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Fresh food for thought served up any ol’ time by whim of Prairie Sunshine...do bookmark us and visit often. And share with your friends. And thanks for stopping by.

"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

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


Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Resolved for 2010: Re-elect Dorgan

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Here's the way grown-ups respond. The way genuine public servants act. Not partisan party hacks or rise-from-the-ooze has-been vice-presidents who lack only an indictment to make their curriculum vitae complete.

Byron Dorgan's my senator. I live in the county (Cass) that CNN Money has just named as number one place to work in the country. In the only state (North Dakota) I'm aware of that still is operating in the black. Dorgan works for this country and our state. Because he understands what is good for the country will be good for our state. He sees the big picture.

Building technologies, while lambasting frivolous waste like boondoggle border sites. He's the senator who's trying to save people money on the exorbitant prices Big Pharma charges for drugs. Well, I could go on, but for the moment, take note.

Republicans may think they can come after Dorgan in 2010 because their slime worked against Daschle.

Dorgan's calling them out on trying to line their pockets and push their failed partisan policies at the expense of national security. Called them out on using the tactics of fearmongering, warmongering, hate-baiting. The likes of Hoekstra, DeMint, and Cheney who would try to profiteer on the blood of America's finest, the working class that built this nation and is first to step up to serve in harm's way. Dorgan's drawn a swift and strong line in the sand.

Make no mistake. Dorgan won't back down. And neither will the people of North Dakota who value his leadership and his service. Count me among 'em.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Friday, December 25, 2009

Prairie's Reading: Krugman's Tidings of Comfort

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If you're like me, snowed in by the Blizzard of 2009, not to be confused with the Big Flood of 2009 last spring...well, it has been a year, now hasn't it...

You're likely reading old-fashioned mysteries--a fresh collection--or a newfangled Sony Reader that'll take some getting used to, but definitely fits a travel-minded spirit.

But in the meantime, go, read Krugman. Now here's some Candid Christmas Spirit worth pondering.
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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Season's Greetings

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May the peace we profess to celebrate in this season truly fill our hearts...and our politics.

Best wishes for however you celebrate this season. I'm partial to Christmas traditions and the closeness of family.

And Happy New Year.
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Monday, December 21, 2009

The Dismal Decade

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No need to wait for the historians...despite Karl Rove and Dana Tinkerbell's best efforts, along with the Chee-knees and Crazy Mary Matalin...the judgment has been made.

The historians will just affirm it.

The Bush Era deserves to be forever known as The Dismal Decade.

The nadir of America, with a whole lot of rebuilding to do.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Frank Rich Rides the Tiger

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NYT columnist Frank Rich reminds us we've been here before: bamboozled by our leaders, led into willfully reckless disregard of what's right before our eyes if we'd only pull down our fingers to see.

Oh, he's talking about Tiger Woods, and the Iraq War, and Enron, and Ben Bernanke.

But really, aren't we seeing yet another past is prologue in the healthcare reform?

No public option. No true competition. Trust us, say the leaders. Trust us, say the insurance companies. Trust us, say the big pharma companies. Trust us, say Ben, and Olympia, and Joe and all the rest.

When will they ever learn?


When will we ever learn?
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Thursday, December 17, 2009

Question for your Senator or Congressperson....

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Ask away....

Are you with the predators or the people?
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See also, Dylan Ratigan at MSNBC and Firedoglake.com

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Very Few Good Gladiators

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One of my alltime favorite movies is Gladiator. Small wonder for a liberal. It shows a man of courage, standing up for his principles and his family values against a corrupt and cowardly status quo coupled with some genuine evil.

Now far be it from me to suggest that the movie version of health care reform should feature River Phoenix as Joe Lieberman, but...what the heck. Why not. And then there's Jane Hamsher as played by Connie Nielsen. And Russell Crowe? Well, I'd give him the Dylan Ratigan part. I would've assigned Viggo Mortenson, but he wasn't in the original.

Gladiators come more and more to mind these days as you watch the bread and circuses and thumbs-downing that's going on in Washington. Bellicose Senators who quisle and cave at the first opportunity. [They call it "compromise"]. Vandals and scourges leaving the rest of us rabble to struggle to plow through the arcane paperwork so that all the Sopranos can dip their beaks along the way. But I mix my moviesque metaphors....

And where does it leave us? The progressives and liberals and hope-fulls who voted for change last year? Damned dispirited that we are seeing so much of the same ol' same ol'.

And where will we be when the healthcare "reform" bill passes? Another day older and deeper in debt, said ol' Tennessee Ernie some years ago. And some things never change.

Clotheslineblogger Barbara posed a question to me about whether the efforts of the Jane Hamshers of the healthcare reform battle will be effective--with the parenthetical, I'm thinking, that voices like Barbara's and mine, no less passionate, are so much fainter in the loud cacophony of teabagger screeching and Big Insurance/Pharma $$$$spinning and Rethuglican fearmongering.

I answered her thusly, and I think it bears repeating:
Jane is dogged and I understand where she's coming from, and dang it, she's right. Like Dylan Ratigan is right on MSNBC--just heard his Reality Check on the banksters and why we need windfall profits tax. These are Gladiators. And the Coliseum is full of good ol' boys who are way too cozy with each other. One of the reasons her action on Hadassah Lieberman is such a flashpoint is that way too many Senators have spouses, or children who are essentially doing the same thing as the Liebermans.

We may not get what we want this go-round on healthcare, but we've gotten people's attention. And I think that matters. Next time around, instead of giving away the farm before they even get started, maybe we can just get them to give away the outhouse.
Disclaimer: Barbara and I met online at firedoglake.com. We've both gone through the agonizing process of caregiving and ultimately losing a beloved family member to cancer. The Senate, the Congress, the White House should consider this notice that although people like Jane and Dylan, each on their issues, may seem like out-there lonely voices, they speak for Legions.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal and Clotheslineblog

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Prairie's Reading: Wendell Potter on Medical Ratios.

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Over at Huffington Post, Wendell Potter, former Cigna executive who is now doing heroic advocacy for healthcare reform, blogs about a healthcare amendment you need to know about. Senators Franken and Rockefeller are pushing to hold for-profit insurance companies to account by mandating they spend 90% of every premium dollar on medical care.

It's called MLR -- medical loss ratio.

An interesting twist of phrase. Actually providing the service for which people are paying their insurance companies is considered a "loss."

It should be Moral Leadership Return.

Insurance companies actually having ethics, moral responsibility, you know, all those old-fashioned values that the values crowd corrupts to line the pockets of Wall Street, buy the yachts and the Bentleys and Gulfstreams and the penthouse lofts and mcMansions.

Dancing around their 21st century version of the Golden Calf while turning a blind eye to the parable values of the Jewish guy with the loaves and fishes and healing touch.
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crossposted at Firedoglake's The Seminal and Clotheslineblog

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Why they call him Dick.

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Dick Cheney comes back out of his sludgehole to accuse the president of giving aid and comfort to the enemy.

Just in case you were missin' the good ol' days of Senator Joseph McCarthy and Governor George Wallace.
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Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Idea of the Day

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Dylan Ratigan nails it: you can't be a bank if you don't lend money.
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obviously far too simple an idea for the government to do.
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My definition of government has always been that which protects the powerless from the powerful.
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For too long, the government has been protecting the powerful.
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Enough.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Elizabeth Warren

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One of the clearest voices on what's really at risk in this Great [shhh, don't call it Dep]Recession is Elizabeth Warren.

You'd think the idiots with their screamfests and crossfirization of inane talking points and moguls pushing their in-house hatemongers would realize that survival of the middle class is in their best interest, too.

That survival must include jobs. Education. And health care.

Oh, and Ben Nelson and Stupak and their ilk keeping their noses out of women's vaginas. Maybe this is their way of overcompensating for their own Inner Ensigns?
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Thursday, November 12, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Froomkin Interviews Dorgan

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Those of us who've been privileged to know Byron Dorgan since his days in the North Dakota state capitol in Bismarck know the strength of his expertise, his commitment to the country, and his cut-through-the-chaff wisdom.
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Froomkin's interview with Dorgan on matters economic is must reading.
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Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Undermining....

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Joe Lie-berman and the friendly folk at Fox news have been quick to ramp up the Fort Hood shootings into national security. Hearings to come.

Not to be outdone, Senator John McCain joins in the fray at an event for Mitch McConnell:
"This may sound a little harsh, but I think we ought to make sure that political correctness never impedes national security...."
Nor political opportunism neither, Senators?

Wonder which one of these guys will be first up in the lazy Rolodexes of the Sunday morning gas bag shows?

President Obama set exactly the right tone and the right message in his memorial service comments.

Give the guy due process, convict him and and carry out appropriate punishment.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Monday, November 9, 2009

The Wall

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Mr. Geithner, tear down this Wall Street.
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In this era of greed that puts the Golden Calf worshipers to shame, of bonuses that should be labeled booty stolen by pirates, of Goldman Sachs never met Rabbi Hillel, where is the one who will at long last drive the money changers out of Congress and K Street?

Where is the one who will remember the Golden Rule?
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And why hasn't Senator Lieberman's conscience spoken to him about this? Too busy with fearmongering about healthcare reform and breaking the "thou shalt not bear false witness..." and warmongering?
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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Dover Homecoming

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For this president, the responsibilities of the decisions he makes are profound. His recognition of that while the yammering rightwing schoolyard bullyboys and girls prattle on deserves notice.

Obama at Dover a somber reminder that war is not posturing and screeding.

The likes of the Cheneys and their ilk should hang their heads in shame.
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Sunday, October 25, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Frank Rich Balloons

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Actually, the most resonant part was the commenter to Rich's column who noted:

7.
October 25th, 2009
8:51 am

“They put on a very good show for us, and we bought it,” the local sheriff, Jim Alderden, said ...”

Rich: “His words could stand as the epitaph for an era.“

Or a nation.
True that.
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Sadly those who should most read Rich's column are likely staring in their mirrors, posing.
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Monday, October 19, 2009

Word to the Bankster Bonus Babies

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Three words, actually.
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You are thieves.
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Now back to my respite-in-progress....
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Thursday, October 15, 2009

I Got Nuttin'

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Taking a little time out...

While I'm away, watch Dylan Ratigan on MSNBC's the Morning Meeting.

He's asking the right questions and cutting through the chaff.

And if you can't find it for yourself without a linky, then I do think Western Civilization as we know it is doomed....

'Cause the outrage is what's legal in this country...and how much We, the People tolerate it....

Demand better. Of your President, of your Senators and Congressman. Your Governor and state legislators. And yourself.
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Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Time of Sorrows

For the second time in a scant three months, the Sunshine family will draw together to bid farewell to one of our own.

Husband, father, grandfather, our brother-in-law and uncle and great uncle, John Dawson, stricken unexpectedly while jogging after work yesterday.

We are ever mindful of the fierce urgency of now, the abruptness with which the bottom can drop out of the same ol' same ol'.

Hold your loved ones close, hold your politicians accountable.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Krugman

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...ever since the Reagan years, the Republican Party has been dominated by radicals — ideologues and/or apparatchiks who, at a fundamental level, do not accept anyone else’s right to govern.


Krugman.

Required reading.

Always.
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Saturday, October 3, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Rich Rabbit Ragu

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After reading Frank Rich's take on the rabbit raguicizing of Washington under Democratic domain, all that's left is to barf.

Next required reading: Animal Farm.
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Friday, October 2, 2009

Drunk in the Bleachers

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Today, the GOP's usual loudmouths mocked Chicago's loss of bid for the 2012 Olympics and attacked Obama for making the effort to help bring those Olympics to the USA.

Among the most egregious was Rush Limbaugh. Doubtless the video will be readily available on youtube and elsewhere, including the Ed Show on MSNBC.

And I realized what we're seeing from Rush Limbaugh. What we have been seeing ever since Barack Obama came on the political landscape. Limbaugh's McNabb tirade was merely prelude.

He's the racist drunk in the bleachers yellin' at the star athlete who shows up for every game, plays to the best of his professional ability, works with his team and is the hero of his hometown.

Rush can't stand it. Because for Limbaugh, every game, he's the loser. He may have a fat contract, but he's still and ever shall be a loser. And when the game ends, he goes home alone. Except for what he can buy.

Which just reinforces: Rush Limbaugh = Loser.
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wyatt Earp, Wyatt Earp...

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Yet another reason why I have no intention no way no how of ever settin' foot in Arizona.

Gun totin' fools
can now go packin' into bars.

Guess they want that guy who went armed to the political rally in New England earlier this summer to come back home.

Wyatt Earp, heck, even Marshall Matt Dillon would be appalled.

Our collective national meltdown into insanity continues....
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Meet One of My Favorite Talking Heads

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Maybe because he also uses his head to think, not just shoot his mouth off.

Dylan Ratigan.

Would it be too much to hope this guy were hosting Meet the Press? Real questions...competent to follow up. 'tis to dream....
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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Frank Rich on Obama's Afghan Decision

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Will Obama bow to the will of the General reading his McChrystal ball?

Or will he find common ground with conservative columnist George Will?

Frank Rich deconstructs
the options facing President Obama going forward in--or out of--Afghanistan. And traces the parallels to the decision facing another President, an earlier time, about Vietnam. What's that ol' saw about lessons of history again?

And in Rich's comparison, conspiracy theorists can now add a new posit to bloody November 22. A military sharpshooter eliminating the obstacle to their drumbeat for expanded war in SE Asia?

But this time, the vice president would not bend to their sturm und drang. So they're back to pressuring the president to yield to their will. Bush would. Will Obama?
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Pass It On....

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A scathingly brilliant idea to solve the healthcare reform debacle, courtesy Susie Madrak over at Crooks and Liars.
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Saturday, September 19, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Mayo CEO on Healthcare Reform

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Friday, Minnesota Public Radio broadcast the appearance before the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. of Mayo Clinic CEO, Dr. Denis Cortese.

Mayo has a tradition of putting patients first. The Sunshines experienced that firsthand this summer. We believe in the Mayo model because we've been there.

Just in case you missed Cortese's appearance, here's the link.

Yeah, I mean you, Kent...Max....Olympia...Ben... step away from the lobbyist cocktail wienies. And listen.

And put patients first.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal
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Thursday, September 17, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Wyden on Healthcare Free Choice

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In the New York Times this morning, Oregon Senator Ron Wyden explains why offering people the same kind of choice that he and Max and Kent and Olympia and the rest of the gang have really makes sense.

Sense. Maybe there'd be more of it in the halls of Congress if there were fewer dollars waved under their noses by their lobbyist cronies.
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Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Prairie's Question o'the Day

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Now that Dan Brown has written about Opus Dei and the Masons in his seminal thrillers, what shall he write about next?

A. Rightwing media moguls a la Rupert Murdoch and his minions? Could Roger Ailes or Glenn Beck be the next out-there villain?

B. The Family? Do Mark Sanford and Joe Wilson have secret occultish fetishes? Or is it a South Carolina thang?

C. Other? All of the above?
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Monday, September 14, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Dylan Ratigan on Vampire Economics

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Dylan Ratigan cuts through the b.s. and speaks truth on the state of the American economy. For those who wail that the prez takes on too much we can't do one more, I say pay attention to what Ratigan is saying.

Shake the mutton outa your head and open your eyes. The status quo's gotta go.
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New Senator Kennedy

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Okay, I'm callin' it early.

The state of Connecticut will once again elect a Democratic Senator in 2012:

Ted Kennedy, Jr.
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And the name Joe will have been relegated to least popular birth name and the mopbucket of history.

Friday, September 11, 2009

The Road Not Taken

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UPDATE: Glenn Greenwald is important reading today.
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Today is something of a trifecta for the Sunshine clan. Yes, there are the national notes of the anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. But for us there are the poignant passages, as well. Sunshine Son marks his 32nd birthday today. And this day is the second-month anniversary of the passing of Mr. Sunshine.

It was remarked that the U.S. Senate honored Ted Kennedy's passing yesterday with words, a black-draped desk, white roses and a poem. It happens to be my personal favorite as well....

The Road Not Taken
by Robert Frost


Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both
And be one traveler, long I stood
And looked down one as far as I could
To where it bent in the undergrowth;

Then took the other, as just as fair
And having perhaps the better claim,
Because it was grassy and wanted wear;
Though as for that, the passing there
Had worn them really about the same,

And both that morning equally lay
In leaves no step had trodden black
Oh, I kept the first for another day!
Yet knowing how way leads on to way,
I doubted if I should ever come back.

I shall be telling this with a sigh
Somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and I --
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.

Copyright © 1962, 1967, 1970
by Leslie Frost Ballantine.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Taibbi on Healthcare Debacle

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If you've had the growing suspicion that the so-called health care reform effort making its way through the well-$oiled machinations of Washington would end up working out very well for everyone BUT those who need it most, namely patients and their families, then maybe you don't need to read Matt Taibbi's Rolling Stone article, Sick and Wrong, How Washington is screwing up health care reform....

Or his follow-up blogpost on Maria Bartiromo as a case study of how the media elite just add further to the screwing of everyday American health care patients and families.

During the two weeks Mr. Sunshine and I spent at Mayo this summer, talking with people about those machinations, the greatest fear of families and medical personnel alike was that Washington would end up making things worse, much worse, instead of better.

And given that health care reform has reduced all of us to mere pawns getting rooked on the giant partisan/profiteering game board, I'm seeing that greatest fear growing ever more likely.

I recommend Taibbi's article to you not because I'm usually of a mind to just engage in preaching to the choir, but because as one voter, one constitutent, one liberal voice in a Blue Dog red state, one wife, one survivor, one widow of one patient, at the very least, Taibbi articulates for me in no uncertain terms the labels that should be pinned on each of their craven political or media souls. And scoundrel is the least of them.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Potty Mouthed Conspiracy Theorists

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So. A Democrat signs a petition five years ago advocating investigation of whether there was any conspiracy within the Bush White House regarding 9/11. He calls members of the opposing party "assholes." He gets "resigned."

And if a Republican proffers inflammatory conspiracy theories and calls members of the opposing party "assholes"?

He gets self-selected Vice-President.

And so it goes in the nation that formerly called itself a democracy.

Is it any wonder fraud is rampant in the Afghani election of Bush-Chee-knee acolyte Karzai?

Friday, September 4, 2009

Book Larnin' Brouhaha

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Never let it be said that the Rethuglicans would waste any opportunity to turn anything...repeat, anything...into an opportunity to politicize and partisanize and disrespect this President.

The Republicans—who have spent August re-living the Florida 2000 Brooks Brothers riots with the 2009 edition: tea parties and rants at town halls—now that it's back-to-school time in America, are busily attacking the President's upcoming talk to the kids about education.

Let's be clear. When a Republican governor in oh, say, Minnesota, attacks the President's speech to children and there's talk of not allowing any school in Minnesota to air the speech, that's not only anti-education...and anti-history...and anti-American...it is racist.

So if that's the campaign strategy folks like Tim Pawlenty see as the route to success in 2012, all I can say is: enough.

And to those who have in some quarters finally started asking if the Rethuglicans have no shame, the answer is no. All they have is no.

And that's what you need to know each and every time a Republican politician or pundit speaks these days. They offer nothing except divide and destruct.

Republicans are the party of "We ain't got nuttin' but no...."
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Froomkin on Obama's Healthcare Speech

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What Obama needs to say. Because, as 475 Bobcat workers in Bismarck—along with the hundreds of thousands of other Americans—have found out this week: we are all stakeholders in healthcare reform now. Whether we acknowledge that, or not.
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Healthcare reform now. With the public option.
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Monday, August 31, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Andrew Sullivan on Chris Wallace, Propagandist

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Andrew Sullivan's take on the sycophantic propaganda-pushing by toady Chris Wallace sums up the Cheney "interview" on Sunday Fox quite succinctly.

Book sales? Jury nullification? We report...you decide.
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Saturday, August 29, 2009

The Last Link

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As the weekend continues apace with news media filling time between events of the memorializing and burial of Senator Ted Kennedy, we are learning about the prodigious legislative record of the Senator.

The enormity of the links of all-inclusive health care reform that have already been forged. Stamped with his name, but bearing the mark of the progressive values that reflect both the spiritual -- to the least of my brethren -- and the secular -- We, the people.

While the GOP ghouls attack, because they know not how to govern and proved it when they had the chance and drove the entire country into the mire of division and destruction, the mantle of healthcare reform now turns to the rest of us.

To those who fear change, who respond to the fearmongering worst that the GOP and status quo have to offer, I say simply this:

We have one more link to forge and the chain will be complete. Judge the last link by what has gone before. Social Security. Medicare. Americans with Disabilities Act...the list is virtually legion.

The chain becomes the circle of life unbroken. Strength found in each individual circling link that comprises the whole.

To those who say we don't have the votes, it can't be done, it's too hard, I say simply this:

We have one more link to forge and the chain will be complete.

How can we do any less?
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Coda

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.
We
carry
on....
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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

R I P Senator Edward M. Kennedy

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1932 - 2009

Others will pontificate and write and judge and blather.
I just have this simple hope:

The Senator Edward M. Kennedy Health Reform Act
of 2009

Passed and signed. With the public option.
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Would that this becomes the clarion call the Senators will be compelled to heed. It's already begun:

Noted over at daily kos’ pundit roundup, from the legendary Iowa political reporter David Yepsen:

This passage ought to fill Democrats with a new resolve to do something about health care. Much will be said about this man in the coming days, yet there can be no greater tribute to him than for Democrats to pass health care reform. While the party has lost his powerful voice, perhaps it can now find its own backbone.

Amen.


Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Bob Herbert on The Ultimate Burden

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Vacation state of mind, everybody's got it right now, except for the young college kids flooding the campuses to begin a new year. The preschoolers clutching their Crayolas heading off to kindergarten for the first time.

And then there's the precious few with something else entirely on their minds, as Bob Herbert poignantly reminds us today. Will we have a thought for them? Will we take time out to do something for them? Do our own part?

Or will we just go along to get along until those little kindergarteners are grown up enough to send off where the blood is spilled for naught.

Four soldiers were killed near Kabul today, an I.E.D. Did you know?

Do you care?

Well, then, what are you going to do about it?
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Joe Klein on GOP Nihilists

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Yes, I had to look it up. Nihilism.

Why didn't you just say it plain, Joe. Your argument strikes a familiar chord with my own belief, yes from the crucible of end-of-life circumstances for my dear husband, that the current Republican party is driven by their own sense of entitlement, bereft of a moral compass that would lead them to make their case based on facts rather than lies, distortions and fearmongering, and bowing down terrified to the Golden Calf that is Limbaugh. That reason and common good are anomalies in the Republican party and The Family's C Street mindset is the juggernaut that rules.

Moderation has been neutered in the Republican Party as decisively as Sarah Palin guttin' a goat*. Moral bankruptcy that preys on the muttonheads. Where is a Ralphie** when you need him? I've deliberately left out William Munny***, because unlike the Republicans who cower while right wing extremists and militia types have hijacked their party, I do not recommend violence or threat of violence as a solution.

Just courage from any of the cowering conservatives who have compromised every so-called value they bleat at the rest of us. Standing up, speaking out, not backing down.

Must reading today from Joe Klein.

* goat: antelope. Yes, I have hunted and gutted one myself. No faux bona fides here.
** Ralphie: Gene Shepherd's Christmas Story
*** William Munny: Clint Eastwood's The Unforgiven
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Monday, August 17, 2009

An Open Letter to My Senator

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Dear Kent,

I support the public option. I believe we need a government that protects us from the powerful, not one that gives the powerful carte blanche to practice politics and profiteering as usual.

You say there aren't the votes for public option.

Then you must lead. Find those votes. Show those Senators why public option is the common sense responsible...and moral...thing to do.

Along with running around wee towns in North Dakota, take a couple days and go visit Mayo. It's about a six hour drive from Fargo. Plenty of time for thinking.

We just made that trip... and despite the outcome, I know they get it on healthcare.

The big insurance companies, the big pharma companies only get vampire capitalism...draining enormous overhead from the system. Draining the lifeblood from families and businesses and the U.S. economy.

Soylent greening all of us for their corporate bonuses and profits and toys. That's not capitalism.

We know about what some call "socialism" in North Dakota...it's in our state bank and state mill and elevator...heck, it's in the highways and township roads we drive every day. Isn't that what we call "government"?

Isn't that what "We the people..." is at its fundamental best? Or should we follow the same ol' trail of dysfunctional every-family-for-themselves anarchy which is all the Republicans are offering these days?

Please don't tell us it can't be done, there aren't enough votes...find the will, find the way.

With respect,
your friend,
Sandy Huseby
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.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Friday, August 14, 2009

Prairie Recommends: wesgpc on Jefferson's reality

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Here's what the muttonheads, teabaggers, rightwing hate radio screeders, shallow stenoing big media parrots, and big money corporate monopolists don't want you to think about...ever, ever...ever.

A reality check on what Jefferson said...and the full context of his words...about the tree of liberty. And our responsibility.

kudos to wesgpc for this must read.
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Thursday, August 13, 2009

Put Grassley Out to Pasture

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As a daughter of the heartland, a pioneer homesteaders' grandchild of Dakota Territory, I'm hereby issuing a call to my fellow midwesterners down there Io-way.

Time has come to send the double-talking Senator back to his farm. His knuckling under to the extremist fear-mongers in his party, his spreading the lie about end-of-life care like so much manure in the barnyard tells me it's long past time to send Farmer Grassley back to the farm.

Democrats in Iowa, please run a strong candidate and campaign against Farmer Grassley. Republicans, if you have any sense of decency, tell Farmer Grassley he's become rootbound in the mire of sleazy partisan politics.

Heck, right now, even this guy...ooops, make that This Guy is looking better than the overripe senior Grassley.

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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Monday, August 10, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Olbermann on Death Panels

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Tonight Keith Olbermann in Special Comment eviscerated the opportunistic and cynical Republican Anarchist Thugs who are fearmongering health care reform and egging on the basest of human darkness.

Example: the power junkie Glenn Beck who goes from tellin' his listeners not to do anything like...oh, what he's talkin' about...to fantasizing about poisoning the female Speaker of the House in some sort of snuff porn lollapalooza.

Beck is one sick mofo. Mrs. Beck best watch her own safety.

And Sarah Palin's crazitudinous griftin' speaks for itself.

So Olbermann reaches out to the ordinary people, and even the muttonheads who might yet listen to reason, and implores them to think. To reason. To use common sense.

When the rabid RATs are determined to destroy this presidency, this president at any cost, one hopes the nation of muttonheads will realize that they've been listening to wolves in sheep's clothing.

And the flock that will suffer most if they continue closing their eyes, their ears, theirs hearts to that reason, that common sense, is their own.

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UPDATE: LINK HERE to Keith Olbermann's Special Comment to Palin, Beck and the rest of the RATs...oh, and the rest of us.

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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Shame on Savannah (Guthrie)

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Proving she can steno with the worst of 'em, NBC's Savannah Guthrie blithely regurgitates the talking points of Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin on NBC's Sunday Nightly News broadcast with zero regard for oh, what's that antiquated obsolete Cronkitian word I'm looking for?

Oh, yeah. Facts.

Fact: The so called "death panel" Palin propagandizes about, the euthanasia Newt fearmongers about...that's a simple proposal that when someone wants to have a conversation with their doctor about end-of-life care, they can do so. If they want to create a living will, they can do so.

Fact: Senator Johnny Isaakson of Georgia put that on the table. So has Senator Susan Collins. Last time I looked, both were Republicans.

Savannah Guthrie, as Atrios would say...Super Wanker of the Day. Takes more than a pretty face to make a real journalist.

And as Newt-the-toot would say, somewhere in America there are people who believe that incompetent journalists who shallow report from Republican talking points should be, you know, fired.

Oh, and the mute "moderate" Republicans who go along with this claptrap? Gutless cowards. And that's a fact, too.

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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Homecoming Reunion

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Welcome home, Laura and Euna, welcome home.
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Heartwarming moments of reunion speak for themselves, and this one surely does.

But it is worth noting that when Laura and Euna and their families and the notables left the microphone area after making their first public comments, Bill and Al were arm in arm.

And that speaks for itself, too.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Friday, July 31, 2009

Open Call

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Since Congress has made such a point of telling us they can't possibly keep working on health care reform through the August recess because they absolutely positively gotta get back home and talk to their constituents...

sidebar: is it just me, or do you also think that maybe they should have started the process by talking to—and listening to!!!—the constituents, the voters, the patients, the families, the healthcare professionals back home, instead of closeting themselves with the lobbyists and the cronies and campaign contributors?

I hereby request on behalf of North Dakotans and Minnesota's 8th Congressional District that all our local/statewide media, as a public service in furtherance of their responsibility as free press, tell us all just where we can find our Congresspersons and Senators to talk to us.

Yep, I want to know. Are they here back home ready to listen? Or junketeering their closed minded, pockets bulging with campaign cash selves?

Seems to me, everyone should want to know.
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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Sherrod Brown on Countdown

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Now this is what a Democratic Senator committed to health care reform for We, the People sounds like. The junior Senator from Ohio and the HELP Committee is unequivocal in his advocacy for the public option and real health care reform.

Not the weaselly "bipartisan" whining we're hearing from the Finance and Banking Committees that the media have been obsessing about as if there's no other option.

So I wanna know: can Sherrod Brown be my Senator? Because this is what leadership looks like.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pullin' a Palin

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Amid all the media self-absorption about Sarah Palin's parting-from-the-governor's-office shots at them, there really is one key point that's not getting a lot of conversation:

What if every politician decided to Pull a Palin and quit when it got inconvenient for them to stay in office?

Would their explanations be as incoherent?

And would we talk about their children as if they hadn't shoved 'em "out there" as blatantly as Octomom North?

And will the other politicians step up to the plate and point out what a XGILF ditz she is?
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crossposted at firedoglake/The Seminal

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Frank Rich

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As Frank Rich reminds us, Cronkite was a helluva lot more than pulling off his glasses that dark November day.

And the "journalists" of today are too often a helluva lot less.
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Friday, July 24, 2009

Time Off?

It's almost the weekend. It's almost the August recess the Congress is still pussy-footin' around taking instead of getting their work done on health care reform.

So just in case we might forget, mcjoan at dailykos reminds us:

And, because you just can't see this one enough, three weeks of delay means:

* 143,250 people will lose their health insurance coverage [pdf]
* 53,507 people will file for bankruptcy because they can't pay their medical bills
* 1,265 people will die [pdf] because they lack coverage


mcjoan has the links on all these stats. Don't believe 'em? Don't care? Too lazy to go over and follow the links to learn? There's been enough of that... before you start your weekend, just consider what life can abruptly hand you when you least expect it....

And then consider...are you really all that thrilled with what MSNBC's Dylan Ratigan has dubbed our Russian oligarch-style health care system?
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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Can't Do Blue Dogs

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Harold Meyerson in the Washington Post takes a pointed look at the Blue Dogs and the Congress and dubs us a Can't Do nation.
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Sunday, July 19, 2009

Enough is Enough

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On his last living day in North Dakota, my Mr. Sunshine broke through the fog that newly transforming acute leukemia tried to envelop him in. Our old friend, dear friend, came to the hospital to bid him well, godspeed, take care, see you soon.

And ran into the Linc-n-Sand tagteam determined to tell him to relay to Kent and Earl and Byron how important it was that they get health care reform right. That the status quo could not go on. That health care reform, real reform, is about patients first, people first. With the public option.

The false profits, false prophets, the golden calf crowd of medicine, must not conduct business as usual. The ghouls and vampires who suck the lifeblood from the healthcare system, the deniers of treatments, the rationers of healthcare, the profiteers, the predators, must not be rewarded, enabled, bailed out. Not any more.

Our old friend, dear friend, can bear witness, attest this is true.

We went to Mayo Clinic/Methodist Hospital in crisis. Grasping for one last chance. A chance that was not meant to be. But in the going, we found what Mr. Sunshine's doctor called medical utopia.

Patients first.

Expertise. Caring. Heck, even computers in every unit's visitor's lounge. A brother-and-sisterhood among families and patients and doctors and medical teams and nurses and the woman at the checkout in the cafeteria and....

We found something else.

Fear. That the reform will be screwed up. And while a medical person talks in outraged tones about the greedy hyperpriced cost of the medicines of treatment. And you read on the faces of families, the shadows under their eyes, the brimming tears, the hopefulness, the sorrow...

The fear...

We're seeing the partisan lines being drawn. The predictable weasels being their weaselly worst... the DeMinted cackling about causing pain for Senators, for Obama, not looking in the mirror and seeing the rot of their own souls... the cowards cravenly hanging on to their own socialized healthcare while denying us ours....

And we're seeing hope...

That maybe, just maybe, this time, if enough voices are raised, if enough people refuse to settle for the same ol' same ol', then maybe, just maybe, this time...we'll get it right.

I understand Frank Ricci now. I understand Cindy Sheehan now. Some fundamental values, principles, rights, demand us speaking out. No matter how inconvenient the timing.

I'm conflicted. I'm mourning my Mr. Sunshine right now. It would be oh, so easy to sit back and say someone else can shoulder the load. But if not me, then who? Will it be you?

Words are my tears now.

It's not just Senator Kennedy who believes healthcare reform is the cause of a lifetime. It's the medical community at Mayo, it's the small town and urban patients and families who fill its halls, their Minnesota license plates dwarfing the abundance even from across these United States and those who fly in for Mayo care.

It's good enough for sheiks and princes and Bushes... and for the 85-year-old woman from Sioux Falls, and the retired RVer from Rockford, and the Sunshines from Fargo...

It's up to the Senators and Congress now. Will it be good enough for the rest of US?
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Crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal and Prairie in Dakota Territory, hosted by Fargo's Forum newspaper

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Prairie Recommends: The Cause of My Life

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From Newsweek, Ted Kennedy on "The Cause of My Life."

Me, too, Senator. Me, too.

The time is now.
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Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunshine, Sun Set

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Behind every blogname, there is a real name. And a real life. And ours has been hit hard by one of those life milestones you hope to forestall as long as possible. My Mr. Sunshine is Lincoln Lyle Huseby, and here is his story.

Lincoln Lyle Huseby was a lifelong resident of the Clara Barton neighborhood of South Fargo. He was born February 9, 1948, the oldest child of Lyle Huseby and Helen McPhail Huseby.

His lifelong love of sports intertwined with a strong work ethic. He earned his Boy Scout Eagle rank at age 13 and traveled to the World Jamboree on the Plains of Marathon, Greece.

He played hockey, baseball, football for the Clara Barton Roadrunners, Agassiz, Fargo Central Midgets, and NDSU Bison. He played baseball for the Fargo Legion team, noteworthy for his strong hits and slow running. And carried that forward to slowpitch softball and The Uncommon Men.

Lincoln met his wife Sandy in creative writing class at NDSU then disappeared from class to fight the flood of 1969 on South River Road. Reunited that fall, their rapport was instant and enduring. While at NDSU, Lincoln hosted the late night Jazz Closet on KDSU Radio.

Lincoln is the father of two children, Dakota (Royce Vollmer), talk radio host in Grand Forks, and Morgan, doctoral candidate at York University, Toronto. His grandson Justice Huseby Vollmer is already learning Grandpa Lincoln’s strong lessons of intellectual curiosity and a moral compass of caring for people from all walks of life.

Lincoln’s entire career was in insurance. He began at the Sons of Norway, then years with American Family Insurance. He and his longtime friend and colleague Duane Hovland formed the independent agency H&H Insurance. When that successful business was acquired by First International Bank, they became vice presidents of the First International Insurance division, overseeing operations around North Dakota and in Minnesota and Arizona.

Lincoln served on the task force which developed Continuing Education standards for insurance agents in North Dakota. He also served on insurance companies’ advisory boards.

While he loved travel ever since his childhood, and Lincoln and Sandy shared time in Italy and Spain, Canada and Mexico, twice to Morocco, his enduring weekend home is his Hubbard County cabin, which became a sanctuary when chronic illnesses tried to slow him down.

He loved hunting and fishing, including trips to the northern waters of Canada with buddies, upland game hunting with his dad and brothers, deer hunting with his father-in-law Clarence, and antelope hunting with Sandy and friends and family. More recently he preferred watching wildlife and contributed to the phenology column in the Park Rapids Enterprise.

Saddled with the twin dragons of chronic leukemia and PAD for over six years, still Lincoln worked right until the day he went into Innovis. He chose to transfer to Mayo’s Methodist Hospital for more advanced care when his leukemia transformed acute.

Lincoln died early Saturday, July 11, 2009 with his family at his side in Rochester. He was preceded in death by his parents, Helen and Lyle Huseby, his grandparents Walter and Vivian Huseby and Alex and Alice McPhail.

He is survived by his wife Sandy, his daughter Dakota and son Morgan, his son-in-law Royce Vollmer and grandson Justice. His sisters Heather (John Dawson) and Robin (Mark Johnson), his brothers Cody and Custer (Lynelle). His mother-in-law, Delores Scheel and brother and sisters-in-law Rod (Jolene), Sue and Lori Scheel. Nieces and nephews Kelsey Dawson; Meredith Larson, Clay and Emily Johnson; Medora, Alexander and Rachel Huseby; and Carson Huseby. Also, Lindsey, Courtney, Jesse and Abby Scheel; Lydia and Matt Stinar. His best man, Mark Schneider, his business partner Duane Hovland, and his First International Insurance family

The Huseby family invite you to celebrate Lincoln’s life and enduring spirit Thursday, July 16, at 2 p.m. at St. John Lutheran, by Lindenwood Park in Fargo. And recommend memorials to: Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, The New Life Center, YWCA Shelter for Women and Children, Great Plains Food Bank, or the human needs charity of your preference.

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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lincoln Lyle Huseby

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February 9, 1948
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July 11, 2009


too soon, too soon.

. . . . . . . . . And the beat of the house goes on,
but the heart is gone. . . . . . . . . . .
— Sandy Huseby

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Salut! Senator Franken

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Gosh darn it, that feels good to say. Somewhere out there, Senators Paul Wellstone, "Clean Gene" McCarthy and the original Happy Warrior, Hubert Humphrey, are smiling. Excellence has returned to the Minnesota Senate team in full.

This temporary Minnesotan joins the celebration to say Congratulations, Senator Franken.
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Saturday, June 20, 2009

Panda and Panda and Panda, Oh My....

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Live at the Red River Valley Zoo—which surely must now be red panda universe—the first look at the red panda triplets. Yes, triplets. Born June 11. To be on public view starting in August. Start planning your vacation now....
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because it can't be all about politics and floods'n'stuff all the time.
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Friday, June 19, 2009

Close Encounters of the Health Care Kind

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Nothing like a medical emergency to focus the mind and the attention. Once the dust settles and the hours drag on, and you view life through a hospital window and the limited television selection [no MSNBC!] of a hospital room, you learn to appreciate the blessings and ignore the rest for a while.

But there's no ignoring the health care system these days, and we're hearing snatches of real life about it everywhere. From the caller to NPR describing how her insurance will go from some $800 a month to over $1400 if she renews. To the couple in the ER worrying in whispers whether there'll be coverage. To...well, you and I know the examples are legion.

And it's almost inconceivable that the insiders in Washington could be so oblivious or deliberately disregarding of what's going on for their fellow citizens, their constituents, their voters every single day.

Maybe you Senators and former Senators and lobbyists and industry corporatists aren't talking to us...but we're talking to each other, and we're mad as hell that we're being ignored.

You remember us...We, the people?

Or as my dear friend Kathy shared with me from the letter she sent the White House [and the

Sunday, June 14, 2009

New Stealth Attack on Judge Sotomayor?

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The elite white male national attack on Judge Sotomayor was a major fail...are they now going local with white females instead?
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Under the headline "Don't Rush high court decision," a new organization in North Dakota purports to have the noble purpose of "educating" we, the great unwashed ignorati who still read dead-tree papers from time to time, fronted by a well-coiffed Republican Representative who just feels so warm and fuzzy in her heart at the opportunity to reach out to her fellow North Dakotans and invite them to join her on Facebook and Twitter and learn all about that—oooooooh, that oh-so-questionable Sotomayor.

Break out the violins.

Their purpose is as transparent and honest as Lou Dobbs protesting he's got the best interests of immigrants at heart.

I commented at my local paper's website:

Rep. Hawken and her party of "No!" and stall at any cost as long as possible [see: Norm Coleman] has zero credibility on the subject of stall, stall, stall Sotomayor now that the racist campaign by the elite Washington white males has failed.

Guess the Rep. has done too much talking to the likes of Newt and Rush instead of George H.W. Bush, who originally appointed Sotomayor...and Laura Bush, who has endorsed her. And then there's all those Republican Senators who voted for her confirmation back in the day.

Sorry, Kathy, your too-obvious launch of a new partisan assault on Judge Sotomayor isn't going to play among fair-minded and reasonable people.


Just on the off-chance that this North Dakota campaign is part of a new national "beta-testing" effort by, oh, say, former North Dakotan Dick Armey's bunch a la the recent teabagging campaign, I thought I'd share this article link and ask if you're seeing anything like the North Dakota Judicial Confirmation Network in your home state.

[Just googled and for the record it's ND JCN--yep, with a space. And lookie here whose name turned up in one of their Facebook comments: Wendy Long.]

We wouldn't want these folks to think nobody's paying attention....
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crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Frank Rich Carries the Baton forward from Krugman

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Friday I steered you to Krugman. Tonight, add Frank Rich to the mix. Finally, we are seeing the opinion writers of trad med take a long overdue stand against the media which not only enable, they egg-on their rightwing followers into violent acts.

The examples are legion of how the establishment media have played along with the hatemongering tactics, giving the cover of their brand [MSNBC-Buchanan, anyone?] to the vilest of hate speech.

Oh, and as long as we're doing examples, Frank Rich ably takes on Fox, Limbaugh and the rest of the Usual Suspects, but how about stuff like NBC and Matt Lauer? I thought Letterman's joke was a stupid joke, too. But I also spoke out about Limbaugh's jokes about Chelsea Clinton back in the day. But in their $$$$-focused eyes, giving Sarah Palin a platform to shovel her insinuations against Letterman was probably some convoluted way to tear down Conan's competition at a critical time. Never mind that it tears down public discourse.

Meanwhile, you have hatemongers like Jon Voight with the seal of approval of Mitch McConnell and the rest of the Confederacy of ReTHUGS making not so subtle comparisons to assassinated historic leaders.

Frank Rich applauds Shep Smith, but the rest of the Fox screeders continue

Friday, June 12, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Krugman on the Big Hate

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We talk about it all the time here in the progressive blogosphere. But today, Krugman brings it out front and center in the New York Times. The rightwing hatemongering media machine, folks like Murdoch Media, The Washington Times, the AEI, the Heritage Foundation, the Limbaugh-O'Reilly-Hannity-Beck alliance that screeds and distorts and twists and eggs-on until we see a dead doctor, a dead security guard, family men both.

What do these purveyors of hate and division tell these victims' families? Not our fault? Politics ain't beanbag? What do they tell their own families, once the front door closes and it's just them theirownselves and their mirrors. Do they like the look of what they see? Really, Mary?

The tactics of hate. It's just words. Ask Frank Luntz, he'll tell you. Wordwhoring is the be-all-end-all, the policy doesn't matter, the truth doesn't matter, just who gets their side "out there" first and loudest. Right, Cokie?

The thing about the Big Hate is, once it gets the blessing of Teh Village, the Establishment, the "mainstream" then those folks are just as culpable. Turning a blind eye, a deaf ear, an oh, pish-posh, let's just keep it mysterious doesn't distinguish you from the vilest of the hate culture. Does it, Peggy?

Or maybe just ask the folks at Buchenwald...those who lived right next door.

Salute to Krugman for standing up to hate today...here's just a bit of what he has to say:

one important thing that the D.H.S. report didn’t say: Today, as in the early years of the Clinton administration but to an even greater extent, right-wing extremism is being systematically fed by the conservative media and political establishment.
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supposedly respectable news organizations and political figures are giving aid and comfort to dangerous extremism.
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Yes, the worst terrorist attack in our history was perpetrated by a foreign conspiracy. But the second worst, the Oklahoma City bombing, was perpetrated by an all-American lunatic.
crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

UPDATE: A Letterwriter in the Minneapolis Tribune notes a darker side--the RNC itself is part of incendiary speech tactics, given the cynical use of Jon Voight and his inflammatory words at their GOP dinner. Some Confederacy you're pallin' around with these days, Sister Sarah.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Healthcare--Just Imagine

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Yes, just imagine. A way to cut through all the clutter and chaff of the healthcare legislation. To focus the minds of the Congress and build a new healthcare system that serves the best interests of...the patients.

Not Big Pharma. Not the AMA. Not the medical venture capitalistic hedgefunderific pillagers. Not the hypersalaried and bonused health insurance companies. Not Mr. Lunkhead's talking points.

The Patients.

Here's how to get there.

First, the Senate and House and White House immediately suspend all their health care plans and go COBRA. And when they come up with the new health care plan, it's not just our health care plan, it's theirs, too.

Kinda like making Cornyn and Schumer fly coach, I suppose.

The President made a start at building public support today with the town hall in Green Bay Wisconsin [and if anybody wants to start smacking around the "S" word, watch out for those Packer fans. They may not take kindly to aspersions on their ownership of the team that made the Frozen Tundra of Lambeau Field a sports legend].

So the groundwork's been laid. But Congress putting their own healthcare where their policies...and mouths...are. Now that'll focus their attention.

Just imagine how quickly and how well they'd be inspired to move.

h/t CF via Mr. Sunshine
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crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Prairie's Recommended Read: Stiglitz on Wall Street

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Writing in the July issue of Vanity Fair, Joseph Stiglitz gives a sobering analysis of just how much damage Wall Street has done to the economic stability of the globe.

When those who call themselves free marketers are in reality freebooters, little better than pillagers and pirates [sidebar: who can't appreciate the juxtaposition with Cap'n Jack Sparrow's alter ego Johnny Depp judiciously sprinkled all over the webpage furthering the message], long past time they be clapped in irons. And I know just the little Caribbean prison to put 'em in.

After all, it's just like Club Fed, isn't it?
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crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

North of the Border

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Obama effect? In the Middle East right after his speech there, perhaps. But that would be a stretch in Nova Scotia...although there was that first-ever international trip the President made to Toronto some months back.

Today, north of the Border, East of Ontario, for the first time ever, the NDP won. Nova Scotia has elected, well, here's the way the ruling Conservative party put it:

NDP Leader Darrell Dexter, a former journalist and lawyer, calmly and effectively persuaded voters to ignore dire warnings from the ruling Conservatives, who demonized the Opposition party as a shifty band of irresponsible, free-spending radicals.


My kind of people.

Congratulations to the folks in Nova Scotia.

And the global climate change slowly, inexorably, continues....
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crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Monday, June 8, 2009

Rush Bites Corporate Hand

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Maybe it's merely Rush Limbaugh's temper tantrum, but his current call for boycotting General Motors, seems to me, should give Comcast and all his advertisers serious pause.

Everyone knows about the Magic $400 million...Rush's contract. Clear Channel's* ditch.

But not content to thrash around attempting to discredit President Obama's economic policies or SCOTUS appointment or...hmmmm, has he turned on Bo yet?...Rush more and more is attacking his own.

He wants Obama to fail. But if Obama fails, the country fails.

He wants everybody to boycott GM. And if GM fails, jobs and small businesses by the thousands fail.

Rush didn't get his way in the last election. He's ranting and fuming and bouncing up and down, fat globules following. Wanting his enemies to fail, wanting his friends to fail, wanting everybody to fail. Joining him in his twisted, self-destructive little world that all the glittery dollars and Gulfstreams cannot put a polish on.

Maybe in the boardrooms and marketing depts of major corporations they're having a good laugh at the way Rush is stickin' it to the Dems and Obama.

Or maybe, finally, they're starting to say, hey, wait a minute...what if he started talking like that about...us?
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[h/t Niemoller]
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crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

*corrected by PS

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Reliable Reaction: Who? One of Us?

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This morning on Reliable Sources, Howard Kurtz talked to Bill Press and Kathleen Parker about whether Bill O'Reilly is accountable for the murder of Kansas women's health doctor, Dr. Tiller.

I won't bore you with the apologist, he's one of us--talkers--attitude coming from all three about O'Reilly. At least Bill Press offered some caveat about being mindful of one's words.

No one disagrees that ultimately the killer [I will not name him, I will not add to his notoriety and cause celebre...] is accountable.

However, here's what's missing from the conversation. Where among all these talkers is the woman speaking out, telling why a late term abortion was a necessary medical choice for her? No, the talkers all accept as default that "late term abortion" is wrong without having any understanding of what medical conditions are at issue.

Speaking out takes courage, as one woman writing to the Minneapolis Tribune this weekend showed in describing her infant who starved within days because of a solid esophagus and intestines that were a fibrous mass. A Catholic, she chose not to terminate the pregnancy against doctor's advice. But she had the choice.

Speaking out also takes a media environment that treats

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Today Is D-Day

Sixty-five years ago today, British, American and Canadian forces landed on the beach at Normandy. There's a lot of live coverage of the ceremony today as well as President Obama's time in Germany visiting Dresden and Buchenwald.

Many sacrificed to bring us to this day, and cliche-ifying them in a pop culture label like Greatest Generation [get it, they alliterated!] is an injustice in its dumbing-down [whoa, another alliteration!] of this pivotal event in global history.

Better we set aside the microwave mindset and ponder the times our grandparents and parents endured to leave their children a better world.

Better we set ourselves about the same task...for our children, a better world.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Who Are the Most Terroristic Threats to America?

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Given that Fox News mouths have decided to double-down on Bill O'Reilly's repugnant, inciteful hatemongering, perhaps it's time to ask this question:

Who are the worse terrorists inciting hate against America?

Osama bin Laden and Zawahiri?

Or Roger Ailes and Rupert Murdoch?
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You decide.
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crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Bob Herbert on the Fading Species

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The hysterical hyperbole from the bulbous blowhards of the rightwing Republi-THUGS keeps getting more and more outrageous, as Bob Herbert sums up today regarding the nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court.

Could we hope that these puffed-up self-important gasbags may at long last overblow their hot air so much that they just explode into the stratosphere never to be seen again?

Likely not, since the Mortal Combat media is only too eager to give these sumbitchez plenty of airtime for their rantings.

The Southern Strategy has become the Latina Strategy. You know...hot-blooded, raaadical, not quite one of "us." Yep, the us vs. them strategy is in full play.

Make note, fellow Americans. Next time it could be rants against an Asian American. Or any ol' smear they can develop against someone they can paint as part of some group of "other."

I must warn the little ol' Norwegian-American ladies serving coffee at the Sons of Norway Lodge. They could be next. What are those long skirts concealing, anyway?
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crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Monday, June 1, 2009

Imus Calls Rush Tactics "Insipid"

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The rightwing screederama danced in collaboration with the shallow stenomedia against Sonia Sotomayor last week, centered around a quote pulled out of the context of her thoughtful speech—heck, it was pulled out of the full sentence, even.

You know the one: "...wise Latina woman...."

This morning, Imus, musing with his cohorts back in New York from his Imus Ranch for Kids with Cancer in New Mexico, described the idiocy of the attacks on her as reverse racist as "insipid."

Maybe it's the clear fresh air away from the Eastern Corridor that festers between and among the Beltway and Broadway and Wall Street crowds—we've been known to have a bit of that here in the heartland as well.

Kudos to Imus for cutting through the rabble-rants of the rightwing Usual Suspects: Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham, Hannity, Rove and all the rest of the predictable sand-throwers.

The GOPasaurus [h/t dKos] media may be on a collision course with death throes [oh, yes, it is....], but it still makes a stink. Good on Imus for cutting through the thunder to point out there's no "there" there. And why is NBC still, as late as yesterday's Nightly News, still perpetuating the false clipping of Sotomayor's words?

Tuesday, Debra Dickerson will be an Imus guest. I'll be watching on RFD-TV, you can catch it on radio, tv or online livestreamed.

[Do your own google homework, it's summer and I'm not link-making]
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crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Her good doctor

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Today a good man, a good doctor was murdered by a rightwing fanatic, a—yes—domestic terrorist.

Dr. George Tiller was beloved by his community, his patients, because he was far more than the shallow stereotype label, "abortion doctor," we've come to expect from the cynical politicians who trade in emotional manipulation and the shallow stenographers of the media who let the Rethug blast faxes dictate their reporting.

We've seen the tradmedia fall in line this past week as they let Rush and Newt dictate their news coverage on Sonia Sotomayor.

Will we see the same distortion and half-truths about Dr. Tiller in the news coverage this week?

Perhaps the breathless coiffed anchorbots and their producers and corporate owners should take a look at another big story this week, the GM bankruptcy, and realize that business as usual is the road to business-end.

It'd be nice to hear the full story reported on Dr. Tiller and his cold-blooded killer and those who incite such acts. Instead of the verbal wrestling that is some phony "fair and balanced."

Maybe a class action lawsuit against the inciters would get their attention. It worked for the Southern Poverty Law Center against Tom Metzger. Maybe it's time to hit these media hatemongers where it hurts the most...in their wallets.
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crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Prairie Recommends: Glenn on American Aparthood

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Glenn Smith takes a look at the differences between Republicans and Democrats through the metaphor of ladders and bridges. Powerful commentary. Careful...this is lucid writing for thinking people. Could be contagious....
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Saturday, May 30, 2009

She's Home

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The governor summed it up in calling Roxana Saberi a Daughter of North Dakota. And friends, neighbors, colleagues and the Governor and North Dakota's lone Congressman, Earl Pomeroy, were there amid maroon and gold balloons, the Concordia College colors, to welcome back at long last our fellow Fargoan.

The local newspaper, the Forum, promises full coverage in their Sunday issue. But here's a preview of the emotional homecoming of Roxana.
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crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Enough Blame to Go Around?

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Frank Rich poses a question for his Sunday column: Who is to blame for the next attack against us? And goes on to posit that the Republicans will seize on such a happening--nay, are hoping for it in some quarters--as the only chance they have to gain ground against President Obama.

The column makes for strong food for thought, and I recommend you read it. [I'll wait....]

For me, the column edged around a strong truth--the Bush Administration, the Republicans could not have operated as they did without the collaboration / collusion / cooperation -- call it what you will, of the very self-important traditional media.

And just in case the NYT mod decides not to publish my comment, here it is:

The underpinning of too much of the mess we were left by "the bums" is the media that turned a willful blind eye to facts, cosied up to fearmongers and enabled their drumbeat to War in Iraq and torture.

The McClatchy reporters are [the] best example of a dying breed: journalists who dig out the truth and refuse to pass along spin as fact...they are to be saluted, and cherished, for their like in mainstream media is rarely seen.

Instead we are treated to tabloidized everything--from the singing Scotswoman to the new Supreme Court Justice. All coverage dumbed down and manipulated for "Mortal Combat" controversy.

No wonder people are turning away from traditional media. You are "the bums," too.

Craven, cowardly Democrats who routinely cave to the least little pressure from Repuglican spinmeisters [see any comment by Lanny Davis] deserve the scorn Rich gives them.

"I would hope" that we will see better from the Dems...but also from those who purport to be journalists yet do little more than regurgitate the spin o'the day.
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crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Thursday, May 28, 2009

From A to W — A Short Herstory of Rightwing Screeders

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From Ann Coulter to Wendy Long, with a sidetrip via Liz Chee-knee and Laura Ingraham and all the other blondoids [yes, Monica Crowley, you are merely one of the other blondoids....] the right has inflicted on us in recent years, the prime unifying thread is their fast talking, overtalking screedarageousness against anything Democratic or liberal or progressive, or...may I finish??????...or American.

The rightwing has honed its blonde verbal bombthrowers to a fine edge over the years, using the tools of sexual subtext...flip that mane, sweetie pie...run those talons fingers through those oxidized locks...but just maybe the tide is turning.

I do believe I did actually hear Chris Matthews abruptly cut into Wendy Long's filibuster of nonanswerousness on Hardball. Could it be the era of drooling idiot male anchorishism [with a strong emphasis on "ish"] has run its course?

Maybe there are Mrs. Matthewses and Mrs. Stephanopouli and company out there who have finally stamped their feet and said ferchrissake you look like a damn pussy-whipped pimply faced kid fool out there. Snap out of it!

Time will tell. Maybe these anchors feel they have to act the part of the yes, I'm gonna say it, hornier demographic of their audience.

But this red-headed gramma for one is going to say: enough already, guys. Shape up or get left behind. And wipe your chin.
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crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Zero Degrees of Separation

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Last time I saw Frank Luntz, before the recent Q&A in the New York Times [milepost courtesy Thinkprogress], he was on Bill Maher's Show, preening in his almost/just gained? doctoral degree.

And being his usual lumpen self...

So when I came across this line in the Thinkprogress post, I was compelled to follow the link to the NYT and read the whole piece:

I’m not a policy person. I’m a language person.

It's the kind of careful distancing we see often from the consultancy, if we look closely.

As if, somehow, the stench of those they work for doesn't rub off on them....that it's just "process" or "ain't beanbag" or....

Mike Rowe would have a field day with this crowd as they gabble around, endlessly circling from one news network to another, proffering the same predictable talking points, in a cotillion of dissembling and denial that follows the same patterns and only the costumes' names change.

Last week it was Chee-knee, this week it's attacks on Sotomayor. Next week? Who knows.

But we do know this...when you dance with the skunks, you stink, too. And all the fancy degrees or K Street digs or face time with Wolfie or Tweety or whoever's on the unwatchable network won't change that.

'cause if you are, in fact, a person, then you are policy...and language...either your own or that which serial language-abusers like Luntz put in your mouth.
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crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Prairie's Reading: The Final Inspection

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john in sacramento posted this poignant poem over at Oxdown Gazette -- truly a fitting reminder of what this weekend represents.

The Final Inspection

The soldier stood and faced God,
Which must always come to pass.
He hoped his shoes were shining,
Just as brightly as his brass.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
How shall I deal with you?
Have you always turned the other cheek?
To my church have you been true?"

The soldier squared his shoulders and said,
"No, Lord, I guess I aint.
Because those of us who carry guns,
Can't always be a saint.

I've had to work most Sundays,
And at times my talk was tough.
And sometimes I've been violent,
Because the world is awfully rough.

But, I've never took a penny,
That wasn't mine to keep ...
Though I worked a lot of overtime,
When the bills got steep.

And I never passed a cry for help,
Though at times I shook with fear.
And sometimes, God, forgive me,
I've wept manly tears.

I know I don't deserve a place,
Among the people here.
They never wanted me around,
Except to calm their fears.

If You've a place for me here, Lord,
It needn't be so grand.
I never expected or had too much,
But if you don't, I'll understand."

There was silence all around the throne,
Where the saints often trod.
As the soldier waited quietly,
For the judgment of his God.

"Step forward now, you soldier,
You've born your burdens well.
Walk peacefully on Heavens streets,
You've done your time in Hell."

~ Author Unknown


follow the link to food for thought conversation, too. Me, I'm taking a little time out to remember the dads, Clarence, USMC, and Lyle, USN.

And if you can find it, this would be a good weekend to watch Taking Chance Home. Kevin Bacon's iconic portrayal of the soldier who brought the fallen soldier home reminds us of the awful responsibility we, the people, ask of our sons and daughters when we send them to war.
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Friday, May 22, 2009

Roxana's Return to Land of the Free

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She's back...in the USA. One step closer to home. And saying maybe it's corny but she's glad to be back in the land of the free.

Friends in her north Fargo neighborhood have already planted flowers at the family home to welcome them all back.

Need we mention the quiet heroism of her parents? Leaving the safety and relative obscurity of their quiet life in Fargo for the harrowing challenge of flying to Iran and resolutely staying and speaking out until Roxana Saberi was released.

On this Memorial Weekend, we salute all the men and women who work in every facet of our American government, military, State Dept., intelligence services, diplomatic corps, Congressmen and Senators and their staffs...working in public service for us all. Led by a White House working to restore the honor and dignity of this nation in the eyes of the world...and ourselves.

Working to assure, most days in obscurity, that we all truly live in the land of the free.

We have much to celebrate...and reflect on...this Memorial Day weekend.
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crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Elizabeth Edwards Goes Public

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You have to sympathize with the demonstrable resilience of Elizabeth Edwards as she slogs up 'til last night through the obligatory book tour round of public appearances and the oh-so-smarmy blunt and subtle questions about her marriage and he-who-shall-not-be-named.

Last night on The Daily Show—admittedly the first and only of her tour appearances I've actually watched, not being in need of a fix of gossipy innuendo and titillation, I do have a life, thank you very much—Elizabeth had the opportunity to advocate that the new health care program must include a public option in order to function in the best interest of the American people.

I've a hunch she's put up with a lot of the media b.s. of late just so she could make that point. Kudos to her.

And Kudos to Jon Stewart for treating her with the respect she deserves. And the rest of us in the audience, as well.

Too bad the "journalisticalwrestling" contingent who look down their noses at such as bloggers and comics can't rise to the same standard.

UPDATE: PLEASE READ AND TAKE ACTION FOR THE PUBLIC OPTION:

Democracy for America is urgently calling for phone calls to Congress. Please read this email they’re sending and add your voice in support of the public option. While DFA provides suggestions and the national switchboard, I’ve always found it more effective to call homestate offices and speak for myself in my own words.

DFA says:

Republicans have figured out that they can’t beat us on healthcare reform if they fight inclusion of a public option head on. So, instead they are looking for different ways to kill a public option without actually calling it that.

This week they launched their first real attempt and it is already picking up a bit of steam among so-called Senate moderates.

They call it “the trigger.”

They want Americans to keep the same broken system we have now and give the insurance industry one more chance to fix it on their own. Then, if insurance companies fail, the bill would “trigger” the public option — you know, in like 7 years or so.

We need to act right now. Call your Senators and tell them that a so-called trigger is a no go.

Senate Switchboard
(202) 224-3121

Suggested script:
“I oppose the healthcare trigger. Please ask the Senator to stand up against the insurance industry and the so-called ‘trigger’ for a public option. We need the choice of a public healthcare option now, not more of the same broken healthcare system for years to come.”

REPORT YOUR CALL NOW

The real fight has begun. We need to act fast, make our position clear and fight for real reform. Please make your calls right now.

Tell Congress we didn’t vote to wait — We voted for change.


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crossposted at firedoglake's Oxdown Gazette