February 28, 2007
Alan Greenspan. I thought he retired but no, he spoke in Hong Kong and said a recession in the U.S. is quite possible. The Dow plunged 415 points. Thank you, Alan.
When the people who run the computers on the NY Stock Exchange say a "computer glitch" caused the impression that the Dow was in even worse shape, it makes one wonder if Accenture has another client.
Good time for president Bush to push for private savings accounts instead of staid, old, Social Security.
Here at FightingBob.com, you will enjoy Nick Vander Puy's tribute to Roscoe Churchill.
The latest Washington Post poll shows Senator Clinton with 49 percent favorable and 48 percent negative. Her camp must be nervous and the party just got started.
I must share Calvin Trillin's latest in The Nation.
"A Republican Talks Straight To An Anti-Surge Democrat:
You people don't suport the troops
Your patriotism's not instilled.
The way we must support the troops,
Is send more over to be killed."
February 27, 2007
Resistence from the top
One thing seems obvious. The Cheney-Bush administration is in full panic mode. Cheney accusing Nancy Pelosi of supporting the enemy in the war on terror; flying off to get Pakistan in line; a quick flight to Afghanistan where the news is all bad; and all the while wagging his missles at Iran. He appears to be out of control.
The hope? That the recent actions and leaks from the military seem to indicate that the top military leaders want nothing to do with another conflict. Certainly not with Iran. The Chair of the Joint Chiefs, Peter Pace, told Cheney-Bush that our military readiness is low. "We may not be able to respond to another crisis."
I cannot recall a moment in our history when the military was saying "give peace a chance." Six years of mismanagement, thousands of dead and wounded, and no end in sight has apparently forced the Chiefs of Staff to put up the yellow caution flag.
One comment on presidential campaign. OK, if you were
fooled when you voted to support the invasion, you are forgiven if you tell us you are unalterably opposed to an attack on Iran. If you can't do that, well, then, I don't believe you when you say you were fooled four years ago.
In the meantime, the Democrats had better listen to the people. We want our troops home. Now. This is no time for nuance.
February 26, 2007
Living through a snow storm ain't so bad. The Badgers put on one hell of a show in the Ohio State game. Almost! Proud of Bo and the team. The big show hasn't even started. They will do fine. It has been a great season of basketball.
Then Ellen Degeneres hosted the Academy awards and was funny, comfortable and good. Fun to watch. My excuse for watching? To see Al Gore accept the award for An Inconvenient Truth. And, as predicted, Gore won, and like Ellen D, he was comfortable and humorous. A good show.
Surprise. The Hillary Clinton campaign did not accuse the Academy of bias toward the man who won the presidency in 2000.
Speaking of awards, what should we give Dick Cheney for saying that Nancy Pelosi's opposition to the surge would "validate the al-Qaida strategy." The nominees are: The Bill O'Reilly Award or the Joe McCarthy Award. I'll go with the latter.
February 25, 2007
The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign reports that $8.2 million was spent on the race for attorney general. Falk spent $1.72 million; Van Hollen spent $1.68 million; and "Daddy Warbucks" WMC poured in $2.5 million. Think about it. Big business spent more money attacking Kathlen Falk than the ultimate winner, Van Hollen, spent during his entire campaign.
Something is terribly wrong when a business coalition can purchase the attorney general's office. We need more than disclosure. We need public financing.
Now that WMC and the utilities control a good portion of the Legislature and are responsible for the election of the attorney general, what's next? You guessed it. They want the Supreme Court! Whoa Nelly! They will pour millions into the attack ads aimed at Linda Clifford.
Guess which governor wrote the following words. Jim Doyle or Francis McGovern ? "The influence of money in political campaigns in Wisconsin must be removed. No more important or urgent legislative problem exists or can possibly be presented to you. It involves the purity of our elections, the independence of public officials, the integrity of the electorate, the security of representative government, and the perpetuity of free institutions." Governor McGovern wrote those thoughts in 1911 in La Follette's Weekly. Time for our governor to take up the fight.
Speaking of money, the U.S. has now spent $369,180,844,000 on Iraq. The equivalent of 17.9 million four-year scholarships at public universities.
So, you might ask, how are things going in Iraq?
February 24, 2007
Money and only money
Governor Tom Vilsack learned a lesson no American should have to learn. Vilsack, a good governor in a tough state, thought he could run for president without the support of the fat cats. That ideas matter. Exit Tom Vilsack. His message was clear. His decision to drop out was based on "money and money only." Welcome to our plutocracy f/k/a democracy.
What a disgrace but those with support of the fat cats will keep on raising money and keep on running. Sad to know that you and I have little if any influencee on the candidates to be named. We are told to "shut-up and vote" for the ones selected--not get involved in the meat of politics. The experts told Vilsack he would need $20 million by June. Now, where does an honest person get $20 million? Not in Iowa.
Bishop Morlino again: One must wonder if the Catholic Curch has a death wish. Bad enough that neocon Robert Morlino was given this diocese but he goes out of his way to thumb his nose at Madison "liberals." The Bishop is, believe it or not, now chair of the board of visitors of the infamous School of the Americas where Latin American soldiers are trained in military strategy and counter-inurgency tactics by our military. Long accused of human rights violations, Morlino defended the school by saying that lots of bad people also graduate from Harvard and Yale. I'm not making this up.
A bishop should set the moral tone not bow to those who violate human rights. Back to Montana.
February 23, 2007
Tommy needs money
Tommy Thompson is running for president. I'm not making this up. He told students at Marquette, as reported in MJS, that he needs money to be elected! (I suggest he start with wealthy alums. Students are broke most of the time.)
He must win the Iowa straw poll, according to the former gov, and to do that he needs $2.5 million--not more not less. (It must feel odd to Tommy to be on the short-end of the money game. Where is Klauser when he needs him?)
Tommy is not bereft of ideas. Catch this one on Iraq. He fears a civil war might break out. I guess he is so busy going door-to-door in Dubuque he doesn't know the civil war is in full bloom. His plan? Divide Iraq into 18 states--oh, never mind. Keep your eye on the straw poll and if Jim Klauser moves to Des Moines, place a small wager in Vegas--Tommy for president and Cubs win the penant.
New Design: To celebrate the start of our 5th year, we have redesigned our site with a new look. Let us know how you like it. We value your input.
February 22, 2007
This is FightingBob.com's 4th birthday. The idea for a progressive internet magazine came up at the first Fighting Bob Fest in September of 2002. Since the first issue four years ago, an amazing story has been written. (Go back and read some of the articles. It is impressive. Read the first article to get the sense of our goals four years ago.)
Just as we worried no one would show up to the first Bob Fest "Chautauqua" we had no idea if you would write articles and Blogs, read the ideas published every day, and contribute money to make this a reality. You read, wrote and contributed. Thanks.
More than 600 articles have been written by just more than 200 of you. Lots of feedback. And two million visits have been recorded. A number that boggles my mind. And here is another one: five million page visits. Obviously, Fighting Bob Fest and FightingBob.com were needed.
I start almost all days just before 6:00, reading material for my blog. With help from our weekly GuestBlogger, Bill Kraus, and many of you, we have posted more than 2,000 Blogs in the four years. We get between 12,000 and 15,000 visits weekly.
And the best part? It is fun! Join the party, enjoy the new look, write your thoughts, give some money and pat yourself on the back. Together we are keeping the progressive flame burning.
February 21, 2007
Whoopee! Party Time!
The British are pulling out of Iraq! The Italians and the Spanish are gone and the Danes are about to leave. (Why were the Danes there anyway?) The Coalition of the Willing is down to 2,300 South Koreans, 900 Polish, 800 Romanians, and 750 Australians--and 140,000 Americans. Some coalition!
The Bush lap dog, Tony Blair, will pull 1,700 troops ASAP--and the balance of the 6,000 or so troops by the end of the year. A full 80 percent of the British people want out of Iraq but the Bush administration announced that the Brits leaving is "a sign of success." (I am not making this up.) So get out the party hats and whistles. Time to celebrate as the Europeans "cut and run." I wonder if Joe Lieberman (D?) will condemn Blair.
The only reason for the U.S. to remain, as far as I can figure, is to make sure the Iraqi oil is privatized before we pull out. Nothing else makes sense.
The NYT reported that Charles Langford has died. He defended Rosa Parks when she was arrested in 1955 in Montgomery for refusing to give up her seat on a city bus to a white man. Her arrest set in motion the bus boycott that changed the South. According to AP, Langford was one of two black lawyers in Montgomery, Alabama at that time. He went on to serve in the Alabama Legislature and he helped end the flying of the confederate flag over the capitol. Thank you, Charles Langford.
February 20, 2007
They keep coming!
As we approach our fourth birthday, it has been fun to look back. Hard to believe but we have posted more than 600 articles written by just over 200 reform-minded subscribers. And, if you check out John Smart's comments on the Bush budget, you will share the pride we feel as FightingBob.com continues to give voice to the politically homeless. Hey, it is fun.
We will change our look on our birthday. Hope you like it and know you will comment.
Yesterday, President Bush compared himself to George Washington. No comment required.
Badger basketball number 1 in the nation! Congratulations to Bo Ryan and the players. Now beat THE Ohio State on Sunday. Let March madness begin.
February 19, 2007
I hope we are not duty-bound to honor the current occupant of the White House today. I think I'll honor FDR. He once said, "If there is a crisis, do something. If it doesn't work try something else but for God's sake, do something!" Hello Congress. If the resolution hasn't moved them, and it has not, do something else. Cut the funding--tell him "hell no" on Iran--do something.
You gotta love Frank Rich of NYT. He wrote on Sunday the following gem: "Watching the administration try to get its story straight about Iran's role in Iraq last week was like watching third graders try to sidestep blame for misbehaving while the substitute teacher was on bathroom break."
Primary on Tuesday. Please remember to vote. Supreme Court is the most important, but there are lots of significant local races as well.
FightingBob.com's 4th birthday is this week. Can you guess the number of "hits" over the four years?
February 18, 2007
Ralph Huitt taught political science at UW like few others. Having been on LBJ's staff, he could tell us how the system really worked. He drew me into the game of politics.
When you read Bill Kraus's new article about Ody Fish, you will learn more than you could in a four-credit course in politics "as it used to be" practiced. His lines that "politics has become a vocation, a career" and his observation that "we have entered the era of politics-by-mercenary" are classics. You will smile.
Next week we will celebtrate our 4th birthday. The ability to publish Bill's article and give voice to progressives make it all worthwhile. Mercenaries need not apply.
Wonder no more: If you are curious about Hillary Clinton's reluctance to apologize for her vote in favor of the Iraq invasion, wonder no more. Her chief political advisor is Mark Penn, according to NYT. You may remember his role in the Venezuelan recall election. His exit polls showed Chavez going down to defeat--Chavez won with 59 percent of the vote. Who paid Penn?
Penn was also involved in the Serbian elections, has played in Israeli elections, advised Tony Blair, and is now owned by a British firm. P.R. Watch describes it as being part of the "propaganda-for-hire" industry. Penn was Bill Clinton's top advisor and helped Berlusconi in his failed re-election in Italy.
If Hillary is depending on Penn, don't expect any progressive initiatives from her in this campaign. Apology? For what!
February 17, 2007
The jig is up!
Dave Obey knows Congress better than anyone. His reaction to the surge resolution was realistic, as usual. "We won't have a real solution on Iraq until Republicans walk down to the White House and say, Mr. President, the jig is up, this is a bad direction and you need to rethink what you're doing".
One of those Republicans may be Wisconsin's Tom Petri, who said, "I don't think it's fair to ask our sons and daughters to be policemen in a civil war."
Good for Petri.
I am always amazed how tough, apologists for this insanity are. They are willing to send our young people into combat in the name of saving their neocon agenda. I guess they have no relatives in uniform.
Good for Nancy Pelosi. It ain't what we want but it is a good start.
February 16, 2007
Gulag or Wisconsin prison?
A frightening picture of Canyon Thixton appeared in yesterday's Capital Times. He was 17 when the picture was taken. He was being held in Supermax prison in Boscobel. For 58 days he was in the Behavior Modification Program (BMP). He was isolated, naked, without soap or toothpaste. He slept on concrete without a pillow or blanket. His meals consisted of the infamous seg loaf.
Fast forward to Nathan Gillis, also placed in the so-called Behavior Modification Program, a misnomer to say the least. He was held in similar conditions but for 13 days. When attorney Pam McGillivray took the Gillis case to the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, most lawyers thought the chances of a ruling that these conditions were "cruel and unusual" in violation of the 8th Amendment were slim. But Judge Terrence Evans wrote that it would be hard to distinguish between the conditions in the BMP and "a Soviet gulag in the 1930s." Gillis won.
The Gillis victory cleared the path for Thixton to finally receive compensation and it led to the termination of BMP. I doubt that Thixton will ever meet Nathan Gillis, but both have been instrumental in eliminating the infamous BMP for good. Thanks to Pam McGillivray and Thixton's attorney, both have been compensated.
Thixton received about $8,000 for every day he was in the BMP, Gillis settled for over $25,000 for every day he was kept in the cruel conditions in BMP at Supermax.
Thanks to another settlement in the class action approved by Federal Judge Barbara Crabb last week, a panel of three psychiatrists will supervise face-to-face interviews to make sure no mentally ill prisoners will be sent to Boscobel. And BMP is a thing of the past. We are getting there!
February 15, 2007
A great judge
When you met Judge Tom Fairchild, you felt that you were meeting someone significant. If you are a lawyer, you knew you were. When former Chief Justice Nat Heffernan and current Chief Abrahamson call him one of the greatest jurists in our history, you know he was.
I liked him for lots of reasons. He was a regular person who fought hard for his belief in our system. He ran against Joe McCarthy saying, asccording to MJS, that "McCarthy was chasing Communists, not working for Wisconsin Farmers and businesses." Former governor Lucey said Fairchild's losing race against the demogague McCarthy was "the contest of which I was the most proud."
He had a great sense of justice, a good sense of humor and the capacity to make us better people and citizens. Wisconsin is a better place because of Tom Fairchild.
February 14, 2007
Why so glum?
Condoleeza, you looked so glum when you learned that China and other nations made a deal with North Korea, the evil empire. Why so glum, chum? I suspect it is a blow to learn that diplomacy can work but don't despair, Feith, Cheney, Wolfy,Perle, and the other neo-cons will find another target. Syria? China? Cheer up! You can still bomb Iran!
Hillary on the war. In watching Hillary in New Hampshire trot out her belated "If I had known then what I know now" line, it is clear she has practiced often but it ain't ready for Broadway. She is trying to be as confident as Bill but she can't pull it off. The fiasco called Iraq happened on her watch and the nation and her Party have gone past her pathetic
"I have taken responsibility for my vote" line. She was a suporter of the invasion not a passive observer.
But it gets worse. Her recent speech to AIPEC where she said, just like Bush, "all options are on the table" including the bombing of Iran, sounds like Hillary prior to the invasion. I'm not making this up. Confronted by a student in New Hampshire, as reported on Amy Goodman's Democracy Now!, Hillary repeated her position with a determined look. Yikes! Bomb Iran? I can hardly wait until 2019 when she can say, "If I had known then..."
February 13, 2007
The NYT carries this headline, "Skeptics Doubt U.S. Evidence on Iran." Skeptics? How about anyone who can remember the past five years? Anyone. The story contains this gem, the doubts "speak volumes about American credibility." No kidding. (Judith Miller is indeed gone!)
But no time to nap. Zbig Brzezinski, former National Security advisor to Jimmy Carter, told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that "the Bush policy is leading inevitably to a war with Iran, with incalcuable consequences for the U.S." Calling the president a "demogogue" and "simplistic," he accused the administration of seeking a pretext for war with Iran. Scary.
Joel McNally, a FightingBob.com contributing editor, writes about adult fouls in keeping students away from basketball games in Milwaukee. Are we only capable of punishing kids? How about some education? Parents in the stands with kids? C'mon. Keeping kids away from basketball solves nothing. I know. Let's ask the Legislature to create a new crime for rowdy behavior at sporting events. A new prison perhaps.
February 12, 2007
Here we go again!
Think about it. Seymour Hersh reported months ago that Cheney and his followers were planning to attack Iran. Now we get a briefing from "anonymous" Defense Dept. officials and generals, not claiming WMDs, but rather that Iran has provided weapons that have killed 170 U.S. soldiers over three years. I don't believe you! But the NYT, a significant contributor to the lead-up to the Iraqi invasion, reported, "the evidence was extraordinary."
According to the NYT, the news briefing was "under strict security." No kidding! (I wonder if Judith Miller is back?)
Please, Congress, stop this madness before it goes further. If Bush-Cheny bomb Iran with "bunker-buster" or atomic weapons, the world as we know it could end.
One ironic note. The Iranians said they are not involved because that would undemine the government of Iraq "and we are opposed to that." I guess Bush and Iran support the same governmennt in Iraq!
Now is the moment Hillary, Barack, John, John, Mitt, Joe, and all other potential candidates. This cannot be permitted.
February 11, 2007
The name and the voice that sent chills down the backs of public officials, utilities, and mining companies, has been slienced. At the age of 90, the hero of all sorts of battles to protect our air, water and wilderness in Wisconsin, Roscoe Churchill has passed on and if there is an after life, he is trying to figure out how he can help us in coming battles with the powers that be for, as Hightower calls them, the "powers that ought to be."
In the fight to stop the Crandon mine and the awful transmission line, we could always count on Roscoe. Like his friends Nick Vander Puy and Sandy Lyon, when he entered the room hope spread. He thought we should win every battle to preserve our state for seven generations, and he was willing to give his all even when the bad guys and cancer got the upper hand.
Now, it should be understood. For Roscoe there were only two sides in these battles. You were for the environment or you were against it. It was that simple. He was not easy on those in the middle.
Roscoe Churchill is gone but he leaves hundreds who were inspired by him. A friend, mentor and inspiration. We will miss him.
Supermax: They can give it a different name but it remains a mistake called Supermax. Built on the false premise that there are hundreds of prisoners who must be held in near-total isolation because they can't get along in Waupun, Green Bay or other maximum security prisons, it turns out that DOC can't find enough incorrigible inmates to fill the prison. Instead of expanding the size of the prison so that inmates could escape isolation, attend educational programs or religious ceremonies, the DOC has moved to fill beds that would otherwise remain empty with what they call "general population" inmates. The decison makes the point that the premise was wrong. What conditions will the "new class" find in Boscobel? Same 'ol, same 'ol.
Will the introduction of "general population" inmates alter the prison? No, just fill 'er up. Instead of near-total isolation for 300 inmates, now 510 inmates will be isolated. That's progress? The question must be asked. When will state government in Wisconsin figure out that isolating prisoners does not prepare them to return to society? Ever heard of rehabilitation?
February 10, 2007
Missed a day
Sorry, no blog yesterday. I was in court fighting to make sure seriously mentally ill people are not sent to Supermax in Boscobel. The state agreed to a panel of three psychiatrists who will set standards, train staff, and make certain the interviews, before inmates can be sent to Boscobel, will be face-to-face.
Compared to a "Soviet Gulag of the 1930s" by Court of Appeals Judge Terry Evans, the prison should not have been built in the first place but we have worked to make it "less awful." Yes, Wisconsin, there is a prohibition against cruel and unusual punishment. And keep in mind the prisoners will ultimately be released.
So, what's new? Big surprise, the Accenture voting system won't be ready for the April 9 elections. (Accenture has already been paid $9 million.) Here is the "I don't believe my eyes" story: Kevin Kennedy of the Elections Board is "considering suing Accenture"! Recall MTI and the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign did sue and, by golly, Kevin Kennedy defended the loopy decision to hire Accenture? Yikes!
February 8, 2007
I'm sure our friend Bill Kraus will have much good to say about Ody Fish who passed on yesterday, but Bill is in Mexico so let me offer a few words about his friend Ody. The first thing to be said is that he was an old-fashioned pol. Argue policy but enjoy a beer together after the argument. Politics should not get in the way of friendship. (A Republican Gaylord.)
He supported his Republican friends when they deserved it but he was ready to challenge them when they wandered from the path. Ody managed the gubernatoial campaigns of Warren Knowles but joined in our lawsuit in 1995 to stop Tommy Thompson's attempt to kill DPI by bringing education into the cabinet.
He was described as "eminently fair" in MJS and veteran reporter and friend Neal Shively said, "He gave politics a good name." We miss him already.
February 7, 2007
The Wisconsin Democracy Campaign's analysis shows that more than $30 million was spent on the 2006 gubernatorial race. Doyle spent $10.5 million; Green spent $7.6 million; Scott Walker, who stumbled at the starting gate, spent $1.2 million; but our friend Leon Todd? He spent $75 dollars. Way to go, Leon!
Goodness, Barbra Lawton spent $321,000 and Jean Hundertmark (a trivia question in the future, "Who ran for Lt. Gov with Mark Green?") spent more than $100,000. Lots of buttons I suspect.
Special secret interest groups spent more than $9 million educating us. (Much more than Leon.) In 1998 there were no expenditures on so-called phony issue ads. With a 10-1 cash advantage, Tommy's allies felt no need to jump in.
One of the joys of publishing FightingBob.com comes with columns like the one we have posted from Mark Sherman, "Draft me." Mark takes his sister's idea to draft only people over 45 years of age. "Hell no we won't go" would be heard throughout the country. Good idea. (Could we limit the age at 60? Please.)
February 6, 2007
We are delighted to post an article by Russ Feingold on the congressional response to the so-called surge. Russ is not afraid to stand up and be counted on Iraq or the Patriot Act. It sure is refreshing to have a Senator from Wisconsin leading the way. And then there is Herb Kohl, forced to say something as the GOP Senators manipulate the system to avoid the symbolic vote sponsored by Levin and Warner.
Russ called the resolution little more than a "tepid disagreement" with the president. Kohl, according to MJS, said he does not support setting deadlines; does not support using the power of the purse; and apparently does like tepid responses to a crisis.
Kohl and Hillary seem to be on the same path. Hillary, pandering at the AIPEC conference, seemed to be encouraging the bombing of Iran. (I'm not making this up. She said, "All options are on the table" to wild applause. Yikes!)
What does it take to get Democrats into the fight for peace? Nader may be right about the Democratic Party.
C'mon Herb. Bring the troops home. The latest estimate is a cost of $600 billion to care for injured veterans, most with brain injuries, over the next 40 years. Almost 3,100 dead soldiers. Hundreds of thousands of Iraqi deaths--over 1,000 last week. We have no chance of stabilizing the country. There are limits to our influence. These young soldiers should not be targets--they should be home taking care of their families and planing their futures.
February 5, 2007
A birthday coming soon
As February arrives with sub-zero temperatures, I have spent some time inside reviewing the past four years. It has been fun. The 22nd of February is the fourth birthday of FightingBob.com. and we will ask you to celebrate with us. (The next Fighting Bob Fest will be on the Saturday following Labor Day.)
Not quite sure how best to celebrate our birthday, but we want your ideas. We begin each day with a new Blog and we have had wonderful articles from a variety of people, national and local. Today is no exception. Read noted historian Stanley Kutler's superb piece on Jim Webb--John Smart's praise of Hillary.
Bill Kraus, one of the most sensible people in our state, writes a Blog every Friday and he is always provacative.
We have operated on a shoe string. We get contributions from you, pass the hat at Bob Fest, and get some help from the Evjue Foundation. If we want to expand our reach we will have to ask for more help. (Having run for office and been forced to beg for money, often from strangers, I hate fundraising. But, it is necessary.)
So, while you figure out how to keep warm this week, read some of the articles posted in 2003, 2004--it was an important moment in American history and our archives remind you of positions before the "shock and awe" invasion.
We want to hear from you. How do we get better in 2007 and beyond?
Oh, yes, about the Bears. I said the Bears would win by seven. Had they called off the game 16 seconds after the kickoff, I would have been right. Now you know why I don't gamble.
February 4, 2007
Oh my God!
President Bush wants some money. How much? Well, the U.S. has already spent $363.6 billion on the Bush-Cheney experiment in Iraq, and now Bush and Cheney want $93 billion more in this fiscal year and $140 billion more next year. If the Congress falls for this, the total expenditures for the "war" by the end of next year will total $596.6 billion. Think about it. Half a trillion dollars and no end in sight.
Add to this outrage, the NYT tells us today that private contractors are a virtual 4th branch of government. More than $400 billion was handed out to private contractors--and more than half without competetive bids! (I rarely use exclamation points, but some are needed as we go broke fighting in a civil war.)
Funding for our schools is under the knife. Approximately 47 million Americans have no health insurance, while this administration pours money down the drain. (And the drains don't work!)
Meanwhile, John McCain, intent on erasing his good guy image, has hired the firm that produced what he once called the "dishonest and dishonorable" Swift Boat commercials to help in his bid for the White House. I can hardly wait. And Hillary Rodhdam Clinton has emerged from her DLC hideout to say, "As president, if troops are still in Iraq in 2009, I'll bring them home." Wow! Such courage. I'll bet the spouses of soldiers in "the surge" are relieved to hear that.
Final note: Governor Doyle signed the ethics reform bill. Huzzah. Now, could we have publicly funded campaigns, please? You know, real reform.
Final, final. The Bears by seven.
February 3, 2007
Biden does it again
Some of us have never forgiven Joe Biden for his shameful treatment of Anita Hill during the Clarence Thomas hearings. He treated her like a bum off the street. Now we visit Joe again. One must take a deep breath to believe what he said as he announced he is running for president. (Yes, of the United States of America.)
Biden said, "Barack Obama is the first mainstream African American (running for president) who is articulate and bright and clean and a nice looking guy."
When the media jumped on him, he told reporters to call Barack. "He understood exactly what I meant." Really, Senator. Are you kidding us? You want Barack to bail you out of your sinking presidential tug boat? C'mon. You know what you meant but now you can't say it. Don't prtend you and Barack have some secret code. You said it, you defend it.
In a desperate effort, he brought his mother into the conversation. "My mother had an expression: clean as a whistle and sharp as a tack." From Obama to momma, Biden stumbled around and ends up on Jon Stewart's The Daily Show. "What got me in trouble was using the word clean. I should have said fresh. What I meant was, he's got new ideas." (I'm not making this up.) What got you in trouble Joe is your attitude, your arrogance and your insensitivity.
Is Biden really telling us that Jesse Jackson, Shirley Chisholm, and Al Sharpton were not bright and articulate? It ain't just the "clean" word, Joe, it is the entire package.
The NYT points us to a statement he made last year. "You cannot go into a 7-Eleven or a Dunkin' Donuts unless you have a slight Indian accent. I'm not joking." (I wonder what saying his mother used for Indians.)
Joe Biden, here is some news. The most loyal Democratic voters are African American and you want to be the Democratic Party's nominee? What you should have said to Jon Stewart is, "I'm not running for president. I'm entering rehab."
February 2, 2007
Simply stated, Molly Ivins was the best, funniest, most insightful progressive writer ever. Born in 1944 and died Wednesday, she cannot be replaced but she will always set the standard for the rest of us. Thanks, Molly, you gave us hope, laughter, great journalism, and much more. You inspired, you raised money for hundreds of progressives, you raised hell, you did it all.
I'm sure Molly would not have been surprised that testimony in the Scooter Libby trial yesterday revealed that Karl Rove was the first to leak that Joe Wilson's wife, Valerie Plame, was working as a CIA operative. Cheney knew and apparently coordinated the attack on Wilson and wife, while Rove used Time magazine to get the word out. Message? "Don't mess with Texas or Rove."
Isn't it refreshing to hear members of Congress asking questions again? Could it be that they are back in the game of government? Words like "accountability" ring out in the halls of the great institution.
February 1, 2007
We Americans have always believed our "can-do" attitude would solve any problem. From peeling potatoes to making a better rifle, the men and women in uniform and those supporting them could handle any contingency. But now our armed forces have been privatized and we can't seem to do anything right.
We learned yesterday that $108 billion has been allocated to reconstruction of Iraq. Despite that enormous sum, eletricity and oil production are well below pre-war levels and they are running out of gas! Whoa Nelly! How could this be happening?
The administration tells us we are training Iraqis. Is that a fact? Are the 90,000 or so private contractors training Iraquis on how to submit invoices for work or are we training them to reconstruct the country we have destroyed?
Congressman Murtha, a/k/a Democrat with guts, has started hearings on the role of private corporations as builders or bilkers. Should be interesting.
Russ Feingold is in the lead again. Cut the funding. It is that simple. While Code Pink sat-in on Hillary Clinton's office, Russ took the lead. Proud to call him our Senator. Russ understands "can-do."