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As a boy growing up in Wisconsin I used to listen to the Green Bay Packers on the radio. We would gather around as a family to sit on the edge of our chairs and sweat it out as our team struggled to uphold its position as the premier football team in America, pitting elite athletes with names like Adderly, Nitchske, Dowler, Hornung & Taylor against the likes of Roman Gabriel, Merlin Olsen, Johnny Unitas and Jim Brown. In six years, our team won five league championships - and the man at the helm of the team on offense, the man who set the tone for the team, the man with quiet determination, no flashy running or powerful passing arm, and no apparent ego, was the unforgettable figure of Bart Starr. After those years had gone, we waited a long time for another successful team leader. Finally, we got a brash young man with oodles of physical ability - but


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I freely admit that I have little sympathy or regard for former president Bill Clinton, for a myriad of reasons that are not germane to this post. But the latest word from our demi-disgraced ex-leader does exactly what I would desire from a loyal team player interested in supporting our current President's agenda. This CNN interview by John Roberts is what I am talking about:

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I could not have been the only person who identified the author of the quotation that President Obama (woot!) included in his inaugural address:

So let us mark this day with remembrance, of who we are and how far we have traveled. In the year of America's birth, in the coldest of months, a small band of patriots huddled by dying campfires on the shores of an icy river. The capital was abandoned. The enemy was advancing. The snow was stained with blood. At a moment when the outcome of our revolution was most in doubt, the father of our nation ordered these words be read to the people:

"Let it be told to the future world...that in the depth of winter, when nothing but hope and virtue could survive...that the city and the country, alarmed at one common danger, came forth to meet [it]."

I recollected immediately that Washington had The Crisis read to the troops:

So I looked it up.

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Fri Nov 14, 2008 at 11:06 AM PST

Barack the Knife

by In Memory of Norman Bethune

Watching with admiration from the sidelines as Barack Obama rose from obscurity to the position of power that he is about to assume, I noted many attempts to describe his political style with metaphors from martial arts, as people marveled at the ease of manner and deft skill with which he deflected or avoided assaults and booby-traps. Akido (redirecting the attacker's force) was one analogy commonly used, as was the Rope-a-Dope employed so famously by Muhammad Ali. But now, as he shifts from being a contender for political recognition to being the wielder of great political power, I expect to see another facet of his character revealed; he will use his power discreetly, but to the best effect. Looking at the Joe Lieberman affair, which is currently unresolved, I cannot tell what President-Elect Obama wants done, but I'll bet that the key figures in the

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like so many of the dreamers of my youth, he passed away too soon, but today I was reminded of these words:

The old get old, and the young get stronger,
May take a week, and it may take longer,
They got the guns but we got the numbers
We're gonna win, yeah, we're taking over!

It has taken considerably longer than a week, but victory is within our grasp, thanks to the combination of youthful energy and the resilience of age. How sweet it is.

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last night, after the debate was finished. I watched the debate on CSPAN, viewing both the pre- and post debate feeds. Many people have noted that the Obamas lingered with the audience afterward, while John McCain left after a few minutes. What I saw was the very same people whom I thought had expressed reservations about Barack Obama when they asked their questions, now vying with each other for autographs and photos with the man and woman they expected to be the next President and First Lady. Everybody wanted a chance to shake hands with the next President, or the First Lady. If this was an audience of undecided voters at the start of the evening, by the end, they had made up their minds.

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I took some photos of the Michelle Obama rally at Camp Randall in Madison, Wisconsin today (9/22/08).

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Sorry to just post and run, but I wanted to highlight this:

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in my comments or diaries? I have mentioned a few times that I haven't been able to figure it out, and some helpful souls have directed me to various places, but I still don't understand. I would appreciate a simple, step-by-step set of instructions. I was not exposed to HTML or other computer codes, lingo, etc., in my education, and I need some very basic tutoring.

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Since John McCain brought up Williams Jennings Bryan, I thought it was only fair and decent to remind him that even back in 1900, when Bryan ran as a Democrat against the Republican ticket of McKinley and Roosevelt, dirty tricks were a factor in the campaign. Humorist Finley Peter Dunne, the Chicago creator of "Mr. Dooley," poked fun at the efforts of the candidates to avoid embarrassment. This is an excerpt from "Troubles of a Candidate," which is from the election campagin of 1900. For the benefit of readers: Mark Hanna was the Karl Rove of the Republican party back then, Emilio Aguinaldo was the leader of the Phillipine resistance to the Americans, and Andrew Carnagie was not seen as a friend of the Democratic party, which had positioned itself as the advocate for the working man. Dunne’s essays were first published in Chicago newspapers, but he quickly achieved national recognition, and for a brief time was one of the most popular commentators on politics, culture and contemporary events in America.

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I was just over at Hillary Clinton's website, surfing through the comments on her blog. Far too many to count were saying "I respect and love Hillary, but I won't vote for Obama." WTF? I think that the mask has been ripped off of something that has been hidden in the Democratic party for a very long time; it is beyond my capacity to analyze - is it frustrated privilege, taking their ball and going home? Is it venting that will release loud noises and gouts of steam, and then calm down? Have these people actually ever been supporters of democratic ideals? I think what worries me the most is the ahistorical, unreflective approach taken by these people. Have they never faced adversity in their lives, or had to settle for less than the whole pie?


How much should be done to win back Hillary die-hards?

26%53 votes
34%69 votes
4%8 votes
13%27 votes
21%42 votes

| 199 votes | Vote | Results

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Today is both a day of wonder and a day of reflection. Forty years ago, RFK was cut down at his moment of victory, just as 103 years earlier, our greatest president (thus far) was denied any opportunity to savor the victory to which he had lead this country, by assassin's bullets. But this is also the day when, taking a deep breath, the entire world looks with amazed eyes at the nomination of Barack Obama, a man with both African and European ancestry, to lead our country forward, our stained and dishonored nation, still and once more representing, as Barack quoted on Tuesday, the "last, best hope of earth." There is a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye as I remember, as Jesse Jackson reminded us from a summit in Tanzania, "the martyrs who paid such a big price for this moment." What is it about America that causes people the whole world over to regard us with so much intensity, as something special and remarkable?

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