May 31, 2010
The Washington Post reports that our friend Tom Harkin lost the battle to provide $23 billion to rescue our schools by providing money to retain most of the 100,000-160,000 teachers who will soon get pink slips. Thanks for trying, Tom. Too much money, said the GOP--we need it for our two wars!
Switch to BP for a glance at the gushing oil. A University of Texas professor said this about "Top Kill." It was the equivalent of seven fire hoses pushing oil up while two hoses were pushing mud/cement and golf balls down. He said, "They never stood much of a chance." Sounded that way to me, but what do I know about plugging gushing oil?
I wondered why there was such a disparity between BP's estimate of barrels per day flowing into the Gulf and the government's. Carol Browner, Obama's energy policy adviser (was she in favor of off-shore drilling off Virginia?) gave away BP's dirty oily secret when she said the BP fine will be based on barrels per day! Say it ain't so BP, say it ain't so.
Want a job? I know where you can get one: Nawa, Afghanistan. According to one of our people in Nawa, "Because U.S. aid is so plentiful in Nawa--seemingly everyone who wants a job has one." Compare that to our country, and then ask if war is the answer on this Memorial Day. Worse than full employment, crops are so plentiful that Afghanistan can export food, but if they start that lookout! Then they will learn about a tough opponent--tougher than the Taliban--Cargill, ADM, Monsanto, the exporters of choice.
A development specialist in Nawa says, "We've turned a fire hose on these guys (shooting money, not BP mud) and they can't absorb it. We're setting ourselves up for a huge amount of waste and fraud, he says. Whoa Nelly! No wonder we don't pour money into our cities to employ the unemployed--they couldn't handle it. Little wonder conservatives in Congress killed the "American Jobs and Closing Loopholes Act." We would just be spoiling the job seekers.
Enjoy the day, connect some dots, plan for Fighting Bob Fest and think about moving to Nawa. Jobs are available.
Finally, read the NY Times article on poverty increasing in Memphis. It says, "Black middle-class neighborhoods (remember those?) are hollowed out, with prices plummeting and homes standing vacant." Sounds like Milwaukee, Detroit, Chiago...Unemployment is 16.9 percent in Memphis for blacks, 5.3 percent for whites, and the foreclosure rate is twice the national average.
Connnect the dots and be quick about it!
May 30, 2010
Fifty years ago, Harper Lee's Atticus Finch was introduced to us in To Kill a Mockingbird. Morris Dees of the Southern Poverty Law Center said Atticus was the reason he became a lawyer. If no one other than Dees, a hero in the Civil Rights struggles, had that response the classic would be gold in our library. But hundreds if not thousands have found inspiration in Atticus. One of his quotes is, "The one thing that doesn't abide by majority rule is a person's conscience."
Those words might have been spoken by Joe Rauh, Ramsey Clark, John Skilton, Wade Boardman, or hundreds of lawyers who have been devoted to social justice since Harper Lee gave us her gift.
I've thought about the book several times as BP's gushing oil fouls the entire Gulf of Mexico. Atticus said, "When a child asks a question by all means answer it but a child can spot an evasion faster than adults and evasion simply muddles them." As BP, Ken Gonzalez, and Obama spoke, children must have sensed they were full of hops. When questions were ducked, children all over the country were "muddled." And they will grow up muddled about the role of government, and most will not run for office. Most will never trust government like we did when JFK said, "Ask not..."
How is the oil industry responding? Looks like business as usual. The head of the Petroleum Institute (Don't you love it? The Institute) said "our hearts and prayers are with the people impacted," but quickly added that Congress is considering a new energy tax. Yikes! Not now! A higher tax "when Americans can least afford it," said the Institute. I read that Exxon paid no taxes to us last year despite billions in profits.
Message to big oil: Keep your prayers, send money!
Kinda glad Atticus is a fictional character. This gang would beak his heart.
May 29, 2010
Another day, another day
Shell Oil, oh, pardon me, Royal Dutch Shell to us, announced it will purchase oil and gas from East Resources for $4.7 billion in cash. I am not kidding; cash. Shell is getting 1.3 million gas acres that will produce 16 trillion cubic feet of gas.
No announcement how long the gas will flow and nothing mentioned about plans when the 16 trillion cubic feet are gone. No announcement if the gas belongs to our country or to private firms, and nothing said about taxes Shell will pay to the U.S.
I could not find anything in the NY Times about potential explosions or other disasters.
I did see the former head of Shell Oil on various cable shows plugging his book Why We Hate Oil Companies. Whistle- blower? No,apologist for BP! He even defended Minerals and Mine officials, saying, "They were tough on us!" Sure. And pigs fly.
Ah, BP might be lurking behind the Shell deal. BP also holds huge North American gas assets. (Note: The company used capital N and A to describe itself or possibly its region. But if it is currently owned by say, the U.S. or Canada or Mexico, when do we lose control? When it comes out?) BP said this month it was entering a joint venture with EXCO to exploit its natural gas assets in the southern states. No suggestion of whether the joint venture would be affected if BP corporate officers are arrested for criminal negligence for the death of 11 men in the Gulf.
As for the BP disaster, one technician was quoted saying, "I won't say progress was zero, but I don't know if we can round up enough mud to make it work. Everyone is disappointed at this point." (Needless to say, this truth-teller spoke on condition of anonymity.)
A pattern seems to be developing. Early everyday--"will start soon, looks good"; mid-day--"stopped for now. Won't know for 24 hours." End of day, word leaks out--it ain't working.
Some truth from BP should not be anticipated anytime soon.
May 28, 2010
Three questions, three strikes
Listening to the presidential news conference yesterday was frustrating. Mr. Obama tried to show that he is and has been in control of the response to the fiasco in the Gulf, and urged "folks" to trust him. But two big questions were reminders that politicians are politicians.
Question #1: You said the federal government, not BP, has been in charge from the beginning, but, the reporter went on, EPA urged that BP stop using the dispersant it has dumped into the Gulf. But BP kept right on using the dispersant that may have long-term effects. If you are in charge, explain that. He never responded.
Question #2: Was minerals Management director Birnbaum fired or did she resign?
Answer: I don't know. Really? Then fire someone.
On another topic, did you offer Representative Joe Sestak a job if he would drop out of the Pennsylvania primary so Arlen Specter could win the primary?
Answer: "There will be an official response shortly, which I hope will answer your question." Whoa Nelly!
Then there was the line, "I can assure you that nothing improper took place." Really, Mr. President, as LBJ used to say, "That dog won't hunt."
For the first time, Michael Steele made sense. He said, "The silence is becoming deafening...how many days are needed to simply tell the truth?"
Three questions and no answers. Not good.
May 27, 2010
Congressional Dems are trying hard to implement Tom Harkin's bill designed to save 100,000 teachers' jobs. That's right. One hundred thousand teachers might lose jobs in the fall, and millions of students will be punished for being children. NEA and AFT place the number at 160,000. Harkin has a majority, but Republicans are ready to filibuster! Stand in the school house door.
If you see Ron Johnson, the Tea Party/Republican candidate for Senate in Wisconsin, ask how he would vote on the Harkin education bail-out.
Put it in writing, Ken!
On May 6, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar announced a moratorium on issuance of new permits for "off-shore drilling activity." OK, but a small problem: "this policy has never been put into writing and the definition of moratorium has become steadily narrower." Hard to believe? You betcha.
NY Times reports that since April 20 explosion rig waivers have continued to be granted for drilling projects. This was also reported by Karen Tumulty in the Washington Post. Should one more explosion occur on Obama's watch, forget about 2012.
May 26, 2010
It's the damned teachers and parents!
American education is in the dumpster because parents don't do enough for kids between working two jobs and teachers have unions and therefore have rights and that must change! Hard to figure out who would think such nonsense. Arne Duncan? Bingo! Colorado stands to get buckets of cash from this crowd because Colorado enacted legislation "among the most aggressive in the nation to overhaul teacher tenure rules." I'm not kidding.
And New York has tied student performance to teacher evaluation. Both are "dramatic evidence of the success the Obama administration is having in setting the agenda for educational reform." Who says? The Washington Post.
More on point is the obit of David Ginsburg in the NY Times. Ginsburg headed the Kerner Commission in 1968 following race riots after the assasination of MLK Jr. Remember the words, "The United States is moving toward two societies--one black, one white, separate and unequal"? Ginsburg is the one who wrote that. He died this week at 98.
Twenty years after the Kerner Commission's findings shocked the nation, Ginsburg wrote that "the conditions now are unquestionably worse. Education is worse. Housing is worse. Unemployment is worse. There are millions of handguns. The cities have been essentially disregarded by the federal government."
Ginsburg spoke the message Duncan does not uderstand: "What white Americans have never fully understood, but what the Negro can never forget, is that white society is deeply implicated in the ghetto. White institututions created it, white institutions maintain it and white society condones it." ("It" is life in the ghetto.)
Think about NCLB or Race to the Top. Ginsburg was right. We know the schools are segregating. We know education is under-funded. We watch as the arts are eliminated. Even sports! What do we do? Blame the parents and condemn the teachers as the cause of failure. White America is Arne Duncan. He doesn't get it.
May 25, 2010
We expected too much
Really? Did we think Obama would perform miracles? I didn't, but I did not expect troop levels in Afghanistan to exceed the level in Iraq; did not expect a lackadaisical response to the Gulf disaster; did not imagine "broad expansion of clandestine military activity to disrupt militant groups in Iran, Saudi Arabia, Somalia and other countries...that could pave the way for possible military strikes in Iran." Nope. Didn't see it coming.
We attended a memorial yesterday for Nan Cheney. She believed in waging peace not war. She was right.
I also could not have imagined something like offering a job to Joe Sestak to drop out of the Senate race in Pennsylvania. More to the point, we could not have imagined the administration refusing to say if they did or did not offer him a job. Instead the administration tells us, "People that have looked into that assure me that they were not inappropriate in any way." Trust us, says Gibbs. Trust us! Nope.
There is a report that labels are urged "for foods that can choke." I wonder if they might also find a cure for the gag-reflex one feels when reading the news.
May 24, 2010
Am I dreaming?
A nightmare perhaps? Ken Salazar, the Interior secretary, has interpreted the Obama administration's "moratorium" on new Gulf of Mexico deep water drilling as little more than a warning to be careful--if you please, you might be even a tad more careful. The message from Big Oil is, "Look, Obama, this is our country not yours!"
Big Ben issued a statement saying, "It [the moratorium] was not meant to stop permits for new work on already existing drilling projects." Nonsense! As the greatest environmental disaster in our lifetimes unfolds with BP in charge and Obama looking foolish because his team has joined Team BP, Obama seems to have lost the battle or, more appropriately, has opted to step aside. Whoa Nelly! Ouch! Since the explosion on April 20 "at least seven new drilling permits and five waivers have been granted," according to NY Times.
I thought that maybe I was wrong but Senator Ben Cardin of Maryland said he was "deeply troubled." Why? Because, "We were given the clear impression that these waivers and permits were not being granted." So were we, Senator! So were we.
Meanwhile, the Bulls-fan-in-Chief thinks out loud that LeBron James, the Savior of Cleveland, might be smart if he dumps Cleveland to sign with the Bulls. Nice, Mr. President. So you don't worry about carrying Ohio in 2012?
In my blog the other day I suggested that we are a Christian nation--those are not my views--they belong to Texas history writers in the new text books. Catch this: "Slave trade" was really "Atlanta triangular trade." Are they nuts? Supply your answer and let us know your views.
May 23, 2010
Fighting Bob Fest-North is off to a great start. Yesterday in Chippewa Falls, progressives of all parties (well, almost all) gathered for good conversation, inspiration, libation and planning for Bob Fest North to be held next May. The organizers were delighted to be in on the ground floor as we take the spirit of Fighting Bob Fest on the road. Lots of music, beer and laughter. As Hightower says, Fighting Bob Fest puts the fun back in politics.
Issues that drew the most applause: the U.S. should get out of Afghanistan; the Legislature should be ashamed that payday loans go largely unregulated; and the need for a constitutional amendment to keep corporations out of campaigns. Public financing of campaigns without an "opt out" escape. Justice David Prosser seems to heading toward an opt out of Supreme Court election reform. "Don't let him get away with it if he tries," said one speaker.
It was a great start. Now, on to Fighting Bob Fest in Baraboo September 11.
Walker gets 91.3 per cent in the state GOP Convention "straw poll." Really? What was the vote? If the GOP figured out the .3, presumably they kept track of the total actual vote. One is reminded of Alan Cranston busing in supporters to guarantee a victory in a straw poll many moons ago. It worked for one day.
All BP needs is a "happy face." A full-page ad in the Sunday papers is entitled "Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Response." They must think we are all stupid. Corporations want to be treated like human beings so they can buy and sell politicians, but they want corporate protection from criminal liability for 11 deaths that can be traced to BP's gross negligence. Now comes the "good news": "We have been committed to doing everything possible," the ad says. Read on.
We are a nation of laws! In the news, a guy in Montello used a county tractor to cut his mother-in-law's grass. "Felony" cries the sheriff, and the poor guy faces more than a year in prison! The CEO of BP? No one is locking him up on criminal charges. Not even the sheriff. Quickly. Grab him before he leaves in his comfortable jet.
May 22, 2010
It was awful
I feel for Dick Blumenthal or, as Bill Clinton would say, "I feel his pain." Currently attorney general--top lawyer--in Connecticut, the Democrat running for U.S. Senate to take the "Dodd" seat got no respect when he was discharged from military service in "Nam."
"In Vietnam," he said, "we had to endure taunts and insults and no one said, 'Welcome home.' I say, 'Welcome home.'"
What is he talking about? "Taunts and insults" while in Vietnam? He also said, "I wore the uniform in Vietnam and many came back to all kinds of disrespect." For god's sake Dick, you were never in Vietnam, and you got three deferments to avoid going to the war you claimed you fought in, so it must have been important to you. It would have been impossible to forget had you been there! You also said, "We have learned something important since the days that I served in Vietnam." Oh, tell us, Dick, what have "we" learned? Not to lie about military service in a war zone, perhaps?
Will Blumenthal parachute into Lambeau Field today? People forget whether they graduated from college (yah, sure) and apparently some dream of service never performed. Yah, sure.
BP again: "On Thursday, BP was finally forced to acknowledge that far more oil is escaping from its damaged well into the Gulf." I think Dick Blumenthal ought to check it out.
Listen up Jews, Muslims, Unitarians. Things are changing: America is not a democracy it is a "constitutional republic." That's OK, but here is the hot news: origins of our country--Christian to be governed by Christian principles...McCarthyism--justified; Lincoln and Jefferson Davis--same caliber; "slavery"? Don't ask!
Then we have Rand Paul...I would go back to bed, but I'm going to Chippewa instead.
May 21, 2010
Don't stop now!
These oil regulators and explorers have the right idea! John Goll of the Alaska region of Minerals Management Service responded to secretary of Interior Salazar's call for caution by calling an "all hands on deck" meeting. Afterward, people lingered to eat a cake decorated with the words "Drill, Baby, Drill." Is it possible Sarah Palin really is representative of Alaska?
Jensen: Wait for the caffeine before writing. Yesterday I wrote my blog post before coffee and I focused on the fact that when "Scooter" is tried again, this time in Waukesha, close enough to Milwaukee that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel might cover the trial, voters would be reminded of the culture of corruption Jensen created along with others in the Legislature. I was thinking the Dane County prosecutors would try the case in Waukesha. Wrong! It all goes to Waukesha, and the prediction is that the Waukesha D.A. now in charge will cut a deal with Jensen's counsel so he will never serve a day and the voters can slumber while the political class picks the music. Whoa Nelly! I think I also said Trevor Hoffman would have a great year.
Chippewa Saturday: Stan Gruszynski will speak at Fighting Bob Fest Northfest, candidates are welcome, beer will be served, good food--see you tomorrow from 2:00--7:00!
May 20, 2010
Surely you jest!
Arctic Drilling Proposal Advanced Amid Concern. Oh, be good to us Shell/Exxon/BP. Be good to us. Here is the opening of the NY Times story accompanying that headline: "A proposal to drill for oil in the Arctic Ocean as early as this summer received initial permits" from our protector, Minerals Management Service office in Alaska.
OK. I bet Shell is ready with a foolproof plan to stop a disaster comparable to BP's in the Gulf. But wouldn't you know some weak-kneed opponents like McKibben have argued that an oil spill (there's that word again, as if one had spilled/spilt a glass of milk) would be virtually impossible to contain given the region's remoteness, its severe weather and ice and limited on-shore support.
I'll bet Shell has moved to protect employees and outside experts who might find this idea to drill in the Arctic Ocean insane. Oops! Not so fast: All of those interviewed by the Times, including some who found jobs elsewhere in government (sit before reading, place your head between your knees and listen to your breathing) spoke on condition of anonymity out of fear of facing repercussions at work. Oh poop! Here we go again. C'mon--would Shell punish nay-sayers? C'mon!
The article goes on. "Lack of clear guidance in the environmental review process was exacerbated by high turnover among scientists at the agency, many of whom said that they left because they had been pressured to rewrite their work." (Head still between knees?) One former minerals scientist said, "My impression--they had predetermined decisions."
But relax. Shell told that tough old Secretary of the Interior, Salazar, our very own "Brownie," they would implement a swift and aggressive effort both to prevent a spill and contain one. So there you have it. Relax! And drill baby drill.
Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour says relax, the spill in the Gulf ain't so bad: "We don't wash our face in it but it doesn't stop us from jumping off the boat to ski." OK, Haley! "Jump boy jump!"
Off to the Arctic Ocean armed with the knowledge gained by BP in the Gulf. I feel better.
Jensen--again! On the front sheet of its opinions, the Wisconsin Supreme Court has a place for "Complete Title" I would name today's opinion for Scott Jensen"the gift that never stops giving."
The Court ruled for Jensen huzzah! He won.His dream come true. He will be tried in Waukesha County for his misdeeds. Convicted by a Dane County Jury, he argued that the "hometown venue" available to legislators accused of electoral crimes will be tried in their home county--unlike you and me--unless the accused opts out and agrees to face a jury in Dane County. "Words like "violation of the public trust" ring out once more." Jensen is charged with a felony...misconduct in public office." This ain't a parking ticket!
And Fred Kessler's attempt to challenge the special favor said at the time "the political class in Wisconsin has a home-court advantage." But maybe it doesn't work that way--if it does, we are in deep doo-doo-doo.
A bonus--we will get an answer to a tough one: Will Justice Prosser testify for his friend Scott Jensen?
Forgot Jensen had been convicted? Most people forgot but Jensen reminds all of us. Thanks Scott.
May 19, 2010
Get out before we are all corrupted!
I keep reading that our problem in winning the "smart war," indeed the very smart war, is the corruption of the Afghanistan government. Karzai and his corrupt brother could be ruinous to our pure haven unless we are very very careful.
I think President Obama might take a gander at the NY Times today. Karzai's corruption, like BP's oil, may be hitting our shores. Egad! Say it ain't so! Corruption may be contagious. You decide.
Adam Wheeler apparently tried to think "inside the Harvard box" by faking credentials to get into Harvard. And once there he looked around and said, I gotta get of out of here. So he tried for a Rhodes scholarship. Ah, shame hits academe. Wheeler is not sent to the dean of students, not forced to repent with dunce cap or Glen Beck mask; no sir. Harvard called the cops! Harvard wants the accused to pay $50,000 for all he received. So read "Campuses Ensnared by 'Life of Deception'". Damn that Karzai! Would-be students are sneaking in to steal an education. Don't they realize they might take a chair promised to a legacy?
Then, read "Citing Affair, Republican Gives Up House Seat." Normally we would not comment, but this guy Souder is the right-wing champion of "abstinence" as the answer to our problems. Hard to pass on pure hypocrisy. I'll bet it is Karzai again. I'm sure of it.
Then Dr. George Rekers, an expert on the awful scourge of homosexuality, who is often an expert witness in court, must have made a Faustian bargain with the Karzai-devil. He was caught with a "rent boy." What's that, you ask?
There is even more evidence that Karzai-corruption is creeping in here: "Inspectors Find Fraud At Centers for Children" and "Minerals Management Services had been weakened by corruption." And two New York police officers have been charged with demanding sex with women who would otherwise be arrested. Damn that Karzai! "Crane Owner Guilty of Bribery." What's next?
Message to Obama. Corruption is gaining a foothold. Get out of Afghanistan before Karzai destroys our very successful War on Drugs. Don't laugh. It could happen. Whoa Nelly!
I say, get out!
May 18, 2010
Church and state
Enjoyed Bob Menamin's post this morning on church and state.
Why is this so important? Few Fighting Bob readers/subscribers need the lecture, but a couple things grabbed my attention. First, Milwaukee's Catholic bishop, Jerome Listecki, may be applying for Bob Uecker's job with the Brewers. If Prince hits a long ball, Bob urges, "Get up, get up, get out here! Home run." Sunday at mass, Bishop Listecki said as much to those who do not defend the church today despite Father Murphy...It was reported that the bishop told parishioners Sunday, "If you can't defend the church now, get up, get up, get outta here!" Seriously.
Israel gets into the act: Not to be out-done by the Catholic church, Israel refused to permit Noam Chomsky to enter the occupied West Bank from Jordon! C'mon! As you know, professor Chomsky is Jewish, but he is very critical of both American and Israeli policy--so "get up and get outta here!" Norman Finkelstein, another critic of Israel, denied tenure at Catholic De Paul University in Chicago at the urging of prominent Jews, was recently barred from entering after visiting Lebanon...and so it goes.
Democrats acting like progressives? What gives? Dick Durbin and Sheldon Whitehouse are pushing for a reform that would permit states the right to limit credit card interest rates. (North Dakota may disappear if it passes.) But the logic is compelling. "Let the states act and they can be protected from these outrageous 30 percent interest rates," said Whitehouse.
Oh, Senator, one problem. In Wisconsin the loan industry is charging 500 percent. Why? Lobbyists. Suggestion to Durbin and Whitehouse: Add a federal usury rate--please.
May 17, 2010
A new kind of war?
Sunday's Washington Post carried a compelling story about our military mission in Afghanistan. "A decade of fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq," reports the Post, "has forced battlefield commanders to accept that victory in today's wars is less a matter of destroying enemies than of knowing how and when to make them allies. This new kind of war has compelled mid level officers to take on new roles: politician, diplomat, tribal anthropologist." (And where do our soldiers train for such complex roles? Well, the battlefield seems to be the answer.)
One soldier was quoted saying, "My goal is to get people to stop shooting at my soldiers and support government." I think John McCain and his runningmate from a year ago, and surely his primary opponents, would condemn this soldier as a weak-kneed liberal or a misguided traitor. Such talk!
Well, I thought, perhaps Obama is fighting a smart war with enlightened soldier-diplomats leading the way. No way--the story in the Post ends badly. Hell, McChrystal says neither side is winning.
The story focused on a memo sent to a local leader proposing a meeting. It looked like progress, but it was a trap. The memo's author tells the post, "I was playing to his ego. But reading it over it sounds like I was kissing his ass from a position of weakness." There you go. Palin will be screaming from the rafters--strength is all they understand. More troops, more money, more poor people to fight our wars!
Then today's NY Times headline: "Farmers Flee Area Taken by U.S. Saying Taliban Still Holds sway." Farmers know more than Palin. One man said, "The Taliban are everywhere, they are like scorpions under every stone and they are stinging all who get assistance or help the government and the Americans."
So how we doin' in the smart war? Not so good. Spent $272 billion so far, need a bailout of our schools... lots of causalities. Message to the President: Get out quickly!
May 16, 2010
Face it: he is Harvard
When he looks back on his first term and gets ready to run again, he will, I hope, figure it out. He lost our enthusiasm with the Kagan Supreme Court pick--he is more Harvard than he is one of us.
When people talk about "thinking outside the box" Harvard is the box they want you to escape! Not with a Milquetoast Harvard prof who won't tell us anything--she probably has a friend pick up her movies and books--she doesn't want snoops learning that she favors one writer over another. Heavens no--could upset Hatch or Lindsey Graham.
I would vote no to her confirmation. Why fight for a Democrat's nominee who won't even tell us if she is pro-choice; whether she favors Brown vs. Board of Education? The sobering headline, "A nominee's writing shows a leaning toward Scalia not Stevens." Yikes! I like this best: "She seemed wary of what she called schemes to promote balance or diversity of opinions saying the government cannot be trusted to regulate the marketplace of political ideas." Give me an H; give me an A; give me an R; give me a liberal!
Kagan rejects the argument that "corporations may be regulated because they are artificial entities created by government."
Don't expect to hear George Carlin's seven words either. Elena Kagan was doing a very good job with people she feels comfortable with as Dean of Harvard Law school--she should be permitted the comfort of the establishment box for decades to come.
The president is taking the easy way out. I say let Sessions defeat "one of Harvard's very own." Give us a reason to fight, Mr. President.
Mayor Dave of Madison says the city must act to save the Overture Center. Right on. I agree. Closing would be a disaster.
Judge William Conley: Every lawyer I know is pleased with the appointment of William Conley to the federal bench. Every lawyer I talk with is also uncomfortable that Obama nominee and former Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler sits and waits to be confirmed. Is race a factor? How can we reach any other conclusion? Let's hope our two Senators can move the Butler nomination to confirmation.
Louis Butler is a choice worth fighting for. Judge Conley says, "I've become part of a court family." Maybe so, but one member of the family is not being treated like family.
May 15, 2010
Sifting and winnowing
Joe McCarthy was smart enough to lay off the great state University of Wisconsin in his absurd search for traitors in every nook and corner. Ah, but not in Madison.
The UW was our gem, our identity, our future, born during the Civil War it would not be torn apart by a hack from Appleton.
The American Legion was not as savvy as "Tail-gunner" Joe, insisting that the Young Communist League be denied the right to meet at the UW's Memorial Union, a building dedicated to honor those who gave their lives to protect our freedoms.
The president of the UW, Edwin B. Fred, put the Legion in its place. He said that if the Young Communists were forced off the campus, he would resign as president of the UW. That was the end of the Legion's scare. Another happy chapter in the storied history of our great University and our dedication to academic freedom.
I grew up in arch-conservative Burlington, and I was curious how my parents would react. Not surprisingly, they supported President Fred without reservation. They told me that the University was the marketplace of ideas and no one should interfere with the freedom students and faculty enjoy in our search for truth.
I thought about that when Milwaukee's Catholic Bishop Jerome Listecki, apparently an intellectual fly-weight, all but demanded that Marquette rescind Jodi O'Brien's offer of employment because her lesbian lifestyle might contradict, get this, "the Catholic mission at Marquette." Yikes! And I thought that Marquette's "mission" was to educate young and old. How naive.
I recalled that when federal Judge Barbara Crabb appointed my law firm as counsel to all inmates at that tribute to asinine law and order, supermax prison, one of my first moves was to visit the Dean of Marquette Law School, Howard Eisenberg. Why? Simple--credibility, good judgment and help developing our approach.
Dean Eisenberg immediately agreed to serve as co-counsel, and off we went! (Howard gave a speech entitled "What's a Nice Jewish Boy like Me Doing in a Place Like This"? The line I liked best: "What was most interesting was that people who questioned me on agreement with the teachings of the church on issues such as abortion or homosexuality never once questioned my ability to be Dean of a Catholic Law School because I wasn't even Christian much less Catholic.")
Now, why was this good man at Marquette? He told the officials that he would continue to provide pro bono representation to indigents. The vice president responded, "That is one reason we want you here." Howard concluded, "And, to be honest, that is exactly one of the reasons I came to Marquette."
Bishop Listecki should read Howard's speech and travel to Madison, climb Bascom Hill and read the plaque on Bascom Hall, just behind the statue of Lincoln. Then ask if the Young Communist League undermined the mission of the UW.
The plaque reads, "Whatever may be the limitations which trammel inquiry elsewhere, we believe that the great state university of Wisconsin should ever encourage that continual and fearless sifting and winnowing by which alone the truth can be found." Adopted by the Board of Regents in 1894.
Ah, Bishop Listecki, think about the "mission" of Marquette again. Your demand will brand Marquette for generations--not as a great academic university--but an adjunct of the Catholic Church. The students and faculty deserve better.
May 14, 2010
Driving north--join us
As step one in holding a Fighting Bob Fest North, the organizers of next year's Eau Claire and Chippewa Bob Fest (not a competition for Baraboo--an experiment in spreading the gospel) are hosting a fundraiser next Saturday, May 22. I will MC and speak on the current crisis in campaign funding in light of Citizens United v. FEC. And, of course, I will bring you up to date on the Fighting Bob Fest IV program.
I would not be surprised if candidates for Dave Obey's seat, governor, U.S. Senate and attorney general drop in, too.
It will be from 2:00 TO 7:00 at the Northern Wisconsin State Fairgrounds in Chippewa Falls--a near-perfect place for a kick-off. There will be lots of local music: The Jones Tones, Left Wing Bourbon, the Evergreen Grass Bank and more.
It will be lots of fun. See you there next Saturday. Almost forgot: there will be charcoal chicken and barbecued pork dinner and--surprise!--beer. We are asking for ten bucks. Can't pay? Come anyway.
May 13, 2010
What do they want?
The New York Times says "Afghans say they are tired of Taliban but resent corruption by the government!" Imagine that! We, as a nation, are corruption-free, so the Afghans have a role model. Oh, a few problems if you scan the headlines. Like this one: "Prosecutors Ask if 8 Banks Duped the Rating Agencies." But, hey, that is capitalism! Can't blame a guy for taking advantage now and then. Can you?
And then there is the infamous and mysterious Dow thousand point plunge. Caused by mistake? If so, will those who made money as the bottom fell out return the money? Remember, we are the Afghan role model. Or the rating agencies, or 25 hedge fund CEOs who got more than a billion in compensation.
And how about our successful war on drugs? We are damned near drug-free, so put down those poppies and take the pledge.
Yes, indeed, we lead the way is so many ways. Just think about our elections. Why should we pay for them when the Chamber of Commerce will foot the bill? Exxon-Mobil: $30 billion in profit but no taxes in U.S. Or BP/Halliburton cheating on safety in the Gulf--Who knew?
May 12, 2010
It has been difficult to find Catholic bishops who would shout-out about the infamous Father Murphy or other pedophiles (not to mention those who shielded them from prosecution) but Milwaukee's Bishop Jerome Listecki has found his voice--but not, apparently, his conscience. He spoke this week to Marquette University leaders and "raised the alarm over the decision of Marquette to hire, of all the possibilities, a lesbian." Imagine that!
Catch this language: "The hiring of a lesbian could cause dichotomies and tensions if not contradictions with the Catholic mission." Where do they get this stuff? Marquette certainly can't risk "academic tensions." Better that everyone thinks the same way on complex issues. The good Bishop criticized Notre Dame for inviting President Obama to speak last year!
What's next? I suggest screening freshmen and women--you never know what thoughts they harbor. Can't be too careful these days!
Lassa emerges: State Senator Julie Lassa might find a united Democratic Party supporting her as Dave Obey's replacement. Those mentioned as possibles are backing Lassa. If there is no primary fight, less money will be needed.
Progressive Russ Feingold is coming to Fighting Bob Fest on September 11. Good news. Great line-up-and getting better. See you in Baraboo!
Listening to Gulf congressional testimony--it was god's fault not BP or Halliburton.
May 11, 2010
An Obama appointment we progressives can applaud--even give a standing ovation. No, not Kagan. I agree with Tom Harkin who said, "Why do the conservatives always get the conservatives they want, but we don't get the liberals? What the hell is that all about?"
No, I'm referring to the appointment of Linda Puchala to the National Mediation Board.
The three-member board has ruled, catch this, that in a secret-ballot election to have a union or to vote to remain union-free, the union need get a majority of those actually voting--not a majority of all eligible employees. You know, like all other elections except union-representation elections. Huzzah! Bet your last dollar that the Chamber of Commerce and other reactionaries will send fresh troops into that battle in an attempt to reinstate anti-democratic policies, but for now--celebrate. A good one got by the barriers.
Gulf drama and bees: Ah, Big Business is busy busy protecting us. Read Bill Berry's superb post this morning--we may starve as bee colonies collapse thanks to Monsanto but, hey, bees had their day. Time for Round-up to save us.
Back to the Gulf. The lawyers have arrived to get workers to sign statements that will be used by BP to thwart lawsuits. Nice! (See the Lehrer report yesterday.) Reading the NY Times these days is like reading a novel. BP's efforts? They are summed up by one observer this way: "It is like building a fire truck when your house is on fire." He was commenting on the latest construction of a smaller dome.
But you must feel good that BP is not sitting around. "There is a lot of real-time learning going on," said BP's CEO. Oh boy. Thank you, BP. And thanks BP for not preparing for this disaster. It might have cost too much. So, you think BP will really pump billions into clean-up? Pigs fly and chickens have lips.
It is, in a word, discouraging. But cheer up. A nuclear disaster on the scale of the Gulf explosion is "unlikely," say the experts.
May 10, 2010
The Harvard Curse
Bill Bradley, while running for president, gave a wonderful speech to the San Francisco-based Commonwealth Club on the "race card."
You all know the speech--two people, with the same backgrounds, apply for a loan. The bank loans to the white person while denying the black applicant... Well, there is also a Harvard Card or, as I like to call it, Harvard Curse.
First, let me tell you no one likes Harvard Law School (except U.S. News & World Report and Wall Street that is). If a president wants a safe nominee for the Court, FTC or mine safety, he looks to Harvard. Why? Well, chances are there are 200 grads who are smart as hell, always thinking inside the box, and who have been in training for a top job for years. First axiom, do not take controversial stands, but if forced to then make damned sure you don't get caught at the head of the parade. Stick to academia--off the street. Stay away from water-boarding, Miranda and abortion. They are no-win arguments.
Second, be more comfortable on Wall Street than you would be in a union hall. (In fact, stay out of union halls!) Main Street? Not so much--Wall Street pays much better. And so it goes.
We thought Barack was the first African-American president and he is, but in reality the Harvard pull is greater than anything else. Tribe, Dershowitz, you know--safe, safer and safest.
So who has apparently been picked to replace John Paul Stevens? Someone who would enjoy Fighting Bob Fest or one of the safe Harvardians? You guessed it. Elena Kagan.
She was quoted saying, "I love the Federalist Society." Good lord, she loves the Federalist Society? Is Obama switching parties?mWho is in the Federalist Society? Oh, Clarence Thomas (silent Clarence), Scalia, Kennedy (Justice Kennedy, not RFK Jr.), Roberts and Alito. Ah, while we in Wisconsin learned about guilt by association it is hard not to wince when Joe Lieberman is happy to predict that Kagan will take the Court further right.
She was a paid consultant for Goldman Sachs; she is supported by "the mouth" and, while she argued that the Army's discrimination against recruiting gays is "a moral injustice and a profound wrong," she did not join the fight beyond internal Harvard e-mail.
So calling her safe is an understatement. Had Bush nominated her we would be gearing up for a fight. But it was Harvard educated, Tribe tutored, community organizer Obama who passed up Wall Street for politics. He is hard to love.
Miranda Warning? Good for Attorney General Holter, I thought, as the second cup of coffee hit my brain. He favors not giving BP's CEO a Miranda warning. About time that these corporations masquerading as people (Citizens United) are sent to prison before lawyers get involved. Eleven men were killed in the Gulf explosion, apparently due to BP's negligence; thousands will lose everything they own, marine life in the Gulf may be dead for generations. Someone should go to prison.
Ah, alas, Holter was not talking about BP. Nope! He is talking about people who look different. He said "big news" on Meet the Press...time to modify the rules. Surely that will gain the support of cross-dressing Rudy! Nope! Rudy wants more. He said "hold suspects as military detainees" for longer interrogation. So, Mr. Holter, if the "non-Mirandized detainee" won't talk, think about water-boarding. Might work, and the new Supreme Court nominee will probably support your new position. In fact all the Federalists will!
May 9, 2010
Mary Kay Henry is the new president of the nation's largest union, SEIU. Insiders had initially projected that Stern's ally Secretary-Treasurer Anna Burger would be Stern's successor, but Henry wrapped up the election in a hurry.
Called a "consensus builder" by NY Times reporter Steven Greenhouse, Henry apparently is not planning on reaching consensus (at least not now) with Sal Rosselli the SEIU dynamo in California who was the center of the anti-Stern battle. Stern would promise to restrict bargaining to wages--no pension or insurance or even arbitration so long as the targeted employer would recognize the union and deduct dues through check-off.
Stern led the SEIU, Teamsters and several other unions out the door from AFL-CIO. He said the Labor Federation was "too male, too pale and too stale." Maybe so, but the labor laws of this country make organizing almost impossible even if not male and stale.
Will Henry follow Stern's pattern of deal-making with industry in return for quickie recognition, or will SEIU try to make peace with Richard Trumka, AFL-CIO president, and go about organizing the old-fashioned way?
For our part, Tom Geoghegan, author of a brilliant book on Labor, Which Side Are You On? Trying to be for Labor When It's Flat on Its Back will speak at Fighting Bob Fest and share his thoughts on the future of labor. There are few people I'd rather hear from. You will love listening to Geoghegan. The Nation wrote, "Geogheghan knows how to write with verve, intelligence, charm and power." Jim Wallis can't make it this year. While he will be missed, we have others in mind who will address the issue of "values" on Wall Street and Main Street.
Did you see the last Bill Moyers Journal? If not, go online to see his interview with Fighting Bob Fest's all-time favorite Jim Hightower.
Brother and sister can you spare a dime for Fighting Bob Fest? Or 20-30-40 dollars? It would be very helpful right now.
Want a good job? Call BP--they will be hiring an army of lobbyists.
May 8, 2010
Chemicals are good, regulation bad. The president's Cancer Panel warned "Americans are facing grievous harm from chemicals in the air, food and water. Chemicals that have largely gone unregulated and ignored." The panel says, "Federal chemical laws are weak...funding for research inadequate." So breathe easy, drink the water, applaud the use of untested chemicals dropped on the oil slick in the Gulf. Would they use these chemicals if they were not safe?
Wanted: The Washington Post reports that Afghans are needed to run their own country. There are not enough trained Afghans available to take control of key Taliban strongholds such as Marja after our military pushes out the Taliban. Yikes!
Obey: Almost everyone attending a UW Law School lecture program was talking about the surprise announcement from Dave Obey. One comment was, "How do you know Russ Decker didn't know?" His record in the Democrat-controlled legislative session made just about everyone angry. Had he known...
Don't expect Justice Ann Walsh-Bradey to run for Congress. Julie Lassa and Pat Kreitlow are the front-runners for the Obey seat, according to some. Big problem--the announcement came rather late to get a campaign up and running while raising a million bucks.
Only in the Army! Pentagon upset that soldiers are too well paid! A four-year soldier gets $52,500 total including pay, subsistence pay and housing. I suspect that only people in Congress and the Pentagon could spend trillions on equipment and get angry over decent compensation for the soldiers. C'mon!
May 7, 2010
If you look like a Mexican in Arizona you may be stopped and searched. If you look like a lesbian at Marquette University in Milwaukee you will be fired.
A sociologist hired to be dean of a college saw her deanship offer terminated when the folks at Marquette found out she is a lesbian! Catch this: "The professor lacked the ability to represent the Marquette mission and identity." (The story even made the New York Times.)
Whoa Nelly! What is the mission at Marquette beyond reaching the Final Four next March? The law school is named after James Sensenbrenner, just to provide a hint at the preferred identity.
It has been dangerous for years to drive while black in Milwaukee. What's next? St. Patrick's day--stay inside!
Yesterday we learned that 160,000 gallons of untested chemicals have been dumped in the Gulf to disperse the oil. Today the government decried the number of untested chemicals in use today--chemicals that might cause cancer.
May 6, 2010
Obey, oil, and more money in politics
Matt Simmons, a 41-year veteran of the oil industry, confirms Fighting Bob's worst fears. The Washington Post says Simmons "sees a disaster on an epic scale as the pressurized subterranean reservoir known as the Macondo field, tapped for the first time by Deepwater Horizon, continues to vent into the gulf."
In Simmons's words: "This is a catastrophe. I don't think they're going to be able to put the leak out until the reservoir depletes. It's just too technically challenging." Then, he predicts, BP will have to clean up the entire Gulf--and it could be ruined by this mess.
Not so fast with the funeral music--BP is undoubtedly casting a wide net to pull in hundreds of lobbyists. The goal? You guessed it--limit B.P.'s liability. Last year BP spent $18 million on lobbyists. How much will it put into close House and Senate seats this November? Look out, because the Supreme Court said we cannot limit them! BP's first-quarter profit was more than $6 billion. Can we imagine BP pouring money into political races at the same pace as our oil is flowing into the Gulf--like Wisconsin's 7th CD where Obey has been for decades? Would it be worth a billion dollars to limit liability? Two billion? Do I hear three billion?
Maybe the dome will work. Let's hope, or if you prefer, pray, that it does but the most unsettling part of this drama is the realization that 1.) BP and Halliburton were totally unprepared for this disaster; 2.) All life in the Gulf could be gone for decades--or forever; 3.) The cost of oil will sky-rocket.
"The first thing that hit us, 18 miles from the Biloxi wetlands was the nauseating smell, like spilled gasoline at a gas station but stronger," said Jeremy Symons of the National Wildlife Federation. He went on, "We ran into a seemingly endless sea of brown heavy sludge floating on the water...it spread in front of us as far a we could see."
What will be the impact of the chemical disbursements now being dumped into the Gulf? BP doesn't know! "No previous government studies of the compound's sub sea ecological impact" have been conducted! Can you believe it? Why not spray DDT or Roundup--might work. Whoa Nelly! We are in trouble.
Obey: No one I know was prepared for Dave Obey's announcement. The chair of the House Appropriations Committee said, "No Mas! There is a time to stay and a time to go and this is my time to go." He said he is "bone tired."
No one has fought longer or harder than Dave Obey for our core values. Some people mention social and economic justice in speeches--Obey lives to move our society toward those goals. He has been a champion for Civil Rights, worker's rights, student rights. He fought for peace. He has earned the right to retire--I just wish he hadn't exercised that right. We need him in the chair. I will join Joy Cardin and guest Bob Williams on Wisconsin Public Radio Friday morning for "Week in Review." My guess--lots of Obey-decision discussion.
Whatever else happens, don't count Obey out of the fight. No fight "is private." A good man. Thanks David, for 50 years of dedicated service.
May 5, 2010
The New York Times editorial yesterday: "Illiteracy, corruption, and other problems in a country as poor and underdeveloped as ours..." Oops! Actually, the Times was describing Afghanistan, but the editors could have meant the descriptors for us as thousands of teachers are fired, class size increased, millions unemployed, scandal after scandal reported on the business pages...Something has gone off track. Can we afford another war? No and hell no!
My my: Noticed around the state--TV spots advertising Leinenkugel beer or, say it ain't so, a candidate for Senate named Leinenkugel. I have never seen a TV spot for the beer until one member of the family jumped into the U.S. Senate race. The spots are in the "good-night-John-Boy" down home genre. "Hi, I'm Joe...and we are the Leinenkugels! We buy our honey in the next county."
How about some truthiness, as Steven Colbert says it? Leinenkugel was purchased by Miller and Miller was purchased by a South African company, so any advertising now seems like foreign interference in our elections but, hey! Still tastes good.
Bradley Foundation delivers right-wing scorecard of "prominent [meaning: agrees with Michael Grebe] journalists and academics" honored by the extreme right-wing foundation. Ironically, the ceremony will be at the JFK Center for the Performing Arts. Give us a break.
The list is one you should have--when these folks write and speak for school vouchers, privatization of almost every public building or institution--you know they play right field.
Michael Barone, Paul Gigot, George Schultz--to mention a few. And who selected them? Well, old Bob Kasten campaign manager and Roger Ailes pal Grebe, president and CEO of Bradley, aided by George Will, Charles Krauthammer and Martin Feldstein.
What do the chosen receive? Why a mint on the pillow and $250,000 from non-partisan Bradley. Not a bad day's wages. Could be wrong, but Grebe is the only Badger who made either list.
May 4, 2010
Halliburton is back!
From Iraq to the Gulf of Mexico, Halliburton is there to help! Imagine that--the multi-national once headed by Dick Cheney was in charge of "cementing" the BP oil rig ! You know, closing the well. Is it possible that Halliburton was cutting corners? Nah!
One worker on the rig said BP was drilling deeper than the federal permit allowed. BP denied it. Good heavens--put Haliburton and BP together and it is no wonder something went terribly wrong. Endangered? Well, bluefin tuna, shrimp, oysters and grouper. Keep your eye on BP. President Obama keeps saying BP will pay all the costs of cleanup. I doubt it. Want to bet?
Gideon vs. Wainwright. Remember that great Supreme Court decision? Well, the chief judge in New York spoke the truth this week when he called for a right to counsel in civil cases as Gideon demanded in criminal cases. Right on, Judge Lippman, right on! It would "bring us closer to the ideal of equal access to civil justice." Let us call upon our Supremes to follow the Lippman ideal.
It is also imperative that the Legislature make clear that public funding of Supreme Court races is mandatory--no "opt out" nonsense as Justice Prosser is hinting. He is next up to face the voters, and he should help set the example. It is an outrage that WMC has purchased two seats on our court. This outrage must stop.
May 3, 2010
Need a job?
Call BP! The company that through a combination of negligence and greed may have literally killed the Gulf of Mexico, is offering jobs to some BP victims. A small catch: BP demanded that new employees (imagine that training program!) sign a 17-page agreement waiving liability for BP if inured on the job and agreeing to a confidentiality clause. No word on the compensation.
When lawyers rushed to court to stop this outrage, BP quickly told everyone listening that the agreements would not be enforced. One of the attorneys representing the fishermen said it best: "Forgive me if I don't take BP at its word." Then he went back to court seeking a protective order.
Lost last night: Invited to speak to the Rock County Dems at Reuther Hall, I thought I knew the way but the place looks different emptied of all industrial life, for sale or lease signs everywhere, and empty parking lots. I wanted to cry. A tragedy and we have to admit that NAFTA passed with a tremendous push by then-President Bill Clinton, a founder of the DLC. Talk about a legacy!
I stopped at a BP station (wouldn't you know!) and asked for directions to Reuther Hall. The guy never heard of the Reuther brothers, who risked their lives to force the auto industry to permit organizing of the UAW in 1936. Organizing that became the building block of the middle class--of the Democratic Party.
But he did know where the UAW hall was, and a customer offered to lead me to the hall where the subdued Rock County Dems were meeting.
Subdued yes, but dead? No way. They are angry at the loss of good jobs; angry that big business is permitted to donate bribe money directly to candidates; and worried. About what? Everything. Education, foreclosures, jobs. And they are ready to fight!
Bolivia as teacher: Evo Morales, Bolivian president and leader nationalized four power companies. He nationalized the natural gas industry in 2006, several utility companies, not to mention the nation's biggest smelter and the largest telecommunications firm. Result--Bolivia controls 80 percent of electricity generated in Bolivia. Oh, almost forgot, he nationalized Air BP, a division of the oil giant. Ah, critics say foreign investors won't come to Bolivia. What's the bad news?
Who owns the oil in the Gulf? Isn't it time we asked?
May 2, 2010
How many platforms?
As we watched the BP (Beyond Petroleum) fiasco unfold, a question arose. How many potential BPs are there in the Gulf of Mexico? Just in federal waters in the Gulf there are 3,500 production platforms says the NY Times. Every day, 1.7 million barrels of oil are produced. Every day! Thirty percent of our domestic oil comes from the Gulf. And did you note that BP does not have a plan to stem the flow of oil into the Gulf from the one platform that exploded?
We have been warned by Bill McKibben and others that our climate is changing and that it is predicted that a warmer climate will bring more violent storms. Think that might result in more platform failures? More disasters? I do.
Do you think BP is trying to figure out how it can get billions of company money to the victims of BP negligence? Or are they hiring more lobbyists to convince us to pay?
On the money: FightingBob.com contributing editor Dave Zweifel writes that we were much better off with a part-time Legislature than the full-time one that works part time for full time wages and benefits. The Sheboygan Press reports that the Assembly was in floor session 23 days in 2009 and 13 in 2010. Not fair, legislators will say, because they do lots of work when only the lobbyists are around. Is there any wonder then why no campaign reform passed? Why redistricting will be handled by the incumbents to protect their jobs? If the Cubs hit the ball as hard as Cub-fan-Zweifel hit the nail on the head, they would win the pennant.
Great to see Frank Boyle at the Midge Miller celebration.
May 1, 2010
Which shall rule--wealth or man?
The question in the headline of this blog post was posed by Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Ed Ryan in 1873. The answer should be "Wealthy men" shall rule. Goldman Sachs, Citigroup, JP Morgan. Despite the scandal that swirls around Washington, there is plenty of proof that the congressional Democrats are just as tone deaf as the Bushies had been.
Kirsten Gillibrand, appointed to the Senate, is proof. A big Wall Street fundraiser will dull her appetite for tough regulation of the financial industry. How bad is it? Chris Dodd won't attend. (I'll bet he would attend if he was running again.)
Evercore Partners' CEO is the host--joined by Roger Altman, and David Toper of J.P. Morgan's banking division. Gillibrand won't let corporate bribes affect her! No sir. She will support Dodd's bill calling for an overhaul of the financial industry. How do you know the Dodd bill is too weak? See you at the Evercore party.
Obama, Obama: Surprised that an oil rig exploded below the sea? Or surprised BP cut corners? That BP was full of it when it told us to relax--"got your back"? Is anyone in government thinking about disasters? Is there a plan for "the big one" in California? How about another Three Mile Island? Ever hear of Katrina? Oh, I know--the dinner for the media tonight is importnt--can't miss that now, can we? "Heck of a job, Mr. President."
Bill Moyers ended his Journal with another plea for control of money in politics. No one in office is listening or, if she is, not doing enough. Hell, not one of us is doing enough. We must break up this culture of corruption.