According To The Quill of The People

"Washington is shifting the burden of bad choices today onto the backs of our children and grandchildren," said during the 2006 debt-ceiling debate. America has a debt problem and a failure of leadership. Americans deserve better."

Senator Barack Obama in 2006

"...Democrats ridiculed Mr. Bush as "the most fiscally irresponsible President in history," but then they saw him and raised. They took an $800 billion deficit and made it $1.4 trillion in 2009 and perhaps that high again in 2010. In 10 months they have approved more than $1 trillion in spending that has saved union public jobs but has done little to assist private job creation. Still to come is the multi trillion-dollar health bill and another $100 billion to $200 billion "jobs" bill..."

"...There is surely bipartisan blame for this government debt boom. George W. Bush approved gigantic spending increases for Medicare and bailouts. He also sponsored the first ineffective "stimulus" in February 2008—consisting of $168 billion in tax rebates and spending that depleted federal revenues in return for no economic lift..."

...from the Audacity of Debt at the Wall Street Journal

An interesting point for politicians to remember is to be careful what you say. It will be used against you. In 2006, new housing starts were 1.9 million; in 2010 they will be approximately 0.5 million. In 2006, the unemployment rate was 4.6 percent; in 2010 it's over 10 percent.

The political choices seem to be to do something, e.g. stimulus packages, bank bailouts, tax credits, or do nothing...which is what the Republicans seem to be advocating. Actually, Republicans are afraid to say anything, because they know doing something will get them hauled up on the TEA Party gallows with a rope around the neck of their political future. Or the politicians can choose to do something and end up hanging themselves.

Of course, time will tell how the ropes twists. If the economy starts to turn around in mid-2010 and the numbers start going positive, the Republicans are going to find the do nothing approach didn't work.


Flyover The Facts

"...Certainly the heartland has no claim to superiority when it comes to family values. If anything, the red states do a bit worse than the blue states when you look at indicators of individual responsibility and commitment to family. Children in red states are more likely to be born to teenagers or unmarried mothers � in 1999, 33.7 percent of babies in red states were born out of wedlock, versus 32.5 percent in blue states. National divorce statistics are spotty, but per capita there were 60 percent more divorces in Montana than in New Jersey.

And the red states have special trouble with the Sixth Commandment: the murder rate was 7.4 per 100,000 inhabitants in the red states, compared with 6.1 in the blue states, and 4.1 in New Jersey.

But what's really outrageous is the claim that the heartland is self-reliant. That grotesque farm bill, by itself, should put an end to all such assertions; but it only adds to the immense subsidies the heartland already receives from the rest of the country. As a group, red states pay considerably less in taxes than the federal government spends within their borders; blue states pay considerably more. Over all, blue America subsidizes red America to the tune of $90 billion or so each year.

And within the red states, it's the metropolitan areas that pay the taxes, while the rural regions get the subsidies. When you do the numbers for red states without major cities, you find that they look like Montana, which in 1999 received $1.75 in federal spending for every dollar it paid in federal taxes. The numbers for my home state of New Jersey were almost the opposite. Add in the hidden subsidies, like below-cost provision of water for irrigation, nearly free use of federal land for grazing and so on, and it becomes clear that in economic terms America's rural heartland is our version of southern Italy: a region whose inhabitants are largely supported by aid from their more productive compatriots..."

Paul Krugman
Read more of True Blue Americans at Common Dreams


Flashing Back

"Ten years ago, I'd have been gaudy. Now everybody looks like me."

Michael Polkovs (1923-2009)
aka Coco The Clown
1969 Washinton Post interview


Bleeding Hearts From The 1930s

''Gentlemen of the House,we are at the crossroads of history...We are developing a new class in America. It is those men and women who at 45 years of age have reached the age limit of employability. They are turned away on the basis of their age. I christen them 'America's untouchables!'...Even under slavery, the slave owner did not fail to feed and clothe and doctor the slaves no matter what might happen to crops or to markets...Fellow members of the American House of Commons . . . the world does not owe a man a living, I grant you, but as sure as God rules the heavens, it does owe him a chance to earn a living...This measure is only a small effort to give the disemployed equality before the law."

David John Lewis
House of Representatives

During the debate over the Social Security Bill in 1935

"...Fifty years ago when David John Lewis was an undersized boy of 16 working in a Pennsylvania coal mine, he could, like many another, neither read nor write.

Last week the House of Representatives gave David John Lewis an ovation worthy of one of its most erudite and social-minded members.

Though illiterate, young "Dave" Lewis learned the gift of eloquence from his father, a Welsh coal miner who was a Baptist preacher by avocation. At 20, Son Lewis went to a labor meeting and spoke so stirringly that a newshawk said to him: " Boy, you ought to be a lawyer." At 23, Lewis was. And ten years later, having settled at Cumberland. Md., he began a political career, long, thorny, courageous..."

Read more of Bleeding Hearts in Time


On The Street Where You Give

"...If economist Joseph Schumpeter was correct in theorizing that "creative destruction is the essential fact about capitalism," then capitalism as practiced in Las Vegas is the purest strain. The erection of the Vegas mega-resorts was not only heralded by the televised dynamiting of their predecessors but also accompanied by the concurrent collapse of much of the rest of America's urban, industrial and employment infrastructure. Isn't it logical or at least fitting that Las Vegas, the City of the Eternal Now, the town that every few years seems to slather yet one more layer of pavement and glitz over its own scant history, tradition and roots, would expand just as long-entrenched communities from Southeast Los Angeles to Lima, Ohio, evaporated into the deindustrialized dust of globalization?... "
"Las Vegas as America, America as Las Vegas. It's like what came first? The chicken or the egg?" says Vegas historian Michael Green. "Fresno, California, doesn't have a row of casinos, but you can be sure it has some part of town where you can go for vice even though it's supposed to be illegal. Here it's not necessarily vice in the first place, but it's certainly not illegal. We have the same sort of stuff and more. Except that unlike in most places, here it's just out in the open." What extraordinary prescience social critic Neil Postman displayed when he wrote in his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death that Las Vegas--where Wall Street corporations had replaced mafias and mobs--should be considered the "symbolic capital" of America. "At different times in our history," Postman wrote, "different cities have been the focal point of a radiating American spirit." In the era of the Revolutionary War, Boston embodied the ideals of freedom; in the mid-nineteenth century, "New York became the symbol of a melting-pot America." In the early twentieth century, the brawn and inventiveness of American industry and culture were captured in the energy of Chicago. "Today," Postman concluded, "we must look to the city of Las Vegas, Nevada, as a metaphor of our national character and aspiration, its symbol a thirty-foot-high cardboard picture of a slot machine and a chorus girl. For Las Vegas is a city entirely devoted to the idea of entertainment, and as such proclaims the spirit of a culture in which all public discourse increasingly takes the form of entertainment. Our politics, our religion, news, athletics, education and commerce have been transformed into congenial adjuncts of show business, largely without protest or even much popular notice."

Read more of America's Last Honest City at the Nation

"The terrible, cold, cruel part is Wall Street. Rivers of gold flow there from all over the earth, and death comes with it. There, as nowhere else, you feel a total absence of the spirit: herds of men who cannot count past three, herds more who cannot get past six, scorn for pure science and demoniacal respect for the present. And the terrible thing is that the crowd that fills the street believes that the world will always be the same and that it is their duty to keep that huge machine running, day and night, forever. This is what comes of a Protestant morality, that I, as a (thank God) typical Spaniard, found unnerving.”

Federico Garcia Lorca


PETA Airlines

"The requirement of having planes return to the gates within a three-hour window or face significant fines is inconsistent with our goal of completing as many flights as possible. Lengthy tarmac delays benefit no one."

James May
Air Transport Association chief

Just in time for the holiday travel season and a round of record setting blizzards, the Obama administration announced the airlines will be fined for keeping passengers sitting on airport tarmacs for more than three hours. The airlines say they will comply with the rules...but they are not happy.

Apparently, it conflicts with their goal of completing as many flights as possible. Evidently, passenger comfort and reassurance are not high on the list of goals. If you've ever been stuck on the tarmac for extended periods of time, you will cheer this decision.

Once I flew back to the Twin Cities from Washington DC, after being stuck on the Dulles Airport tarmac for a couple hours. Once airborne, the plane intercom announced that the toilet was inoperable and could not be used. A few minutes later, the same intercom announced that complimentary drinks would be served. I almost peed my pants...and it wasn't from laughing.


Crap and Tirade...

"Can't you take her at her word? She's going to be a force in the Republican Party for a long time and the hysterical attacks on her from the left continue to validate that."

Republican Senator John McCain


There's No "GOP" in "Progressive"

"Instead of joining us on the right side of history, all the Republicans can come up with is, 'Slow down, stop everything, let's start over.' If you think you've heard these same excuses before, you're right. When this country belatedly recognized the wrongs of slavery, there were those who dug in their heels and said, 'Slow down, it's too early, things aren't bad enough.'"

Senator Harry Reid

"If I were still a United States senator, I would not only vote yes on the current health care reform bill, I would do so with the sure knowledge that I was casting one of the most historic votes of my 36 years in the Senate. I would vote yes knowing that the bill represents the culmination of a struggle begun by Theodore Roosevelt nearly a century ago to make health care reform a reality. And while it does not contain every measure President Obama and I wanted, I would vote yes for this bill certain that it includes the fundamental, essential change that opponents of reform have resisted for generations...."

Vice President Joe Biden
Read Why the Senate Should Vote Yes on Health Care in the New York Times


Snipers V. Mobsters

Roadkill recently made an interesting comment about Left and Right Wing violence. The WTO climate change summit is melting down in Copenhagen and it didn't end up like the "Battle in Seattle" that erupted at the WTO conference a decade ago. RK's point is well taken.

The Left made a lot of noise about the TEA Party and the guns its members were legally bringing to rallies. There have been cops killed, a variety of lone-nut-job killings this year and a variety of examples of violent episodes against minorities. But then again, in Copenhagen there have been the protesters going head-to-head with the police in riot gear...like we saw at the 2008 GOP convention in St. Paul.

Road Kill thinks there is a lack of reporting on the violence coming from the Left and an over-emphasis of potential violence on the Right. I got no clue as to what is being reported on "mainstream media" and cable news...I don't watch either...I don't have cable or satellite TV. I daily try to read a couple of newspapers -- St. Paul Pioneer Press and the Wall Street Journal. I'll check out Business Week, Rolling Stone, the New Yorker, Unte Reader, Yoga Journal and a few other periodicals at my local library. I download a variety of pod casts from Left, Right and Center sights and listen to them on the MP3 player in my car. I don't feel qualified to weigh the balance scales of reporting of Right and Left violence. However, I can find examples of the reporting on both ends of the ideological media spectrum.
That said, I've been thinking about this and have come to the conclusion that the type of violence erupting from the Left and Right may reflect the ideological ideals of the two sides. I see much of the Right violence being pigeoned holed into the single-gun type. Since the Right emphasizes the "individual," won't you expect that type of "individualist" violence? On the Left we see the collective violence of protesters en mass against the police in riot gear. This types of violence often films well and happens around gathering like WTO conferences and political conventions. When things go astray at the mob protests of the Left, the "bad apple" excuse generally gets dragged out. Evidently, the 99 percent of those protesters were there to put flowers in gun barrels.

Of course, the extreme Left likes to do individual things like Earth First tree spiking and PETA lab destructions. Save the trees and lab rats and to hell with the humans!

Just a few thoughts on Roadkill's comments. Below are some pictures and thoughts related to Roadkill's comments and my thoughts...

"If you think the conservative "Tea Party" movement is daunting, take a look at a new report issued by the Department of Homeland Security that says right-wing extremism is on the rise throughout the country.

In the report officials warn that right-wing extremists could use the bad state of the U.S. economy and the election of the country's first black president to recruit new members to their cause..."

Source: Huffington Post

Meanwhile, this week in Copenhagen, police are dealing with the violence of left-wing extremists:

"By contrast, the piece of crap report issued on April 7 is a sweeping indictment of conservatives. And the intent is clear. As the two spokespeople I talked with on the phone today made clear: They both pinpointed the recent "economic downturn" and the "general state of the economy" for stoking "right-wing extremism." One of the spokespeople said he was told that the report has been in the works for a year. My b.s. detector went off the chart, and yours will, too, if you read through the entire report -- which asserts with no evidence that an unquantified "resurgence in right-wing extremist recruitment and radicalizations activity" is due to home foreclosures, job losses, and...the historical presidential election."

Michelle Milikin
Conservative blogger

"Why? Well, it's a document that discusses the potential threats that we can expect from "rightwing extremists" (no hyphen, for some reason) in the coming months; there's the usual stuff about guns, illegal immigration, and disgruntled war veterans, plus the new wrinkle of our having elected an African-American President. The report concludes, unsurprisingly, that we have to worry more about "lone wolves and small terrorist cells" than anything else."

Moe Lane

"...the media likes to focus on violence in protest, but I think what’s useful about this to know is that it’s a reflection of the silencing of civil society’s voice that’s happening, that the Danish government is so intense on cracking down and silencing critics of the talks that they’re even resorting to pushing violence on very explicitly nonviolent protesters..."

Joshua Kahn Russell
Rainforest Action Network organizer
on Copenhagen protest


Mommy, Where Does Government Debt & Deficits Come From?

Remember the good ol' days when our government was bless with surplus spending? Like when George W. Bush took office in 2001. Below is some interest bits of a Time magazine article from 2/19/2001 when Bush's tax cuts were being pushed through Congress. This would be when the House Majority Leader was Dick Armey. Armey if the current head puppeteer of the TEA Party movement and one of those currently squealing the loudest about growing government deficits and debt.

"The last gasp of liberalism."

Ari Fleischer
White House spokesman

"It looked like Big Government picking winners and losers."

Representative Ellen Tauscher
Democratic Leadership Council

"...During the campaign, Bush's tax-cut plan seemed too grandiose to many voters. But layoffs, slipping economic indicators and a blessing from Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan made the idea credible--and now Washington can smell a big tax cut the way hogs smell slop. Politicians are scrambling to the trough. Some of their schemes are well-intended--Senate majority leader Trent Lott wants to change the alternative minimum tax so it doesn't take such a big bite out of middle-class taxpayers--but all of them threaten to grow the beast. Lott's plan would bring Bush's plan to $1.8 trillion; House majority leader Dick Armey would inflate the cuts to $2.6 trillion. Corporate lobbyists "are baying at the door" of the Ways and Means Committee, says Florida Representative Mark Foley, with pleas for up to $1 trillion in goodies--lower corporate tax rates, larger write-offs for computers, more tax credits. Kick in other tax subsidies that important constituencies like farmers want extended, and the tab runs up to nearly $4 trillion.

"Time out!" pleads Max Baucus, senior Democrat on the Senate Finance Committee. 'Let's slow down here.'..."

"...Bush's surprise at the feeding frenzy is, of course, an act. White House aides wanted a fever for the political cover it provides. When G.O.P. conservatives howl for a $2.6 trillion cut and the Democrats come in at $900 billion, Bush's plan becomes the reasonable compromise at $1.6 trillion.

But hogs can be hard to control. Bush summoned CEOs to the White House last week and warned that he would fight any move toward business-tax breaks. "We should focus on people first, not corporations," he said. He delivered an even blunter message to Congressmen at the White House Thursday night: "I'm not going to let the tax plan get pencil-whipped." Brave words, but few in Washington believe them. Corporations gave $134 million in soft money to the Republicans to get Bush elected. Their chiefs expect more than White House cuff links in return..."

Here's a link to the Time article: What Is That Oink, Oink?


Put Your Political Patty Dukes Up -- 2012 GOP Hopefuls

To millions of Americans, Sarah Palin (and don't forget Michelle Bachmann) is the one person who can save the US from the perils of communism, gay marriage and gun control. But can she ever win the White House, or will she destroy the American right?

Read God has chosen her to lead our country at the Guardian.

"Sarah! Sarah!...She's worth waiting through the night for...In a funny way, we needed someone like Barack Obama to be elected to wake us up."

Robin Case
Laidoff autoworker

"What's the difference between a pitbull and a hockey mom? Lipstick."

Sarah Palin
Acceptance speech at 2008 Republican National Convention
"Something that I think sometimes people don’t like to hear is that secular people can be sometimes even more dogmatic in beliefs than people who are not secular. ... In some ways, to believe in evolution is almost like a following; a cult following — if you don’t believe in evolution, you’re considered completely backward. That seems to me very indicative of bias as well."

Congressman Michele Bachmann
Stillwater Gazette
September 29, 2003

"Literally, if we took away the minimum wage—if conceivably it was gone—we could potentially virtually wipe out unemployment completely because we would be able to offer jobs at whatever level."

Congressman Michele Bachmann
Jobs, Energy and Community Development Committee (2005)

"If we allow businesses to be prosperous and accrue capital, they’ll be giving their employees more than they can even begin to imagine. But when we continue to tie cement blocks on businesses (like the minimum wage) and constrain them, they can actually do less than their employees."

Congressman Michele Bachmann

"Our land is everything to us. It is the only place in the world where Cheyennes talk the Cheyenne language to each other. It is the only place where Cheyennes remember the same things together. I will tell you one of the things we remember on our land. We remember our grandfathers paid for it--with their life. My people and the Sioux defeated General Custer at the Little Big Horn."

Sarah Palin
Going Rogue



"He [President Bush] kissed me in Minnesota, too."

Congresswoman Michele Bachmann
January 24, 2007

"On November 5, 2009, thousands of protesters came to Capitol Hill in Washington for Congressman Michele Bachmann’s (R-Minn.) protest against health care reform, capping months of fear-mongering about the dangers of so-called “socialized” medicine.

However, the Washington Post’s Dana Milbank noted that at one point, one of the protesters had a heart attack. Luckily, federally-employed medical personnel were able to quickly attend to him — even though they were part of government-run health care, which is supposedly quite dangerous. They rushed over, attaching electrodes to his chest and giving him oxygen and an IV drip.

Then a D.C. ambulance and fire truck, lights flashing, pulled in behind the lawmakers “and the patient, attended to by about 10 government medical personnel, was being wheeled away on a stretcher just as House Minority Leader John Boehner (R-Ohio) stepped to the microphone. “Join us in defeating Pelosi care!” he exhorted. A few members stole a glance at the stretcher.” By the end of the day, “medics had administered government-run health care to at least five people in the crowd who were stricken as they denounced government-run health care.”

Read more @ Progressive Populist

Just think...a few years ago Michele Bachmann was trying to slip her tongue into Bush's ear after the State of the Union address and now she leading the TEA Party. Unfortunately see isn't mentioning Bush's name at any of the TEA Party rallies.


Hangin' Out Those "Family Values"

"Playgirl is not porn. I don't think it's a bad thing to do. Art, if you want to call it."

Levi Johnson
Playgirl pinup boy
Father of Sarah Palin's grandchild

"...I admit that I have winced at some of the lurid speculations about Governor Palin's family life, and thought them unkind and tasteless even as I lapped them up. She now claims that Levi Johnston is a fabricator when he describes a wildly dysfunctional Palin household. So then: what if she's right about him? It wasn't the liberal elite media who dug up this scapegrace and nudity artist. It was the Republican nominee for the vice presidency who hauled the lad before the cameras and forced us to look at him: a fit husband for her beloved daughter and an example to errant youth in general. Once again, one is compelled to ask which would be worse: a Sarah Palin who really meant what she merely seemed to say, or a Sarah Palin who would say anything at all for a cheap burst of applause..."

"...So there it is: anti-Washington except that she thirsts for it, and close enough (and also far enough away to be "deniable") to the paranoid fringe elements who darkly suspect that our president is a Kenyan communist. If you object to Kenyans interfering in the internal affairs of these United States, you really ought to raise an eyebrow at a candidate for the governorship of Alaska who accepts anointment from "Bishop" Thomas Muthee, a weird person who claims that witch removal in his Kenyan parish led to a reduction in crime, booze, and traffic violations..."

Read more of Palin's Base Appeal in Newsweek


What's In Your Finite Pool Of Worry?

Yesterday Roadkill made the following point in a comment:

"Funny how this all works. Seems like anytime there is a significant global warming meeting, rally, cor conference, mother nature sends a reality check."

Last night, as the first blizzard of the 2009-2010 winter was raging outside my window, I read a newspaper articles that provide parallel insight into RK's comment. This morning is I type this before I go out to shovel my driveway and the dog's kennel out and I think about a History Channel video I watched last night titled "A Global Warning!" The documentary looked back over the past 650 million years and reminded me the way things were and they way they will be.

I'm sure I care about the future of our planet, but as the article discussed below points out, we have a "finite pool of worry."

"We are collectively irrational, in the sense that we should really care about the long-term well-being of the planet but when we get up in the morning it's very hard to motivate ourselves."

Dan Ariely
Professor of behavioral economics
Duke University

"...Psychologists studying the issue say that the now-familiar warnings about climate change kick at emotional dead spots in all human brains -- but especially in American brains. Researchers have only theories to explain why people in the United States have done less than those in such places as Europe and Japan. Some think Americans are culturally leery of programs that the government might develop to target climate change, trusting instead that the free market will solve major problems..."

"...One U.S. researcher thought television is to blame: All those TV ads have made Americans more focused on their own wants, she theorized, and less likely to care about the long-term good...But the obstacles to progress -- internationally and in the U.S. Senate, where a climate bill is stalled -- aren't just mental...Climate change is a policy problem that has "psychological distance": In layman's terms, there's a sense that this is a problem for somebody else or some other time..."

Read Save the planet? It's irrational at the Minneapolis Star-Tribune

"Simply urging people -- or telling them that it's a good idea to recycle or conserve energy -- is the same as nothing."

Robert Cialdini
Arizona State University Professor


Just A Pinch Between The Right & Left

"The game seems to be that all countries pick a politically safe number.India is now joining that game. And the game started with the United States."

Navroz K. Dubash
India Center for Policy Research

"...Last week, President Obama announced that the United States, the world's second largest emitter of greenhouse gases, after China, would set a provisional target to cut its total greenhouse gas emissions by roughly 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020, and 83 percent by 2050. The next day, the Chinese government announced a target to slow emissions by reducing carbon intensity levels by 40 to 45 percent by 2020, compared with 2005 levels.

Neither the Chinese nor the American plan satisfied many critics, who want both countries to commit to far bolder steps. Navroz K. Dubash, a climate change specialist in New Delhi, said the American pledge was actually a lesser commitment than it would have been obligated to meet under the Kyoto Protocol, which the United States refused to ratify. Mr. Dubash said that India had become a more constructive participant in climate change negotiations, but that the flurry of pre-Copenhagen announcements did not represent a breakthrough response to the crisis..."

Read more of India Announces Plan to Slow Emissions at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


Compromise Pushes Nuclear Option

"The line I always remember from Winston Churchill is that you can always count on Americans to do the right thing, after all other possibilities have been exhausted. The good news is that we're there."

J. Wayne Leonard
CEO of Entery

“The world has achieved brilliance without wisdom, power without conscience. Our is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants.”

Omar Bradley
US Army General

“Well you know boys, a nuclear reactor is a lot like women. You just have to read the manual and press the right button.”

Homer Simpson

"...When a brigade of Greenpeace activists stormed a nuclear power plant on the shores of the North Sea a few years ago, scrawling "danger" on its reactor, Robert Tindale was their commander. Then head of the group's British office, he remembers, he stood outside the plant just east of London telling TV crews all the reasons "why nuclear power was evil..."

Read Nuclear Power Regains Support at Washington Post

"It really is a question about the greater evil -- nuclear waste or climate change. But there is no contest anymore. Climate change is the bigger threat, and nuclear is part of the answer."

Robert Tindale
former director of Green Peace

"The national policy of the country in the 1970s was to wean ourselves from oil, so the government said, 'Go build coal and nuclear.' Then Three Mile Island happened, and all we had was coal. Now, it is fundamentally unfair to punish people for having carried out national policy...people in Indiana would be subsidizing people in California, and that's wrong."

James E. Rogers
CEO Duke Power

"I guess you could call it 'grudging acceptance. If we are really serious about dealing with climate change, we are going to have to be willing to look at a range of options and not just rule things off the table. We may not like it, but that's the way it is."

Steve Cochran
Environmental Defense Fund

"Because of global warming, most of the big groups have become less active on their nuclear campaign, and almost all of us are taking another look at our internal policies. We've decided not to officially endorse it, in part because we feel the nuclear lobby is already strong enough. But we are also no longer focusing our energies on opposing it."

Mike Childs
Friends of the Earth

"...The construction of nuclear plants was banned in Britain for years after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster in what was then the Soviet Union. But now the British are weighing the idea of new nuclear plants as part of the battle against climate change, and Tindale is among several environmentalists who are backing the plan..."

"More than 40 Prairie Island Indian Community members attended a rally today and voiced their opposition to Xcel Energy’s expansion and nuclear waste storage plans for the nearby nuclear plant.

Today is Native American Heritage Day. As a way of honoring their ancestors and protecting the community, officials urged tribal members to contact state legislators and continue voicing opposition to Xcel's plans..."

"We need to let the power plant know we're going nowhere. This is our ancestral lands."

Ron Johnson
Tribal Council President

Read more @ Red Wing Republican Eagle


GOP Still Taking The Southern Route

"By the '70s and into the '80s and '90s, the Democratic Party solidified its gains in the African American community, and we Republicans did not effectively reach out. Some Republicans gave up on winning the African American vote, looking the other way or trying to benefit politically from racial polarization. I am here today as the Republican chairman to tell you we were wrong."

Ken Mehlman
Former Republican National Committee chairman

"The Republican Party walked away from the black community in the late 1960s. It was stupid. It was dumb to pursue a southern strategy and it came back to bite them in 1992."

Micheal Steele
Current Republican National Committee chairman

“I think an overwhelming portion of the intensely demonstrated animosity toward President Barack Obama is based on the fact that he is a black man.”

Former President Jimmy Carter

Republicans called Carter’s remarks “very destructive” (Newt Gingrich) or “an outrage” (GOP chairman Michael Steele, who happens to be black himself).

"Mr. Reagan, the ultimate political hero of so many Republicans, opposed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965. In response to the historic Brown v. Board of Education school-desegregation ruling, William F. Buckley, the ultimate intellectual hero of so many Republicans, asserted that whites, being superior, were well within their rights to discriminate against blacks."

Bob Hebert
The New York Times


Hypocritical Oath

"I am not a racist. I am simply a person speaking up to make sure patients don't get hurt by the government and by insurance companies...Because I've been so effective in pointing out how the government plans are going to hurt patients in very serious ways ... the only way they can neutralize my message is to discredit me personally."

David McKalip
Florida surgeon
Sender of image below via e-mail

"...The image is a pastiche. Obama's head is grafted onto a picture of a man wearing nothing but bead necklaces and a loincloth, his legs spread wide, his long, thick fingers grasping a stick in front of him. There's a bone through his nose and a confection of feathers and flowers on his head. The picture evokes the world of National Geographic that once gave children a guiltless excuse to indulge their curiosity in the flesh. Under the witch doctor picture is the slogan "Obama Care," with the red, white and blue campaign symbol serving as the O and a sickle and hammer as the C.

The statement McKalip and his cohort were making is thus a political pastiche as well: Obama is foreign, strange, not "natural born"; half-naked, he is a figure of danger, seductive perhaps for his exoticism, his magic--the promise of cures--but ultimately loathsome, at once clownish, somehow thrilling to confront but also frightening, certainly not someone a white man would want to leave alone with his daughter... and a communist to boot..."

Joann Wypijewski
Read more of Red Scare, Black Scare at The Nation.

"I genuinely regret the decision I made in passing this e-mail message along. Directly to President Obama, I sincerely apologize for offending him. This was, in no way whatsoever, my intention. The image has nothing to do with my feelings or thoughts on any race or culture. I recognize that this image is offensive and hope that the nation refocuses on assuring all Americans have access to high-quality, affordable health care with no party interfering in the patient-physician relationship. My intention is to focus directly on the issue at hand, which is putting financial and decision-making power into the hands of patients and taking it from government and insurance companies."

David McKalip's apology