Thursday, January 20, 2011

In remembrance of Barbi

Our dear talented friend and editor/blogger, Barbi, passed away in October and is sorely missed by us and by the readers of this blog. Here are some thoughts for and about Barbi from some of us who knew and loved her.

From Beth in New York:

Raising a glass to Barbi! A person who was always there for us all during those tough times when our country was under siege back in 2004. Barbi embraced nature and shared her love of it with us, with pictures of Northern Michigan.

Barbi took over the blog full time when I was not allowed to blog anymore while working for the government in 2007. She did a great job!! She managed the trolls that would lurk.

I will never forget the late nights when we would all blog with Barbi; Jen sharing music and teaching us html, Greg from New Yawk sharing those obscure scenarios, the Rev from NC talking about daisy dukes, Cin from Cali coming into the conversation late and trying to catch up, Rick filling us in on the events in Tennessee, Maura from "The Fat Lady Signs" sharing her ever impressive posts, The Heretick from Utah popping in to leave a link to a post he did, Pam from CT informing us of the Connecticut Senate Race (remember Ned vs Joemomentum), BB from Mass, helping us through the laws being passed back then, George on the road in his camper and his dogs, Paul (in VA) always responding to the right wing attacks, and Dellberto taken under the wing of Barbi - Mom and Son. There are so many people whose lives were touched by Barbi.

We are still a group that stays in touch and we miss Barbi but know she is at peace in the Spirit World embracing nature.

From Cin in California:

Dearest Barbi:

We met during a special time. The old KA gang shared some great times that I will never forget. I will always remember the laughs, tears and your spirit and determination.
Rest In Peace, Dearest Barbi

From Greg G. in New York:

In those days right before and after Kerry lost in '04 I was looking for something to do with my sense of despair and anger. I stumbled onto the DNC blog and found a group of funny, warm folks to share hopes and nightmares with and I met Barbara. We collaborated on some writing and she liked my jokes. Over the years I discovered that a person’s essence is just as easily revealed over the internet as it is when holed up during a snowstorm in some mid-west road house filled with strangers who as they relax into their rum and cokes slowly ease into sharing their life stories. But I wish I had sat next to her on bar stools in such a dive just once in this lifetime.

From Jenny in Ohio:

Thank you, dear Barbi, for being a good friend. You're a generous, fun lady and there are so many memories I have of you that I know will stay with me forever. I wish we had had a chance to meet face to face, but our spirits met and that is a blessing. I remember fondly your pride in your Scottish heritage and this seemed an appropriate tribute for you...

My Heart is ravisht with delight,
when thee I think upon;
All Grief and Sorrow takes the flight,
and speedily is gone;
The bright resemblance of thy Face,
so fills this, Heart of mine;
That Force nor Fate can me displease,
for Old long syne.

Rev. James (and Robert) in North Carolina:

Barbi was a strong advocate for Rob and me. She and I exchanged quite a few emails. Her warmth, humor, and strong sense of fair play were such light in this often terrible and dark world. She is sorely missed.

From Tony D. in Minneapolis

What I remember most of Barbi was her passion and the collection of interests she both nurtured and found nurturing - from nature and gardening, to Scottish History and heritage, to ships however small or grand the quarterdeck. The passion informed her writing and posts and when you thought she might have exhausted her knowledge or interest in a subject a response to one of your comments let you know there was more to enjoy if you cared.

A Seafarer's Prayer (Sung by Lisa Thiel)

O may the winds be fair and the Great Sea be calm,
May we follow our course surely from Dark until Dawn,
With the Bright Stars above us and the Great Sea below
And the Graces around us wherever we go.
Oh, we call on the winds to be ally and friends
And to carry us through until journey's end.
Oh, we call on the winds for their help and their aid,
To carry us out and over the waves.

(If you have something you'd like to share here, please contact us at donkeyodatgmaildotcom. and we will add it to this post. If you'd rather just leave something in the comments, that is fine too! Thank you! )

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Monday, August 23, 2010

Another Crazy

The RNC's very own Kim Lehman refused to read the President's lips:

"Part of this conviction is rooted in my own experience. I am a Christian, but my father came from a Kenyan family that includes generations of Muslims. As a boy, I spent several years in Indonesia and heard the call of the azaan at the break of dawn and the fall of dusk. As a young man, I worked in Chicago communities where many found dignity and peace in their Muslim faith."


Saturday, August 07, 2010

Persistently Crazy

Birther wacko refuses to give up the crazy...

Birther Queen Tries To Fight $20K Fine At Supreme Court

If you say nothing else about Orly Taitz, say she is persistent.

Taitz, birther lawyer extraordinaire, last month tried to fight a $20,000 fine by appealing to the Supreme Court. Justice Clarence Thomas denied her appeal.

So this week, she re-filed the appeal, this time directing it to Justice Samuel Alito instead.

You lost, Orly. Now pay up.


Friday, July 30, 2010

GOP Denying Aid For Heroes

I just don't understand these people:

GOP opposes medical funding for 9/11 victims

We're left with Republicans, in an election year, taking a bold stand against funding for medical care for 9/11 heroes.


Rep. Anthony Weiner doesn't understand them either:

Anthony Weiner's Spitting Mad Rant Against Republicans On The House Floor
The House was debating a bill last night that would provide up to $7.4 billion in health care aid to rescue and recovery workers who have faced health problems since their work in the wake of the September 11 attacks. The bill ultimately failed to get the needed two-thirds majority, 255-159, and Rep. Anthony Weiner (D-NY) was not happy about it. Not one bit.

I'd say he was really ticked.


Thursday, July 29, 2010

A Reminder

To be a Liberal, as John F. Kennedy said in 1960:

This is my political credo:

I believe in human dignity as the source of national purpose, in human liberty as the source of national action, in the human heart as the source of national compassion, and in the human mind as the source of our invention and our ideas. It is, I believe, the faith in our fellow citizens as individuals and as people that lies at the heart of the liberal faith. For liberalism is not so much a party creed or set of fixed platform promises as it is an attitude of mind and heart, a faith in man's ability through the experiences of his reason and judgment to increase for himself and his fellow men the amount of justice and freedom and brotherhood which all human life deserves.

I believe also in the United States of America, in the promise that it contains and has contained throughout our history of producing a society so abundant and creative and so free and responsible that it cannot only fulfill the aspirations of its citizens, but serve equally well as a beacon for all mankind. I do not believe in a superstate. I see no magic in tax dollars which are sent to Washington and then returned. I abhor the waste and incompetence of large-scale federal bureaucracies in this administration as well as in others. I do not favor state compulsion when voluntary individual effort can do the job and do it well. But I believe in a government which acts, which exercises its full powers and full responsibilities. Government is an art and a precious obligation; and when it has a job to do, I believe it should do it. And this requires not only great ends but that we propose concrete means of achieving them.

Our responsibility is not discharged by announcement of virtuous ends. Our responsibility is to achieve these objectives with social invention, with political skill, and executive vigor. I believe for these reasons that liberalism is our best and only hope in the world today. For the liberal society is a free society, and it is at the same time and for that reason a strong society. Its strength is drawn from the will of free people committed to great ends and peacefully striving to meet them.
"I think it is our task to re-create the same atmosphere in our own time."


Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Additional Afghanistan War Funding Passed

Congress has passed another supplemental funding bill for the Afghanistan war:

H R 4899

Yeas - 308
Nays - 114
NV - 10

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Obama Signs Unemployment Bill

The unemployment extension bill has finally been passed, and signed by President Obama.

Checks Are Coming: Obama Signs Unemployment Bill

Checks coming soon: Obama signs hard-fought extension of long-term jobless benefits

Federal checks could begin flowing again as early as next week to millions of jobless people who lost up to seven weeks of unemployment benefits in a congressional standoff.

President Barack Obama on Thursday signed into law a restoration of benefits for people who have been out of work for six months or more. Congress approved the measure earlier in the day. [...]

At stake are up to 73 weeks of federally financed benefits for people who have exhausted their 26 weeks of state jobless benefits. About half of the approximately 5 million people in the program have had their benefits cut off since its authorization expired June 2.

They are eligible for lump-sum retroactive payments that are typically delivered directly to their bank accounts or credited to state-issued debit cards.

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Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Breitbart: Pants On Fire

Breitbart spews BS. Again.

White House, You Were Punked By Andrew Breitbart:

Sherrod belonged to an organization set up during the civil rights era specifically to help black farmers. So, yes, she had some reservations the first time she was approached for help by a white farmer. Then she sent him to a white lawyer for help, because she thought the white lawyer would help one of his own kind. But she learned an important lesson that day: When you're poor, no one wants to help you, no matter your race!

Because the entire point of Sherrod's story was to illustrate how her eyes were opened to that fact, she went on in her speech to explain that she "eventually worked with the man over a two-year period to help ward off foreclosure of his farm and ... eventually became friends with him and his wife."

This has been corroborated by the actual discriminated-against white people in question.

But that part isn't in the clip that Breitbart posted.

WATCH: Full Video Of Sherrod's Speech [43:15]

White farmers at the center of Shirley Sherrod controversy: ‘No way in the world’ she is a racist.

More Context On How Shirley Sherrod Became The Latest Right Wing Media Victim

NAACP president: "We were snookered" by Fox and Breitbart

Andrew Breitbart is a Liar. Let's Not Forget That One.

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Elephant Poo Déjà Vu

Hasn't this country already suffered enough harm from their crap?

Seeing the Elephant

William Rivers Pitt:

The Republican Party has become a preposterous farce, dominated by the likes of Sarah Palin and Michael Steele. The Tea Party movement is basically nothing more than a Trojan Horse filled with hard-core GOP base members whose views on everything from religion to the constitution to freedom of choice is not shared by roughly 75% of the general population.

They are the Taliban of American Christianity, and the only reason they have gotten so much ink is because the national press corps likes to take the easy way out whenever possible. Add to this the fact that the Tea Party has shot the GOP in the foot several times already by running off electable Republicans and nominating the cast from One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest. [...]

If people need a reminder, one is readily available. We are, of course, in the middle of a gut-twisting recession that a lot of smart people believe is about to get worse again. The response of the GOP and the far right, of course, is to offer up a repackaged version of trickle-down Reaganomics that would, if enacted, char the economy to cinders. Not to worry, because the very rich would get theirs, but the rest of us would wind up standing in soup lines and selling apples to stay alive.

If people need a specific reminder, they can look to the obnoxious drama that has been unfolding in congress over the last several weeks. Democrats in the Senate have been trying to extend unemployment benefits to millions of Americans who desperately need help. Senate Republicans have filibustered the extension of these benefits at every turn, insisting that these benefits be paid for by either tax hikes or spending cuts. This view is shared by virtually every Republican in the Senate.

But wait, there's a solution right in front of them: the bloated, unaffordable Bush-era tax cuts for rich people are about to expire, and the GOP is in a tizzy. Democrats want to keep those tax cuts in place only for people making up to $200,000-$250,000 a year, and dump the tax cuts for anyone making more. This would generate billions in revenue that could pay for, among other things, extending unemployment benefits for Americans who have been screwed out of their jobs and homes by Bush-era economic policies.

But no, says the GOP, we have to keep those tax cuts as they are. Their desire to make sure unemployment benefits are paid for does not extend to making sure these Bushian tax cuts are paid for. If Senate Republicans get their way, the unemployed will get screwed and the super-wealthy will keep getting pornographically huge slices of revenue we absolutely cannot afford to give them. As it stands, the GOP's filibuster of these benefits is already screwing the people, and if the Republicans were in the majority, well, we've read this script before.

Been there. Done that. Didn't work.

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Sunday, July 04, 2010

Happy Fourth


Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.

~George Bernard Shaw, Man and Superman
"Maxims: Liberty and Equality," 1905

Those who won our independence believed liberty to be the secret of happiness and courage to be the secret of liberty.

~Louis D. Brandeis

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Saturday, July 03, 2010

Crazy Train

They just keep on keeping on. Month after month, week after week, day after day, the crazy train keeps on rolling along.

I Timed It: One Can say "The GOP Is Nuts" At Least Fifteen Times in Thirty Seconds
Fri, 07/02/2010

"What is, Because one can be boundlessly crazy and not pay a price for it?"


"Alex, I'll take 'Republican Antics' again, since all the correct question-answers in this category appear to be identical."

That seems to be the best and notionally shortest response to Chris Matthews' and Eugene Robinson's co-bewilderment last night, as they sat and pondered why, for heaven's sake why, Republican pols and their ideological allies persist in ratcheting up the lunacy. [...]

What, again, was your question, Messrs. Matthews and Robinson? Something about why Republican pols are behaving like unmedicated lunatics? Because one can be boundlessly crazy -- or at the very least reflect the otherworldly views of the boundlessly crazy -- and not pay a price for it. [...]

And we'll stay on this downward trajectory, right up to a replanted lunatic majority in Congress -- with subpoena power, no less -- until Democrats nationalize the election with one simple but endlessly repeated observation, floating superimposed over Barton, Boehner & Co. insights: The GOP is nuts.


Monday, June 28, 2010

RIP, Senator Byrd

Senator Robert Byrd Dies at 92

For more than a third of its 144-year existence, the state of West Virginia was represented in the U.S. Senate by one man: Robert C. Byrd. So encompassing was Byrd's 50 years of service in the Senate and so encyclopedic his institutional knowledge that by the time he died early Monday morning, he had become not just the political personification of West Virginia in the nation's capital, but the embodiment and ambassador of the Senate itself to the rest of the country. Byrd was admitted to hospital last week for dehydration, and his condition worsened over the weekend as he became critically ill. Twice its majority leader, a master of its all-powerful rules and a fierce defender of its prerogatives, Byrd was as much a part of the place as the wooden desks, steep-sloped galleries and soaring speeches that filled it. Byrd was 92.


Thursday, June 24, 2010


The Gulf of Mexico got in BP's way?

John Darkow, Columbia Daily Tribune

"How Republicans Would Govern"

Gary Varvel, Indianapolis Star-News

How about apologizing for the BP gusher of lies?
Not long ago, BP joined the other oil companies in greenwashing their image by making it appear that they were developing clean energy, when all they were really doing was going for broke in pursuing the last drops of oil in places that it was so dangerous to drill in, we are still left with the possibility that the floor of the Gulf of Mexico may blow up and it will become literally a sea of oil.

All you need to know about Tony Hayward is that he believes PR can save BP from prosecution for criminal malfeasance.

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Saturday, June 12, 2010

Oil Slick Dickitude

BP tries to create its own reality.

video: Olbermann: BP Starting To Sound Like Baghdad Bob
The protestations of foreign oil giant BP about their efforts to contain their cataclysmic oil disaster have become increasingly divorced from reality. [...]

Featured in the montage are BP CEO Tony Hayward, COO Doug Suttles, and managing director Bob Dudley, the men running the disastrous response to their company’s catastrophe.

And they're not very good at it.

BP’s failures made worse by PR mistakes
BP is already fighting an oil gusher it can't contain and watching its mighty market value wither away. Its own bumbling public-relations efforts are making a big mess worse.

Not only has it made a series of gaffes — none greater than the CEO's complaint that "I'd like my life back" — the company hasn't even followed its own internal guidelines for damage control after a spill.

Executives have quibbled about the existence of undersea plumes of oil, downplayed the potential damage early in the crisis and made far-too-optimistic predictions for when the spill could be stopped. BP's steadiest public presence has been the ever-present live TV shot of the untamed gusher.

As you can see.

WKRG News (Mobile/Pensacola) Live Stream

Will the BP Fiasco Change U.S. Politics? Don't Bet on It
This is a constant drumbeat, but think about it: Isn't it remarkable how transcendentally awful BP's approach to the Gulf disaster has been? At each and every turn, with the stakes impossibly high, BP has always chosen to do the wrong thing. There's the substance -- having no emergency worst-case contingency plans for a blowout, disingenuously refusing to estimate the amount of oil flowing. There's the politics and image stuff, including CEO Tony Hayward's lies and self-pity and the platoons of lawyers and PR people trying to keep cleanup workers silent and choke off media attention. It's been an awesome display of every kind of 21st century corporate dick-itude. [...]

Meanwhile, the cult of the free market, which too often means letting big business do what it wants, retained a powerful hold on U.S. politics. We're still learning all the ways in which the Bush administration pulled out all the political and regulatory stops for big oil and other energy industries, which led to a culture of lax oversight and technological corner-cutting in a high-risk activity.

Now: When disaster struck, it quickly became obvious that all the green stuff was just for show. Where it counted, BP had not been green at all, but murky brown. Today, with the Gulf of Mexico getting more fouled by the hour and the eyes of the world riveted on its every move (the one time you really, really want to get corporate PR right) BP has demonstrated it cares more about covering its own arse than doing the right thing.


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Saturday, June 05, 2010

How big is the BP oil disaster?

How big is BP's disaster? Pretty darned big. For some size perspective, check out: If it was my home.

How far might the oil slick spread?
The National Center for Atmospheric Research, which does a lot of computer modeling of the air and oceans, has put together a simulation of where the oil from the Deepwater Horizon might go over the next hundred days. In a word: far.

Here is a live feed, courtesy of PBS:

Photos: Gulf Oil Spill: Animals In Peril

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