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"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

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

Friday, January 29, 2010


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

Context for the upcoming political fray as we move actively into the campaign season.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Consider Yourself Warned....

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

Monday, January 25, 2010


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?
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Saturday, January 23, 2010

One Person's Story

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.
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

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:


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

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Monday, January 18, 2010

Mitch McConnell Came to Town

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?
UPDATE: local weather reporting the fog expected to linger all week. Hmmmmm. Mother Nature sending us a message?
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

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?
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.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Friday, January 15, 2010

Call Your Friends & Family in MA Now!

If you know someone in Massachusetts who hasn't yet committed to VOTE for Coakley, I'm beggin' you...call them now. Don't wait for a group to do organized calling... you do it.

Because we can't afford to let the last term of Edward Kennedy be upended and totally turned 180 backward by the Republican candidate for his seat in the Senate.

Health care reform is on the line.

A Democratic loss in Massachusetts will set back not only health care reform, but the banksters of Wall Street are just slavering at the opportunity to buy themselves another senator and stop financial reform right in its tracks, too. The Bush eight years of destruction weren't enough for them, they want to keep right on pillaging and plundering the American middle class.

We can sort out later who got us in such a mess that the whole nation will suffer if Democratic doldrums and independent antipathy keep the voters away. We can't afford to squander any more.

This is triage time.

Don't wait for someone else to do it. You know what a mess the healthcare system is. It has to be fixed. And if the patient doesn't survive, all the arguing in the world over what the best medicine is won't mean a damned thing.

Call your friends and family in Massachusetts now and get their promise to vote for Coakley on Tuesday.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Dumb, Doddering and Despicable

Hope they've been enjoying the modern equivalent of 40 pieces of silver. Or raining gold coins through your fingers. Or blood diamonds. Or basking in the view of Diamond Head.

'cause you can't take it with you.

If ever there were a more loathesome trio, it has to be Sarah Palin, who fumbled to even come up with the name George Washington, while talking to Glenn Beck. Book learning be too much for her. But not to worry, no more ad libs, no more relying on memory or rehearsal. From now on, it's all teleprompter alla time....

And then there is Pat Robertson, the shill, the false prophet, the wolf in sheep's clothing, the Judas, the pathetic excuse for all that remains of his humanness--the excrement. In a not-so-rare moment he snake-oiled about a pact with the devil. Look to your own, sir.

And then there's everybody in the Village's good buddy Rush. Racist, rancid, revolting. At long last, media, have you no shame? I waste no such expectation on him. But why are you coddling and embracing this vile sludge?
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Help Haiti Today

You can help the people of Haiti. Huffington Post is building a comprehensive list. As one commenter there noted, you can make sure your money goes to a charity that will really help the people by checking charitynavigator.org.

In the early days of Prairie Sun Rising, I wrote "Let Them Eat Mud Cookies" about the dire everyday poverty of Haiti.

Now, the island has been devastated by an earthquake. For those who have so little, even a little contribution will go a long way. And it only takes a little time.

A Fargo group sponsored by Triumph Lutheran Church was already in Haiti on a service mission. They're okay. But they're going to be busy. I know of medical volunteer teams who have given of their own time to go over the years.

But the truth is, the need, the poverty, the circumstances of life in Haiti is so dire that these groups can't begin to do what needs doing alone. And now, the earthquake jolts us. We get caught up in our daily lives, the issues we care passionately about. But we can all help, even in the comfort of our own homes.

For the least of our brethren.... Remember? The lesson we were supposed to learn from Katrina?
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

UPDATE: The President has spoken about Haiti and the massive logistical effort already underway overnight to lead our partners in the region and globally in the Haiti relief effort. Actions speak louder than sloganeering, now don't they. Information on how you can help at whitehouse.gov.

News coverage is heavy and fast moving, both at CNN and MSNBC. You'll find additional links on ways you can contribute at MSNBC.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Crook. And Liar.

What John Amato says. And I agree:

Roger Maris. 61 in 61.


Mark McGwire.


The Steroid Era of baseball cannot be spun away. Peel back the layers and they were all in on it. Owners, managers, players, media.

All the same ones who are trying the disgraceful campaign to rehabilitate Mark McGwire today.

And if the public gets bamboozled on this, well, there's a certain former Texas Rangers owner who'll just be lookin' forward to walkin' you through his liberry of rehabilitation soon. And the same way ....

Monday, January 11, 2010

Hoeven In....

Well, everybody who follows politics in North Dakota was expecting this. ND AP is reporting that Governor John Hoeven will run for the Dorgan seat in the U.S. Senate. [Reported by the most reliable radio talker in the state; not yet available on the Forum website.]

Surprise, surprise....
And may I say that the rollout of this announcement, complete with weeks/months of coyness, slow local newsday, staged leakage, primetime newshour scheduled announcement, pretty much perfect.
So far, he's winnin'.
So far, he has no opponent.
And former #1 Governor Sarah Palin is signing with Fox as a contributor, sources say. The surprises just keep on rollin' along....

Prairie's following: FDL Liveblogging

FDL's superb Teddy Partridge is liveblogging today the trial that evidently the judge and the Roberts Supreme Court do not want you to see, hear, or otherwise know about.

You can follow it here.

Because, as a wise ol' guy once said: first they came...and I did nothing.

Becoming informed...that's a start.

What Josh Said


Things, Josh says, that should be obvious.

Call it the missing frame:

Talking about racism does not make you racist; advocating racism does.

'nuff said. Now would somebody please tell Scarborough and Cornyn?

What Digby Said

Still waiting for the first leak on the Hoeven announcement....

Meanwhile, what Digby said.

It's all about entertaining The Villagers.

Quinn of Tarts must be so happy this morning.

Sarah Reads God's Mind

(Marking time this Monday morning waiting to hear whether Governor John Hoeven, the now-most-popular Governor in the US_—Thanks, Bakken Oil Patch!—will announce that he is going to stay at #1 or run for the Dorgan seat to become part of the minority party and take up permanent whining for a career change.)

Sarah Palin believed her running for vice president was "God's plan." So said a former top McCain campaign aide on Sunday night's 60 Minutes.

Just in case you missed it with all that football to choose among.

So let's see if I'm understanding this: God whispers in John McCain's ear to choose Sarah Palin as his running mate. Sarah Palin. Pitbull with lipstick outa Wasilla Alaska, the meth capitol of the sub-Arctic...but of course that's just a coincidence. With a family that fits right in the Octomom Heenie balloon boy Jon and Kate "reality" era.

And God did this because?

Well, I've got one thought. God realized the only way a black man could get elected president in the "modern" warmongering pistolpackin' rightwing era would be if the opposing side were so horrifically inappropriately not ready, not fit for office that Americans would rather even vote for a young, community organizin', big city African-American promising hope and change.

Betcha Sarah never thought of that one.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Prairie's Reading: Rich on Econ-terrorism

Oh, he doesn't call it that—econ-terrorism—in his column, The Other Plot to Wreck America. But in fact, Frank Rich lays out a compelling commentary on the destructive economic tactics titans of Wall Street have wreaked, unchecked, on all of the rest of us. And fully expect to keep on doing. Unless.

This could be, should be, the most important news of coming days — initial hearings of the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, its chairman former California treasurer Phil Angelides.

One presumes that a public official from the state arguably hardest hit by the Enron corruption would bring his own compelling case to the destructive chaos that is the current state of the economy. (and one would hope the willfully myopic malfeasant Larry Summers would step out into the real country where the economy matches the weather and stop with the bullshit that everything is rosy-dosy once again.)

But wait, first we have to be fearmongered about Underpants Bomber; titillated by the penises of Tiger and John Edwards; toss in a few flashes of the gams and cleavage of Gretchen and Erin and Mika for the boobs rabble and pretty soon you have more of the same ol'.....

Unless we say, "enough."

So I'm saying it. Enough. Report on what matters. Report facts. Farm out the pundits and the partisans to the pasture.

crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

UPDATE QUESTION: So... anybody hear a word about this hearing on the Sunday gasbag shows or evening news cycle? Nope. Me neither.

Quiet Heroes

Weekends are for relaxing and reflection. Looking backward and ahead. [And this time of year, hoping the damned temperature does in fact rise or the weather guys will have a lot of explaining to do!]

We've begun to contemplate the passing of an era with Byron Dorgan's retirement announcement. Because he wasn't one of the posturers and preeners who feel it is their divine right to always show up on the pundit shows, he may not have been the best known of senators outside our own North Dakota borders.

But those who know him know well what a legacy of honor and regard he has amassed.

Two tales to tell about the Senator you may not know so well.

Thanks to Brendan for this milemarker [yeah, I know, I don't often venture into conservative blogospherics either]: A soft spot for Senator Dorgan.

And to Barbara for this: Minnesota Senators lose key ally. Kinda makes you wonder how much better this country could have fared had Dorgan been Obama's mentor, too, instead of Loathsome you-know-who.

We salute our heroes. Some are on the nation's stage, or the world's.

And some — we carry them with us in our hearts, right, Barbara?
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal and Clotheslineblog

Friday, January 8, 2010

Media Mice

Just in case my comment doesn't make it past the mods over at Huffington Post regarding Giuliani's preposterous lies to George Stephanopoulos regarding national security, here it is for y'all [note Rudy was singin' the same sackoshit song to Morning Sludge today]:

Stephanopoulos, Scarborough, Brzezinski each and all the rest of the media enablers allowing the likes of Giuliani and Chee-knee and Chee-knee Jr. to continue to spew their lies are culpable. The media mice own these lies as surely as the ones who utter them.


Thursday, January 7, 2010

Prairie's Reading: Gail Collins prompts ND

I agree with Gail Collins. North Dakota Democrats will find a strong candidate among local ranks. We're a sturdy lot in North Dakota...just step outside...into the breeze of a typical North Dakota winter's day, and whoever's still here...we'll nominate 'im.

Of course, on the Republican side, the build the inevitability of Who???????????ven campaign has begun.

Not that there's anything wrong with that. It's the tactic any savvy consultant would advise. Pre-empt the opposition if you can.

'course it does beg the question: if Who?????????????ven's so inevitable, why has he not yet announced his candidacy? If the polling numbers were such a reliable forecast [and we do take our forecasts of all varieties pretty seriously hereabouts], then why was Who?????????????ven too gutless to announce while he still believed his opponent would be Byron Dorgan?

Just asking.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal
h/t Marion in Savannah for the milemarker

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Prairie Cautionary

Last week, I wrote a letter to the editor of the Forum. It finally appears in today's issue. The announcement of Dorgan's decision to retire from the Senate does not change the message I had for my fellow North Dakotans;

Republicans and their fat-cat friends trying to stampede us

By: Sandy Scheel Huseby, Fargo

Looks like the Republican big boys are coming to town whipping up a stampede to distract us from the past decade of failed Republican policies and actions that President Barack Obama and the Democratic Congress are working doggedly to clean up.

A stampede intended to drive Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., and Congressman Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., from office. A stampede that would send us right back into the abyss of economic disasters and buckshot cowboy blunders in sobering matters of national security.

State Republican honcho Gary Emineth and National Republican Chairman Michael Steele were on local talk radio recently full of bravado and bluster about how they’re going to steamroll over Dorgan and Pomeroy this election year. Seems to me what they’re really saying is they intend to steamroll over North Dakota’s way of living.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t need the likes of the Wall Street fat cats crowd telling me that I should turn away from public servants who have dedicated their lives to making life better for their North Dakota neighbors from Regent and the western range to the fertile farmland of the eastern Valley cities.

It’s going to take more than bluster and bravado and the kind of fishing-tale whoppers that would make true outdoorsmen blush to unseat Dorgan and Pomeroy. Oh, I expect they’ll try more. The Republicans have been downright shameless in their twisting and shouting spin-and-smear tactics as they’ve gotten more and more desperate in recent elections to keep control in the hands of a few big-money interests.

Those big-money interests that hide behind fake names of groups that basically consist of themselves and their own checkbooks.

This year, there’s too much at stake to go back to the failed Republican policies that have devastated everything from jobs to health care to the mortgages on the homes we live in. Can big money buy the 2010 elections in North Dakota? Oh, they’ll try. But I trust that the same pioneer spirit that brought my grandparents to homestead in Dakota Territory as immigrants from Germany runs deep in most families in this state.

We know common sense, hard work and community spirit that puts neighbors before partisan party politics. And we know what’s left behind on the trail in a stampede.

Writer Huseby blogs as Prairie Sunshine at www.prairiesunrising.blogspot.com.

Now Dorgan has decided to retire. Was he stampeded? Who knows, but him. I won't be. Neither will the pioneer spirit of the kind of North Dakota Democratic-NPL which dug in all the deeper when threatened by storms and the harsh life on the prairie. Dorgan steps back, but there are more than enough willing to step forward that are committed to the pioneer spirit that built our state.
In a comment over at firedoglake this morning, I said:

Sorry to mess with your theory, David, but ND Dems have no intention of ceding the Dorgan seat without a strong campaign. The opportunistic Whooooooooooven??????????, best known for community appearances at events like Hostfest in his hometown of Minot, has been playing coy with running for months now. Expect to see him emerge as the Republican candidate.

As for winning, he’ll have to earn that, if he can.

So Hoeven—or whoever the Republican candidate may be—can likely count on big bucks backers for this race. We'll see if they have the grit for it.
UPDATE: whole lotta buzz in the media about Ed Schultz invited to make a run for the Dorgan seat. Call me a Valley Girl, but I just don't see him making that decision. There's a flood of reasons why. Burning bridges and all that.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

UPDATE II: Recommended reading

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Dorgan Announces Retirement

We wish Senator Dorgan the best.

He has given his best to North Dakota and this nation for the past 40 years.


Off With Her Head

Today to David Schuster, the self-annointed Queen of Tarts and Washington poobahienne, Sally your-husband-is-mine Quinn declared that Desiree Rogers must, simply must, resign... or else.

Or else Queen Bee-sybodies like she and Cokie Roberts will be forced, forced I tell you, to come out in attack on the young black man.

How very Mayella Ewell of them...the blonde ol' biddies coming out to smack down the uppity black President.

Or are their noses out of joint because they weren't on the guest list? Just wondering.

How 'bout you take a page from Ellen Goodman, magnolias, and Exit Gracefully.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Prairie Recommends: Matthews takes on Politico

Well, this was just jaw-dropping I can't believe I'm finally seeing this priceless. Jonathan Martin's "well you got us" moment. (Thinkprogress has more)

Chris Matthews' must've had his Wheaties yesterday morning.

He took on Politico and, effectively, the whole right wing sound machine. Inadvertently committing real journalism in the process.

Maybe he's decided he doesn't want that Peabody going to Comedy Central this year.

And maybe he opened the door on the real story: Dick Chee-knee and his circle may be batscheiss crazy war profiteering ideologues, but they can still find media megaphones like Politico to get their story out.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Friday, January 1, 2010

Prairie's Reading: Stiglitz on Harsh Lessons

Do yourself a favor. Read this article by Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz on the five harsh economic lessons we must [re-]learn.

No excuses.

We cannot afford the idle luxury of thinking that somebody else will take care of things and make it all better. Whomever you think that somebody else may be.

Do your country a favor.

This article appears in China Daily. Look at the label of the clothes you're wearing. Consider who's holding America's debt. It ain't Tinkerbell.

They're learning. Will you?
crossposted at Clotheslineblog (Happy New Year, compadre)