Sunday, July 29, 2007

It will be interesting to see what happens this week. This Sunday has been a day completely away from the MSM drivel. Temps in the mid 80's with no humidity. Sunny skies. A beautifully perfect summer day. I barely read the Sunday papers and couldn't bring my self to really watch the day's talking heads on TV.
The next week could be exciting, but I fear it will be another week of consolidation in the Congress and another week of stonewalling from the administration. Unfortunately, it will also be a week of 100+ temps in Iraq and another week of dead and injured service people. It continues to amaze me that the American public lets this go week by week by week.
One of these weeks maybe the people will finally decide that this is the week it has to stop.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

The Flyover legislature is fighting over the budget. The Dems and the Repugs are light years apart and we may not see a budget for a while. One of the things on the table is an expansion of health care into the middle class. Guess who's for it and who's agin' it.

My greatest hope is that the business community begins to realize that universal health care is in the long run, a boon for business. The US is behind most other industrialized countries right off the bat because the cost of manufactured goods in the US is instantly higher because the manufacturer has to factor in the cost of health care into the price of their product. In other countries this is spread over the entire country and costs substantially less. This alone should have major companies clamoring for a change. Secondly while health care is good for the upper portion of the public, it is exceedingly expensive in the US. We pay way to much for the care we get compared to other countries, and yet almost all of them show better health statistics.
Thirdly preventive medicine, especially prenatal and early cancer detection save millions over trying cure the problems after they develop. The last factor is that we already have universal health care for the poor: it's called the emergency room. Can you even begin to imagine a less efficient, more expensive way to deliver health care?

Oh, and by the way just to keep up my bleeding-heart-liberal creds: IT"S THE RIGHT THING TO DO!

Saturday, July 21, 2007

I had a short online exchange with a social studies teacher today. We both agreed that today's students receive an abysmal education in History. I also opined that they receive almost no education in the traditional social studies. He brought up the fact that there is almost no civics education today. This country is unique in the world in that we spend almost no time in educating our youngest citizens into the concept of being a citizen. When I talk with my younger employees, I find almost 100 per cent of them do not have the slightest idea of how our political system works. Not nationally, not statewide or even on the most basic of local levels. They have no idea of who any of their representatives are, or what the do. Unfortunately, most parents are only interested in their children's grade point and give no thought as to whether their their little darlings will ever become educated as citizens. This may be the most dangerous trend in America today. I implore any parent to make sure that their children learn that being a good citizen more than paying taxes and not avoiding jury duty.
Doctors today report that after the special rectal brain scan of the President today that they found no evidence of grey matter in the President's colon. Doctors were surprised as the President has had his head up his ass for over twenty years. Subsequent review of previous colo-rectal examinations revealed that the tiny amount of Presidential Grey Matter that had been there was removed eight years ago mistakenly believed to be polyps. Luckily the President has been able to live semi-normally as Karl Rove has essentially served as Bush's brain for years. Doctors believe that the President will be able to continue his normal duties as they really consist of nodding to vicePresident Cheney.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

The Flyover Times has shocked me! The day after I complained about their inability to write the F-word (filibuster) they used it in an op-ed! Twice! I'd love to think it was me but that would truly be delusional. They also ran a piece on the importance of net-neutrality.

Net-neutrality is a subject that either gets you a "wha?" look or a yawn. Unless you are part of the net-roots. Then it's a question of life or death, at least for bloggers. The concept of equal access to the net is the life blood of the diversity of the Internet. This may on first blush look like a matter that is important only to the few that blog or read blogs, but I contend that it goes much deeper.

It the 1770's political fever was stirred up by a dedicated group of citizens who wrote tracts and had them printed up at small print shops by like minded printers. Not that many years before this would have been unthinkable because printing was too expensive and the presses were tightly controlled in other countries. These tracts would be passed out on village greens and taverns (think Drinking Liberally). They would work their way to small villages by travellers. Often one writer's pamphlet would draw a response from another. These transfer of thoughts were instrumental in fomenting the revolution. The British authorities did little to stop this because they believed there was no way this was a danger to their rule.

Jump forward to the 21st Century and we find that the press is almost entirely in the hands of Big Money and there is no real access there. Certainly I or anyone else could go to the print shop and run up a thousand broadsheets and hand them out, but where is the Village Green that allows you to contact thousands? That Village Green is now the Internet. For the price of a cheap computer and an Internet connection or even access to a Public Library, today's Broadsheet writer can reach millions. This brings us back to net-neutrality. If the money interests have their way, the cheap printing presses will be taken away from the masses. Now I don't suggest that the net-roots should be fomenting revolution, but certainly this is a valid route to change the way that large groups of people think about things. Not through propaganda but through discourse (even with the Trolls about). It is critical that as a group we talk to the "Wha?ers and the yawners to let them know that is about their world too.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

It appears as if the MSM has abandoned the F-Word. It was well used several years ago but it seems as if has become the word-that-can't-be-uttered. Luckily there are euphemisms to replace it that won't offend the reader/viewer. You know like time wasting, grandstanding, and the popular Democrat stunt. God knows that the Repugs would never do anything to stop an up or down vote! Oh wait the Repugs staged a fili***ter. Don't they want an up or down vote?
Even the newly redesigned Flyover Times, that heralded progressive newspaper couldn't bring it's self to use the dreaded word. Of course their progressive credentials are based on the fact that they supported The Original Progressive 100 years ago. That and that over 50 years ago they pulled a stunt where local flyover citizens were asked to sign a statement comprised of parts of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution. Of course the McCarthy fearing crowd wisely refused to have anything to do with something that smelled of politics. Since then their progesiveness has consisted of endorsing Democrats at election time and weeky (weakly?) listing the number of deaths in Iraq. The civilian figure is the one given out by the government and right now is around 35000. You wouldn't want to use the leftist British Lancet figures of more than 600,000. So goes the vaunted left wing media.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Harry Reid goes for the filibuster, Harriet Meier refuses to appear before Congress, what-will-happen reports are all over about Iraq, it's hard to tell if we are getting ahead or spining our wheels. I'd love to think that we are seeing the beginning of the end of this merry band of fools. The filibuster hopefully will start to show the people that the congressional gridlock is the fault of the Rethuglicans and the recent after action report suggests that a three state Iraq is possible after a withdrawal of American troops. What I really hope for is a legal confrontation with the Bush junta. The Meier situation may well be the turning point. It's one thing to go before Congress and refuse to testify, but to refuse to show up is unheard of. It will have to be seen if John Conyers and other D leaders have the goods and the balls to take this thing where it can go. The scary thing is these fights can end up in the Supreme Court. As we have seen the odds are stacked badly in that arena.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Breaking news. Senator Vitter has met with press in his home district to let them know that he plans on returning to the Senate this week and has no plans to quit politics. At his side was his wife, Wendy. Wendy commented that her husband has "come home to Mama". No word on whether Mama will diaper him.

Sunday, July 15, 2007

We spent the afternoon on a pontoon boat on the largest of four lakes surrounding the capitol of Flyover Country. The weather was beautiful and it couldn't have been a better time. The owner (and captain for the day) of the boat is a full time Army Guard member. He served 9 months in Kuwait in 2002. His unit is responsible for copter maintenance. I've known him for years but don't have the slightest idea what his politics are. I've always felt that for the sake of our friendship it was best to not ask. When ever I've asked him about chances for redeployment, he laughs and says that his unit has been so stripped to supply the regular Army that there is no way they can possibly go into a combat zone any time soon. I've meet friends of his who are in the reserves. It seems like they are all getting out. Reserve members can be called up for replacement in existing units while guardsmen stay with their own outfits. Again I don't discuss politics (or the war) with these people but my feeling is they have no support for the mess-o-potamia. I don't mean for a minute to suggest that any of these guys wouldn't suit up and be back in the fray in a second if they felt our country needed them, but there seems to be a feeling of malaise about the war (occupation) .
Senator Webb on Meet The Press showed once again what a real stand up guy he is this morning. When Timmy asked him about the war, his reply was that the war was over years ago and what we are in is an occupation. Of course Timmy's next question was "Should the congress run the war?" completely ignoring Jim's point. The best part was Jim doing a slap down on that weasel Lindsey Graham. I really thought he was goin to bitch slap the little prick.

Saturday, July 14, 2007

The protest by Christian Extremists in the Senate this week highlights the real motives of the nutty christian right. By trying to disrupt the opening prayer being done by a Buddhist priest they show just how much they are the American Taliban. The only thing President Chimpy had right about Osama was that they hate us for our freedoms. They do. They hate that America doesn't force it's citizens to live a non-secular life. It's not so much that we're not Muslim, but that we're not a Christian State. If we forced people to church, made women subservient to men, taught prayer in our schools and had a religious litmus test for all office holders, I'm sure they would find a way to overlook that Jeebus thing. Luckily for us the Constitution (that's the thing hanging on the paper dispenser in Chimpy's office bathroom) specifically protects us from that insanity. At least for a little while longer.

Monday, July 9, 2007

The Army missed it's recruitment goals for June. It also missed for March. The military's response to this is to lower standards once again. I remember back to the Vietnam days when the Army took everyone who passed the physical. This was not the high point of the Armed Forces. The military was swamped with people who couldn't figure out how to not get drafted.
I absolutely do not want to disparage anyone who is willing to serve his (or her) country but the situation with the Army today is indicative of what the Bush Administration has done to the country as a whole.
Five years ago the US military was the absolute best fighting force the world has ever seen. All volunteer with high standards, well equipped with the best equipment, and ready to be deployed to anywhere in the world that they were needed.
Today the Army and Marines are under-manned poorly equipped for the job they are being asked to do and in many cases demoralized by repeated deployments. They are having trouble filling the holes caused by 30000 casualties in Iraq and the loss of desire by the best and the brightest to become part of the military.
This ruining of our military is just one more part of the Bush Administrtion's ongoing destruction of what has made America great.

Saturday, July 7, 2007

Road Trip! Actually we went south from Fylovercountry to the Flatlands. It is hot as hell. The drive was very nice though. The corn and soybean fields look as good as I've ever seen them. I only hope they go for food as opposed to fuel. Either way good crops are a good thing.
The trip was actually to go a wedding. The wife's niece was getting hitched. Very nice wedding and the dresses all looked good! Key thing as the wife does bridal gowns for a living.
The drive back was beautiful as the sun set over the very green fields. As it darkened, we became aware of massive amounts of fireflys in the fields and along the road side. It seemed that there were alot this year in the yard, but obviously this is a bumper crop every where.
As we drove, the occasional strike on the windshield would result in a small flash of light. Very surreal. We by-passed the highway for a couple of miles at the end of the drive and looked out over the fields. The light show was fantastic and we could have driven for miles watching. As it was the road home came to quickly and the drive ended too soon.

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

I just watched the PBS Ken Burns documentary about the Statue of Liberty. I love these docus from Ken. Sometimes they can be a little over the top but this was very entertaining. I know the story of the statue pretty well, but the photos from the construction were really neat.
The interview that I really liked was ex-New York Governor Mario Cuomo paraphrasing his mother's interview at Ellis Island. Husband? ditch-digger, money? none, prospects? my son will become Governor of New York. Certainly a little over the top, but very indicative of what the immigrant experience has been to America.
This brings us to horrendous immigration problem in the US today. Millions of Mexicans rushing across the border to take all the po folks jobs and suck social security to death!
I'm am compelled to look at the history of immigration in this country to get a little perspective. In the 1880's thousands of Chinese were brought in to the US mainly to work on the construction of the intercontinental railroad. As these immigrants moved out of the railroad market and into other areas the US forbade them from becoming US citizens. San Francisco's China Town is a well known remnant of this influx. (I won't get into the Japanese internment camps. Left overs of the anti Asian sentiment of the turn of the century.) Later we saw large numbers of Italian, Irish and German immigrants at the turn of the century. All of these immigrants were looked at as a pox on this country. (Side note: All my HO-Chunk friends have T-Shirts with Geronimo's picture. Caption: Home Land Security Since 1492) Where I'm going here is, the immigration situation in the US is little different then what it was 100 years ago.
"They won't learn English" In Milwaukee in the first quarter of this century there were neighborhoods where you couldn't buy a loaf of bread with out speaking German, or Polish, or Lithuanian. Nana barely spoke any English, Mom and Dad spoke it with a thick accent and spoke their native language at home, the kids speak English and appease the family with a few words of the "Mother Tongue" here and there. What we need to understand here is that this country has been built on the the labor of immigrant groups and this has not destroyed us in the past and won't in the future.
I really want this to be my last post on Scooter, but I'm so disgusted that I have to go at it one last time. Bush says that he only made his decision after much deliberation and consultation with others in his administration.
Its too bad that he didn't have the same consideration about the 157 prisoners he had executed while he was governor of Texas. This includes Karla Tucker the first women executed in Texas since statehood and the execution of a man so retarded that he asked the guards to save his desert from his last dinner until he returned. The standard for the Bush clemency appeal was a short precise from Gonzo, and 30 minutes for consideration from Herr Bush. The affidavit for the severely retarded man did not mention his retardation or the fact that his defense lawyer was not allowed to bring it up to the jury.
No suprise tht 3000 Americans died on 9/11 because he was too preoccupied and that 20000 Americans are casualties of his inattention and that America is responsible for the deaths of another 500000 people in Iraq. Attention to detail is a bitch.

Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Sorry, I thought the first post was lost. As I look at them both, they both make sense.
I have to rethink my previous post about ScooterGate. Many have suggested that the commutaion keeps Scooter from having to come clean as long as the appeal process continues. This fits in with the Sopranos theory of how the Bush Crime Family works. You serve the Don and you are taken care of. Hopefully the congress will eventually break through the code of " omerta"
My second look at ScooterGate makes me rethink that there is no difference between commuting and a pardon. It has been suggested that a pardon would leave him open to having to testify against the rest of the Bush administration with no fear of prosecution while commuting leaves the appeal open. I leave no ulterior motive unturned with this administration, and I have to believe in the Sopranos theory- you take the fall for the Don and let them figure out what is best for you. I await the American Public rising up in righteous indignation!

Monday, July 2, 2007

No real surprise from the Scooter Libby commutation. The only question was when. My money was a little later and a full pardon. Commuting the sentence achieved the same thing, as the prison sentence was the only real punishment. The fine will be paid by the "Friends of Scooter" crowd and the loss of his law license means nothing since the practice of law is only a means to make money. The Law and Justice are foreign concepts to this mercenary crew.
The lefty pundits are suggesting this will not play well with the public (I just watched Olbermann) but here in Flyovercountry the Libby case never struck the chord many thought it would. I fear the lying under oath case was too removed from the possible treason case that engendered it. The only thing left to wait for is the inevitable right wing response of (lets all say it together!) "but Bill Clinton didn't go to jail!"