The better part of valor -- facing reality

The next time someone tells you that we must continue to wage war in Iraq or Afghanistan or in some other foreign adventure, to make certain that those who died there did not die in vain, remember the words of Gen. Stanley McChrystal, commander of forces in Afghanistan.

Discussing the US abandonment of a military outpost in an area known as Death Valley, where 42 American troops -- and many more Afghan soldiers -- were killed and hundreds wounded, McChrystal said:

“I care deeply about everybody who has been hurt here, but I can’t do anything about it. I can do something about people who might be hurt in the future."

Do the troops feel we should stay to defend the honor of those who died there?

“It hurts,” Specialist Robert Soto of the 26th Infantry, who spent 12 months in the valley from 2008 to 2009, and saw half of his platoon killed or wounded, told the NY Times. “It hurts on a level that — three units from the Army, we all did what we did up there. And we all lost men. We all sacrificed. I was 18 years old when I got there. I really would not have expected to go through what we went through at that age...

Hold page one!

We've got a doozy of a story here from the Associated Press:

 Thompson denies reports that he won’t challenge Feingold

Former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson denied reports this morning that he has decided not to run for U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold’s seat.

What? That was yesterday's story?

Never mind.

Tommy! says no

Okay, it's official - Tommmy announces he's not running aginst Russ Feingold, in a speech that seems to share the revisionist history of the rest of the Tea Party speakers.  It's a little disturbing to see him completely ignore his record, and the comparative taxation levels of his administration and the Doyle administration while cozying up to the tea party folks -- but what the hey, facts be damned.

Anyway - the jockeying for position is over on that front.

Tommy! Causes Rift in Tea Party

[img_assist|nid=12265|title=Tommy Thompson|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=86|height=100]Update tea party groups from around the state are threatening to boycott today's event

Reports are floating around this morning that Tommy!'s appearance at the Tea Party event in Madison today is causing serious rifts amongst the Tea Partiers.  I received some emails last night about this from various sources, including pointing out an article in the Oshkosh Daily Northwestern, where Dave Westlake is perturbed that Tommy! is taking over the tea-party-palooza today -

"He’s using a platform that’s supposed to be about rallying around a common cause to reduce the size of government, to lower spending and lower taxes and he’s using it for his own personal announcement," Westlake said. "He’s not the tea party movement. He’s a big spender and did a lot of things that was the antithesis of what people in the tea party want."

WTMJ Can't Make Up it's Mind about Tommy! Making Up His Mind

[img_assist|nid=12265|title=|desc=|link=none|align=left|width=86|height=100]So - the day starts out with a rousing announcement that Tommy! isn't going to run.  The WTMJ announcement was reported far and wide, including at FireDogLake, and Blogging Blue.  Then the article on WTMJ's site disappears, and is replaced by a story saying that Tommy is "leaning against running".  And now the story seems to be that he's going to make an announcement at tomorrow's Tea Party rally in Madison. 

Unless of course he changes his mind again.  I think Tommy is trying to emulate Bret Favre here.  But I think my favorite quote in the new WTMJ article is

Thompson has said for months that he would consider running for Feingold's seat for months.



Senate Passes Race-Based School Mascot Law

After years of kicking around, the state senate has passed the race-based school mascot law, SB 25.  Now, it's not like the Menomonie Indians are going away tomorrow.  Unfortunately.  But the law does set up a mechanism for complaints against discriminatory mascots, and a means for dealing with the complaints.  It also provides for a fine for schools that don't comply with a ruling.  Note that although the Assembly passed a similar bill in February, the two bills will need to be reconciled before the bill goes to the Governor.

Can I have a roll call?

Robin Hood he ain't: Walker wants to take from the people, give to the rich

Inquiring minds have been wondering for months just how Scott Walker plans to get Wisconsin out of a $2-billion budget deficit when his main idea has been to dig the hole $2-billion deeper with tax cuts that mostly benefit corporations and high-income people.

Now we have a partial answer: Walker wants to offset some of those fat cat tax cuts by taking health care coverage away from seniors, the disabled, working families, children and other vulnerable Wisconsinites.

Asked -- finally! -- by the Journal Sentinel what he would cut to pay for the high-end tax cuts, Walker coughed up changing eligibility standards for Medicaid.

When Walker talks about changing the rules on eligibility to save money, he ain't talking about making it easier to qualify.

Non-candidate to form explanatory committee?

Notes on the non-candidate's non-campaign, supplied regularly by the Wisconsin news media:

Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson told TODAY's WTMJ4: I'm interested - but I don't know." He declined to give a time line for when he will make a decision and only said, "I'm still working on it."

It being the US Senate race. Too bad, while they had him on the line, TODAY'S TMJ4 didn't bother to ask him about a story that ran the same day, about how firms Thompson represents cashed in on the federal stimulus bill -- which he has criticized Sen. Russ Feingold for supporting. But then he might not take their call next time.

One more point for TT to ponder while he continues his never-ending non-decision making process:Feingold has more than $4-million in the bank. The election is less than seven months away, and Thompson doesn't even have a bank account, let alone any money

This is no doubt a typo, but an amusing one nonetheless from Fox6 News in Milwaukee:


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