Tuesday, February 28, 2006

If it's Tuesday, this must be....

"...on this episode of AMERICA'S LEAST WANTED".....

Marshfield....again...and again...

It's beginning to seem like that Bill Murray movie, Groundhog Day. That's what January, February and March are like around here....same winter weather, close to the same temperatures every day, the same old routine day-in-day-out.

Of course there's something to be said for living a boring life. I mean, really, it's a lot better than living in fear and loathing every day isn't it?

And most certainly, it's magnitudes better than what our soldiers are going through in Iraq everyday.

Scanning the blogs this morning:

Senate Judiciary Committee is meeting concerning the NSA spying. No surprises so far. Live blogging going on here:


We note that a CBS News survey finds Dubya's popularity at 34%!

Even better, "Dead-eye Dick" Cheney is down to 18%!



BAGHDAD, Feb. 27 — Grisly attacks and other sectarian violence unleashed by last week’s bombing of a Shiite shrine have killed more than 1,300 Iraqis, making the past few days the deadliest of the war outside of major U.S. offensives, according to Baghdad’s main morgue.


I hope to have a fellow "team-mate" blogger on board soon. Invitations have been sent but Blogger is slow on these things....

Feel free to jump in any time.


Monday, February 27, 2006

God....that was a horrible moment.

It's like one of those old nightmares where everybody is in on the joke but you and they're all laughing at you for being so dumb. And no matter who you ask to explain what's going on, they won't tell you and just keep laughing. Only this wasn't any dream. It was a forum on the Democratic Party's Health Care initiave moderated by four of our local State Legislators.

Here's what the Legislative Democrats are trying to do. They're trying to pass some kind of legislation that commits the legislature to solving various well-documented Health Care issues in the State of Wisconsin by some date certain. Do what, exactly? There isn't any "what". There is just a "do something" with a set of broad goals.

Now it's obvious that being outnumbered in both the Assembly and the Senate, the Democrats will need a lot of aisle-crossing and true bi-partisan muscle to get "something" done...hell, they'll need all the bi-partisan support they can get just to get a "sense of the legislature" resolution on this issue. If they don't, then of course the Republican leadership can make absolutely certain that anything (resolution, legislation, whatever) gets assigned to committee and never sees the light of day.

That's when the awful moment happened.

As I read through the prepared handout it occurred to me that the Republicans would never be so accommodating as to give the Democrats even the tiniest of victories. Or, as P.T. Barnum
once said, "Never give a sucker an even break." I peeked over the handout and looked up at the panel and sure enough....There it was: They were ALL DEMOCRATS. There wasn't a single Republican on the panel.

I got it.

I got the joke.

There isn't going to be any Health Care Initiative.There's only a going to be a campaign issue for the 06 elections with a headline reading

Republicans Kill
Health Care Reform

The sad part is that I was probably the last person in the room to "get it".

After the conference, conversations with a couple of the legislators confirmed my guess. I was told that the Republican leadership has already dug in their heels and that they were refusing to participate in this effort.

So this state-wide effort is all form and no substance?

Maybe I've been living in the political "boondocks" for too long to recognize the sheer genius of this strategy. Maybe the logic goes something like this:

* We'll never get health care reform as long as the Repubs control the Legislature.
* The only way to retake the legislature is to defeat Republicans
* The only way to defeat Republicans is to let the public know it's the Repubs responsible for sky-high health care costs
* So make the Republicans responsible for killing healthcare reform.


I guess when your party is hopelessly outnumbered, you play the best hand you've got.
Pictures will follow with edit

Once a radical.....

I often have a hard time trying to explain to my very technically/scientifically oriented son exactly why I am and have been so heavily involved in politics, or, for instance, why I frequently engage in shouting matches with a cable TV talk show.

I think he was particularly perplexed when last summer he learned that I was out standing vigil for Cindy Sheehan along with about 35 other people.

He knew of course that I had been involved in campus "free speech" protests and had marched for Civil Rights and (eventually) against the Viet Nam War while I was in College. What the hell...it was during 1966 through 1970....what would you expect? I spent 15 years in public service practicing what I believed and left disillusioned. Although I was effectively "out" of politics for anther 15 years, the old passions never actually died and so I jumped right back in.

Truthfully, I'm far more "mainstream" than I was "back in the day...." but something very strange has happened: What was "mainstream" back then, is considered "radical" now. In fact, to my never-ceasing amazement, the simple act of writing a letter in opposition to The President's policies is now an act of radical sedition. Participation in a peaceful vigil or demonstration brands you as a member of the moon-bat, looney left.


How the hell did that happen?

My family jokingly now refers to me as the "crazy neighborhood liberal". They joke that I probably have a huge FBI dossier. (I probably do....college...military...managing federal programs...I wouldn't be a bit surprised) I think sometimes I should "tone it down" a bit to keep from embarrassing them.

Nah......can't do that....

It's against my nature....

Stephen C. Day has a character from Last Chance Democracy Cafe, Winston, explain his "radicalism" to his family in this way:


So I’m sorry if my bluntness sometimes makes you cringe. But don’t expect me to change. Because if there’s one thing this country doesn’t need right now, it’s one more person running with the crowd

I'll probably remain outspoken and also continue trying to explain myself to my family but I think my "blog buddy" Rasputin1952 put it quite nicely.

We fight because others are too timid, or lack the conscience of the humanity we fight for. We are old, but wise beyond our years. We have fought this fight before, and won; we fight again, if for no other reason than it is simply the right thing to do. by Rasputin 1952


Sunday, February 26, 2006

Definitely Not Marshfield

I know I promised something about Marshfield politics but I got distracted on some national issues....

If I get a few hits where people want more local information, then I'll do it...otherwise we'll just continue with National news....

Hope everybody had a nice weekend......


Cognitive Dissonance

Per Digby:

Rita Cosby said that it's wrong that the Republicans in South Carolina are asking for church rolls to target the evangelical vote but it's just as wrong that Democrats are targeting the "hoodlum vote." Yes, the hoodlum vote. When a plainly confused Chris Matthews asked what she meant, she explained that Democrats were going through voter rolls to find felons to vote for them.

Can you even imagine what would have happened if a Democratic/liberal/progressive had made this remark? I understand there are a "few" emails in to MSNBC demanding an apology.

Wonder if it will happen??

Update: Stephanie Miller took a few swings at Rita this morning. She questioned whether anything will come of this. It seems like the other blogs have moved on to other issues...sort of the scandal fatigue thing again I guess.

Open Sunday thread

Will be gone for a few hours...much to discuss upon returning...

Mostly Marshfield politics.


Saturday, February 25, 2006

When I saw this picture of the eagle on another site it immediately struck me as symbolic of how most Democrats have felt for a long time (5+years) and how more and more "middle Americans" are feeling every day.Think about it.It's almost an outrage per day with the Bush Administraion. Their arrogance and shear audacity are breath-taking. What has been done to our system of checks and balances is shameful as well as frightening.

I've spoken before about "scandal fatigue". It seems that we, the loyal opposition, can never focus quickly enough or sharp enough on a single outrage before the next one erupts and drags our attention away. I've noticed that over the last five years and believe me, I've lost count of the number of incidents that have raised calls to "man the barricades" from activists all over the country. I used to think that our inability to bring any single outrage to some conclusion that would require the Bush administration to stand accountable was due to a political version of "attention deficit disorder" but now I am convinced that it has to do with a certain powerlessness to do anything BUT be enraged. My fondest hope is that all the unresolved outrages and scandals triggered by this administration will act more like open, festering wounds and eventually grow so fetid that they will, in aggregate, bring this administration to an ignomius end.

The saddest of all, however, is the evil that these people have done is about to erupt into more violence and bloodshed than we could have ever imagined. I'm talking about Iraq, of course.Reading on-line news and blogs this morning about Iraq is absolutely frightening. One obscure foreign policy blog I read this morning pointed out that in 1996 a middle-eastern think tank study rightly noted that the only thing keeping Iraq from descending into the hellacious realm of sectarian civil was the brutal control of Saddam Hussein. Neocon scholars of the time decided that even in light of the risk of civil war that Iraq needed a "clean sweep" and from the chaos, democracy and peace would flourish.I think that's what the (cough: idiot) pundit Terry Jeffreys was trying to say on Blitzer's show yesterday...that civil war in Iraq meant George Bush's plan is working.....(I swear you can't make this crap up!)

The sooner Bush and his administration are removed from office, the better as far as I'm concerned. Strangly enough, during the first two years of Bush's term of office a person to whom I am close said, "I never knew one person could screw up so much in such a short length of time." God help us if he finishes the next three years.

Friday, February 24, 2006


I had almost forgotten that I had this space up....now that I'm posting on another site (actually three sites) I'll be making more use of this one.....

This one I think will be more specific to the things I'm doing in my hometown and less oriented toward "party" matters.

There are a lot of issues I want to cover and I'll just have to start plugging away at them from here on in