Thursday, November 23, 2006

Carnival time

Got an old photo album of my wife's grandmother. I uploaded some photos at the about link.

Photos are from 1947 and earlier.

Most were taken in the Midwest at fairs and celebrations.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Rely On Your Beliefs : ROY Blunt, What's He Been Up To?

Blunt Talk: “Make The Democrats Be Democrats”November 13, 2006 at 4:45 pm

Rep. Roy Blunt, who’s running for House Minority Whip, outlined an intriguingly aggressive strategy for the next two years in his just-concluded blogger conference call (organized by the truth laid bear.)

He repeatedly mentioned Chet Edwards and Heath Shuler, who hail from conservative districts, as examples of Democratic congressmen who should be held accountable for voting one way in Washington and talking up the other way back home.
“Agreeing with the White House when it’s appropriate and fighting the White House when it’s not,” he put it. “Maximum pressure” on them, he advocated.
Blunt looked for the day when “conservative ideas and conservative values are once again dominating the work of the Congress.” To do it: “Define Democrats the next two years. … Make the Democrats be Democrats … Defining who they are as real Democrats in Washington. … Put the Democrats on the spot and define the difference”
Blunt seemed to have hit sights set squarely on Democrats like the former Redskins quarterback from North Carolina: “Vote after vote create problems for people like Heath Shuler. … Our best opportunity to take back the majority is the first re-election,” in 2008.
Will House Republicans embrace this offensive? We’ll know when they vote this Friday

More from the interview. The audio can be found at the link below.
Monday, November 13, 2006
Bloggers Talk To Blunt (Update: Audio Added)
Posted by: Mary Katharine Ham at 3:36 PM

Listen to the whole conversation, here.

Townhall will have audio of this call up in just a bit, so I'll post it once we've got it done. It's a quick, enjoyable conversation-- particularly the first question.

Y'all know I'm for a Pence/Shadegg ticket. We can't afford to mess around with not changing leadership. It's not change just for the sake of change; it's change that's needed because the last leadership took us in the wrong direction. And, Pence and Shadegg are gutsy and principled. They've proved it often by butting up against leadership on many occasions when leadership was pushing decidedly non-conservative programs.

That being said, here's Roy Blunt's pitch. He's running for minority whip against Shadegg. I'm interested in y'all's comments on this. I grabbed quotes where I could to give you a taste. Audio and transcript in a bit.

Roy Blunt:

"I don't think our ideas lost on Tuesday; we did."

"We strayed too far from our values and it's time for Republicans to start acting like Republicans."

"We can't let anyone believe that we're for what we for because it's on some kind of list of things we should be for."

"I think we oughtta see what happened Tuesday as a time to learn lessons, be better."

Points to past Republican defeats that served to strengthen conservatism: "The conservative movement became dramatically stronger because of that."

"Last Tuesday was really a significant call to arms for communicating the direction we want this country to go."

Conservative Dems have to choose between Pelosi and their districts. We need to make them, so that two years from now, they're either voting with us and winning back home or voting with Pelosi and paying for it with their seats.

Rob Bluey: You voted for Medicare, NCLB, farm bill, and voted against Rep. Flake's anti-earmark amendments? How could any conservatve support you on that record?

"Well, a lot of conservatives ended up being for those measures."

He takes issue with his own vote on NCLB, arguing that the problem-solving should be done closer to home.

"Overall scoring on votes, day-in and day-out, I'm one of the more conservative Members. I think you ghavce to look at the overall record."

"There are some good things there that really do reform Medicare for the first time."

Would you oppose reauthorization of NCLB?

I'd have to look at exactly what the President wants, but I'd like to see a lot more local control.

John Henke: I don't think anyone thinks you've been ineffective at day-to-day functions, but the larger problem is the appearance of Old Guard staying in control. People want a change of direction. How do you provide it?

"The one leadership function that's never been questioned in the last four years is the job the whip did."

"I do think there's a difference in the majority whip's and the minority whip's role, but I'm not sure the skill set is all that different."

Chet Edwards and Co. (conservative Democrats who have one persona in Washington and another at home) need to be faced with troublesome decisions.

"That's how we beat the Chet Edwardses."

"I"ve been a university president...I've had the opportunity to be a manageer, to try to make things work. You want somebody at the table who brings an understanding of the good things we've done in the past and the mistakes we've made."

Ragnar: People are always saying the right thing. What would give us some reassurance that there will be a change? We're talking about putting the top two guys back in place. What does that say?

"I think you have to really evaluate what's the best team you put in place that creates problems for the Democrats and opportunities for us."

Quin Hillyer: Bob Novak notes a defense of earmarking in your speech at Heritagelast week. Of course it's also been brought up that you didn't support Flake on those issues. Why do you think earmarks are something that should be defended?

"I saw the one sentence from the speech that's in the column and I urge you to look at the next sentence in the speech.

"Reform oughtta be our mantra. I've been very open on whatever earmark reform that's out there."

"I think we oughtta have ultimate transparency...I think we oughtta have minimized earmarking."

ME: He offers up what seems to me a fairly implausible hypothetical and a pretty thin reason for supporting earmarks. He suggests that, if a Member needs border fence built in his district and just can't get it funded, we would want to be able to earmark those funds.

"I don't think we'd want to deny ourselves the ability to do that, out of hand."

ME: I'm sure there are other ways to deal with that problem without enabling billions in mispending.

On the budget:

"I've always voted for whatever was the most conservative budget alternative out there...I've always been there with the most fiscally conservative in the bunch."

"I want to make sure that what the federal government does, it does well."

N.Z. Bear: Lots of talk lately about Bob Gates and the Baker Commission, talk of engaging with Syria and Iran to solve problems in Iraq? What do you think about these ideas and what can you do in the minority to work on them?

"I'd like to see the Baker Commission report before I start speculating."

"I do believe that we need to be constantly reevaluating our strategies...on these Islamic totalitarians...Ideas about how we do that."

"I'm not sure you can have successful engagement with Syria or Iran in that situation...That would not be my initial belief as the way to solve this problem."

"Iraqis have to eventually take responsibility for their own security."

Howard Mortman: What are some defining votes on security in the next two years, you think?

"What do we do about finding out what the terrorists are planning?...We haven't seen any alternatives from the Democrats."

"We need more of those kind of votes on security issues, on tax issues, so everyone in Chet Edwards' home district knows how he feels.

"We need to make sure that, by the time that debate's over, that everyone in his district knows how he (Heath Shuler) feels about the death tax after 2010."

Kim Priestap: There's talk of Conyers dismantling some national security measures?

"They (security measures) oughtta be under constant review."

"We need to be sure that we're putting the maximum pressure on Democrats (refers to the conservative Dems again) make sure they vote that way."

Ragnar: Other than NCLB, is there anything else the Rep. leadership should have done differently than they did?

He wants to see more of what they did on immigration, taking on the White House when they felt it was right.

"I think what we did with that was prove the effecftiveness that the House has in helping drive the agenda."

"The House has, to a great extent, driven the agenda in the right direction."

"The question is, how can we refine that strategy even more?"

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Merritt takes shots at Holden

A story that is slipping through the cracks:

Alledged gang banger shoots up Pizza Hut and home on West Sunshine. Judge Calvin Holden releases him on signature bond.

Merritt goes on TV complaining. Says words to the effect that he will see the guy in jail again.

Ky3 does story on this by Ethan Forhetz. Nothing on the website about it.

Merritt has taken shots at judges before, most notably in last election.

Merritt and Moore want new jail.

Jail holds lots of federal prisoners.

Gang activity and graffitti all over paper and tv.

In Springfield, when talk is about gangs, the underlying gorilla in the room is racism.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Abortion to Blame for Illegal Immigration

David Catonese at the KY3 blog found this:

Posted on Mon, Nov. 13, 2006

Republican report blames abortion for illegal immigration
Associated Press
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. - A divisive new report from a Republican-led Missouri House committee claims abortion is partly to blame for illegal immigration by causing a shortage of American workers.
The report from the Special Committee on Immigration Reform also claims "liberal social welfare policies" have created a disincentive for Americans to work and an enticement for foreigners to cross the border illegally.
All 10 Republican committee members signed the report, but all six Democrats refused to do so. Democrats called the abortion assertion ridiculous and embarrassing.

The Difference Between a Conservative and a Fundamentalist

Andrew Sullivan writes a blog.
I really like it.
You can view his blog here:

The following was found on his blog:

If anyone asks for the difference between a conservative and a fundamentalist, please use this:
A conservative writes the traffic law so you may turn right on red.
A fundamentalist is the driver behind you, honking his/her horn to make you turn right on red.
With corner cops down the street if you choose wrong.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Tough Year for the Religious Right

The scandals have come one after another for the political party he and others in the Christian right consider theirs: Reps. Randy Cunningham (R-Calif.), who pleaded guilty to bribery last November; Rep. Bob Ney (R-Ohio), who pleaded guilty to corruption and conspiracy charges last month after accepting lavish gifts for favors; Jack Abramoff, the convicted fundraiser and briber who provided many of those gifts — and to whom Sheldon himself was linked through payments he received from an Abramoff client, an Internet gambling firm; and, perhaps most upsettingly for the author of “The Homosexual Agenda to Change America,” Rep. Mark Foley (R-Fla.), who was forced to resign his seat after the disclosure of his uninvited sexual communications with male congressional interns.

Then, as if things could not get worse, there was the disgrace of Sheldon’s own friend and colleague, Rev. Ted Haggard, the Colorado mega-church leader and president of the National Association of Evangelicals, an even bigger pillar of Republican support on the Christian right. Sheldon disclosed that he and “a lot” of others knew about Haggard’s homosexuality “for awhile ... but we weren’t sure just how to deal with it.”

2008 Is Only 2 Years Away

I blogged this on Thursday.
"2008 Is Just 2 Years Away 2000, 2002, 2004, 2006.The last six years have given us 4 close elections.To my memory, the Republicans never had a clear mandate in 2000, 2002, and 2004. Although usually we can say one more vote than your opponent is a mandate, the Democrat margin in 2006 was as narrow as the Republican margins in past elections.The Democrats can not sit back on their laurels and relax. 2008 will be tough. " has this to say:
The Republican National Committee has been pointing out that a small shift in votes would have made a big difference.
A shift of 77,611 votes would have given Republicans control of the House, according to Bush's political team.
And a shift of 2,847 votes in Montana, or 7,217 votes in Virginia, or 41,537 votes in Missouri would have given a Republicans control of the Senate.
In addition, the party has calculated that the winner received 51 percent or less in 35 contests, and that 23 races were decided by two percentage points or fewer, 18 races were decided by fewer than 5,000 votes, 15 races were decided by fewer than 4,000 votes, 10 races were decided by fewer than 3,000 votes, eight were decided by fewer than 2,000 votes and five races were decided by fewer than 1,000 votes.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Election's over, Gas goes up

In the comments section on the KY3 Political Blog (
Decision 2006: The Polls Were Right,
one commenter made the following comment in regards to comments Senator McCaskill said:
"For instance, in the debate she said that oil companies were manipulating prices to try and help keep Republicans in office - and you never challenged her on the issue!"

Was she right?
How much was gas the 6 days preceding the election?
How much is gas now.

Iowa Gov. Vilsack Running for President....Who?

By MIKE GLOVER, Associated Press Writer
10/10/2006 1 hour, 23 minutes ago
DES MOINES, Iowa - Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, a centrist Democrat seeking an early edge in an all-but-certain crowded presidential field, launched a long-shot bid for the White House Thursday.

Fifteen months before his own state holds caucuses — the first step in the nominating process — Vilsack announced his candidacy, filed documents with the Federal Election Commission and heralded a multistate tour beginning Nov. 30.

The governor is the first Democrat to file for the presidency although a number of better known candidates are presumed to be running.

"Americans sent a clear message on Tuesday. They want leaders who will take this country in a new direction," he said in a statement. "They want leaders who share their values, understand their needs, and respect their intelligence. That's what I've done as governor of Iowa, and that's what I intend to do as president."

Overshadowing the announcement is the upheaval in Washington as Democrats captured control of the House and Senate in Tuesday's elections. But Vilsack, a little-known Midwest governor, needs all the attention he can get — and the first infusion of campaign cash.
Vilsack said he plans a "Gala Celebration of American Community" on Dec. 2 in Des Moines as his initial fundraising event.

In polls, Vilsack has trailed the other potential candidates, among them front-runner New York Sen. Hillary Rodham and 2004 vice presidential nominee John Edwards.

Earlier this year, the governor even was behind in a survey of Iowans.

"He's the least known of the prospective presidential candidates and he comes from the smallest state, where he will have to do very well," said former aide Ron Parker.

In an Associated Press-AOL News poll conducted in late October, Vilsack didn't receive any mentions when respondents were asked who they would most like to see elected president in 2008.

Vilsack will begin his tour in his hometown of Mount Pleasant, Iowa, and will make stops in New Hampshire, Nevada, Pennsylvania and South Carolina.

Vilsack was born in Pittsburgh, and the other states hold key early tests in the nomination process.

He said he will also announce his candidacy in New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, Nevada and South Carolina.

Vilsack is chairman of the centrist-leaning Democratic Leadership Council and a former chairman of the Democratic Governors Association.

This year, he had made campaign trips to South Carolina and New Hampshire, but also spent the closing weeks of the campaign in his home state helping Democrat Chet Culver win the governorship.

Vilsack, Iowa's first Democratic governor in 30 years, had promised to serve just two terms.

He hasn't been the only Democrat campaigning in Iowa. Several potential, more familiar candidates have traveled to the state, including Edwards and Illinois Sen. Barack Obama. A long string of candidates in both parties have already begun building campaign organizations.

"Caucus-goers in Iowa tend to be pretty independent-minded people," said Steve Hildebrand, who has advised Obama. "They want to audition the full list. They don't automatically go with the hometown guy."

When Iowa Sen. Tom Harkin sought the Democratic nomination in 1992, rivals decided to cede the state to him, but Vilsack is unlikely to get such a break, strategists say.

During his eight years as governor, Vilsack has sought to chart a moderate course. He balanced the state's budget during the recession of 2001 and 2002 by making deep cuts in spending, including furloughing 10 percent of the state's workforce. He resisted pressure to push for tax increases, and signed into law a measure phasing out the sales tax on utility bills.

In addition to creating a presidential campaign committee, his campaign started operating, with an office in Des Moines and letterhead printed. His campaign Web site — — was online by early Thursday.

On the Republican side, Rep. Duncan Hunter (news, bio, voting record) of California has announced the formation of an exploratory committee.
About a dozen other candidates, including Republican Sen. John McCain (news, bio, voting record) of Arizona and Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, are weighing bids.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Larry Morris Cures Homosexuals, He Could Help Haggard

Ted Haggard and his rehabilitation team might want to pay a visit to former state representative Larry Morris.

Morris, a member of the American Association of Christian Counselors, (while a google biography showed him as a member, he does not show up on the AACC website as a practicing counselor specialized in the rehabilitation of homosexuals.

An 1/4 page advertisement for his "Helping Hands" practice that appeared in previous local phone directories showed him to be a member of NARTH (

Morris received his degree from SMSU.

After The Fall

Will the Haggard scandal usher in a new age of Christian tolerance or increase the religious right's homophobia?
By Lauren Sandler
It's not Ted Haggard who gets to write the rhetoric of his sexual history.

It's the nation's No. 1 homophobe, the godfather of the religious right, the tyrant against tolerance, James Dobson.
Dobson's Focus on the Family campus lies just south of New Life Church off I-25, but his reach is global and his compassion for homosexuality is nil.
During Sunday services at New Life, it was announced that Dobson, with a team of two pastors, would be overseeing Haggard's "therapeutic restoration."
Under Dobson's watch, Haggard's "problem" is one the religious right can surely solve with "restoration and rehabilitation," further suggesting to brothers and sisters in Christ that homosexuality is a cancer that must be eliminated by the radiation of faith.

Haggard may even be just what the ex-gay movement was waiting for: a testimony of the highest order, a public figure guilty of chronic sin who can emerge cleansed of his desire, a paragon of sparkling heterosexuality.
As Tanya Erdetz, author of "Straight to Jesus: Sexual and Christian Conversions in the Ex-Gay Movement," points out,
"His story is perfect for the kind of evidence they like to present. Here's an example that this is merely a sin or an addiction, that he can emerge redeemed. You can overcome. This is just how they can be anti-gay and talk about themselves as being compassionate. It's a perfect opportunity."
Michael Cobb points out that Dobson will get to prove through Haggard's "restoration" that the church is more necessary than ever before, that faith is the "technology of redemption," as he puts it. "They can show through Haggard that something actually happens. In some ways it's so scripted, so perfect."

"I don't have the time." Dobson withdraws from Haggard counseling team

Dobson withdraws from Haggard counseling team Focus on Family founder: 'I don't have the time'

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colorado (AP) Nov 8, 12:05 AM
Citing a lack of time, Focus on the Family founder James Dobson withdrew Tuesday from the team overseeing counseling for Rev. Ted Haggard, the evangelical pastor who was fired amid allegations of gay sex and drug use.
"Emotionally and spiritually, I wanted to be of help — but the reality is I don't have the time to devote to such a critical responsibility," Dobson said.
The other two members of the team, Pastors Jack Hayford of The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, California, and Tommy Barnett of First Assembly of God in Phoenix, declined to comment.
Haggard was forced out as senior pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church on Saturday after a former male escort alleged they had sex repeatedly and that Haggard used methamphetamines. (Full story)
In a statement read at the church Sunday, Haggard confessed to unspecified "sexual immorality," accepted responsibility for his actions and asked forgiveness.
The counseling process, called restoration, could take years, said H.B. London, vice president for church and clergy at Focus on the Family.

Dobson to Aid in Counseling Haggard After Gay Sex Allegations

Dobson to Aid in Counseling Haggard
The Associated PressNov 6, 2006 9:04 PM
COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Focus on the Family founder James Dobson will be one of the people overseeing counseling for the Rev. Ted Haggard, the evangelical pastor who was fired amid allegations of gay sex and drug use, a senior official of Dobson's organization said Monday.
The counseling process, called restoration, could take years, said H.B. London, vice president for church and clergy at Focus on the Family, a Colorado Springs-based ministry.
"I think it may be more in helping to set the requirements of the restoration, set the ground rules," London told The Associated Press.
Haggard was forced out as senior pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church in Colorado Springs on Saturday after a former male escort alleged they had sex repeatedly and that Haggard sometimes was on methamphetamines during their trysts.
In a statement read at the church Sunday, Haggard confessed to unspecified "sexual immorality," accepted responsibility for his actions and asked forgiveness.
Dobson will join pastor Jack Hayford of The Church on the Way in Van Nuys, Calif. and the pastor Tommy Barnett of First Assembly of God in Phoenix in overseeing Haggard, according to a letter from Haggard read at New Life services on Sunday.
"Those men will perform a thorough analysis of my mental, spiritual, emotional and physical life. They will guide me through a program with the goal of healing and restoration for my life, my marriage and my family," Haggard wrote.
Hayford's spokesman said he was not available for comment Monday. Barnett did not immediately return a call.

Karl Rove and Robert Siegal on NPR Before the Election

SIEGEL: We're in the home stretch, though, and many would consider you on the optimistic end of realism about -
ROVE: Not that you would be exhibiting a bias ...
SIEGEL: I'm looking at all the same polls that you're looking at every day.
ROVE: No, you're not. No, you're not.
SIEGEL: No, I'm not.
ROVE: No, you're not. You're not. I'm looking at 68 polls a week. You may be looking at four or five public polls a week that talk about attitudes nationally but that do not impact the outcome of -
SIEGEL: I'm looking at main races between - certainly Senate races.
ROVE: Well, like the poll today showing that Corker's ahead in Tennessee, or the poll showing that Allen is pulling away in the Virginia Senate race.
SIEGEL: Leading Webb in Virginia, yeah..
ROVE: Exactly.
SIEGEL: But you've seen the DeWine race and the Santorum race - I don't want to have you call races.
ROVE: Yeah, I'm looking at all these, Robert, and adding them up, and I add up to a Republican Senate and Republican House. You may end up with a different math, but you're entitled to your math, I'm entitled to THE math.
SIEGEL: Well, I don't know if we're entitled to our different math, but you're certainly -
ROVE: I said THE math.

What Other Think of US

Bush said he told everyone Rumsfeld would stay on because he didn't want to make a change about the war in the middle of campaign season, so he lied to the reporters.

"Both those men are doing fantastic jobs and I strongly support them," Bush said in an interview with The Associated Press and others.

from Irish Radio:

Top Stories
Thursday November 9, 2006
Rumsfeld's Ouster, First Repercussion of Republican Defeat
The embarrassing defeat of the Republicans and the landside victory of the Democrats were completed by the resignation of US Defence Secretary, Donald Rumsfeld.
Yes, the Democrats are now in control of both the House and Senate after 12 years of near-domination by the Republican Party. Democrats completed their sweep Wednesday evening by winning a 51st seat at the Senate, ousting Republican Senator, George Allen, of Virginia, the last of six GOP incumbents to lose re-election bids in the midterm election.

Replacing Rumsfeld: Why Is It OK that the President Lied?

Replacing Rumsfeld: Why Is It OK that the President Lied?
Thursday, November 09, 2006
By Susan Estrich
White lies?
Since when is it OK for a president to lie to reporters?

Wasn’t it just last week that the president told reporters that both
Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney were staying on their jobs for the next two years?

It was an important question.
The president didn’t duck.
He didn’t give one of those mealy mouthed, we’ll see answers.
He said yes, they’re both staying.
And even as he said it, they were getting ready to get rid of
He must have known that.
He hadn’t talked to Gates yet, but Gates was being vetted for the Defense job at the time. Surely, the president knew that.
Excuse me, but it doesn’t add up to an honest answer.
Am I the only one who’s wondering why it is that the president is allowed to intentionally mislead people, and no one says “boo.”
I know I’m not supposed to say this (my conservative friends get so bent out of shape when liberals accuse the president of “lying” but if the shoe fits….) but is it because we’re so used to it?
Does it just go without saying that politicians “lie” – excuse me, don’t tell the truth, that is, mislead, and it’s OK.
Pretty pitiful, wouldn’t you say?
Part of the whole disgusting world of negative ads, grubbing for money, trading on power, selling influence.
If so much didn’t depend on it, it would be the kind of business any decent person would wash their hands of.
I recall another president who mislead people about his sex life, and my conservative friends went ballistic.
Is it somehow worse to lie about your sex life than about who is going to be defense secretary?

Or are we all just so used to presidents lying to us that we accept it without blinking?

I wanted you to move on to another question, the president explained to reporters, as if that is a reason for lying.
Sure he did.
But isn’t there something wrong with that?
There were a hundred ways that the president could have answered the question that would have left the door open to a replacement, so that he would not have lied.
He didn’t choose any of them.
Corruption was the second reason, after the Iraq war, for the Republicans’ loss.
But corruption doesn’t just mean taking money or coming on to young boys.
It means not having any credibility because you don’t tell the truth.
About things that matter.
It means losing the confidence of the people who elected you.
Which the Republicans have done.
Everybody was making the right noises on the day after the election.
Nancy Pelosi talked about working with the president.
The president invited her to lunch.
There were all the correct shouts and murmurs about bipartisanship.
If you believe it, I’ve got a beautiful bridge to show you.
If the president couldn’t get his agenda through when his own party controlled the House and the Senate, does anyone honestly expect that he will accomplish more with both houses narrowly in the control of the other party, while the president is the lamest of ducks, his popularity in the toilet, not to mention the fact that every other senator (and even the occasional House member) is now running for president?
I don’t want to rain on the parade, but it sure sounds like a recipe for paralysis to me.
That’s not politically correct, but it’s probably right.
Shall we tell the people, or just assume that they’re not smart enough to figure it out?
The most you can expect is that Democrats will be demanding some change in policy on Iraq, and will use such occasions as confirmation hearings for a new defense secretary to explore what that new policy will be.
The president has now given them their first opportunity to hold his feet to the fire.
That’s fine.
But what’s so troubling about it, maybe just to me, is that he gave it to them by breaking his word while barely acknowledging that he never planned on keeping it; or that he owed anyone an apology; or that he had any obligation to tell people the truth in the first instance.
All of which may have more to do with why he lost the election in the first place than Mr. Bush wants to acknowledge

Now Rush is saying he lied too.

Young voters, The Daily Show, The Colbert Report

How much of an influence did YouTube, MySpace, The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have in this election.

Joe Scarbough said that every politican, Democrat or Republican, who appeared on the Colbert Report won their race.

Did the young people turn out to vote en masse this election cycle? I hope so!

Would they have turned out more if there had been a military draft?

I was number 35 in the first lottery. The first presidental election I was eligible to vote was in 1972. I was overseas. I voted for McGovern.

Rumsfeld's gone from Andrew Sullivan's blog

Rumsfeld Shrugs
08 Nov 2006 06:35 pm

This was the final insult - to you and to me:

In brief remarks, Rumsfeld described the Iraq conflict as a "little understood, unfamiliar war" that is "complex for people to comprehend."

He then compared himself to Churchill. Yep: still clinical.

The truth is: it was Rumsfeld who little understood and was unfamiliar with the actual conflict he was tasked with managing.

It was not too "complex for people to comprehend."
It was relatively easy to comprehend.
If you invade a post-totalitarian country and disband its military, you better have enough troops to keep order. We didn't.
Rumsfeld refused to send enough.
When this was made clear to him and to everyone, he still refused. His arrogant belief in a military that didn't need any actual soldiers was completely at odds with the actual task in Iraq. But he preferred to sit back as tens of thousands of Iraqis were murdered and thousands of U.S. troops died rather than to check his own ego.

So let me put this as simply as I can:
Rumsfeld has blood on his hands - American and Iraqi blood. He also directly ordered and personally monitored the torture of military detainees. He secured legal impunity for his own war crimes, but that doesn't mean the Congress shouldn't investigate more fully what he authorized.
He remains one of the most incompetent defense secretaries in history (McNamara looks good in comparison).
But he is also a war criminal: a torturer who broke the laws of this country. The catastrophe in Iraq will stain him for ever.
His record of torture has indelibly stained the United States.

2008 Is Just 2 Years Away

2000, 2002, 2004, 2006.

The last six years have given us 4 close elections.

To my memory, the Republicans never had a clear mandate in 2000, 2002, and 2004. Although usually we can say one more vote than your opponent is a mandate, the Democrat margin in 2006 was as narrow as the Republican margins in past elections.

The Democrats can not sit back on their laurels and relax. 2008 will be tough. has this to say:
The Republican National Committee has been pointing out that a small shift in votes would have made a big difference. A shift of 77,611 votes would have given Republicans control of the House, according to Bush's political team. And a shift of 2,847 votes in Montana, or 7,217 votes in Virginia, or 41,537 votes in Missouri would have given a Republicans control of the Senate. In addition, the party has calculated that the winner received 51 percent or less in 35 contests, and that 23 races were decided by two percentage points or fewer, 18 races were decided by fewer than 5,000 votes, 15 races were decided by fewer than 4,000 votes, 10 races were decided by fewer than 3,000 votes, eight were decided by fewer than 2,000 votes and five races were decided by fewer than 1,000 votes.

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Random thoughts on post election

I got up early and voted at 6:15 am, was 34th ballot through the machine.

Met up with Sara Lampe at 7:00, we took the bus, plunge, and drove to polling places with coffee and doughnuts for literature volunteers.

We made certain we were more than 25 feet away from the polling place door at each polling place we visited.

The first stop at the fire station across from SMSU, correction, MSU, on Grand Avenue, someone complained about the bus and the head polling worker came out, looked us over, and dismissing any concern about where we were parked.

At Trinity Lutheran, Sara was pouring a cup of coffee for a voter and stepped in a low spot in the parking lot as she was turning. Down she went. The paper has a photo of her and Champion meeting at Delaware school polling place, Sara has her wrist on ice. Lot's of voters.

We stopped at Roundtree school and visited with voters, then went out to Oak Grove Community Center. Smiles and waves

I don't like polling places at churches. I vote at the Baptist Church on Fort street across from Boys and Girl's Town. It is inconvenient to park, the entrance is on a slopped parking lot, hard for us older folks to get in.

Asbury Methodist has a nice level parking lot. I did help one elderly lady with a walker get over the curb. I didn't notice if there were curb cuts in the sidewalk or not. Lot's of voters here.
My Mom votes here, she was 268 at 10:30 am. She wasn't a waver, she's 78, a two handed driver.

I told her when she moved back to Springfield last Spring, NOT to cross Campbell Avenue while on Portland. The first time she did, you guessed it, she got T boned. There ought to be a light at that intersection. Now, she avoids that intersection like the plague and will go out of her way to head South on Campbell. I told her to use Jefferson to go south, less traffic, less lights and slower paced. She goes to Michael's and Hobby Lobby a lot, whichever has the 50% coupon in the Sunday paper.

Got a lot of dirty looks at Oak Grove. We sat in the bus and ate McSalty's sub sandwiches and diet cokes. Lots of voters.

We developed this theory, if people waved when they saw the bus, we counted them as a yes vote. If they didn't wave or looked straight ahead and tryed to ignore us, and we weren't that conspicuous, just in a short yellow bus with "Vote Today" plastered all over it, we counted them as a "no" vote.

Of course, there are exceptions to every theory, if you were an elderly driver or were an elderly driver with those big sunglasses, and didn't wave, we counted you as an undecided voter unless we knew the voter, reasoning that these drivers were paying more attention to their driving than their surroundings, which may or may not be a good thing.

At Glendale Baptist Church, we pulled in right on schedule and parked about a 1/3 of the way up the parking lot. At the entrance door to the polling place, 25 feet away I am pretty sure, was Sara's opponent, Steve Helms. I estimate that a little less than half of the people who came to vote while we were there, were wavers.

After we had been there about 15 minutes, a car pulled in, a none-waver, drove up and talked to Helms. The driver then got out a camera and started towards the bus taking pictures as he walked up to us.

Sara asked him why he was taking pictures. He said it was because it was a cute bus and he wanted pictures of it. Turned out he was working for the republicans and they sent him out to get photos of us, sort of like intimidation. I know well the trick, try to get the most unflattering photo of your opposition and plaster it all over your mailings. This was not a Macca spot.

I developed another theory, people who drive big Dodge pickups on election day don't wave.

Went to Delaware school and met with Claire McCaskill.....boy what a squeaker that one was! She will be a good senator for us. Her rural strategy worked. She told she was going to focus on SW Missouri during her senatorial campaign, she focused on SW Missouri during her senatorial campaign and after she won she told us she focused on SW Missouri during her campaign. Sort of like a teacher, tell'em what you're going to teach, teach'em, tell'em what you taught'em.

Went to the Democrat watch party, ate some hotel food, got heartburn, my wife picked me up after she got off work and came home watched MSNBC until 1:30, after McCaskill was declared a winner I went to sleep.

Got up this morning, listened to the news, got the bus, picked my grandsons up at school....they were glad to be in the bus instead of the S-10 and came home.

Life is good.

Democrats Sweep: Bush Takes a Thumpin'

The Republican GOTV program worked yesterday.
Unfortunately, most of them voted for Democrats.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

It's All Haggard's Wife's Fault!

This from Andrew Sullivan, the Daily Dish:

Sunday, November 5, 2006
Blaming Haggard's Wife
05 Nov 2006 02:10 pm
My jaw is still on the floor after reading this, because it is not fom the Onion, it is from a blog by an evangelical pastor, Mark Driscoll, trying to draw some conclusions from the Haggard affair.

One of his conclusions is this:

"Most pastors I know do not have satisfying, free, sexual conversations and liberties with their wives. At the risk of being even more widely despised than I currently am, I will lean over the plate and take one for the team on this.
It is not uncommon to meet pastors’ wives who really let themselves go; they sometimes feel that because their husband is a pastor, he is therefore trapped into fidelity, which gives them cause for laziness. A wife who lets herself go and is not sexually available to her husband in the ways that the Song of Songs is so frank about is not responsible for her husband’s sin, but she may not be helping him either."

Beyond belief. But this is the patriarchal voice of Christianism speaking. And now we are hearing what it says in private. If you like this kind of value system, you know how to empower them still further next Tuesday.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Karl, are you listening?

The best column Tom Friedman has ever written:

Let Karl know that you're not stupid. Let him know that you know that the most patriotic thing to do in this election is to vote against an administration that has — through sheer incompetence — brought us to a point in Iraq that was not inevitable but is now unwinnable.

Let Karl know that you think this is a critical election, because you know as a citizen that if the Bush team can behave with the level of deadly incompetence it has exhibited in Iraq — and then get away with it by holding on to the House and the Senate — it means our country has become a banana republic.

Why women live longer than men

Interesting vehicles

4 Leading Military Papers: "Rumsfeld Must Go"

4 Leading Military Papers: 'Rumsfeld Must Go'
By E&P Staff Published: November 03, 2006 11:00 PM ET

NEW YORK An editorial set to appear on Monday -- election eve -- in the four leading newspapers for the military calls for the resignation of Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld.

The papers are the Army Times, Air Force Times, Navy Times and Marine Corps Times. They are published by the Military Times Media Group, a subsidiary of Gannett Co., Inc.

President Bush said this week that he wanted Rumsfeld to serve out the next two years.

"We say that Rumsfeld must be replaced,” Alex Neill, the managing editor of the Army Times, told The Virginian-Pilot Friday night.

“Given the state of affairs with Iraq and the military right now, we think it’s a good time for new leadership there.”

The editorial was based on a decision of the publications’ editorial board, Neill told the paper. The timing of the editorial was coincidental, Neill said.But he added, "President Bush came out and said that Donald Rumsfeld is in for the duration … so it’s just a timely issue for us. And our position is that it is not the best course for the military” for Rumsfeld to remain the Pentagon chief.

Neill said he was uncertain how troops will react. “I think we’ll hear from both sides,” he said. “It will be interesting to find out if it swings significantly one way or the other."

The Ross Report at the Web site of the San Francisco Chronicle posted the advance text of the editorial tonight, and this was cited by MSNBC. Andrew S. Ross is executive foreign and national editor of the paper.

Here is the text, as posted, under the heading,

"Time for Rumsfeld to go."

"So long as our government requires the backing of an aroused and informed public opinion ... it is necessary to tell the hard bruising truth. "That statement was written by Pulitzer Prize-winning war correspondent Marguerite Higgins more than a half-century ago during the Korean War.

But until recently, the "hard bruising" truth about the Iraq war has been difficult to come by from leaders in Washington.

One rosy reassurance after another has been handed down by President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld: "mission accomplished," the insurgency is "in its last throes," and "back off," we know what we're doing, are a few choice examples.

Military leaders generally toed the line, although a few retired generals eventually spoke out from the safety of the sidelines, inciting criticism equally from anti-war types, who thought they should have spoken out while still in uniform, and pro-war foes, who thought the generals should have kept their critiques behind closed doors.

Now, however, a new chorus of criticism is beginning to resonate. Active-duty military leaders are starting to voice misgivings about the war's planning, execution and dimming prospects for success.

Army Gen. John Abizaid, chief of U.S. Central Command, told a Senate Armed Services Committee in September: "I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I've seen it ... and that if not stopped, it is possible that Iraq could move towards civil war."

Last week, someone leaked to The New York Times a Central Command briefing slide showing an assessment that the civil conflict in Iraq now borders on "critical" and has been sliding toward "chaos" for most of the past year.

The strategy in Iraq has been to train an Iraqi army and police force that could gradually take over for U.S. troops in providing for the security of their new government and their nation.But despite the best efforts of American trainers, the problem of molding a viciously sectarian population into anything resembling a force for national unity has become a losing proposition.

For two years, American sergeants, captains and majors training the Iraqis have told their bosses that Iraqi troops have no sense of national identity, are only in it for the money, don't show up for duty and cannot sustain themselves.

Meanwhile, colonels and generals have asked their bosses for more troops. Service chiefs have asked for more money.

And all along, Rumsfeld has assured us that things are well in hand.

Now, the president says he'll stick with Rumsfeld for the balance of his term in the White House.

This is a mistake.It is one thing for the majority of Americans to think Rumsfeld has failed. But when the nation's current military leaders start to break publicly with their defense secretary, then it is clear that he is losing control of the institution he ostensibly leads.

These officers have been loyal public promoters of a war policy many privately feared would fail. They have kept their counsel private, adhering to more than two centuries of American tradition of subordination of the military to civilian authority.And although that tradition, and the officers' deep sense of honor, prevent them from saying this publicly, more and more of them believe it.

Rumsfeld has lost credibility with the uniformed leadership, with the troops, with Congress and with the public at large.

His strategy has failed, and his ability to lead is compromised. And although the blame for our failures in Iraq rests with the secretary, it will be the troops who bear its brunt.

This is not about the midterm elections. Regardless of which party wins Nov. 7, the time has come, Mr. President, to face the hard bruising truth:Donald Rumsfeld must go.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Wow---You gotta read this!

Missouri Citizens for Ethics. ORG

I just received 2 phone calls, one from the Missouri Citizens for Ethics, suggesting that Sara Lampe is under investigation by the Mo Ethics Commission for accepting illegal campaign contributions. There was no paid for tag on the end of the phone call.

I suspect that this is more the work of the Republicans as Tim Trower had posted this information on the ky3 blog several days ago---see the ky3 political blog post about Nancy Hagan.

So I went to the website, not a clue who it is or how to contact other than via email

Interesting to note that Norma Champion is doing the same thing that the Republicans are accusing Sara Lampe of doing. Wonder when the ethics report against Champion will be filed.

The second phone call was from the wife of Steve Helms lamenting the personal attacks against her husband. She said he is a nice guy and we should vote for him. Again, not a tag on who paid for the phone call.

What's your Plan?

SPRINGFIELD, Mo., Nov 3 (Reuters) - President George W. Bush challenged Democrats on Friday to offer their plan for winning in Iraq as he swept across Republican strongholds in the U.S. heartland to try to help his party's candidates survive on Election Day.

Encouraging audience participation from thousands of Republican loyalists at a rally, Bush said Democrats should be asked, "What's your plan?" for winning in Iraq and a host of other national security issues separating the parties.
"What's your plan?" the audience yelled back.

Wasn't he a cheerleader when he was in college? Somethings never change.....cheering for losing teams.

Does Bush have a plan?

Stay the course?

Reflective of the difficult political landscape for Republicans, they were all states Bush won in 2004: Montana, Nevada, Missouri, Iowa, Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas, Arkansas, Florida and Texas.
His strategy is to appear in Republican strongholds, try to encourage as big a turnout as possible and hope that concern about Iraq and various Republican scandals do not depress the number of loyalists who turn out.

Methamphetamine ok, gay sex not!

disgraced pastor Haggard says he did meth but not gay sex.
Guess in his eyes doing meth is tolerable but gay sex is not.

Phone calls

Just got a phone call from the Republican Party, recorded call, telling me if we elect liberal Democrats, we will lose the war on terror.

sort of ties in with Bush's speech this morning, all on terror?

Thursday night I got a call from out of Ohio, wanting to know if I planned to vote next Tuesday: Yes.
Did I plan to vote for Jim Talent or Claire McCaskill: McCaskill.
Was I pro-life or pro-choice: pro-life.
I was then subjected to about 60 seconds of how McCaskill was in favor of partial birth abortions, McCaskill was in favor of taking minors across state lines for abortions, McCaskill did not respect human life.
I listened not because it was going to change my mind, but because I was amazed at how hateful the message had become.
This was a pretty nasty phone call, and with Bush coming to town tomorrow, Talent must be hurting.
Remember his comment to Russert on Meet the Press: didn't think he was a great president, better than Carter, not as good as Ronald Reagan.
Maybe this big evangelist caught in the gay sex scandal will kill the kerry story. But I bet Bush mentions it tomorrow ---the Kerry comment, not the gay evangelical scandal.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

more on Haggard

What I don't like about the evangelical right

scroll down to July 27, 2006

I orginally started this post with a comparison between malls and mega churches. It is something that has been coasting in the back of my mind for awhile.

A friend of mine thinks it's not malls or superwalmarts, it's country clubs. Controlled, sterile environments with no reality to the real world, sort of like a gated community.

"New Life's building has all the grace and charm of a Super Wal-Mart, but its inelegant bulk is swallowed up by the vast open spaces of the Rocky Mountains. Across the valley, the Air Force Academy's jagged, jet-age steel structures are clearly visible below the Front Range. Just down the road is the campus of James Dobson's Focus on the Family. Dobson and he are good friends, Haggard says, though they lead with very different styles."

Read the entire story here:

Evangelical Leader quits, denies male escort's allegations

Fresh from the CNN wire service:

POSTED: 8:47 p.m. EST, November 2, 2006

(CNN) -- The president of the National Association of Evangelicals resigned Thursday after denying an accusation by a male prostitute that the pastor paid him for sex over three years.
The Rev. Ted Haggard said he is also temporarily stepping aside from the pulpit of his church in Colorado Springs, Colorado, pending an internal investigation by the church.
The National Association of Evangelicals is an umbrella group for more than 45,000 churches and some 30 million members across the country.
"I did not have a homosexual relationship with a man in Denver," Haggard told Denver, Colorado, station KUSA. "I am steady with my wife. I'm faithful to my wife."
Haggard is married and has five children according to the National Association of Evangelicals Web site.
Colorado is one of eight states where voters will consider bans on same-sex marriage in Tuesday's elections, and Haggard has been a supporter of the measure.
In 2005 Time magazine put Haggard on its list of the 25 most influential evangelical leaders, noting his participation in a weekly conference call with White House staffers and other religious leaders.
Haggard, 50, put himself on administrative leave as senior pastor of the 14,000-member New Life Church. Haggard said in a written statement that he could "not continue to minister under the cloud created by the accusations made on Denver talk radio this morning."
"I am voluntarily stepping aside from leadership so that the overseer process can be allowed to proceed with integrity," he said. "I hope to be able to discuss this matter in more detail at a later date. In the interim, I will seek both spiritual advice and guidance."
Under the church's governing structure, a board of overseers made up of four senior pastors of other congregations will lead the inquiry, with the power to discipline or remove Haggard or restore him to the pulpit, the statement said.
The allegations were made Tuesday and Wednesday on Denver radio station KHOW by a man named Mike Jones, who claimed to be a male prostitute and said he had a three-year sexual relationship with Haggard.
Jones told The Associated Press he went public with his accusations because he was "angry" about Haggard's stance in the state's political fight over same-sex marriage.
In the statement issued late Thursday afternoon by the church announcing his leave, Haggard did not repeat his earlier denials.
Amid the furor over the allegations, Haggard received support from another prominent religious conservative leader, James Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family. It also is based in Colorado Springs.
"It is unconscionable that the legitimate news media would report a rumor like this based on nothing but one man's accusation," Dobson said in a written statement issued before Haggard's leave was announced.
"Ted Haggard is a friend of mine, and it appears someone is trying to damage his reputation as a way of influencing the outcome of Tuesday's election -- especially the vote on Colorado's marriage-protection amendment, which Ted strongly supports," Dobson said.
CNN's Delia Gallagher contributed to this report.

The guy Haggard was supposedly paying to have sex with was 49 years old.

I wonder what Rush will have to say on this tomorrow?
Gee, these guys make Jimmy Swaggert look like an altar boy.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Evangelical right to vote Libertarian?

Look for disillusioned Evangelical right Christian's to be voting for Libertarian's this election.
They can't quite make the leap to Democrats, but they are discouraged with the Republicans.

They have such civic duty that they can not stay home from the polls. So, not Republicans, not Democrats, but Libertarians or other third parties.

Lucile Morris Upton and Vance Randolph

I like old books about the Ozarks and books by Ozark authors. Except Harold Bell Wright, his books don't interest me. In one of my old books, by Vance Randolph were several pieces of correspondence from the 1935s between Vance Randolph and Lucile Morris Upton.

I have had them for several years and completely forgot about them until I was sitting in my chair by the bookcase and started pulling out Vance Randolph books and re-reading them. They are intesting enough to share.

The publisher wrote on the dust jacket for Hedwig:

For years readers and critics alike have been asking when Vance Randolph would write a novel. His previous book of folklore and short stories, his mastery of the picturesque and vivid phrase, his understanding of humanity, his broad tolerance and easy humore have marked him as a man of unusual literary talents. Incidently, Mr. Randolph's Ozark Mountain Folks was selected by the American Library Association as one of the forty most distinguished books of its year.

Mr. Randolph has more than justified the confidence these readers feel in him.

Hedwig is the story of a German-Russian girl who comes to the Ozarks by way of Kansas and Oklahoma. Hedwig herself, stolid, simple, peasant-like, uncomplaining, possesses the "patience of the grass"; in the course of her short life all things happen to her and nothing overwhelms nor embitters her. Migration, glamourour young love, harships, marriage, brutality, childbirth, divorce, illicit loves, poverty, prostitution---one after another, she experiences each and emerges philosophic and undented.

We recommend Hedwig to readers who enjoy an honest story bravely told.

Yeap, that's what the blurb on the dust jacket reads.

On the inside front cover of the book is this inscription in blue ink written in cursive:

"Dear Lucile Morris:
The fact that you will not like this book disturbs me,
because I know that there are so many people who
will agree with you
Vance Randolph
Topeka, Kan
June 6, 1935"

And, stuck in a copy of From An Ozark Holler, a letter from Randolph to Miss Morris, dated September 10, 1933. Typed in pica type, it reads as follows:

303 West Euclid Ave.
Pittsburg, Kansas,
September 10, 1933

Dear Miss Morris:

I am writing my publishers to send you a review copy of my new book FROM AN OZARK HOLLER, a collection of short stories which the Vanguard Press people are bringing out October 1st.

That crack you made last year about my stuff being "raw" disturbed me. I wouldn't in the least mind writing a dirty book -- I think that smut has a liegitmate place in literature -- but I would want to do it intentitionally and deliberately. If there was anything "raw" in OZARK MOUNTAIN FOLKS it was unintentional -- just clumsy and ambuous carpentry.

In this new book, however, I think I have cut out everything ( except perhaps one single sentence) that could possibly make you feel as if you had "busted into the livery stable, and overheard something not intended for your ears!"

I have often wondered what you think about Joyce, and Hemingway, and Faulkner, and Cabell, and Sherwood Anderson, and even people like Kay Boyle...

How goes your book on the Bald Knobbers?

Hastily but sincerely,

Vance Randolph

As Antiques Roadshow has taught me, this stuff has provinence!

Are Politicians Honest?

Are politicians honest?

Well, let me explain it to something about our politicians. If they tell you the truth, you can believe every word of it.

But when they gets to lying, you better not put no confidence in them at all.

I'd be a Republican with apologies to Vance Randolph

One time the boys got to talking politics, and one fellow says, "Just give me one good reason why you're a Democrat.

Well, old man Bledsoe says his father was a Democrat and his grandfather was a Democrat, so naturally he's a Democrat too.

"Hell, that ain't no reason," says the other fellow. "What if your father and grandfather was both horse-thieves! Would you have to be a horse-thief, too?"

Old man Bledsoe just grinned. "No," he says, "in that case I reckon I'd be a Republican."

Hot Springs and Hell, and other Folk Jests and Anecdotes from the Ozarks, Collected and annotated by Vance Randolph. Published by Folklore Associates, Hatboro, Pennsylvania, 1965.

Randolph's notes:
Told by T. A. McQuary, Galena, MO, December, 1935. McQuary and I were almost the only Democrats in the village, and he told this tale in a loud voice for the benefit of our neighbors.

Heers, Red Light Cameras, New Jail

There is a letter to the editor in today's News-Leader asking where the city got the money to buy the Heer's building.

Couple of days ago there was a letter in the same paper figuring up the costs of the new red light cameras (approximately $4,000 per direction per interection==$16,000 per the total tune of about 3.5 million dollars.)

A city municipal court employee embezzles millions of dollars.

After being voted down several times the city decides to use existing funds to build a crime lab.

It appears that when the council and city decides to spend my money they just decide, regardless of what the voters have said.

Oh sure, they let us decide the important things: liquor in the parks, 18-21 year olds in bars. My thought is if you are old enough to fight and die in Iraq, if you are old enough to vote, you ought to be old enough to make up your own mind if you want to go to a bar or not.

I am dreading getting my property tax bill this year.