The continuation of Skiing Uphill and Boregasm, Zug is 'the little blog that could.'

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Name: Ed Waldo
Location: of The West,

I am a fictional construct originally conceived as a pen name for articles in the Los Angeles FREE PRESS at the 2000 Democratic Convention. The plume relating to the nom in question rests in the left hand of Hart Williams, about whom, the less said, the better. Officially "SMEARED" by the Howie Rich Gang . GIT'CHER ZUG SWAG HERE!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Psychedelic Octopus Found in Antarctica

A Short Note On Method

If you can read about it elsewhere, you won't find it here.

It has always been our policy that if it's news every other reporter, blogger, online journalist or literary dilettante is covering, then THIS blog would only cover angles that were not being covered.

At least since Terri Schiavo.

And so, with Ann Coulter, the new media, and Michelle Malkin, whom, I will cheerfully admit, I call a flat-out clueless bitch from Hell. (That's the last cursing in the piece, so you can take your fingers from your ears).

Coulter herself is so commented upon elsewhere that nothing said here of her could be of any consequence whatsoever, so best to make no commentary on Mephistopheles' very own Barbie Doll.

i. the blogosphere

There was a bloggers row at CPAC. Well, technically, it would be a bloggers' corner, but that plural possessive is just too hard to understand, too difficult to comprehend, and so, by common, subliterate consensus, we agree to drop it and UNDERSTAND that the plural bloggers who reside on the row "own" the row, and so it's their possession. Thus, the plural (many) blogger (s)+ the apostrophe = bloggers'.

There was a bloggers row at CPAC, dominat(rix)ed by Michelle Malkin, who also had her own podcast vidcast network "Hot Air" photographed on a dozen flick'r streams (a photo-hosting site) as Michelle Malkin, blogmistress interviewed Newt Gingrich, rock star.

As Malkin was doing a "roll out," the Republican presidential hopefuls were doing a roll out of their candidacies, and both Howard Rich-related operations were doing roll outs of THEIR new look. The Sam Adams Alliance handed out Sam Adams bobblehead dolls, which were the big hit of the CPAC, as were the collectible "Convention Barbies" that were given out to delegates at the Democratic National Convention in Los Angeles in 2000. A cagey veteran doll collector advised me to get one of the Black Limited Edition Barbies, which were much rarer, and so I did.

I don't know what the collectors' market for Sam Adams bobbleheads will be, and am unqualified to offer any prediction, but they were certainly a 'hit' by all accounts.

ii. The medium and the media

A whois search shows the domain hotair.com registered to one "Malkin, Jesse" through a Network Solutions proxy account -- gee, how would YOU feel about, say, CBS, if you couldn't find an address for 'em? Hmmm. Her site states (rather pompously), in part:

A Note from the Founder
Welcome to the world's first full-service conservative Internet broadcast network!

Internet video is booming. Apple's iTunes store has sold a gazillion videos since its debut. YouTube gets more traffic than the New York Times web site. And politically-oriented video is on the rise:
  • Google teamed up with Al Gore's Current TV network to provide Google Current.

  • Amazon.com broadcasts Fishbowl featuring left-wing comedian Bill Maher.

  • iTunes offers a discount price for Comedy Central's liberal Daily Show.

  • AOL joined with the Huffington Post to provide Contagious Festival, a collection of conservative-bashing short movies.
These efforts have one thing in common: they are all produced by liberals for liberals.

I formed Hot Air Network, LLC, to bring ideological diversity ...

... a statement akin to claiming that the KKK should be included at the NAACP picnic in order to promote cultural and racial diversity.]

And the bloggers were all treated as stars. How do I know?

I know these things from the bloggers themselves. And, in a sense, I am "there" via the internet in a much more profound manner than, say, via CNN and FAUX Nooz, or the NEW YORK TIMES or ROLLING STONE MAGAZINE, or, some weeks or months hence, via the witty, ascerbic wittiness of some arch wit in VANITY FAIR or the NEW YORKER.

Because, however the mainstream media might snark the blogs, we are close to achieving fusion. We are witnessing the birth of a new form of communication, an evolution from e-mail, and the web, as email and the web were evolutions from print, originally.

Even the Pulitzers are, starting with the awards they'll release on April 15th, allowing streaming video, audio, and online blogs, comments, etc. -- "a full array of online material" as they put it. Print has been superceded, and the full range of expression will be included in the Pulitzers ...

The venerable Pulitzer Prizes even released a press thing to journalists:

Pulitzer Board Widens Range of Online Journalism in Entries

New York, Nov. 27, 2006 - The Pulitzer Prize Board announced today that newspapers may now submit a full array of online material-such as databases, interactive graphics, and streaming video-in nearly all of its journalism categories.


Last year, the board for the first time allowed some online content in all categories. However, with the exception of the Public Service category, the online work was limited to written stories or still images.

Now, an assortment of online elements will be permitted in all journalism categories except for the competition's two photography categories, which will continue to restrict entries to still images. The Pulitzer categories range from investigative and international reporting to commentary, editorial writing, and cartooning.


In two categories, Breaking News Reporting and Breaking News Photography, the board will continue to allow an entry consisting entirely of material published on a newspaper's Web site. In all other categories, an entry may contain online material, but it must also contain material published in the newspaper's print edition.

Eligibility for entering the competition will continue to be restricted to newspapers published daily, Sunday, or at least once a week during the calendar year. "This keeps faith with the historic mandate of the Pulitzer Prizes," Gissler said.

You see, the Venerable Pulitzer Board recognizes that it isn't just print and pictures anymore. Gutenberg has finally been subsumed. There is no longer any clear-cut distinction between the constant ebb and flow of the Internet and the "hard" reality of the printed word.

iii. musings on prehistory from your humble correspondent

And yet, stubbornly, hopelessly, forlornly, the Pulitzer Board bravely grabs hold of the last branch dangling in the flood, it must be connected with a physical print edition. It must be a regular publication. But the flood surges onward.

I remember traveling to Manhattan in 1987, with two floppy disks containing both ASCII and Wordstar versions of one screenplay, one short story collection, one novel, and a volume of magazine essays. I'd been writing for my editor at OUI Magazine via floppies that went directly to the typesetter since 1985.

No agent or publisher in Manhattan that I visited knew what a floppy disk was. That included the editor of both my novels, who had moved over to his publications house (and well up the corporate ladder) since he'd been folded in to the new company via his old editorship at Playboy Press. (And THAT company no longer exists, as it has, in turn been swallowed by another company, and is now owned by a European publisher).

In fact, he'd survived the infamous week in the early 'Eighties when one company had gone on a buying binge, snapping up Ace Books, Playboy Press, Berkley Books, and so on and so forth until it had become the largest publishing house in the United States, and in the elimination of staff duplications within the the news mega-publisher, fully one in three editorial employees within the book industry got their pink slip on the same day.

That he had not merely survived, but moved up the ladder suggested that he was no slouch. But he didn't know what a floppy disk was, either.

They didn't ever go away, oddly enough, and I suppose that the blogosphere is supposed to disappear like those annoying computers did, and let us get back to our trusty IBM typewriters. (The IBM Selectric III was the dream of all young writers when I started out, nearly back in the quill pen days).

We are developing a new form of communication, one that comprises more of the senses. Print is cold: you have to supply the pictures, the sounds, the smells and feels and tastes. With video and audio, we can supply the images and auditory impressions, the sound effects. And we now blog using all of the above.

Blogs also have the virtue of being accessible to the illiterate. You only have to know how to click to make things play and such. (This is a great boon to the farm towns of the Midwest, I am told.)

Consider hypertext: clicking on an underlined blue word or phrase takes you to a footnote that is a complete world. Impossible in print. How Emerson or Dante have loved hypertext.

But they were constrained by the limitations of print. This is a new form of communication. And it is a change of medium: from stamped ink on paper to pixels on a video screen and surround-sound.

This has happened before, a long time ago.

We went through this when western tradition transitioned from scrolls to books back around the time of Plato -- who decried, as I recall, the loss of the fine art of conversation to these newfangled books, much as my generation's radio-reared parents admonished us against TV, who, in like form, noted that "playing videogames turns your brains to tapioca" to OUR brats. But some media shifts are more profound than others.

You're living in a sea change, people. The world has altered, time and space have collapsed, and every time I miss something on the radio, I wish I had a "TIVO" so that I could backtrack two seconds, and pick up what I missed.

It will come.

(I've broken the remainder of the tale into bite-sized chunks. Next part, tomorrow.)

Oh, and about that Psychedelic Octopus found in Antarctica?


(click picture for story.)


Friday, March 9, 2007

Retroactive Blog: Bob

This is a dangerous precedent, so let me tell you: I don't "rewrite" history, except to correct typos and elides. The nature of the blog business makes it easy to retroactively cancel posts, or create them. I don't do that. (Except in most extreme circumstances, as in inadvertent copyright infringement, or potentially actionable statements. Nothing is absolute -- Not even absolution.)

[In the interest of full blog disclosure, I am writing this at precisely 4:03 AM PDT on Sunday, March 11, 2007. The timestamp and filing will relegate this, appropriately, to 3:03 AM on Friday. I occasionally fix typos and posts, which is why you who receive this blog via email should check the blog, when in doubt. It went out to you first draft, without proofreading.]

But it's been a busy week, and, listening (early post Daylight Savings Time) to the rerun of "The Young Turks" on AirAmerica Radio, I realized that I had missed a post on Friday, and that the passage of time -- or, the weird time-shifting nature of the internet -- hadn't altered the necessity of this post. Since all the evidence is FROM Friday, this post is being written on "Friday." (And besides, Sunday's post is already a wrap for later this morning.)

Friday, National Public Radio ran this:

Bob Dole on Investigating U.S. Attorney Case

Listen to this story...

All Things Considered, March 9, 2007 · This week, President Bush appointed former Sen. Bob Dole, along with former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala, to chair a commission to examine veterans' medical care. The commission is part of the President's response to a series of articles in The Washington Post revealing inadequate conditions at Walter Reed and other facilities across the country. Michele Norris talks with Dole, who is currently a special counsel at the Washington law firm Alston and Bird.

One word: WHITEWASH.

Bob Dole is the most creepily partisan Republican prick in the history of the Republik(an). He is the vicious asshole who called World War I, II, Korea and Vietnam "Democrat wars." Hmmm. I wonder if he's calling the quagmire in Iraq a "Republican war"?


But the clueless "Young Turks" are giving him a pass -- like everyone else. As though he were an elder statesman. As if Bob Dole had ever cared about America. Look, Bob Dole was from Russell, Kansas, where my grandmother was born and never moved more than 30 miles from. For two horrible years, Bob Dole was my senator, and I've been watching the vicious prick for as long as I can remember. When I was a Republican, I STILL thought he was a gutter-level bastard. When I was a Democrat my view didn't change. Now that I'm an independent (or in the mildly insulting TLA of both parties, an "NAV" -- non-affiliated voter), it STILL hasn't changed, mostly because my opinion of Dole was based on a bedrock of cold, hard, facts:

Never has a more partisan politician disgraced the halls of our capitol. When he finally dies and/or returns to hell, any honest gravestone should read:

"Here lies Bob Dole (appropriately enough) who cared more for his party than for his country."


(Or, in Dole's case, liver spots.)

The appointment of Bob Dole to chair another "presidential commission" OUGHT to send up red flags and cause the old dive alarm to screech AAAHooooooGAH! AAAHooooooGAH! at the top of its electronic lungs. Bush used the 9/11 Commission to whitewash 9/11. And a commission whitewashed Katrina. Another one for Torture, etc. etc. etc.

In the absence of opposition, the Bushies used these commissions to whitewash and misdirect attention to their failures, and, seemingly unable to change their tricks, they are still trying. These crooks are nothing, if not consistent. The mere fact of naming Bob J. Dole as the Republican co-chair is sufficient to divine their purposes.

Any imbecile ought to know that. But I guess nobody in the national media or punditocracy was PAYING ANY ATTENTION to Dole's consistent behavior over a half century!

The dialogue all week (including last weeks' Young Turks) has been that this is a great thing, and Bob Dole, as a wounded veteran, will give a damn about the wounded vets. Er ... when exactly did you see that behavior before, pundits? I sure as hell haven't.

Unless you look at his consistent and unyielding priority ONE: Making sure that Republicans look Saintly and Democrats are, by definition, sinners. All Dole will do is anything to clear the Republicans for the blame.

They have been consistently abusing the troops for four years now. What on EARTH can possess the media idiots (partisan and otherwise) to give Bob Dole a pass? Are they kidding me?

The second I heard of another "commission," I knew the fix was in. When I heard that Bush was anointing Dole, any doubt was removed. The entire process took about half a second.

Never have US troops been so mistreated. Never have US troops been so shabbily treated within and following their enlistment. Never has the "militia" (you know, the one from the Second Amendment, which has always formed the counterbalance to the "regular army" and which we now call "National Guard") been so horrifically abused.

But you think that appointing another commission is an attempt to get at the truth? That Bob Dole will honestly put the blame where it belongs? That Bush and Dole share a common interest in the sufferings of non-Republicans?

Dream on.


Thursday, March 8, 2007

Kevin Mannix FreedomWorks' Highest Paid Subcontractor

Going through the Guidestar IRS 990's (charitable tax returns online) for Freedomworks, for the past two years, we find that apostate Oregon Democrat, thence Oregon Republican Party Chair, nominee for Oregon Attorney General, and thence nominee for Oregon Governor (lost both), attorney Kevin J. Mannix of Salem, Oregon, was paid $200,089 for "Fundraising consulting" in 2005, and $70,989 in 2004 as one of a very small group of independent subcontractors.

Click HERE to take a look.

Freedomworks was created in 2004 by merging Citizens for a Sound Economy and Jack Kemp's "Empower America."

From People For the American Way:

CSE was founded in 1984 by David Koch who, along with his brother Charles, owns virtually all of Koch Industries, a wealthy privately-held company headquartered in Wichita, Kansas that controls a diverse group of oil, natural gas, ranching, securities, and finance firms. The brothers have long had a strong interest in libertarian theory, and the foundations operated by the Koch family have created, or funded, the likes of the Cato Institute, the Institute for Justice, the Federalist Society, and the Heritage Foundation. Like this other these groups, CSE is active on a variety of issues, including judicial nominations.

One of the members of its board of directors, C. Boyden Gray, has even created an organization called the Committee for Justice whose “mission is to defend and promote President Bush's judicial nominees.”
And here's PFAW on "Empower America"

Empower America was founded in 1993, after Bill Clinton’s election to the presidency, as a kind of “shadow government” of policy advocacy, in the words of co-founder Jack Kemp, a former congressman and Housing secretary and future vice-presidential candidate. Gathering Kemp, Bush “drug czar” William Bennett, former UN Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick, and former Minnesota congressman Vin Weber, The Wall Street Journal said the group “illustrates how such tax-exempt nonprofits have become safe harbors for elite figures in the conservative movement.” Leading up to Kemp’s 1996 bid, the group provided a “base” for him “to make $1 million to $2 million a year” giving speeches, and it played a key role in the Dole-Kemp campaign.
To be fair, Kemp is no longer associated with Freedomworks, according to Wikipedia:

Kemp also started the free market advocacy group Empower America, which later merged with Citizens for a Sound Economy to form FreedomWorks, but resigned as Co-Chairman of FreedomWorks in March 2005 after he was questioned by the FBI about his ties to Samir Vincent, a Northern Virginia oil trader implicated in the U.N. Oil-for-food scandal who pled guilty to four criminal charges stemming from the scandal, including illegally acting as an unregistered lobbyist of the Iraqi government of Saddam Hussein
The chairman is Dick Armey -- former Republican House Majority Leader, who pulls down a cool six-figure salary for heading "Freedomworks." ($408,761 in 2004 and $320,000 in 2005. Hmmm. Wonder what caused the $80,000 cut in salary ... or was the remuneration via some other means? Just wond'rin')

What's truly strange about the Mannix numbers is that ONLY Oregon seems to be the beneficiary of this Freedomworks largesse. There has been an ongoing scandal about unprecedented "hit" mailings and phone calls to Democratic legislators' constituents claiming that they've voted for HUGE tax increases -- a highly dubious charge. Freedomworks was very prominent in Oregon's "mini-CPAC" "The Dorchester Conference" last weekend (see Carla's superb coverage over at Loaded Orygun).

At any event, you can look at it yourself over at guidestar.


Here's the link to the Guidestar.org .pdf
(you need to register, it's free)


and here's their referring page (three years' worth of 990s and other data)


More mystery money flooding into the state, backing the "free market" philosophies that seem to bring so much cash into the state, and spark so many political bloodbaths.

I'm getting SOOO tired of out-of-staters using Oregon as their petrie dish for Frankenstein legislation. (Measure 37? Anyone?)

The whole series I'm working on has a lot to do with watching these various leopards changing their spots -- but still working the same hunting grounds, and the same water-holes.

Where this will end, no one knows. But something is rotten in the state of Oregon.

In the state of the Union, frankly.

[Programming note: Dan Borchers, who was thrown out of CPAC by Ann Coulter's bodyguards, had graciously agreed to take some photos for me when he got there. Before they physically tossed him out of the building, he got the photos, and sent them to me yesterday. I will include them in the next posting -- the one I have been working on for a couple of days now, but this kind of stuff keeps pushing it back. Oy vey.]


Wednesday, March 7, 2007

The Pulitzer Corpse

I'm going to take a moment to reprint this story in toto.

First, because you won't see it otherwise, and secondly, this is the untold story about how a single moment can overshadow an entire lifetime -- and mark the reporter who broke the story for a lifetime, as well.

Consider, if you will, the current cover story of NEWSWEEK (Men and Depression), what happened to Buzz Aldrin when he got back from the moon (specifically, how he was shunted out of the Air Force when it became known he'd seen a psychiatrist for -- understandable -- depression). And how, in that story you haven't seen much of, the great former Senator from Missouri, Thomas Eagleton, was once, for a few hours, George McGovern's running mate against Richard Nixon, Spiro Agnew, and his minions of Evil in the 1972 Presidential Election. [Trivia question: who ended up being the Veep nominee?]

And consider the anonymity of the men who do the reporting, and what a Pulitzer Prize gets you.

Reporter Who Broke Eagleton Story in '72 Reflects On Death
Clark Hoyt

By Joe Strupp
Published: March 05, 2007 11:10 AM ET

NEW YORK Clark Hoyt, the veteran newsman who broke the story of Sen. Thomas Eagleton's past psychiatric treatment that led to his being dropped from the 1972 Democratic presidential ticket, said today he never regretted revealing the information that brought the politician down.

As newspapers mark the passing of Eagleton, who died Sunday of heart and respiratory ailments, Hoyt reiterated his long-held belief that disclosing Eagleton's mental health problems and electroshock therapy treament was important information the country needed to know. Hoyt, then a reporter for Knight Newspapers, eventually shared a Pulitzer Prize for his work with then Knight bureau chief Robert Boyd.

"I still think it was a legitimate story and one that still should have been reported and that is what we did," Hoyt said Monday from his home in Virginia. Hoyt, who worked in the Knight Newspapers' Washington bureau until 1976, has since held several editing posts, most recently as Washington editor for Knight Ridder, a job he gave up last year when Knight Ridder was bought by McClatchy. He has since served as a consultant for McClatchy and will spend the upcoming fall term teaching two classes at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C.

Hoyt's role in the Eagleton story began in the summer of 1972 at the end of the Democratic National Convention in Miami. Hoyt had been covering the convention and was due for a vacation when editors sent him to Missouri to dig up everything he could on Eagleton, who had just been nominated.

"While I was in the air flying to St. Louis, an anonymous caller called the Detroit Free Press," Hoyt recalled in an interview last year. The tip: Eagleton had received treatment for depression, including shock therapy. Hoyt landed in St. Louis and immediately went to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch to look through clips on Eagleton. He said he found weeks of gaps in the paper without Eagleton news, "and something about a possible drinking problem." He also discovered reports of a full physical at the city's Mayo Clinic.

Further reporting revealed the name of a doctor who had treated Eagleton, and even a date and place where the shock therapy was administered. Hoyt drove to the doctor's home and asked if the medical information was correct. The response? A slammed door. "That's when I knew it was true, but we still had a heck of a problem getting it into the paper," he said.

Hoyt then phoned Boyd, and the two eventually chose to confront Eagleton with the information in person. Resting up after the convention, Eagleton and McGovern were in South Dakota at a log cabin resort preparing for the upcoming campaign. The reporter and editor flew there and told campaign manager Frank Mankiewicz what they had. The news prompted a sit-down between the candidates and top campaign staffers as Boyd and Hoyt paced outside waiting.

Eventually, Eagleton decided to hold a surprise press conference and reveal his secret. He also gave Hoyt an exclusive interview during his car ride to the Rapid City, S.D., airport immediately afterward. "He looked quite miserable," Hoyt added. Although he felt badly that Eagleton eventually had to leave the ticket, Hoyt was of the opinion that disclosing such serious information was important. "I never had any doubts," he said. "I felt bad for him on a human level. But when you are talking about someone who is going to be a heartbeat away from the presidency, that is something that should be reviewed."

Hoyt said Monday he had seen Eagleton in person just twice since the incident. First, later in 1972, he was with a group of reporters whom Eagleton spoke to about his intention to become a spokesman for mental health issues. "But he never really did," Hoyt said. "Still, he was a very effective senator." Hoyt also said he was seated in a D.C. restaurant at a table next to Eagleton's in 1987, just days after the senator announced he would not seek re-election. "I did not speak to him, though."

An online search of Eagleton obituaries today did not reveal any with a mention of Hoyt or Boyd. But the longtime journalist said that does not matter to him. "I think we got appropriate credit at the time and that is what matters," Hoyt said.

Joe Strupp (jstrupp@editorandpublisher.com) is a senior editor at E&P
And wasn't that a happy story?

The reporter who shared that Pulitzer has been put Out To Pasture by yet another media consolidation ("merger") as the big fish eat the little fish until there are no little fish left.

"He has since served as a consultant for McClatchy and will spend the upcoming fall term teaching two classes at Davidson College in Davidson, N.C."

Sounds like retirement to me. "Consultant" is a fancy term for "on the payroll but with no duties." From Washington D.C. to Davidson, N.C. is quite a trek -- seemingly catalyzed by another merger: from Knight newspapers to Knight-Ridder, to McClatchy without, essentially, changing employers, is a living history of the newspaper business since 1972. And he's been one of the luckier ones. Thanks. See ya. 'Bye.

About Davidson

Davidson College is a liberal arts institution founded in 1837 by ministers of the Concord Presbytery. Its 1,700 students come from almost every state in the nation and many foreign countries. A highly selective admission process brings students who are proven scholars and leaders to a close campus community in the small town of Davidson, North Carolina.
Suddenly, with Scooter Libby found guilty, and the Walter Reed Hospital scandals heating up, the corpses of Anna Nicole Smith and James Brown are forgotten. And Thomas F. Eagleton, former Senator from Missouri who was, for one brief moment, the Vice-Presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in 1972, gets less press interest than the death of a sitcom actor. Our media values create our media world, after all.

Maybe that's why this one sucks.


[Trivia answer: Sargent Shriver, the Republican Governor of California's father-in-law.]

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Merry Fitzmas to All and to Scooter, Good Night!

Merry Fitzmas!

You're next, "Deadeye" Dick.


Monday, March 5, 2007

Former MO Senator Eagleton, 77, Dead

Sometimes it pays to check the PR newswire. This showed up at 14:48 ET (that's 2:48 PM Eastern Standard Time).

Keep this copy handy, and you can compare it with wire service and newspaper reports to see just how much the "press" relies on plagiarism directly from Press Releases.

Senator Thomas F. Eagleton Has Died

U.S. Senator from 1968 Until 1987 Wrote the Eagleton Amendment that Ended U.S. Involvement in the Vietnam War

ST. LOUIS, March 4 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Former United States Senator Thomas F. Eagleton died this morning at St. Mary's hospital in Richmond Heights, Missouri. He was 77 years old. Senator Eagleton had been in declining health for several years. The cause of death was a combination of heart, respiratory and other problems that overwhelmed his weakened system.

Thomas F. Eagleton was born in St. Louis on September 4, 1929, the second son of prominent attorney Mark D. Eagleton and Zitta Swanson Eagleton. He was raised near Tower Grove Park. Eagleton was educated at Saint Louis Country Day School, Amherst College, Harvard Law School and Oxford University. He served in the United States Navy.

In 1956, Eagleton was elected Circuit Attorney of the city of St. Louis at the age of 27. He was elected Attorney General of Missouri in 1960 (the youngest person ever to hold that office); Lieutenant Governor of Missouri in 1964; and United States Senator from Missouri in 1968. He was 39 years old at the time of his election to the Senate. He was re-elected to the Senate in 1974 and 1980. In 1986 he declined to seek re-election.

In the Senate, Eagleton was one of the principal sponsors of the Clean Air Act of 1970 and the Clean Water Act of 1972, the bills that are generally regarded as the foundation of modern environmental protection. On May 15, 1973, Senator Eagleton successfully offered an amendment to a defense appropriations bill to cut off funding for the bombing of Cambodia, effectively ending America's involvement in the Vietnam War. Eagleton subsequently described the passage of this amendment as the proudest moment of his career.

In the area of education, Senator Eagleton was a principal Senate proponent of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) to improve educational opportunities for children with disabilities. He was a co-author of the bill that created Basic Educational Opportunity Grants (now known as "Pell Grants") for college students. He was a principal Senate proponent of the creation of the National Institute on Aging.

Senator Eagleton's legislative legacy in Missouri includes the designation of eight federally-protected wilderness areas in southern Missouri. He joined with Senator Jack Danforth (R-MO) to advocate successfully for these designations.

Following his retirement from the Senate Eagleton returned to St. Louis to teach, work on a variety of civic issues and practice law. He joined the law firm of Thompson & Mitchell (now Thompson Coburn), with which he remained associated until his death. From 1987 until 1999 he was University Professor of Public Affairs at Washington University in St. Louis. In 2006 he taught a course on "The Presidency and the Constitution" at the Saint Louis University School of Law. He also taught at Webster University in St. Louis and Rockhurst College (now Rockhurst University) in Kansas City. He wrote commentaries for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch and other newspapers and provided political commentary on KSDK-TV.

In 1991 Senator Eagleton joined the board of the Truman Library in Independence and led a successful effort to raise new funds and revitalize the library. In 1993, President Bill Clinton appointed Senator Eagleton to the President's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. As chairman of FANS Inc. Senator Eagleton led the successful civic effort to relocate the Los Angeles Rams football team to St. Louis in 1995. He remained politically active on behalf of many candidates and issues. In 2006 he was active in the campaign for Amendment 2 to the Missouri Constitution to protect stem cell research. Senator Eagleton was a passionate collector of Expressionist and contemporary German art. He delighted in sharing this passion with the public through loans and gifts to various art museums.

Senator Eagleton was the author of three books: War and Presidential Power: A Chronicle of Congressional Surrender, published in 1974; Issues in Business and Government, published in 1991; and (as co-author with former St. Louis School Superintendent William Kottmeyer) an updated version of the secondary school textbook Our Constitution and What It Means, published in 1987. At the time of his death, Senator Eagleton was working on a personal memoir of his career in public service.

Senator Eagleton was the recipient of numerous awards, honors and honorary degrees throughout his career. In September, 2000, the new federal courthouse in St. Louis was named the Thomas F. Eagleton United States Courthouse in his honor.

Senator Eagleton is survived by his wife of 51 years, Barbara; by his two children, Terence and Christy; by three grandchildren; and by his younger brother, Kevin Eagleton. Senator Eagleton's older brother, Mark D. Eagleton, M.D., died in 1985.

In accordance with his wishes, Senator Eagleton's body has been donated to the Washington University School of Medicine for medical research. Plans for a memorial service are pending and will be announced shortly. It was Senator Eagleton's wish that memorial contributions in lieu of flowers be directed either to Catholic Charities of St. Louis or to the Democratic National Committee in Washington, DC.

Note to news media: Thompson Coburn LLP is distributing this announcement on behalf of the family of Senator Thomas F. Eagleton. The family requests that media inquiries be directed to Thompson Coburn at 314/552-6111.

SOURCE: Thompson Coburn LLP
If you're feeling a little snarky, check out the Press Release from the "Campaign for America's Future." It's kind of bitchy, and such, but fun. Certainly a riposte back in the direction of the "conservatives" after a weekend of opposite snarking.

Mar 02, 2007
18:58 ET [6:58 PM EST]
Conservatives Go Wild, Assemble Circular Firing Squad


Sunday, March 4, 2007

Our Man In Bratislava

We've snared a special guest blogger, as a nod to the grand Conservative convocations held this past weekend both in Washington D.C. and the Dorchester Conference on the Oregon Coast.

Ladies, and Gentlemen, I give you guest blogger, our Ambassador to Slovakia (Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary), Rudolph "Skip" Vallee, a quik-e-mart mogul from Vermont. Rudy Vallee. No. Sorry, SKIP Vallee. Here's from the official biography:

Rodolphe "Skip" Vallee - Biography

Rodolphe "Skip" Vallee arrived in Bratislava August 11, 2005 to take up his duties as Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of the United States of America to the Slovak Republic.

Previously, Ambassador Vallee served as Chairman, CEO, and owner of R. L. Vallee, Inc., a Vermont-based energy company that includes the "Maplefields" convenience store chain, a top regional motor fuels distributorship, and an environmental remediation and consulting unit ...

And here's his Speech:

Theodore Roosevelt, Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush: Leadership and Moral Clarity
Remarks to the Ronald Reagan Conservative Club, University Library, Bratislava, Slovakia
November 21, 2005

There is no better way to talk about Ronald Reagan than to quote from the man himself, when he spoke of communist regimes in 1983. "Let us beware that while they preach the supremacy of the state, declare its omnipotence over individual men, and predict its eventual domination of all the peoples of the earth, they are the locus of evil in the modern world."

Locus of evil. These words shocked a diplomatic world where morality in policy was viewed as something to be checked at the luggage counter. But it is the element of morality, of good versus evil, of white and black, of right and wrong that propelled the diplomacy of Presidents Theodore Roosevelt and Ronald Reagan. And President Bush has referred to certain countries as the axis of evil.

And while my comments today are about Teddy Roosevelt, Reagan, and George W. Bush, let us not forget the strong moral commitment of Franklin Roosevelt, Harry Truman's plainspoken midwestern courage, and John F. Kennedy's instinctive anticommunism.

It is no accident that Teddy Roosevelt's desk, molded from the ancient timbers of His Majesty's Ship the Resolute-oak colored with age and Arctic weather-became the desk of Reagan and George W. Bush. Reagan made his three inches higher than Teddy had-having more to do with style, argues Edmund Morris, than height. Roosevelt would hunch over and devour documents-he wrote hundreds of articles and books; Reagan was more aloof in a straight up, quiet and dignified way. I haven't had a chance to examine the height of President Bush's desk, but I know that on a nearby wall is a painting showing a horseman charging up a steep cliff, with other horsemen following.

It's a western scene by W. H. S. Koerner entitled "A Charge to Keep." It is modeled after the Wesley hymn, "A Charge to Keep I Have." The hymn ends with a call to engage all of one's powers to fulfill one's call to service.

And to serve a cause greater than oneself often means taking the lonely trail of leadership. It discounts CNN's overnight pollsters. It ignores, in Reagan's case, the "Blame American First Crowd." In Teddy Roosevelt's time it meant fighting back against the "Peace at any Price" advocates. Leadership means being on a horse, headed up a steep mountain, dragging riders up from behind.

I have a theory that the moral quality in the rhetoric of Roosevelt, Reagan, and Bush is in part a reflection of how they were influenced by our American west. While born a New Yorker, Roosevelt was never happier than when on a horse high in the Rockies with the wind in his face. When his mother and wife died suddenly, on the same day, Roosevelt packed himself west to his Medora ranch in the Dakotas where for several years he toiled ceaselessly in the saddle 16 hours a day.

Roosevelt loved the west because of its "rugged and stalwart democracy" where "every man stands for what he actually is and can show himself to be." In the west, notes Roosevelt, "a man who in civilization would be merely a backbiter becomes a murderer on the frontier, but, on the other hand, he who in the city would do nothing more than give a cheery good morning, shares his last bit of sun-jerked venison with you when threatened with starvation in the wilderness."

Ronald Reagan is most famous for his vision of a "shining city on the hill," but it was Reagan's beloved ranch, Rancho del Cielo, ranch of the sky, which, astride a mountaintop, sustained and nourished Reagan's soul. "There is nothing better for the inside of a man than the outside of a horse," Reagan would often say in a cornball way. And like President Bush, Reagan graced his inner sanctum with a cowboy picture, entitled "the Lame Horse." Led by the reins, once again, by a brave rain beaten cowboy, the horse has fallen under the care and protection of a strong leader. Ronald Reagan's daughter Patti often noted that on the ranch her father experienced God and nature almost as the same thing.

George W. Bush, too, has a ranch, nestled in the heat of West Texas. Some would say that Texas itself is but one free and open ranch-in style, attitude, and outlook. The President, Midland born, fancies himself as the Texan he is, and not the scion of the establishment East. He too derives spiritual nourishment from the simplicity of the downtown diner, the centrality of the local high school, and the joy of brush well cleared. For President Bush everyday on his land is Earth day.

For each of these Presidents, rounded in the rugged robustness of the American west, principles of freedom and moral clarity mold their cores. "What I admire about you most, Theodore," noted Roosevelt's friend Elihu Root to the not overtly religious Roosevelt, " is your discovery of the ten commandments." Throughout his career, Roosevelt battled-in graphic language of right and wrong-graft, nepotism, machine politics, bad business combinations, malefactors of great wealth, and imperialistic foreign interveners. He believed that the relations between nations were guided by the same moral code that governed the men of the badlands who were his cowboy neighbors. A man's word-a country's word-were sacred bonds.

Roosevelt believed in diplomacy guided by a code of honor that strove to "raise the ethical standard of national action," and one that sought "reasonable ideals." "Keep your eyes on the stars," notes a tablet by Roosevelt's grave, "and your feet on the ground."

Ronald Reagan needed no push to look at his stars, brought closer by some 2250 feet, from the porch of his ranch above the fogbanks of Santa Barbara bay. Reagan's reflexive defense of liberty was fueled by the freedom he felt in his mountain air and unimpeded trails. His early days in the Screen Actor's Guild nurtured this distaste for communism, and we see this in his speeches well before he became President.

But the starkness of his prose once he became President, the clear divide he cleaved between good and evil, stunned the armchair, "let's just get along" establishment. His speech at Westminster Palace in 1982 moved American rhetoric and policy away from hiding reality behind the niceties of diplomacy. The Berlin wall became "a grim symbol of power untamed." "Regimes planted by bayonet," noted Reagan, "do not take root." Reagan reminded us that self-delusion in the face of unpleasant facts is folly. "Marxism", he said, "should be left in the ash bin of history."

In Orlando, Florida, a short time later, Reagan gave his famous "evil empire" speech. Lenin, we were reminded, repudiates morality. Reagan, quoting Lewis, noted that the daily evil of Soviet (and before that Nazi) labor and concentration camps was directed in "clear, carpeted, warmed, and well-lit offices by quiet men in white colors with cut fingernails and smooth cheeks," Banal, sanitary, and evil.

We must not, concluded Reagan, "ignore the facts of history and the aggressive impulses of an evil empire, to simply call the arms race a great misunderstanding and thereby remove ourselves from the struggle between right and wrong and good and evil." And all around the globe, the press and editorialists and armchair strategists responded vigorously, massively and angrily. Reagan was a warmonger. Reagan was playing to his base. This was red meat for the faithful. Reagan is a dunce. He's a B-movie actor.

A B-movie actor maybe, but an actor with a voice whose clarity, honesty, and resoluteness shines brightly in free capitals across central Europe today. And in some ways I feel like I'm seeing the Reagan movie again. The sneering cynicism of the salons sometimes looks down on freedom and forgets to heed Teddy Roosevelt's admonitions. Strength must join moral purpose to respond to evil's most recent manifestation. As President Bush reminds us almost daily, preserving freedom is hard work. And it is lonely work. It follows clear-eyed recognition that freedom is not free and that evil cannot be willed away. It requires moral and political courage.

And so, like Roosevelt, and like Reagan, President Bush continues up the mountain with his charge to keep, knowing that the other side of the mountain brings a brighter day. And over this journey rain clouds gather periodically. But during these mountain deluges it is instructive to listen once again to the Gipper from his Winchester speech. "Sir Winston Churchill led his people to great victory in War and then lost an election just as the fruits of victory were about the be enjoyed. But he left office honorably, knowing that the liberty of his people was more important than any leader."

Your tax dollars at work.