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First of all, I am not making some grand prediction about this coming November. The off year election in St Louis County yesterday did well for progressive causes.

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Mon May 25, 2009 at 05:08 PM PDT

Medal of Honor Recipiant

by rawls

I started working for the VA several months ago. I made this career choice for a couple of reasons. Of course, I'd be lying of I did not mention the pay - social work in the private sector is lean living here in the Midwest. However, I also made this move because of the war in Iraq. I did not want the soldiers coming home today to experience the same thing the Vets from Vietnam did. I am a vet (US Army 1986-1991).

While at the VA I have had the pleasure of providing services to some of the best our country has to offer. Below the fold is Russell Dunham's story. He was the only Medal of Honor recipient to obtain services at the VAMC where I work. I met him about a couple months ago. He was cranky, raspy and outspoken - quite a character. I received word the other day Russell Dunham died a few weeks ago:

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Mon Sep 01, 2008 at 02:02 PM PDT

Its about McCain's Choice

by rawls

First, I agree with Barack Obama: teenage girls can give birth to children who later become successful in life. I also feel Governor Palin's family is off limits. This does not mean, however, Senator McCain should not have considered Sarah Palin's family when making his Vice Presidential choice. Senator Macain's choice of Sarah Palin for Vice President tells us volumes about McCain's decision making process.

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Fri Apr 11, 2008 at 07:42 AM PDT

Local Politics: Webster Groves, MO

by rawls

Webster Groves is a suburb just outside of St Louis off Interstate 44. It is generally considered an affluent town with good schools and fairly decent amenities. Property taxes have increased an average of 40% in the past 4 years. On April 8th Webster elected 3 new city council members. The campaign was uneventful with 4 candidates bidding for  the 3 seats; they all looked and sounded about the same. I decided to go to the public forum held a local grade school and listen to the candidates in person. It broke down this way: Ms Hart was the encumbent running for her second term; Ms Salsberg works for St Louis County as a city planner; Ms Tolen was a neighborhood activist working to ensure her neighborhood would not get bulldozed and turned into a big-box plaza; and Mr Brown was a lawyer pledging to cut the property taxes.

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Thu Sep 06, 2007 at 06:36 AM PDT

Swiftboating ... Idaho Style

by rawls

American Land Rights Association:

By ambushing Senator Larry Craig, the Minneapolis St Paul Airport Police have effectively declared war on the West. They are primarily responsible for greatly weakening private property rights and Federal land use advocates in the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee and in Congress. We are urging you to make all your flight arrangements avoiding the Minneapolis-St Paul Airport for at least the next year and probably longer. We’ll keep you posted as the boycott develops. Urge your friends, neighbors and fellow workers to try to avoid any flights that take them through Minneapolis St Paul Airport. We must inflict economic pain on the airport authorities to get them to change their behavior. -----And they must apologize to Senator Larry Craig.

Follow below the fold....

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Thu May 24, 2007 at 08:21 PM PDT

Iraq and Vietnam

by rawls

I was reading some of Bush's speech from the other day and it got me thinking about the comparison between Iraq and Vietnam: the comparison comes up often when I talk to my friends about the war. I think there are some good comparisons but most of them are off the mark.

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Fri Mar 30, 2007 at 05:41 PM PDT

The Next Republican Meme

by rawls

As the surge cranks up a story is beginning to spin that things are getting better in Iraq. John McCain on CNN talked about people walking the streets of some neighborhoods unmolested by the violence which haunts the rest of the country. He also suggests General Petrais drives around Baghdad without a security detail. Of course, when pressed on these comments Senator McCain backed down. It is nevertheless, time to start pushing back on this self-serving political meme and get the truth regarding the violence in Iraq out in front of the Republican machine.

More below the fold:

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Sat Mar 17, 2007 at 09:38 AM PDT

Of course he knew

by rawls

I was just over at TPM where David Kurts wrote a short post about the most interesting thing to come out of the Plame Hearings yesterday.

The most interesting testimony in yesterday's House committee hearing on the CIA leak case came not from Valerie Plame Wilson but from James Knodell, director of the White House security office, who testified that the White House had neither undertaken an internal investigation into the leak nor taken disciplinary action against the leakers.

More....

Poll

Will the president ever be held publically resposible for his involvement in the Valarie Plame leak?

28%18 votes
26%17 votes
44%28 votes

| 63 votes | Vote | Results

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The NY Times has an articletoday indicating the White House is unhappy with the AG. He is about to be thrown under the bus. We can tell because there are whispers coming from Rove.

"I really think there’s a serious estrangement between the White House and Alberto now," one of the Republicans said....

....inside the White House, aides to the president, including Mr. Rove and Joshua B. Bolten, the chief of staff, were said to be increasingly concerned that the controversy could damage Mr. Bush.

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I have looked through the comments hoping to see someone else talking about this story. I find it hard to believe but it has only come up a couple of times. First let me say something about myself: I am a Vet (US Army 1986-1991). I did not serve in the 1st Gulf War, rather, I was stationed with the 2nd Infantry Division in South Korea. Since my ETS I completed college and Grad School. I now work in a psychiatric hospital as a social worker. My patients include a wide range of chronic mental illnesses including: PTSD, Brain Injury and severely traumatized.

As a Vet I feel outrage that our soldiers are being treated so poorly. I want heads to roll. I want someone to pay. However, as a Social Worker (and an advocate for those who have been marginalized) I also know this problem is not just the responsibility of some bureaucrat at The Walter Reed Medical Center.

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Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 08:38 PM PDT

My happy story - kind a long

by rawls

About 3 years ago my daughter, Kwan-Yin became a part of our family. She spent the first year of her life in an orphanage in SW China. The mortality rate there is estimated at 60%. She is a tough kid and she is wonderful. Bright, happy and full of good will toward anyone she meets. Last month, during a routine exam to remove her adnoids (sleep apnia) the doctors decided to do an MRI and they found something that was not supposed to be there. The MRI was inconclusive but the doctor thought it was likely a tumor. If not a tumor then it was likely a vascular malformation.
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Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:16 AM PDT

My Letter to the editor....

by rawls

I sent off a letter to the editor this morning, I hope the publish it. Anyone else send a letter recently?

Actually, I think this is a little too long, but what the heck.

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