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"The price of freedom is eternal vigilance."

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

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Timeout from Target

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.

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.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Rich Raging

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.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Media Fail

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.
crossposted in comments at firedoglake's The Seminal

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

A Rosa Parks Moment

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.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Parliamentary, My Dear...

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

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.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

North Dakota Today...The Finger

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.
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


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


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.
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.
crossposted at firedoglake's The Seminal

Thursday, July 1, 2010


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

can't embed the pic...don't miss it at:

When will we ever learn, indeed.