Monday, April 30, 2007
Pictures to follow
Sunday, April 29, 2007
Thank you, Thank You, Thank You....
And Lois...even though you couldn't make it to the convention, thanks for rounding up goodies for the silent auction....We appreciated that (ahem $$$$$) from that too. (Hopoe your trip was great)
Thursday, April 26, 2007
What's our BRAND?
This is the "infamous" post I have been talking about for a couple of days. Highly edited of course because a lot of the first draft was pretty much a "stream of consciousness" approach....I've got to be careful to avoid falling into that again.
Here's the basis for the thoughts:
Democrats are being branded by Bush, Cheney and their loyal parrots in both the house and the Senate as "defeat-o-crats", wimps and surrender monkeys. Truthfully we're in the MAJORITY not just in numerical senses as in having a majority of votes in both the House and Senate, but also in terms of poll numbers. The majority of Americans support the positions of the Democratic party in the results of poll after poll.
Because we are obeying the will of the people and setting a time limit for the
Two Days 'til Convention Time
Hope to see everybody there!
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Rudely, rudely I say unto you....
This isn't the post I've been working on for so long...(I have to edit it down because it's beginning to look like War and Peace) but this post by The Rude Pundit was too good to pass up. As usual, I'll give you fair warning...profanity lies behind the link...if you can't tolerate it, don't click it...
But here are the (cleaned up) snippets:
The Rude Pundit has not met one parent who believes that Alec Baldwin should be condemned for getting angry at and yelling at his daughter in a phone message. The general consensus was, "Was he a dick? Sure. Welcome to parenting."
Right away, I find myself agreeing with "The Rude One" and than he makes "the great leap"!
All of the grown-ups seemed well-adjusted and not horribly scarred and rendered impotent or some such s___ for the verbal abuse. Most even agreed that, even if Baldwin was paying a visit to A__holeland, sometimes a kid needs a verbal beatdown, especially if that kid's being a "rude, thoughtless little pig."
And that's just what Harry Reid's been doing to the Bush administration and congressional Republicans. See, up until now, the Bush White House has been allowed to let their worst childishly indulgent ids run wild and unchecked, with the Republican Congress merely occasionally shaking its collective head and shrugging in a kind of "Well, what are ya gonna do?" way when, say, Alberto Gonzales downgraded the meaning of "torture." At that point, a functioning Congress would have brought Gonzales in, had him drop his pants, and spanked his cheeks bright red.
In a way, I think he's right....Harry Reid and the Democrats have been holding Bush and his band of syncophants accountable....and yes. Yes he HAS been treating Bush like the spoiled little man-child that he is.
The article is humorous as usual and I invite you to click on the link and read it.
Monday, April 23, 2007
Working on a new post
busy schedule this week....most of you will hear from me via telephone during the next couple of days....
Tons of meetings this week outside of party activities....like six....
Friday, April 20, 2007
Just heard from Dave
Thursday, April 19, 2007
Don't forget the Meeting Tonight
Setup for the Convention will take place on Friday, the 27th...we'll meet at Clearwaters around 10 AM to start putting up the decorations....the "pool party" should start around 5....or so....
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Professor Liviu Librescu, 76, threw himself in front of the shooter when the man attempted to enter his classroom. The Israeli mechanics and engineering lecturer was shot to death, "but all the students lived - because of him," Virginia Tech student Asael Arad - also an Israeli - told Army Radio.
Fast food...fast compassion
Monday, April 16, 2007
Tommy's Foot-In-Mouth Disease.
To our Brothers and Sisters in Wisconsin Rapids
Friday, April 13, 2007
First, last and ONLY words about Don Imus
I suspect, but can't confirm since I was by no means a regular consumer of his lame-ass humor, that as his ratings began to tank, he and his troop began to reach for more and more outrageous behavior in order to shore up or maybe even bolster their ratings.
But here's a surprise.
MSNBC and CBS didn't fire Imus until the advertisers started pulling out.
In other words Imus' biggest sin wasn't his racist, misogynistic remarks, it was that HE LOST MONEY FOR THE NETWORKS.
There are "shock jocks" who do far worse than Imus who will continue to get away with it. You have to consider the delicious irony of CNN having Glenn Beck on the Anderson Cooper 360 show to chastise Imus for behavior that is mild compared to the crap that Beck pulls on CNN every single day...
I dislike Imus immensely, but will admit that he's only a sacrificial lamb.
Worse yet, I think we're starting a trip down the proverbial slippery slope and I have no clue where it will end up.
Yeah....sure....good riddence to bad rubbish and all that crap....but I think we're in trouble anyway.
Belated farewell to Kurt Vonnegut...
So much of what he wrote and said was prescient about our neverending stupidity, or, as he put it, our "nitwit primitive" ways. In 1992, he wrote in the Guardian, "[A]s a German-American I may be, although not necessarily, more sensitive to similarities between some of the attitudes and enterprises of my own government and the Nazi thing than are some of the other hyphens." Sensitive he was - and he cut to the goddamned point. "If you invade someone’s country,” Vonnegut said about the current war, “they’re going to fight back. Evidently that wasn’t taught at Yale."
And Brother Attaturk, thoughtfully gave us this collection of Vonnegut quotes:
* Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!
* Thanks to TV and for the convenience of TV, you can only be one of two kinds of human beings, either a liberal or a conservative.
* Like so many Americans, she was trying to construct a life that made sense from things she found in gift shops.
* Another flaw in the human character is that everybody wants to build and nobody wants to do maintenance.
* During my three years in Vietnam, I certainly heard plenty of last words by dying American footsoldiers. Not one of them, however, had illusions that he had somehow accomplished something worthwhile in the process of making the Supreme Sacrifice.
I read every one of his short stories, I marvelled over Slaughter House Five and Breakfast of Champions. Once, when my son was young, we watched the movie version of Slaughter House Five on television together. My son was fascinated. We discussed what we saw and then I got the book off of the shelf and read passages to him. On Thursday morning, my son called and said he was saddened by the news of Vonnegut's death. Hmmmm....Vonnegut will be remembered by at least one more generation. I suppose that's as good as it gets.
Thursday, April 12, 2007
Haven't done this in a while.....
The big domestic news today is:
At least 10 people were killed and 26 injured, according to hospital officials. That toll was expected to rise.
Police were trying to rescue as many as 20 people whose cars plummeted into the waters below. The photo at right is also from the Associated Press.
And still.....John McCain is looking for the pony.....think progress explains
One blogger, Ed Morrissey, asked about efforts by Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr to oppose the new U.S. Baghdad security plan. According to two reports of the call, McCain repeated his prediction that Sadr wouldn’t end up opposing U.S. forces, but admitted he may be “digging for the pony.”
If you don't know what "digging for the pony means" ....well, drop me a line.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Rep Gary Sherman on the Georgia Thompson issue
Post hoc ergo prompter hoc: Latin for "after this, therefore because of
this," is a logical fallacy (of the questionable cause variety) which
assumes or asserts that if one event happens after another, then the first
must be the cause of the second.
One of the most frustrating aspects of the low quality of public discourse is the
prevalence of faulty reasoning. At the top of my list is the ubiquitous application of the
post hoc ergo prompter hoc fallacy. Hardly a day goes by without some questionable
conclusion being drawn on the basis of this form of sloppy thinking.
Most of what we now call superstition arises from post hoc reasoning. A black cat
crosses your path and afterward you become ill. You break a mirror and the stock
market falls. You step on a crack . . . well, maybe that is too farfetched to consider.
A recent example involves the case of Georgia Thompson, a state employee found guilty
of fixing the bidding of a state contract. The evidence was that she awarded a contract
to a particular travel agency despite the opposition of other people on the panel
considering the contract. Later, there was a substantial campaign contribution given to
the Governor’s campaign.
Is it a reasonable inference that the two events are causally related? Although many
people are predisposed to believe all substantial campaign contributions are given for
corrupt purposes, in the absence of more evidence, the conclusion is unreasonable.
For example, it would seem to be essential to know if Ms. Thompson knew that the
campaign contribution was going to occur. Without that knowledge, the causal
relationship could not possibly exist. The contribution simply could have been an
expression of spontaneous gratitude. Or, it could have been the result of corrupt intent
unknown to Ms. Thompson. Or it could have been a reflection of the donors’ sincerely
held political support for the Governor.
Monday, April 09, 2007
Georgia Thompson is Innocent!
An now, the New York Times knows it too. Here's the running commentary and "link-to-links" from KOS.
And the stench is that of a "Turd Blossom"
"Sources tell No Quarter that Rick Wiley, then the executive director of the state GOP, directed a staffer in 2005 to prepare a 30-page report on election abuses in Wisconsin so Wiley could pass it along to a top White House official.That document, entitled "Fraud in Wisconsin 2004: A Timeline/Summary," turned up last week in the horde of White House and U.S. Justice Department records released by the House Judiciary Committee, which is investigating the firing of eight U.S. attorneys."The report was prepared for Karl Rove," said a source with knowledge of the situation. "Rick wanted it so he could give it to Karl Rove."...
The depth of the misuse of public office is breath-taking. How could we have ever let this happen? WHO let it happen? How do we prevent it from happening again?
Sunday, April 08, 2007
It's the "I-word" again.....with a twist....
According to KargoX at Kos:
Wisconsin and Hawaii join eight predecessors: California, Illinois, Vermont, Minnesota, New Mexico, Washington, Missouri, and Texas.That makes 10 states and 80 state legislators cosponsoring the call to impeach since bills began being introduced last year.
Now, some may be overjoyed at the thought of impeachment, reality is that this resolution probably won't make it past the committee, or if it does, it won't make it through the legisalture.
Further, Democrats control the Senate by a slim margin but I'm not certain that Boyle will even get all the Democratic Senators to buy into this one.
But....this is where is gets interesting....
Just this last week ...Wednesday as a matter of fact, Bush succeeded in "punishing Wisconsin" for their liberal-leaning ways by having his Secretary of Health and Social Services deny the state's request for a waiver to continue it's popular (and incredibly efficient) Senior Care Program. Now the program must be abandoned and the 107,000 Seniors who relied on the program for affordable prescripton drugs will have to go to the infamous Medicare Part D programs under other insurance companies. That's 107,000 very unhappy campers.
Every member of the Wisconsin Congressional Delegation, Congressmen and Senators, Republicans and Democrats alike, petitioned for renewal of the program but Levitt wrote a nasty, snarky letter blaming the non-renewal on Doyle in one of the most blatantly partisan moves undertaken by a cabinet agency that I can ever remember. In addition, almost every newspaper in the State has lined up (editorially) with Doyle.
Let's see how clever Boyle really is....
Can he parlay wide-spread anger at Bush and his Administration (especially DHSS) into pressure on Assembly Republicans and recalcitrant Democrats to votes on impeachment? Or, can the simple THREAT that this anger could lead to passage of an impeachment bill force GWB to have Leavitt RECONSIDER the denial?
I think so......
Tell us what you REALLY think Christy!
This morning, Christy riffs on the the Press and its relationship with the President. She is particularly hard on the vaunted "White House Press Corps." She ends it with this:
I am an American, I refuse to sit back and quake in my chair, waiting for someone to strike. I will be damned if some crazy terrorist — or some smarmy political operative — is going to silence me, or frighten me, or make me do anything other than live my life to the fullest in my own way every day. To do otherwise is to hand over control of my life and my thoughts to someone else — and that is about as unAmerican as it comes. Everything else is counterproductive to the notions of justice, liberty and freedom. Try keeping that in mind, folks in the media and in politics, would you?
What we LOVE about firedoglake is that they aren't afraid to speak their minds. Way to go Christy....click on the link in the blogroll...
Saturday, April 07, 2007
"Damn! Is it midnight already?"
The light bulb over the head feeling...
Thursday, April 05, 2007
"Everybody is a Liberal In Heaven."
Well, at least that's what FDR says.....yeah....THAT Franklin D. Roosevelt....
It seems our friend Steve over at Last Chance Democracy Cafe had a little chat with FDR the other night and the above caption was just PART of what FDR had to tell us.....
and really now, you didn't think I'd end without a few snippets of the conversation did you?
Here's part of it:
“The truth is,” he began, “there are only certain times when liberal advocacy has a ghost of a chance of making any significant headway in the United States . . . times when a majority of people are willing to look past their own selfish interests and give serious weight to the good of the national community as a whole. I’m not talking about wars of national survival like we faced in World War II, when, of course, Americans always rally ‘round the flag. No, this is about the willingness of people to sacrifice to make major changes in order to build a better, more just society. I was president at such a time, of course. So was Eleanor’s uncle, Teddy Roosevelt. And what I came here to talk about is the fact that I’m convinced . . . almost dead certain, in fact, that you’re entering into just such a time again today.”
“So you’re saying we’re at the beginning of a new liberal era?”
Franklin slammed his fist on the bar top. “No! I’m not saying that at all. Nothing’s guaranteed . . . nothing ever is. Even the New Deal didn’t have to happen. There was nothing written in the stars saying things had to turn out the way they did. The nation could just as easily have turned to the right in its panic, finding hope in a tyrant . . . the fabled man on a white horse. Progressive change doesn’t just happen. Those who benefit under an existing economic order, no matter how unfair, never give up without a fight. Never! Certainly, there are always individuals who, like me, are accused of betraying their class in order to help the downtrodden, but they will always be the exception. Every major progressive stride that has ever been achieved in this country . . . every single one, has come about as a result of a knock-down-drag-out fight.”
I finally understood. “That’s what you were saying before about the power of political partisanship to bring about good, right?”
What a powerful message......
Okay. We all know that the Cafe is only virtual and the conversation with FDR is fictional....maybe... but the point is profound. Go along to get along will not rid the country of the creeping tyranny that the Bush adminsitration, or 12 years of a Republican-controlled Congress, or the eitght years of "Reganonmics" , or the George H.W. Bush era brought us. Change by its very nature is painful. And unless we're willing to take the stand and pay the price of the subsequent pain it inflicts, we will never see the fundamental change we need.
Even on our local level, we see a reluctance to engage in hard, partisan warfare but without it we will not go forward. Franklin (through Steve) makes the stakes very, very clear:
.... “Anyway, all of these people insisting that the Democrats should just try to get along and work out compromises with Bush and the Republicans, make no mistake, what they’re really calling for is surrender, pure and simple. Because the plutocrats . . . the same people who finance the GOP today, have one heck of a sweet deal going and they’re not going to give it up without a fight. They never do. Bipartisanship didn’t create the New Deal. And it won’t bring about the kind of major change that’s needed to return fairness to America today.”
I can't help but imagine that if FDR were alive today that the very same conversation wouldn't have taken place...."click through" and read the whole entry...
As usual, Steve inspires us all.
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Something I really liked about Dave's briefing was that Dave explained why he has taken the positions he did and he stood behind them WITHOUT APOLOGY. Even if you don't agree with him, you have to admire him....I met him in 1975 ...shortly after he came to congress (six years?) and I've always respected him for his ability to "say where he stands and stand where he says.."
That's OUR Dave!
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
Ha! Here's a picture of the gloves we (the Wood County Dems gave him back then.......pretty nifty huh?
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Bill Olielly and black holes?
Dare I say it?
Well......I'm going to take the plunger here....
We're NOT AT WAR!
This Global War on Terror is rhetorical only. It is (or at least should be) an international cooperative effort through intelligence, law enforcement and special forces when necessary and appropriate, to identify, locate and detain would-be terrorists.
Oh yeah, and while I'm at it....Iraq is not, was not and never will be part of the global terror network called Al Queda....
Conservatives get this straight...
the pResident NEVER asked for a declaration of war.
there is NO SOVEREIGN NATION threatening to attack us, that sponsored the attack on us, or outwardly, blatantly harbors the terrorists.
the pResident never once asked us, as a nation, to make a single sacrifice, to accept a tax increase to pay for his "war" which is really faux military interventionism........
So all this Uber-Patriotism is because, you, my good conservative friends, drank the kool-aid....
or, to put it another way......
Not only did you inhale the smoke that Bush blew at you, you drank the water from the bong!
Badtux, the Snarky Penguin puts it in another way....
Courtesy of The Truffle, I find out that creepy Little Rickie Santorum of fetus fondling fame (and one-time senator from Pennsylvania) is making a movie about the danger that "radical Islam" poses to America.
So... does "radical Islam" have the world's best tanks, like Nazi Germany had? Or maybe "radical Islam" has thousands of nuclear-tipped missiles pointing at us, like the Soviet Union had? Or maybe "radical Islam" has dozens of battleships and aircraft carriers like Imperial Japan had?
Good distinction heh?
John Stewert Mill...and us....
The name of the site is The Existentialist Cowboy...and you can read it here....
I'll have to admit that I haven't paid a lot of attention to John Stewert Mill, but I found his relevancy to be very high in our current political climate.
The "cowboy" surmizes:
Mill understood that the democratic ideal -a government of the people -So how does that apply to our current political situation?
isoften not the case in fact. Those exerting the power of the government
-electedofficials, bureaucrats, the judiciary - develop their own interests,
influencedby special interests and their constituencies in ways at odds with the
interestsand liberties of individuals, minorities, or, indeed, the greater good
of thesociety as a whole. Indeed, a majority may become tyrannical when its
interestsare at odds with the legitimate interests of a minority or an
individual. Millsees no difference between a tyranny of one and a tyranny of
many. Amajority running roughshod over the rights of individuals and
minorities is noless a tyrant because it is a majority, because it is elected, or because it iselected by a majority.
Well, consider this:
Under the guise of protecting us, the Bush Administration has taken to itself powers unheard of by any other administration in our history. Although Bush was arguably elected "legitimately" in 2000 and then again in 2004, by a "majority" (except it wasn't a majority in 2000) the "majority" cannot take away rights guaranteed by the constitution. Of course they (the majority) could legitimately AMEND the Constitution but I suspect that upon proposing that the "majority" would quickly disappear. But, as they say, here we are.....
Illegal wiretapping has been taking place even beyond the draconian and constitutionally questionable provisions of the Patriot Act.
Persons suspected of being terrorists are detained (not only on the battlefield but also on US soil) and detained without charge;without trial indefinitely.
Dissent is stiffled from the Bully Pulpit of the Presidency.
Congress is bullied and threatened by the President for the legitimate exercise of both their oversite power and exercise of the "power of the purse".
To underscore how tragic this has become, take a look at this from Glenn Greenwald's column today:
Two of the three leading Republican candidates for President
eitherembrace or are open to embracing the idea that the President can
imprisonAmericans without any review, based solely on the unchecked decree of
thePresident. And, of course, that is nothing new, since the current
RepublicanPresident not only believes he has that power but has exercised it
against U.S.citizens and legal residents in the U.S. -- including those arrested
not on the"battlefield," but on American soil.
What kind of American isn't just instinctively repulsed by
thenotion that the President has the power to imprison Americans with no
charges?And what does it say about the current state of our political culture
that oneof the two political parties has all but adopted as a plank in its
platform aview of presidential powers and the federal government that is --
literally --the exact opposite of what this country is?
So the Cowboy's premise is right. The Bush Administration is illegitimate as hell......from a philosophical standpoint, from a legal standpoint, and from a moral standpoint.
I've thought all the talk about impeachment to be "crazy talk"...... now......well, I'm not sure how "crazy" it is.