Thursday, January 31, 2008

I. Do. Not. Understand.

Sometimes local politics baffle me.

I ran into a local politician who is supporting a Mayoral candidate even though that same candidate is being supported by the people who worked so hard to drive him from office in the past.

Now, I've always heard (and subscribed to) the revered political addage:

The enemy of my enemy is my friend.

I can understand's a way of forming coalitions and allies to achieve a political goal.

But this?

What he seems to be saying is:

My enemy and my enemy's friends are my friends

That's approaching WTF? territory.

There is also something on the national level that I don't quite understand. Why did John Edwards withdraw from the race yesterday? (okay, I know, he said he "suspended" his campaign but the net result is the same.) Why? If he had held on until "Super Tuesday" he might have gathered a few more delegates to bargain with at the convention. In addition, the Wisconsin primary is on February 19 and in Wisconsin, delegate allocations are chosen on the basis of Congressional District. Our Congressman is Dave Obey who endorsed Edwards a long time ago. In addition, our State Chair endorsed Edwards. There is a strong Edwards contingency within the Congressional District so Edwards may have won that district and the delegates allocated to it. (I think it would have been six or seven at least).

I'm hoping for a "brokered convention and I was hoping that Edwards would control enough delegates to "tip" the balance by releasing his delegates to whichever candidate promised to adopt his issues in the national campaign....but

apparently that's not going to happen....

I'm actually disappointed....and confused.
btw: the Picture at the right is from John Edwards visit to Stevens Point in September of 2004....that was a great rally...the only Presidential candidates' appearance I had seen since 1968.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

New Layout

I got a little tired of the old layout and took "blogger" up on their new formating options.....I'm enjoying it a lot...thank you blogger

A note about the picture...that's myone of our all-time favorite locations Florida State University...specifically near Westcott Fountain where I took an un....ummmmm....unintentional dunking during my mis-spent youth. The Statue is the Grandson of Thomas Jefferson who founded FSU.....who knew? Everybody thinks it's just a "party school"....

I'll post more later.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Revisiting the EGO post

I posted some time ago that one of the great dangers of being an elected official, especially one who has been in office for some time, is that you forget who you're working start to believe that every minute thought you have is pure golden...and, like so many authoritarians of history, you begin to equate yourself with the entity you represent, (in other words, you ARE the city, state, country etc.) and finally, you start to believe that every word you utter is pure gold.

I saw a great example of that last night....I dared to defy the Administration.....and the temper tantrum was spectacular. One close friend who watched it on TV said that the disgust was clearly noticeable on the screen...another, far less charitable friend who watched on TV, said it looked like Yosemite Sam after Bugs Bunny aced him out again.....
At the urging of my friends, I watched the replay on local public access last night...they were spectacular. Frankly, it was one of the most disgusting displays of egomania I've ever witnessed.
This particular elected official is stepping down in April and I think its a good thing. In his earlier career, he was a real "fire eater" of an alderman and did a lot of good things to keep the checks and balances in hold the Executive Branch accountable. But like all politicians, he seems to have become what he once fought against.
I hope I have the insight and common sense to know when to get out.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Ain't it the truth.

Hunter at DailyKos sums it up pretty well for me....


This is all highly disappointing to me, because I have been -- to use a popular term -- Left Behind. Somehow, without ever being aware of the instant in which it happened, I find that everyone else on the planet has been lifted up to a higher plane of being, a place where the same politicians that have disappointed us time and time again are suddenly the Second Coming of True Leadership. The same politicians that have for the most part sat on their extraordinarily talented asses, when it comes to giving voice to defending the rule of law or planning for our own soldiers to come home, are now revealed as Perfection made human and come to Earth. How I long to be a part of that transformation! To not be left sitting in the empty streets of unforgivable neutrality!
Oh, Lord, let me find my true love, an earthbound angel worth my undying, obsessive, all-too-willingly gullible devotion! An individual without provable flaw, an individual so clearly more inspirational, more trustworthy, and more compassionate over all others that I can -- nay, must -- make them my own! A candidate I can have true passion over, can woo, can obsess over to my friends until they find me so insufferable that they stop inviting me places -- a lover I can fantasize over, obsess over, can chronicle the every flittering act of, secretly building inside myself towards that fateful day when I eventually become jaded and bitter and resentful over those same quirks and foibles! A candidate whose marginal policy differences are worth the destruction of any friendship, and whose reparsed record can support any foolhardy action! That sort of love, the sort of love that makes the world go round and never, ever ends in sorrow of any kind!

There is much more snark to be added for sure and I encourage you to read the whole post, but Hunter sums up my feelings well. Specifically, these two points:

I do not have a favorite candidate at this point. Actually I'm pretty disappointed at the lot of them. I think some of the absolute best candidates were discouraged from even throwing their hat in the ring because Hillary and Obama literally sucked all the oxygen out of the air before the giddy-up.....and why? Because the prospect of either the first Black President or the first Woman President sent ripples of excitement across the political landscape.

The second point...

now what was that?

Oh yeah

Just how in the hell can people become so narrow-minded when it comes to supporting one candidate and consequently villanizing all others? This escapes me.

What do they have invested so heavily that they perform the kind of ritual torture on all other candidates?

Here's a clue folks.....all politicians will eventually disappoint you.... don't "fall in love" with any of them....

And maybe....just maybe you should choose one who actually who actually keeps his/her who stands for the principles that our party stands for....


Monday, January 14, 2008

This is getting serious....

This from Newsweek via The Huffington Post, entitled:

Bothersome Intelligence

In public, President Bush has been careful to reassure Israel and other allies that he still sees Iran as a threat, while not disavowing his administration's recent National Intelligence Estimate. That NIE, made public Dec. 3, embarrassed the administration by concluding that Tehran had halted its weapons program in 2003, which seemed to undermine years of bellicose rhetoric from Bush and other senior officials about Iran's nuclear ambitions. But in private conversations with Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last week, the president all but disowned the document, said a senior administration official who accompanied Bush on his six-nation trip to the Mideast. "He told the Israelis that he can't control what the intelligence community says, but that [the NIE's] conclusions don't reflect his own views" about Iran's nuclear-weapons program, said the official, who would discuss intelligence matters only on the condition of anonymity.

Ignoring the obvious double entendre' of "bothersome intelligence", the story is equally disturbing as the headline.

I find this troubling because we are stuck with two equally unacceptable interpretations of Bush's remarks to Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

There is the distinct possibility that Bush is blowing sunshine up Olmert's pant-legs. That is, he is telling the hawkish Prime Minister exactly and precisely what the Prime Minister wants to hear. Namely, that Bush is ready to attack Iran on a moments notice and thereby eliminate what Israel sees as it's most serious remaining threat in the region. Bush is known for pandering to his audience of the moment and that, often, while he appears sincere and earnest in telling the audience that he's "on their side", he doen't mean a word of it and forgets and ignores promises or statements as soon as he sets foot inside Air Force One again.

In this case, this is a dangerous game. By signaling Olmert that Bush is "really on his side" vis-a-vis Iran, Olmert may get the impression that America would support an Israeli attack on Iran's nuclear power industy. In short, Bush may have given Olmert a "green light". That's disturbing.

The other equally depressing possibility is that Bush really believes what he says and that, sadly is always possible. How many times have we heard Bush say that, facts notwithstanding, he had to go with his "gut" feeling..... (cue John Cusak from High Fidelity:" If you think with your gut you've got shit for brains") That being the case, Bush may believe that it is his destiny to attack Iran before he leaves office and will continue to promote provocations in the Straits of Hormuz in order to justify such an the silly "speedboat" incidents last week.

I sided with Congressman Dave Obey when he said that impeachment wasn't a practical matter about a year, I'm not so sure that Dave...nor I were right. This dude is dangerous....either way...whether he meant this or not....

Friday, January 11, 2008

Getting ready.....

Well, the suspense is over.
We know who the candidates for Mayor and Alderpersons are...

It is with great MIXED EMOTIONS that I report that I am unopposed for re-election. I'm relieved because I am not at risk to lose my position but I am saddened that there will not be a debate about the issues facing our community or a choice of which candidate has the best ideas about how to address those issues.

Worst part?

NONE of the five aldermanic positions are opposed!

That doesn't make me very happy.

There are three candidates for Mayor and the incumbent isn't one of them.


There was a mad scramble by the faction that supports the current Mayor to find an acceptable alternative to the other two running for Mayor and they found one....whom I know and have little, if any, respect for. It's going to get interesting...the big money is lining up behind the hand-picked successor ...the Tavern league is behind another and the business community is behind the third....

Let the games begin!

In the meantime...I'm researching and studying for a PSC (Public Service Commission ) hearing....ought to be a DUZZY folks!

Friday, January 04, 2008

Ask and ye shall receive!

Alwayshope graciously responed to my request and sent the entire text of his poem...

You know, it's appropriate to put those memories up here now because of what happened in Iowa last night.

It's the beginning of the end of our long national nightmare...

Yeah, I voted… what?"

I feel empowered when I leave that booth,
My civic duty done with pride.
I’ve made my mark, spoken my truth,
And it will count, or so it’s implied.

Now Gore, now Bush, now too close to call.
And Florida holds the keys.
Buccanan gets votes and hanging chads fall,
Protesters show up in Rvs.

Now count them, no don’t, and judges decide.
Yes you can, or not, if you like..
Palm Beach tries, Dade says, “nah, let it ride.”

And Al’s finger slips out of the dike.
Now Bush has the lead. WE WON !
They demand.Stop the count! Katherine Harris complies.
And call up the highest court in the land.
In case they see through all our lies.

The supremes agree they haven’t a clue.
They kick it back to the Sunshine State.
And a judge named Saunders knows what to do.
He bangs his gavel and cleans the slate.

Now the Supremes see their way clear
To prevent harm to the elder Bush son.
The recount must stop now or, they fearIt will reveal who actually won!

It’s over now! They exclaim from the ranch where he hides.
And most admit that it’s true.
But it feels all wrong deep down inside,“We the people” were not me and you.

They were judges and lawyers and spinners.
And the news folk of course had a hand
.We could only watch as they picked the winners.

With sadness I watch Al’s last stand.
Al fought on with honor and lost with grace,
He was a better man in the end.

Dubya got a big boil on the side of his face,
And called all his Daddy’s men.
Well, at least it’s over, though we had no say.
Judge Rehnquist always knows best.
Those who own this country will now have their way

.And a new chance to feather their nest.
Now twice has Florida caused this fiasco.
I suggest we cut it off, set it free!
Maybe it’ll float on down to Castro

And little Elian can go back to Disney."

Thanks for sharing that .....

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Great Comment from Alwayshope!

Our friend Alwayshope left a great comment to my post about the punditry picking our candidates.

alwayshope wrote:

"It's our decision dammit.."Yes!I wrote a poem in Jan. 2001, It's rather lengthy but here's a couple of relevent verses:

"It’s over now! They exclaim from the ranch where he hides.
And most admit that it’s true.
But it feels all wrong deep down inside,

“We the people” were not me and you.
They were judges and lawyers and spinners.
And the news folk of course had a hand.
We could only watch as they picked the winners.
With sadness I watch Al’s last stand."


I want to see the rest of that poem.....I can still feel the tightness in my gut when the Supreme Court Decision was read breathlessly by Dan Abrams on the steps in the darkness....


Look what those foolish old men (and one woman) wrought on America

America, hell...

Look what they brought on the world!

Thanks Alwayshope!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Let's hear it for NONE OF THE ABOVE!

I thought this blog entry from The Washington Monthly was somehow terribly appropriate.First read these snippets (or whole post if you'd like)
"About mid-way through the ad, during a litany of accusations against Mitt Romney, Huckabee criticizes his rival with this data point: "No executions."
Apparently, Huckabee -- you know, the evangelical, pro-life Republican -- is going after Romney for not having executed any Americans during his gubernatorial tenure.

I realize Republican politics are far more crass than norms should allow, but it's disconcerting to think "You didn't kill anyone" has suddenly become a criticism in conservative circles." you think that Huck really doesn't know that Massachusetts doesn't have a death penalty?

Guest editorialist Steve Benen (blog,bio) is just as amazed as I am that it has become so blatant for Republicans to criticize one another for not killing enough people....but if you think that just Huckabee reached the lowest a Republican candidate could go...well, think again.....Steve points out on his blog that Romney, in a desperate race to justify the millions spent on his own campaign, reaches back to that old, Republican standby, the Lewinsky Scandal, to mine for more votes of the Republican Faithful.
Romney:“We’ll try and represent ourselves and our nation well also to our kids because I think, I think kids watch the White House and there have been failures in the past in the White House — if you go back to the Clinton years and recognize that — that I think had an enormous impact on the culture of our country,” Romney said. “And we’ll do our very best, our whole family will to — well, if we can’t be perfect, we’ll do our best to uphold and to be a good example for the kinds of values I think people expect from our leaders.”

Steve:Wow, that sure is dumb.

The Lewinsky scandal had an “enormous impact” undermining American culture? Seriously?

The silliness goes on and on and Iowa

I happen to like to pick on Republicans but there has been an equal amount of silliness on the Democratic side....with each candidate trying desperately to play "gotcha!" on the others...especially between the three perceived front-runners: Clinton, Obama and Edwards.
But the most fascinating thing to me is the "undecideds" and the people who have changed their mind in just the last few days. CNN interviewed some of these people who were changing their vote after being polled over the weekend. Apparently the polls say that a WHOPPING 35% of the polled voters said thay could be convinced to vote for another candidate before the final caucus on Thursday night.
Doesn't that tell us something?
Of course it does. It tells us that nobody is happy with our choices this year and that there isn't a knight in shining armor who is riding in to rescue us from our fate at the hands of the Neocons....and I think that pertains to BOTH PARTIES.
Why the "Pogo" graphic? Because Pogo was right when he said, " We have met the enemy, and he is US."

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

So....Happy New Year eh?

Hope everyone enjoyed their New Year Eve celebration in what ever way they chose to celebrate it....and we hope you were safe also...

I remember the "golden days" of the Johnny Carson Show when Ed McMahon would do his heavy drinker schtick...he referred to New Year's Eve as "amateur night". That of course referred to the fact that people who do not normally imbibe or over-imbibe in alcohol find it somehow necessary to go out on New Year's Eve, get drunk, make total idiots of themselves, and possibly spoil the evening (early..oftentimes well before Midnight) for themselves, their dates and anybody who happens to be unfortunate enough to be close to them. People who can't handle alcohol......shouldn't even try.

For that reason, I much prefer to stay home on New Year's a movie, enjoy a good, special home-cooked meal, put the old year in some kind of perspective and prepare myself mentally for the challenges that I will face in the year to come.

This year will be a bit's another Presidential Election year and we have another chance to rid ourselves of the Neocon regime in Washington....unless we "blow-it" again....
I'm none too happy about the field of potential Democratic nominees....neither am I thrilled that the national media and the pundocracy that other bloggers have nick-named "the villagers", (that is , those pundits who are inside-the-beltway, establishment who believe they and they alone know what's "best for middle-America) are once again trying to tell us who our nominee should be.

It's our decision, dammit...