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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, December 31, 2010

Happy New Year

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Mother Nature's having the last word on 2010 in prairie country. A good time to stay in, stay warm, stay safe.

May your New Year get better!
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Friday, December 24, 2010

Season of Peace Wishes

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However you celebrate or don't this holiday season, good will wishes to you for peace on earth...and in nations...and in homes...and in hearts.
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Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Hoary Old Chestnuts Roasting....

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On Hardball Wednesday, the discussion turned to education, and Salon's Joan Walsh pointed out that John Boehner's sad, sad tears about children mean nothing compared to the lack of action and effort by Boehner to actually improve the lives of children. Right on cue, Michelle Bernard trotted out yet again the magic word of conservative ideologues everywhere: vouchers.

Please.

What good's a voucher going to do for a poor kid whose tuition would be thousands of dollars more than the value of a voucher? What good's a voucher going to do when the next nearest school to the rural combined school is twenty miles away on country highways covered with ice and snow this year.

Walsh had it right. Vouchers are a panacea. The typical grab-a-buzz-word tactic of the right. Shallow. Clipped. About as much value as my spaniel's toenails.

So maybe Boehner ought to dry his poor-poor-me-I-have-to-see-what-I-should-be-doing tears. Pack away the golf clubs and the country club memberships. Visit schools every single week.

And Michelle Bernard. Maybe she ought to chip her manicure a bit by going into a DC school with a paintbrush.

Teachers unions aren't the problem, as follow-up guest Michelle Rhee noted. They're doing their job. It's the rest of us that aren't doing ours.

So to Boehner and Bernard and the ideologues on the right, how about taking in a holiday movie this Christmas season. Waiting for Superman.

Education means all the kids...fix the problems. Don't just divide and favor the vouchered few.
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crossposted at firedoglake/MyFDL

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

RIP Elizabeth Edwards

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Elizabeth Edwards long journey and challenges are now over. May she rest in peace.

If the dogs in the media will let her.

Yes, I'm talking about you, Chris Matthews and Chuck Todd. Your disgusting on-air trashing of this woman when her death was just confirmed is beyond loathesome. And will not be forgotten by this former viewer.
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Monday, December 6, 2010

ISAIAH Summit in Minnesota

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To know just how much Republican Tom Emmer cares about being governor and actually, you know, governing, just one word: ISAIAH.

The recount stall campaign now in progress in Minnesota has absolutely less than zero credibility when you look at Tom Emmer's reaction to ISAIAH.

He and Mark Dayton were both invited to the ISAIAH summit, Shining the Light, a Faith Gathering for Minnesota's Future. Inviting both to the Sunday, December 5 event was covering the bases, as one organizer put it.

Mark Dayton attended.

Tom Emmer never responded.

Meanwhile, the Republican-slanted Minnesota media types are still pretending this is a serious recount, not just more of the same ol' same ol' from the party of craven thuggery.
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h/t MPR news
crossposted at firedoglake/MyFDL

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

North Dakota: We're Number 1

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For years we've had Congressman Earl Pomeroy [D-ND] working himself to exhaustion to bring home the bacon for our state. Flood mitigation funds, investments in technology and agriculture, highways, you name it, if it was good for North Dakota, Earl worked his ass off for it. Was on the front lines, too. From his multiple trips to visit our troops in Afghanistan to standing on the riverbanks hefting sandbags right along with his neighbors.

Pomeroy’s requests targeted key priorities such as education, research, technology, the state’s Air Force bases in Minot and Grand Forks and flood control projects in the Red River Valley.
Meanwhile, Rick Berg was nowhere to be seen--except hiding out behind closed doors with John Boehner at exclusive fundraisers.

Then came the election.

And the red tide of megaspending against Pomeroy and for his opponent Rick Berg flooded the airwaves. Like the Red River may be flooding Fargo and North Dakota again next spring.

Pomeroy was swept out of office.

And look at what we got ourselves. We're still number 1 -- our newly elected almost Congressman shows up as Number One on the list of wealthiest new Congressmen, according to Politico:

Richard Berg, who unseated North Dakota Democrat Earl Pomeroy, appears to be the wealthiest newly elected Republican, with assets above $20 million.

The Republican freshmen will have plenty of company in the millionaires club in Congress
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While Earl worked for we in ND, Berg was all about "me, me, me..."

Brace yourselves. And stock up on your sandbags.
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h/t Voice of Dakota
crossposted at firedoglake/My FDL

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Zbig and I Are Wondering

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Could it be?

As Josh notes, Zbigniew Brezezinski (I think it's time I learned to spell that name correctly. I have a hunch we'll be seeing more of ....Zbigniew Brzezinski) posited to Judy Woodruff on Newshour the same question I recently raised about the real source of the Wikileaks drop.

I know, I was being snarky when I wrote this:

There’s an Internet rumor that the Wikileaks leaker is not that kid, he’s just a strawman for the real Leakers, the reincarnated Iraq Study Group, out to force an Iran attack and total undermining of the new Gandhi in the WH.

Some say. It must be so. It’s out there. Right, Cokie?


But now I'm starting to wonder. Hmmmmmmmm.

Maybe Billo ought not be so quick to call for executions.
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crossposted at firedoglake

Monday, November 29, 2010

Connecticut for Toady

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Having declared his undying love for all things Rupert Murdoch, Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman foreshadows his campaign strategy for 2012: Sucking up. Why deal with the middle men, the best Congress money can buy, Republican party which some say is his only hope for re-election.

Having watched Rupert's largesse in 2010 [right, John Kasich?... and thanks a lot, Roberts rightwingcourt], Joe is doubtless busily lining up and counting his chickens....

So why not go right to the spigot and firmly attach your mouth to it.

Watch for it. The imminent announcement from Feckless Joe: Senate candidate of the Connecticut for Toady Party. Coming soon to a Fox program announcement near you.
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Thursday, November 25, 2010

Turkey

May the only turkey in your life be the one on your platter.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Dunce of the Year

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Motor Trend magazine names its Car of the Year winner: Chevy Volt.

And de facto names Dunce of the Year.
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Monday, November 22, 2010

Prairie Recommends: Froomkin on Bush Lies

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Dan Froomkin lays out with potent force the craven lies of George W Bush — and those who go along to get along. His The Two Most Essential, Abhorrent, Intolerable Lies Of George W. Bush's Memoir is must reading.

As I reflected in an HP comment,
Having recently toured the Paris Holocaust Museum, it is fresh in my mind how ready nations and people are to deny their own history. Until that history is confronted and acknowledged, there is no honor in the country nor the man. It took until Chirac in France. How long will it take us?

Or will our dumbed-down America keep its blinders on because gosh darn, the boy's done a good job of selling the book, cite GHWB.
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Saturday, November 20, 2010

Reads Frank Rich...

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Prairie pokes her head out.

Reads Frank Rich's Sunday column

Could She Reach the Top in 2012? You Betcha

Decides Rich stopped one step before the real top she can reach.

Pukes.

Goes back into hiding.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Health Care Plus

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It's a little blustery in Prairie Country these days. A lot of hot air coming out of the special interests on the right, and the RPMs [Republican Propaganda Machine], as they try to enshrine their candidate in North Dakota's only seat in the House side of Congress.

Rick Berg's been as elusive as Sharron Angle, and that Nazi dresser in Ohio that John Boehner's meeting up with at country Republican headquarters in Ohio to promote. Funny, he sneaked in and out of Fargo for Berg. Is this the best we can do?

One of the biggest lies has been about health care reform. So it's refreshing to see plainspoken North Dakotans who are our caregivers and healers speaking with gentle grace against the screaming hordes of Republican distortion.

Give a listen. And then, vote Dem. Because elections have consequences.



And you can judge a man by the company he keeps.
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Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mean Girls League New Plebe

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Obviously since that lawyer apologized to Chee-knee for getting in the way of his "pepper" spray the rightwing thinks they can always demand victims apologize.

Anita Hill's dignity and grace in handling this once-again sexual harrassment tactic perpetrated by the pathetic Virginia Thomas trying to pass muster with the Mean Girls League shows the difference between the women and the girls.

This is only the latest variation on the "man up" theme, this time taunted by Clarence Thomas' teabaggin' wife.

There's only one response for the mean girls' "man up" in all its forms. That's "grow up."

Anita Hill has shown how a grown-up acts all the way through this sorry episode. While the Republican males hide behind their teabaggin' mean girls. And the bichacuda tactics are oh, so jr. high.
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crossposted at firedoglake/ The Seminal

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Learning from the Protests of France

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There's a bit of an uproar in Paris these days. What with the flying rumors of threats from Al Qaeda in Yemen. And then there's that second-volcano-in-Iceland that was supposed to happen following past models, spewing ash hither and yon for weeks.

But what poked through my hectic, multi-layered life these days is the protests against raising the retirement age from 60 to 62. The shallow thinker might say, hey, what are they whining about? We're going from 65 to 67 to .......

It took the students to get me to thinking.

The more countries raise retirement age, the more they strangle the job prospects of students entering the work force.

Because big corporations have already outsourced a ginormous share of the job market. And the struggling economy and reduced buying power of middle class incomes have forced some seniors to work long beyond retirement age to pay their rising costs that don't show up in the COLA stats, while workers are downsized, laid off, early-retired, half-timed, part-timed, two-timed out of their previous standard of living.

And banksters on Wall Street have cynically, criminally, corruptly enriched themselves at the private trough while calling themselves masters of the universe.

So the current generation of American students and recent grads are already facing the fate the French students protest.

Unless we make election day our firewall — because as frustrating as the pace of change is for some of us, the alternative is more of the de-peopleing of democracy, the Constitution, and this country.

But rather than take to the streets, I hope America's students and all the rest of us* will take to the ballot box. I'm counting on you. And so are my grandkids comin' up behind....
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* Yes, I have voted already.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Extremis

'cause the autumn colors are quickly fading and the election's looming... and just for today I'm going out to the garden and kick up some leaves....

Totally snipped from ThinkProgress—snip for yourself and carry along for any Fox RPM'd TEA-sheep you may run into between now and Election Day:

"Lest there be any confusion about what positions GOP candidates are allowed to embrace, ThinkProgress is happy to provide this handy chart explaining which stances the GOP does and does not view as too extreme:

GOP chart"

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Saturday, October 9, 2010

Interesting, that is, If you're a competent journal

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So the foreign money into the Chamber coffers story is "out there" but neither the Post nor the Times gets it right, says Think Progress.

At this point, we take a brief timeout for the timeworn aphorism about the person whose paycheck depends on his ignorance....

To which we add,willful ignorance is bliss until your deniability is so pathetically laughable that it strains what little credulity ye olde trad med crumbling pillars have left.
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Oh, and, thanks oodles, Justice Kennedy.
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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Foreign Interesting

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Questions have arisen.

Is Osama bin Laden trying to blow a smokescreen, change the subject, by ratcheting up terrorism gossip?

Is he reeeeeeaaaaalllly, secretly funding the US Chamber of Commerce's campaign against Democratic candidates?

It's "out there." Right, Cokie?
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crossposted at firedoglake/The Seminal

Saturday, October 2, 2010

We Know Earl

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North Dakota has only one Congressional District and our population's pretty small, so 'most all of us know our Congressman, Earl Pomeroy. And he's under assault this election season, by the Republican Party and the Big Oil special interests out of Texas who are the deep pockets on the Republican side this year.

But his opponent has a 26-year state legislative record of his own. And it's not pretty.

The supporters of Pomeroy are determined to do everything possible to get out the vote for Earl. After all, as my daughter says, in this op-ed in the Grand Forks Herald, we've all known Earl and his love of his state and people. It's what drives him.

And the feeling's mutual.
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New York Times article on the fluid House races, including ND

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Please Vote

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what Digby says.

Never goes out of date.
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And Ah-nold wasn't half bad either, today.

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



As Californie goes, so go we all....
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Monday, September 27, 2010

Go Read C&L Today

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Must reading at Crooks and Liars this Monday morning.


On Joe Miller,
Shades of Gordon Kahl or Tim McVeigh goes to Washington....

And on the cheapidute/greeditude of Ben Stein properly smacked down.
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Friday, September 17, 2010

Lesser Fargo-Moorhead Chamber Lurch to the Right

The following is a letter to the editor I've sent online to my local newspaper, The Forum in Fargo. I'll let you know if it sees the light of print.... because It — The Mainstreaming of Radicalism — Can't Happen Here ... until it does:
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They bill themselves as Greater Fargo Moorhead's Chamber of Commerce, but the actions of the Chamber this past year contradict that "greater." The Chamber's decision last December to announce the hiring of an executive director, Craig Whitney, whose main claim to fame was working for the hapless former vice president, Dan Quayle, signalled the Chamber's eagerness to dive into the cesspool of divisive and partisan rightwing politics.

Fast forward a few months and Whitney announces the Chamber's new "Voices of Vision" speakers series [The Forum, Thursday, Sept. 16), featuring "world thought leaders and cutting edge business visionaries." Who do they pick to exemplify that? Disgraced military merchant of arms to Iran, convicted felon for his involvement in Iran-Contra, longtime spewer of venomous hate on rightwing talk radio, Oliver North.

The man who hid behind his military uniform as he bald-faced lied to the U.S. Congress.

That's the part Craig Whitney wants to airbrush. Hopes you've forgotten. Or thinks you don't care about. Calling North a prime example and fitting person to launch the [Vision] series to honor individuals who personify the chamber's mission to unify and advance business interests is like calling the serpent in the garden a nice little marketer of apples.

While the radical rightwing makes inroads throughout mainstream Republican circles and too many who call themselves moderate Republicans cave to their thuggery, Whitney is leading the Chamber down the same road. As a small business owner and former active member of the Fargo Chamber, put me on record as saying shame. This twisting of history and attempt to airbrush the disgraceful record of Oliver North and hold him up as a model of excellence says much about both Craig Whitney and the Chamber that hired him.

Voices of Vision? Divisive dystopian nightmare, more like.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Impotent, Limp and Gutless

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No mother gives birth planning to hand her child over to her country, but I gave birth to a combat vet.


Sarah, Sarah, Sarah. You gave birth to a juvenile delinquent who had to join the military or go to jail. Just part of the dysfunction of the Palin family on parade. Which you are quick to use to your own self-aggrandizement.


Let's get the context real.


And whazzup with your obsession with penis references? Impotent? Limp?


Really?


Sarah likes to punch hot buttons. And word in the Vanity Fair October issue is, she likes to punch hot buttons offstage, too.


Some say Todd is henpecked, and others see him as the heavy. One person who has been a frequent houseguest of the Palins’ says that the couple began many mornings with screaming fights, a fusillade of curses: “ ‘Fuck you,’ ‘Fuck this,’ ‘You lazy piece of shit.’ ‘You’re fuckin’ lucky to have me,’ Sarah would always say.” (This person never saw Todd and Sarah sleep in the same bed, and recalls that Todd would often joke, “I don’t know how she ever gets pregnant.”) Whatever the nature of the relationship, Todd is now as much a part of Sarah as Hillary Clinton is of Bill. Whether they like it or not, the Palins, like the Clintons, are probably stuck with each other.



And tell people that she has the power to ruin them.


Palin’s former personal assistants all refused to comment on the record for this story, some citing a fear of reprisal. Others who have worked with Palin recall that, when she feels threatened, she does not hesitate to wield some version of a signature threat: “I have the power to ruin you.”



Ruin may start right within the Palin household itself. Where, according to VF, the mother-of-the-combat-vet isn't exactly candidate for parent of the year [tho heaven knows there's bound to be some rightwing group cynical political heavy out there priming that, as well]


There’s a general consensus in town that, at least since the start of the 2008 campaign, Todd has been shouldering the bulk of the parenting and that Sarah’s relationship with her children has grown more distant. The children did not, as Sarah has claimed, have a chance to weigh in on her decision to run for vice president. She did not even deliver the news to them personally; as has been reported, she asked McCain’s campaign manager, Steve Schmidt, to do it for her.



Sarah, your inner Evita is showing. And I bet you've tried out that impotent, limp and gutless line on the First Dude many a time.


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crossposted at firedoglake The Seminal

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

History, Simpson Style

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First they came
for the immigrants,
And then they came for the Moslems,
And then they came for the food stamp families,
And then they came for the seniors,
And then they came for the vets,

And…. startin’ to get down there, now isn’t it?
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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Question of Today: Business Model?

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If Big Business demands tax cuts and bailouts and loopholes and outsourcing to feed its hungry greedy maw, destroying [the buying power of] the Middle Class in the process, how is that a successful business model?
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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Global Warming? It's Already Here

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Those who pooh-pooh that global warming is a certainty in our future, take note.

It's already here.

In the Boundary Waters of Northern Minnesota. The land of tall pines. A blowdown in 1999 took out huge swaths of those pines. And instead of growing back, trees like red maples are springing up.

The new north woods growing up to replace the millions of blown down trees isn't really a north woods at all but something more akin to the grassland savannahs farther south. Indeed, over the last decade or so, the blowdown has become a giant laboratory for measuring the ecological effects of a warming climate and the role humans are playing in accelerating the change.


Look around your own hometown. I'll bet you'll find changes there, already, too. Or keep your head in the sand and listen to Rush. Yeah, that'll work.
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crossposted at firedoglake's Seminal

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Franken on Net Neutrality

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Must reading...Senator Franken's op-ed at the cnn.com website.

Our free speech rights are under assault -- not from the government but from corporations seeking to control the flow of information in America.

If that scares you as much as it scares me, then you need to care about net neutrality.

"Net neutrality" sounds arcane, but it's fundamental to free speech. The internet today is an open marketplace. If you have a product, you can sell it. If you have an opinion, you can blog about it. If you have an idea, you can share it with the world.

And no matter who you are -- a corporation selling a new widget, a senator making a political argument or just a Minnesotan sharing a funny cat video -- you have equal access to that marketplace.


Until you don't.
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crossposted at firedoglake's Seminal

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Timeout from Target

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It's a busy summer. It would be so easy to let this one slide. Except....

I've been a sizeable consumer at Target. And I spend many a weekend in Minnesota. Even think of retiring there one day. Someplace where the grandkids can come visit and their grandma can hold her head up with pride.

Because it ain't easy to fold up the red bulls-eye canvas bag and the white bullseye red thermal bag and take my dollars elsewhere. But I've done it. I'm taking a Timeout from Target.

As I commented over at Huffington Post:

Emmer/Pawlenty/Minnesota Republican policies aren't just anti-gay. They are anti-worker, anti-public education, anti-rural, anti-small town Main Street business, and, may I add, anti-lakeshore. The tax burden on mom-and-pop resort owners is horrific these days. Pawlenty built his reputation by cutting state taxes, shifting the burden on property taxes in counties, small towns and townships. And Emmer will do more of the same.

Frauds, the both of 'em. And shame on Target's new aristocracy for funding their politics and gouging.

That's why I've taken a Timeout on Target.

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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Southern Strategy for Dems

Maureen Dowd is on to something....
[no, I didn't mean to write MD is on something...hush, now....]

She suggests that Shirley Sherrod should be in charge of black outreach for the White House.

That doesn't go far enough. There should be only two job offers Shirley Sherrod should be considering. And neither one is at the USDA.

Either at the White House or at the DNC, Shirley Sherrod should be in charge of working class development. Arguably we need black outreach...hispanic, Asian, Native American, anyone?

But even more, we need a crystal-clear voice to reach out to all the disenfranchised, and that includes the white working class. Ms. Sherrod gives the most powerful testimony we've heard lately of who is actually working against the interests of both black and white. And who has climbed over the walls of hate and division to make things better for everyone.

Her history lesson of how blacks and whites both worked through servitude side-by-side, intermarrying, getting by, until the powerful elites institutionalized division and racism is a compelling reminder of the power of education. Know your history. Know your nation's history. Seek truth for yourself, don't just rely on screeching heads.

White House, DNC? Do you care? Do you care more than the minority leader of the House who doesn't even know whether his own two brothers have found jobs yet?

We are all brothers. And one sister has shown us a powerful pathway to making sure both white and black can enjoy and aspire to the best of America, not the hate and division.

Now that's a "Southern Strategy" that folks can believe in.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rich Raging

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Frank Rich opines on the sorry reaction to the smearing of Shirley Sherrod.

Maybe Frank gets together with these guys for tea and crumpets from time to time. But it's long past time to recognize that this situation, this evil, persists because too many in the media, too many in the political elite, treat the Breitbarts and Limbaughs and Drudges as some amusing little theatre.

Yet incidents of violence are on the rise, threats of danger are on the rise. Who will own the tragedy now foreshadowing?

Who will look in the mirror honestly and admit the false equivalencies, the ginning-up, the "it's out there" level of danger growing within? Beck? O'Reilly? Ailes? Murdoch? Armey? McConnell? Bachmann? Angle? Palin? Erickson? The numbers are legion.

The willful blinders shamefully obvious. The enabling media equally so.

The Breitbarts never change. The evil oozes out of them like fetid slime, spreading fear, hate, division. The wonder is that so many, still, whitewash the full depth of what they do.

White sheets...too easy to crawl between 'em and close your eyes.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Media Fail

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Be sure to read Josh Marshall this morning on the—my word would be "appalling"—lack of reporting during and after this sorry episode [of trashing Shirley Sherrod] from the millionaire sheep media's club about the true villains of the case: Andrew Breitbart and the execrable Fox Empire.

Unlike Rick Sanchez yesterday, I cut no slack for any "newsers" inside Fox...or outside for that matter. Those who take Rupert's paycheck wear the same sh*tty overcoat. Those who schmooze with Rupert and Roger in the salons in polite Village society, no slack either. Roger Ailes is the unspoken in the punchbowl.
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crossposted in comments at firedoglake's The Seminal

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Rosa Parks Moment

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When Andrew Breitbart and the Fox Empire of Rupert Murdoch and Roger Ailes launched their smear and destroy campaign against Shirley Sherrod, she did something none of the politicians, none of the aides, none of the chattering class in the enabling millionaire sheep media of The Village had the dignity, the honor, the courage to do.

She said, "enough."

And she said it with a quiet character that put to shame all the screechers and bloviators and rightwing echo chamber and quavering political class and self-important media types who were first knee-jerk demanding her head and then scrambling to point fingers at the White House for throwing her under the bus.

Maybe so.

But Andrew Breitbart and the rightwing screed machine are the bus drivers.

And Shirley Sherrod was the woman who refused to go to the back, sit down, shut up and be abused.

As much as the words of her speech—in its entirety, where she gives a pointed history lesson on how race baiting and division came to be and how it still poisons the most vulnerable among us—as much as her words are a teachable moment....

Even more so is her quiet refusal to give the white-sheet right wing power over her. Her father was murdered by the Klan, her anger would have been justified, understood. But she rose above the rabble on the right.

I'm hoping that's what Tom Vilsack sees in this moment. This is more than a woman fighting for her job.

Some are likening this to Harper Lee's powerful To Kill a Mockingbird, and it's hard not to totally agree regarding my lifetime favorite book. But I think another's story applies more strongly here.

This is a Rosa Parks moment. And I think Rosa would be proud. As the granddaughter of a German immigrant who endured indentured servitude to be an American, I know I am proud of Shirley Sherrod.

She understands my family story as much as her own.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Parliamentary, My Dear...

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Sylla-bull. Don't need more than one...

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Finally. Finally the President took the gloves off and called out Senate Republicans for their obstruction of unemployment benefits extension.

What the heck took so long?

And I don't mean to quibble (it's a word, Sarah, look it up...), but is there nobody on the O'speech team who gets the importance of the plainspoken phrase?

Parliamentary maneuvers, my patootie. If you can't bring yourself to call 'em tricks, Mr. President, how about gimmicks?

That's not dumbing-down, that's speaking-plain. And I'll settle for that over speaking-Palin any day.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

North Dakota Today...The Finger

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In the offices of the North Dakota Public Service Commission (all three commissioners are Republicans), a poster of a 7-year-old girl giving Obama the finger.

According to North Dakota Public Service Commissioner and Republican lifetime hack Kevin Cramer, while the poster hanging in the hall of the Commission's offices of a 7-year-old girl giving President Obama the finger is "distasteful" and "inappropriate," it's really a freedom of speech issue.

State Dem-NPL Chair Mark Schneider has it right: these are not the Republican party's offices, these are the people of North Dakota's offices.

It's not the only anti-Obama poster, either, in the offices where three Republican Commissioners hold sway. And the fratboy conduct of the office that determines all the energy issues for the state is only the latest in a parade of examples of questionable ethics and misconduct/incompetence and cover-up by Republican officeholders and their cronies.

Another of the commissioners, Tony Clark, actually proposed a few days ago to take over the Republican state chairmanship while sitting on the PSC. Let's see, I'm fundraising for the Republicans while I'm voting on your leases and licenses and rate increases. Nah, no conflict there....

Big dollars are flowing into the pockets of those Republican officeholders and candidates these days from Big Oil and Big Energy. North Dakota, some would say, is in an enviable position with budget surplus and low unemployment and energy to, well, burn.

But decades of one-party rule in Bismarck are taking their toll. And this year we're seeing the effects of that, from failed infrastructure in oil country to a governor so busy running for the Senate seat currently held by Byron Dorgan he can't be bothered to actually govern... to.... posters in the public offices of the North Dakota Public Service Commission.

So, Mr. Cramer, I beg to differ. This is not a free speech issue. It is craven exploitation whoring-out of a seven-year-old child.

You'd think they'd finally have some shame.

Or not.
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Contribute to Democratic candidate against Kevin Cramer, a strong-credentialed candidate by the way, here: Brad Crabtree for PSC

crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Monday, July 5, 2010

Beaver

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Sometimes the headlines, they write themselves....

Some Bemidji beaver artists cloak their sculptures in show of solidarity with artist whose beaver was removed

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Great

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Those of us born and reared in North Dakota don't need Newsweek to tell us this is a great place. Again. Always.

But just in case you didn't know.

Great thanks are due to the tireless work of a North Dakota legendary Senator: Byron Dorgan.
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And hopefully Newsweek will find a buyer soon so they can hire themselves a fact-checker. They can start looking at the local campus of the renowned NDSU Bison in Fargo. Because we all know it's Karen, not Carole. And we coulda told you so...if you'd asked.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Fireworks

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Lest we forget who pays the price for all the fireworks. And posturing.

can't embed the pic...don't miss it at:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/mumansky/2557100321/


When will we ever learn, indeed.
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Saturday, June 26, 2010

Productive Pelosi

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I'm with Gail Collins.

Give me one savvy productive Pelosi

over the whole swamp of puerile Palindom any day.
.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Bogged Down

.
Don't worry, small people, your troubles are few.
The BP oil execs care about you. Truly. They do.

They said so at the White House. They said so on the Hill.
They said so at the microphone. What's this? There is a bill?

They think about you day by day
While they wile away

Their hours on their yachts
Contemplating neither nail nor cog.

Yachts named Bob that sail around the Wight
Leaving deepwater thoughts to another's plight

They lap up apologia from Joe and from Michele.
They jet deluxe not hike you know, pip pip and whatthehell.

For who would begrudge poor Tony's life
Doubtless with a charming wife.

Yet for all their naughts
The Gulf becomes the Bog.
.
Crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal
.
UPDATE: More on the matter of the burgeoning bog from Frank Rich. Another 9/11 demands action.
..

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Twaddle

.
Tweedle dumb.

Tweedle dumber.
.

The only chumps are those who still listen to...and vote for...these twits.
.
Go, Tarryl.


.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Dear Calyfornuh...

.
Puh-lease, no.
.

Please do not send Catty Carly Fiorina to the U.S. Senate.

Just because she's got hair issues—what's up with that fiddling with her own curls, anyway?—doesn't mean we want to have to put up with 'em, or her, for the next six years.

Please, California, make things left again.
.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Optics

.
We elected a grown-up.

He gets problems solved.

He works to pass challenging legislation.

But the media wants toddler temper tantrums.
.
How do we unelect the media?
.

Friday, June 4, 2010

Swaggering Simpleton

.
Dubya's admission raises nary a ripple in the mainshill media.

Media loves them some conflict, some say. But even war crimes are OIYAR.
.

Monday, May 31, 2010

"Gone Fishing"

.
Tony Hayward. Chum.
.
.
h/t Think Progress

Saturday, May 22, 2010

'Randslide'

.
For now, it's the gimmicky word o'the day.

And the focus of plenty of media punditobabble. Frank Rich offers his take.

But the question is, will Randslide avalanche over the Dems? Or backfire on the Republicans and bury their corporatocracy once and for all?

Seems to me, if you can't even answer a straight question from Rachel Maddow, then the real Randslide is right into obscurity. Dr. Paul, your fifteen minutes are ticking....
.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

In a Blaze of Glory....

.
Don't you think for a minute that a son of the Dakota prairies (North, that is) will go quietly into retirement. Nosiree.

Way to go, Byron
. Give 'em hell.
.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Infowrestling

.
The announcement today of Elena Kagan's nomination for Justice on the Supreme Court was just the latest opportunity for the punditocracy to be unleashed like baying dogs upon we hapless teevee viewers who actually hold out hope for a bias toward facts and news on the cables instead of the seemingly ceaseless wallowing in partisan talking points.

I agree with Donna Brazile
.

Meanwhile. Instead of running for the U.S. Senate in Connecticut, perhaps pro wrestling empresariesse Linda McMahon should spent her gazillion$$$$ on buying herself a cable "news" network. She'd fit right in.
.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Rich.

.
Taking a poke at the eminently pokeworthy Washington press corps' preening selves.
.
While Times Square played out virtually unreported.
.
Maybe if they'd turned on the New Year's Eve balldrop....
.
.
They R all Faux Snooze now.
.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Community Banks Just Say...

.

When a community banker in North Dakota says banking status quo must end, when it's a lead op-ed piece in the state's largest daily, you gotta believe it gets noticed.

Financial reform must be passed into law. And I don't think it's a stretch to presume this banker means now, before North Dakota loses one of the most powerful progressive Democratic Senators to retirement.

Can do, Byron and Kent and Earl?
.
UPDATE: And spare me the Beltway Conventional Wisdom that oooooh, boogah-boogah, we can't do [fill-in-the-blank] reform because too much is being done already, just because The Village Elders are still stuck back in the era of "can't spit and chew pretzels at the same time...."

It's out there now, Cokie.
.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

My Amendment's Better'n Yourn

.
NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg probably thought that if the loophole couldn't be closed now... Well, he probably never imagined, given The Incident in Times Square, that the loophole would not only not be closed, but would be protected by the likes of Lindsay Graham and Susan Collins.

Who would expect U.S. Senators to actually protect the rights of terrorists to buy arms? To selectively support one Amendment while trying to tear down the other? To be so, yes, anti-Constitutional. Anti-law enforcement.

Who's the fool who ever said the Republican party supports law enforcement? Pah!

Or, as commenter Zimzone over at ThinkProgress put it:
Shorter Graham:

We’ll take away your Constitutional rights on Miranda but not your Constitutional right to bear arms.

WTF?
WTF, indeed.
.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another Daily Question

.
What's the difference between Goldman Sachs and the Somali pirates?
.
The size of their boats....
.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Thought for Today

.
What's the difference between Goldman-Sachs and Bernie Madoff?
.
Besides Bernie already being behind bars, I mean.
.

Prairie Recommends: Eugene Robinson on AZ law

.
Vengeance is mine, sayeth the rightwing in Arizona... and Governor Brewer and Senator McCain giddyup go along to get along....

Eugene Robinson is must reading today (and when is he not....)
.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Pull Up a Chair

.
This morning I've been guest-hosting the Pull Up a Chair thread over at Firedoglake. Here's the link. You, too, can contemplate your inner migrant....

.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Lesson Not Learned....

.
In Arizona.
.
.
Pastor Martin Niemoller's words. Anyone listening?

"THEY CAME FIRST for the Communists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.

THEN THEY CAME for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.

THEN THEY CAME for the Catholics,
and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant.

THEN THEY CAME for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up."
.
.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Prairie Recommends: JK Rowling on true patriotism

.
Ooooh, this essay by J.K. Rowling is wonderful.

I am indebted to the British welfare state; the very one that Mr Cameron would like to replace with charity handouts. When my life hit rock bottom, that safety net, threadbare though it had become under John Major’s Government, was there to break the fall. I cannot help feeling, therefore, that it would have been contemptible to scarper for the West Indies at the first sniff of a seven-figure royalty cheque. This, if you like, is my notion of patriotism.


Every bit as much of a must-read as her Harry Potter series.

h/t and thanks to Phoenix Woman at FDL for the milemarker
.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Wear Blue

.
Today is Wear Blue for Child Abuse Prevention Day. April is National Child Abuse Prevention month. Wear Blue. And take care of the children.

Three decades ago I tried to write a true crime story and was overwhelmed by the life story of one child named Sarah. There was no Wear Blue day back then, there were little resources. And she died at the hands of her own father. The story haunts me still. It's the unfinished business of my writerly self.

Now, there is hope and resources...and there is, sadly, too much to do, but today we can start. Wear blue. And learn more. And vow that you will help assure the little children should suffer no more.
.
crossposted at firedoglake's Seminal

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The Elephant at the Tea Party

.
The NY Times poll demographics prove it: the Tea Party is "Dick" Armey and his ilk. White. Male. Older. Republican. I'd toss in greedy and selfish, but that's just me.

So who are they really mad at? Barack Obama? 'cause they sure weren't complaining while Dubya drove the deficit wagon, so the arguments they're mad about financial issues ring hollow.

Or the black man at the head of the RNC?

Or any black man in a seat of power?

Just askin'.
.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

The Enemy Within?

.
Thought for today courtesy a comment thread over at Thinkprogress:

“A nation can survive its fools, and even the ambitious. But it cannot survive treason from within. An enemy at the gates is less formidable, for he is known and carries his banner openly. But the traitor moves amongst those within the gate freely, his sly whispers rustling through all the alleys, heard in the very halls of government itself. For the traitor appears not a traitor; he speaks in accents familiar to his victims, and he wears their face and their arguments, he appeals to the baseness that lies deep in the hearts of all men. He rots the soul of a nation, he works secretly and unknown in the night to undermine the pillars of the city, he infects the body politic so that it can no longer resist. A murderer is less to fear. The traitor is the plague.”

–Marcus Tullius Cicero (106-43 B.C.) Roman Statesman, Philosopher and Orator

.
You betcha.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Pulitzers Due Today

.
Read here about the subtext of the Pulitzers — their role in investigative journalism. Not just honoring, but also settting markers that may guide future journalism.

The announcement is this afternoon, and we'll update.

Meanwhile....


UPDATE Here's the list: 2010 Pulitzers
.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

The 70% Solution

.
Frank Rich cuts through the economist apologist bullpucky with the finesse of a ginsu knife.

"Mistakes were made..." "everyone believed...."

Maybe the denialist crowd Rich weaves together, including Rubin and Greenspan and the whole WMD platoon, can gather where East meets West and spare us all further spewings of their self-serving sludge.

I believe the word is seppuku.
.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Get Over It, You Lost

.
Once again, Jon Stewart cuts through the Confederacy nostalgia claptrap and gets it right.

CW was 145 years ago. South lost. Get over it.

Happy Union Appreciation Month!

And the best part is, Happy Union Appreciation Month works for all kinds of occasions. Maybe the workers at the hotel where the RNC partiers are gathering could pass out commemorative buttons.
.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Number 1 Story

.
Via Countdown's replay of Senator Tom Coburn's town hall, we learn the Aussie Emperor Rupert Murdoch has no clothes...and Fox may be foxy, but it's full o'crap [my translation].

So have the Republicans finally awakened to the fact that the Fox tail is wagging them?

And David Frum had it right.
.

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

PRecommends: digby on media violence-pushing

.
When the likes of Roger Ailes' personal kittylitterbox keep slavering over the ramp-up of violence-prompts and deeds and resort to blaming the victim mendacity, then questions must be asked...and answered.

Roger says it's just about the ratings.

digby has her thoughts

and Prairie thinks Roger's a self-loathing avatar taking the Murdoch empire's avarice out on the rest of us.
.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Prairie Recommends: Robinson on Rightwing

.
Eugene Robinson writes today in the Washington Post about the rising tide of violent thought, word, and incitement on the right. And cuts through the crapola of false equivalencies.
.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Prairie Recommends: Frank Rich

.
Just in case you didn't notice that the choleric rage from the right was about more than healthcare reform.
.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Boehner-Cantor Tag Team

.
The unabashed tag team of John Boehner and Eric Cantor have now spoken about the increasingly violent rhetoric and acts against Democrats who voted for healthcare reform, and Eric Cantor makes clear that it's red herring and blame-the-victim time. The false equivalencies are flying around, and political cowardice by the likes of John McCain excusing Sarah Palin's violence prompts are on full display.

It's a pretty wretched sight coming out of Washington these days. Will the media now further fuel the flames? Or will they referee the filibustering and blustering and fingerpointing and call them what they are?

Time will tell. But Mrs. McMahon will fit right in with this crowd if she wins in November.

Who knows, maybe she'd even call a tag team what it is....
.
UPDATE: According to Eric Cantor, the Dems are flnning the flames of violence. Thus spake the arsonist.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Law of the Land

.
The Rumpelstiltskins on the right can jump up and down and shout as loud as they want.

Healthcare reform is now the law of the land.

For Marcellus. For Natoma and her family. For President Obama. For the Kennedy family. For the Nixon family, even if he was not mentioned. For the Congress who made the hard votes. For the citizens who called, who wrote, who advocated. For you. And for me.
.

Monday, March 22, 2010

What Change Looks Like

.
Healthcare reform has passed.

All the hypocritical whining at the end of the day failed to overcome what President Obama and Speaker Nancy Pelosi led.

As Craig Ferguson would say, it's a great day for America.
.
UPDATE: I called my Congressman today to say "thank you." How 'bout you?
.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Good Ol' Boys

.
If you missed Thursday night on Comedy Central, Jon Stewart's tour de force about the crazy that is Glenn Beck and Stephen Colbert's scintillating skewering of all things Republican hypocrisy are must see. Must think about, too.

If you've been working and not noticed the misogynistic mindset that drives the likes of Rep. Bart Stupak in his dismissive attitude toward women's healthcare issues and the on-record support by Catholic nuns of healthcare reform.

If you think it's just all talk and smoke and mirrors and something you don't need to think about, then take a look at what a Republican state legislator in little ol' North Dakota thinks about one woman.

And ask yourself, isn't it time to elect more Democrats, not less? To support progress and change, even if it's not moving as fast as you'd like, rather than allowing the status quo to drag us down ever lower?
.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Defiant Diehards

.
John Boehner makes it clear. The Republicans are united. They will continue to obstruct. They will continue to be the Party of No.

Lesson learned since the 2008 election? Progressives have been aggressive about electing more and more Democrats in 2006. and 2008.

Obviously we aren't there yet. More Democrats in 2010.

We're on the right track, the Rumpelstiltskin status quo crowd that got US into this mess are still holding their tantrums and their obstruction.

Send 'em home.

Vote more Democrats in 2010.
.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Meanwhile, the Old Corruption Unpeeled

.
Like a rotting onion, Michael Lewis peels away the smoke and mirrors of Wall Street on 60 Minutes, and shows these guys as phony as onions pretending to be roses. Too big to fail? Apparently the message is, too stupid to indict.

Delusional? Whatever happened to accountability?

Oh, I forgot. That's just for the little scallions....
.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Corruption's Newest Chapter

.
So the Supremes rule that corporations are just like people and can give campaign money unfettered. And the wife of a Supreme starts up her very own Tea Party group which can rake in the big $$$$$.

Just affirms again.... It's not about the ideology.

It's the profiteering and power, ba-bee.....

From the LA Times article, about Virginia Thomas' group, which began before the Supremes decision from which Clarence Thomas did not recuse himself:

As a 501(c)(4) nonprofit, Liberty Central can raise unlimited amounts of corporate money and largely avoid disclosing its donors.
.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Recommended: Frank Rich on Rove-Cheney Rewriting

.
Even if they succeed in convincing a few [some of the people all of the time....], Karl Rove and the Cheney family's ongoing revisionist crusade to rewrite their history cannot change its truth.

Or as any dystopian near-future movie will show you, even if the rats outlive us, they're still rats.
.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Better Late

.
...than never, I suppose.

Finally.

Howell Raines joins the likes of Niemoller and Joseph Welch.
.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It Happened Again....

.
There we were, in line for lunch, a circle of women, achievers, successes in our fields, of a creeping certain age, and we shook our heads in bafflement.

Get it done, Washington.

Get it done, Democrats...it's why we worked so hard to elect you.

Get healthcare reform done. Now.

Stop dithering. Stop jumping at shadows.

Get it done.

Because job-building needs doing, too.

Now.
.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

"Hang it around their necks"

The Republicans have their talking point down. Todd the talking strategist told Chris Matthews this afternoon that if Democrats pass healthcare reform, come November, "we're going to hang it around their necks."

Hmmmmm.

Seems to me I saw something being hung around necks not so long ago ... gold medals.

In Sarah Palin's favorite healthcare destination.

Works for me....
.
crossposted at firedoglake's Seminal

Friday, March 5, 2010

Meanwhile....

.
Stephen Colbert's smackdown of Sean Hannity's smear and distort crusade against ACORN. Priceless. Here's the full episode, because you can never have too much Stephen....

North Dakota blogger's take on the Republicans' fear campaign powerpoint.

E.J. Dionne's deconstruction using Hatch of the Republicans' distortion of health care reform....

Seeing a pattern here? I thought you would.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Uppity Blogger Book Leave

.
Thanks for stopping by my blog from time to time. I'm taking a bit of a sabbatical, directing more attention to a long-term project that hasn't had its just due for a while.

In other words, Prairie's on book leave.

Be good to yourselves. Work for change.

Be the change.
.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Fili-bluster Flood Factor

.
Senator Bunning's hold-up action has another consequence. FEMA funding for flood insurance is stopped. New policies cannot be written, existing policies cannot be renewed.

And right now in Fargo, we're looking at a 96% chance of major flooding this spring (did I mention there's a 30-day waiting period for policies to go into force?).

The cities of Fargo-Moorhead are gearing up to fill nearly 2 million sandbags. But in the meantime, it's been 13 years since the major flood of 1997, one year since the 500-year flood of 2009, and nothing has been done on Fargo flood-protection infrastructure.

The Republican mayor of Fargo was quick out of the box to endorse the Republican Governor, John Hoeven, to run for the open seat after Senator Dorgan announced his retirement. And on the east side of the river there's that wanna-be-prez Pawlenty....

Oh, we have a nice new fancy-schmancy hockey arena on the South Side. But infrastructure to protect that south side, hmmmmm, no such luck.

So we'll roll up our sleeves, but the powers-that-be better roll up their sleeves, too, because the once-vaunted shoo-in candidacy of the incumbent Governor could take a real hit in the rising rivers of North Dakota. The Flood Factor this spring could have its consequences come November.
.
crossposted at firedoglake's Seminal

Monday, March 1, 2010

Fili-bluster

.
Senator Bunning's mean-spirited, contentious, and highly damaging little stunt filibuster...which he should be forced to actually stand and do till he wets his tighty-whities...reached a new low today...but tomorrow still awaits.

After all, he's too-obviously being point man for the entire Republican side of the aisle. Why else would they not join with the Democrats to break his filibuster? Senator Kyl was quick to defend the cause, attacking struggling jobless Americans in the process.

There's a whole lotta tighty-whitey in Washington these days. You see it on Faux News where they try to link reconciliation with the "nucular option." Where that quaint old concept of democracy, simple majority, up-or-down vote is under siege by the very people who for eight years jumped up and down like Rumpelstiltskin demanding their right to majority—not super majority—rule.

Among all the arguments about filibuster these days, it takes a small state legislator who is the only announced candidate thus far against the presumed-for-now Republican shoo-in to replace Senator Dorgan to hit on the simple truth.

North Dakota state Senator Tracy Potter said the filibuster has made senators “too important” compared to the House and the federal executive and judicial branches.

“I have sometimes chastised my colleagues (in the North Dakota Senate) that they are overreaching,” Potter said. “We have to have limitations on our power, and recognize our appropriate roles in the system.”


Appropriate roles. What a concept.

And maybe what a condemnation. All those tighty-whiteys have been overreaching ever since, oh, Inauguration Day 2009. The spike in use—abuse—of the filibuster. The endless, mind-numbing screeching of dissonant lies out of rightwing radio and Fox "News." The Tea Party fringe element. The increasingly violence-prodding screeding out of Fox "opinion."

But maybe pointing that out is uppity. I don't know. What do you think, Cokie? Because it's out there....
.
crossposted at firedoglake's Seminal

Thursday, February 25, 2010

Thank you, Keith Olbermann

.
As a "child" of an 85-year-old in the hospital this week, bearing witness to families around us in the ICU unit who are dealing with the trauma of trying to figure out arrangements for their loved ones and what will be allowed by insurance and what won't as they cope with the challenges of medical conditions....

As one who saw too much of the trauma of families dealing with the harshness of the healthcare coverage system amid their traumas of medical circumstance and care during the long years of my husband's illnesses which finally claimed him last July, I have just two words for Keith Olbermann's special comment:

Thank you.

It can't be easy for Mr. Olbermann to talk so publicly about his father's situation. And I thank him for his courage. It can't be easy to advocate so rawly for the reform the American healthcare system so desperately needs. So I thank him for his fortitude. It can't be easy to contain the full extent of the passion he brings to the table. So I thank him for expressing via his microphone what so many of us know and care about and do whatever we can, too, to advocate for.

We may not win this battle—the lobbyists and entrenched interests and too many gutless, selfish politicians and fools weigh against us.

But the cause is just, the need is real, and the people we love deserve no less than our full effort.

So thank you, Keith Olbermann. You honor your father.
.
And for one day, this day, my heart is a bit lighter because we've stepped back from the brink, Mom's out of ICU and into a regular room. Go, Mom!
.
crossposted at firedoglake's Seminal

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Foxy Saudi News

.
We've long known Fox News and its glory guy Roger Ailes have been anti-Obama. Heck, he boasts about it.

And there's a case to be made that such rooting by the likes of Beck, Hannity, O'Reilly, Hume, the Doucybag, gabby Gretchen, newbie Sarah for Obama's failure would lead to America's failure.

But could it be they're directly anti-America as well? Working through their news coverage to advance the agenda of their Saudi owner? Controlling and manipulating their commentary to destroy the case for green jobs and American jobs in order to keep filling the coffers of the Saudi oil sheiks?

And since when should we trust temporary American Rupert's agenda either?

Maybe they all rationalize that they're supporting America's oil industry...or maybe they're just too busy counting their coins.... Judas Fox? Inquiring minds are asking.

It's Out There, Cokie.
.
crossposted at firedoglake's Seminal

Recommended: The M Word

.
Will Bunch on the murderer Stack.

And then there's the sorry state of too many in the political class, who are more interested in scoring political points than acknowledging the obvious.
.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

punked...and pimped

.
What digby said ... about what Eric Boehlert [Media Matters] said ... about the phonying up of the O'Keefe assault on ACORN. And what it says about where we're at....

'spose ol' Howie Kurtz will give this one a big play next Sunday under the category of yet another thing the media let the Republicans get away with? Or will he still be slavering over the media sex scandal industry coverage of the Tigerpenis?
.
crossposted at firedoglake's Seminal

Friday, February 19, 2010

Pandering Pawlenty

.
Minnesota Governor and I-wanna-be-Prez Tim Pawlenty advocating violence and gawdifying at the CPAC Conference.

On the Day of the Tiger, L'il Timmy obviously felt he needed to get in a golf reference (God, guns, gays and golf—gee, there's a novel idea), so he recommends taking a nine iron to smash a window out of big government

Because he's Republican enough, he's hypocritical enough, and doggone it, he wants those conservatives to like him.

And by golly, he's out to show Michele Bachmann's not the only rightwing crazy panderbear in Minnesota....

I prefer Lily
.
.
crossposted at firedoglake's Seminal

With Headlines like These....

.
Anthem Blue Cross raises rates 39%. Medicare Advantage rates going up 14%.... Can we please RECONCILE NOW...WITH THE PUBLIC OPTION???????

Sorry for the shouting.

But for all the wasted time of the past year trying to get votes out of the Republican side of the aisle when they made clear from the get-go that they would obstruct and delay and obstruct and delay right into the 2010 elections, you'd think the Democrats in Congress would at long last stop with the foot-dragging hand-wringing and let reality return.

Maybe they need to be force-fed an endless loop of that scene from Gladiator when Russell Crowe convinces the other men in the ring they must stick together to survive and they must fight back. But that would take "men"...and "leadership"...and I digress....

As NorthDecoder reminds us today in yet another local example, Republicans will not cooperate, will not admit success of the stimulus, will do their darnedest to deny their states got any stimulus funds, just those ginormous photo-op checks in their staged media events [see any recent episode of Rachel Maddow's stim-pocrisy watch]. We can only succeed if we toot our own horn...

And pass legislation worth tooting about.

Reconciliation. We've missed the early part, so let's go for often. Reconcile on health care reform. Reconcile on financial reform. Reconcile on energy. Reconcile on...

Reconcile on delivering what Americans have been voting for. It's past due.

Then shout it from the mountaintops.
.
crossposted at firedoglake's Seminal

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Franni Franken Fights Bach(mann)

.
When Michele Bachmann started spewing her usual venom about Social Security being a fraud, Franni Franken had enough.

You see, Franni knows firsthand what Social Security can mean to American families.

Thing is, Michele, Franni's not the only one who has had enough.

So just keep on talking, alienate the demographic most likely to be listening to your idiocies on Fox. And know that even weekend Minnesotans are gearing up to assure you're serving your last term in Congress.

And maybe it's time you be called to account on those federal farm subsidies your family has no problem sucking up. Hypocrisy Hall of Shame? Michele's the prima dona.
.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Quote of the Day: David Dayen

.
In a blogpost about Evan Bayh's retirement decision and pontifications on the dysfunction that is Washington rule-by-filibuster, David Dayen distills perfectly:

the public, who selects its representatives, has a right to see its will expressed after it delivers a mandate.

.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Morning Blogtree: the ultimate death panel

.
Spreading important blog-conversation this morning about the power of constituents. We can vote, we can be vigilant. We can influence the people who represent us.

If we choose to do so.

Or we can be part of the ultimate death panel — the death of democracy.

We can't count on the media to do it. Or the Beltway self-interest circles. Or some other guy....

So how about it? Will you choose to help democracy live? Or turn a blind eye, a deaf ear? We have free speech—for now—how will we, how will you, choose to use it?
.
crossposted at firedoglake's Seminal

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Bookmarked: GPS

Week in, week out, the most intelligent hour of Sunday morning news analysis comes from CNN's Fareed Zakaria.

Take today, for example (with no slight to Joe Biden's forceful appearance today on Meet The Press, which was must-see viewing).

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy



But back to Fareed. If you're not a regular GPS viewer, you need to be. Just for moments like this:

Fareed Zakaria comments on Peterson and Greenspan from last week’s MTP, gutless cowards with nothing to lose pander on the Bush tax cuts expiring. Bush tax cuts the big black hole of the deficit. If they don’t have the courage of their convictions [they have convictions? /s] then how can anyone expect the politicians to have any….

For shame, says Fareed.

Yep.

Fareed Zakaria, guest MTP panelist Rachel Maddow, forceful Joe Biden — what Sunday morning could be, ought to be.
.
crossposted at firedoglake's Seminal

Thursday, February 11, 2010

The Press Played Dumb....

.
Four words succinctly indict the media hypocrisy covering left and right as latest shown in tea party coverage.
.
John Amato at Crooks & Liars sums up the situation of media hypocrisy in covering the tea party convention perfectly:

He cites Eric Boehlert at Media Matters for the deconstruction that distills to:


The press played dumb

It's how they roll.... all of 'em.

Expect more of same when fearmonger in chief "Dick" Chee-knee has his newest closeup moment on This Week Sunday morning.
.
crossposted at firedoglake's Seminal

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Colbert Schools Palin...and Rumblerush

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Well we really don't have to add anything more than—ta, da— Stephen Colbert.
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Monday, February 8, 2010

Hope-y, Change-y. Nope-y.

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While the silla one from Wasilla struts her crib notes and canned memes, the real war is building between the Big Rs...and I don't mean Rahm....

The silla from Wasilla gets a reality check from Daily News columnist Mike Lupica. And even a mocking today from Scarborough on Morning Joe. Out Fey-ing Tina? Sounds like a challenge for an SNL reprise to me.

This Monday diss after her yoga-esque contortions, as Lupica calls 'em, to say no, Rush really isn't crossing the line in using the R word, along with the intelligence-dimming inquality of her Saturday night TeaBagger speech.

Hope-y, change-y, Sarah? Really? When you play toady to Rush's bully? Pocketing the pricey coin as you gull the rubes back into the Gooper base fold?

So why are the supposed intelligent political reporting class--Andrea, Savannah, Chuck Todd...say it ain't so, Schuster--treating this woman seriously? Where is their reality check? Media acting like credulous reporters making Murrow, Cronkite, Jennings proud?

Nope. Dope-y.

In the battle of the right wing heavyweights, Sarah's caught in the middle between Limbaugh and Ailes. Used to be I thought Roger and Rush were a tagteam, but of late I'm thinking self-interest prevails. While Roger's fillin' Sarah's coffers and grooming her as his pet propaganda pusher, Rush is makin' sure his own pockets stay overflowing.

So far, the king of feminazi racist healthist insult has not met his match.
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Crossposted at firedoglake's Seminal

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Shhhhhhhhhhhhh -- Yay, Saints.....

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well, this is Vikings territory. Does take a hardy soul to cheer on the Saints hereabouts.

But what's not to love about this win....

Saturday, February 6, 2010

A Timely Reminder to Snowpocalyptans

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If you're in the snow zone this weekend somewhere in America, just remember... what comes down will rise up in the spring.

There's a 30-day waiting period for flood insurance to go into force.

Never too early to prepare....
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Yes, the late, great Mr. Sunshine did sell insurance, how'd you guess? Yes, I do have replacement cost coverage...

You should, too.
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crossposted at firedoglake's Seminal

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Dicks Are Rs

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Once again a Republican Dick justifies his name.
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Question "R" Rush

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Is Rush Limbaugh deliberately taunting Sarah Palin? Daring her to call him out as she did Rahm Emanuel for his intemperate F***R****?

Is the battle of the rightwing grifter heavyweights building up steam?

Or is Sarah about to take her lipstick and retreat, licked, back to Wasilla?
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Prairie's Reading: Fake Sincerity

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North Dakota's in inevitability mode...or so the Hoeven Senate campaign wants everyone to believe. Today they're announcing the support of 30 of the state's mayors, including the mayors of Fargo and West Fargo. The appearance of nonpartisanship belies those mayors' Republican ties, but inevitability marches on...and it's not even March yet.

So the article Why do people vote against their own interests? from BBC News caught my interest. [h/t commenter nomolos in attaturk's thread at fdl]

Two key takeaways from fellow frustrated Democrats cited in the article:

Republicans have mastered the art of appealing to emotions and persuading people to vote in ways that make their own situation worse.

And, if you can fake sincerity, you've got it made.

Do I expect the voters to read and learn from this article, or Thomas Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? No.

But it would sure be nice if Democratic candidates and consultants would.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Shorter John McCain

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And let's be candid, John McCain couldn't get much shorter than he has gotten lately.

On Don't Ask, Don't Tell, here's the shorter, true take:

What do you mean I'm not president?


That pretty much sums up everything about John McCain...sore loser.

Sore.

Loser.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Monday, February 1, 2010

Monday Morning Food for Thought

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I'm having a wee bit of trouble taking seriously the bleatings of the corpulent king of greed and gluttony this morning as the videoclips of Roger Ailes on This Week make the rounds of the blogosphere and 24/7 cable. Maybe it was his slippery conflating of an obscure commenter's comparing him to FBI dame Jay Edgar Hoover at Huffington Post with the endless drumbeat of anti-Obama, anti-Democratic ranting by Ailes' own army of circus elephants named Beck and Hannity and O'Reilly.

Yeah, I know, they're all intimate friends with Barbara and maybe they've even been invited to salons at the Queen of Tarts' place a time or two.

But while these well stuffed, well botoxed elites blather on about what basically amounts to schoolyard bullying and fingerpointing, I'm thinking about real schoolyards these days.

The president is proposing significant changes to No Child Left Behind, and I'm betting it won't take long for the Faux News crowd to jump on this and sweep up attacks on teachers' unions as part of the enemies lists on which they thrive.

(Apparently thriving is going very well for Fox these days. $20something millions for Roger, Al Hunt practically drools, as though those dollars somehow signify something of importance other than Roger's ability to further stuff his face and build the gated fences higher and surround himself with more and more security....

(Ever wonder where those big audiences they boast come from? Take a look next time you visit grandma at the nursing home—you do visit grandma, don't you?—take a look at what cable channels are pumped in for her viewing. Betcha it'll be a whole lotta Fox and not a sign of msnbc. So much for liberal media.

(And then there are the apologists like the woman from USA Today whose name I mercifully missed. The print version of Fox person grudgingly acknowledges, well, yes, Fox prime time is conservative...blithely ignoring how Fox prime time memes weave through 24/7 programming.)

But back to food for thought of a more substantive nature. Those teachers that Fox loves to attack? Well, they're on the front lines day to day for more than just teaching. Any given Monday morning, for example, they can spot the signs of kids who are starving, malnourished, so hungry their bellies are growling, their heads are dizzy.

And the teachers, who already have dipped into their own wallets for school supplies, these days are on the front lines of seeing to it kids have food in their backpacks to take home for the weekends. And they're working now on ideas on how to keep kids fed during summer vacations.

Malnourishment just might be another good reason to extend the school year through the summer.

Is our kids learning? Not if the dumbing-down and impoverishment and destruction of the middle class lifestyle we used to take for granted keeps on going...

And this isn't happening in some far off third world country seen only in quick videoclips. No. This is pervasive hunger right in the middle of the heartland, where agriculture is big business and Senators and Congressmen on both sides of the aisle are all too quick to earmark more of those farm subsidies, like the ones Michelle Bachmann's family farm rakes in.

President Obama has taken on a daunting challenge to change the status quo, whether healthcare, the economy or education or.... But the Forces of No will be doing everything in their power to bring things back round to the good ol' days of the 2000s. Because that all worked out so well for the middle class and America's children.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Friday, January 29, 2010

Pence-snively?

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Maybe Mike Pence this weekend is re-thinking that whole why run against Evan Bayh this time when I can wait 'til 2012 and run against Obama thing....

Visit msnbc.com for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Prairie Recommends: Taibbi on Populism

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Context for the upcoming political fray as we move actively into the campaign season.
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Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Consider Yourself Warned....

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If it can happen to a small state [North Dakota] blogger like Chet at northdecoder.com, it can happen anywhere, to anyone….
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Monday, January 25, 2010

Loyal-ties

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Loyalty has been on my mind today, ever since I caught portions of Morning Joe's conversation during the Political Roundtable. Not sure who said it, Joe or Mika or guest Matt Bai or the nonentity from Newsweek, but the consensus seemed to be there is no loyalty anymore...it's cultural these days not just the political quakes we're seeing courtesy the teabaggers and other independents.

No loyalty to party, no loyalty to employees or employers or spouses or....well, you get the idea.

So when I came across this commentary, John Hoeven (Opportunist-ND) for US Senate, at North Dakota's premier political blog, northdecoder.com, I decided to share it with you. Because right now a lot's being said about Governor John Hoeven's inevitability to take the Senate seat long held by Byron Dorgan.

But there's a growing volume of talk about Hoeven's party-hopping, too. Portraying his fealty to loyalty as the political equivalent of corporate values like companies who've gotten all kinds of tax breaks by communities to locate there only to jump borders for cheaper labor, or faux family values like John Edwards or Mark Sanford's concept of loyalty to their wives.

Whaddya think about Chet's posit that Hoeven [and perhaps other minority party novices] would rather switch and be powerful than stay in the far reaches of the minority once reality sets in? And should Democrats accept 'em in the fold? Is there a value to loyalty anymore?
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Saturday, January 23, 2010

One Person's Story

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Lots of sturm und drang about healthcare reform has been flying around Washington and the blogosphere and the media and... well, it truly all comes down to this:

We need reform. Postponing. Delaying. Putting it off until everybody feels all nicey-nicey about what's in the bill just isn't going to cut it. I feel strongly about this. I know lots of my friends and fellow bloggers feel vehemently different.

But it's been six months...and I still remember the haunted faces of caregivers I got to know in Rochester at Mayo's hospital. How they each worried for their loved ones. How they dreaded the financial toll. I can't get that out of my mind. There but for the grace of God, for we had good insurance.

Big numbers get thrown around by the chatterers. Too big to absorb...the cost, the number who die uninsured... but how many live? In quiet desperation at the effort just to survive and the unrelenting anxiety of how to pay for treatments and medicines and meanwhile the vampires take their bites: profiteers whose coin is blood.

And then in the quiet of a stormy Saturday morning, a message on the phone. Call me. And it's a dear friend who needed me to know she hasn't been in touch lately because she has breast cancer. And surgery's next week and then....

One person has a story to tell at Josh's place, too. Please take time—our most precious commodity—to read what he has to say. Because time's a-wasting.

I'm not so cynical as Josh's editor's blog to call his commenter's words a "sob story." Nor my friend, because I know in my heart she will be fine. Nor myself and my own loss last summer and the people who had their own experiences to share along the way.

These aren't sob stories. Nor spin. Nor posturing. Save that for the vampire profiteers and politicians and ghoul media enablers. These are our life stories. And just as hard as we fight, for ourselves, for our loved ones for survival, so, too, we must fight for healthcare reform whatever it takes to get it done.

Because the alternative is death.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

UPDATE: For more on the battle, the marathon, for healthcare reform, read emptywheel's Some Thoughts on Healthcare and digby's suggestion that Someone Tell Tweety

Friday, January 22, 2010

Hope—and Coin—for Haiti

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It's been what Christie would call a craptastic week. Since it's pretty likely the powerlines hereabouts will snap under the weight of ice and wind before the weekend's over, I just ask you to keep one thought, one act in mind:

hopeforhaitinow.org

In Fargo, school kids are gathering up pennies. Dimes or dollars, do what you can. What you will.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mitch McConnell Came to Town

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Mitch McConnell came to Fargo today to tout the Senate candidacy of current Republican Governor John Hoeven. And I'm sure it's just a coincidence the Valley's been socked in with fog all day....

The way McConnell tells it to the small audience of Republican loyalists captured on video and in print reporting, all we have to do is elect Hoeven and nothing will change because McConnell has the power to put him on the Appropriations Committee and the Energy Committee.

Left unsaid but equally promised were the lollipops and rainbows and cute little puppies....

It was political grandstanding at its finest, just a day after the local newspaper quoted the former Governor and one-time Bush Agriculture Secretary Ed Schafer touting how he led Hoeven back into the Republican fold.

Today's article prompted me to comment:
First Ed Schafer brags that he reminded Hoeven he shared Republican values. Then Mitch McConnell brags he can gaur-on-tee what committees Hoeven will be on. What's next? George W. Bush coming to town to tell us Hoeven shares the same banking values as Wall Street and AIG?

Hoeven's proving every day he's in it for the Republicans. Let's get a candidate who represents North Dakota's traditional populist roots. After the mess the Bush people left for the next president to clean up, the last thing we need is to send another Republican to Washington.

Now all we need to find out is which more senior Republicans has McConnell stepped on to make such a promise about committee assignments.

'Cause he sure wouldn't have, you know, blown fog in our faces here out of the limelight in little ol' Fargo, now would he?
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UPDATE: local weather reporting the fog expected to linger all week. Hmmmmm. Mother Nature sending us a message?
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Prairie Recommends: E.J. Dionne

Defying the moment's conventional predictions that we would somehow muddle through, one offered a dire and uncannily accurate forecast. He explained why banks would blow up, investments would crash and the federal government would have to spend "at least $300 billion" to bail out financial institutions.

The other financial expert listened closely, took a sip from his drink, and smiled. "This," he said, "would seem like an excellent time for the Democrats to take power."

It wasn't that he liked Democratic policies. He just wanted the other side in charge when things came tumbling down.


Read it and...

Saturday, January 16, 2010

McConnell Coming to Fargo for Hoeven

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Prairie's Note: Campaigns are rolling out around the country. In the past, the Republicans have counted on operating under the radar state-by-state, but this year, we Democrats will/must keep a strong network of openness so all of America will know just how bankrupt are their ideas... and how hypocritical their professed values. One key race is North Dakota, with Dorgan's retirement, the Governor who's mastered the art of political opportunism is off and running. What's happening in your state?
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The Because We didn't Totally Wreck America during the Bush Lost Years and We Want to Finish the Job campaign is winging its way toward Fargo, North Dakota on Monday.

Senate Minority leader Mitch McConnell will speak at a rally of Republican money donors and also he and Governor and Wanna-Be-Senator John Hoeven will meet with the Forum's editorial board.

Earlier this week, Hoeven dodged answering a Grand Forks talk show host (Dakota Huseby, Voice of Dakota) about which Senators he most admired. She put no boundaries on the question. Coulda been a current or past Senator. But hmmmm, in the grand tradition of "popular" Republican governors who ride on the coattails of Democratic policy while lambasting it, he ducked the question.

Guess we know now who's high on his list. Mitch McConnell, whose only contribution to governing is to obstruct and try to block anything that will bring America back from the brink of financial ruin that he and the rest of his Republican party worked so hard to create during the Bush Lost Years. He wants the President to fail, he wants America to fail. You'd think there'd be some sense of shame or remorse among Republicans at how deep runs their greed and selfishness.

Hoeven is making clear, from his announcement event at a Republican meeting, to his campaign kickoff event coming up, he's running for the Republicans. Not for all the people of North Dakota. Just the Republicans.

Will be interesting to see if the Forum's editorial board gets anything more out of Hoeven than parroted slogans "common sense," "family values," "Mikey and me," oh, and puppies ... truly, he likes puppies.

At least I think he does. I'm sure he'd say so if he didn't. Yeah. I'm sure he would.
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crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal