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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

Friday, July 31, 2009

Open Call

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.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Sherrod Brown on Countdown

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.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Monday, July 27, 2009

Pullin' a Palin

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?
crossposted at firedoglake/The Seminal

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Frank Rich

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.

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?

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Can't Do Blue Dogs

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.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Enough is Enough

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?
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

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

Me, too, Senator. Me, too.

The time is now.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Sunshine, Sun Set

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.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Lincoln Lyle Huseby

February 9, 1948
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