Royce Humphrey Turns 89 Today!


My dad turns 89 years old today, and as such I thought I would post his favorite song (as my mom always mentioned) on this blog today.  Back in 1920 when my dad started this journey in life President Wilson had become increasingly unpopular.  Wilson had a  severe stroke in 1919 and could no longer speak on his own behalf.   The economy was in a recession, the public was weary of war.  My dad might say, ‘Right back where I started from’.    Warren Harding would be elected in the fall of 1920.  Needless to say dad has seen alot. 

The song “Ole Buttermilk Sky” is from the 1946 film “Canyon Passage”.

Happy Birthday, Dad!

Mark Sanford Not Good Husband, Even Worse As Politician

This is perhaps the most remarkable pile of comments ever from a politician, especially coming on the heels of a dreadful press conference last week.  Worse yet this is from one who some Republicans thought at one time to be the one to lead them back to the White House.  If Mark Sanford was a bad husband, and we all agree he is, then we also must admit after reading this below that he is an even worse politician.  That is saying is a lot!

South Carolina’s Governor Mark Sanford may be sleeping in the doghouse permanently after telling the AP that his mistress is his soulmate, but that he’ll try to fall back in love with his wife. The Governor also told the AP he’s ‘crossed lines’ with women other than mistress but never had sex with them.

To use the term ‘soulmate’ in reference to one other than your spouse, and admit to other ‘crossed lines’, is truly a sign that perhaps there is reason for many to be talking in South Carolina about who they want serving as the Governor.

BREAKING NEWS: Norm Coleman Concedes

About time.  No, make that WAY past time.

Norm Coleman congratulates Al Franken on Senate win.

Minnesota’s Supreme Court has dismissed former Sen. Norm Coleman’s challenge to the state’s November election results and declared Democratic challenger Al Franken the winner.

The court’s unanimous, unsigned opinion declared that Franken “received the highest number of votes legally cast” and is entitled “to receive the certificate of election as United States senator from the state of Minnesota.”

If the ruling brings an end to seven months of challenges by Coleman, Franken would become the 60th member of the Senate Democratic caucus, a move that gives the party a filibuster-proof majority in the chamber, at least on paper.

The former “Saturday Night Live” writer and performer had declared victory in the disputed race after a recount ended in January, but Coleman, a Republican who had been seeking a second six-year term, went to court to challenge those results.

June 30th In Madison, Wisconsin

Due to chilly weather, all beaches are closed today!!!!

Was last week’s hot weather our summer?

Is Charlie Crist “The Republican Barney Frank”?

I am not sure what I should infer from this Wall Street Journal headline. 

“The Republican Barney Frank” 

After all the rumors about Charlie Crist, I think this was a marvelous headline.

Vanity Fair: Sarah Palin “Diva”, And “Whack Job”

Bet the pit bull is snarling.

WEST WING MUST-READ: Todd S. Purdum, Vanity Fair’s national editor, in the August issue —

“LOOSE CANNON: It Came from Wasilla — Despite her disastrous performance in the 2008 election, Sarah Palin is still the sexiest brand in Republican politics, with a lucrative book contract for her story. But what Alaska’s charismatic governor wants the public to know about herself doesn’t always jibe with reality. As John McCain’s top campaign officials talk more candidly than ever before about the meltdown of his vice-presidential pick, the author tracks the signs — political and personal — that Palin was big trouble, and checks the forecast for her future:

“By the time Election Day rolled around, … [t]he top McCain aides who had tried hard to work with Palin — Steve Schmidt, the chief strategist; Nicolle Wallace, the communications ace; and Tucker Eskew, her traveling counselor — were barely on speaking terms with her, and news organizations were reporting that anonymous McCain aides saw Palin as a “diva” and a “whack job.” Many of the details that led to such assessments have remained obscure. But in a recent series of conversations, a range of people from the McCain-Palin campaign, including members of the high command, agreed to elaborate on how a match they thought so right ended up going so wrong. The consensus is that Palin’s rollout, and even her first television interview, with ABC’s Charles Gibson, conducted after an awkward two-week press blackout to allow for intensive cramming at her home in Wasilla, went more or less fine, though it had its embarrassing moments … and was much parodied.

“At least one savvy politician — Barack Obama — believed Palin would never have time to get up to speed. He told his aides that it had taken him four months to learn how to be a national candidate, and added, ‘I don’t care how talented she is, this is really a leap.’ The paramount strategic goal in picking Palin was that the choice of a running mate had to ensure a successful convention and a competitive race right after; in that limited sense, the choice worked. But no serious vetting had been done before the selection (by either the McCain or the Obama team), and there was trouble in nailing down basic facts about Palin’s life. After she was picked, the campaign belatedly sent a dozen lawyers and researchers, led by a veteran Bush aide, Taylor Griffin, to Alaska, in a desperate race against the national reporters descending on the state. At one point, trying out a debating point that she believed showed she could empathize with uninsured Americans, Palin told McCain aides that she and Todd in the early years of their marriage had been unable to afford health insurance of any kind, and had gone without it until he got his union card and went to work for British Petroleum on the North Slope of Alaska. Checking with Todd Palin himself revealed that, no, they had had catastrophic coverage all along. She insisted that catastrophic insurance didn’t really count and need not be revealed. This sort of slipperiness—about both what the truth was and whether the truth even mattered—persisted on questions great and small. By late September, when the time came to coach Palin for her second major interview, this time with Katie Couric, there were severe tensions between Palin and the campaign.

“By all accounts, Palin was either unwilling, or simply unable, to prepare. In the run-up to the Couric interview, Palin had become preoccupied with a far more parochial concern: answering a humdrum written questionnaire from her hometown newspaper, the Frontiersman. McCain aides saw it as easy stuff, the usual boilerplate, the work of 20 minutes or so, but Palin worried intently. At the same time, she grew concerned that her approval ratings back home in Alaska were sagging as she embraced the role of McCain’s bad cop. To keep her happy, the chief McCain strategist, Steve Schmidt, agreed to conduct a onetime poll of 300 Alaska voters. It would prove to Palin, Schmidt thought, that everything was all right. Then came the near-total meltdown of the financial system and McCain’s much-derided decision to briefly ‘suspend’ his campaign. Under the circumstances, and with severely limited resources, Schmidt and the McCain-campaign chairman, Rick Davis, scrapped the Alaska poll and urgently set out to survey voters’ views of the economy (and of McCain’s response to it) in competitive states. Palin was furious. She was convinced that Schmidt had lied to her, a belief she conveyed to anyone who would listen. …

John McCain’s Campaign Team Tells All About Sarah Palin, “Little Shop of Horrors”


Alaska’s lipstick-wearing pit-bull is a “Little Shop of Horrors.”

That’s how one longtime friend and campaign trail companion of John McCain, the vanquished 2008 GOP presidential nominee, described veep nominee Sarah Palin.

In an expansive story in the August edition of Vanity Fair, a slew of senior members of McCain’s campaign team told reporter Todd S. Purdum that they suffer a kind of survivor’s guilt following the 2008 presidential election.

“They can’t quite believe that for two frantic months last fall, caught in a Bermuda Triangle of a campaign, they worked their tails off to try to elect as vice president of the United States someone who, by mid-October, they believed for certain was nowhere near ready for the job, and might never be,” Vanity Fair reports.

During the campaign, there were reports of anonymous McCain aides describing Palin, the governor of Alaska, as a “diva” and a “whack job.”

The Vanity Fair article recounts how strained Palin’s relationship was with the McCain advisers. She maintained “only the barest level of civil discourse” with Tucker Eskew, the operative assigned to be her chief minder, the magazine reports.

She believed Steve Schmidt, McCain’s top strategist, had lied to her about conducting polling in Alaska – that was a “belief she conveyed to anyone who would listen,” the magazine reported.

As previously reported, Palin was so intent on delivering her own concession speech on Election Night that she wouldn’t accept advisers telling her that McCain had decided he would be the only one to speak. She took the issue up with McCain himself, discussing it on the walk from his hotel suite to the farewell rally.

Palin did not speak on Election Night. Only McCain addressed the crowd and the nation.

One McCain aide, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said he “always wanted to tell myself the best-case story about her.”

“I think, as I’ve evaluated it, I think some of my worst fears…the after-election events have confirmed that her more negative aspects my have been there….”

As his voice trailed off, he said, “I saw her as a raw talent. Raw, but a talent. I hoped she could become better.”

Palin refused to comment for Vanity Fair.

ALERT: Madison’s Carriage Stoops Deserve City Protection!

Construction on Spaight Street is underway.  Will the historic carriage stoops be preserved?  I think they must be!  Will you help to insure that they are?  Call the Mayor’s office at 266-4611 and urge his attention to this matter.

When I first saw them two years ago I had no idea what they were.  Every now and then near the curb was a rectangular object.  A neighbor informed me they were carriage stoops, and were placed for the convenience of ladies as they exited the carriages back in the time the old Victorian homes were first constructed and lived in.  At once they became a point of historical pride for me about another aspect to the neighborhood that conjured up all the grandeur of days gone by.   Madison is blessed to have these physical reminders of who we are today, by better knowing where we came from.


Sadly however, I was reminded on a recent walk that all do not know, or care about the past.  Portions of Spaight Street are under construction, and at least one of the old carriage stoops has been injured.  I at once contacted a local neighborhood historian and together we talked about the need to maintain the past.  Sadly the City of Madison does not seem to have a historical review process for engineering plans when it comes to street construction.  That seems short-sighted.  As a result objects such as this limestone carriage stoop pictured below on the 1100 block (which appears to be of the type that was used in the first state capital) was broken.  It would appear that some type of bobcat or such piece of heavy equipment has driven over it.


While I have made contact with the City of Madison, and hope for some action to safegaurd these pieces of the past, I also encourage others to contact the Mayor’s office (266-4611) and request for a remedy to insure that these carriage stoops are handled with care and preserved.  After all, think of the way it once looked as the horse drawn carriage stopped, and the lady got out and prepared to enter the home.


We can perserve our past.  Will you help?