A university is just a group of buildings gathered around a library. ~Shelby Foote

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Turd Day in Wisconsin

So many turds, so little time. We've got turds both literal and figurative, so let's, er... dive on in, shall we?

Been raining steadily for the last fourteen months here in Wisconsin (ok, ok, how about two weeks) with only occassional respites of sunshine, so water levels are high, the ground is saturated, and the turds are floating out into the lake. The exact volume of turdishness is at this time undetermined, but since there is more rain in the forecast for later today and tomorrow, the algae are likely to be happy. The fishies not so much. Oh, and not just Lake Michigan-- some of the other waterways in the Milwaukee area, too. Thank you MMSD.

Moving on to the figurative turds. Well, it's election day, so we all get to vote for the turd of our choice. What fun. Of course, not all of them are turds, but it is getting harder and harder to distinguish the fecal matter from the non these days. For example, there is this-- always nice to see a candidate for the Wisconsin Supreme Court, the embodiment of anti-turdishness, willing to mislead and obscure the voters for political gain.

But really, that's pretty minor. Much, much bigger turds out there-- and they aren't even politicians! Well, okay, Harry Reid is a politician, and he's definitely a turd for threatening to cut funding for our troops if Bush vetoes the Democrats' current deadline laden funding bill. Much as I disagree with the P and VP on their handling of the war, cutting off funding for our troops is not an acceptable way of dealing with the mess in Iraq.

Right! Non-politician turds. Okay, well there's Brian Duchow and the judges that won't allow the tape of Duchow threatening to "beat the hell" out of a child with Downs Syndrome to be admissible in court. Those are some high grade turds there, my friends.

There's Milwaukee turd extraordinaire, Michael McGee, Jr., who is facing a recall election today. McGee is a bully, and a whiner, and a abuser of his status as an African-American politician for his own personal gain. Here's hoping he goes down in flames.

Oops. That was a politician again. Geez, it's awful easy to find political turds.

Okay, okay. Well, James Wolcott was, I'm pretty sure, the first person I called a turd in this blog, so I should mention him. Seems he has a spiffy new blog "home" at Vanity Fair. And he is berating officious, sneering, East Coast pundits for their mischaracterization of Fred Thompson as "gruff" and like a teamster, citing their "ardent longing of Beltway types for topdog masculine authenticity." Pot. Kettle. Black. Irony.

And what early April turd listing would be complete without mentioning my local school district? Yes, once again, for the fifth straight year-- they are consistent, you have to give them that-- the RUSD is almost certainly going to ask residents to give them more money. And once again they will hold a special election for this referendum to keep turn out down and improve the chances that it will pass. Never mind that holding a special vote on a day with nothing else going on costs tax payers an extra $30,000 or thereabouts. Completely shamelessly, some of the members of the School Board are once again maintaining that the referendum would not raise taxes since it's just a continuation of the increase approved last year. And the year before that. And the year before that.

Okay, now I have to go wash my hands.
Harry Reid wants to cut off funding to the war. That was one of my biggest concerns with the Democrats getting into the majority in one or both houses of Congress. How was it that he and his party got into these positions of power?

The biggest part of it was due to the Republican politicians being a bunch of absolute morons, counting far too much on people not wanting the Democrats in power more than not wanting the stupidity of the Republicans. I think another part of it, however, was from people who followed this type of advice:

If you don't follow my suggestion to write-in a candidate you actually think would do the job well in November, do consider just voting for the non-incumbent. Forget party affiliations, forget the week's hot button. We need new faces, new ideas and new attitudes in our government these days.


Even if I were to grant OSC his "Bush is a visionary who has done the right things" viewpoint-- and I no longer do-- the fact remains that this Congress has been dreadful, the country is worse for it, and there is much reason to believe that divided government is not only preferable, it is vital to our country's development, reputation and future. [...]

Having said all this, I will still write-in people I think will actually do a good job next Tuesday, but since I think it's unlikely that any of my write-ins will actually win office, I am hopeful that the Democrats regain control of at least one house in Congress. Locally, I will continue to hope for the incumbent to lose in all but a handful of elections.


And the one thing Bush actually did right-- in a a conservative sense-- was to cut taxes. But you can't just cut taxes and not cut spending-- much less increase it. Spending has skyrocketed under Bush, even without the War, and split gov't should reign in that profligate spending.

Time will tell.

The Republicans are definitely the most at fault for losing the confidence of the majority of the electorate (slim as it may have been). The pie-in-the-sky idealism of new establishment leadership not actually screwing us just as much, though, did not help.

The Democrats - are they really the needed "new faces, new ideas and new attitudes in our government these days?" Does there still seem to be "much reason to believe that divided government is not only preferable, it is vital to our country's development, reputation and future?" And after seeing the billions in pork in the soon-to-be-vetoed supplemental appropriations bill, I can see now how "split gov't should reign in that profligate spending."

Time is telling. Thanks for the turds with a propensity to surrender.
LOL, you're seriously laying some of the blame for the Republicans' demise in Congress on my pie-in-the-skying, Mojo? Please. And, for the record, I have no problem whatsoever with Reid and Pelosi and the Dems turning a microscope on Bush and Rove and Cheney. Rock on. My complaint is with Reid threatening to eliminate funding for the troops if he d/n get his way.

That's pathetic and deplorable. And old turd thinking.

Also for the record, I stand by my contention that if you don't feel strongly about one or the other candidate, right somebody in or vote for the non-incumbent. Oddly enough, the guy I castigate as a turd is in his 4 millionth term as a senator (ok, only his fourth, but that's still over 20 years in the Senate). I would happily have thrown him over the side for a new face, Dem or Repub.

And I am happy that power in D.C. is now split, Reid's turdlike tactics of playing with our troops as a political football notwithstanding. One-party rule has never, ever worked, no matter which party is in power. Split power means debate, compromise and something more than petty invective because neither side can get what it wants without working with the other.

At any rate, it is still rather a bit early to tell about our current crop of turds in Congress. One thing I am happy about is that the presidential nominees next year-- from both parties-- will likely not be the same old, same old (though Hillary comes close if she wins the Dem nod, as does McCain if he wins the GOP ticket).

Meet the new turds... same as the old turds. But mostly because they ARE the old turds, just in new positions. We need more new turds. Which is to say... fresh turds?
I agree that what Reid is threating is pathetic and deplorable. Reid is in the position to make those threats because he is now the Majority Leader. Having Reid's party in power in Congress creates your divided government, and it was previously your contention that "divided government is not only preferable, it is vital to our country's development, reputation and future."

You're right, compared to the Republicans, the Democrats are just different turds. Unfortunately, forcasts based in reality showed that one of those two groups of turds would be setting the agenda. I opted to go with the less surrender-prone turds, whereas you seemed to believe that having hard turds in the White House and soft turds in the Congress would be vital to our country's development, reputation and future, and that a government of split turds would reign in that profligate spending.

Prior to the elections, I disagreed with that mindset because I thought that the Democrats might take this route if they got in power. They are in power now, they are threatening to take the cut-the-funding route, and you have the divided government that you found to be a preferable situation five months ago.
I do have my divided government, and so far I am pleased with it. I'd be happier if Pelosi and Reid and others spent less time grandstanding and voting on non-binding resolutions that simply waste time and money, but overall, I'm happy. Reid's posturing is hopefully just that, posturing.

Time is telling, but I would maintain that the story is far from finished, and I still think it may have a happy ending. Then again, I could be wrong. But long-term Congressman get institutionalized to the point where power and their position in the institution are the point. Rather than serving their constituents.

So, vote for an individual if you feel strongly about him or her. But if not, vote against the incumbent. Change is good. Change is healthy. Change keeps the donkeys on their toes and reminds them what their job is supposed to be.
Congress sent a funding proposal to the Prez, but it didn't give him a blank check.

Boo freakin hoo.

So, not used to not getting his way, he throws a hissy fit temper tantrum and threatens to veto the bill.

Who is refusing to fund the troops again? Looks to me like Congress sent a funding proposal that is, you know, in line with what the majority of the populace wants. It's Bush that is threatening to pull the plug, not Reid.

Reid refused to back down in the face of such bullying. The Feingold/Reid proposal doesn't summarily cut off funding, but reduces it in conjunction with a reduction in troop forces.

As Pelosi said, there's a co-equal branch of government again, and they might not see things the same way the President does. Get used to it, and maybe -MAYBE learn to work towards compromise and agreement, rather than simply resort to bluster and threats.

Jeez. Talk about a turd.
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