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When Ted Cruz, Mike Lee and Sarah Palin showed up for yesterday's Million Vet March on the Washington Mall, they acted like they were in charge; like they had been specifically invited to lead this protest against the President and his "overreach" in closing the WWII Memorial.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  Here is the official response from the Million Vet March organization, that was posted on their Facebook page just this morning:

Official Stance of the Million Vet March on the Memorials:

 The political agenda put forth by a local organizer in Washington DC yesterday was not in alignment with our message. We feel disheartened that some would seek to hijack the narrative for political gain. The core principle was and remains about all Americans honoring Veterans in a peaceful and apolitical manner. Our love for and our dedication to remains with Veterans, regardless of party affiliation or political leanings.

 Feel free to check out the 60+ apolitical and peaceful rallies of the Million Vet March across the nation at our Facebook page at

The Million Vet March was a real attempt to honor veterans from across the nation.  Here was their invitation:
Join fellow Veterans and Americans at the war memorials in Washington DC on Sunday October 13th at 9 AM and at memorials across these United States.
It is indeed true that the Million Vet March was designed to bring attention to the fact that the Government Shutdown closed war memorials across the country.  This post on their Facebook page speaks to that:
We are all military brats, current and former military spouses and some veterans. We cannot express how utterly disappointed we were that our Greatest Generation were being used as political pawns in the ongoing government shutdown and budget crisis. This should never be the case.

 We do not care what political leanings you may be; be it liberal, conservative, Democrat, Republican, Libertarian, Independent or whatever. The actions of the U.S. government this week with regard to barricading and shutting down the World War II Memorial to veterans, that may or may not be on their last trip to Washington DC, is a despicable act of cowardice.

 Veterans this week were unwillingly pitted as pawns in this crisis. We feel that this should never be the case. This is why we will go to Congress after the budget crisis and ask for a bill to be introduced that would prevent any member of the government from closing our memorials down to any American, except for maintenance purposes. In the meantime, we will have our March in Washington DC on October 13th! Our veterans deserve that!

 Many in our group have decided that enough is enough. We are Americans. We are proud of our heritage and our service. As all of us were military brats and spouses, we have served in some form or another our entire lives. This is our way of life. We will not stand by and let the U.S. government dishonor the legacy of sacrifice of the generations before us. It is time to make a stand! We hope that you will join us in our peaceful protest against anti-American policies.

So the march was designed to protest the closings of the memorials. I can't say that I agree with all that they wrote in that last statement.  Too much false equivalence to suit me.  But I do agree that the government should be reopened, including all of the memorials, and that all of our veterans should be honored.

But Cruz, Lee and Palin have only dishonored our veterans with their weekend antics, especially since they were accompanied by a Confederate flag: the antithesis of American patriotism


Mitt Romney's had a bad week.  Even his much ballyhooed presiding over the Salt Lake City Olympics in 2002 is catching grief now.  And it's about to get worse.

ThatPoshGirl has a diary on the Rec List up right now about the financial shenanigans that went on during Mitt's tenure.

And after the complaints from both left and right this week about this year's Olympic Team uniforms being made in China, it is not surprising that Mitt also outsourced the US Team's uniforms in 2002.  Comments in ThatPoshGirl's diary suggested that they were made in Canada, rather than in the US.  I don't have documentation on that.

But what I do have is even better.  Photo proof of where the uniforms were made that were used for the Olympic Torch Relay.

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Tue May 15, 2012 at 09:24 AM PDT

It Was 35 Years Ago Today

by TX Freethinker

On May 15th, 1977 my life changed forever.

Many of you reading this already know that I am a member of Tree Climbers at Daily Kos.  But that's not really what this diary is all about.  If you want the backgound, you can read about it in my inaugural Tree Climber diary.  

Sure, that event in my childhood caused problems for me for the next 15 years in dealing with girls and women.  But this post is about how I met someone who enabled me to leave all that behind.

Cat Stevens was one of my favorite artists when I was in college back in the 70's.  And this song captured a lot of the angst I felt at that time.  I knew that someday I would make a good husband and father, if only I would get the chance.  But I sucked at being a boyfriend.  On the few occasions when I had a date, I felt uncomfortable and tongue-tied.  I just couldn't find the right words to say.

How Can I Tell You - by Cat Stevens
I need to know you
I need to feel my arms around you
Feel my arms surround you
Like sea around a shore
Each night I pray
In hopes that I might find you
In hopes that I might find you
Because hearts can do no more
Can do no more
It always adds up to one thing, honey
Still I kneel upon the floor

How can I tell you
That I love you
That I love you
And I can't think of right words to say
I long to tell you
That I'm always thinking of you
I'm always thinking of you
But my words just blow away
Just blow away
It always adds up to one thing, honey
And I can't think of right words to say

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Tree Climbers at Daily Kos is a community composed of survivors of childhood sexual, physical, and emotional abuse and those who support them.

Tree Climbers tell our stories, recover, sustain each other, learn about childhood abuse, and discover and create ways to protect children.

When SwedishJewfish posted her F**K Joe Paterno diary back in January, she knew up front that she would create a firestorm of controversy that she thought might last a day or two before burning out.  What she hadn't counted on was the outpouring of emotions from fellow survivors of abuse, that have only grown over time.  What began as a heart-rending expression of rage at the horrific treatment of children who have been sexually abused, has now grown into a movement that has spread from Daily Kos into the community at large.  SwedishJewfish (aka Rebecca Berry) has teamed up with another survivor of abuse, Roxine Behrens, and together they have formed a new charity: TREE Climbers, Inc.

The entire web site was designed and written by Rebecca herself, in the past two months.  Be sure to check it out.  You can read more details about how and why the charity was formed by going to the Our Story page on the web site.

You can help by clicking on the donate button for the cause.  Follow me below for more on how you can offer your support.

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Tue Apr 10, 2012 at 08:23 AM PDT

Wildflower Weekends in Texas

by TX Freethinker

Texas catches a lot of grief here on Daily Kos.  And many times, for very good reason.  But there are many things to admire about the state, too.  And one of these is the gorgeous display of wildflowers that carpet the state each spring.

This diary is rather heavy on wildflower photographs, so you might not want to go below the squiggle if you have low bandwidth.

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Tue Apr 03, 2012 at 08:09 AM PDT

Music for Tree Climbers

by TX Freethinker

I discovered Missy Higgins' music last year, thanks to the wonders of Pandora.  She is a delightful, young Australian singer/songwriter.  Her music varies from haunting ballads to rockin' upbeat tunes.  A couple of her songs even have a country feel.  Many of her tunes have only her own lush piano accompaniment.  Others have hard guitar licks, and others more complex orchestration.  There is a lot of variety.  Read more about Missy here.

I have listened to her two albums (The Sound of White & On a Clear Night) over and over.  But after staying up until 2am, writing the first draft of my inaugural Tree Climber diary last week, I was mowing my yard the next morning, and listening to her music on my Ipod.  But this time, the words to some of her songs sounded completely different.  

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I was a shy kid growing up.  I admit it.  I came of age in the 60's and 70's, at the height of the Sexual Revolution.  And I lived through that entire Revolution without ever firing a single shot.

But in just the past two months, after reading diaries by Rebecca (SwedishJewFish) and
Roxine, and other Tree Climbers here on DK, I have come to recognize that it was probably more than just shyness that kept me in my shell.  While my story pales in comparison to theirs, and is nowhere near as horrific, it may still be worth telling.

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Twenty-four hours ago, it appeared that Ted Stevens had coasted to an easy victory in the Alaska Senate race, but that Rep. Don Young was losing a narrow race to Sean Parnell.  It looks a little different now.

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Tue May 13, 2008 at 09:39 AM PDT

The Change You Deserve?

by TX Freethinker

I can certainly understand why Republicans would be depressed these days.  And let's hope that the results from the special election in MS-01 today make them even more depressed.

But stealing a trademarked slogan from a US corporation?  I thought Republicans supported corporations, and gave them corporate welfare, not stole from them.  I guess when you are in a depression, you just don't act rationally sometimes.  (Not that Republicans ever do).

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Kid Oakland's current diary got me to thinking.  Not just about John McCain, but about the man he "hearts"... George W. Bush.  I know this is anathema to Kossacks, but in reality, I think the President has actually done some things well.  Here's my list of 20 accomplishments to admire:

  1. His recent trip to Africa reminded us of the good he has actually done in helping to fund anti-malaria and anti-Aids programs. (But maybe some of those funds being tied to absinence-only programs wasn't such a good idea).
  1. After 9/11, he united the country and drove the Taliban from Afghanistan.  (OK, it would have been better if he had actually caught Osama bin Laden at Tora Bora).
  1. He declared the western Hawaiian Islands a National Marine Sanctuary.  (It would have been nice if this hadn't been the only environmental accomplishment of his entire presidency).
  1. He stated the plan to end the shuttle program, and redevelop rockets to return America to the exploration of the moon, and perhaps, on to Mars.  (I know a lot of people believe that money could be better spent here on earth, but I am a pro-space nut).

Join me below the fold for the rest of my list.


What do you think of Bush's accomplishments?

5%12 votes
0%0 votes
93%198 votes

| 211 votes | Vote | Results

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This just happened between 9 and 10 am this morning.  A Dallas P.D. motorcycle officer in the motorcade accompanying Hillary Clinton was killed in a traffic accident.  

Evidently, the officer was traveling at "a high rate of speed" and hit the concrete wall of an overpass near downtown Dallas.  He was taken to Methodist hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Of course, this has nothing to do with the Clinton campaign itself.  

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Monday marked the first day of early voting in Texas for the upcoming primaries.  Everyone expected voting to be heavy.  But it was even heavier than expected.

In both Dallas County and Tarrant County (the Fort Worth area) voters came in at 10 times the number seen in the last Presidential Primary in 2004.

Check below for more on the numbers.

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