The More Things Change...?

Aspointed out by the Center for American Progress:

"The recent bombings were to perpetuate the sectarian violence. In other words, we've been in this phase for a while."-- President Bush, 11/27/06, on how the recent violence in Iraq does not represent a new phase


"We're clearly in a new phase characterized by an increase in sectarian violence that requires us to adapt to that new phase."-- National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, 11/27/06

Creative Legislation


SAN DIEGO - The City Council here voted late Tuesday to ban certain giant retail stores, dealing a blow to Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s potential to expand in the nation’s eighth-largest city.

The measure, approved on a 5-3 vote, prohibits stores of more than 90,000 square feet that use 10 percent of space to sell groceries and other merchandise that is not subject to sales tax. It takes aim at Wal-Mart Supercenter stores, which average 185,000 square feet and sell groceries.


Kagen - Ahead of the Curve on Iraq

Steve Kagen's Website
Elect Strong and Smart Leaders to Bring an End to our Involvement in the Civil War in what once was Iraq, and Win the War against Extremism. We are engaged in an Iraqi conflict projected to cost more than $2 trillion and saddle our next generation with a debt they are unable to repay. It is time to develop a smart and strong solution - other than by making war in the wrong places.

Steve Kagen - Jun 10, 2006
Though he also said the U.S. must end its involvement in the "civil war in Iraq," Kagen focused his remarks on taking back control of Congress from the "corrupt" Republican leadership this November.

Steve Kagen - Aug 6, 2006
"I agree with President Bush that the war ended in May of 2003 and we should now call it what it is, an occupation of a territory that used to be known as Iraq,'' Kagen said. "We are involved in a civil war…It has turned into a civil war. What else can you call it when 100 people a day are being assassinated in what used to be a capital city?

Steve Kagen - Nov 2, 2006
Kagen said America must acknowledge that mistakes have been made in Iraq, deploy the forces elsewhere and go after terrorist leaders in Afghanistan. "We are currently in the middle of a civil war between the Sunni and Shiite peoples," he said. "The plain fact is they don't want us there."

Steve Kagen - Nov 9, 2006
"I don't think our brave military men and women belong in the middle of a civil war," Kagen said Wednesday. "I believe Iraq is gone. It has gone the way of Yugoslavia. At the end of the day, it will be Kurdistan in the north and it remains to be seen how the Sunni and Shiite sects will solve their problems."

And now:

MSNBC - Nov 27, 2006
NBC News Monday branded the Iraq conflict a civil war — a decision that put it at odds with the White House and that analysts said would increase public disillusionment with the U.S. troop presence there.

Washington Post - Nov 27, 2006
After nearly four years of letting the Bush Administration set the terms of the national debate over Iraq, some major news organizations are finally calling the conflict there what it is: a civil war. The White House is howling in protest.

UPI - Nov 27, 2006
A number of major U.S. news organizations have begun calling the sectarian strife in Iraq a "civil war."

Touchscreen Voting on Agenda for State Elections Board

Meeting Nov 29th @ 9:30AM at the Capitol

Here is the agenda (follow links in agenda for more info)

Peg Lautenschlager Mixes It Up in the FDL 'Caged Bird' Saga

Atty Gen Peg Lautenschlager has come out in support of the classic lit piece:

Speaking as a parent, State Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager said she is opposed to a Fond du Lac family's petition asking that Maya Angelou's "I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings" be removed from the sophomore advanced English curriculum at Fond du Lac High School.
A mother, father and student oppose the book as part of a reading assignment because passages in the book describe Angelou's rape and subsequent unwanted pregnancy, said Fond du Lac High School Principal Mary Fran Merwin.
District policy allows any parent the right to request a book not be used. If the complainants are unhappy with the committee's decision, they can appeal to the superintendent and the board of education, Merwin said.
Lautenschlager said she was most concerned with the manner in which those arguing for the book's removal have framed Angelou's discussion of her rape.

"Rape is not a sexual act; it is a violent act. Rape is a vicious means by which a perpetrator uses forced sex to obtain domination and control of a victim," she said. "It happens every day in this nation, and it happens in Fond du Lac. It has happened to many Fond du Lac High School students."

Goldsmith said when the parents objected to the book, the student was immediately assigned an alternative reading assignment, but the parents decided to take it a step further and asked to have the book removed.
Lautenschlager said that for too long the crime of rape could not be discussed publicly and victims were further victimized because they were shunned by society's disgust of the crime.

"Denying all students at Fond du Lac High School the opportunity to read, discuss, analyze and learn from a brilliant, insightful and relevant piece of literature is just plain wrong," Lautenschlager said. "I also am the daughter of lifetime educators, and I get nervous when a small group of parents are allowed to overrule the wise judgment of educators and dictate what all of our children will learn."

Way to go, Peg!