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"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

...............................................................Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good Hands

What better way to contemplate the beginning of a new era than to salute, as Fargo's daily has done today, the youth of the community as Forum Person of the Year.

Our kids are thinkers, organizers, fundraisers, workers, leaders...on many charitable endeavors in the community, including filling the Fargodome with food and raising some $70,000 for the Great Plains Food Bank.

Who knows, one of these, yep, community organizers just might grow up to be president some day.

We'll be in good hands.

Happy New Year, everyone!
(crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

"Stunningly Superficial"

When Zbigniew Brezinski delivered that scathing riposte to some Morning blather from Joe this a.m., he transcended the usual fodder of cable news talking before engaging brain, he delivered the punchline of the entire Bush era of selfishness, greed, blame-gaming, politicizing, warmongering, war profiteering, rightwing pandering, Rushian propaganda whoring, media enabling.... .

"Stunningly superficial."

21 days to go.
crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Remember the Need

Greed's dominated this country too much and too long, and you don't need me to repeat the stories of the repercussions of that.

Instead, right now, please remember the need.

Food pantries are strained beyond their limits. Fuel assistance programs can use donations, too. You can find 'em in your hometown if you just take the time to look.

In Fargo, the Great Plains Food Pantry provides food for those in need statewide and in northern Minnesota. And SENDCAA helps people with emergency heating assistance. They're in the phone book.

I'll bet there are places just like 'em in your community and phone book, too.

This holiday season, open your hearts...and your checkbooks. No, I'm not giving you links. Part of this process is you...seeking out where you can make a difference.

And knowing that you're one vital voice in restoring the better angels of our America.

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Peace on Earth

Sometimes, the picture says it all....

Happy holidays, everyone.
photo credit: FL Morris, Star-Bulletin

Saturday, December 20, 2008

How Did We Get Here?

In black and white on the printed or online page, that question "How Did We Get Here?", posed by still-President Bush back in September, says volumes about the total disconnect between this President's "deciderating" and his deliberate willful disregard of reality he doesn't want to hear and the consequences of his policies.

Well, reality's here now, and it's a picture right out of the darkest hours of Dickens.

In Fargo-Moorhead, at the height of the blizzard last night, parents lined up outside in the cold and snow for as much as eight hours so that they could get toys for their kids in the Toys for Tots program. [link pending availability]

There's more, lots more, if you'll step away from the shopping and unlike the woman on tonight's NBC Nightly News, not extol the virtues of how much more you can buy for the same dollars when things are 50, 60, 70% off. But rather, how much more you can do with your dollars and cents this year.

Reality's here now, and we'll all need to pitch in and open our eyes and our ears and our hearts. And yes, our strong stomachs, for the weeks and months ahead will be daunting. But we don't need to wait for January 20. Or New Year's Day.

We don't need to wait at all. Just remember your favorite charities extra generously this holiday season. Even if it means deciding to forego gifting yourselves. Hey, it's easy. Go ahead. Give it a try.

And in these cold, dark, stormy days of December, you'll find a holiday glow inside that will carry you through the challenging times to come.

So that next Christmas holiday season, we can look back on that question, "How Did We Get Here?" and be able to say we worked at it, we focused on how we could each own part of the restoration of the best of America, and we made progress.
crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Friday, December 19, 2008

In Ordinary Times...

Anybody else spew their coffee this morning listening to The Worst President In American History lecture and scold that "in ordinary times..." corporations should have to pay a price for their failures?

Well, at least Dumbya finally recognizes these are not ordinary times...tho' he still has to be dragged kicking and screaming into a bailout for the auto industry and American workers' jobs.

The irony of having to pay a price for failure seems to've escaped the Crown Prince of the Bush family political dynasty. But I digress....

There is a possible silver lining in what Boy George announced this morning, for all the angst of the chess match that's recently played out as politicians pontificated and postured of matters such as "organized" bankruptcies [huh?] vs. fears that this was all a strategerie to kill the unions, once and for all.

Big 3 Auto companies have until March to get their schiess together and come up with a viable business plan that matches the foreign car companies, scolds Bush. Oh, and don't blame me while I'm in legacy mode and kicking the can down the road to Obama's team.

Starting with the outsize and outrageous executive compensation plans and other financial gizmos of Wall Street that suck the lifeblood from corporations to feed the financial vampires and restoring responsible productivity and profit models would be a good idea.

And putting the product back in the hands of the designers and the engineers instead of bean counters who've lost their beans so they actually develop a product people will want to buy without a bazillion dollars of glitzy media advertising to brainwash 'em, that would be a good start, too. I mean, who needs DVD players on every seat rest? Or those idiot shiny object tires? I want safety, fuel efficiency, universal design....

For starters....

Update: speaking of Wall Street gizmos, Josh at Talking Points Memo points the way to this Krugman column opining that all of Wall Street and the financial industry are Madoff now.... Nobel prize-winning economist Paul Krugman is must reading...and the comments he generates are must reading as well.
crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

"I Will NOT Be Ignored...."


Start the water boiling...here comes the press with the bunnies. Listening to the old guard media blathering on and on about the "distraction" of Blago and why don't the Obama team just spill their guts, one can only shake one's head.

The distraction is the creature of anachronistic media's effort to gin up a scandal. Hey, did you hear that Chris Matthews was seen entering a certain building in Washington DC that Elliot Spitzer has also entered? "Some say" that's fodder for hours of cable speculation....

Look, for all the dancin' around the issue, the fact is that Fitzgerald has said that no one on the Obama team is under scrutiny for the matter of Blagojevich's alleged effort to sell the Senate seat or whatever else Fitzgerald may be investigating Blago for.

What's going on here, asks Tweety?

Scandalmongering. That's what's going on here.

For ratings points. And sad to say, even Shieffer's not immune, with his "what if" Sunday morning. In these dire times, furthering the RNC's talking points isn't going to cut it anymore.

Spare us.


crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Media in Vapid Vapors Mode

Watching the "journalists" on MSNBC immediately after Obama's latest, virtually daily, press conference in Chicago one can only wonder, what are they thinking?

Let's see, they're whining because they don't get to ask interminable question after interminable question about Blago, which Obama has clearly stated he cannot and will not discuss at the request of the U.S. Attorney. After the U.S. Attorney himself, at his press conference, said there were no persons on the Obama team under any scrutiny by his office.

Mark Whitaker pontificates about the role of the press—a role he and his colleagues apparently developed an eight-year amnesia about during the Dumbya years.

All in all a painful exercise in watching the likes of David Schuster, Chuck Todd, Jonathan Alter (the lone voice of reason I heard, as he pointed out the press has been staking out Rahm Emanuel's home of late) and the aforementioned Whitaker as they wrung their hands trying to make controversy and innuendo out of a typically "no-drama" grown-up press conference.

Albeit a short one. As each of the other nearly daily press conferences have been. Short, to the point, fact-based, not what-iffy—you know...what we voted for.

So grow up, "journalists"—you wallowed in W the last eight years and the onus is not on the president-elect these days. He's doing his job. The polling numbers show the public knows he is.

Now how about you do yours? There's still tons of unfinished business over at 1600 and the current administration. What about covering that?

Monday, December 15, 2008

Kennedy vs. Reid


Lots of sturm und drang on the internets about whether Caroline Kennedy should be appointed to fill the Hillary Clinton/Robert F. Kennedy Senate seat from New York.

Meanwhile, Harry Reid is proffering his list of "acceptable" chairs for the Senate Committees.

Which leaves one question: why is there no discussion about "process" for who will be Senate Majority Leader of the next Congress? If this isn't insiderism, what is?

Oh, and, yeah, I'm still appalled that Lieberman holds the HSC chair.


Prairie's Short Take

Who is more delusional?

Rod Blagojevich?

Or George Bush?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Prairie's Reading: McJoan on Christmas and family

For many, this Christmas will be a wrenching one, faced with the fallout of the failed economic model the country has followed since Reagan. My grandparents lost the family farm in the other Great Depression, so McJoan's commentary over at dailyKos about Roots and a family's difficult choice in these days resonated deep.

Take a moment this hectic holiday season to consider her words on what really matters about this country and our heritage.

You'll be enriched in the reading.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Prairie's Reading: Media Scandalmongering is Back

Atrios posted this milemarker to Media Matters deconstruction of the return of media scandalmongering. Take a moment to re-visit the '90s and the Usual Suspects of breathless bloviating, and then take a look around. They're still here.

And then give this Newsweek commentary a look. Obama has been the reformer. Those who scramble to paint him otherwise, with word or innuendo, this time, must suffer the fate of fools. And that means all of us must hold them, and ourselves, to a higher standard.

So as the bloviating ratchets up about Blagojevich's "ties" to Obama...just remember. We've been here before.

Welcome to George Bush's Great Depression


When I first started [this blog] a year ago... one of the issues that I felt—and continue to feel—most passionate about was hunger and homelessness. Maybe because my own family history included my grandparents losing their pioneer farm.

I wrote "Let Them Eat Mud Cookies" about the dire straits of people in Haiti. And tracked down a Library of Congress photo of one mother by Dorothea Lange that still stands as an iconic image of the 1930s. You know her face.

But now, more and more, the pictures that are emerging are not half a century old, not from other lands. They are our neighbors. They are ordinary everyday Americans.

And they are hurting. We all are hurting as a nation. Hurtling into a destiny we may not be able to pull back from without grievous circumstances for far too many.

So I hope the folks who are using Blair House between now and January 15, the folks who worked to orchestrate the destruction of the auto bailout bill in the Senate, the folks who are pillaging and plundering the American economy from their cloistered towers of power...I hope all these people meet the ugly face in the mirror...

George Bush is merely the facade, a small man made even smaller by his cheerleaderating for the greediest, most rapacious and venal style of economic class warfare we have seen in generations.

And, lest it happen again in the forgetfulness of time, I hope that each and every one of those who brought this debacle about meets their own destiny at the hands of an empowered force in the Dept. of Justice tasked to right the wrongs of the last eight years.

There are two men from Chicago who could make it so.


crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Friday, December 12, 2008

Blair Which Project?


It started small enough. The Obamas asked about moving into Blair House earlier than the usual five days before Inauguration, so that they could have as easy a transition as possible for their young daughters' schooling.

But no, said the White House, no can do.

Seems that Blair House is all booked up before the fifteenth of January.

By whom?

No foreign dignitaries, according to the State Department.

Curiouser and curiouser.

Could it be that Team BushCo decided to turn Blair House into its official fundraising headquarters after seeing the uproar over the Clintons and the Lincoln Bedroom?

Will we ever know?

'cause the way the corporate media are shedding "journalists" these days, you have to wonder if there's anyone left to do actual ol' gumshoe reporting. If they were actually so inclined to tear themselves away from the desperate effort to somehow tie Barack Obama to Blagojevich's corruption.

Of course, the media stenos have given Team BushCo a pass for the last eight years. Why would they start doing actual reporting now?

I must remember to ask Dancin' Dave about that one....


crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

What Did He Know and When Did He


The local Minneapolis Fox News station reports that Norm Coleman had a fancy-dancy home remo cost overrun coincident with when Kaseminy allegedly funneled money to Coleman's wife.

The media have had loads of fun the last few days playing gotcha games about Obama's possible links to Blago and the Senate seat. 'cause they don't want their pretty little heads muddled up by facts like Fitzgerald reported, absolving Obama and his team.

If I've heard "what did he know and when did he know it" once I've heard it enough to be ready for drinking game rehab... and then there's "ticktock"—Norah O'Donnell's new favorite word. The press lemmings are readin' their RNC scripts again....

Meanwhile, details that local Fox recounts about Coleman and his little home remodel start to sound downright Ted Stevens.

So where is the national press? Their giant barnacle-encrusted oil tanker selves apparently can't steer in any direction but what the Republi/corpse want them to cover.

And right now that's the Obama Senate seat controversy—but not to worry. Norah assures us the vast majority of Democrats "appear" to be supporting Obama. (Funny how that "emPHAsis" thing comes across, isn't it?)


crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Workin' for the Man


Given the latest unemployment numbers...it probably comes as no surprise that a small number of dead-enders from the Bush Administration are still intent on hanging on to their jobs, despite the overwhelming public clamor for change from all things Bush, McCain voters and Obama voters alike.

Down in Florida, NASA obstructiveness is stirring the pot of a smooth Obama transition.

Meanwhile back up here in North Dakota, the public relations campaign for Drew Wrigley continues with today's op-ed laying out the case for retaining Wrigley. "More and more" favor it, opines rightwing talk radio host Scott Hennen. Okay. The Forum's editorial board. A coupla letter writers. Now the hometown Hannity. I guess that constitutes more and more. More and more conservative pot of ink owners and right wing talkers, that is.

"Some say," though, that relying on the guy who chortled with Cheney about waterboarding doesn't exactly burnish your argument.

"More and more" say that we're seeing the same meta-strategy from outliers and dead-enders like NASA's Mike Griffin and ND US Atty Drew Wrigley that we've seen all along from Team BushCo: public relations strategy instead of substance.

Guess they didn't get the memo.


crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fight for Heroes

The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Fund fights every day to give our wounded military a chance to rebuild their lives. Until you walk in their shoe, you cannot know the sacrifices they've made. But you can help.

Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, traumatic brain injury, lost limbs, serious burns. So great the sacrifice.

Right now the UFC is hosting a telethon and fighting in the Octagon to raise funds.

But you don't have to be a fighter. Or a hero. Or a celebrity. Or anything other than what each of these people were until called to serve...ordinary people. Joining together in commitment to a common purpose.

This holiday season, you can be part of that common purpose...and the greater goal of bringing home our troops. Whole. Or on the road to healing.

Please help out.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Dorgan's Energies

Okay, I admit to a wee bit o'bias. But when I read in our hometown newspaper that Senator Byron Dorgan's name has been taken off the shortlist of those under consideration for Secretary of Energy, my first reaction was:


Keep North Dakota's junior senator right where he is in the Senate seems to be the mutual, wise take of both the Obama team and Dorgan's constituents.

We love him dearly. And he clearly loves North Dakota. His re-election campaign in red state North Dakota in 2010 should be a virtual lock, based on the long-standing high regard Dorgan has earned through his career of public service in ND.

Even if the guy running against him should be the current Governor John, um, Jo..., what's his name now? Current governor Hoeven's main claim to fame hereabouts seems to be his virtual nonentity-ness. The best cred he's got is a Scandinavian surname in this wee state.

Nevertheless his name is being bandied about as an opponent for Dorgan in 2010. Although I see an emerging other potential contender in current US Atty Drew Wrigley, now in the process of almost weekly staged campaign-style press events designed to pump up his name recognition. Right outa the Rovian playbook of Team BushCo. All of a sudden, since the election, he's popping up everywhere.

So there's much to play out in the next two years. But there's one other thing that could play out. Call it my Christmas wish from Santa.

Obama—and we in North Dakota—value the strong integrity and leadership of Senator Dorgan. So I'm thinking maybe Dorgan should be considered for another post...by his colleagues in the Senate.

Majority Leader Dorgan. Has a nice ring to it, doncha think?


crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Sunday, December 7, 2008

What's Afoot Among USA's?

One's an occurrence, two's a coincidence, are there more?

Ever since the election, I've been watching something brewing in my home state, North Dakota. A letter to the editor here, another coming from there, all pushing the argument that the North Dakota USA, Drew Wrigley, should be kept on by the incoming Obama Justice Dept.

Most recently, an article in the local paper, front page, above the fold, touted the, what, P.R. campaign to keep Wrigley on? And noted his insistence that he stay on until the Dru Sjodin case was finished. Well, her killer has already been convicted.

But reading that Dru's mother is part of this budding crusade complete with Facebook page, to keep on Wrigley really raised my political radar antennae.

And the skeptical side of me started to think, how disgusting. To be so self-aggrandizing and cynical and conniving and self-serving that you'd manipulate the emotions of a distraught mother of a crime victim to perpetuate your own agenda.

Yeah, I know, describes the Bush DOJ modus operandi to a T.

And young Mr. Wrigley is considered one of the up-and-comers in ND Republican circles. How better to fluff his vitae than a continuation into the Obama administration for a Red State USA where all our national congressional delegation are Blue.

And then I ran across ThinkProgress' blogpost about the USA in Pennsylvania. She, too, according to her, is indispensable....

And couldn't help but notice her connection to this woman that digby reminds us of, too.

And now I'm wondering. Any other USAs around the country firing up their PR campaigns to stay on? Kinda amusing if you think about the USAs the Bushies' minions were so quick to dispense with—from their own team.

And then you think about the activities of the Bush administration, in and out of DOJ, and maybe it's not so funny after all. Maybe it's a cancer trying to stay within the body politic that needs radical and thorough and complete excision come January 20. No exceptions.


UPDATE: Today, the hometown Forum editorializes that the Rethug USA must stay...that it's a test of Obama's postpartisanship. Blithely blows off Wrigley's close ties to Alberto Gonzalez, while tugging the emotional blackmail some more on the Dru Sjodin case. Add the Forum editorial board and its heavy-handed collaboration in the pr drumbeat to preserve Wrigley as USA to the list of the craven. I restate my conclusion of Friday: thorough and complete excision come January 20. No exceptions.

crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette and North Decoder.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

The Car Deal

There will doubtless be much muttering about Nancy Pelosi "caving" to George W. Bush on the bailout for the big 3. Caving's supposed to be George's speciality. But I guess that only applies to his idiotlogical neocon diehard lobbyists determined to rip the gold teeth outa the cadaver on its way to the grave....

(Anybody else think that if the car guys, the politicians, the media and all the rest of the great chatterati had called this a loan package instead of a bailout, the sell would have been easier?)

Anyway, back to Nancy. Did she "cave"? I guess if you call recognizing that you're dealing with an arrogant, stubborn, stupid, willfully ignorant idiotlogical zealot for the have-more's, so you bow to reality thinking we'll do the best we can till this bozo goes back to Texas and then we can try putting the economy and the rest of the country back together again....then yeah, I guess she "caved."

I choose to think of it as recognizing reality and thanking God he's going to be Laura's mess-only soon, not the rest of us. And good riddance.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Still Hiatusing

Still kickin' back.

Have you read Tales of Beedle the Bard? Go ahead. Give yourself a treat.

(No, there's no link. I'm on hiatus, remember?)
Weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelllllllllllllllllllllllll, it was nice while it lasted....

Thursday, December 4, 2008

On Hiatus

We're takin' a little break from blogging in Prairie Country. Stepping out into the Real World. You know, the place that's there when you step away from the keyboard.

A Real World where amid all the dire news—pick yer poison yerself, I'm not linking to any of it right now, not even the shameful KBR who should all get lumps of coal in their stockings...in their hometown hoosegows—still there are moments of warmth and hope.

Where college kids freeze their buns off even with their snowmobile suits collecting supplies and clothing for the local women's shelter in single-digit temperatures in the grocery store parking lot today.

Where the bell ringer inside said grocery store is an old friend from long ago. And the chatting is cheery while tucking money into the slot.

And a bag-full of pet food and medicine goes into the bin at the local Petco—a bin already brimming.

And despite the raw winds of the Real World, smiles build. Go ahead, go out there with a giving heart and give it a try. I guarantee you'll smile, too.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

NYT Says, So It Must Be So


The New York Times finally jumps on yesterday's blogosphere bandwagon to chime in that David Gregory is the likely host of Meet the Press.

And, according to the Times article, it's all about the Today Show.

Yep, that's right. The long-standing gold standard of Sunday morning gasbaggery has been relegated to stepping stone to the Today Show.

And ol' twinkle toes is being catered to bigtime lest he leap to ABC GMA.

Which leaves me with questions:

The Today Show is a news show? Since when is infotainment "news"?

And, why not Lester Holt?


Prairie's Reading: Taibbi on Rightness

Rolling Stone's genius writer Matt Taibbi recounts why McCain and Palin, yes, and even the brush cutter, have done everything in their power to restore what's right with America.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Vapid Insipid Press Strikes Again


The media's Clinton Derangement Syndrome was on full display again this morning during the Obama presser to introduce his National Security team.

When the second "reporter" [Did all these people go to the Sarah Palin School of Journalism?] asked Barack Obama another booga-booga you said bad things about Hillary in the campaign, how you gonna get along question, I turned off the teevee and ventured out into the real world.

By the time I returned a couple hours later, hoping for change, instead I got the predictable CNN bobblehead asking Carl Bernstein, oooh booga-booga, what's this gonna do to Hillary's chances to run for president again.

Good grief, M$M, shape up! No wonder people are turning you off.

Meanwhile, in between, I caught a bit of Michele Norris' show on African American oratory on NPR and listened to the voice of Fannie Lou Hamer reaching out from the 1964 Democratic Convention to talk of civil rights and justice and "sick and tired of being sick and tired."

And oh, my, wouldn't she have been proud today to look at that National Security team entrusted to protect us and represent us to the world. Black and white together, diverse in age, three men, three women joined in service to our new president-elect and vice-president-elect...and the United States of America.

That was a story.

And I'm sick and tired of being sick and tired of the way the vapid insipid press dumbs-down momentous occasions with the banal and inane.

(crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Not Scared

Earlier Sunday on the Fareed Zakaria GPS show on CNN [am I the only one who has noticed that this show is so far and away superior to the usual talking points/spin/counterpunch faux machismo of the rest of the Sunday morning talking heads shows...and oh, go ahead, count in most all the during-the-week drivel—yes, I'm lookin' at you Sit! Wolfie and Papa Bear and 'annity the 'orrible—that is supposed to pass for news or conversation or M$M opinionizing or whatever....]

Zakaria was interviewing the owner of the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel in Mumbai. Ratan Tata, chairman of the Tata Group, spoke with resolve about plans to rebuild the historic structure built by his great-grandfather.

But he said something else that sticks with me. And says a lot about him. And a lot about US.
"We will not let this event take us down...
"We were indignant, but we're not scared."
Here Stateside, we've been scared since 9/11. Scared of everything including our own shadows. It's been the meta-modus operandi of America. Keep everyone good and scared.

Until November 4.

We're a country ready—more than—not to be scared again. And for all the mega-military might of the good ol' US of A, being not scared is coming to us, not courtesy the establishment white-faced leaders of government and media and business.

But from faces treating us as grownups, talking intelligently, with thought and clarity. Faces like Obama. And Zakaria. And Ratan Tata.

And we are the better for it.
(crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Bush Values

Hmmmm, let's see. George Bush tells his kid sister [yep, the same sister who back in 2000 was out in the streets in front of the Naval Observatory yellin' at Al and Tipper to get outa da house] that:

"I came to Washington with a set of values, and I'm leaving with the same set of values. And I darn sure wasn't going to sacrifice those values...."
It's almost too damned easy, isn't it? Okay, I'll play. What do you think are Dubya's values?
(crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Salute to the Kids

Not sitting on their duffs playing videogames, these.

Fago-Moorhead area students from kindergarten through high school participated in the second annual Fill the Dome food drive, gathering canned goods and cash to benefit the food pantry which serves 240 locations across North Dakota and northern Minnesota.

The kids raised over $57,000 in cash and enough food to spread across the entire floor of the Fargodome.

Good on ya, kids!

The holiday season is just getting underway, the need will go on long after the turkey bones and even New Year's glitter becomes tomorrow's trash.

Give a thought today to what a difference a determined group of people can make, what a difference one person can make. And then put it into play....

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
(crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Hannity Logic

Now that Sean Hannity will be the sole anchor of Hannity and that other guy, he'll have nanoseconds more air time than before, and I've got just the story for him to dig into.

According to U.S. government reporting, Paraguay is the largest producer of marijuana in Latin America. Wow! Who knew....

Hmmmm, maybe this guy knew.

Now, using the well-known skills of connecting the dots that we've seen from Hannity, I expect it's only a matter of time before he begins talking about Bush's new "business" venture....

Or if not, at least we're marginally secure in the knowledge that everything Bush touches turns to scheiss.... why not marijuana farming?

Oh, wait.
(crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Monday, November 24, 2008

Brother, Can You Spare a Can o'Peas?

This holiday season, fear that hits home is touching too many people And you have but to look at the news rolling out...day after day...dire reports of layoffs and big money bailouts and numbers so big, with so many commas and zeroes, you almost can't conceive 'em.

50,000 layoffs here, 50,000 layoffs there, and...well, it makes you want to smack the faces of the people who treat 'em as numbers...when these are real people's lives. The whole culture of GASP--greedy and selfish people--is getting a smack in the face these days with reality. If only they will listen.

Food pantries and homeless shelters are in greater need these days. And there's other things we might not usually think about. Blood services facing shortages when bad weather forces cancellations of drives in places where we're pretty sprawled out…like the Dakotas. It just takes a little looking around your own neighborhood.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if we did things a little different this holiday season?

Wouldn't it be wonderful if every family who's hosting a Thanksgiving this year would ask the guests to bring canned goods and then they take 'em to a local shelter or food pantry or church or charity? A way to make Thanksgiving dinner last a little longer for everyone.

Wouldn't it be wonderful if every company hosting a holiday/Christmas party, every Symphony Ball, every church supper, every Christmas program in the schools would ask that attendees bring along packaged foods for local charities and food pantries.

Wouldn't it

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Saxby Strikes Again...Snakes Always Do

You'd like to believe there would be some tiny kernel of decency and humanity lurking deep inside even the most craven of Rovian Rethuglican political types. You would be wrong.

On the ropes in his reelection campaign, Georgia Senator Saxby Chambliss is bringing out the big guns. Nope, not the recent loser in the presidential sweepstakes. Although John McCain has been there, campaigning for Chambliss. The same John McCain who decried the tactics Chambliss used when he ran against then-Senator Max Cleland, a triple amputee, against whom Chambliss' cronies used advertising so vile--linking war hero Cleland with bin Laden--that McCain cried foul.

But that was then, and this is now. And the Chambliss campaign cronies are using the same vile tactics he used against Cleland to try to defeat Jim Martin. This time, Chambliss fellow-travelers like the NRSC and Ari Fleischer's Freedom's Watch are calling out Martin for being soft on crime against children.

Despite the fact that Martin's own daughter was kidnapped when she was eight years old.

Yeah, I believe that's a coincidence. Rigggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhtttt.

If we learned anything this election season, it's that the serpents never change. They prize their politics over honor, over integrity. They sting over and over and over....until they are completely, totally, finally voted out of office. One by one.

And we must be ever vigilant lest they coil and raise their heads again to strike...out.
(crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Eating the Komodo Dragon

In his never-ending quest to totally trash the entire planet before he leaves office, now George "Wrecker" Bush puts the endangered species act in his sights.

One wonders if Josh Brolin was the right actor to portray Bush in the Oliver Stone pic. Maybe it should have been Matthew Broderick.

After all, he had the prep in The Freshman.
(crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Backstabber Joe's First Test...


Will it be Disingenuous Joe? Self-Righteous Joe? Self-Pitying Joe? Or soon-to-revert-to-old-tactics Joe? "Democrat" Joe? Or, a Joe-to-be-named-later?

Lie-berman's set to be interviewed by Katie Couric. One hopes he gets the full Sarah Palin treatment.

Joe's first test of the Obama Era begins now.

And meanwhile, the House shows the Senate how it's done....


(crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Obama Picks Daschle

Breaking news reported at CNN that Tom Daschle has been picked as Health and Human Services Secretary...with the additional honorific-plus of some sort of White House "health czar" label that will mean health care legislation will come from Daschle's shop.

This is refreshing on its face. Health Care and Human Services based on human needs, not political ideology to satisfy a rabid right wing.

Now that's change you can hope to believe in.
(crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Second Wind

News that Barack Obama intends to reverse Dubya's ban on stem cell research as one of his first orders of business is welcome indeed.

And if you need a reason why...if you or one of your loved ones isn't one of the people who just might benefit from this vital research...then consider this: in Europe, stem cell surgery has given a new lease on life to a woman who needed a new windpipe. And without the risks of rejection and infection that too often have been the traditional dangers of such surgery.

We're getting our economic as well as medical butts kicked.

Just think, if the self-anointed moralists who posture and pontificate—and let's be blunt, profit—from screeding in the name of "pro-life" really took the time to think about what their obstruction and distortion/spin and irrational exuberance to protest and prevent such medical advancements means to the, you know, living...

Maybe then the "pro-life" movement would get a second wind.

Because striving to responsibly use the brains we are blessed with for to good of all, rather than as a way to connive and divide and abandon the living who need medical and scientific advancements, now that's a pro-life movement we could all get behind.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

That fat kid? He's starving to death.

This is the season of bounty. Of farmers harvesting crops, produce arriving in the stores from all over the hemisphere. The papers are chock full of coupons...for cranberries, and pumpkin pie mix, and turkey, and..... Thanksgiving is just around the corner.

But for too many kids, there is no thanks-giving. These are the kids who go to school with empty bellies, or who eat foods empty of nutrition, so that even if they look overweight, inside, their bodies are dying. Deficiencies of essential minerals will stunt their growth, trigger diabetes, slow their metabolisms.

The statistics on hunger are shocking in their growth. But every statistic is a child, a single mom, struggling to stretch too few groceries to last not long enough. A food pantry trying to provide food with too few supplies on their shelves. Christy has more at firedoglake.

Charities are already appealing for help, more help this year than ever. So many to choose among, how can we possibly supply them all? It seems so daunting. Yet who can turn a blind eye to the need?

Next time, every time you go to the grocery store, look for the collection bin or cart for your local food pantry. Next time, every time you get an envelope in the mail, send back a check. Next time, every time you walk past a red kettle, drop in some coin.

Who me, you think? What difference can I make, just one person. And then you remember...one person built a presidential campaign. Because so many pitched in that even when amounts were small, they added up to a mountain.

Can we do any less for one hungry child?
When I launched this blog nearly a year ago, one of the earliest posts I wrote was about the dire state of hunger in Haiti, "Let Them Eat Mud Cookies." 'tis a sorrowful thing indeed that instead of progress, things have gotten worse even here at home.

We've a chance now for a fresh start. Start today...help your hometown hungry as well as those far away. And you'll enjoy your own Thanksgiving turkey a whole lot more.
(crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Prairie Sunshine, Independent

Monday, November 17, 2008

Lie-berman or Sunshine

If the Democrats knuckle under to whiny Joe Lie-berman's extortion to stay DHS Chair, then there is no place for me in the Democratic Party.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Rather on the Story


Dan Rather's decision to sue CBS may have been dismissed as Quixotic, but he's getting results. As this update story in the New York Times recounts, Rather is putting his money where his heart is, pursuing the story.

In this case, the story is his own. And as discovery proceeds, yet another tawdry example of the BushCo Republican style of iron-fisted and self-serving rule...with the knowing complicity of top media executives...begins to emerge.

It's simple enough...report a story that shows George W. Bush in a less than favorable light and you will be destroyed. And what message does that send? One that makes other reporters hesitate to follow controversial stories? Or how about, give a wink and a nod and dance backup, eh, Dave?

There will be many legacies of the Bush era. The meta-legacy for George Bush and Karl Rove and their political minions is a litany of examples of coercion and intimidation. That is their thuggish hallmark, one seen in the common threads of the imprisonment of Alabama Governor Siegelman and the end of Dan Rather's career at CBS.

And a cozy crony of the meta-legacy of Dick Cheney, Don Rumsfeld and their ilk.

Damn them all.


(crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Survivor: Democratic Caucus


Tuesday, Joe Lie-berman will make his presentation before the Democratic Caucus on why he should retain his chairmanship of the Dept. of Homeland Security. There's a Survivor quality to all this. Who are the alliances? Who will vote the opposite of what's expected? What will the final vote be?

There have been public statements on both sides airing in the media, and enormous conversation in the blogosphere. But the ultimate decision will be made behind closed doors. It's not just that we won't hear the presentation. (Yeah, I'm bettin' it'll be one of those non-apology apologies, too.) It's that we won't hear each Senator's comments. But there'll likely be much posturing and venting and "unacceptables" and "Joe's a good friend of mine..." back and forth.

But what it really comes down to is, if the cronies trump the accountability, then how can the American people ever trust you again, Senators? Because it's gone beyond whether the Democratic Caucus can trust one that they profess is really, scratch the surface campaign sins, one of their own...

While the caucus will decide, it's not for the caucus or for the ego of Joe Lie-berman or for the netroots or for the good of the Senate or for Cokie and the punditocracy or whatever that this decision will be made.

It's for the integrity of representative democracy...and whether one Senator can set himself above all the other Senators, above the voters, above his own word...whether he can play God. And in the doing, flout ethics, flout responsibility to his oath of office, flout honor and trustworthiness. Whether he can obstruct and subvert the oversight responsibilities of the chair and then blithely expect to sit in it again.

The voters have spoken on that. And now, the Democratic Caucus must speak.


Saturday, November 15, 2008

The Grind


"Confronting opposition by the Bush Administration...."

Just think, on January 20 we'll never have to hear that phrase again.

Meanwhile, we have opposing Presidential video views to contemplate. The first of YouTube weekly addresses from almost-president Barack Obama [see twolf's diary link at Oxdown Gazette].

And the grinding down of the Bush Administration.

What could be a more apt picture this morning than Bush, herding the G20 leaders off the photo-op stage for a meaningless show meeting whose prime objective is to make him look good in legacy.

Sorry, Bush. That boat has sailed.

Seeing Bush grinding his teeth as the group had to regroup so the photo could include the tardy Argentinian representative kinda summed up the day for all of us.

And I hope somebody gets this moment I saw on MSNBC up on youtube soon, because it's good to reflect that while Bush is so no longer relevant and we're all just grindin' down our teeth wantin' him to go away, he will soon no longer be obstructive, too.

(crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Friday, November 14, 2008

The Magic 60


In the smackdown that is the current contention over Lieberman's hold on the chairmanship of the Homeland Security Committee, the latest wrinkle I've run across is Evan Bayh's proffer that this must not drag out because poor widdle Pal Joey might get bitter.

Well, he's already gotten hypocritical, self-serving, nasty and bald-faced lying. Oh yeah, and there is that whole Katrina thing. So bitter?

Spare me the incestuous coziness of the Incumbent Class.

The backstage maneuverings by Dodd [and thanks, Iowa, you did us a favor], Bayh and others to grease the skids of the return of Lie-berman may achieve their end of the restoration—but not the rehabilitation—of the whiny Independent Joe.

But I'm still holding out for Lieberman--caucus of one. When Joe turns out to be the backstabbing, self-serving scorpion once again, don't tell me "who could have anticipated..." I got enough of that Condi-esque crap from the Senate Democratic voters for the Iraq War Resolution. And the $700 Billion bait-n-switch bailout.

Delude yourselves, Senators. 'tain't foolin' me.

And as for that magic number 60, has anybody thought of lookin' at who on the Republican side is vulnerable in 2010? Or 2012? Why can't we reach 60 the old-fashioned way? Flip a senator....

(crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hometown Hate...Meet the Gilby Effect


Elementary schoolkids chanting "assassinate Obama" on a bus in ultra-conservative Madison County, Idaho.

It's not the only pocket of ignorance and racism exposed in the aftermath of the election of Barack Obama....

There's also that football bimbo down at the U of Texas. And a certain northern governor whose fifteen minutes of fame ran out days ago. And a swath of voters in the Ozarks-Appalachian region....

And scatterings wherever ignorance and fearmongering from pulpit or email and extremist hate building from the likes of the NRA and Hannity and Limbaugh and Lieberman terrorized the sheep.

So I thought today might be a good day to tell you that things do change.

Growing up in North Dakota, one of the ground zeroes for ultra-right and John Bircher politics was a tiny town called Gilby.

And in 2008, when all the votes were counted, John McCain had 137.

And Barack Obama, 138.

Call it the Gilby Effect, or voting your conscience even if you won't admit it, or backlash against Gov. Gypsy-Grifter that even the Republicans couldn't accept, or whatever.

North Dakota was still a red state this year overall. But the Red River Valley of the North was decidedly blue--and that included a tiny speck on the map named Gilby.

(Crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

One of the Family

One of the stark lessons of Stefan Forbes’ riveting documentary of the life of Lee Atwater, Boogie Man, which aired last night in Fargo on PBS' Frontline, was that the era of the Cliff Notes-loving media didn't begin with George W. Bush and Karl Rove and the Dancin' Daves [“backup dancer” David Gregory—the iconic statement of everything that is the incestuous life of the Village].

Watching the rise and demise of the master of Republican dirty tricks as he built his resume on lie after lie was demoralizing indeed. Spokesperson after spokesperson—folks like Sam Donaldson, Tucker Eskew, Mary Matalin, Ed Rollins, Robert Novak—rationalized those lies in an tone of “politics ain’t beanbag,” as if the fact that he could sweet-talk the media into not checking into his audacious b.s. was something to be lauded.

It says a lot about Atwater that he got away with it. It says even more about the sorry state of the media that they let him. Hell, they enabled him.

They're still doing it.

Seeing younger versions of Karl Rove and Grover Norquist hovering in the wings of the stage Atwater played on, we're warned that the vipers known as College Republicans are still goin' strong. They may have lost this round, but they're regrouping and preparing for the next election. It's a testament to the political skills of Barack Obama and his team and the organizational skills of Howard Dean and his 50-State Strategy that Democrats prevailed against the Republicans and their enablers in the media.

It comes of this: when you merely sit and serve as a vessel for a politician to spout off "factiness" without correcting the record then you are in fact serving as a tool/pawn/shill of a politician or a political agenda.

Yep, Sit! Wolfie, today I'm talkin' about you and that "interview" with Sarah Palin—the hockey mom turned governor who is fit neither to govern nor to parent. Earlier this week, Matt Lauer provided yet another opportunity to pimp Piper by Gypsy Mom who apparently didn't think that thar book-larnin' was any more important for her kids than herself while she was off gallivantin' with John and Cindy and giving pfffft to her children's education. Not to be outdone, Greta Van Susteren added her own Foxy-loxy love fest to the mix.

A role model to lead the Republican Party? Anjelica Huston's Grifters mom more like.

But the media like process, we're told. They liked seein' Atwater slam Dukakis with race-bating strokes...hey if he didn't like that Willie Horton/weekend passes smear campaign, he shoulda fought back.

Yeah, he shoulda.

Shoulda said the weekend passes were modeled on another state, another governor. Name o'Reagan. And now the adopted son of Ronald Reagan, Michael, adopts the Atwater School, right along with the likes of Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity and Bill O'Reilly and lets the hate times roll.... Because the Republicans can't govern, can't win on policy, so they play divide and conquer...only not this year.

But that doesn't mean they won't come right back again, hoping for a weaker opponent next time. And they know they can count on the media to go along to get along, 'cause you gotta get the story, even if it's a lie, doncha know.

And the biggest lie of all was the life of Lee Atwater. This hyper Southern skell was all surface and show and no soul. Even his protestation at the end that he was going to go with any religion just in case was as phony as the man. The Bush family retainer who was never really going to be part of the family was himself a useful tool...and that's the denial the folks who remain don't ever want to face.

Matalin, Rove, the other political operatives, willingly compliant Cliff Notes journalists, you've all been useful tools to advance the Bush family agenda. You just haven't been one of the family.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Never Forget....

Amid all the pomp and fluffery of the changing of administrations post-Election Day and the all-important conversation of whether or not Sarah Palin's underwear will be returned to the RNC, there is a sobering fact this day:

We are adding a fresh wave of soldiers and Navy and Marines and National Guard to those we'll owe a debt we can never repay.

On this first Veterans Day of the Obama Era, a look back at where we have been. And a question still unanswered: How Many More Years?

Monday, November 10, 2008

Lieberman's Nature

A short reminder:

A scorpion wanted to cross a river but could not swim, so he asked a fox to carry him across. The fox, demurred: You'll sting me. Not I, said the scorpion, for that would mean the death of me, too. Very well, hop on, said the fox.

Halfway across the river, the scorpion stung the fox with a mortal wound. As the river sucked them both down, the fox said, you promised! Why did you sting me?

I know, said the scorpion. But it is my nature.


Crossposted, with comments, at firedoglake's Oxdown Express.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

To Be Resolved


The ongoing saga of the Judas Senator trying to keep his cadaverous fingers tightly clutched around the Homeland Security Committee chairmanship continues this weekend, thanks to articles like the homestate Hartford Courant piece which has stirred up more ire among those who wonder why there is even any question about Joe-the-Backstabber retaining any chairmanship or seniority in the Democratic caucus. Politico and Josh both have discussion worth reading.

The collegiality of the good ol' incumbent-cy boys seems to rear its head in Dodd's comments. Sorry, Chris, not buyin' it.

And then there's the Lieberman aide attributed with the insistence that national security depends on his Senator holding on to "his" chairmanship. Yeah, 'cause he did such a great job of it already, eh?

It took a commenter in the Politico thread to remind me, though, that Lieberman didn't just fail--deliberately, some say--to perform the oversight responsibilities of Homeland Security. Lieberman didn't just run against the Democratic-endorsed candidate for US Senate in Connecticut with strong Republican help in '06. Lieberman didn't just endorse and support McCain.

Not only did Lieberman actively, aggressively, gleefully, enthusiastically, scurrilously campaign against Barack Obama for the office of President.

He also campaigned for Minnesota Republican Norm Coleman over Democratic candidate Al Franken for the Wellstone seat in the U.S. Senate. Did he campaign in other Senate races, too?

The square is complete...the four sides enclosing one politician who eagerly embraced the opposition as he broke his word and campaigned in both Presidential and Senate races against the party he now thinks should bow and scrape before his Lieberliness.

Give me a frackin' break. Now more than ever, Joe Must Go.
(crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette).

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The Understated Symmetry of Harry

The word leaking out that Harry Reid offered Joe Lieberman the chairmanship of Veterans Affairs has generated a lot of heat. Mine included.

Lots of us are signing the online petition saying that Joe Must Go. For three prime reasons that can be summed up "The Kiss," Katrina, and the Kampaign....

And while I for one have no room in heart or mind for any accommodation for Joe the Backstabber and Breaker of Pledges, I do see a certain stark beauty in Reid's offer to Lieberman of the chairmanship of Veterans Affairs.

Let him see what he has wrought. Let him deal with the families of the dead and the wounded. Let him tour the hospitals and rehab centers. Let him walk side by side with the soldier learning to walk on steel and computer technology instead of a leg. Let him see the face of the man blinded and burned by an IED.

Let him face himself. If he has the courage.

(crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Express)

Friday, November 7, 2008

Quote of the Day

"Mutts like me..."

Hey, the Sunshine family, all German-Irish-Norwegian-Swedish-Scots of us, we're mutts, too.

Lieberman the Extortionist

how him the door, Senate Dems...
enough's enough.

If the Republicans think having a double-dealing, self-aggrandizing, egomaniacal traitor in their midst is a plus, well, that's just more seats for Dems to pick off in 2010 and 2012.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Joe The Quisling

Today Joe Lieberman met with Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, and word is, Lieberman was told: no chairmanships for you.

Lieberman is now trying to play a public game of you can't touch me, you need me, you really really need me.

Except we don't.

America has spoken loudly and clearly in this election, and all the Republican obstructionism in the world won't change that fact for the next four years.

Could he be the magic 60th? Well, yeah, but that doesn't mean he's needed.

Because right now what's really needed is to send a message that the same ol' same ol' doesn't work any more and the Democratic Senate will not be a pushover.

Lieberman crossed the line time after time when he went beyond supporting McCain and actively, even giddily, collaborated in the assault on Barack Obama with tactics of fear and smear and lies.

Now the man who bore those lies, who collaborated in their spreading, who smirked and grinned his way through scurrilous betrayal of his own pledges of conduct, that man must be called to account. Because a line was irretrievably crossed by Lieberman in this election.

And he must know that cannot stand. And those who would contemplate doing likewise must know that cannot stand. As betrayers down through history and fiction have known. Brutus, Judas, Benedict Arnold, Tessio...Quisling.

This cannot stand.
You'll find a posting to the online petition, Strip Joe, over at Jane's Firedoglake

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

An Open Letter to Malia and Sasha

Dear Malia and Sasha --

Congratulations to you and all your family. We are looking forward to your family becoming the First Family of the United States.

We know this will mean a lot of changes for you and your family. A big move from Chicago to Washington, D.C. New friends to make, a new school to attend.

And there is that new puppy. Now we're pretty partial to cocker spaniels. [psst, if you want one just as cute as ours, you can email me for the breeder's contact address at prairiesunrising at gmail dot com]

We hope that you both enjoy the grand adventure you are beginning, and we thank you for sharing your Dad with all of us.

We'll do our best not to be too demanding on his time, and we'll do our best to help him lead all of us forward to better times.

With love from the Sunshine Family.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Grant Park Revisited

Obama Wins!

hose of us who remember the other Grant Park, the Grant Park of 1968 and all the pain of that era look at Grant Park now, at the faces with tears of streaming joy, and we say yes, 40 years in the wilderness has brought us to this time.

Now, let's roll up our sleeves... the hard work begins.

Fired Up, Ready to Go

From a "crowd" of 20, building month by month, state by state, to a nomination and crowd after crowd of tens of thousands, Barack Obama has led by one simple chant...Fired up? Ready to go!

Didja Vote Yet?

Have you voted? How 'bout your kids? Your Mom and Dad? Your buddies? Your neighbors? Your siblings?

Maybe you have to set aside your campaign signs or tee shirt or button, but there's one more thing you can do....

After you've voted Obama, go ahead, put that thumb and forefinger together in one big happy circle and show off your "O".

Then get out there. Get busy.

GOTOV. Get Out The Obama Vote.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Rest in Peace

Barack Obama's grandmother, Madelyn Dunham, one of the foundations of his life, died early today. Huffington Post has more, including his video tribute.

We simply offer condolences and solace to the Obama and Dunham families that we see in her grandson the excellence of her life's work.

Krugman's Question

This morning the punditocracy are all huffin-puffin about what it could mean to have a Democratic White House and Congress. I won't belabor the spin--if you know who was talkin', you can fill in what their spin was. Right now, it's all the same ol' same ol'.

Even the last-ditch piss-in-our-bed Rethuglican airing of the Rev. Wright attack ad has a tired, worn quality to it. Sure it'll gin up the base and GOTRV, but let's face it, that segment of rightwing screeddom is getting smaller and smaller by the hour.

Just look at the Republican--former Republican or temporary independent--endorsements Obama has picked up. Iconic Republican names: [Susan] Eisenhower, [Ron] Reagan, [CC] Goldwater, Hagel's wife, Senator Pressler, Governor Carlson....

So instead of handwringing with faux concern over what the Democrats may do, perhaps it's time to consider what the Republican Rump will do. Krugman certainly thinks it's more than time.

This is the core Rethuglicanism -- and like a bloated, rotting corpse with maggots feeding in its belly, there is nothing right now that would appeal to any but the most ideological...or willfully ignorant.

Or as Krugman puts it:

But the G.O.P.’s long transformation into the party of the unreasonable right, a haven for racists and reactionaries, seems likely to accelerate as a result of the impending defeat.

This will pose a dilemma for moderate conservatives. Many of them spent the Bush years in denial, closing their eyes to the administration’s dishonesty and contempt for the rule of law. Some of them have tried to maintain that denial through this year’s election season, even as the McCain-Palin campaign’s tactics have grown ever uglier. But one of these days they’re going to have to realize that the G.O.P. has become the party of intolerance.

Win or lose, will new life emerge from that fetid corpse? I guess that would depend on whether the Greedy Ol' Party is capable of evolution...or cutting off the mutated cancer that is the GOP today.

Time will tell.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

One Last Grand Truly Maverick Gesture

I confess. Watching John McCain last night on Saturday Night Live, exhibiting more warmth and comfort in his own skin and self-deprecating humor than we've seen all this long campaign season...well, I had a brief flash of thought that if that had been the John McCain...and the McCain campaign we'd seen all these months...well, that John McCain could've swept the election. Fair and square.

Right now, of course, we're still in the twilight zone of pre-election worrying over Diebold and flippin' voter screens and voter suppression and all those other dirty tricks the extremists in the Republican party have become known for...and some we don't even know about.

And then there's the last hour unveiling of the Rev. Wright commercials by 527s. Maybe knowing those were coming and expecting those would tip the election to him were what made McCain so relaxed on SNL.

I hope not. I hope he's as appalled as the rest of us are by the blatant appeal to fear and racism that is the only thing the Rethuglican wing of the Republican Party has to offer. I hope at long last he decides enough's enough. That this is one last step he will not take.

That John McCain will stand up and renounce these sleazy, pandering, cynical commercials and email and leaflets and whatever other tactics the Rethugs are using and take back his honor.

Yes, I hope, nay expect, that John McCain will stand up and in one last grand truly maverick gesture...endorse Barack Obama.

Friday, October 31, 2008


What are you doing here?


Get out and vote for Barack. 34 states let you vote early.

Get out and make phone calls. Get out and go door-to-door. Get out and go to your local Obama/Dem headquarters and pitch in and help 'em out.

Get out and wear your Obama button, your Obama tee-shirt, your Obama cap...strike up a conversation in a pizza takeout line. Talk to the folks you meet walkin' your dog. Don't let one opportunity pass by.

Pour it on. Nobody's working harder, thinking more, doing more than Barack Obama...but let's all make sure he's leading a campaign of working, thinking, doing voters who are ready to roll up our sleeves and make America happen again. Just as this campaign has.

Go on, get outa here.... GOTOV. Get Out The Obama Vote.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Race Card Politics

Ari says it a tad more subtly than I replied to him over at Oxdown--good on ya, Ari, for the screen grab.

My take:

When you choose to play the race card… When you choose the staff who have a history of playing the race card…

You are a racist, John McCain.

Ari's got the picture at Firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette... now everybody's got the picture... of John McCain.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Props to the Phillies

Congratulations to the Philadelphia Phillies, winners of the 2008 World Series. Here in Prairie Country, where Fargo is the home of 61-in-61--"some say" still baseball's homerun king, Roger Maris--we take our baseball seriously.

To the roster of homegrown baseball stars Darin Erstad and Rick Helling, now is added Phillies catcher Chris Coste.

You do Fargo-Moorhead and your hometown team, the RedHawks, proud.

Winners never quit.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The War of the Rogueses

As the intramural fingerpointing ratchets up between McCain and Palin factions, some say this pair are like the ultimate bad, bad, bad divorce.

And some say, they deserve each other.

Little did McCain know, when he started preachin' the gospel of "the other," the fearmongering of "them" vs. us, when Palin started talkin' up the real and the anti-...just what a cosmic joke ol' karma would have in store.
As for the rest of us...GOTV, GOTV, GOTV....

Politics Free Zone

.Don't worry, little fella...that white stuff's gonna melt away and there's sunshine ahead.
A puppy of many colors just seemed appropriate right now. Doncha think?

Monday, October 27, 2008

In Memoriam: Tony Hillerman

He was as spare and elegant in his storytelling as a sunrise over the high desert of New Mexico where his roots ran deep.

The mystery writer Tony Hillerman died Sunday at 83 due to, well, there's a medical name, but I prefer to think of it as a rich and well-lived life that finally reached the last page.

Hillerman, honored by Mystery Writers of America as a Grand Master, transcended the mystery genre with his stories of Leaphorn and Chee and their Navajo environs.

He was, in the words of New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson this morning on the Imus Show, an accessible guy whom Richardson valued for his dedication to the state. And Imus noted that when he wanted to find an early Hillerman mystery, Imus was able to just pick up the phone and give him a call.

Listening to him weave his stories with his thoughts on the writing process at a writers' conference in Santa Fe some years back, I was struck by how in tandem his verbal and his written "voices" were.

His heroes were ordinary law enforcement, doing yeoman's work. Not razzle-dazzle pyrotechnic hot dogs. Just ordinary Joes who knew their value to their communities. There is honor in that.

Honors were many for Hillerman--military as well as literary for the old veteran. The New Mexico flag will fly at half-staff, said Richardson.

But the greatest honor would be if you would pick up a Hillerman mystery and immerse yourself in the stark beauty of his world. I'll bet your library or bookstore has a bunch of 'em just waiting for you.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Lieberman = Tessio

Once there was an iconic movie, The Godfather, which played out in grand scale the struggles of good and evil, strong vs weak, smart vs stupid.

Tessio, they say, did the "smart" thing...taking sides against The Godfather. Betraying the Corleone family to ally with Tataglia for the opportunistic "winning" side. Except, Michael turned out to be not just a kid to be patted on the cheek and dismissed.

In a political sense, the same story is playing out as Joe Lieberman now starts talking about how much he "respects" Barack Obama. Larger minds than mine will decide Lieberman's political fate, but I'd proffer that the just end to this current political epic for Joe Lieberman will be to sleep with the political fishes.

Full Court Pressler

Just because you've always voted Republican, doesn't mean you can't vote for change, vote for Obama, this year. Just because you vote for Obama doesn't mean you can't go back to your Republican party and help reform it back into something resembling fiscal and other sanity after this year.

Just ask former South Dakota Senator Larry Pressler, the first Vienam Vet to serve in the Senate. This year, Politico reports, Pressler is voting for Obama...and has contributed $500 to his campaign.

The list keeps getting longer and longer.

And maybe that's as much an anti-McCain, anti-Palin, anti-Republican vote this year as a vote for Obama. Pressler does say that McCain's reaction to the financial crisis sure gave him pause.

But reality is, when Obama talks about these United States of America....it starts in the voting booth...for everyone.
(crossposted at Firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Remember History...or Repeat It

Just remember, when George W. Bush dawdled and partied while the City of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast were deluged by Katrina, who he was partying with...and who was partying with him.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Strib De-frocked

Once there was a truly great newspaper in Minnesota.

Then it got bought out.

And purged its best talent and kept the execrable.

Now, it's just another right-leaning, truth-suppressing, slanted rag of yellow journalism.

Media Matters has part of the tale.
If Coleman and Bachmann and McCain or any of 'em win on November 4, it'll be due in sizeable part to the abysmal failure of what was once iconic journalism in the Land of Sky Blue Waters.
(h/t Atrios for the signpost; crossposted at Firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)


Friday, October 24, 2008

Andy, Opie and The Fonz

I've been looking at some interesting endorsements for Obama of late. You know the ones. Susan Eisenhower, Colin Powell, CC Goldwater, former Minnesota Governor Arnie Carlson...Republicans all.

But here's the endorsement that really sums up spirit of what all the endorsements mean in one sentimental package.

See more Ron Howard videos at Funny or Die

Hey, it beats Pinochet for McCain....

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Postcards from America

Crooks & Liars cues us in to a great opportunity. From sea to shining sea and all the way across it, we can show some love to Barack Obama's grandmama, who is dealing with very serious health circumstances.

The Senator will be flying to visit her, but we can lift his wings with our own expressions of caring.

As C&L notes, please, send postcards rather than envelope/cards for ease of relaying our warm wishes.

Send to:
Mrs. Madelyn Dunham
c/o Obama for America
Honolulu Headquarters
1050 Ala Moana Blvd Ste D2690
Honolulu, HI 96814

I'll be sending my own grandmama to grandmama message today...one of the highlights of my year was introducing Barack to my five-year-old grandson in Grand Forks at the ND Dem-NPL convention.

I owe Madelyn Dunham a great big thank you for all her years of lovin' and rearin' the man who inspires so many, especially a starry-eyed little boy.
P.S. No postcard? No excuses! Print out a favorite scene or family picture on card stock or photo paper and there's your postcard. A 4x6 card is only 27 cents postage. Warm some hearts today...the Obamas, yours, and mine.
(crossposted at Firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Grandparents = Love

Don't miss this marvelous blog commentary about Barack Obama's [white] grandparents -- and all the people who have made acts of courage an everyday process. From the Atlantic, this deserves the widest possible circulation. Please do the link, read it and pass it forward....

This one's for grandparents everywhere... and especially for their grandchildren. Much love to mine.

Gramma for Obama.

"I'm the King. You're Nothing...."

This is a pure, unabashed love letter to the geniuses at The Daily Show.

Last night, we saw firsthand more actual in-depth investigative journalism and news analysis through their comedy prism than the rest of the cable and network newsbots have given us for months.

Which brings me to Ralph Kramden. If you've never seen the Golden Age comedy genius of The Honeymooners, you've missed iconic television.

Ralph, the forever dreaming bus driver, was always brought back down to earth by his wife, Alice. There's a whole lotta Ralphs in the country these days, easily beguiled by schemes--like oh, say, trickle-down Reaganomics. One wishes a lot more of the Joe-the-Plumbers these days would have Alices in their lives.

Among the classic moments of the scarce 39 episodes was one where Ralph revs himself up and blusters at his wife, Alice:

I'm the king...you're nothing. The king. You're nothing....
He paces around their tiny flat, arms flailing. Building himself up more and more.

Alice watches him with long suffering patience.

Well, then, that would make you the king of nothing.

We see a whole lotta Ralphitude out of the Republicans these days. But unlike Gleason's character, this isn't a role for them. A few Alice types have emerged. Colin Powell among them.

Rumor is there are a bunch of other Republicans sharing Powell's views, but not willing to speak out. Shame on them.

McCain and his campaign are going out of their way to appeal to the Inner Ralph Kramden these days. Divisive, distorting, and attacking. Because what he has to offer is same ol' same ol'.

And when we can't count on the traditional news media to cut through the political spin with facts rather than endlessly playing over and over the same distorted attacks from McCain [yes, I am listening to McCain on CNN as I type, why do you ask...]....

Then we do, yes, turn to the comedians. Like Jon Stewart's smackdown of the Photeny Palin Truth Squadders Nancy Pfotenhauer, Sarah Palin, and Michele Bachmann.

And speaking of Sarah Palin... did you see Jason Jones' on the scene reporting from Wasilla? The interview with the current mayor of the community that provides no city services... No education services... No...

Well, see it for yourself. 'cause Sarah Palin... and John McCain... Now there's the king of nothing.
(crossposted at Firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette)

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Long Road

Obama campaign announces that the Senator will suspend his campaigning to make the long flight home to Hawaii where his grandmother is gravely ill.

We pray he makes it in time.

And Cokie and Rush can just keep their traps shut.

"Share the Wealth"

McCain and Palin havin' their say this morning, mocking Barack Obama's comment to "Joe the Faux" that it's about time we share the wealth of this nation.

Now, not being of the sheep persuasion, I don't buy the argument that we should keep following the "piss on us" concept of economics that is Republican trickle-down dogma.

And I've read the stats that show America currently has the greatest disparity of wealth between John McCain's bazillionaire base and the rest of America. And we're falling behind the rest of the world...in education, in healthcare, in too many ways.

And I've read the headline about the bonuses being handed out right now for the beneficiaries of the $700 billion bailout that both candidates voted for.

We've had too much wealth redistribution upwards under Republican orthodoxy. Long past time for some Reformation... and you can call it "socialism" if you've a mind to. I call it fairness... and common sense... oh, and while you're at it, real Jesus.
UPDATE: Nobel winner Paul Krugman cuts through the McCain malarkey on the economy like a plumber cuts through, well, Republican sludge...

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Whatever Means Necessary....

I remember reading about Cindy McCain telling her adopted daughter, Bridget, who was deeply hurt by the slurs of South Carolina 2000 that it was politics. Nasty business, but politics.

Maybe that level of tolerance of vile tactics, the "good man" rationalizing using any means necessary just to survive, is what informs the current strategery of the McCain campaign.

Maybe he tells himself it's like back in the years in 'Nam, when yes, he did sign papers against America while a POW. You do anything necessary just to survive.

Unless you don't.

Joe Klein's commentary on John McCain's friendship with David Ifshin, an anti-Vietnam war protestor, "McCain's Radical Pal," is telling. That friendship was far closer than any serving-on-a-board-together collegiality by Obama and William Ayers. But what if it were an identical level of friendship.

Like the dark characters of the Bush Administration, notably Dick Cheney, and the callow, unethical charlatans of Republican consultancy, notably Karl Rove and his acolytes, there is evident in McCain these days a willingness to rationalize that anything goes.

That dishonor--breaking the Honor Conduct code of the Naval Academy and the naval tradition of the McCain family--is situational and acceptable in furtherance of the goal...survival.

Survival of a campaign mired in sleaze and smear. But the McCains' self-denial tells them that's okay. It can be washed off. It can be made right...once the election is over.

After all, it's just politics.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Minnesota Should Be Mortified

If you haven't seen Michelle Bachmann on her crazy-woman rant yet, give a listen at the MSNBC Hardball webpage, courtesy Thinkprogress.

Michelle Bachmann, previously best known as the "Gropa from Minnesota," is also a member of Palin's "truth squad" in the state of Minnesota.

Joe McCarthyism may have crept from Wisconsin into the Minnesota Congressional District which sent Michelle Bachmann to Congress, but we're keeping 'em at bay: we voted today.

Michelle Bachmann said publicly what John McCain's robocalls are saying secretly in the shadows.

Shame on John McCain. Shame on Sarah Palin. Shame on Michelle Bachmann.

And shame on all of us if any of these people are ever elected or re-elected to any public office in America again.].

Michelle Bachmann, best known as the "Gropa from Minnesota," is also a member of Palin's "truth squad" in the state of Minnesota.

Joe McCarthyism may have crept from Wisconsin into the Minnesota Congressional District which sent Michelle Bachmann to Congress, but we're keeping 'em at bay: we voted today.

Michelle Bachmann said publicly what John McCain's robocalls are saying secretly in the shadows.

Shame on John McCain. Shame on Sarah Palin. Shame on Michelle Bachmann.

And shame on all of us if any of these people are ever elected or re-elected to any public office in America again.

Buy American...from Wall Street to Wal-Mart

This morning in the New York Times, Warren Buffett makes the case for investing now in American stocks.
A simple rule dictates my buying: Be fearful when others are greedy, and be greedy when others are fearful.
To be sure, investors are right to be wary of highly leveraged entities or businesses in weak competitive positions. But fears regarding the long-term prosperity of the nation’s many sound companies make no sense. These businesses will indeed suffer earnings hiccups, as they always have. But most major companies will be setting new profit records 5, 10 and 20 years from now.
Buying American takes some doing these days. Just last weekend, I wove through the road construction and asphalt trucks of l'il ol' Park Rapids, Minnesota for a rare visit to the local Wal-Mart in search of something I knew I couldn't find in the other smaller stores of the community.

While there, I decided to look for a new juice container.

I'm pragmatic about my fears. I don't worry about boogey-men popping out from behind the tall timbers. The only orange alert is the color of the tamaracks.

I don't shy away from paying my taxes....just how do folks think that road construction and those asphalt trucks get paid for, anyway? I just want to be sure that when I do pay those taxes, the money's spent responsibly, wisely and prudently. So reading that one of John McCain's chief fundraisers is under investigation for war profiteering...now that's something I fear. And that's something I expect the government I'm paying for to do something about...to protect this country and to protect my family.

And when I see economist Joseph Stiglitz telling Colbert about how global corporations have figured out how to bill bilk the American taxpayer out of gazillions of dollars doing things like truckin' sand from Kuwait to Iraq. What, said Colbert, they don't have enough sand in Iraq?

Yeah, sometimes I wonder if we should be learning from history not just by reading Orwell's 1984, but we should also be reconnecting with Milo Minderbender in Catch-22.

But back to storing stuff in plastic made in China. You see, I worry about that. Plastic, any plastic, gives me pause. And, yes, I did see The Graduate in original release. But sorry, plastic don't float my boat. So there I was in Wal-Mart. Looking for a glass juice container. Not made in China.

And I found it. Anchor-Hocking, said the label. Made in America. By a good ol' American company that's been around since long before I was writing ad copy for the housewares sales at the regional hardware and sports chain where I started biz writing.

Nice to see an old friend.

So there's a couple of new glass carafe-shaped pitchers ready for juice and iced tea in the tall timber now.

And if you are willing to do a little extra work, make a little extra effort, you, too, can "buy American" and invest in putting this country back on its feet.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

McCain "Tongues" Obama

Yes, this is a Reuters photo. No, it is not photoshopped.