Barbara Bush Says Compromise Not a Dirty Word

I have always rejected, obviously, those who fail to understand the necessity of compromise when it comes to fashioning public policy, and running government.,  Every now and then someone with a Tea Party perspective will weigh in on this blog to comment that compromise is not worthy of striving for. I am horrified at how anyone can believe such a thing, and know full well they have little history to use as their foundation.

In the past we have witnessed how some Republican members of Congress were threatened with a primary because they had the audacity to work with the other side.

What a dismal state of affairs it is when compromise is not understood to be a glue for our republic.

Ask conservative Republican U.S. Senator Bennett how his election in 2010 fared after he dared to venture into working partnerships with Democrats on the issues that impacted the nation. He lost his seat, in part for working with ‘the other side’.

When thoughtful and always blunt-spoken former Republican Senator Alan Simpson was asked about any possible run again for office he responded with, Oh, hell, no. Now it’s just sharp elbows, and instead of having a caucus where you sit down and say, “What are you going to do for your country?” you sit figuring out how to screw the other side.

In other words there is no room for compromise, only time for partisan bickering.

With that in mind comes this statement from Barbara Bush.

“I think it’s been the worst campaign I’ve ever seen in my life,” she said Monday at Southern Methodist University during a daylong conference on the influence of the nation’s first ladies. “I hate that people think compromise is a dirty word. It’s not a dirty word.”

Perfectly stated.

I only wish more members of Congress understood that!

“Rick Santorum Is Not A Catholic, But A Papist”, Supports Opus Dei, Regnum Christi

About two weeks ago I asked someone who follows the religious aspect to Rick Santorum if there had been any rumblings about the candidate and Opus Dei.  There is that fringe element to Santorum on the stump and in speeches and interviews that just hits all the wrong buttons, so one wonders how off-beat his religion is taking him.

This weekend some nuggets were unveiled in The New York Times, along with a damning statement by none other than a well-respected Catholic leader, Garry Wills, a cultural historian and professor emeritus at Northwestern University.

The Santorums’ beliefs are reflected in a succession of lifestyle decisions, including eschewing birth control, home schooling their younger children and sending the older boys to a private academy affiliated with Opus Dei, an influential Catholic movement that emphasizes spiritual holiness.     


Mr. Santorum has been a supporter of Regnum Christi, the lay wing of a conservative, cultish order of priests known as the Legion of Christ. In 2003, he was the keynote speaker at a Regnum Christi event in Chicago that drew protesters because the group’s charismatic founder, who had spent years denying that he had sexually abused seminarians, was scheduled to share the podium.       

The founder, the Rev. Marcial Maciel, did not show up, but critics faulted Mr. Santorum for agreeing to appear at the group’s forum. “He was certainly lending them legitimacy,” said Jason Berry, a documentary filmmaker and the author of a book about Father Maciel.       

Many Catholics take issue with Mr. Santorum’s approach to their faith. Mr. Santorum, polls show, has lost the Catholic vote in every primary contest so far, some by wide margins.       


Garry Wills, a cultural historian and professor emeritus at Northwestern University, is among many Catholics whose touchstone is the Second VaticanCouncil from 1962-65, which opened up Catholicism to the modern era and proclaimed that the church is its people, not just the pope and his bishops.       

“Santorum is not a Catholic, but a papist,” Mr. Wills said in an e-mail.     

Rush Limbaugh Loses 12 Sponsors Such As Allstate, Sears And Kmart Voice Support For Boycott

Hot Damn!

The tally of advertisers who have pulled their spots from PREMIERE NETWORKS host RUSH LIMBAUGH’s show over his comments about law student/activist SANDRA FLUKE last week (NET NEWS 3/2) now stands at an even dozen, although it is presently unclear whether LIMBAUGH’s weekend apology (NET NEWS 3/3) will result in any returning advertisers or whether the advertising suspensions are permanent or temporary.

The list of advertisers pulling spots from LIMBAUGH’s show includes CALIFORNIA regional mattress chain SLEEP TRAIN and national advertisers QUICKEN LOANS, CITRIX (GOTOMYPC), SLEEP NUMBER, PROFLOWERS.COM, CARBONITE (which initially said it would hold off pulling its ads until its CEO spoke to LIMBAUGH), AOL, and LEGAL ZOOM.  QUICKEN LOANS’ sister CLEVELAND CAVALIERS have pulled spots from LIMBAUGH’s show on CLEAR CHANNEL Talk WTAM-A/CLEVELAND, which happens to be the team’s flagship station, according to WTAM, citing TALKING POINTS MEMO. Most recently, MICHAEL ROZBRUCH of TAX RESOLUTION SERVICES tweeted: “We have decided to join other advertisers and suspend our sponsorship of The RUSH LIMBAUGH Show.”

Those outraged by LIMBAUGH’s remarks continued throughout the day as two more advertisers tried to calm their TWITTER followers by begging off LIMBAUGH’s show. Clothing company BONOBOS became drop-out #10 by tweeting, “Looks like we were running on it, but we’ve told them to pull us from the show indefinitely. Thanks for letting us know!”

After being barraged by tweets on the matter, SEARS and KMART joined the boycott by responding,”SEARS and KMART did not intentionally advertise on the RUSH LIMBAUGH show. SEARS HOLDINGS has taken actions to ensure our ads do not run on this show. We appreciate our customers, fans and followers and thank you for your business.”

CNBC has reported that ALLSTATE is also pulling its ads off.

Mayor Soglin Promised End To Mifflin Street Block Party–Now Wants To Talk With Rabble-Rousers

Something does not meet the smell test when it comes to the way Mayor Paul Soglin is acting in relation to the beer-soaked, and always trouble-prone Mifflin Street Block Party.  Last year’s annual event was one of the worst displays this city has seen in a long time.  When it was over Soglin, Madison police, and key alders all seemed to be on the same page.

Enough was enough.  The Mifflin Street Block Party would have to come to an end.


Well, not so fast, according to the actions of Mayor Soglin these past weeks.

To solve the problem of the unruly Mifflin Street Block Party, Mayor Paul  Soglin is turning to an unlikely source: the rabble-rousers themselves.

Soglin has asked students to work with city officials to tame the annual  drunk-fest — which turned especially ugly last year.

A committee is meeting once a week to develop a plan for the  end-of-the-school-year party on May 5. Their deadline is mid-March.

Last year’s event was totally out of control due in large part to the lifting of the ban on open alcoholic beverages in the streets.  If anyone needed to think more than a nano-second on the folly of that idea might be the first clue as to whether or not they have any leadership capabilities.

Paul Soglin, when speaking to the Daily Cardinal prior to last years event, applauded the new way the event was organized.

Soglin stated, “Just when we thought there were no new ways of having a block party, we’ve found a new way,” Soglin said. This is a rather different and much improved effort to celebrate spring.”

Soglin had a change of heart, however, after the many crimes and incidents of violence including stabbings, sexual assaults, batteries, thefts, police officers hurt, robberies and drug deals in downtown Madison during and after the party.  After the mayhem, a police report, and public input there was a different tone from the mayor.

In May 2011 we heard tough words from Soglin, and a leading member of the Madison City Council, Mike Verveer.

Mayor Paul Soglin vowed to end the process of issuing a permit for larger events, known as a picnic beer license, without formal approval from the mayor and City Council. A picnic beer permit now requires only an administrative review by the city clerk’s office.

“In retrospect, the issue of a beer permit was a tragic mistake,” Ald. Mike Verveer, 4th District, said. “I should have realized when we got the advice from the city attorney’s office that there was no way to ban carry-ins, the deal should have been off.”

“The sheer quantity of beer and liquor being carried into the event was obscene,” Verveer said. Allowing open consumption “gave a sense of entitlement, invincibility, to partygoers, like there were no rules,” he said.

Soglin, who on Sunday called for an end to the event, acknowledged Monday that change will take time.

This year Mayor Soglin decided the best way to move forward is by talking to the rabble-rousers themselves!   Leadership from city hall is an amazing thing to witness!

The taxpayers, voters, and residents of Madison have watched year after year as this annual embarrassing drunk-fest is allowed to continue.  The tough words and conviction that Soglin showed the media last spring seems to have ebbed away.  But the desire of the citizens and taxpayers to be heard on this matter remains.

The drinking party that has been a yearly spectacle for this city, and a continuing embarrassment, must come to an end.  Clearly there is no other reason for the crowd to assemble then to booze it up, create refuse, fill detox centers, needlessly cause city resources to be used, and create bedlam.

Are you still in agreement, Mr Mayor?

Robins Are Back–Spring Nears In Dane County

Hat Tip Photo to Rail Pro

There is that old saying that spring will not arrive until snow is spotted three times on a robin’s back. Given what we saw with heavier snow on Friday, along with dustings over the weekend, I am confident we have met the standards of folktales for spring to now take hold.

Photo was taken this morning in Waunakee.

Don Imus Calls Rush Limbaugh “An Insincere Pig”

Let us not forget that Dom Imus is a pig too.

….Don Imus and his producer laughed at ‘beating up faggots’, knocking over Jewish tombstones, setting ‘homeless bums’ on fire, coarsely talking about Anderson Cooper’s sex life, calling Obama a ‘colored man’, wishing that some sissy on “American Idol” would be the victim of a hate crime, and making a nasty comment about Rosie O’Donnell’s private parts.  This all falls under the guise of broadcast ‘entertainment’.

So when I heard today that Imus called Rush Limbaugh “an insincere pig” I had to make sure this was the same Imus that I find so horrible for his own on-air trash.



Jon Meacham Writes About The Epistle From John DeGioia, And The Verbal Assault Of Sandra Fluke

Over the past weeks as the contraceptive issue has dominated, in one way or the other the headlines, I have urged the reading of “American Gospel” by Jon Meacham.  It is a well researched, and compactly presented narrative that allows for a more secure foundation of where the nation stands in relation to government and religion.

Meacham has been writing and musing about this potential source of tyranny and discord for many years, I deeply respect his analysis and writings.

This whole topic is truly a fascinating one in the serene’ times, and even more so given the bumps in the road that all are experiencing recently.  Today I read Meacham’s latest attempt to add light for those who are following this matter, and dialoguing about it.

There is a new piece of must-reading for Americans, and the good news is it’s clear and concise enough to be that rarest of compositions: an accessible document about big things. (The Gettysburg Address had concision on its side, too; so does the Sermon on the Mount.) The letter is dated March 2, 2012; its contents, though, are timeless.

The epistle is from John DeGioia, the president of Georgetown University, who felt the need to weigh in after Rush Limbaugh verbally assaulted Sandra Fluke, a Georgetown law student.

What struck me most in reading about the episode, though, came from neither the president nor Limbaugh but from the academy. DeGioia, a layman, is a philosopher by training, a child of Georgetown whose undergraduate and doctorate degrees came from the university. As president of a Catholic school, he stands at the intersection of inquiry, politics, and religion, and his words in the wake of Limbaugh’s smearing of Fluke repay attention.

“In recent days, a law student of Georgetown, Sandra Fluke, offered her testimony regarding the proposed regulations by the Department of Health and Human Services before a group of members of Congress,” DeGioia wrote. “She was respectful, sincere, and spoke with conviction. She provided a model of civil discourse. This expression of conscience was in the tradition of the deepest values we share as a people. One need not agree with her substantive position to support her right to respectful free expression.” Instead of doing so, however, Limbaugh resorted to “misogynistic” and “vitriolic” comments, and misrepresented Fluke’s views.

“In our vibrant and diverse society, there always are important differences that need to be debated, with strong and legitimate beliefs held on all sides of challenging issues,” DeGioia wrote. “The greatest contribution of the American project is the recognition that together, we can rely on civil discourse to engage the tensions that characterize these difficult issues, and work towards resolutions that balance deeply held and different perspectives. We have learned through painful experience that we must respect one another and we acknowledge that the best way to confront our differences is through constructive public debate. At times, the exercise of one person’s freedom may conflict with another’s. As Americans, we accept that the only answer to our differences is further engagement.”

DeGioia invoked St. Augustine to seal the point. “In an earlier time, St. Augustine captured the sense of what is required in civil discourse: ‘Let us, on both sides, lay aside all arrogance. Let us not, on either side, claim that we have already discovered the truth. Let us seek it together as something which is known to neither of us. For then only may we seek it, lovingly and tranquilly, if there be no bold presumption that it is already discovered and possessed.’ If we, instead, allow coarseness, anger—even hatred—to stand for civil discourse in America, we violate the sacred trust that has been handed down through the generations beginning with our Founders. The values that hold us together as a people require nothing less than eternal vigilance. This is our moment to stand for the values of civility in our engagement with one another.”

All of us should take that stand with DeGioia.

Funny New Yorker Cover: Mitt Romney Driving Rick Santorum In Rooftop Doghouse

There is no end of reasons to love The New Yorker.

This week’s cover is a hoot, given the crazy real-life story of how Mitt Romney drove long distances with the family dog tied to the top of the car.

This time around there is a political twist to ‘the dog on the top of the car’.  One has to wonder how much excrement Mitt has to wash away this time?