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It's been called a lot of things... Beckapalooza.  Glenn Beck's "I Have a Scheme" rally.  The Fear and Loathing March on Washington.  And, of course, Restoring Honor.  FOX News dressed it up with a nice logo (left) and graphic treatment as part of their fair and balanced reporting.

As they always do, crowd estimates were spit-balled.  They ranged from 87,000 (CBS News' independent consultant) to 300,000 (NBC News, unsourced) to 5 million (my friend Rikk on a Facebook post where we were trying to trump one another).  Videos were shot, Beck squeezed out some tears (presumably he's learned to do that without the Vics VaPoRub under his eyes by now... 'cause people can smell that stuff a mile away you know).

But a funny thing happened on the way to the rally:  Glenn found God (again).

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I first wrote this in 2007 for my own blog.  I decided that it was worth a repeat if that's OK with you guys.

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It's an easy pun for a complicated situation.  What at face value, health care for everyone, seems like such a noble and moral thing has become the political cage match we all knew it would.

(ever so slightly edited for clarity)

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As one who spent 25 years in the media planning and placement business, I understand that advertisers don't really buy specific programs for the most part.  They package ad buys across several dayparts and even across sibling networks.  They don't buy spots; they buy aggregated rating points.

But they can pull out of a show.  And another one is out of Glenn Beck.

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To listen to the way Republicans and conservatives throw around the word "socialism," you would think that anyone with a social consciences (e.g. Democrats) all steeped in Marxism and want to take away all the rich people's riches.

Here's an interesting little snapshot.  I was friended a while back by a guy I went to school with who, it seems, is a conservative.  He posted this as a Facebook status last night:

Due to wasteful spending in Washington & overall market conditions, The Light at the End of the Tunnel has been turned off. I apologize for the inconvenience.

I had to respond...

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As the economy continues to falter, more people are turning to food pantries to be able to keep meals on the table for their families and themselves.  Today's Wisconsin State Journal reports that since 2001, 57% more families have turned to emergency food sources.  Food banks struggle to keep up with demand, but also are finding better ways to serve their clientele more efficiently and effectively.

[now with new and improved links that, umm, work]

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Financially and economically speaking, things suck all over.  For a lot of government entities, cutting the fat out of budgets no longer is enough.  Now, cuts are seemingly draconian.  Such is the case at Rancho Bernardo High School, part of the Poway Unified School District in suburban San Diego.  Things are apparently so bad for this school district that they can no longer afford to adequately fund the budget used to copy quizzes and exams.  Math teacher Tom Farber decided that the situation was simply unacceptable.

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Most balloting seems pretty straight-forward.  The voter is asked to blacken a circle or draw a line through a box with a special felt tip pen.  Maybe it's a butterfly ballot, and the voter is to use a stylus to punch a hole through the ballot to mark various choices.  Levers.  Touch screens.  All in all, this shouldn't be brain surgery.

Poll

Do you actually read the instructions on the ballot you used for the recent election?

48%39 votes
16%13 votes
2%2 votes
1%1 votes
24%20 votes
4%4 votes
1%1 votes
1%1 votes

| 81 votes | Vote | Results

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Even though it is Madison's only remaining daily paper, the Wisconsin State Journal is much more conservative that it's mailing address would suggest. Indeed, it is not nearly as conservative as some newspapers, but it certainly leans right.

Today, the newspaper endorsed Barack Obama for president...

(Update:  Annie Jo has an earlier and more in-depth diary on this same subject that is very much worth a look.)

Poll

Has your local paper made its endorsement yet?

17%13 votes
5%4 votes
24%18 votes
12%9 votes
20%15 votes
9%7 votes
12%9 votes

| 75 votes | Vote | Results

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In a recent post, I pointedly accused the McCain campaign, and generally Republicans, of lying.  For that, I was taken to task by a conservative friend whose opinion I respect although we find little to agree upon from a political standpoint.  He made a case for his point that the word "liar" is a harsh and seemingly drastic label that doesn't help in encouraging dialog between two parties who do not agree.

In thinking about this and agreeing that elevating the discourse, as a more refined person may call it, is an honorable position to take, I keep coming back to the thought that if an "untruth" is not called out, then in some ways t is given implied approval... it's a tacit agreement.

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There's a lot of trash talk going on this week in St. Paul.  Some of it is directed, still, at people who hope.  People who hope for change.  Take a break from the political effluvia emanating from Minnesota this week to remember what hope means, expressed in a story that isn't about economics, wars, morality or health care.  Well, sort of about health care, but not really.  It's a story about hoping to change the course of a deteriorating medical condition, and hoping to ease the pain and suffering of a friend who couldn't help herself.

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Wed Aug 20, 2008 at 02:56 PM PDT

Why does Ralph Nader hate America?

by newfie53523

The answer is, of course, that he doesn't.  While he has not told this to me personally, of course, I have no doubt that he loves America.  Perhaps he loves America too much.

More from Wisconsin after the jump...

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