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Stop crying and dig in for the NEXT fight in 2016.  We've got two whole years to get or act together, and GO for it!!!  

We'll have the advantage then:



Michael Bennet (Colorado)
Richard Blumenthal (Connecticut)
Barbara Boxer (California)
Patrick Leahy (Vermont)
Barbara Mikulski (Maryland)
Patty Murray (Washington)
Harry Reid (Nevada)
Charles Schumer (New York)
Ron Wyden (Oregon)


Kelly Ayotte (New Hampshire)
Roy Blunt (Missouri)
John Boozman (Arkansas)
Richard Burr (North Carolina)
Dan Coats (Indiana)
Tom Coburn (Oklahoma) – Retiring in 2014. Seat TBD in 2014 special election.
Mike Crapo (Idaho)
Chuck Grassley (Iowa)
John Hoeven (North Dakota)
Johnny Isakson (Georgia)
Ron Johnson (Wisconsin)
Mark Kirk (Illinois)
Mike Lee (Utah)
John McCain (Arizona)
Jerry Moran (Kansas)
Lisa Murkowski (Alaska)
Rand Paul (Kentucky)
Rob Portman (Ohio)
Marco Rubio (Florida)
Richard Shelby (Alabama)
John Thune (South Dakota)
Pat Toomey (Pennsylvania)
David Vitter (Louisiana)


My email to sent today:
Dear Mr. Wright,

You don't know me, but your articles
 brought my Viet Nam era veteran husband to tears.

I am one of those many people who so enthusiastically LINKED (not violated fair use) to your posts in as many places as I could.  I'm sorry that this led to your material being stolen.  I hope you receive proper compensation (call out the badgers!) and that you return to us soon.

Hoping to be your friend,
Midge Baker

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by Vlad's Dog

Re-posted here from Newsvine, with permission of the author.

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Fri May 23, 2014 at 12:55 PM PDT

The Pragmatics of Patriotism

by midgebaker

As Memorial Day approaches, and with the flagrant way the word "patriotism" is bandied about today, I think it's time to republish this.

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Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 04:59 PM PDT

The Hitchhikers

by midgebaker

From our own personal experience, a true story, as my husband tells it:

The Hitchhikers (c) 1999 (c) 2013 by John and Midge Baker

A thumb goes up, a car goes by, it's nearly 1:00 am and here am I, hitchin' a ride, hitchin' a ride...

This song is going through my head over and over as we're walking down the I-5 onramp with our thumbs stuck out. Get out of my head I scream silently. It's something I learned while working for the carnival.

You know how sometimes a song will stick in your head? Sometimes all day? Well usually those four words will break the spell, but not this time. DARN IT!

We're just coming off the onramp in Grants Pass Oregon, my new bride and I, off to a new job in Portland. We have just 24 hours to meet our new employer, some 350 miles away at an obscure boat dock on the Columbia river. We're not sure where it is exactly, or even how we're going to get there by tomorrow morning so that we don't lose the job. But hunger and homelessness are great faith here we are, nothing to lose so to speak.

One thing we DO have, my wife and I and that's faith. So having asked Papa -- as we like to refer to Him -- to once again, if it be His will, to please help us out here.

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Wed Aug 07, 2013 at 04:59 PM PDT

The Tonopah Angel

by midgebaker

"The Tonopah Angel" by Midge Baker

(c) 2008 (c) 2013 by John and Midge Baker

Oh no...

"There's no recycling center in Tonopah." the man had just said.  Now that was going to be a problem...

Since January 1996, we'd been staying with my best friends, in Gold Hill, OR.  We were homeless and living in our camper.  They had an orchard, a truck garden, goats, geese, and chickens.  In exchange for a safe place to park our camper and the use of electricity, John tended the orchard and worked part time for a drywaller.  I cleaned house, picked fruit and vegetables, helped in their booth at the weekly Farmer's Market, and fed the animals.  That included our own wee beasties.  

Months earlier, we'd found two kittens abandoned in two different places we'd camped.  One was Miss Skitty, the other was Buster. In March, Miss Skitty had had babies.  

We stayed in Gold Hill until April '97 while looking for fulltime work, but the Oregon economy was at its lowest ebb. There were no real jobs to be had.  

So we packed up camper, cats, and kittens, and headed to Nevada to look for work.

We traveled by doing the "change thing" with the last of our food stamps. They still used the real stamps then, not the debit cards they have now.  You could use a dollar food stamp to buy a pack of gum or a 10-cent candy and get back real cash money in change.  In Oregon then, you paid a nickel deposit on glass, aluminum, and glass soda pop and beer containers.  Once empty, the containers could be returned to local merchants for a refund on the deposits.

As we drove, we would stop every mile or so in good areas and then walk back and collect any "nickel deposits" we'd spotted. We'd raid the dumpsters in campgrounds and rest areas. The change and nickel deposits paid for our food and gasoline.

Once we got out of Oregon, they didn't pay nickel deposits anymore, but most towns had a recycling yard that paid for aluminum cans by the pound. By the time we'd get to one town, we'd have just about enough aluminum cans to recycle to buy food and such, and buy enough gas to get to the next town.

This caught us out once.  

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It's confirmed: Westboro is here (Prescott High School)   \

"This evening, Westboro did in fact drive by the High School as the Vigil event took place.

"Fortunately, due to the wall of leather, tattoos, and American Flags, and NO PARKING they had to keep on driving."


Mon Jan 28, 2013 at 12:52 PM PST

Red Sky in Mourning Glory

by midgebaker

My tribute to Challenger, written within an hour of that disaster, presented on this anniversary.

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Thu Nov 15, 2012 at 11:10 AM PST

An Open Letter to the GOP

by midgebaker

Care of Soph0571 on Newsvine

An Open Letter to the GOP

Good grief for the life of me I have never experienced such a bunch of whiny old
men as I have since President Obama was duly re-elected.  I mean seriously, the
pathetic accuses, the refusal to admit defeat graciously, playing the blame game
and attaching fault to anyone and everyone but themselves.  Whiny old men
completely  divorced from reality who really need to sit down and shut up.  At
least for a while.  Sore losers.  It is not black people’s fault that Romney lost.

Single women are not the driving force behind socialism.  People in urban areas are allowed to vote.  People did not vote to just get free stuff.  Obama was not a big mean scary monster who scared the right away from the polls.  The Sky is not falling and threatening to secede from the USA is as mature as a baby throwing its dummy out of the pram in the middle of a screaming fit. WAH WAH WAH!

Grow a pair.  Identify where the hell you went wrong and do something about it.  

Blaming the other side is not going to help you one jot for the future.  And in the meantime stop being so whiny.


Reprinted here from the Nation post, with express permission of the author.

Full tet below the squiggle.

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As a former employee myself, I'm glad to see Wal Mart Employees are finally protesting nationwide in numbers big enough to make the news and give the corporate giant troubles.

See these articles for details:
Hallandale Walmart workers join protest
Walmart Workers Threaten Black Friday Walkout

I am presently watching Current TV's replay of their "Wal Mart: The High Cost of Low Price."

All this has inspired me to share my own story (below the squiggle):

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Article from Mother Jones:

So I open up my LA Times this morning, and the front page of the business section greets me with this headline:

    Steep drop in jobless rate has some Obama foes crying foul

    And I thought: this is amazing. One tweet from Jack Welch sets off a wingnut firestorm that actually makes the front page of the Times. The power of these guys to set the news agenda is pretty spectacular.

    But there may be an unappreciated irony at work here. Although BLS didn't cook the unemployment books, there's no question that the headline number, which is derived from a telephone survey of households, can be fairly noisy from month to month. There was a big spike upward in September's employment figure, and that could be real or it could be a statistical outlier.

    Or there might be a third option: In a little-noticed part of yesterday's report, BLS announced that it had systematically undercounted jobs by 386,000 from April 2011 through March 2012. So maybe it's continued to undercount jobs since then, as Karl Smith suggests here. If so, then not only is the September number accurate, it's making up for an undercount over the past six months...

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