Monday, March 31, 2008

Arrest that man...He's wearing a T-shirt!

Free Speech will apparently get you arrested, but which speech depends on who is in power. If you were to wear a shirt praising the Iraq War and it's cost in lives and money and lost security, would the Mall Police still arrest you?

This should not happen in my America:

An 80-year-old church deacon was removed from the Smith Haven Mall yesterday in a wheelchair and arrested by police for refusing to remove a T-shirt protesting the Iraq War.

I'll be traveling today and performing civic duties this evening. You'll have to maintain the outrage without me.



Sunday, March 30, 2008

Tanned, Rested, and Ready...

Tanned, rested and ready...The Grand Overlord and Supreme Nice Guy at has the week's best of the best of Tennessee Blogs.

Glad to see Randy overcame his yearnings and good sensibilities and came back from vacation. Had to be a conflicted decision, fer sure.

Views of Texas

From a Delegate: credentials were challenged. Along with the credentials of a large swath of the elected delegates. After six or so extremely hot, crowded, confusing hours, many of us were unable to determine why, exactly, our credentials had been challenged. The Clinton camp had announced that they were targeting the 23rd district for credentials challenges and, by god, that's what they did.

By the end, the Clinton folks were willing -- hell, eager -- to throw out not just random individuals but the entire delegation of 2 precincts. (So much for voter enfranchisement, eh, Hills?)

The protest process was tailor-made for alienating committed voters, wearing them out to the point where they would drop out. By the end of the night, the convention floor was abuzz with tired, pissed-off voters who now hate Hillary with the fire of a thousand suns.

And this:

"Despite the Clinton campaign's widespread attempts to prevent many Texans from participating in their district convention, the voters of Texas confirmed Senator Obama's important delegate win in the Lone Star State," said Obama spokesman Josh Earnest. "Today's record-shattering turnout sends a clear message that the American people are ready for change in Washington and new leadership
in the White House that will stand up for working families."

Now...some folks are complaining that I'm picking on Hillary too much. Possibly so, but no one has challenged any fact I've presented here. Hillary was my second choice, after Edwards, when all this started and she has earned my disloyalty primarily with scorched earth campaign tactics. But, just to lay off Hillary for a bit, here's this quote from J.J. MCain explaining all that is wrong with his qualities and their suitability for the Presidency:

“I feared that if I answered honestly I could not win the South Carolina primary, so I chose to compromise my principles.”

McCain may be the biggest flip flopper in the history of presidential campaigns, with daily reminders that he'll say anything he feels helps his cause, true or not...Well, that is, if he can remember what it is that he's supposed to say without Joe Lieberman whispering in his ear.
So now, my view of the world in the misty morning rain over Whites Creek gorge, I come to the conclusion that I dislike John McCain and Hillary for the same reasons, best observed in the words of Mr. McCain himself...

"I chose to compromise my principles.”

America wants an honest President for a change...One who will respect them, fight for the Constitution they cherish and that makes this country possible.

We want a President who is, above all, fair and plays by the rules.

Obama wins Texas in spite of Clinton's lawyers. Bill Clinton said it himself, "Hillary needs Texas and Ohio in order to win."



Friday, March 28, 2008

Relaxing with the Candidates

Becky Ruppe visits with Lincoln Davis.
Tony Brown and Lincoln compare notes.
Becky Ruppe is absolutely impressive. I had only met her once before, in Nashville where she was working the legislature for one of her projects for Morgan County.
She will make a great State Senator for Roane County.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

'How stupid do you think I am?"

That is the question Democratic Super Delegates are asking Hillary Clinton.

"...Democratic Party insiders say they believe Clinton's direct attacks against Sen. Barack Obama in recent days are hurting the party and its chances in November, and also say it is showing a calculated, desperate-to-win side of Clinton that they dislike..."

"A full and fair debate about issues and differences and even fights is good," the delegate said. "Mud slinging, personal attacks and lying is never good for any political fight or party. And I see lot of that coming from one side more than the other."

The delegates said there is little the party or its leaders can do to prevent the current back and forth. But some said they were increasingly in touch with Clinton campaign officials to say their support is in jeopardy. "Uncommitted delegates can come out and say, 'If you don't stop this now, we won't vote for you,'" one uncommitted superdelegate said.

I don't think there's anything I can add to that. It's pretty plain language meaning, "Ok, Hillary...You can stay in the race if you want to even though everybody with a pencil knows it's over, but quit with the lying and tearing down your own political party!"

This should be on every Op-Ed in America.

Clinton has done more to harm her own image than anything else. Three months ago, I was defending her against the very conservatives she now has contributing to her campaign. Now I'm disappointed and highly motivated against her.

So be it.



Wednesday, March 26, 2008

She Coulda been a Contender

What do the President of the Progressive National Baptist Convention, the President of the Interdenominational Theological Seminary, the President of the National Baptist Convention of America , several Rabbis and other diverse religious leaders from all over America have in common?

They all condemn Hillary Clinton's actions with regard to Barack Obama's minister and trying to use this in such a divisive way for personal political gain.

An excerpt from the open letter to Hillary Clinton:

"There are those among us who support Rev. Wright and believe his comments were deeply misconstrued. There are others among us who reject his words outright, even in context. But across these lines, we stand together, White and Black, Protestant and Catholic, Christian and Jew. No candidate should use religion as a tool to divide the American people, as you have done today. "

The Letter

I personally become more disenchanted with Hillary Clinton as each day goes by and she commits grievous transgressions like this one. She has never done things like this before and I can only assume she is taking direction from a campaign advisor with absolutely no conscience or feeling for this nation.

Hillary is making a deal with the devil. She cannot win. She can only destroy.

There are now calls for her withdrawal from the race for the Democratic nomination, particularly as her credibility is increasingly called into question by her petty political gaffes.

It is past time for Hillary to bow out. The longer her campaign continues, the more destructive to Progressive values she seems to become.

This is a sad thing for me. I believed in Hillary Clinton as a good person and now I don't.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

How Dare Hillary!

How dare Hillary Clinton make a disparaging remark about Barak Hussein Obama's religion?

After all...Hillary's prayer group is as goofy as it gets.

The Fellowship's long-term goal is "a leadership led by God—leaders of all levels of society who direct projects as they are led by the spirit." According to the Fellowship's archives, the spirit has in the past led its members in Congress to increase U.S. support for the Duvalier regime in Haiti and the Park dictatorship in South Korea. The Fellowship's God-led men have also included General Suharto of Indonesia; Honduran general and death squad organizer Gustavo Alvarez Martinez; a Deutsche Bank official disgraced by financial ties to Hitler; and dictator Siad Barre of Somalia, plus a list of other generals and dictators. (Hillary)Clinton, says Schenck, has become a regular visitor to Coe's Arlington, Virginia, headquarters, a former convent where Coe provides members of Congress with sex-segregated housing and spiritual guidance.

Straight Talk

Well ,the Media, and I use that term loosely these days, seems to have seized on Hillary's mis-rememberance of her landing under not-sniper fire in Bosnia.

She was obviously doing the memory-creep brain dance to buff her war cred but then the video popped up and blew up her story. I want nothing so much as an honest candidate running for President and these little lies adding up have not turned me away from Hillary so much as the big wrong decisions she made that looked for all the world like pure political strategy instead of what is right for our Country...Her vote for the Bush War is only one case in point, but it would be enough all by itself. There are many many others, but this is not an anti-Hillary screed, actually...

I come, not to dis-praise Hillary, but to bury John McCain.

The disconnect between John McCain's public image and his real self is legendary and admired by nearly all political junkies. McCain has managed to commit the most egregious sins while continuing to wear white of any mainstream politician in America.

Politics is a curious thing to me. It seems to require the capacity to blithely commit murder while keeping a straight face and passionately accusing your opponent of going to the wrong church.

There is a serious problem for both Clinton and McCain in this election cycle...They are both up against an honest person. This requires that both of them loudly seize on some trivial inconsistency and accuse Obama of being a liar, and this has turned out to be extremely difficult. They tried to quote William Krystal's opinion piece in the NY Times which claimed Obama lied about not being in the Church the day his pastor "God Damned America" which actually the pastor didn't say in the first place, and Obama was somewhere else just as he stated. Krystal lied, Obama didn't.

Why should McCain keep accusing his opponents of lying? Well, Duh...McCain is either a serial liar, suffering from early Alzheimer's disease, or both, but the Media keep covering for him. In a just world, McCain and his cynical "Straight Talk Express" would have long ago been condemned to ridicule. McCain is skewered by his own big mouth:

"I believe that Saddam Hussein presents clear and present danger to the United States of America.” [CNN Late Edition, 3/3/02]
“I never said — I never said that it was a, quote, clear and present danger because of weapons of mass destruction.” [Hardball, 9/17/03]

(How do you feel about Rumsfeld’s strategy?)

“And so from everything I can tell, that seems to be a very good strategy.”
[Meet the Press, 9/22/02]
“The point is my friends, that when Rumsfeld strategy was failing I’m the only one that stood up and said that it’s a failed strategy and we have to adopt a new strategy.”[McCain Tracking Footage, (Fort Myers, FL), 1/26/08]

Straight Talk Express?

John McCain is a deeply flawed person. He has no business being considered for the office of the Presidency, having neither the temper nor capacity to serve this nation. He cannot be trusted to tell the truth.

This is readily apparent to even the most casual observer. Why isn't it obvious to what passes for the Mainstream media?

Monday, March 24, 2008

It's Still the Economy...And it's the War's Fault

In truth, I don’t expect much from John McCain, who has both admitted not
knowing much about economics and denied having ever said that. Anyway, lately
he’s been busy demonstrating that he doesn’t know much about the Middle East,


Sunday, March 23, 2008

Republicans now turn to Obama

Easter is the time when we recognize that winter will come to an end. There will come the seasonal renewal of the Earth. Our days will lengthen and our nights will be warmer and we will eat fresh tomatoes from our own gardens. But something else is apparent this week. America itself seems to be up for a rebirth.

Barack Obama gave a speech last week that caused America to stop and think about itself. To look at what we have become...And we don't seem to like ourselves. That was Obama's Reverend's transgression...he said nothing that wasn't true (barring mentioning the conspiracy that Aids is a government plot...Way out there, that one). No, Reverend Wright's transgression was that he mostly told the truth about us and we, as a nation, "Can't Handle the Truth!"

Someone very close to me did time in a rehab facility for alcohol abuse. He needed it badly. In talking about it much later, he said that most of the "12 steps" are bullshit and meaningless but not all. The hardest step, he thought, was one that required "Ruthless Self Examination."

You have to stop and look at what you've become...You have to quit lying to yourself that everything is fine and everybody loves the way you act.

Now it is America's turn to take steps.

Quit lying to yourself, America. Reverend Wright is being villainized for pointing out that we aren't perfect. We have, in so many ways, earned the distrust of the world. It is more than just difficult, it is gut wrenching but we must now engage in "Ruthless Self Examination" or forever lose our country to the most malignant form of government that marries totalitarianism with Corporatism...Fascism. As Americans, we cannot let this happen, whether we are Republican or Democratic. We seem to be ready to face the truth and Barrack Hussein Obama is ready to lead us...All of us.

What gives me hope is that loyal Republican operatives are coming to the realization that Conservatism has failed and shown itself to be merely a stepping stone to fascism and unworthy of standing as a governing philosophy. It is time for America to return to being the Progressive nation spelled out in its Constitution and Bill of Rights. Principled Republicans recognize this. Here is one of them...

Today I endorse Barack Obama for president of the United States. I believe him to be a person of integrity, intelligence and genuine good will. I take him at his word that he wants to move the nation beyond its religious and racial divides and to return United States to that company of nations committed to human rights... Republicans, we are first Americans. As Americans, we must voice our concerns for the well-being of our nation without partisanship when decisions that have been made endanger the body politic. Our president has involved our nation in a military
engagement without sufficient justification or clear objective. In so doing, he has incurred both tragic loss of life and extraordinary debt jeopardizing the economy and the well-being of the average American citizen. In pursuit of these fatally flawed purposes, the office of the presidency, which it was once my privilege to defend in public office formally, has been distorted beyond its constitutional assignment.

Douglas W. Kmiec ...
Head of the Office of Legal Counsel (U.S. Assistant Attorney General) for
Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H.W. Bush.

His complete statement bears reading, hopefully by Republicans.



Saturday, March 22, 2008

March 22, 2008

Better Than That

The Richardson endorsement of Barrack Hussein Obama is telling in many ways.

Bill Richardson was President Bill Clinton's Energy Secretary. In the eyes of the Clintons that means Richardson is supposed to owe fealty for having been elevated to the national political arena. Even when Richardson was running for president himself, it appeared that he was merely running to be Hillary's Veep and not a serious challenge to her inevitable nomination, but then something happened...Obama got out in front and has stayed out front and unless somebody breaks the rules Obama will be the Democratic Nominee for President.

The Clintons have fought dirty, with allusions to Obama being a Muslim, with outright lies about his position on Nafta and contact with Canadian officials...And by playing the race card, the minister card, the experience card, all in a destructive strategy they call "The Kitchen Sink" proving that they are willing to tear apart the Democratic party if it means winning.

So now Governor Bill Richardson takes a hard look and turns away from the Clintons. James Carville, a political operative so stupid he can't even convince his own wife to vote Democratic, calls Richardson a Judas, mentions 30 pieces of silver and attempts to divert attention away from Richardson's message of simultaneously praising Obama and stealthily implying that it is time for Hillary to withdraw from the race for the good of her party.

From the NY Times:

...potentially more troublesome for Mrs. Clinton was what Mr. Richardson said in announcing his decision. He criticized the tenor of Mrs. Clinton’s campaign. He praised Mr. Obama for the speech he gave in response to the furor over racially incendiary remarks delivered by Mr. Obama’s former pastor, the Rev. Jeremiah
A. Wright Jr.

And he came close to doing what Mrs. Clinton’s advisers have increasingly feared some big-name Democrat would do as the battle for the nomination drags on...

Urge Mrs. Clinton to step aside in the interest of party unity.

It is time for Hillary Clinton to look at what is happening in America and realize that she must do her part. The end does not justify the means if our country has to be torn apart in order for a group of cynical political operatives to seize control for their side...We must be better than that.

This is now an historic moment in American history. This is Hillary's chance...

To be better than that.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Same Old Hillary

Mountaintop Removal...

Has destroyed 1 million acres of the most biodiverse temperate forest in the world

Has led to a 90% reduction in mining jobs in WV because of the automation of labor
(Tennessee has fared only slightly better)

Has leveled 470+ of the oldest mountains on the continent.

And now...Hillary makes the same type of decision on this that she made on the Iraq war...

The Wrong one.

Just another beautiful day in Paradise...

Surprise, surprise! We have a fairly serious weather front about to hit here in Tennessee. High winds, possible tornadoes, sustained wind speeds of 35 mph with gusts up to 50...65 MPH in the mountains.

Perfect March weather?

A certain hypocrisy has been noted in the coverage of the Iraq war...

It ended Four years and three weeks ago today and was a huge success! The American occupation, however, has been nothing short of a biblical disaster. We will reach a nice even 4000 American dead any minute now, and what do we get?

Dick Cheney announces "Iraq War a Success!"

A certain hypocrisy has been noted in the coverage of Obama's minister...

Can I have an AMEN?

During the Republican primary campaign we got to watch the candidates fall all over themselves claiming to be Ronald Reagan reborn. John McCain can now lay claim to that dubious honor, since it appears that he is already suffering from Alzheimer's.

And now...

TPM's highlight reel of Obama Speech.

And to top this all off, we have another wildcat oil well blowout in Tennessee, this time very near houses in Oliver Springs. The last blowout is still not completely contained and is stil leaking crude into Clear Creek, in the Emory Obed Wild and Scenic River watershed.



Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Like I said, It's Over!

If you didn't see "The Speech" go read a transcript. Obama wrote it himself and stayed up past 2 a.m. last night...He looked tired and started off that way. But as he continued, rarely looking at his notes, something happened. He got stronger and hit his stride. He wasn't reading a speech some team of political hacks ran by a focus group...he was telling us about himself, his own personal life and how he came to accept who he was and by that grace, who and what America could and should be.

CNN found controversial Black wingnut talk radio host, Larry Elder, as one of their "analysts" covering Barack's speech. For the first time in my memory, Wolf Blitzer seemed to take Obama's side as Elder's venom overflowed, making one question whether Elder even saw Obama's speech. The other side was presented by a white Pastor, who seemed clearly moved by Obama's words today.

The reaction to the speech seemed to be, "He's done it!"

Obama took the worst that could be thrown at him and used it to address his views of race in America, how it divides us, and the opportunity we have before us to do something about it in a big way. Obama will be the next President of the United States of America.

He not only has defanged this dragon that haunts our country, but he did it with honesty, openness, and humility. Obama proved he can take a punch and deflect it, not with anger, or machismo, or political spin, but with honest, caring, love, for all people.

Hillary gave a speech, too, but she seemed even more tired than Obama and never hit her stride. There is a reason, I believe, and that reason is that her closest advisors may be telling her what her campaign has been refusing to admit...She has lost the nomination.

There will be no re-do in Florida andthe DNC is highly unlikely to break their own rules, which Clinton herself agreed to, and seat the Florida delegates. The same is probably true for Michigan. What that means is that Florida and Michigan are now counted as a tie. Since Obama leads in popular vote and delegates, and by a reasonable margin, The Democratic Convention will not usurp the people's will.

Obama will be the Democratic nominee for President.



Others agree with my assessment.

I have a dream

If you heard Obama's speech, you have already wiped the tears from your eyes.

Some of you will have already decided that you, too, are "Here because of Ashley," and will have committed to helping your country take the next step out of this divisive morass that serves only the worst of us and is not representative of the best of what America is and can be.

Here is the transcript of Obama's speech today, in which he spoke of his love for all of his family, church, pastor, and friends, not in spite of their failings, but because of the good in each that is offered up to promote and work for a better America for others.



I spent several sinus infection fogged hours reading about the financial crisis yesterday. I'm pretty groggy, but one moral should be drawn from the Bear Stearns disaster...

The Free Market Doesn't Work!

Conservatives spout the free market mantra whenever a sensible guidance is about to be enacted into law. They grandstand and preach and make stuff up to justify doing away with OSHA, the EPA, and TAXES. Until they themselves have eaten so much of America's seed corn that they realize they are about to starve. Do we hear them shouting at their broker's, "Stop...Let the Free Market work?"

Hell No!

That putrid odor you smell and that forbidding sound you hear is the mass of financial maggots demanding a Government bailout...With Your TAX money.

We are not talking about bailing out a local bank or even one that serves the middle class. Most of us have no use whatsoever for a financial institution that is driven by speculation and the creation of diabolical financial instruments that are so convoluted that no one understands them, not even the CEO of Bear Stearns, who was off playing somewhere as his corporation collapsed. I take solace in his stock portfolio losing a Billion Dollars this week. The Free Market at work, I say.

Mortgage providers have pushed larger and riskier loans to people who simply could not afford them if interest rates were to go up, or their employment situation were to change. Both happened. Their jobs were auctioned off to low bidders all over the world...Interest rates an balloon mortgages went up drastically.

Working people can't pay their bills. What money they have is going to pay for gas, almost triple now, heating, ditto, and food, triple ditto. The social situation that this scenario leads to was called "Bastille Day" in France.

Now, the Bush Administration has ridden in on an Ass, not a white stallion, and bailed out Bear Strearns with guarantees of over 30 Billion Dollars so that it can be sold for less than the value of the building that houses its corporate offices. That 30 billion will come from...Taxes. And who pays taxes?

...The very people who have lost their jobs and now their houses. The money will bail out the corporation who sold their jobs and foreclosed on their houses.

It looks to me like Conservatives, if they had consciences, would fall on their swords. That would be a free market solution, but instead, they will ask you and me to take the dive.

It will get worse before it gets better.



Sunday, March 16, 2008

Obama Won...Can Hillary steal it?

Several folks besides me have done the math and it's over if actual voting American Democrats are to decide the Democratic nominee for President.

The People have chosen Barack Obama.

Hillary's contention is that she has won the big states so she should replace Obama as the Party's choice. This flies in the face of Howard Dean's 50 state strategy, which is exactly what has placed Obama well out front. There is essentially no conceivable way that Hillary can either win the popular vote or the delegate vote unless she chooses to NOT obey the rules.

Currently, Obama has the majority of Pledged delegates, the majority of the popular votes, 13,400,000 to 12,700,000, and has won 28 states compared to Hillary's 14. Only 28% of Democrats believe Clinton would have a legitimate claim to the nomination if it were stolen for her by the Superdelegates.

In fact, Clinton lost the big state Texas and would lose California by a large margin if a revote were held today. The only states that Clinton has a legitimate claim on are Ohio and Pennsylvania, except that neither Clinton nor Obama lead John McCain in those states, and Obama polls better than Clinton against McCain in both.

Hillary wants to change the rules for Florida and Michigan, even though she agreed not to. She wants to represent us, but isn't listening to what the voters have already said.

Clinton is now running one of the most divisive campaigns in Democratic history...against the presumptive Democratic nominee for President. She has gotten rich serving as a Senator and refuses to release her tax returns. She's made false charges against Obama claiming he contacted the Canadian Government regarding his NAFTA campaign position , when in fact and according to the Canadian government, it was the Clinton campaign that committed this egregious act of lying to voters.

Now Hillary Clinton is a capable and worthy candidate...But as of this date in time, she has lost the nomination using the very tactics I deplore and despise that are the stock in trade of Karl Rove. She's used her surrogates to attack Obama on race, ethics, campaign donations, and other things that she herself is guilty of. First he's accused of being a Muslim and then he attacked for not disassociating himself with a minister who's body of life work has been 99.9% positive and .01% stupid.

America must be transformed and Hillary Clinton has surrounded herself with the very people who would keep that from happening should she manage to steal the nomination from the people's choice. Thoughtful people are being driven away from the Clinton campaign and that is an American tragedy.

Barack Obama must be the next President of the United States.



Friday, March 14, 2008

Feeling Poor yet?

Am I reading this correctly?

Is the Stock Market, factoring in the value of the dollar, back to where it was when Bill Clinton took over?



Well I got it. Or it got me, so I'm going to enjoy a case of the flu by sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself and let other writers do the ranting for today.

Before I do that, I do want to point out that the US Dollar is tanking. If you didn't invest in Euros a year ago I don't think it's too late to save at least some of your assets.

Antique store owners in lower Manhattan, ticket vendors at India's Taj Mahal and Brazilian business executives heading to China all have one thing in common these days: They don't want U.S. dollars.

...Experts say the bleak U.S. economic forecast means it will take years for the greenback to recover its value and prestige.


I've attended lots of churches over the years and would prefer not to be judged by what any Preacher says. Obama is no different, although I listened to his preacher and didn't find anything he said to rise to the level of a Ferraro, and certainly nothing equating to the "God told me to kill Muslims" that regurgitated from the bile that is George Bush.


An exhaustive independent Military report states decisively that that there was no connection between Saddam and Al Queda before the Iraq war. The Bush administration has moved to censor the report.

The Bush Administration apparently does not want a U.S. military study that found no direct connection between Saddam Hussein and al Qaeda to get any attention. This morning, the Pentagon cancelled plans to send out a press release announcing the report's release and will no longer make the report available online.

Other Democratic Candidates have decided that Obama will have longer coat tails than Hillary in the Fall. This is another sign that the campaign is over. There's nothing left except to see how much damage Clinton will do to her Party before she quits.


Every smart parasite learns that you can only steal so much blood before you kill your victim. Republicans, having put America so deep in debt that there's not much left to steal, have turned to stealing from each other.


George W. Bush himself ordered air pollution regulations weakened... The asthma sufferers of America thank him for personally shortening their lives.

And with that...Peace,


Thursday, March 13, 2008

The Bush Administration...Now Killing slightly fewer Children

The danger from Terrorism is essentially a myth. I have heard it described as being somewhere between the danger from Killer Bees, which everyone seems to be afraid of but have actually killed no one in the USA, and Drunk Drivers, which few folks react in fear regarding but which kill about 17,000 people a year in the USA.

Last year in the USA Terrorists killed about, well, zero people. Air pollution killed between 30,000 and 50,000 people and sickened far more, lots of them children since children are far more sensitive to pollution than adults.

So since air pollution is a far more serious threat than whatever it is that terrorists might actually be (does anybody know?) I suppose that the Bush Administration is doing all it can to protect our children, right?

We know what we should do

Nearly a year ago, EPA's Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee reiterated in
writing that its members were "unanimous in recommending" that the agency set
the standard no higher than 70 parts per billion (ppb) and to consider a limit
as low as 60 ppb.

So there! But then this is what they do:

EPA Tightens Pollution Standards But Agency Ignored Advisers' Guidance

The Environmental Protection Agency yesterday limited the allowable
amount of pollution-forming ozone in the air to 75 parts per billion, a level
significantly higher than what the agency's scientific advisers had urged for
this key component of unhealthy air pollution.

There you have it.

Republicans! Protecting America's Corporations from costly life saving expenditures that depress profits even though tens of thousands die.

Yet, spending Trillions of dollars trashing the Middle East looking for Terrorists in all the wrong places.

Why didn't Democrats Impeach these people?




Wednesday, March 12, 2008

She was a Working Girl...


Ferraro said the Clinton campaign cannot fire her because she is not an adviser.

"It's impossible to fire somebody who's not involved with it," she said.


Dear Hillary –
I am stepping down from your finance committee so I can speak for myself and you can continue to speak for yourself about what is at stake in this campaign.

Keith Olbermann, with a very heavy heart, says it better than I:

"This is not a Campaign strategy...This is a suicide pact."

And now for something completely different...A Monte Python routine!


Actual pictures of the, umm, working girl who was worth $4,300.00 and a Governorship.

(Whatever you do, don't read the comments!)

(I told you not to read the you've got beer all over the computer)


Obama gets a fairly significant Endorsement,312681.shtml

It's Over

Rush Limbaugh hates Hillary. That's why he's helping her.

I suspect she isn't particularly fond of him either, but Hillary has to appreciate Limbaugh's call for Republicans to vote in the Democratic Primaries, now that the Republican race is settled. Rush wants Republicans to vote for Hillary because he thinks McCain can beat her in the general election. Hillary Clinton has the highest negatives of any national politician...Negatives are red meat to Republican operatives. It's all they've got.

So Republicans are crossing over to help pick a democratic candidate they can defeat.

No big deal right? Well check out these numbers...Between 12 and 13 percent of voters in the Democratic Primary in Mississippi identified themselves to exit pollers as Republicans, and...

They voted overwhelmingly for...Hillary Clinton.

Even so, Obama won Mississippi with 60% of the vote. Republican crossovers skewed the numbers somewhat, and we get a muddled picture of true voter feelings, but it's fairly certain that Obama trounced Clinton and would have beaten her by an even greater margin had she not been the Republican's choice.

Obama has picked up 8 more delegates in California and will win Texas, regardless of what the Clinton camp claims. Even with a few states left to go, Obama is beating Hillary by far more popular votes than Al Gore beat George Bush by in 2000, increasing his popular vote lead by more than just 90,000 yesterday.

So as the smoke clears this morning, we have the ever more certain realization that the race for the Democratic Presidential nomination is actually over...The people have chosen Obama.

The only thing the Hillary Clinton does by staying in the race, from this point forward, is to help John McCain's chances of continuing the devastating policies of George W. Bush. She cannot honestly win the Democratic nomination for President. It will be difficult for her even if she breaks the rules, which she seems willing to do...Breaking her party in the process.

If Hillary cares about America...really cares about her country and its people...She will bow out.

I wish her a long and successful career as Senator from the great state of New York, but only if she shows me the intelligence and courage to do what has to be done for My Country...and hers.



Tuesday, March 11, 2008

There's No Doubt

Eliot Spitzer screwed up.

But frankly he didn't do anything a hundred Republican elected officials haven't done, including Senator Vitter, who still sits proudly in the US Senate and received a standing ovation from his colleagues when he returned to that august body after it was learned that he had frequented prostitutes in several states and the District of Columbia.

There is something very strange about the investigation and the purported reason for it, as this former Justice Department Lawyer points out.

After reading what I can find on the investigation, I have to do something I rarely do...Agree with James Carville, who yesterday evening on CNN said, "I smell a rat!"

There are several things that don't add up, and by that I don't mean to imply that Elliot Spitzer is NOT a whoremonger and a hypocrite. This was a high level investigation that had Spitzer's name leaked to the press in violation of any number of laws. As soon as it broke, the GOP was ready to start the flow of emails demanding any Democratic candidate who had ever been supported by Spitzer return his donation.

Spitzer is a Clinton supporter, btw, who will be replaced by the Lt. Governor of New York State, who happens to be black...And Blind!

So I watch Dr. Laura on TV try to make the case that the reason men cheat on their wives is that wives don't get kinky enough to keep their men at home (I swear!) and another psychologist claim that men are simply programmed to fool around, which may be absolutely true but they are mostly fooling around with women (so there).

All this theater is simply distraction. As a thoughtful American, I have to keep coming back to wondering what has happened to my America? The resources of the Federal Justice Department will focus on a monetary transaction between consenting adults, while at the same time, refuse to enforce Congressional subpoenas into malfeasance within the Justice Department itself.

And most of all...I have to wonder why the entire Bush Administration is spending such a massive amount of effort to suppress investigations into it's illegal wiretapping of American Citizens and specifically, did the Spitzer revelations come about through that illegal and unconstitutional activity?

Spitzer has given the evil entity within the GOP, a once proud and patriotic party, exactly the sordid and prurient shiny object that they need to divert America's attention from their systematic destruction of our country.



Monday, March 10, 2008

Jon Stewart Kissed Tucker violently on the Mouth

Tucker's blood runs cold...He now knows he will die...just not when... or how.

He hopes it will be quick...Don't let it hurt too much.

But it will be slow, and it will hurt. Damn, will it hurt... It is a just end. Well deserved.

(I never noticed how "Jon" rhimes so well with "Don" until just now)

"You know what's interesting, though? You're as big a dick on your show as you
are on any show."
--Jon Stewart, to Tucker Carlson

Now if we could get Stewart to visit Glen Beck. Or maybe not, since that would drive Beck's ratings into positive territory. Better to let him just die with no one watching.

Let me phrase this another way...

We're (most of our children, anyway) all going to die unless we stop global warming.

And we have to do it now.

The shorter version of that article is, "Boy, are we toast!"

HIT = Hillary In Trouble

I'm back from Wisconsin. It's nice to be walking around without heavy clothes and to be able to feel the sun again. My fingers have thawed out so here's your dose of daily outrage for the morning.

A campaign finance staffer for Hillary Clinton has left the Clinton campaign, and, after very little soul searching, pledged her support for Obama. She did this after discovering unauthorized charges to her credit card by the Clinton Campaign that put her way over the campaign finance law limit.

When this was pointed out to others in the campaign and the staffer asked for her money back, they refused:

...I discovered more than $3, 000 in unauthorized charges from HRC
campaign on my own VISA card! And that set off a wave of overdrafts and $400 in
bank charges that I was stuck with. And the compliance officer Allison Wright at
Hillary VA headquarters refused to reimburse me for the charges. And the senior
finance reps who I notified about more than $3, 000 in Unauthorized Visa
Charges: never once apologized or empathized with my plight...Much less send me
a "sorry for all the trouble" note and a check!

This may well explain why Hillary's campaign is attacking Obama on already debunked charges. It is the Rove playbook! If you yourself are waist deep in corruption, the first thing you do is accuse your squeaky clean opponent of the very crimes you yourself are guilty of.

Now let me ask you this...Hillary had a good week, right? So did you ever realize that Obama actually will win the delegate count in Texas and even without that increased his lead over Hillary?

Here's a fact check on some other Clinton charges.

It's going to take some diligence to keep cleaning up all the mud Hillary is slinging.



Saturday, March 08, 2008

You Betcha

It was 9 degrees when we got back from supper last night. As we left town there were folks riding their bicycles in traffic with some really cool flashing lights that let them show up and be noticed without being garish or annoying.

This morning my beard frosted up on my walk and I felt that kind of "out of towner" discomfort as I was watching my step on the ice covered sidewalk and two women jogged by me with cheerfull "Hi's". I'm worried about stumbling around, slipping and busting my rear end among other things and these people are running?

I think they've already started drinking out on the lakes in those little outhouse looking things. How bad can a person really want to fish?

The highschool basketball tournament is taking up one of the cable channels and is shown on every tv I've seen in the local bars except when hockey is on. A friendly guy was explaining it to me, "High school sports are pretty big around here, but we schedule the games around Ice Hockey, so it don't interfere, don't cha know."

As he was saying this to me, one hockey player was pounding another hockey player into the ice with his fists.



Friday, March 07, 2008

No Biggie...Only the water we drink

Madison Wisconsin has had over 100 inches of snow this winter...Why did I pick right now as my time to visit?

This is a different world. Bars are family places and the entire state is in mourning because Bret Favre has retired. People don't ask each other what religion they are...Everybody's a Green Bay Packer fan.

So while I'm trying to keep warm, you folks need to tend to some extremely important business back home in Tennessee. You have to keep the State Legislature from destroying a couple of things, like our drinking water sources and our mountains.

Here's the TCWN halftime report on a few bills that you might want to call somebody about:

Stop Work Orders Bill (HB3521⁄SB3651)
Actions this week:
Senate E, C & T Committee – Rolled to 3⁄12⁄08
House Environmental Subcommittee – Rolled to 3⁄19⁄08
Ensures the protection of Tennessee's streams from the state's #1 source of water pollution, mud, and destruction from water quality pollution. This grants the TDEC commissioner the authority to issue stop work orders for activities violating or with the potential to imminently harm waters of the state, and provides work can begin again once TDEC has deemed the activities in compliance with all state permits. Those failing to comply with the stop work order will be subject to daily fines, as well as the cost to remedy any negative impacts resulting from activities in violation of their permit. As required by current Tennessee law, all fines associated with this legislation will be placed in the Environmental Protection Fund for the administration of TDEC's regulatory programs.

Green Design Incentives Bill (HB3965⁄SB3956)
Actions this week:
Senate F, W & M Committee (Tax Sub) – Rolled to 3⁄11⁄08
House Environmental Subcommittee – Rolled to 3⁄19⁄08
Encourages and assists developers in the protection of Tennessee's streams and wetlands through efficient and environmentally protective building practices. This bill provides incentives such as expedited permit processing, fee waivers, and tax incentives for developers and builders to incorporate environmentally efficient water quality practices into their designs and structures.

Limited Resource Waters Bill (HB4185⁄SB4119)
Actions this week:
Senate E, C & T Committee – Ran out of time to discuss, Amended and placed on calendar for 3⁄12⁄08
House Environmental Subcommittee – Discussed briefly: Representatives stated they have received little to no information regarding this bill, and therefore requested more time to learn about it. Rolled to 3⁄12⁄08.
Removes protections from an estimated 30,000 miles of streams statewide resulting in the potential to pipe, cut-off, or pollute streams, and therefore destroy water quality with no repercussions or negative consequences. It reclassifies ephemeral bodies of water which flow due to rainfall, do not have a significant groundwater source, nor support significant native aquatic life as “limited resource waters.” This classification exempts such waters from any state or federal water quality protection laws because they would no longer be considered “waters of the state.” The definition of “limited resource waters” describes headwater streams, which provide stream flow and drinking water to residents throughout the state.

Anonymous Complaint Prohibition Bill (Anonymous Tip Denial Bill) (HB2511⁄SB3966)
Actions this week:
Senate E, C & T Committee – No Action
House Environmental Subcommittee – Rolled 3⁄12⁄08
Discourages citizens from notifying the state about environmental quality violations as well as reduce TDEC's ability to enforce environmental protection laws. It prohibits the investigation or enforcement action of violations of environmental laws based solely on information submitted by an anonymous source.

Scenic Vistas Bill (Mountaintop Removal Ban) (HB3348⁄SB3822)
Actions this week:
Senate E, C & T Committee – On calendar 3⁄12⁄08 – Awaiting presentation from the coal industry
House Environmental Subcommittee – Rolled to 4⁄2⁄08
Protects thousand of acres of land across the state, ensure the scenic mountain beauty will remain, and protects the environmental quality of our streams. This requires a new Environmental Impact Study to evaluate the effect of practices throughout the state. Makes the 100 foot stream buffer zone for mining a state law rather than just recommended practice. Denies a water permit for any mining activity disturbing land over 2000 feet or that may alter the ridgeline.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Disappointment...Thy name is Hillary

A thoughtful person can only wonder if the person behind Hillary Clinton's campaign strategy is actually Karl Rove?

Hillary came out slightly ahead in last Tuesday's primaries on the wings of a Rovian style attack on Barack Obama. She accused him of lying about his NAFTA stance on the basis of a leak from the Canadian Prime Minister's Chief of Staff, and guess what? The leak was about Hillary's two faced public persona...Not Obama!
So what happened next was that Hillary went all "Rove" on Obama and accused him of committing the crime that she herself had actually perpetrated, and did it in classic Rovian style by releasing her attack too close to the Primary election for the truth to be found out. We've seen it before and America is worse off because of it. Hillary's ad was a complete fabrication and shame on the Press for not going ballistic on her ...and shame on everyone who voted for her for falling for it.

Hillary attacked Obama on experience, but what exactly do Hillary's credentials look like? She claims her first Lady experience means she can run the country? Nancy Reagan was First Lady and look what kind of job she did when she ran the country, calling her astrologist when it was time for a big decision that Ronnie was too befuddled to be trusted with. (At some point people are going to have to come to grips that there actually WAS NO REAGAN ADMINISTRATION...It was a deck of cards and an open henhouse door)

Look, people. Just because you slept with the president doesn't mean you can do his job. (insert Monica and Jennifer joke here) When that phone call comes at three a.m. We can't afford to have the person answering it making the WRONG decision, just like Hillary did with her vote to allow George W. Bush to go to war in the first place.

Barack Obama has half the experience in the US Senate Hillary has but he's been more than twice as effective in his legislative leadership. Barack is a worker bee's worker bee. I want him to be the next President of the USA, but if he is going to achieve that goal, he has to give up on Hillary Clinton being a decent person when it comes to getting elected. As last Tuesday's primary shows, she will resort to what ever it takes, even if it tears her political party into pieces.

Barack must be ready for the next attack. It should be easy to get ready for it by making a list of the sins Hillary herself has committed. Her sins are what she will attack you for committing.

That's what Karl Rove hs taught her.



Wednesday, March 05, 2008

The Headlines Read

Big win for Hillary...Big Win...Big Win...over and over and over...The only win Hillary had was that she didn't lose ground in the delegate race for the Democratic nomination.

I struggle trying to talk with people around me about political matters, mainly because the pervasive ignorance is appalling. Very little of the things I hear them say are representative of the truth and the reason is that most folk's information comes from TV News and mine comes from reading various news sources on the internet and checking them against each other.

There was no "Big Win" but the effectiveness of going nasty in political campaigns has once again been proven.

Barack Obama has almost the exact same lead over Hillary as he had two days ago even though Hillary has resorted to the worst of political tactics and running her campaign more like Karl Rove every day. She had to in order to keep from being trounced, but all Hillary really managed to do is tread water. And...Unless Hillary Clinton can succeed in getting the Democratic Party to break the rules she pledged to abide by and seat the delegates from Florida and Michigan without holding a re-do, as the rules require, Hillary can NOT win the nomination.

It looks to me like Hillary must cheat to win.

Hillary decried Obama's "Shameless tactics" in a campaign ad he ran apparently because all of the claims in the Obama ad were true. At the same time she gave misleading speeches about Obama's record and experience. CNN commentator Paul Begala looked right into the camera and said "This is not a negative campaign" and they let him get away with that obvious falsehood. Not only that but they didn't point out that Begala is a Clinton operative as is the ever present James Carville...A political operative so ineffective that he can't even get his own wife to vote for his political party or even stop her from working for a political organization that he publicly states is destroying our Country.

The problem with all this is that nobody accepts the obvious. The American news media is not just doing a piss poor job of informing the American Electorate, they are actively engaged in doing just the opposite...And...By getting in bed with media mogul Rupert Murdoch of Fox News, Hillary Clinton will simply be unable to correct the greatest single cause of the destruction of our once great Nation...The disappearance of a Free Press.

If America in fact actually had a Free Press, the headlines would be very different. I would propose something like:

"Obama Maintains Lead in Delegate Count" or even:

"Clinton Fails to close Gap with Obama"



Josh Marshall points out that as dirty as Hillary is playing, it is nothing compared to what John McCain will resort to in the general election. Obama must be able to handle it and fight back.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Call the Doctor!

Red States are turning purple all over America... Democrats are on the ascendant while Republicans seem to be in disarray. Whether this will hold true in Tennessee remains to be seen.

For now, we are seeing a flood of nasty press releases from the Tennessee GOP full of unsubstantiated derogatory statements and just plain fabrications, that are then picked up and regurgitated in the national context. Is TN GOP the new source of Republican Bile and malicious fodder for the right wing noise machine?

Apparently so.

And not only that, but TN GOP appears to be proud of its new role. Chairwoman Robin Smith issues a malicious press release that is quickly shown to be full of falsehoods, and the TN GOP state committee gives her a nice pat on the back.

Dems have a good thing going with The Donkey's Mouth, but the most recent post on their actual Democratic Party web page is from...January?

Couple that with the fact that while Democratic National Committee Chairman, Howard Dean, is widely credited for the resurgence of the Democratic Party with his "50 State Strategy", it should be remembered that Dean was publicly ignored during his visits to our state.

Maybe somebody should give the good Doctor a call?



Monday, March 03, 2008

Bob Tuke for Senate

...Our economy is in trouble, our schools are struggling to excel, our
health care system leaves millions uncovered, and there are parts of Tennessee
where the good paying jobs of the future are just a mirage. And in too many
places, the cold wind of hunger and poverty whistle through open doors of

Perhaps most critically, we find ourselves in two wars, with enemies
lying in wait at home and abroad. Veterans return from war to heal their bodies
and their minds only to find a broken system that leaves them without

...I am not so much offering myself as a candidate as I again am
answering a call to service...

Bob Tuke

I've had the pleasure of meeting Bob Tuke on several occaissions and I find him understanding of the problems created by the Conservative philosophy...

Saying all the right things, while doing nothing of the sort. ..

Feigning patriotism while destroying America's Military with senseless war for all the wrong reasons...Pretending to care about America's Troops, while cutting veteran's benefits and failing to provide even a minimum standard of care for our wounded...

Wearing their Chinese manufactured American flag lapel pin while simultaneously questioning the patriotism of others, and foreclosing on the homes of the women and children left behind while America's fighting forces...Good Men and Women... face the ultimate danger in foreign countries, and American factories close and send good honest workers to the unemployment line while their jobs get sent overseas in order to enrich multinational corporations whose lobbyists wine and dine our current Senators.

I have but one thing to say...


Clean Water is Your Right, But...

You can't expect other people to protect it for you. You have to get involved. The good news is that it is really easy to pick up the phone and call the office of your Representatives and Senators. Try it. The people who answer the phone are usually very nice. You can be short and sweet in telling them why you called and which Bill you support or oppose.

Here's the item currently very high on my radar:

TCWN wants you to Call your Senator!

The State Senate Committee is in high gear. The bills TCWN are watching
are on the Senate Environment Committee's agenda for Wednesday.

Please call or email your Senator and Senator Kilby (Chair) about the
following bills.

The committee meets at 12 pm CST. Please contact your
senator before 12 pm CST Wednesday (contact information below).

Senate Environment, Conservation & Tourism Committee -- Wednesday
at 12:00 pm CST -- LP 12

The committee will receive a budget presentation from Gary Myers, Executive Director, Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency. Items 1-7 are Water Quality bills. MEMBERS: Chair Kilby (D), Vice Chair Bunch (R), Secretary Jackson (D), R. Finney (R), Herron (D), Ketron (R), Roller (D), Southerland (R), M. Williams (I).

SB 3646 Ketron (sponsor): Permits for alteration of aquatic resources. This is one of TCWN’s bills, we will be speaking on it. Aka the Green Design Bill. We want a yay vote on this. Allows tax incentives, fee waivers and expedited processing of applications for permits for the alteration of aquatic resources. Provides requirements for specific projects to receive incentives, waivers and expedited permitting.

SB 3651 Ketron (sponsor): Stop work order for violations of Water Quality Control Act. This is one of TCWN’s bills, we will be speaking on it. We want a yay vote on this. Allows the commissioner of the department of environment and conservation to issue stop work orders for violations of the Water Quality Control Act or for activities that threaten public safety. Specifies that person who violates stop work order is subject to a civil penalty of no less than $25,000 plus the cost of remediation or other compensation for loss of public trust resources to the state.

SB 4119 Southerland (sponsor): Defines limited resource waters. THIS IS THE BAD BILL. IT WILL REMOVE PROTECTION FROM 30,000 MILES OF STREAM. WE NEED PEOPLE TO CALL THE COMMITTEE AND TELL THEM YOU ARE AGAINST THIS BILL. Defines "limited resource waters" as ephemeral bodies of water that flow primarily in response to rainfall, for which groundwater is not a significant source, and that do not support a significant indigenous population of native fish or aquatic life under the Water Quality Control Act.

SB 2979 Southerland (sponsor): Testing water quality of Pigeon River. Yay votes expected. This bill moves the testing point. TDEC’s position is that they already do this and don't need it codified, but the community wants it in law. Specifies equirements for drawing samples to test water quality of Pigeon River where it enters Tennessee from Haywood County, North Carolina. SB 3621 Bunch: Groundwater quality. The department does not need the clear and convincing criteria. That's usually for criminal offenses. Renee Hoyos has alerted the GroundWater Institute in Memphis. Requires department of environment and conservation to provide clear and convincing evidence to the board that any
water that is the subject of a complaint is water that will affect groundwater

Senator Tommy Kilby, Chair
Phone (615)
Fax (615) 253-0237

Senator Bunch
(615) 741-3730
Staff Contact: Tonya Morelock
Fax (615) 253-0243

Senator Doug
Phone (615) 741-4499
Fax (615) 741-8745

Senator Raymond
Phone: (615) 741-2427

Senator Roy
Phone (615) 741-4576
Fax (615) 253-0161

Senator Bill Ketron
(615) 741-6853
Fax (615) 741-7200

Senator Steve
Phone (615) 741-6694

Senator Steve
Phone (615) 741-3851
Fax (615) 741-7200

Senator Mike
Phone (615) 741-2061
Fax (615) 253-0286

Conservation and Tourism10A Legislative PlazaPhone (615) 741-6955

Saturday, March 01, 2008


If you are reading this then you probably survived Leap Day. (I say "probably" because there is always that remote possibility that you didn't survive Leap Day and are still somehow reading this, so I'm hedging my bets. Dead people don't talk to me, near as I can tell, so I don't know for sure.)

So for all you survivors, it is another beautiful day in paradise. Spring is barreling down the calendar because we have one of those day after the storm situations, here in the Gorge, and it's warmer not colder. I've been outside in my Crocs and a t-shirt testing things, and I hereby pronounce it a blue sky, birds singing, Spring's close, day. It's affecting me in all the normal ways. I even took a seed and flower catalogue to the reading room, and I don't think there's a better sign of Spring unless it was those two nuthatches doing their twirl over displays and giving each other mean looks in the dogwood tree just now. I'm never sure whether the "mean looks" relate to "get out of my tree" or flirting. The animal kingdom seems just as mixed up in that respect as humankind, so it's probably both.

The turkey vultures are even pairing off and flying really tight circles as they descend toward the creek down below. They aren't as spectacular as the Black vultures when trying to impress a lady friend, but vulture love and courtship doesn't necessarily need thousand foot dives and swoops to win a heart. A little finessful figure gliding apparently serves well enough to indicate the sensitive side of our local carrion eaters.

Things are just starting and we have some bad weather still ahead But I plan to enjoy the chance to get outside in light clothing while I can.

So if you are reading this, not only did you survive Leap Day but you're sitting around looking at a computer screen or somthing...You ought to quit reading and go outside while you still can.

Life is not really about dying with the most toys...The winners are the ones who enjoy themselves and have the most fun.

I'm going outside now...make your own choices.