. This is breath-taking. It's like Columbus discovering America....except it was probably Haiti....and...except it was probably done several hundred years before by the Vikings....but what the's still important. (Repub "crybaby" thanks to firedoglake)

Here's what it's all about:

The House Judiciary Committee yesterday held a hearing concerning the FBI's illegal use of NSLs to spy on Americans. The Inspector General who revealed (at least some of) the abuses, Glenn Fine, along with the FBI's General Counsel, Valerie Caproni, testified.

And a sample snip of the newfound, Republican outrage:

From the attorney general on down, you should be ashamed of yourself," said Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif. "We stretched to try to give you the tools necessary to make America safe, and it is very, very clear that you've abused that trust."

And if you have a weak heart, hold on..."our own" (sarcasm off) Congressman James Sensenbrenner (R-CooCooVille) even found it necessary to criticize the Bush Administration:

Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner Jr. (R-Wis.) expressed surprise at how widespread the use of national security letters had become, asking: "Do we have that many potential terrorists running around the country? If so, I'm really worried." He said the inspector general's report shows that "the FBI has had a gross overreach," and added that its officials "can't get away with this and expect to maintain public support for the tools that they need to combat terrorism."

But to be honest, Glenn expects that the newfound outrage was for show purposes and won't really last among the Republicans. He predicts that they'll return to their old ways once the glare of the "kleiglites" if off.

Speaking of seems that Bush found a particular fascination for the word in yesterday's [s]temper-tantrum[/s] Press conference. The Rude Pundit mocks it here.


"...And Bush also has a concern about the lighting of his aides in a hearing situation: "if you haul somebody up in front of Congress and put them in oath and all the klieg lights and all the questioning, to me, it makes it very difficult for a President to get good advice." Yes, the klieg lights. Those goddamned klieg lights. When you're used to hovering in shadows, squatting in dark corners to hiss out your counsel, klieg lights might reveal the pasty, sweaty face of evil.

Digby has some thoughts (coughsnarkcough) on the subject of the press conference which are worth this snippet:

Wolf(Blitzer, I think..ed note) says he was very, very strong and very, very tough and something about the president's pleasure and ... oooh baby. If he'd had on a loin cloth and a nice mullet his testosterone-addled cartoon manliness would have been right out of "300." Too bad King Codpiece's toothless little tirades are about as convincing as Village People machismo these days.

Lest we be accused of NOT pilling on when it was called for, Tbogg joins in:

One thing that is fascinating about George Bush is how little he has grown in office. No, that's not right. It's not that he hasn't grown, he has gotten smaller; less Presidential, more sad little man watching his paper boat circle the drain. After six years of playing The Decider he should at least have a thin candy shell of gravitas as opposed to coming across like one of those guys on Peoples Court who not only has an unshakable belief that people won't see through his bullshit, but that no one will notice his artful comb-over either.

Click on any of the'll enjoy the posts....

By the Way......I have a question for you?

Isn't this much more FUN than it was before November 7 of 2006?

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Hidden, dirty little secret......

I wasn't reminded of this until I read today's post by Prof. Juan Cole at Informed Comment, entitled "Bush's Top Ten Mistakes in Iraq during the Past 4 Years ". Most of us who have been paying close attention to the war in Iraq could probably make our own "top ten" list with very little trouble but that's not the point I want to make this morning. I was reminded of this point when I read "mistake #9" which was:

9. Declining to intervene in the collapsed economy or help put Iraqi state industries back on a good footing, on the grounds that the "market" would magically produce prosperity effortlessly.

Buried in there is the dirtly little secret that the neoconservatives don't want the public to know about.....EVER!

You see, there was a plan for Iraq after Saddam was removed from power. We often wrongly criticize Bush for not having a plan, but there actually was a plan. Just exactly when and where it was developed is a little hazy but the the plan was called: Baghdad. Year Zero

The link takes you the Harper's Magazine article by Naomi Klein entitled Baghdad, Year Zero. It was written in September of 2004 to outline her trips to Baghdad to determine why things were still in disarray a year after "shock and awe". She discovered that Iraq was going to be the petri dish for neonconservative economic theory; it would the the ultimate free-market utopia that conservatives had always dreamed of but could never implement in existing economies. As Klein wrote:

"Iraq was going to change all that. In one place on Earth, the theory would finally be put into practice in its most perfect and uncompromised form. A country of 25 million would not be rebuilt as it was before the war; it would be erased, disappeared. In its place would spring forth a gleaming showroom for laissez-faire economics, a utopia such as the world had never seen. Every policy that liberates multinational corporations to pursue their quest for profit would be put into place: a shrunken state, a flexible workforce, open borders, minimal taxes, no tariffs, no ownership restrictions. The people of Iraq would, of course, have to endure some short-term pain: assets, previously owned by the state, would have to be given up to create new opportunities for growth and investment. Jobs would have to be lost and, as foreign products flooded across the border, local businesses and family farms would, unfortunately, be unable to compete. But to the authors of this plan, these would be small prices to pay for the economic boom that would surely explode once the proper conditions were in place, a boom so powerful the country would practically rebuild itself. "

pfffft.....and you said Bush didn't have a on:

Two months before the war began, USAID began drafting a work order, to be handed out to a private company, to oversee Iraq's “transition to a sustainable market-driven economic system.” The document states that the winning company (which turned out to be the KPMG offshoot Bearing Point) will take “appropriate advantage of the unique opportunity for rapid progress in this area presented by the current configuration of political circumstances.” Which is precisely what happened.

Get that?


Are you starting to guess the "dirty little secret"?

The dirty little secret is that their utopian neoconservative dream about "free markets" and business unfettered by government regulation doesn't work. Their little pipe dream is a farce and if the rank and file Republicans who have been sold this dream....actually this myth....ever learn the truth, they will abandon the party in droves and consign them to the status of a tiny lunatic fringe organization like they really are.

Take the time to read the whole article..I did when it first came out and I was stunned by it.

Monday, March 19, 2007


I'm trying to get the ability to post Utube entries for us to the on this one...

Sunday, March 18, 2007

We have a celebrity among us

Look who got "ink" in Central Wisconsin Sunday

"Monday is an important day," said Wisconsin Rapids resident Judy Urban, a member of Rapids Citizens for Peace. The group will meet Sunday evening to rally for peace and an end to the war. Many in the group are veterans of the armed services, Urban said.

(bilde photograph at right)

Another riff...on the same theme...

If the kingdom of Right Blogostan has a Princess, it's got to be "Pammy" at Atlas Shrugs...who just happens to have a crush on John Bolton.....Pammy's claim to fame within the Kingdom of Right Blogostan is not that she's a blogger, no....she's a VBLOGGER.(VBlogger means Video Blogger...that means that she does all her blogging on video sort of a stream-of-consciousness style)... the click here
On the right....Pammy with Ann Coulter......its a book signing, not a library....

Conversation with a conservative......(sort of)

Simply Left Behind gives us a totally fictional account of a conversation with a conservative which is eerily reminiscent of conversations we've all had with the kool-aid kids..... Here's a snippet to whet your appetite:

An object lesson, forwarded to me by one of the ten smartest men in America (and a liberal):
Liberal: The USA has fifty states.

Conservative: No, it doesn’t.

Liberal: Yes, it does. The USA has fifty states.

Conservative: What about Guam? What about that Guam, huh? Or theVirgin Islands?

Liberal: Those are territories, not states. The USA has fifty states.

Conservative: Oh, so you’re saying those don’t count?

Liberal: Yes.

Conservative: Oh, so the people there don’t count? They’re not good enough, huh? I thought you liberals wanted everybody to be counted.

Liberal: No, I said the territories don’t count as states. The USA has fifty states.

Conservative: You’re really something, you know that? You liberals are always going on about how all of us conservatives are racists, how we don’t care about anybody but people who look like us. But you don’t even want to count the blacks who live in Guam as Americans.

Along those same lines, Sadly, No gives Conservatives wit:

You know, the Right’s successful campaign of inventing their public image as heartland populists while portraying the Left as sissified elitists is one of the most remarkable achievements in all of modern propaganda. It’d be like my goofy white ass convincing y’all that I’m really a beautiful black lesbian lawyer named Foxy Bradrocket. It’d be like Dan Riehl convincing y’all that his parents now allow him to use utensils that don’t have rubber safety tips at the end of them. It’d be like Ann Coulter convincing you that her totally enormous Adam’s apple really isn’t a malevolent leprechaun that lives inside her throat and tells her to call people “faggots.” It’d be like Jamil Hussein and Daffyd ab Hugh convincing you that the giant sandwich they found outside that burned and bombed mosque is really a… no, f**k it, I will simply not go there.
The point is, it’s an amazing feat. They have waged a brilliant information war that has convinced millions of people to believe precisely the opposite of what is true. At some point, you just have to tip your hat.

Some great "snark" from Alicublog:

TORTURED LOGIC. After years in U.S. custody, Khalid Sheikh Mohammed has confessed to being the "mastermind" of 31 terrorists attacks from 9/11 to the mysterious death of your pet schnauzer.

Friday, March 16, 2007

Exuberance is good.....

I've been surfing the net this afternoon (between reading legal brief, CEU material, and Federal Communications Commission F & O s (finding and orders)). It was hard to concentrate on those other things with all the exuberance and excitement in the kingdom of Left Blogosylvania over the Waxman hearings on the Plame outing which featured Valerie Plame Wilson herself.

I got to see some of the hearings on CSPan and also reviewed some of it on YouTube and it was fascinating that Valerie lived up to the expectations of everybody in Left Blogsylvania. For that matter, Waxman did also. Paul Hoades was a surprise...a bonus actually.

Most of Blogsylvania is absolutely giddy over the smackdown of Victoria Toensing by Waxman and other Democratic members of the committee when she trotted out the dead horse Republican talking points and held onto them tenaciously and heroically in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary. When Waxman indicated he would "hold the hearing record open because of the conflicting testimony" it was a clear message to Toensing that she was bordering on perjury.

And if that wasn't enough....

CBS News says that Alberto Gonzales has a constituency of exactly ONE.... and that ONE happens to be a "pugnacious" President Bush. You can read more about it here...

Here's a quote that tells us what we've been dealing with for the past six years.

Republicans close to the White House tell CBS News chief White House correspondent Jim Axelrod that President Bush is in “his usual posture: pugnacious, that no one is going to tell him who to fire.” But sources also said Gonzales’ firing is just a matter of time.

So he's still "the decider"

The adrenaline is still flowing.....may not be able to sleep tonight...

Eat your heart out James Bond!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Good Meeting

I missed last month's meeting so it was good to see everybody there tonight.....DeDe, Gary, Dean, Jeanette, Lolo, many to remember...but there were a couple of real surprises tonight...a couple of special guests....

Dave Obey's new campaign rep was there and we got to share our thoughts about the flap involving Dave.....

And really special? Julie Lassa came to give us a briefing on what's going on in the State Senate....great seeing Julie in person again...I'll have to go over my notes from her remarks but I do remember that she expanded on some of the iniatives she mentioned in her newsletter...better yet, we got to ask questions and let her know what our views on those subject are...

Passed three resolutions...Supporting the Feingold troop withdrawal plan....supporting full funding for Veterans Health benefits (good work Al!) and also passed a resolution supporting the Governor's proposed smoking ban...

Good meeting really....committee and sub-committee meetings next week...


In May we will have our first ever DINNER MEETING AT THE PINECREST.....I'm really looking forward to that.....we haven't done one in recent memory.

Meeting tonight....reminder


If you want to bring a resolution to the 7th CD Convention on April 28, it has to get passed by the County Party TONIGHT! ....and, of course, if your Resolution passes the 7th CD Convention in April, it will go to the STATE CONVENTION in June....

Remember that all resolutions must BEGIN with a "Whereas" Statement

(example) Whereas, George W. Bush is stupid....

and it has to be completed with a "Be it Resolved" statement

(example) Be it Resolved that, George W. Bush is the WORST President, ever!....

Oh yeah, one more has to be 100 words or less....

See you in Pittsville at the Legion Building at 6:30 PM.....

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Voters...Public Opinion...Polls...they don't matter..

With all that's going on with the FBI illegal wiretapping, the War refunding resolutions in the House, the flap over Dave Obey, and the firing of the U.S. Attorneys, this story sort of got lost in the shuffle....but quite likely it is THE MOST IMPORTANT STORY ON THE WEB TODAY.

As you might suspect, it's done by one of the best columnists in the business, Glenn Greenwald and appears in today's issue of Salon. Glenn explains in the most clear, precise language why we should be scared to death of George W. Bush.

I strongly urge you to click the link and read the full article, but as usual, I'll provide a few "snippets".

Let's set the stage a little bit. A number of articles have appeared in Washington based news reports about the "Literary Luncheon" given for the President last week which was hosted by some of the premier architects of Neoconservative Thought (I know, I know...neoconservative + thought is an oxymoron...I know that too)

and to honor a new hero of Neoconservativsm, "historian" Andrew Roberts. (read his interview with Front Page Magazine here) You may have heard of Roberts before. He is one of the leading Neoconservative Historical "Revisionists" who have rewritten history with an eye toward conservative ideals. (e.g. every evil in the world since the beginning of the 20th Century is the fault of LIBERAL THOUGHT) Or, as Glenn reminds us from that interview captioned above:

Roberts recently wrote the right-wing historical revisionism tract entitled History of the English-Speaking Peoples Since 1900. The book, as Roberts himself described it in an interview with Front Page Magazine, "does not consider British imperialism to have been a Bad Thing, argues that the Versailles Treaty was not harsh enough on Germany, [and] defends the bombing of Dresden, Hiroshima, and Nagasaki . . . . " A central theme is that "Intellectuals of the Left bear a heavy responsibility for the cruelties and savagery of the 20th century," and Roberts' world-view is filled with banalities like this:

"I fear, in the light of Congress's recent nonbinding (and utterly
self-contradictory) resolution opposing the surge, the gross bias of much of the Left-Liberal media, and the present poll ratings of Sen Hillary Clinton, that the US will lose the will to fight the War against Terror in any manner that might hold out the hope of ultimate victory." you get the idea of the theme of the "Literary Luncheon"

Greenwald lists some of the Neoconservative luminaries present at the luncheon but the key was that this luncheon wasn't arranged by the Neocons to simply honor their latest shill, Roberts, instead it was formated to give "lessons to the President". That's right.....LESSONS FOR THE PRESIDENT... tutoring at the feet of the Strausian disciples of the New American Century.

And those lessons, my dear friends, are why we should be scared senseless about George W. Bush's remaining days in office.

I won't go into all of the lessons that were reported, or for that matter, will I recount the reported reactions of the President to those lessons....except.....except this one:

Here it is:

On one subject the president needed no lessons from Roberts or anyone else in the room: how to handle pressure. "I just don't feel any," he says with the calm conviction of a man who believes the constituency to which he must ultimately answer is the Divine Presence. Don't misunderstand: God didn't tell him to put troops in harm's way in Iraq; belief in Him only goes so far as to inform the president that there is good and evil. It is then his job to figure out how to promote the former and destroy the latter. And he is confident that his policies are doing just that.

Or, as luncheon attendee Michael Novak of the American Enterprise Institute recalled (also in The Weekly Standard) the President saying: "I want to have my conscience clear with Him. Then it doesn't matter so much what others think." (Novak also revealingly marveled that "The President was not at all intimidated by his fifteen or so guests" even though the guests included Podhoretz, Himmelfarb and "Irwin Stelzer himself" -- in Novak's world, one expects the President to be intimidated to be in the presence of such powerful neoconservative luminaries, not the other way around).

Greenwald spells out the chilling effect of this "lesson".

"....One can see that dynamic powerfully at work in the interaction between these neoconservatives and the President. They have seized upon the President's evangelical fervor and equated his "calling" to wage war for Good in the world with the neoconservative agenda of endless wars in the Middle East. "


And the more unpopular the President becomes as a result, the more of a failure these policies are, the more strongly they tell him to ignore all of that, that none of it matters, that his God and history will conclude that he did The Right Thing, provided that he continue steadfastly to pursue their agenda. And the President believes that. That is why nothing will stop him in pursuing the path he created years ago when, in January, 2002, he became convinced to name not only Iraq, but also Iran, as standing members of the "Axis of Evil" (even though our relations with Iran were rapidly improving at the time) and cited the 9/11 attacks in order to all but vow war on those countries, despite their having nothing to do with those attacks. The President's "lessons" at the feet of neoconservatives continue, and he is as faithful a student as ever.

My advice?

Take the time to read the whole article.

Anybody want to join me for a good, stiff drink?

Take THAT Fox News!


Read the post...but as I go over the history of this incident, I find that the first person to stand up to Fox was John Edwards. Edwards refused to participate in the Nevada debates as long as the debate was being hosted by Fox News....
Nice spine John....

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Late night open thread

Pre-occupied with a few other things today so I didn't get to post....actually it's okay because it kept Julie's Newsletter on the front page for a lot longer.....


Yep...two documents to read...both highly technical legal of 109 pages and the other of 212 pages....sort of like reading the phone book ...only a lot less interesting....

Catching up on the news today...

Apparently the work of Josh Micah Marshall at Talking Points Memo on the firing of the 8 U. S Attorneys has metatisized into an major headache for the Bush great a headache that Senator Diane Feinstein and Senator Chuck Schumer held a joint press conference to call for the resignation of Attorney General Alberto Gonzales....this, of course, prompted Gonzales to hold a press conference at which he said, mistakes were made, but not by him, and that besides there wasn't anything wrong anyway, and besides that, well because, just because...

Now, here's the latest update from's a quote from a floor speech by Senator Arlen Specter about one of the U. S. Attorneys who was fired, Carol Lam:

Mr. Specter raised the question of whether Ms. Lam had been dismissed
because she was “about to investigate other people who were politically
powerful,” and he questioned the Justice Department’s initial explanation that
those who had lost their jobs had received poor performance evaluations

This is going to be interesting....

Monday, March 12, 2007

Julie Lassa's Newsletter

Consumer Protections Put Families First

By State Senator Julie Lassa

We often hear elected officials talk about “family values.” I think it’s time more of our political leaders show that they truly value families, by enacting policies that protect working families from unfair business practices and help them build a strong foundation for the future.

To that end, I’m pleased to support the Wisconsin Families First agenda which includes a series of initiatives to help the legislature focus its priorities on the real needs of Wisconsin’s middle class.
A key aspect of Wisconsin Families First is a series of consumer protection legislation to end practices that hit families in the pocketbook and invade their privacy.

Wisconsin’s popular “Do Not Call” list protects consumers from unwanted telephone solicitation. But there are whole categories of consumers who are currently unprotected–including the growing number of people who use cell phones. It’s bad enough to be hassled by a sales call you don’t want to receive; it’s even worse when you’re paying for the call, which is often the case with cell phone plans. A new bill will extend “Do Not Call” protection to cell phone users. The bill also lets small business phone customers request inclusion in the “Do Not Call” directory, and makes it easier for other non-residential phone customers to avoid unwanted telephone and fax solicitations.

Currently, a violation of the “Do Not Call” law brings a fine of not more than $100. That’s not nearly enough to deter violators, which is one reason that complaints about “Do Not Call” violations are on the rise. The new bill will increase the penalty for violations to between $1,000 and $10,000. And individuals who suffer damages as a result of a violation will be permitted to seek an injunction against the violator or sue for damages of up to $500 per violation. These provisions will put teeth into the “Do Not Call” law and provide a real deterrent to telemarketers who are ignoring it.

Another area that we are turning our attention to is the “payday loan” industry. These lenders offer easy credit—anyone with a job can post-date a check as collateral for a short-term loan. For cash-strapped families, payday lenders appear to offer a way to make it from one paycheck to the next. But by charging extraordinarily high interest rates, many borrowers are pulled into a spiral of debt. Shockingly, Wisconsin families borrowed more than $640 million in 2005 from these storefront lenders.

This session, I will support legislation to regulate this industry and put an end to predatory lending practices.
Privacy protection has become a growing concern. Many of us use tax preparation services; but while we enjoy the convenience and savings tax services offer, few people are aware that the personal information they provide to the preparer is not protected. The fine print in many tax service contracts permits the preparer to share and sell your information to third parties: When you sign your return, you’re signing your privacy away.

New legislation I will support will protect consumer privacy by requiring tax preparation services to disclose the third parties they intend to share personal information with; customers must approve those disclosures in writing. This kind of informed consent will protect privacy and give consumers more control over their personal information.

Email spam is another growing invasion of privacy. There’s not much that state government can do to stop spam—but we can avoid being part of the problem. For instance, the DNR provides a listserve that consumers can sign up for when they apply for hunting and fishing licenses. Although consumers can request that other information they provide on a license application be kept private, the email address they provide for the listserve is not exempt from the state’s open records law. This session, we propose to change the law so that email addresses on the DNR listserve will be protected. There’s no reason that the state should leave your email address open to potential abuse by spammers.

With these and other proposals, the Wisconsin Families First initiative will take important steps to fulfill government’s most important role: defending the families that are the cornerstone of our society. To me, that’s what real family values are all about.

ed note: Julie is our State Senator from the 24th District...

Dave Obey responds:

Dave did a more detailed response to the viral video that's floating around the Internet.

Madashell posted it on another board but you can see the whole thread here

Dave's whole response can be found here but here are a few "snippets".

“I am sorry that I yelled at them. I respect their passion on the issue; I wish they would respect mine. We are both frustrated, and that led us to have an argument that we never should have had because we both want to see an end to U.S. involvement in that war. What divided us was the question of how.

“When they were arguing that I should vote against the legislation that I am sponsoring, they did not know that the proposal would in fact give the House its first opportunity in the four years of this misguided war to vote on a time line for bringing it to a close.

and a "killer" line at the end:

“This is just another example of how Americans have become needlessly and painfully divided on a war that I have opposed from the beginning and that the President should never have misled us into.

“I intend to continue to press forward to pass this legislation because it is the best chance we have to bring our involvement in that civil war to a conclusion.”

I have never doubted Dave's sincerity. I have never doubted his opposition to this war. I will tell you an awful secret about being an elected official. The difference between what your constituents WANT versus what is POSSIBLE is sometimes gigantic. And sometimes elected officials have to do the most difficult thing imaginable: tell their constituents the truth they don't want to hear.

Well....that's what Dave did....rudely perhaps....brusquely perhaps...and for that we accept his apology...

As an aside: Dave Obey will be the keynote speaker at the 7th CD Convention on April 28. Do we expect to see a "kinder, gentler" Dave Obey there? With any luck....NO...he'll still spout fire and brimstone from the podium just like he always does.....and he'll tell us to hold onto our Democratic principles and never give up the fight....just like he always does...and just like always, we'll walk off the convention floor inspired by his leadership, breathing fire and looking for a Republican to take it out on.....

So da sodies do dat too, hey?

Thanks to our friend at Billycreek for this one

The National Transportation Safety Board recently divulged they had
"covertly" funded a project with the U.S. automakers for the past 5 years,
whereby the automakers were installing black-box voice recorders in 4-wheel
drive pickup trucks and SUV's in an effort to determine fatal accidents, the
circumstances in the last 15 seconds before the crash.They were surprised to
find in 48 of the 50 states the recorded last words of drivers in 61.2 percent
of fatal crashes were, "Oh Shit!"

Only Wisconsin and Minnesota were different, where 89.3 percent of the
final words were: "Hold my beer, I'm gonna try something."

Sunday, March 11, 2007

A few things:

I posted more personal thoughts on Dave Obey over here.

I understand that a clip of it appeared on This Week with Stephanopolis ... I don't understand what purpose that would serve other than to drive a wedge between the perceived factions within the Democratic party.

In the meantime....

firedoglake is picking up on the same news that Josh Marshall and Talking Points Memo is looking at....namely, that KKKarl Rove's fingerprints appear to be all over the firing of the 8 federal prosecutors. TPM has a great piece on the contradictions from the head of the Nevada Republican Party.

Christy's link at firedoglake gets into a lot more detail and speculates that tossing Roberto Gonzolas to the wolves has all the earmarks of standard operating procedure for KKKarl Rove's political operations. Rove usually doesn't leave "fingerprints" of any kind so it's possible he'll escape accountability once he did by throwing "poor" Scooter Libby under the bus to keep Fitzgerald off of himself.

Here's how Christy puts it:

Funny how Alberto Gonzales got shifted into the hot seat this week, just as a spotlight began to shine on the White House — and Karl Rove — isn't it? Not that Gonzales doesn't deserve a heaping helping of scorn, but let's step back a moment and contemplate who gives marching orders to whom in the White House pecking order. And who has a history of shifting blame off himself at all costs

hmmmmm....I wonder....who ????

Saturday, March 10, 2007

In defense of Dave Obey.....

David Sirota has a great defense of Dave Obey's outburst....Sirota summarizes the flap for us:

The blogosphere is abuzz with talk of Wisconsin Rep. Dave Obey’s (D) frustrated outburst about Iraq caught on YouTube. Antiwar activists are high-fiving each other, almost as if catching Obey’s outburst about "idiot liberals" is as big a YouTube feat as catching George Allen saying "macaca."

and then he spells it out for us:

I’m going to say a few things here that some of my readers aren’t going to like - some things that I’ve been pondering as I am writing my new book. But it’s important at times to look at ourselves and our movement critically if we are to continue advancing. Here’s the deal folks: There are some "idiot liberals" out there, and this episode actually highlights that reality.

Dave Obey represents a pretty conservative district that is not exactly easy for a Democrat to represent (this is why the NRSC can’t wait for him to retire). He originally voted against the war, he has been one of the most outspoken critics of the war, and he has repeatedly used his position as Appropriations Chairman to try to get the situation in Iraq under control. These are the facts, and I witnessed it first hand, having worked for him a few years ago.

Now, you can argue whether his tactics right now are smart. You can have a reasoned disagreement about whether he should be pushing a supplemental appropriations bill that includes new money for veterans medical care and binding language to end the war by March of 2008. There is a very legitimate case to be made that Democrats shouldn’t support any money to continue the war and that the supplemental appropriations bill that Obey is carrying does also do that.


"However, berating one of the antiwar movement’s longtime leaders and then trying to mount his head on the virtual YouTube wall over a debate about the best WAY to end the war suggests that the antiwar movement fundamentally does not understand the very power structure it is trying to influence...."


Dave Obey is an ally of the progressive movement on almost every issue, and on the war in specific. Go ahead and try to claim I’m only saying that because I once worked for him, but then take some time and look at his voting record and his actions. By any standard - other than those of a tiny group of, yes, "idiot liberals" - Obey is a progressive hero. Spending time and energy attacking him, as opposed to the true obstacles to ending the war, is both a waste, and potentially couterproductive, because someone like Obey, representing the district that he does, could easily just walk away (he won’t, because he’s Obey, but conceptually he certainly could).

On a personal note, I know that Dave can be ... ummmmm.....difficult...but I understand him in the context that he's a battle-tested veteran who has paid his dues by taking the slings and arrows of congressional battles for over thirty years....he's heard it all before and he has little patience for ignorance...

I am angry that liberals are trying to hang Dave's scalp on the blogosphere wall...and like LoLo, I find it most strange that the liberals who ambushed Dave Obey just happened to have a camera crew along with them.....

What Sirota says is true. Dave is a hero of the liberal agenda. He always has been and he always will be....

Read the whole blog........

Friday, March 09, 2007

Barone still a right-winger

In a post yesterday I gleefully quoted, linked to and chortled over Michael Barone of U.S. News and World Report describing the corruption of the Bush Administration.

Late yesterday afternoon, word began to leak out that Barone was disavowing that he ever wrote that piece even though it appeared on the magazines site under his by-line...

turns out he didn't write it.

The website was hacked and the post put up there under his by-line falsely.....

too was a good story....

Maybe bloggers should adopt a "wait 24 hours" policy before reprinting each other's work?


Thursday, March 08, 2007

This is too good to pass up...

Via crooks & liars...we get this picture which was apparently put on Countdown.
It's actually two pictures....the one we posted below of Sanchez and Coulter and another with Sanchez and Michelle Malkin.
Silentpatriot writes at Crooks&Liars, " I wonder if O'Reilly and Hannity will revisit their sitdowns with Sanchez or just throw him under the bus with the rest of the inconvenient and no-longer-exploitable political pawns. My guess is the latter.
I don't know who I dislike more: Coulter or Malkin....they're cut from the same cloth really...they both have decided to pursue fame and fortune through pandering to right wing fears and paranoia. The more outrageous they can become in whipping up fear (and the concommitant hatred that goes with it) among their followers, the more books they will sell; the larger the "appearance fee" they can demand; the more lucrative speaking engagements can they demand. It's all about marketing and they have individually determined (evidently) that in order to be top dog in the conservative-hate-o-sphere you have to be the most over-the-top, strident, harpy on the planet. The problem with that marketing technique is, of course, that there is no end to it until somebody actually causes physical harm to somebody else.
It just seems ....I don't know....appropriate(?) that Malkin is pictured with one of the people the right wing hates so much......

The hits just keep on comin......

As liberals we don't have any problems with people who are openly gay. In fact, we feel that gays and lesbians deserve the same rights and protections under the constitution that "straights" do....

It's the "other side" (the Ann Coulter Contingent) that believes tthat gays, lesbians, bi's and transgender (GLBT for short) should be discriminated against....that's the reason....and the ONLY reason we find it humorous when one of the "other side's" heros is "outed"....and it happens a lot.....And it just happened again....more ironically, it happened to a person who received an award at the same Conservative Conference where Ann Coulter made her demeaning "faggot" comment.

Our friends at Americablog have the story....

and here are a few snippets:

"In this first-person piece he just wrote in Salon, former gay porn star and gay prostitute Matt Sanchez, a GOP hero, blames those evil liberals for outing his man-whore, porn star past. Sanchez, who starred in such thrillers as "Touched by an Anal: Four Hours of Heavenly Anal Action" - I'm not joking (this is NOT a work-friendly link) - now says that the porn industry is evil and liberal and that's why he became a conservative. "


"Seems that in addition to being a star at CPAC and in other right wing circles, including appearances on O'Reilly and Hannity, Sanchez has starred in a number of "films" that probably weren't being shown at CPAC -- or maybe they were."

And the priceless Press Release from the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force (also from AmericaBlog)

The real eleven inches of pure hypocrisy

Statement by Matt Foreman, Executive DirectorNational Gay and Lesbian Task Force

“While it may be delicious to watch our opponents twist and squirm after honoring and embracing a larger-than-life gay porn star, I don’t see any hypocrisy in U.S. Marine reservist Matt Sanchez’s actions. As is his right, he spoke out against what he believed was bad treatment by Columbia’s ‘radical anti-military students’ (Sanchez’s words). Right-wing pundits and organizations pounced on the handsome Latino Marine and showered him with praise and media exposure. Now, they’re scrambling for cover.“Porn — gay or straight — has no ideology. Porn stars and porn consumers are Republicans and Democrats, liberals and conservatives, atheists and evangelicals. There’s no inherent contradiction between Matt Sanchez being pro-military and being part of the ‘adult film’ industry. The real hypocrisy expresses itself in two different and important ways. First, the failed ‘Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell’ law requires Matt Sanchez and thousands of other loyal Americans to hide their sexual orientation to serve their country in the military. Second, Ann Coulter and her ilk lift a man to hero and spokesperson status until — gasp! — he is found out to be a ‘faggot’ (Coulter’s word).

Guess who he had his picture taken with?

scroll down.....

photo courtesy of Americablog......roflmao at the caption.....they had to designate WHICH one was the former gay porn star.......roflmao, roflmao