Welcome to Prairie Country

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

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.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Friday, December 25, 2009

Prairie's Reading: Krugman's Tidings of Comfort

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.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Season's Greetings

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.

Monday, December 21, 2009

The Dismal Decade

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.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Saturday, December 19, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Frank Rich Rides the Tiger

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?

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Question for your Senator or Congressperson....

Ask away....

Are you with the predators or the people?

See also, Dylan Ratigan at MSNBC and Firedoglake.com

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

A Very Few Good Gladiators

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.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal and Clotheslineblog

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Prairie's Reading: Wendell Potter on Medical Ratios.

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.
crossposted at Firedoglake's The Seminal and Clotheslineblog

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Why they call him Dick.

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.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Idea of the Day

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

Friday, December 4, 2009

Prairie Recommends: Elizabeth Warren

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?