Monday, July 30, 2007

A Message from Russ Feingold

Hi All...

Paula asked me to use whatever electronic means available to us to post this message from Russ...his email address is at the bottom


Dear Wisconsin Progressive,

I’m writing today to thank you, the local activists, for all of your past support and hard work on behalf of myself and other elected Democrats – at all levels – across our state. As you know, by working together last year, we were able to take back the State Senate, make huge gains in the Assembly, elect a Democrat in the 8th Congressional District, and of course re-elect our Governor/Lt. Governor and Senior Senator in resounding victories.

But there is much more work to be done as we inch closer to 2008. My staff and I are continuing to travel the state, hold our steering committee meetings, and talk to folks on the ground in every corner of every county. We’re continuing to build on the work we did together last year and will again do all that we can to elect Democrats at all levels leading up to 2008. However, we can’t do anything without your help.

So I wanted to be sure you had our campaign’s contact information. The easiest way to contact us is through my State Field Director, Paula Zellner. She may be reached at or 715-735-7811. We want to hear directly from you; whether you, or someone you know, are thinking about running for state office, or even if you just see something in your local paper that you think we should be aware of, we’re counting on you to be our eyes and ears on the ground.

Again, the work that you do at the local level helps Democrats statewide. I can’t thank you enough for your commitment and dedication.

With high hopes,

Russ Feingold
United States Senator

Friday, July 27, 2007

Xpost here

Oh yeah....and for the lighter side try this video

Have a nice weekend.....

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Against the Wall, Pig!!!

I remember that particular phrase from the 60's as the unabashed declaration of commitment to a cause (pick one or more if you like: Civil rights, Woman's rights, Reproductive rights, Viet Nam War, Legalize Pot (and all other drugs too), Free ______(insert name of person/group here), Animal rights)


There were a lot of things to get behind in those days......

but now?

Now we're infected with the Lieberman Method...which is..."partisanship" is not cool. Nosireeee.....if you're a "partisan" (e.g. you believe in something...strongly and have the audacity to say so) then you're "not a serious person". Because serious persons ALWAYS compromise on ALL ISSUES. Serious persons always capitulate to their opponents. Serious persons always "go along to get along."


Once again, I reference the admired Jane Hamser over at firedoglake in her sterling defense of partisanship.

She says she is proud to be a partisan, and I agree with her. Here are a couple of choice snippets:

But people like Joe Lieberman (and his protege Barack Obama) who consistently indulge this frame ought to know that sometimes the right thing to do is to acknowledge that the other side cannot be bargained with, that no negotiation is possible, that what you’re up against is just wrong and it’s incumbent upon people of conscience to draw a line in the sand and say “enough.” That too is partisanship, and they need to stop decrying it just because it focus groups well with people sick of the GOP and their bully tactics. Partisanship in fact has a glorious history.


Lieberman considers his refusal to criticize Republicans a reflection of the fact that he is above “partisan bickering,” but really it’s just collaboration with those who have gone utterly rogue and lawless. It’s an excuse to do their bidding for personal political gain. And with all due respect to Barack Obama, about whom there are many things to admire, the “pox on both your houses” messaging he so frequently invokes whether he is promoting himself or criticizing this administration does not do justice to those who have steadfastly fought the battle to hold George Bush, Dick Cheney and their criminal cabal accountable. Yes, we’re partisans.

The need to fight right now to restore the Constitution and end the war is strong, and that means some people are going to have to take a stand against a ruthless and intractable opponent. We need to rally behind them and acknowledge their heroism rather than stand back and allow others to tear them down as “partisans” for their willingness to do so.

Because sometimes fighting is the right thing to do.

I’m proud to be a partisan.

Because of "fair use" requirements I'm not reprinting all of Jane's article but you need to know that she touches upon examples she learned from a visit to the Holucust Museum in Washington D.C. just a few months ago. That part of her post is extremely touching...actually very moving...but wouldn't make sense to our readers without the context of what I published above.

I am reminded that we, locally, were faced with a choice between the "Lieberman Method" and being labeled "Partisans" not long ago. And today, I see the individual struggles our membership went through in choosing between the two polar opposites. Maybe I've provided (through the eyes of Jane Hamser) a different context in which we can evaluate future political decisions....


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Full plate for a couple of days...

For a more detailed explanation, click here
I'll explain more later the meantime enjoy the blogosphere...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Sunday Morning...cuppa coffee anybody?

Just clicking through the blogs and finding some interesting stuff....

Our old buddy Attaturk has a great piece on the "Why do they hate us?" puzzle....and some interesting responses...Check it out here..

Also the Headline over at Jesus General caught my eye...the headline? "If Knowledge is Power to the Public, then Ignorance is Power to the Leaders." Yeah, that seems about right.

The bigtime bloggers (KOS, Digby etc) like to refer to right wing columnist David Brooks as "BoBo" and regularly dis his work......for good reason.....apparently (according to Brooks) the Iraq War is "all the Democrats fault". I'll explain right after you wipe the spewed coffee off of your monitor.......ready? goes...

It seems "journalistic rules" prevent the mainstream journalists from questioning the pResident. They can only "report" if others question him. Obviously, the Democrats never actually questioned the pResident or perhaps didn't question him they merrily went on to war without question....


It's all our fault.

Pancake breakfast at the airport this morning........I love the smell of coffee and JP4 (jet fuel for you slackers) in the smells like.....victory

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Ya gotta read this....

I have been urging all of you to read Last Chance Democracy Cafe for some time now.

Well I'm doing it again.....The owner/bartender/writer of the Cafe', Stephen C. Day, (scroll down for the bio)has been treating us to a serial episode of the Cafe (a serial within a serial....hmmm...whodathunk?) that starts off slowly but I guarantee you that you will soon find yourself hopelessly hooked on the series and anxiously awaiting tomorrow's final, concluding episode.

I'm reminded of a line that always brings a tear to my eye from The Impossible Dream, from the Play, The Man of La Mancha:

" be willing to ride into hell
for a heavenly cause...."


Now I remember....

That's why I'm in politics....

Pajama Party?

So good for Harry Reid.....he called the Republicans bluff and made them stay up all night to filibuster the Democrats Iraq War Proposal....The folks over at Firedoglake sort of had the right idea.....

When do we play Spin the Bottle?

Naked Twister?

Has anyone spotted any of our ‘08 candidates yet, or are they all
too busy to be here?

Monday, July 16, 2007


In the infamous "ten-codes" used by Police/fire/rescue to communicate with each other...the code 10-9 stands for

Say Again...or more loosely translated: WTF????

And so it is with Bill Kristol's latest column which has been getting a lot of commentary in Left's a taste of it....courtesy of Talking Points Memo.

first the Opening paragraph which proves to be prescient:

"I suppose I'll merely expose myself to harmless ridicule if I make the following assertion: George W. Bush's presidency will probably be a successful one."

and then, he proves it right:

Let's step back from the unnecessary mistakes and the self-inflicted wounds that have characterized the Bush administration. Let's look at the broad forest rather than the often unlovely trees. What do we see? First, no second terrorist attack on U.S. soil -- not something we could have taken for granted.

Second, a strong economy -- also something that wasn't inevitable.

And third, and most important, a war in Iraq that has been very difficult, but where -- despite some confusion engendered by an almost meaningless "benchmark" report last week -- we now seem to be on course to a successful outcome.

Jay Carney over at Time Magazine's The Swampland has a great commentary...the words "mendacious hack" come to mind (thanks to Atrios).


Blowing past years of disastrous mismanagement of the war, Kristol says that Bush will ultimately be viewed a winner because "we now seem to be on course to a successful outcome" in Iraq. Now, even if you believed from the beginning that invading Iraq and toppling Saddam was the right thing to do. And even if you've never wavered from those convictions. And even if you argued last winter that more troops were necessary and that "surging" was the right thing to do. And even if you insist that there have been some modest -- very modest -- signs of improvement in a few (not many!) areas of Iraq in the past few months, wouldn't you be deluding yourself, and testing the gullibility of your readers (given the cumulative experience of the past four-plus years, and all the mistaken predictions you and others had made about how well things were going in Iraq), if you suddenly decided that these few modest signs of improvement somehow proved that a) "we now seem to be on course to a successful outcome", and b) Bush's presidency will therefore be judged a success?

Tapped has a good commentary heretoo...

Sunday, July 15, 2007

cue music "Iiiiiiii lova paraaaadddeee"

In the tiny Village of Vesper there was a parade at 1 o'clock today...and guess who was there?



and also......................

for little, tiny Vesper, that's pretty good huh?

dammit, dammit, dammit,dammit.....

I've been involved a lot in local issues this week and completely missed this:

Doug Marlette, a Pulitzer Prize Winning Political Cartoonist, and person I knew and watched grow up in my small home town, was killed in a car accident in Mississippi. He was only 57.

I'll remember the shy kid scribbling on a piece of paper...a kid we would probably call a nerd these days....I was three years ahead and as an upper classman, far too "important" to waste time on an underclassman. I wish I had known him better but I still took a great deal of pride in knowing that we were alumni of the same high school when I saw the brilliance of his political cartoons and saw him win the Pulitzer for this cartoon depicting the grief of the nation after the Challenger Accident.

RIP touched us in a very special way.


Saturday, July 14, 2007

I guess the question is:

Are we going to let this happen?

Is it morally acceptable to let this happen?
Pictures from

Friday, July 13, 2007

Some good stuff on the web

It's been hard to type with one of my fingers wrapped in a HUGE! friggin bandage....but today there are some things out there that are really worth the annoyance. (the bandage is so big it covers at least two keys ...hence, "touch typing" is challenging)

First over at Whiskey Fire, Thers comments on the eternal hope of right wing bloggers...for war...or for turning the Middle East into some version of Disney Land..a few choice snippets:

Here's a fun phrase: "For some reason, this isn't front-page news. It should be." I advise you that whenever you hear these words strung together, you are hearing the sounds of an ax being ground, and you are Gawain and it is the Green Knight spinning the wheel.

In other words, heads up.

The person who said this is Andy Sullivan and he is referring to recent riots in Iran. As to these riots, Andy says, and I quote:

Know hope.

Oh fuck you, Obi-Wan. What the fuck is this, "know hope"?


My essential point is that I am resentful and disdainful of this attitude that there is some moral value in encouraging American citizens to look at the Middle East or anywhere fucking else like we watch sporting events. "Meet the Mets or Meet the Mullahs!" It's crazy. "Know hope"? Know that that's a fucked up thing to say if you're, like, a thinking adult.

Please click on over and read the whole's quite good...and it puts a good, sober perspective on the attempts by the inhabitants of the Land of Right Wingnuttia to gin up another war in the middle east. Presently they're picking on Iran but when they get bored with that you can count on them starting on Syria.

"John Edwards is on the campaign trail. He's now doing something called his 'Poverty Tour', where he's visiting people who have no money and no hope. His first stop today: John McCain's headquarters." ---Jay Leno

"Sixty eight percent of Republicans don't believe in evolution. On the other hand, only five percent of monkeys believe in Republicans." ---Stephen Colbert

Never forget, America: Republicans invented the punch clock, Democrats invented the weekend.

"Earlier today a new list of the Seven Wonders of the World were unveiled and the list includes the Great wall of China, The Taj Mahal and the Coliseum in Rome. After seeing the list, President Bush asked, 'What about Space Mountain?'" ---Conan O'Brien

Thursday, July 12, 2007

About that "C- minus"

I heard on the radio that the Bush administration released the report on how well Iraq is doing in meeting it's "benchmarks"....remember a "benchmark" is different from a "goal" or a "timetable" least according to the master linguist George W. Bush......

There were 18 "benchmarks"

The Iraqi government met (according to Bush) 8 ...that's right 8..e..i..g..h..t of them.. and that gives them a "C-minus" according to Bush's grading system.....

Hmmmm eight of eighteen that's what?....44.44444% about grade inflation!

We're not hearing about what those eight of eighteen that they met actually were...

But we can have fun playing with them (insert evil grin here)

For instance:

They FAILED to meet the benchmark of reaching a political settlement between the parties in the Legislature.


The DID meet the benchmark learning how to make do with only 4 hours of available electricity a day.

They FAILED to reach agreement on how to divvy up the oil revenues.


They did meet the benchmark of learning how to make really, really effective booby traps for American troops.

We could go on and on but you get the idea.....the Administration sets an incredibly low bar for itself.

Monday, July 09, 2007

The Header bar isn't active?

What's up with that?

Here's a shocker...

Bush Invokes Executive Privilege to keep two FORMER aides from testisfying:

Here's a link and a snippet or two....

WASHINGTON - President Bush invoked executive privilege Monday to deny requests by Congress for testimony from two former aides about the firings of federal prosecutors.
The White House, however, did offer again to make former counsel Harriet Miers and one-time political director Sara Taylor available for private, off-the-record interviews.
In a letter to the heads of the House and Senate Judiciary panels, White House counsel Fred Fielding insisted that Bush was acting in good faith and refused lawmakers’ demand that the president explain the basis for invoking the privilege.

Bush acting in good faith? Yeah....right....what's that P.T. Barnum used to say?

"Never give a sucker an even break."

That's pretty much the m.o. here......

Everybody who is surprised yell "Aye"!

(sound of crickets chirping)

Sunday, July 08, 2007

This needs to be read:

I'll be posting as issues come up.


Saturday, July 07, 2007

A little late....but happy 4th of July....hope everybody had a good one...

We went on a "mini-vacation" to visit some old friends and get away from it all

Congrats to DeDe and Gary....I see you were successful with the City Council last Tuesday night.

Here's where I was....

Looks like we're about ready to enter the summer doldrums....not much excitement going on...anything brewing with you?

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Yeah....that about sums it up...

This graphic appeared last night over at Firedoglake.

It about sums up why Libby was pardoned rather well. A caller on Joy Cardin's show this morning speculated that Libby would have lasted about one week in prison before he was cutting a deal with Patrick Fitzgerald to sing like a canary and implicate Rove, Cheney and maybe even Bush in the scheme to out Valerie Plame Wilson. That's very possibly true, or, even more likely Bush, Rove and Cheney weren't at all willing to take the chance that he would start singing.

As most of you know, Firedoglake is one of my favorite sites and I frequently link to them for information and the insight that Christie and Jane usually offer. I'll link again today but I have to disagree with Christie's advice this morning.

Christie says that we can't just sit and complain about the commutation of Libby's sentence, we've got to take action. She suggests calling Conyers office for and investigation and calling our own Congressmen, or better yet, talking to them directly during their 4th of July break. She's pretty insistent too. snip

So, you can sit around grousing and moaning until the cows come home, wallowing in your misery and cursing the heavens about George Bush. Or…you can do something about him and his corrupt Grand Ole Imperial Party.


The President has obstructed justice into an investigation of his own administration, and a cloud remains over Vice President Dick Cheney — still — with regard to his role in the betrayal of Valerie Plame Wilson and the rest of the CIA operatives working for Brewster Jennings. They and the rest of America deserve better than this, and the restoration of the rule of law is a good place to start. What does your elected representative plan to do about this? We want action, not just lip service.

I'm right with her in the anger department but reality is that none of this is going to do any good.


Because the Presidential power to pardon or commute is ABSOLUTE. It is one of the few "Royal" powers reserved to the President and it is not subject to Congressional or Judicial review. There are "guidelines" that should be followed (like consulting with the Justice Department, which Bush did not do) but there is essentially no check on the President's discretion in this matter at all. So it's true....Power Corrupts and Absolute Power Corrupts ABSOLUTELY.

Even one of the heroes of this episode, Prosecuting Attorney Patrick Fitzgerald noted in his statement that the President's power is absolute. Here's his quote:

We fully recognize that the Constitution provides that commutation decisions are a matter of presidential prerogative and we do not comment on the exercise of that prerogative.

Remember if you will, Clinton's pardon of Mark Rich and the outrage that was expressed over that. Believe me, if the Republicans could have filed charges against Clinton or overturned his pardon of Rich, they would have. Instead they were left, much as we are, howling and screaming from the sidelines.

The pardon of "Scooter" is nothing more than a distraction from the fact that Bush is keeping his war going in Iraq and itching to start another war in Iran. The pardon (or more accurately the "commutation" ) of Libby's sentence is meant to take our eye off the ball and chase another sparkling, shiny object while more of our soldiers die in the ill-begotten war.

Just keep that in mind.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Almost like being there

Some friends over at Democratic Underground pointed me to this site where there was "live blogging" from the State Democratic Party Convention....better yet, if you scroll down there is a list of speakers you can listen to including Russ Feingold's great speech...there's Gov Doyle, Lt Gov Lawton, Tammy Baldwin and of course, Joe..Wineke....

Here's the linky thing. That will take you to the Wispolitics blog where you can choose which speech you want to listen to...

Yes, I heard Feingold's "thankyou" to Joe for sacrificing for the party....wonder what he meant by that??????????

The Decider...ess

oh yeah....and Governor Doyle too!

...the best laid plans of mice and men...

After all the careful planning and posturing, I ended up being hijacked from going to the convention...


Look what I missed at the meetup...(some of you may recognize ClassWarrior from the blogs)

The resolution to keep party officers from registering as paid lobbyists was questionable means and our amendment which was a compromise was not even able to be brought to the floor because of the change in the debate rules made at the discretion of the chair (of the Platform and Resoulutions Committee, not Wineke...just so Joe doesn't think I'm bad-mouthing him)....there will be more info later....LoLo stopped over to give me a play-by-play of the proceedings and it wasn't pretty....I'm still waiting to talk to Dave Wille about it...and also Al ...need to get their take on matters before I make a judgement....I did talk to Sybylla and Madashell and they are both literally madashell....

Lots of local stuff to talk about......

Pittsville 4th of July Parade coming up on Wednesday...hope to see a lot of us there...I like the idea of grouping Amy-Sue's car, Julie Lassa's car, and the Wood County Dems float althoghter and marching as a unit....

That nasty trailer park issue keeps raising it's head in both Wisconsin Rapids and Marshfield...although I think it will remain a "done deal" in Marshfield. Post your thoughts and ideas on it here...if you're not one of the team bloggers, go ahead and post under anonymous ...all you have to do is click on add a comment, write your comment and check can sign your name of not...your choice.