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"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

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

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Hillary 2.0 with a multiplier

Everything the Rethugs have told us for years they hated about Hillary Clinton we're now seeing unfold in Cindy McCain. Appearing this morning on ABC to tell George Stephanopoulos how offended she was by Obama's Invesco Field speech. The beer baroness meeting privately with Sarah "Barracuda" Palin at her Arizona getaway ranch just before McCain's endorsement.

Even Cindy's trip into the war zone of Georgia...did she get roses? Did she chat up any of the American "advisors" and thank 'em for the campaign boost?

Along with everything else this campaign season is tellin' us about the tired old party, the emergence of Cindy McCain's iron hand in the campaign reinforces just how hypocritical the Rethugs are.

And everything they point their finger at goes back at them four-fold.

Meanwhile, we have McCain's arranged "marriage" with his newfound soulmate...yeah, I'm thinkin' Putin, too. Although it doesn't seem to be her eyes he was checkin' out in the video from Dayton. Funny, though, how the metaphors have a way of coming full circle.

So right now, we've got the new darlin' of the Republican base. Palin...meet Putin...meet....[Evita] Peron?

Well, there is the small matter of her lying about being strongly anti-bridge-to-Nowhere. And using the power of her office to get a state official fired when he wouldn't jump to her command and her husband's 24 phone calls. And say, just what was her "Dude" doin' sitting in on state meetings about gas and oil while he worked for the oil industry?

And that's just the first weekend. Imagine what we've yet to learn once Gustav passes.

"Don't cry for me, Minnesota...."

Prairie's Quote O'the Day

John Boehner, this a.m. on CNN, stumbling over Sarah Palin's name, protesteth too much, but, but, but, she has more executive experience than Barack Obama....or Joe Biden....

Gloria Borger: Or John McCain....

Saturday, August 30, 2008

A Two-fer?

Maybe it's just me. But here's the thing. There's this potentially Class 5 hurricane name o'Gustav bearing down on the Gulf Coast, a massive evacuation effort underway right now in New Orleans.

The governor of Alabama has already declared a state of emergency.

The oil rigs out in the Gulf are in lockdown storm mode.

The tension and focus are at a fever pitch all up and down the Gulf Coast, demanding the undistracted attention of every form of law enforcement and emergency crews and first responders and....

What's this? The Gambler and his fresh new political bride, Saintly Sarah with the slightly tarnished [investigation? what investigation?] halo are planning to descend on Mississippi for a campaign intro moment? A look-see. A photo-op sayin' oh, my, we're so concerned....

Wonder if they'll stage it at Haley Barbour's pride and joy, the casinos, freshly - constructed - after - Katrina - while - people - are - still - to - this - day - living - in - fahn - Mississippi - toxic - FEMA - trailers ...then The Gambler can just head across the plush carpet and shoot a few craps.

While his staged political opportunism craps on the people still trying to recover from Katrina when he was oh-so-busy showin' off his birthday cake with his real best friend for political life...George W. Bush and his Rovian hordes.

Hey, L'il john, you're supposed to be headin' for the headwaters of the Mississippi--Minnesota. Maybe instead of distracting and dividing up the responsibilities of the Gulf Coast/Mississippi emergency folks, you can give a little distraction to your stormtroops who are up here invading the houses of Minneapolis-St. Paul.

Prairie's Reading: SusanG on the Palin Pick

SusanG at DailyKos pulls together the reaction from those who know her best...the local newspapers in Alaska on the Sarah Palin pick by John McCain in yet another example of his lifelong style of recklessness and inadequate prepping. A style of living I'm callin' The Gambler...sing it, Kenny Rogers....

Just one example, from the Anchorage Daily News:
"She's not prepared to be governor. How can she be prepared to be vice president or president? said [State Senate President Lyda Green, a Republican from Palin's hometown of Wasilla]. "Look at what she's done to this state. What would she do to the nation?"
And this editorial from the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner:
McCain seems to have put his political interests ahead of the nation's when he created the possibility that she might fill it. It's clear that McCain picked Palin for reasons of image, not substance.
Meanwhile, the usual Rethuglican suspects are falling all over themselves to say what a great choice this is. Let the investigative journalism begin....
UPDATE: More meanwhile, Paul Begala offers his take "Is McCain Out of his Mind?" Insane McCain? Ya think?

Four More Years?

"We don't need four more years of the last eight years."

Already questions are swirling about whether the McCain team actually fully vetted Sarah Palin before adding her to the Republican ticket.

And what does that say about four more years of the same reckless endangerment and rash decision-making that we've seen for the last eight years?

Yes, she's got an interesting life story. Yes, she's a blatant grab for women voters.

But as Amy Klobuchar said this morning on MSNBC, this election is about agenda, not gender.

So will the addition of an anti-Hillary on virtually every policy issue that matters to women make a difference for McCain?

Friday, August 29, 2008

"McCain First"

Never one to stray far from rightwing Republican orthodoxy, despite his protestations that he's oh, so, Maver-icky, John McCain must've seen the handwriting on the wall. His campaign strategy to appeal to independents and moderates showing it was going nowhere but down, he careened from middle-of-the-road to the farthest extremes of the Republican right.

Sarah Palin. A true Buchananite conservative "gal" with absolutist anti-environment, anti-choice, pro-gun extremism that only a pitchfork-wielding Pat...and a desperate McCain could love.

Making a covetous, reckless and desperate appeal to the supposed 18-million Hillary voters just hangin' around out there in the ether waiting for a gender-grab candidate to come along because they're too darned dumb to look at the fact that Sarah Palin is the polar opposite of Hillary Clinton.

Never mind experience in the most serious concerns of the day...the war, our collapsing economy, lost jobs. Nope, when it comes to politics, set aside the slogans. Flyboy McCain, the man who crashed five of his planes, doesn't put Country First.

He carries on the Bush tradition of reckless endangerment...the ends justify the means...because in McCain Country...it's McCain First.

Sarah Palin?


"I'm Ready to Have that Debate"

All week long we've watched the rising crescendo of Obama's taking on the mantle of [no-longer-presumptive] Democratic candidate for President.

Even Republican consultant Mike Murphy gives high props to Obama.

The naysayers are already being their predictable selves...but, but, but, what about the billionaires?????????????? asked Cavuto on the Imus Show this morning. This is more and more government, says Peggy Nooner. "Socialist" Scarborough says his moderate Republican friends are telling him....

and oooooh, boogah, boogah, Lieberman is in Dayton.

Well guess what, Republicans...and your McCainstream Media... we are all ready to "have that debate."

Birthday Boy

Lest we forget, today is John McCain's third anniversary of celebrating his birthday with George Bush.

Bet they haven't forgotten in New Orleans.

And it looks like the Birthday Boy is right on track to keep that ol' not-separated-at-birth thang going as he announces his veep choice today.

Already, Pawlenty's gotten the call...it ain't you Babe, ah no, no, no, it ain't you....

Looks like we're gettin' down to Romney. The Bush family legacy choice. The Jeb Bush-endorsed choice. The fast track to Jeb Bush's takeover of the White House choice. The Rove muscle in on L'il Lie-bee choice.... clear evidence that McCain has lost control of his campaign and it's all about the Third Term of Bush. Tee-in' up for the third Bush presidency.

Happy Birthday, john. Watch your back.

Dynasty continues....
UPDATE: Rumor floating Alaska Governor Palin. Hmmm, methinks "red herring" until they prove me wrong. Hey, why not Michelle Bachmann? I'm sure she's available....

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Media Meltdown

Comedy Central's Daily Show and Colbert Report.

All else is absolutely unwatchable.

Pundits in love with themselves, changing words a la Fox..."if she had said..."...WTF is that?????

Pundits in love with themselves, making up nonexistent conflicts so they have something to talk about because they're too frackin' lazy or—yes, may we say it, Tom Brokaw and Maureen Dowdy—full of what Prairie steps carefully around in the horse pastures.

Pundits in love with themselves, so they talk right over speakers like John Kerry.

Food fights over at MSNBC.

Stenography right from Mr. Rove's neighborhood courtesy racist rabble like Michael Reagan andGlenn Beck.

Let's say this is Survivor, Denver...it's time to kick all these media lunkheads off the island.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Bringing the Heat...

John Kerry:

Let me tell you, before he ever debates Barack Obama, John McCain should finish the debate with himself. And what's more, Senator McCain, who once railed against the smears of Karl Rove when he was the target, has morphed into candidate McCain who is using the same "Rove" tactics and the same "Rove" staff to repeat the same old politics of fear and smear. Well, not this year, not this time. The Rove-McCain tactics are old and outworn, and America will reject them in 2008.

So remember, when we choose a commander-in-chief this November, we are electing judgment and character, not years in the Senate or years on this earth. Time and again, Barack Obama has seen farther, thought harder, and listened better. And time and again, Barack Obama has been proven right.

Bill Clinton:

Hillary told us in no uncertain terms that she'll do everything she can to elect Barack Obama.

That makes two of us.

Actually that makes 18 million of us - because, like Hillary, I want all of you who supported her to vote for Barack Obama in November.


Barack Obama is ready to lead America and restore American leadership in the world. Ready to preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States. Barack Obama is ready to be President of the United States.

Most important, Barack Obama knows that America cannot be strong abroad unless we are strong at home. People the world over have always been more impressed by the power of our example than by the example of our power.

Life Isn't Fair...except when it is

"Some say" Hillary should have been the nominee, she wuz robbed, she gave one helluva speech.

Maybe she wuz robbed, surely she's been unjustly treated by the McCainstream Media. But still, it was her nomination to lose.

And Obama won.

The democratic Democratic party system worked.

And she gave one helluva speech.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Profile in Courage

Some say they support a candidate and important issues, then don't quite put heart or soul into it.

And then there's Teddy Kennedy.

With a full heart, we wish him the ability to not only "be there" on January 20, 2009...but to be able to continue to control the wheel as he sails.

Because the dream lives on.

In Her Own Words...

Set aside the rightwing and McCainstream Media sniping of past months. Set aside the Re-thug talking points already being screeded by the predictable [Faux and local rightwing radio] voices. The complaints....but but but she didn't talk about the war in eye-raq.

She didn't attack McCain. She didn't... and don't you just know that if she had, the very same screeders would be spewin' how dare she talk about policy, how dare she talk about McCain, who does she think she is?

And focus on what she did say. And be prepared to be inspired...and heart warmed.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Rawk-us Blue Jays

Got a neat little lesson in the ways of the world and politics this weekend in the tall timber. Just minutes after replenishing the bird feeders, we were a-swarm with blue jays, raucous, swoopin' and divin', and gathering more and more.

Kinda like a certain gathering beginning out to the west of Prairie Country.

Caught by surprise, we did a little googling to find out what was happening.

Turns out, blue jays tend to divide up in smaller groups in the springtime contending for their mates ... courtship groups. Which would explain the onesies and two-sies who've shared our bountiful bird feeders throughout the spring and summer.

And those primaries and caucuses and choosin' up candidates....

And now, all those singletons and duos and courtship groups of blue jays have come together into one glorious feeding flock ... Blue is risin' ... let the celebration begin.
Now excuse me while I go stock up on the tissues...tonight's going to be an historic night.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hawaiian? Aye.

This year, it helps if you're Hawaiian...in a metaphor of good karma, salut! to the Little League World Series Champions...Waipahu, Hawaii.

Even nonexotic Cokie Roberts has gotta cheer that one.

Big Brother

It struck me as telling, among Joe Biden's other, professional attributes to be on the Democratic team for the Presidency, that Barack Obama would choose a guy with his personal reputation for pugnacious, no-holds-barred fighting for what he believes, and with the smarts and tongue to back it up.

A noun, a verb, and 9-11, anyone?

A man raised by his mother to stand strong, to take on the bullies when his brothers needed him, a man who knows his home ground, and isn't afraid to speak sharply and call "malarkey."

This is the kind of "big brother" we need.

We've had more than a belly-full of the other kind.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Populists R Us

Obama-Biden 2008 -- clearly positioning as the working class candidates. As well they should. That is where their feet are firmly planted, per Abraham Lincoln.

I don't think you're going to find either of these guys standin' up in front of a fancy-schmantzy Wall Street dinner and sayin' some may call you the haves and the have-mores, I call you my base....

Nor making sport of hunting for WMDs under the desk in the Oval Office.

Nor trying to either figure out how many homes you have...or how many you have to hide.

The reckoning, Joe Biden said in Springfield today, is here.

And Obama-Biden are a formidable team to be reckoned with in the last nine weeks of this campaign.

Reckon the rest of us need to lend 'em a hand. It's our fight, too.


And the winner in the all-important veepstakes is.......John King, CNN.

Turned on the teevee this morning and CNN was bouncing, making the most of their reporter breaking the story that Barack Obama had selected Joe Biden as his running mate.

A quick turn to the email inbox--sorry guys, I don't text--and there amid the emails offering autumn garden goodies were MSNBC Alerts: Associated Press confirms..., then later, NBC confirms.... And about four hours later, THE message from Barack.

Ya can't duck it, NBC. There's only one King of the media this morning.

Now, can we get on with the election and enough of the horseraces?

UPDATE: Who leaked? 2 Dem sources...

Friday, August 22, 2008

Breaking the Mold

We've seen a lot of breaking the mold of late...Dara Torres, Michael Phelps, Usain Bolt, the Japanese women's softball team....

So it was a head-scratching moment for me when a CNN newsreader expressed bewilderment to Jessica Yellin, on location in Chicago, about why Obama has not yet announced his veep choice. Why on a Saturday...that's just not doooooooooonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnne.

Yes, I know she was probably just reciting in her best dumbed-down persona what some idiot producer thought would be a clever script-take, but come on...

Maybe it's, you know, part of a well-thought-out plan...kind of like the campaign we've been seeing from the Obama folks. Not a half-cocked, half-baked, knee-jerk, hair-trigger overreaction to some external event. Ya think?

So will it be Biden? Earlier this week in Fargo, that was Senator Dorgan's prediction. The media buzz is certainly building in that direction. The video of his family joining him at his home in Delaware points that way.

Hey guys, ever think it's just a fare-well gathering for Biden's son before he ships out to Iraq?
jes kiddin'....

Maybe it's time to start searchin' out those Irish tartan patterns. I'm thinkin' it'll be Biden.

But Barack can take whatever time he wants, in whatever order he wants to take it, because the buildup of the veepstakes is just one more example of how Obama is breaking the mold.

And that's what champions do.
Psssst, Pentagon: how 'bout you guys doin' a little mold breakin', too, and clean up those barracks our troops are recuperating in at Fort Sill and elsewhere. That would be real military honor.

And we've seen enough of the Faux.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

john Superrich McCain

l' john puts the Mc in McMansions, and you don't need me to give you linkys, they're all over the place.

Tell us again, Mr. $520 ferragamos, seven [or eight, or ten, or...] houses McSturgis...how much you enjoy comin' out and mixin' with we common folk? And then rushin' back home in the family private jet....


More of This?

George Bush's "job resume" is making the rounds of the Internet, and in the interests of assuring this poor guy who likely is worrying deeply about where his next paycheck, his next meal, his next month's insurance premium for healthcare, his next gallon of gas for the gator, will come from, we share it here. Keep in mind that John McCain is promising four more years of the same:

Subject: This Guy Needs
a Job: Can You Help Him?

I will be available in January
2009, am willing to relocate.


1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, D.C.


Law Enforcement:

I was arrested in Kennebunkport, Maine, in 1976 for driving under the
influence of alcohol. I pled guilty, paid a fine, and had my driver's
license suspended for 30 days. My Texas driving record has been 'lost' and
is not available.


I joined the Texas Air National Guard and went AWOL. I refused to take a
drug test or answer any questions about my drug use. By joining the Texas
Air National Guard, I was able to avoid combat duty in Vietnam.


I graduated from Yale University with a low C average. I was a cheerleader.


I ran for U.S. Congress and lost. I began my career in the oil business in
Midland, Texas, in 1975. I bought an oil company, but couldn't find any oil
in Texas. The company went bankrupt shortly after I sold all my stock.

I bought the Texas Rangers baseball team in a sweetheart deal that took land
using taxpayer money. With the help of my father and our friends in the oil
industry (including Enron CEO Ken Lay), I was elected governor of Texas.


I changed Texas pollution laws to favor power and oil companies, making
Texas the most polluted state in the Union. During my tenure, Houston
replaced Los Angeles as the most smog-ridden city in America.

I cut taxes and bankrupted the Texas treasury to the tune of billions in
borrowed money.

I set the record for the most executions by any governor in American

With the help of my brother, the governor of Florida, and my father's
appointments to the Supreme Court, I became President of the United States,
after losing by over 500,000 votes.


I am the first President in U.S. history to enter office with a criminal

I invaded and occupied two countries at a continuing cost of over one
billion dollars per week.

I spent the U.S. surplus and effectively bankrupted the U.S. Treasury.

I shattered the record for the largest annual deficit in U.S. history.

I set an economic record for most private bankruptcies filed in any 12-month

I set the all-time record for most foreclosures in a 12-month period.

I set the all-time record for the biggest drop in the history of the U.S.
stock market. In my first year in office, over 2 million Americans lost
their jobs and that trend continues.

I'm proud that the members of my cabinet are the richest of any
administration in U.S. history. My 'poorest millionaire,' Condoleezza Rice,
has a Chevron oil tanker named after her.

I set the record for most campaign fund-raising trips by a U.S. President.

I am the all-time U.S and world record -holder for receiving the most
corporate campaign donations.

My largest lifetime campaign contributor, and one of my best friends,
Kenneth Lay, presided over the largest corporate bankruptcy fraud in U.S.
history, Enron.

My political party used Enron private jets and corporate attorneys to assure
my success with the U.S. Supreme Court during my election decision.

I have protected my friends at Enron and Halliburton against investigation
or prosecution. More time and money was spent investigating the Monica
Lewinsky affair than has been spent investigating one of the biggest
corporate rip-offs in history. I presided over the biggest energy crisis in
U.S. history and refused to intervene when corruption involving the oil industry
was revealed.

I presided over the highest gasoline prices in U.S. history.

I changed the U.S. policy to allow convicted criminals to be awarded
government contracts.

I appointed more convicted criminals to my administration than any President
in U.S. history.

I created the Ministry of Homeland Security, the largest bureaucracy in the
history of the United States Government.

I've broken more international treaties than any President in U.S. history.

I am the first President in U.S. history to have the United Nations remove
the U.S. from the Human Rights Commission.

I withdrew the U.S. from the World Court of Law.

I refused to allow inspectors access to U.S. 'prisoners of war' detainees
and thereby have refused to abide by the Geneva Convention.

I am the first President in history to refuse United Nations election
inspectors (during the 2002 US election).
I set the record for fewest numbers of press conferences of any President
since the advent of television.

I set the all-time record for most days on vacation in any one-year period.
After taking off the entire month of August, I presided over the worst
security failure in U.S. history.

I garnered the most sympathy ever for the U.S. after the World Trade Center
attacks and less than a year later made the U.S. the most hated country in
the world, the largest failure of diplomacy in world history.

I have set the all-time record for most people worldwide to simultaneously
protest me in public venues (15 million people), shattering the record for
protests against any person in the history of mankind.

I am the first President in U.S. history to order an unprovoked, preemptive
attack and the military occupation of a sovereign nation. I did so against
the will of the United Nations, the majority of U.S. Citizens and the world

I have cut health care benefits for war veterans and support a cut in duty
benefits for active duty troops and their families in wartime.

In my State of the Union Address, I lied about our reasons for attacking
Iraq and then blamed the lies on our British friends.

I am the first President in history to have a majority of Europeans (71%)
view my presidency as the biggest threat to world peace and security.

I am supporting development of a nuclear 'Tactical Bunker Buster,' a WMD.

I have so far failed to fulfill my pledge to bring Osama Bin Laden to


All records of my tenure as governor of Texas are now in my father's
library, sealed and unavailable for public view.

All records of SEC investigations into my insider trading and my bankrupt
companies are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for public view.

All records or minutes from meetings that I, or my Vice-President, attended
regarding public energy policy are sealed in secrecy and unavailable for
public review. I specified that my sealed documents will not be available
for 50 years.

h/t EagleMom

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Prairie's Readin': Alter on the "smear gap"

The case that McCain lied about his intentions to run a civil campaign, seems to me, is readily apparent by his strategy hires and the cronies he's brought into his campaign...the same lowlifes responsible for labelling his adopted Bangladeshi daughter the family bastard in 2000.

Jonathan Alter minces no words in discussing the "smear gap" of the McCain campaign and lays blame on two fronts...McCain himself—and the media who enable him.

But the fault, notes Alter, lies in candidate McCain, who has compromised all the principles he's professed to uphold in order to win the White House. Like me, Alter wants to see the much-vaunted McCain honor instead of the sleaze.

If not, win or lose, we'll know who the bastard is.

UPDATE: Josh over at TPM adds this thought about the company McCain keeps.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Congratulations and brava...Rachel Maddow gets the props she richly deserves.


Bout damned time.


Wow. POW!

[and h/t dday at digby]. POW!

Every argument and posit the McCain POW = President Of Whup-ass team has been building with their House of John cards is torn down in one pithy posting at military.com.

From another POW.

Wonder how long it'll take before the slash-n-smear crowd starts their Swiftboatian attacks against this guy?

Guess that'll depend on whether the Vapid Vapors Media up at the Vineyard and Hamptons and Nantucket pull their bbq-sauce-stained fingers out of their li-li-li-li-li-lie ears....

Prairie's Sunrise

Contemplating Machu Picchu this morning courtesy Sunrise Earth on the Discovery HD Theatre channel. This photo is of Sunset, according to Wikipedia. Which gives me...and you...a day to contemplate the sheer majesty of what people can accomplish when they put their minds and hearts to it.

Consider the planning, the scouting that first revealed the site, and then the nearly endless time to laboriously design and construct wall after wall, terrace after terrace, rampart after rampart. The work that had to be done to support the builders. Gathering food. Making garments. And tools. And weapons...of war and survival.

Machu Picchu is a designated World Historic Site. Surely it is the greatest treasure of Peru.

Gives one pause to wonder...what are we building these days that would endure and inspire such awe a hundred years from now? Five hundred? A millenium?

Kind of puts in perspective worrying about daily ups and downs and trackings and who'll be in the veepstakes, now doesn't it?
UPDATE: But if you're really, really curious and you can't tear yourself away from the guessing game, Sen. Byron Dorgan told a local Fargo talk radio host this morning he thinks it'll be Biden. We'll see....

Meanwhile, back to Machu Picchu....

UPDATE 2: So does Howard Fineman...

Hmmm, time to check the inbox?

UPDATE 3: Biden says no, it ain't me babe...ah, no, no, no, it ain't me...

Monday, August 18, 2008

Question of the Day...Cone of Silence = Macaca?

As the buzz swirls through the blogosphere about John McCain being AWOL from the "cone of silence," Rick Davis and the McCain campaign are wavin' their arms and ranting and "working the refs" about even the slightest implication that John McCain cheated in the Faith Forum.

Meanwhile, McCain himself is down in Florida, speaking to the VFW, and once again saying that Obama would lose a war to win the White House. His henchman, Little Lie-bee, too, has been questioning the patriotic integrity of the Democratic presumptive nominee.

What part of "thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor" don't these Re-thugs understand? Evidently the Commandments/Decalogue are not part of their faith walk. They talk values and faith and ethics, but they walk the walk of Cheat-to-Win.

So the question is, is the Cone of Silence lie John McCain's Macaca moment?

A Real Solution...or More Hot Air?

T. Boone Pickens is making the rounds these days—he met separately over the weekend with Senator Obama and Senator McCain—talking up The Pickens Plan, a Manhattan Project-style push to reduce dependence on foreign oil by harvesting wind energy in the great corridor of America from Texas to the Dakotas.

Hard to argue about something that would bring fresh economic propulsion and jobs to the heartland. Yet we reserve judgement, take a farmer's wait-and-see attitude, because we remember T. Boone. We recall him four years ago, the skunk at the picnic, using his wealth and power to enable the Swiftboating of a true American hero, mocking his service, bein' part of the good ol' Purple-bandaid folks who played by their own rules. Call it "cheat to win and bluff if they catch us."

That's been workin' pretty well for some time now. Not much honor in it though.

Maybe that's why Pickens this time around is saying he's not going to choose sides. Maybe even for the ol' football fanatic the cheatin' just got too much. Or maybe he sees a way to keep makin' a big buck for himself.

Whatever his motivation, whatever feelings you and I may have about him, though, we'd do well to take a page out of Obama's book and be willing to listen. Unlike McCain who jumps through the hoops of Big Oil...a little chorus of "drill, drill, drill..." anyone? And damn the reality.

T. Boone is stirrin' the pot, no doubt about it. On CNN this morning, Kiran Chetry's first question was: what about those Democrats and environmentalists who oppose your plan? Pickens response was, essentially, who? Audubon Society and Sierra Club are both on board...

But when you're lookin' for alliances and oppositions these days, it would do well to keep in mind the cozy advertiser-media alliances...like ExxonMobile and CNN...and keep a healthy supply of skepticism in mind when you contemplate not only the players on the field but the referees and the color commentary from the sidelines. Who are the reporters...and who are the cheerleaders?

We've seen the mockery of "Inconvenient Truth" by the predicable naysayers before...will it ratchet up as Pickens drives the conversation? After all, who has the most to lose from a re-prioritizing of energy policy [and tax breaks and subsidies and...] than Pickens' good buddies in the oil industry?

And who has the most to win?

I'll be mindful of that this week, because T. Boone is coming to Fargo to discuss his plan, and even though he was a skunk four years ago, the current energy-economic-security mess we have on our hands is no picnic. And everyone's going to have to pitch in with new ideas and fresh personal energy.

Just as long as they bring clean hands.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

What We Know about Honor....

When Rick Warren told us John McCain was in the cone of silence, hmmmmmmmmmmmm... not so much.

Dupe? Or enabler?

Purpose-driven life, indeed.
And Mr. Sunshine's goin': see, I told you, I knew it was cooked before it even started... "John" "Rick"
Did John McCain cheat at the Faith Forum like he cheated on his wife?..now that's a subject I'll just be holding my breath waiting for the Vapid Vapors Media to discuss....

What Prairie's Reading Tonight

What digby says...what Fallows says....

The "debates" deserve better.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

What We Know

What we know about the two presidential presumptives, thanks to Rev. Rick Warren's Faith Forum, is that:

John McCain is congenitally incapable of diverging from his stump speech talking points to the extent that he'll even alert you that he's going to ignore your question so he can bombast about his talking points.

Barack Obama is cool, measured, thoughtful, reasoned, nuanced, diplomatic and have I mentioned thoughtful? Guess that "aloha spirit" from his "foreign, exotic" vacation with his family in the state where he grew up was good for him. Maybe we should all toss in a few coin and send Chippy, erm, Cokie Roberts over there for a little attitude adjustment.

But how much more did we learn about the candidates? Did we learn where Johnny McCain got his wacky sense of humor? Did we learn why his Mommy sued his first wife after he dumped her for a younger, rich heiress blonde wife...getting his marriage license before he even had his divorce papers finalized? Did we learn about Johnny's ties to lobbyists and their ties to most all the scandals and controversies of the day?

Some say we've heard too much about Barack Obama. Some--like Frank Rich--say we haven't yet heard enough about John McCain.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Moral Bankruptcy-Summer Edition

In a week when we've been treated to the twin spectres of political grandstanding at its most low--McCain slavering over warmongering and Matalin's avatar Corsi sleazing about Obama--the weekend, according to CNN, will put both presidential candidates on view for questioning on their faith and values. The conversations with Rev. Rick Warren are supposed to tell us about the character of each of these two.

I've been seeing more than I want of the character of one of the candidates this week. John McCain's unabashed, craven, covetous rush for the Presidency was on display as he grabbed the microphone to lash out against Russia for the situation in Georgia and for all manner of sins going back to the Cold War.

Maybe nobody's told McReckless that someone else is President. I know it's hard to believe when the playing-boy President is doin' cheers with the flag and Pootie-poot while havoc was erupting in Georgia. But then, that's what happens when you've mortgaged your country and your soul to the Chinese...you must pretend that their games are your life's highest priority.

Or maybe they are.

Meanwhile, if McCain...or his handlers...or his Rovian-schooled advisors think that giving the American people a glimpse of an even more reckless, more bellicose, more opportunistic war-monger than Bush 43 is a smart idea, well...maybe not so much.

And speaking of Rove, in the crucible of the vile Jerome Corsi smear book, has there ever been a female doppelganger more morally bankrupt than Corsi's project manager/editor, Mary "a good piece of scholarship" Matalin? No wonder she scuttled out of Foggy Bottom. But doesn't New Orleans have enough problems already?

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Fog of War

We've been treated to McCain holding court about the current kerfuffle in Georgia.

Here's the single clarion voice of one witness in that war zone, a 12-year-old girl.

Hear her aunt's words, and ask yourself, who do you believe?

The family on the ground when the bombs rained?

Or the sturm-und-drang bluster of a desperate candidate trying to politicize Georgia for his own advantage.
UPDATE: Guess who the troops seem to be paying their attention—and their contribution dollars—to...

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Wag the Bear?

Listening to John McCain sabre rattle about Russia gives pause. What cannot be ignored is the controversy of McCain's lobbyist/supporter Scheuneman's murky business ties to Georgia.

McCain has pushed himself to center stage on this story, in the absence of Obama, who is vacationing in Hawaii with his family, and current-president Bush, who is between vacations in China and Crawford.

If the situation weren't so grave, it would be funny contemplating McCain staging a reprise of Alexander Haig's "I am in charge" moment back in the day.

And he notes that in the 21st Century, "nations don't invade other nations." Ahem...Iraq, Senator? Iran in waiting?

And in one breath McCain says "This is no time for that" in response to reporters' questions about politization...while announcing his two key campaign acolytes, Lindsay Graham and Joe Lieberman will be travelling to Georgia.

Why not the other members of the Armed Services Committee, Senator McCain? From both sides of the political aisle? And just why is this committee your self-declared one to be "in charge." And whazzup with usurping the authority of Committee Chair Carl Levin?

Shouldn't it be Biden's Foreign Relations Committee on point for this situation?

Apparently, for McCain, the presumptuous president syndrome applies to current Senatorial rank, as well.
Meanwhile, Russia's foreign minister is upping the ante, saying the U.S. must choose sides.

Heckuva job, all those BushCo's who prodded Georgia into its intemperate action that triggered this flashpoint. We don't need a third term of rash, reckless, bellicose warmongering.

UPDATE: What did Condi say to the Georgian President when she was there last month...and what did Bush's Brain and current informal McCain advisor and Faux Propaganda Network analyst Karl Rove promise Shaakashvili only days later?

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

The Race Card

When will Don Imus call out his friend John McCain for playing the race card in his attack ads against Barack Obama?

The subtext of the ads is obvious. The choice by McCain to bring in the same crew that ran the white woman ads against Harold Ford is plain. He knew what he was buyin'. The compromise of honor hangs in the balance.

For McCain.

And for Imus.

Official "Blonde Woman of the Summer of 2008" Story


Ladies and gentlemen, we have our Summer of 2008 official blonde woman all self-righteously grab-on like Bush grabbin’-back in China story so that we the deliberately obtuse* media do not have to talk about real presidential campaign issues or global events stories.

They’re so haaaaaaaard, it takes work, and it gives our wee press brains a header. Please, please, don’t make us be not-sheeple-press. Let us talk about something totally irrelevant to the campaign instead. A loser who was never going to get the nomination proved he was a louse as well.

Psssst, have you heard the one about how white women like Obama?

Spare me.

McCain is playing the race card and gettin’ away with it. McCain is draggin’ his wife through sleaze like the dying Sturgis bikers’ rally to inoculate himself against questions about his relationships with Vicki Iseman.

The hypocrisy of The Villagers is on full display as usual.


cross-posted in comments at firedoglake.com

* Josh over at TPM calls it deliberately oblivious...either works for me.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Presumptuous Presumptive

Watching John McCain today, standing in front of Flags pontificating on the Russian invasion into Georgia, it occurred to me: where are all the media scolds willing to leap on the Bash-Obama bandwagon about presuming to think or act presidential now?

And...was this an Alexander "I am in charge" Haig moment or what? Wonder what Co-President Chee-knee thinks about McCain today?

Thing is, this situation in Georgia is a deeply serious matter, and we have the FratBoy Prez partyin' with Putin in China, the stain of our corrupt policies and torture in the War in Iraq muzzling our diplomacy, and now the Republican presumptive pretender jumping in to hold court.

Why, this morning on a new Prairie Country radio station in a live "our first guest" interview with Scott Hennen—better known as the guy who got Chee-knee to say [paraphrased] yeah, we torture what's it to ya, America—John McCain discussed with Hennen how the Georgia mess is all very good for McCain's commander-in-chiefiness.

Fine start to another entry in the annals of Big Brother Broadcasting. No links available yet on Hennen's conversation with McCain at the website am1100.tv, but isn't it ironic that a station that bills itself as "The Flag" and uses full page depth, full-color cross-shaped advertising in the local daily has outsourced its website to Tuvalu, some "exotic" "foreign" island in the middle of the Pacific near Australia where they still bow to the crown.

We're in deep doo-doo and all the Rethugs and their media shills can do is look for some partisan political advantage because of it. Ah, but the loyalist Redcoats do still hold court.

Heckuva job, Republicans.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Long-Suffering Wives Club

In Ohio, some say the tide will be tipped toward Obama because of John McCain's role in the outsourcing of DHL jobs.

Tip O'Neill said it, all politics is local.

Hereabouts in Prairie Country [aka the Dakotas and the best of Minnesota], McCain just may be done in by a Buffalo Chip.

As Jane Ahlin points out today in Fargo's Forum, McCain's suggestion that his wife Cindy would make a fine entrant for the Miss Buffalo Chip Contest...right along with being a fine first lady...was met with, well, a pointed response from the bikers in the audience at Sturgis.

Surely John McCain realized something wasn’t quite right when a bunch of the patriotic fellows he was addressing at the Sturgis (S.D.) Motorcycle Rally shouted to Cindy McCain, “Show us your boobs!” But by then it was too late.
The Miss Buffalo Chip contest is noted for such qualifying events as "live orgasm," "wet t-shirt" and "pickle licking" contests.

And it's not as though McCain tossed off his little bon mots to Cindy on the spur of the moment, notes Ahlin.
Like many others, when I first heard this story, I thought McCain must have been trying to be clever with a little off-the-cuff humor that bombed. But video of the event shows that’s not so (that darned Internet). He read his wife joke from a prepared script, which makes one wonder not simply whether he thought it was funny (obviously he did), but also whether he practiced it.
Even before the big revelation about another politician who shall forever be named "Ratboy," I noted in a Friday commentary that McCain has real women issues [go ahead, scroll back].

Maybe the mainstream media, The Villagers and other Very Important People are still pretending that isn't so, but in light of recent events, its abundantly clear out here in Politics, Local where reality exists that two men this week have shown their worst colors when it comes to how they treat their wives.

Prairie's Reading: The life you save....

Darksyde over at DailyKos has a post this morning well worth setting aside your morning blogreading or cereal-box reading for.

Regenerative medicine is a subject that's caught the attention of the Sunshine family because we know the challenges of living with a removed limb. And the prospect that some day that could be restored is one that we hope for, for others down the road. Because like most science, cures and treatments take years to develop.

So when roadblocks are put in the way of that development, it behooves us all to take a look at why.

The Bush Administration's War on Science and Medicine has examples that are legion. Changing scientific documents prepared by their own departments. Muzzling scientists from speaking out. Cutting funding.

And ultimately that's a war on each of us...because, as DarkSyde notes, the diseases and events which make regenerative medicine a necessary science are waiting for us all.

Saturday, August 9, 2008


Sometimes it's good to be on vacation. But sometimes circumstances intrude even into the deepest reaches of the tall timber.

Years ago, when I learned the backstory of Newt Gingrich and his selfish hubristic treatment of his wife...which seemed to repeat itself over and over with each of his wives...I dubbed him the "slime beneath pond scum."

Then out here in Prairie Country I ran across guys who showed similar despicable dishonor of their wives and slime beneath pond scum got shortened to Ratboy.

Guess there's a new entrant in the club now.

The press embarrasses itself in its slavish hyperventilating as they race to frame this as a problem for Democrats and Obama. Thing is, as Josh over at TPM and others before me have pointed out, it's McCain and Republicans like Gingrich who most closely resemble the kind of cavalier "saint [wife] and sinner [husband]" that this latest Edwards moment reveals.

So the histrionic sanctimonious press will be on display, too, for whether they exhibit good nonpartisan evenhanded reporting...or are Ratboys, too. If the standard is lying to the press, then the press has the duty to follow the threads and seek out and report the truth. Whether it's a Democratic figure, or a Republican one. And hey, what was the skinny on that story about Ol' Tom back in the day?

But history tells me, they'll be Ratboys...just like the philandering selfish husbands. Because one thing holds true...if it happened once, it happened over and over and over and over and....
....and...has anybody mentioned there's a war on in Georgia? And what about Moldova? And....

Friday, August 8, 2008

We Are All Trollops Now....

Earlier this week at the Sturgis motorcycle rally, Senator John McCain offered up his wife, Cindy, for the Miss Buffalo Chip contest. I'll spare you the videos of past contest entrants. We must think of the children...

And McCain's idea of a comparison for Obama? Paris and Britney.

What is it with McCain and younger blonde women *shhhh*Vicki Iseman*shhhhh*?

And why on earth would any Hillarywoman talk about, much less even consider, supporting a candidate who both professionally—politically—and personally objectifies women including his own wife into sleazy sex object roles?

We won't even discuss his rape joke here.

Sense of humor? Why is this funny?

Give me the gentleman on the left.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Another Time, Another Vacation

We interrupt this vacation in the Prairie to remind everyone about another vacation...on this day...wayyy back in the Summer of 2001. Back before everything CHANGED!!!!!!!!

I couldn't figure out how to put reverb on that. Oh, well. h/t ThinkProgress

Now back to the hammock....

Tuesday, August 5, 2008


I'm on mine...how about you?

Find a good book and the nearest hammock and take a break.

See you back here soon.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Health Matters...and so does Science

This morning, I came across one of those beautiful reasons why the blogosphere matters...about far more than politics, or sports, or whatever special interest may usually send you its cyber-siren song.

This morning at DailyKos, the rescue rangers had highlighted a posting by JohnnyRook, a tribute to his wife and caregiver on the occasion of their anniversary. The posting is a poignant one, worth reading all for itself.

But in the reading, I was stopped in my scrolling tracks by one commenter's mention about the possible impact of treating leukemia with methadone. Being part of a leukemia survivor/endurer family, this kind of thing perks up my antennae.

And since google alerts hadn't yet sent this info direct to my inbox, I did a fast shuffle into google to learn more.

Would that all the health-related news from the blogosphere were so uplifting. However, a recent link from reader Melody reminded me that there are sharks in the healthcare industry and its environs as well. Not that that should come as any surprise, since there seem to be so many sharks on the loose in every section and corner of our country these days. And no I don't mean the finny ones swimmin' in the waters of Shark Week on the Discovery Channel.

I put a mental curse on those folks each time I read in our tall timber weekly newspapers the small ads promoting a benefit dinner for an area resident going thru treatment...and it's usually for some form or other of cancer.

And then there's the word today that Bob Novak got dire news about his brain tumor. As did Senator Ted Kennedy in recent weeks. As a blog commenter I read earlier on another site observed, we wish Novak better than those on the right wished Senator Ted. For each we hope for healing, and courage, and serenity to face the days ahead.

Living with a cancer endurer, I know this is one curse you wish on nobody.

Special props to Joanie McCall of the Park Rapids MN community, who's outlasted her doctor's dire diagnosis for her brain cancer [unfortunately the PR MN paper doesn't seem to keep their stories accessible long enough to link this one].

Back full circle, my wish for you, visitor, is a healthy life, the sustained resource of the Internet to educate and inform you when you need it [as we did and do about the ongoing challenge of living with chronic lymphocytic leukemia], and the hope that the good guys will live long and prosper, and the scoundrels be hoist on their own petard...and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

McCain in Sturgis

Here in Prairie Country we look with some bemusement on the annual weeklong mega-motorcycle rally/orgy/boozefest/naked bootython that is Sturgis, SD... so news that John McCain will make an appearance Monday, August 4 at a Tribute to American Veterans and Active Duty Servicemen leaves us, well, speechless.

Except to note the site is Buffalo Chip.

Fitting, that.

Ends Reflect the Means

Bob Schieffer is the gold standard of teevee reportering. CBS on Sunday mornings is the gold standard of substantive broadcasting. All else is dreck.

All else is pro wrestling in chairs.

Pundits and surrogates talking past each other to score talking points without paying attention to contradict lies and bullshit. See: Meet the Press depressing...nevermind. Go over to Huffington Post and read Linkins instead.

Meanwhile, Schieffer is asking serious questions on serious issues. The state of the economy this morning. Worth viewing over at the CBS FTN site, if you missed it.

Schieffer closed his program this morning with a commentary on the Machiavelli style of campaigning [ends justify the means, so we'll deal with collateral damage after--see: McCain campaign] vs. the Gandhi meme: the ends reflect the means.

Chiming in with Schieffer, I'll observe that last week's barrage of crapola from the McCain campaign serves nobody well. And reflects the sorry state of these untied states these days. But I'll bet BushCo's "our man" Ailes and Limbaugh are lovin' it.

I'll go with Schieffer and Gandhi, thank you very much.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

John McCain = Cynical

In a press conference this a.m. in Florida, Barack Obama responded to a reporter's question by saying he doesn't think the McCain campaign's attacks on him this week were racial. He thinks they are cynical.

Hmmm, take the max in contributions from a wealthy contributor like Paris Hilton's father and then make a mockery of her in an ad. Yeah, I'd call that cynical.

Mock and make fun of people who are supporting a candidate who offers policies and plans that will make their lives better. Yeah, I'd call that cynical.

Whisper in the ears of your BBQ media buddies to change the subject from the reality that all you have to offer is another four years of BushCo America. Yeah, I'd call that cynical.

Tell a reporter it's all just good clean fun...yeah. I'd call that cynical, too.

Then go and take the weekend off at one of your eight homes and put up your $520 Ferragamo-shod feet while the people of America are facing job cuts and downsizing and loss of job benefits and shorter pay hours and rising food costs, and higher fuel costs, and worry about how to heat their homes this winter, and loss of health insurance and weaker schools and roads and bridges...

Yeah. I'd call that cynical, too.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Shark Week

As the progression of attack ads began to spew out from the McCain campaign this week, I was bewildered. What on earth could these be doing, coming from Capt. Honor and Integrity's campaign? And the celebutante ad, he said flat out he was proud of that.

And today, he said it's all just havin' some fun. You know, like pullin' the wings off butterflies...that kind of fun. And his good buddy, L'il Joey, why he said we should all relax and enjoy it.

Guess they think we're starved for summertime entertainment.

And then, watching Mike Rowe and the Dirty Jobs crew pullin' that long cable wire out of the icy waters hoping for a prehistoric Greenland shark, it hit me. Hey, it's "Shark Week" on the Discovery Channel....

and Senator John S [for "Surrender his Honor and Integrity to the Rethuglican hate merchants"] McCain is in the mood for jumpin'.

Vote with your Feet

MSNBC reporting this morning that WalMart has injected its corporate self into the presidential campaign. Warning its employees not to support the Democratic candidate because that'll bring unionization.

Response expected from unions later today.

I expect the strongest response to come from Hillary Clinton, former board member of WalMart. Will she live up to my expectations?

The full force of corporatist politics are in play this campaign season, it will be an "epic battle" just trying to succeed on November 4, much less restore We, the People instead of We, the Corporations to governing policy.

But there's one easy choice I can make right now, even before election day...so can you.

Vote with your feet.

Good-bye to WalMart and Sam's Club. Good buys available somewhere else. I'm kinda partial to the same place Michelle Obama shops. Target. How 'bout you?