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WE'VE MOVED! Click here: http://www.hartwilliams.com/blog/blogger.html

WE'VE MOVED! Click here: http://www.hartwilliams.com/blog/blogger.html

Friday, February 17, 2006
THE AUDIO BLOG
or, THE MANY REQUESTS FOR A CHENEY PIECE ARE FULFILLED

Here is the piece heard on KOPT-AM radio Friday morning, Feb 17.

It is a commentary on Deadeye Dick's infamous shooting incident, which has generated more "requests" from persons-in-the-street than any other thing I've done. Even had I not planned to do it, I would have, based on the populi who aren't afforded much vox these daze.

It's a 1.8 meg download. The (hilarious) piece runs 3:45.

Download the MP3 (right click and "save as"):

http://www.hartwilliams.com/deadeyedick.mp3

And, in keeping with the spirit of Frank Zappa, I dedicate this nonsensical sentence to Edgar Varese, who noted that "The modern day composer refuses to die."

And that's the news from Bluejean, Orygun, Yewessay, where Al Franken came this morning to do his radio show, and, afterwards at the "meet and greet" told hilarious stories about how he'd been invited to speak at the Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, and found not a lot of a sense of humor or a capability for accepting any gentle ribbing. But that's another story.

Courage.
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Thursday, February 16, 2006
TAX SEASON
or, WORKING ALL NIGHT LONG


Tax season. Working all night long.

No time to blog today.

Courage. (And sleepy time tea)
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Wednesday, February 15, 2006
TAX SEASON 1
or, WORKING ALL NIGHT LONG


Tax season. Working all night long.

No time to blog today. Bleary-eyed.

Courage. (And eyedrops.)
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Tuesday, February 14, 2006
HART TO HART
or, A DEMOCRATIC VALENTINE


Let's start with Gary Hart's letter in the Huffington Post:

Gary Hart
Tue Feb 14, 4:31 PM ET

Based on news reports alone and knowing nothing (thank goodness) about behind-the-scenes politics, the pressure brought on Paul Hackett, the bold Iraqi veteran, to abandon his campaign for the U.S. Senate from Ohio is deplorable.

This is simply old politics at its worst. There is a party which hand-picks its candidates, decides who can and cannot run, directs money to the favorite candidate, and dictate terms. Up till now, that party has been the Republican party.

Now, it seems, my Democratic party is once again imitating the Republican party in a desperate effort to regain power. With the McGovern democratic reforms in the early 1970s, political bosses were diminished and grassroots voters were elevated. The theme was, Let the people decide.

Telling Paul Hackett that he cannot run for the Senate, and purportedly calling contributors to dry up his funds, is the worse kind of old politics. It will drive voters away from the supposedly "open" party, the Democrats, and further add to public cynicism about how politics in America is played in the early 21st century.

Shame on us.
I refer you to my posting a couple of days ago, wherein I noted that state Democratic politics had become a mockery of the "primary" process, with Democratic leadership recruiting and financing (through their new centralized position as acceptor of PAC contributions) those candidates. The only change from a hundred years ago is that the party hacks now pick in smoke free back rooms.

For nine years, I was an "insider" in Oregon Democratic politics. I had joined to fight the Republicans and the right-wing putsch I'd seen at the 1988 Republican National Convention, and had been warning about in the loudest terms to the deafest ears.

And, for a decade, I watched Democrats fighting Democrats, but I can't recall an instance where Democrats actually fought Republicans. Meetings were overlong and focused on tiny matters of ideological purity, or were long donnybrooks over meaningless issues, like the State Platform convention in 1996, where we had a long, nasty battle over whether or not to recognize Cuba.

Huh?

Yes, Virginia, it's true: the Democrats are so busy spoiling for a fight that they never get 'round to fighting Republicans, or over anything that people think matters.

Consider this letter I received from MoveOn today (I am a charter member, having joined during the impeachment, long ago, when MoveOn was set up with Flying Toasters screensaver money, to send a petition to the Senate asking to "Move On"):
Dear MoveOn member,

This year our top goal is breaking the right-wing Republican stranglehold on Congress. That is our main focus every day.

It is also part of our work together to hold Democrats to their Party's highest values on issues like foreign policy, economic prosperity and good government.

That sometimes means grappling with specific right-wing Democrats who consistently side with big corporations and right-wing Republicans.

One approach is to support progressive primary challengers to right-wing Democrats. We think this makes sense but it's a big decision so we wanted to check with you and other MoveOn members. What do you think? Click below to let us know.

[URL]

The story about "the Democrat who sold out" has become too familiar. Too often progressives tip toe around these betrayals. But there needs to be real consequences for these Democrats.

Replacing a right-wing Democrat with a more progressive Democrat will help voters more clearly understand what Democrats stand for-and that will help Democrats win.

Many of these conservative Democrats we would challenge represent states or districts that are heavily Democratic-so we're not imperiling a Democratic majority by doing this.

Why is this a big decision? At some level it isn't-we've consistently held Democrats feet to the fire on a long list of issues. But challenging right-wing Democrats in an electoral setting would be new for MoveOn.org Political Action. That is why we're asking for your feedback. Click below to let us know what you think.

[URL]

Who are the Democrats we would challenge? One example is Congressman Henry Cuellar in Texas. Cuellar is a right-wing Democrat infamous for supporting the Bush agenda and Republican legislation.

He is wrong on many core Democratic issues like the war and Medicare, he often undermines key Democratic initiatives and too often pokes progressives in the eye with his votes and statements. (More on Cuellar tomorrow.)

We would start with the worst like Cuellar and work to build a progressive majority one election at a time.

A Democratic majority will be a big step towards progressive reform. But at the same time we have to work to build a progressive majority that will work towards bold reforms.

Please help by giving us feedback on this decision.

[URL]

Thanks for all you do.

-Tom, Jennifer, Rosalyn, Justin and the MoveOn.org Political Action Team
Tuesday, February 14th, 2006
What a FABULOUS Valentine's Day sentiment! Let's shed party blood when the Republicans are the problem. But, you know, before WE, the PURE Democrats, can fight the good fight, let's spill our own blood, and take out those horrible Democrats who aren't "Democrat" enough for us.

Bullshit.

This was my response (since you're the only ones who will read it; I have a sinking feeling that the letter was mostly a come on for a donation):
Stop with the Ideological putsch! Fight the REPUBLICANS! FOCUS! I spent ten years inside Oregon State politics, and all the Democrats ever did was fight Democrats. And we STILL haven't retaken the legislature.
I doubt that they'll get it.

Between the party "bosses" and their "superior" strategizing, and the "activists" spending all their time demanding ideological purity from a party in which ideological purity has NEVER been the norm, the only thing that could possibly keep the voters from "throwing the rascals out" would be utterly brain-dead moves from the Democratic Party.

Luckily for the Republicans, the Democrats seem up to the challenge.

Right here in Lane County in 2004, the Democratic leadership "recruited" a local fellow (a former legislator from another state) to run against a Republican former city councilor who'd slipped into a seat after the asleep-at-the-wheel Democratic leadership had failed to note the new territory created by redistricting in 2002.

Then the Republican legislator decided to step aside and let his wife run for the seat. The "brilliant" Democratic "leadership" then did the "political" calculation that, while a penis running against a penis is OK, a Democratic penis running against a Republican vulva is not politically keereckt, and promptly recruited a Democratic vulva to run against the Republican vulva. They then denied ever having recruited the Democratic penis right there in the newspaper.

This is how the parties think, nowadays. It doesn't matter who you are as a person, it's only skin color, and whether you have a penis or a vulva that matters. Beliefs are immaterial.

And, in a sense, they're right. If you are a Republican, you WILL vote with the Republican caucus, or face the consequences. And if you are a Democrat, you WILL vote with the caucus.

So, really, what YOU stand for, believe in, count for, or are concerned with really doesn't matter. Therefore, at least we can all bask in the warm adulation of tokenism.

Susan Castillo was recruited and has been nurtured exclusively for her gender and ethnicity. And people 'round these parts have just about broken their arms patting themselves on the back. The votes, of course, would have been precisely the same on various bills, whether it had been her or a pink lawn flamingo.

So, what the national Senatorial Misleadership pulled on Paul Hackett in Ohio is not different from what they pulled on a local Democrat in 2004. Recruit then deny.

At the national level, the Democrats are able to "control" the candidacy of a Democrat they RECRUITED (Paul Hackett) by disbursing funds from THEIR warchest, and (allegedly) CALLING his contributors and telling them NOT to contribute. Of course, we only have Hackett's word for it on that last part, but Hackett is an honest man, which would probably doom him in politics anyway.

This is brain dead.

Karl Rove must be laughing so hard he's pissing himself.

Here's how "brilliant" our local yokel Democratic "strategists" in the leadership are:

In 1997, the "Leadership" decided on a brilliant new gimmick: they would hold an "open" primary. This would get independents and former Democrats to "invest" in the primary candidates, and they would retake the legislature.

As a delegate to the State Central Committee, I was a participant and a voter in the issue, since they had to have the permission of the state party to engage in this cockamamie scheme.

I had my arm twisted in the most ungentlemanly manner. My representatives (who generally didn't have the wherewithal to grant me the time of day, being "important" and all) ganged up on me, and were present -- an utter rarity -- at the state committee meeting in Medford, Oregon.

They were my unctuous friends.

As a matter of fact on that day, I was trying to decide an important question: I had a proposal from a local filmmaker to make a porn film with him. He had the cameras and editing equipment; I had the contacts, the actual expertise and the rolodex. After spending nine years completely away from the "Biz" I had to wonder what it would do to my position in society to re-enter the cesspool that is often porn. Worse, I had to think of what 'upstanding' citizens would think of me.

After a day of watching parliamentary stunts, nice and then nasty lobbying by my self-appointed 'betters' and 'leaders,' I was so disgusted that I told myself: "I am worried about the opinion of THESE slimes?"

Oregon was, at that time, about 40% Republican, 40% Democrat, and 20% Independent/Other.

I noted that in 1974, at the height of Watergate, 39% were Republican, and about 60% were Democrats. So the ENTIRE erosion of party membership was represented in the angry Democrats they were trying to seduce back into the party.

The back-room bullies prevailed. We approved the "open primary."

It was an unmitigated disaster.

Two years later, in 1999, the Democratic "strategists" of the leadership came back with the same stooopid proposition. Their rationalization? "Oh, well it wasn't publicized well enough. But THIS time it will work."

And, after another floor battle (I was featured on KVAL-TV speaking against the proposition), it passed by one brain-dead vote. The brain-dead bastard who stood up cluelessly at the last minute would later publish libelous comments about me in the Democratic newsletter and act surprised that I would take offense.

Again, it was an unqualified disaster. They had bumped up campaign costs by 50% for EVERY Democratic candidate in the primary (by expanding the potential voting pool by half again), and virtually NONE of the independents voted in the "open" primary. Again, the brilliant Democratic leadership failed utterly to retake the state house and senate. They may have even lost ground.

All their "publicity" didn't get them any more response than they'd gotten the first time. We're talking about very low single-digit "independent" turnout here, folks.

So guess what they did?

That's right: they came back to us in 2001 and were going to go for it AGAIN!

I remember how the idiot delegates held these morons in high regard. Never mind that they demonstrably didn't know their asses from their elbows. Never mind that it had failed astonishingly twice before. They were the Party Leaders and must be OBEYED. The astonishing abrogation of personal judgment evinced by the sheep of the central committee reminded me mysteriously of the behavior of lemmings.

Luckily, the former state chairman, with whom I'd made alliance in the previous two floor fights decided he'd had enough of this idiotic crap, and quietly noted to our State Chairman (a lousy lawyer notable for his utter disinterest in bylaws and legalities) that the legal deadline for the proposal had passed, and that if the Chair brought up that agenda item and managed to pass it, he'd file suit with the Secretary of State's office for violation of Oregon Code.

The agenda item was there, printed on the page (I still have the agenda), but for some reason, it was just sort of skipped over and the open primary finally died the painful death it should have four years earlier.

But that's not the end of the story. My spies on the State Central Committee tell me that they want to bring it back AGAIN.

How do you define insanity? Doing something over and over again and expecting different results.

Look: the party's leadership at the state and national level are LOSERS! Got that? They lost the government. They lose elections. They let elections be stolen with FOREWARNING.

Why are we listening to them?

And what imbecile thinks that Democrats fighting Democrats will translate into victory in November?

So, as Gary Hart noted, "It will drive voters away from the supposedly 'open"' party, the Democrats, and further add to public cynicism about how politics in America is played in the early 21st century.

"Shame on us."

Right on.

How, on this Valentine's Day, this 147th Anniversary of Oregon's admission to the Union, are we supposed to love such as these?

Courage.
.
[NOTE: Oh yeah. I made the movie. The reviews have been almost universally complimentary. And I have never regretted it, even if I HAVE regretted the time I wasted in the food fight we call the Democratic Party around here.] Tomorrow: "Chap-and-Quick-Dick"?
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Monday, February 13, 2006
DEADEYE DICK
or, AN INTERESTING SIDELIGHT


Unless you've been living under a rock, you are aware that the Vice President (allegedly) of the United States went hunting this weekend and shot one of his hunting buddies.

The media have sort of picked up on the 22-hour news blackout wherein the Administration sort of forgot to inform anyone of the incident.

Still, this ends the long drought of power-mad Vice Presidents shooting people. Unless I miss my guess, the last such incident occurred when then-Veep Aaron Burr killed Alexander Hamilton in a duel during the Jefferson Administration.

No charges were preferred, and Burr finished out his term.

In the intervening years, Vice Presidents have been fairly well behaved, at least according to the public record.

According to the Sunday TIMES of London:

President Bush and White House staff were informed that night. But it was not until 18 hours after the shooting that the news emerged and then only because a reporter got a tip-off from Katharine Armstrong, the ranch owner. Yesterday, Mr. Cheney was battling media claims of a cover-up, while the status of police inquiries remained unclear.
What is interesting here is the "unnamed" third member of the hunting party, whom the White House and the ranch owner (who tipped off a friendly reporter in Corpus Christi, Texas, on Sunday morning) refused to name turns out to be the ambassador to Switzerland and Lichtenstein, Pam Willeford.

According to [Ms. Armstrong's] eye-witness account, Mr Cheney and Pam Willeford, the US Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein, were approached from behind by Mr Whittington just as the Vice-President was turning to shoot. "Harry was in the line of fire and got peppered pretty good," she said. [SUNDAY TIMES]
One wonders WHY the identity of Ms. Willeford was covered up.

Here's a photograph, from the "First Lady's Library of Congress Gala."

Hunting with Dick?

I'd say that there is something more to this than meets the eye. Or, if it was all perfectly innocent, why the extreme lateness in informing the media, why the attempt to hide Ms. Willeford's identity, and why the instinctual stonewalling on the part of this Administration?

Well, the last portion speaks for itself. They lie reflexively. Can there be any doubt as to the last proposition?

The DALLAS MORNING NEWS reports that Cheney was hunting illegally. He had failed to obtain the $7 stamp required for his 'quail hunt' -- evidently a "canned" hunt wherein "game" animals are released so that pseudo-hunters can blast away and actually bag some "game." According to some reports hundreds of birds were shot in this obscene parody of hunting. Cheney is reported to have been using a 28-gauge shotgun.

CNN radio reports that Cheney has sent a check for $7 to the Texas Department of Wildlife to "correct" the oversight.

Right.

If you get caught, purchase the license retroactively. Just like when you get caught invading a nation in a war of aggression, without the WMD's you claimed were there, WITH UTTER CERTITUDE, you retroactively change the reasons that you invaded.

Can anyone trust anything that this Administration says?

And, since you're way ahead of me: Was Cheney fucking Willeford? Why else would they attempt to hide her identity?

Anyone? More as the story develops.

Courage.
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Sunday, February 12, 2006
THE TARDY AUDIO BLOG
or, THE ATTEMPT TO FUSE RADIO BLOGGING WITH BLOG BLOGGING LURCHES ON WITH ADMITTEDLY MIXED RESULTS AND ISN'T THIS AN AWFULLY, AWFULLY LONG TITLE FOR SUCH A SHORT BLOG ENTRY?

(Yes, I'm tardy. But it's tax season; I was held at knifepoint by desperate housejackers for three days; there was a ripple in the fabric of time on the hill where I live, and a dog ate my homework. What do you mean this excuse slip is phony? My mother ALWAYS signs her name "his Mother." It's just the way she is. )

Here are the two pieces heard on KOPT Friday morning, Feb 3..

It is a commentary on Bush's infamous "half-human half-animal hybrids remark." Watch me pull a rabbit out of my hat, entitled -- for this market -- MISSION INCROYABLE

It's a 1.8 meg download. The (hilarious) piece runs 3:49.

Download the MP3 (right click and "save as"):

http://www.hartwilliams.com/incroyable.mp3

And, in keeping with the spirit of Frank Zappa, here is a little short-form version of the State of the Onion Speechifying.

It's a 1.0 meg download. The (hilarious) piece runs 2:07.

Download the MP3 (right click and "save as"):

http://www.hartwilliams.com/onion.mp3

And finally, from Friday's show, Words of Wisdom to make you feel serene in the midst of this splatterback from the Giant Fan of History. What Ancient Chinese Sage did we offend, I wonder?

It's a 1.5 meg download. The (hilarious) piece runs 3:13.

Download the MP3 (right click and "save as"):

http://www.hartwilliams.com/wisewords.mp3

And that's the news from Bluejean, Orygun, Yewessay, where all the men are handsome, the women are above average and the children are strong. Or something like that. Thank you for listening to Prairie Wetlands Yurt Companion, and remember to recycle your used jokes.

Courage.
.
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