Friday, March 31, 2006

The Extreme Side Of The Immigration Debate

I'm aghast and agog. I thought that I had heard all of the tripe that was out there to be heard about immigration whether or not it was documented or condoned. I thought that there was nothing that could knock me back in my chair. I underestimated Ralph Ovadal.

You remember Pastor Ralph, he of the International Conference on Homo-Fascism, and his attacks on the Pope. Ovadal is a rabble rouser who supplies much of his own rabble. He has slammed Paul Soglin and Charlie Sykes in his tirades. That makes him, perhaps, the least focused ranter on the Wisconsin scene.

I was pointed to a posting on Ovadal's extensive website by a post that referred to him only tangentially. (If you'd like to see some prime Michele Malkin smack-down check out this link.) Ovadal was referenced by Alex Koppleman over at Dragonfire.

Ovadal's screed dates back to June 30 of 2004 and is prime Ralph. Alliteratively entitled, "Reconquista, Republicanism, and Rome," he compares Ulster to the Southwest US before going on to share his vision for a Mexican takeover of no fewer than 5 states.
Most Mexicans living in America illegally -- and in some cases, even legally --
consider themselves Mexicans, not Americans. In fact, in some city neighborhoods
in the border regions, one does not see American flags flying but Mexican flags.

He's silent on the subject of the Swiss flags which fly in downtown Monroe.

He shares, but fails to document, a Mexican military incursion into the US. Presumably at some point since Black Jack Pershing was in Texas.
Mexican authorities are anything but concerned about this situation; in fact,
there are several documented incidents in which Mexican military personnel have
penetrated into American territory and even fired at American citizens.

In his opening Ovadal says that he will let the informed reader connect the dots for himself but Ralph just keeps connecting the points he's marking out until he gets to the real reason that all of these brown people are so anxious to reclaim the Southwest.
The answer is simple -- the Roman Catholic Church has its own plan of
reconquest. She is determined to reestablish the power she once exercised over
the civil governments and populations of the world. The pope, along with the
Reconquista cadre, views South, Central, and North Americas as being one "from
Argentina to Alaska." On several occasions, Pope John Paul II has "consecrated"
this "America" to "Our Lady of Guadalupe." The Mexican people streaming across
America's porous southern border are Roman Catholics. It is in the interest of
the Vatican to establish as many Roman Catholics as possible in the United
States of America. The pope and his partners in spiritual crime care little how
the job is done -- whether illegally or legally -- just so it is done.

There you have it. John Paul II then and Benedict now have set the marching orders for the conquest of the United States.

Ralph rambles about Jesuits and Brown Berets and the group which call themselves Minutemen now but which were only vigilantes in 2004. That there is one person who believes this pap is bad enough. When that man professes to be a preacher and a teacher and develops a following it is stomach-turning.

He is entitled to say these hateful things. He's entitled to believe them. This is America, after all. Just the same as we all have the right to say out loud what a fool we think that he is.

Another Definition Of "Lazy"

I'm too lazy to post on my own this morning but I'm leaving cranky tracks all over the Cheddarsphere.

Paul writes about what the referenda mean.

Dennis defends making laws in the dark.

Mason wants to know, "What's the big deal with Vietnam?"

The Observer writes about voter registration and how Mark Green is trying to block it.

Corey shares the record of the Wisconsin delegation on votes that affect real people.

Althouse muses on the nature of gestures.

Richard tells a joke that I'm not going to repeat here.

Aaron's dreaming.

Nick lends perspective to the bandying about of words.

Clint disagrees with me about immigration reform. We're both trying to act civil. Neither one of us is succeeding very well.

And all because I didn't feel like writing this morning.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Jay Gets It Right- John Gard Gets It Wrong

Coincidence and failure of John Gard to think-through his e-mails make Jay the Peerless Prognosticator.

When Was The Last Time You Registered To Vote?

Unless you voted in the February primaries chances are good that you'll have to register now. Xoff has a good post on who doesn't want you to be able to register and what you'll need to have to get registered next Tuesday.

1. If you have a Wisconsin driver's license, it would be wise, but not
required, that you have it with you. That will allow the poll worker to write
down the license number on your registration card.

2. If you don't have a license or don't have it with you, you will need to
know the last four digits of your Social Security number. You don't need to have
the actual card with you, but you do need to know the number. (If you have your
driver's license, you don't need your Social Security number.)

3. You need some proof of your current address -- a lease, utility bills
with your name and address, or other documents showing where you live.

One Quick Question- OK, Two

Did anyone else in the Madison area get a brain cramp when they heard the ad that said that the Mega Liquidation Club was going out of business?

Where do they send their remainders?

Senator Cornyn Explains It All

Well, you know, that's the problem in America, we're always having elections.

Sen. John Cornyn shared his vision for America on CNN Wednesday.

h/t Pere Ubu

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Channel 15 Has The Scoop

Channel 15 is reporting that the majority of the speakers at tonight's forum were in favor of the referendum to begin an orderly withdrawal from Iraq.

Opposition supporter Ron Gay admits to second thoughts about the way he worded the referendum to stay in Iraq until "unquestioned victory" is won.
Pastor Gay says the one mistake he might have made in the wording was
saying that voting yes on his question, would also be voting to support
president Bush.
He admits that could cost him votes, but he also says, that's
how he feels, and that's why it belongs in the measure.

Unfortunate Headline Of The Night

I have had occasion in the past to e-mail the editors of to correct grammar or facts. They are notoriously bad about providing a soundbite story which tells little and demands that you watch one of their newscasts for more info.

Tonight, however, they had a story on the brutal murder in Beloit on Monday morning. Their choice of headline?

Police Ask For Public's Help In Beloit Killing

I'm not gonna do it. If they need help for that kind of work let them hire it done.

I'm Only A Bill- Except When I'm Not

Click on the link for a blast from the past. Jack Sheldon sings a clip from "I'm just a bill," the story of how bills used to be passed in Congress.

Now Carrie has a link to story about how bills are passed in 2006. What do you do when the House and Senate pass different versions of the same bill? It used to be that you had to have an open debate on the two versions and then reconcile them before voting again. Now, apparently, you just say that it doesn't matter.

The Washington Post reports that the White House doesn't believe that a $2 billion difference in the omnibus budget bill is significant enough to force them to follow the procedure for making laws in the US and has signed it anyway. Now a lawsuit has been filed to revoke the budget package.

It would have been awfully embarrassing for Republican leaders to have to vote on this slash and burn bill one more time. The Senate version only passed the first time because VP Dick Cheney cut short an overseas trip to come back and break the tie. Now, given two months of horrifies reaction from constituents over the cuts in the package, no one was anxious to have to go on record again to cut student loans, food stamps and Medicare.

Mark Green toed the party line the first time. If he's forced to vote again will he waffle? We'll have to see.

I'm just a bill
Yes I'm only a bill,
And I got as far as Capitol Hill.
Well, now I'm stuck in committee
And I'll sit here and wait
While a few key Congressmen discussand debate
Whether they should let me be a law.
How I hope and pray that they will,
But today I am still just a bill.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

You Need To Know Who You Can Trust

Brett Davis came over to the house when the concealed carry bill was being debated. He told me that he was holding out for stricter training requirements and for other changes to the bill as it was being debated to make it a "tougher" bill and more palatable for him to vote for.

Many of those changes were made and Davis did vote for the bill and, as promised, he voted to override Gov Doyle's veto.

Brett thought that by holding out for changes to the bill he would make Wisconsin a safer state. How has a concealed carry law in another state held up over ten years?
Under a Texas law passed in 1995, a license may be suspended if the holder
is charged with a Class A or Class B misdemeanor or indicted on felony

But now, indicted felon Tom DeLay is asking to have his suspension revoked after his indictment for felony money laudering.
The author of the original bill, Land Commissioner Jerry Patterson, who was a state senator, said the section of law calling for suspension of licenses of people under indictment should probably be removed from the statute.
"It is clearly not rational, not called for, but it was one of those things we
did to make somebody say, 'OK, I'll vote for it,' " Patterson said
Patterson said several provisions were put in the bill by backers in
order to garner support from other lawmakers who were leery about the
Patterson said since the bill's passage more than a decade ago,
legislators have amended the statute and removed some of the parts he called
"There is a presumption of innocence. Would we take away his First
Amendment right to free speech?" Patterson said.

"Not rational," He says. "Presumed innocent," He says. "Not called for." Would Patterson be saying the same things if we were discussing Steven Avery? Is he willing to throw out the provision of suspension because it is "onerous?" Which felonies carry that form of presumption that would allow the indicted to continue to carry?

Those who draft these bills will keep coming back, year after year, to peel away the small protections offered in the original drafting. Paul Soglin has written about the attempts to rewrite the Castle Doctrine. I've written about attempts to change the presumption of an obligation to retreat before firing.

The proponents of concealed carry are like high-school boys in the back seat of an old Chevy. They're willing to say anything to get us to say yes in the hopes that they can get a little farther the next time. It's time to take a page from Nancy Reagan's book. Just say, "No."

Some Wrap-Up Thoughts From The Candidate Forum

The Gazette has a recap of the candidate forum last Saturday morning. Once again Gina Duwe was on the spot.

You can follow the virtual portion of the discussion continuation at the Observer.

Mason called it informational and fun. That's what we were going for.

In this picture, blatantly stolen from The Observer, are (l to r) Karen Aikman, Mason Braunschweig, Fred Juergens, grumps, and Art Phillips. Looking closely in the audience you can see the back of the mayor's head, the back of my lovely wife's head and the back of my daughter's head.

Reprinted below are my opening remarks from Saturday.
Good morning and my thanks to you all for coming out this

This week President Bush said, “One of the things that
we've got to value is the fact that we do have a media, free media, that's able
to do what they want to do. -- there's word of mouth, there's blogs, there's
Internet, there's all kinds of ways to communicate which is literally changing
the way people are getting their information.”

That’s part of the reason we are here today. Weblogging is changing the way Americans interact. In an increasingly busy society the Internet gives people the
chance to get news and comment on it on their own terms. Our candidates
are here this morning to answer our questions and will expand on their answers
to these and to a few others later on The Evansville Observer. The voters
of Evansville will then have the opportunity to weigh in on those answers and to
move the debate forward.

I was tempted to show up here today in my pajamas. There are those who feel that bloggers never leave their basements. They are mistaken. Bloggers are your neighbors, your daughters, sons and coworkers. Some estimates say that one new weblog is started every second. Bloggers are the pamphleteers of the 21st Century,
just hoping to get the word out to help voters inform their choices.

Thank you for being a part of this. Now I’m proud to
turn over this conversation to our current mayor, Janis

Monday, March 27, 2006

Getting Handguns Out Of The Hands Of Criminals- Schadenfreude Edition

Texas suspends Tom Delay's concealed carry permit because of his felony indictment.

Apparently, I've Been Sipping The Kool-Aid

Aaron takes me to task for a comment I left on Subject2Change regarding Mark Green's position on the ethanol mandate.

He makes some good points about the designer gasoline that the Southeast corner of the state is required to use which drives up costs for motorists there. But that has little to do with the ethanol argument and a lot to do with proximity to Chicago and its teeming millions of cars. He also talks about MTBE gasoline being hard on engines.

There is an argument made that today's autos are not made to run on an ethanol blend. That ignores that fact that millions of cars throughout the Midwest have been running on ethanol blends for years, mandated or not. The auto manufacturers are pushing their flex fuel vehicles harder every year and doing it so smoothly that hardly anyone notices. Other countries have used ethanol blends in varying mixtures for years without the world coming to an end. I'm not sure what that has to do with ethanol, either. Weaning this country off tetraethyl lead wasn't easy but it has proven worthwhile.

There is an assertion made that the price of ethanol will increase as more of it is used. That's probably true but I'd rather see Cousin Donny's kids getting a cut than Exxon/Mobil. Once ethanol is in widespread use the price will level out. I'm not sure where but it will level out.

I don't understand the opposition to something that has proven its worth time and again. The ugly backlash is beyond my ken. There seems to be a deeply held belief that something that is good for Wisconsin farmers is somehow bad for Milwaukee and Racine counties and that the only possible solution is to keep pissing money down the fossil fuel rathole.

Those seem to be the places where we can have an open scientific discussion on the merits of alt-fuels and the sociological merits of economic mandates to drive desirable behaviors. There is room for honest disagreement in Aaron and Nick's replies to me.

UPDATE: Dean has this post which links to the argument from both sides.

I try to not be too snide when disagreeing with folks but how am I expected to deal with the assertion that because ethanol is volatile it can't be used as small-engine fuel? That is what makes it useful as fuel in the first place. And then to argue that somehow Paul Harvey has turned into a radical treehugger ethanol pusher? I'm sorry. Lowell Thomas is dead. Get over it.

Evansville Election Links- Not Complete

Link to the Rock County ballot for April 4, 2006. Only 3 of 29 districts have a contested race but there is a hotly contested race for Branch 7 Circuit Cirt judge.

Link to Evansville Ward Map.

If I can get an e-link to the City Ballot I will post it here.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Feingold Vindicated For Stance Against PATRIOT Act

The Pres. says it's not a law that applies to him, anyway.

Remember voters in the 5th, F Jim makes this all possible. Vote for Bryan Kennedy.

RIP Alvis Edgar Owens jr.

The man who brought The Bakersfield Sound to America died yesterday at age 76. Although he was known to many as the Clown Prince of Hee Haw, Buck Owens was a savvy businessman who built a fortune in real estate and media operations.

Buck brought the twangy steel guitar sounds of California to the country music scene in the 60's in stark contrast to the string-laden path being taken in Nashville. His "Cryin' Time" was recorded by Ray Charles as was the Beatles' hit, "Act Naturally."

One of the first albums I can remember playing was "I've Got A Tiger By The Tail." It showed me that there was more to country music than I was hearing on the radio. Life since then has been good.

Rest easy, Buck. You've earned it.

The MJS and The War Referenda

Jay has a deconstruction of the Patrick McIlheran jibberish about why the various anti-war referenda will mean nothing. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel columnist is setting the stage for the referenda across Wisconsin to pass and then to dismiss the result as aberrant.

Here in Evansville we have a different choice that is not mentioned in the article. We should have a clearer picture of city sentiment based on having two referenda of our own, one which calls for an orderly withdrawal plan and one which blesses the efforts of Bush and Co.

Don't let the vagaries of a Spring election keep you away from the polls. Get out and make your voice heard. If you need to know more about the differences between the referenda in Evansville you should attend CUUE's informational forum on Wednesday night. The moderator for the event will be Georgia Duerst-Lahti. You can see the questions to be asked here. Or you can watch for the forum on your local news outlet.

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Now It's Your Turn

This morning's candidate forum was a rousing sucess, especially for a first time affair. The Observer has pics posted (look close and you can see your humble reporter) and has the questions up as a series of Watercoolers. We will be moderating the discussion all weekend.

Come join the fun.

Friday, March 24, 2006

A Two Horse Race For the Time Being

Scott Walker is withdrawing his candidacy for governor citing the damage a Republican primary could cause and Mark Green's money lead.

His full statement is here.

Why Am I Writing About the Waukesha County Board?

James Wigderson sent me an impassioned note calling for help in the petition drive to reduce the size of the Waukesha County Board. I won't post it here for several reasons. If any of you want to see his letter you may follow this link.

My reasons.
1) I don't live in Waukesha County. It's not my fight.
2) I don't think the Waukesha County Board should be reduced in size.
3) It's hard enough to run a non-profit with budget of $150,000 and a board of 8. Trying to run a growing county with 11 is borderline insanity.
4) You need sufficient involvement to maintain an effective committee structure. Eleven ain't enough.
5) With the population and the growth of the county you will be best served by greater representation. If Scott Newcomer can fool that many people at one time, the influence of one or two people should be diluted.

And for those who don't believe the damage that one or two well-intentioned but misguided people on a county board can do, I have two words. Progressive Dane. 'nuff said.

Ac-Cen-Tue-Ate the Positive

Peter says that we should focus more attention on reconstruction in Iraq. You know? Get out the good news.

Jef Hall does just that with a statement from the administration.

Observer Has The Skinny On Candidate Forum Tomorrow

Follow the link to get all the details of Saturday's Evansville Candidate Forum.

I'll see you all there. 9:30 sharp.

Winston Smith Would Be Confused By F Jim

America is a compassionate nation that should continue to be the land of
opportunity. But the best way to help illegal aliens is by stopping illegal

That's the conclusion of F Jim Sensenbrenner regarding Thursday's rally in Milwaukee. F Jim ignores the fact that many of those in attendance were protesting the effect that Sensenbrenner's bill would have on small businesses who employee undocumented aliens knowingly or unknowingly. He ignores the fact that many of those involved in the rally were themselves legally in the country or citizens when he calls the event,"The illegal alien rally held in Milwaukee today..."

But it is more than his willful ignorance of those facts that caught my eye. Calling the best way to help a group "building a fence to keep them away and sending as many as we can catch back to where they came from" doesn't seem too "compassionate" to me. That ranks right up there with defending the 4th Amendment by wiretapping without warrants or defending the 6th Amendment by sealing the records of Federal trials.

But then F Jim doesn't have a problem with that, either.

Another Step Along the Blogging Trail

One of the things that we've got to value is the fact that we do have a media, free media, that's able to do what they want to do. And I'm not going to -- you're asking me to say something in front of all the cameras here.

Help over there, will you?

I just got to keep talking. And one of the -- there's word of mouth, there's blogs, there's Internet, there's all kinds of ways to communicate which is literally changing the way people are
getting their

There it is. Five sentences in West Virginia. President Bush reconfirms that our press freedom is one of our strengths. The MSM can now go back to believing in the 1st amendment. He also validates blogs as a way to get the word out.

Does this mean that blogging is joining the mainstream or that it has jumped the shark? Is this like Katie Couric calling a guest, "Dog," on the air? Is blogging over?

Stayed tuned.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

TCOTB Meets The Lord Of The Flies

Matt walks us through the chaos that was his office this morning as he gives us the Carnival of the Badger. Know what I mean?

You, too can host the chaotic Carnival. Swing by Nick's and volunteer.

Missing Milwaukee Boys

I realize that there is hardly any chance that one of the 3 readers of this blog will see these boys but I'm willing to post it and hope. James has the most information and pictures here.

Evansville Mayoral Forum Post #3

Audience question 4) Predict population and business growth in Evansville
Sandy: Advocated spending city dollars for Trade Market Research to see what types of business residents want and will patronize
Karen: Has "High hopes" that many people are working toward it. TIF District to make downtown attractive. City is poised for growth on east side. "Bring it on."

Question 5) What is your position on the Taxpayer Protection Amendment?
Both candidates spoke against TPA. Sandy said it would take away local control and Karen called it good on paper but flawed in practice.

Question 6) How will you build consensus in City Hall
Sandy: The council serves on behalf of the citizens, all working for the best. "Consensus should be easy"
Karen: Do the homework. Develop persuasive arguments. Plan for questions.

Closing statements:
Sandy: Spoke to open, honest government. Pledged best efforts. "Willing to devote full time" if that's what it takes. Pledged not to seek other office. Whether she wins or loses she will stay involved in the city. Campaign is totally self-financed. "I won't be out looking for photo ops" Declined to appear at blog-sponsored forum on 3/25 citing the involvement of some candidates in the planning and saying that she would prefer to conduct her campaign eye-to-eye and not have politics faceless, taking place from basements on computers. (Disclosure here: I am one of the organizers of this forum. I am also in my basement.)
Karen: No one person in the city government has the power to act alone. The council is only as powerful as the people allow it to become. "The biggest issue in this campaign is the number of issues." Pledged to be approachable, honest and open. "I will lead rather than direct, inspire rather than instruct."

A Major Award

Even though I'm heartbroken that Belle didn't find me quotable on Monday, THC was named the Different Take of the Week by jyd. Go see which post set him off.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Evansville Mayoral Forum Post #2

Question 5) How to maintain character of Evansville in light of the growth.
Sandy: Downtown revitalization-Smart Growth-Set aside money to replace trees-Replace trees in park-Use parkland dedication fees
Karen: New economic development-Planning ordinance & design requirements on developers
Sandy rebuttal: Need design standards for commercial development and stricter landscaping requirements.

Question 6) What is your position on the viability of maintaining Lake Leota?
Karen: "My choice is to restore." It takes dedication to maintain. Doesn't know where money will come from yet.
Sandy: Committed to restoration. Work with options being explored by SOLE. Using volunteers to remove silt

That ended the Chamber derived questions and opened the discussion to questions that the audience had delivered before the forum.

Question 1) Explain your public experience and motivation
Karen: Experience on Budget and finance Committee and Planning Commission, Board experience. Natural segue to Mayor
Sandy: No public office before but has served on Historic Preservation Committee-Proud of her work with the Wauwatosa Library Board during a contentious time. "I love Evansville." "I have the skills and abilities to devote to the office."

Question 2) How to improve communication between Police Commission and Police Department.
Sandy: Shared that her husband is on Police Commission. Described our PC as Independent and only able to act on citizen complaints. No direct relationship with department.
Karen: All committees need better communication. Didn't have good relation to recent events.

Question 3) How to maintain rate of residential development.
Karen: Stressed agreements in place and that the Planning Commission and developers are both comfortable with them.
Sandy: Questions persist about absolute limits. The elementary school is at 90% Must keep growth moderate to allow school to keep up.

I'll conclude next time...

In No Particular Order

What makes America great?

Zippo lighters

Maglite flashlights

Harley Davidson motorcycles

Bob Evans' biscuit breakfast.

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

A Profundity From After the Forum

Apathy is the fuel that keeps bad policy alive-

ambulance fugo

Because he didn't post it himself.

Evansville Mayoral Forum Report #1

The Mayoral Forum Monday night was well attended with estimates of the crowd varying from 65-100 in the house. Dan Hinkel represented the Gazette, Kelly the Review and WCLO News had a microphone onstage as well. The panel was made up of Chris Eager, Nancy Grieve-Shannon and David Ross. Joe Decker moderated the evening's program.

Opening Remarks: I will report to the best of my notes. Assume, please that some things will be paraphrased.

Karen: Thanked those in attendance. Acknowledged that audience was looking for a sense of who the candidates are and how they will comport themselves, how they will act in office. Three challenges facing Evansville; industrial development, Main St, rebuilding and Property Tax burden. Proclaimed herself a supporter of the business community.

Sandy: Opened with a reminiscence of going to school in the McKenna building, much the same opening as at the Bauer House. Stressed her leadership style. Three pronged preparation;attended 60 city meetings to learn about issues, 80 class hours of Public Mgmt classes, and door-to-door campaigning to talk to residents. "Government is owned by its citizens." "Embrace and channel change that is already on the doorstep." Partnerships and a unified vision.

Question 1) How does history interact with changes of the present and future? How does your personal history help you meet the needs of newcomers as well as established residents.
Sandy: Protect what's important. Preserve history. Must cherish the past.
Karen: Family is everything, Make changes for my children.

Question 2) 2007 Summer construction challenges. What specific help for downtown businesses.
Karen) My history as a Project Mgr for Mindspring will only help get through this project.
Sandy) We have not undertaken planning-no parking plan-no detours-no signage. Promised a committee to plan as soon as elected.
Karen, rebuttal) Plans are in place. Public Works conducts regular informational meetings. Business input has been sought.

Question 3) What kind of City hall do you want to run?
Sandy) accessible. "The buck stops with the mayor." Mayor as CEO.
Karen) Stressed good working relationship with City Hall agencies through committee work.

Question 4) How can you stabilize property taxes or provide relief.
Both candidates said mayor has little impact on total tax bill and need to work with other agencies to keep bills from growing. Sandy stressed need to channel residential growth and develop industrial growth.

More to follow...

Tell Me Again How Much Safer We Are

Budget constraints are forcing some FBI agents to operate without e-mail
accounts, according to the agency's top official in New York.
"As ridiculous
as this might sound, we have real money issues right now, and the government is
reluctant to give all agents and analysts dot-gov accounts," Mark Mershon said
when asked about the gap at a New York Daily News editorial board meeting.

So reports CNN. The FBI operates without the baseline communications tool that any 7th grader has at her disposal. How can we expect post 9/11 results froman organization hamstrung by a pre-Reagan communication system?

Monday, March 20, 2006

How To Listen At the Upcoming Forums

Before the primary election in February I posted James Wigderson's list of things to watch for when attending a candidate forum or debate. With tonight's Mayoral Forum at JC McKenna and the upcoming virtual candidate summit at the Eager Free Library for all Evansville candidates I thought it a good time to revisit them.

With races for Sheriff, Assembly and County Judge coming up you can expect to see them again.

James is from Waukesha so some of his references are local. When you read "Bill Yorth" you should substitute "Tammy Pomplun" or "Gina Duwe." Otherwise, just go. Ask questions when invited. Listen to the answers. Really listen.

It may make your deicision easier. James' list:

  1. Do they have a command of the issues? If they don't have a basic understanding of the issues here, then they probably don't when they go door-to-door or hit donors up for money or push for support in front of other audiences.

  2. Do they have a particular theme a voter can latch onto? Specific issues come and go. Will the people in the audience say to themselves, "liberal, conservative, weirdo, incompetent, leader, taxes" etc. Poltical campaigns are almost like a word association game at a party. Voters like to have a label on someone before they vote. Another way to look at it, every good song has a "hook" that gets people to want to hear it again. So do candidates.

  3. Does the candidate tend to ramble on into completely unrelated topics in an incoherent manner? Their campaign will, too, and you can put that person down as a loser.

  4. Did the candidate say something stupid? If you see Waukesha Freeman editor Bill Yorth walk out of the room cell phone in hand right after your candidate said something, that's not a good sign. That's the front page being re-written.

  5. Do they sound like they are going to win, or that they can win? It's an intangible, a gut feeling. Some candidates have it, some don't. Of course, having a strong campaign organization behind you tends to fuel a candidate's confidence. A candidate who is worried too much about what is going on in the campaign office is one that won't look well at a candidate forum.

Happy Birthday, Republicans

Today is the 152nd birthday of the Republican Party. Formed on March 20, 1854 in the Little White Schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin as an anti-slavery party.

From the Ripon website:
The Kansas-Nebraska Bill, introduced in January 1854 by Sen. Stephen
Douglas of Illinois, threatened to extend slavery to the Kansas and Nebraska
Territories. His bill was based on "Popular Sovereignty," which allowed settlers
to choose whether slavery would or would not exist within the territory. Douglas
hoped the bill would satisfy the interests of both the North and the
On March 3, 1854, the "Popular Sovereignty" bill passed the U.S.
Senate. Shortly thereafter, Alvan E. Bovay, an influential attorney living in
Ripon, called a meeting to resolve, petition and organize against slavery.
After canvassing shops and homes within Ripon, 50 men, three women and one
child gathered in the Little White Schoolhouse on March 20, 1854, to protest the
extension of slavery into the Kansas and Nebraska Territories. They voted to
dissolve the local Whig and Free Soiler political organizations and proudly
declared themselves "Republicans." Three Whigs, one Free Soiler and one Democrat
were appointed to the committee of the new party.

So, I learned something today. The founding fathers and mothers of the Republican Party thought it so necessary to fight against "Let the people decide" on an unpopular, tough decision that they formed a new party to promote the good of the republic and to fight for liberty for all men and women in it. The original Republicans thought that statesmen should be statesmen and that government should govern wisely. They also formed their party in a school paid for by citizens who realized that public education was the best path for a better future for their children.

Insert your own commentary here. I'm gonna have a piece of cake.

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Wisconsin Blog Summit Reports

I wasn't there but a lot of people were. 900 folks in a hotel conference room on such a sunny day as yesterday. Oh, my.
(Update: No Aaron. I'm not going to correct the number. When I'm wrong, I can be very, very wrong. Now, where did that number come from?)

Eliott posted and posted including a warning.

Dennis York was chosen as Blogger of the Year and included this graf in his acceptance speech:
If I had one challenge for blogs in Wisconsin, though, it is to try to push
yourselves to do more and more of your own writing. You all have a lot of talent
– and I want to know more about what you think and what you feel. With all due
respect, if I want to know what Charlie thinks about something, I’ll go visit
his site. Send me to sites I wouldn’t normally visit – touch on topics that I
may not know about. Most importantly, keep writing and get your friends to start
a blog. The more voices in the Wisconsin marketplace of ideas, the better.

James shares his thoughts here. Aaron got a new nickname and a couple of props. Casper said it was just like Christmas.

March Madness

Let's take a quick look at this week's insanity.

Don Rumsfeld uses the "N" word. It's an internet axiom that the first one to use the word "Nazi" loses the argument. I'm wondering which of our allies in Iraq is the group to whom Rummy refers. The cute part is where he refers to the situation today as "Post-war Iraq." It's over. Mission accomplished.

JB van Hollen and Paul Bucher both started frothing about Peg Lautenschlager's attempts to bring contraceptives to Wisconsin women over the dithering of the Bush adminsitration. They have both come out in favor of killing more inmates as well. It's almost as if they don't understand the laws of the state.

The tizzysphere just can't get over the fact that Scooter Jensen is now a three time felon, convicted by a jury of his peers. There seems to be no recognition of the fact that key players from the majority of both sides were prosecuted and punished. In much the same way that Jensen chose to take Mark Green and Scott Walker down with him at trial, the ranters would have us believe that there was some value in a parade of defendants that swept the chambers clean. There is precedent for not having a prosecutor make changes to a government. The House Bank scandal didn't wrap everybody in a prosecutorial fold. Now it's up to voters to do their best to clean house.

Oh, goodness. There's much more. Jess Bucher says that folks who don't agree with her hubby have the same moral standing as felons like Scott Jensen. She also has called for the removal of F Jim and everyone else who supports the war (probably not what she meant, but certainly what she said.)
I don't want people from Whitefish Bay, or Waukesha or wherever, to dictate
foreign policy matters. If they are upset about the war, vote out public
officials who supported it/voted to authorize it.

Mississippi is enacting laws to protect Dick Cheney if he ever decides to hunt attorneys there.

Friday, March 17, 2006

2003 Wasn't A Good Year For Prophecy, Either

h/t to Tom Tomorrow

“All of the printed and voiced prophecies should be saved in an archive. When
these false prophets again appear, they can be reminded of the error of their
previous ways and at least be offered an opportunity to recant and repent.
Otherwise, they will return to us in another situation where their expertise
will be acknowledged, or taken for granted, but their credibility will be

Those are the words of Cal Thomas in 2003. Let's look at some of the folks he didn't know he was referring to.

“I will bet you the best dinner in the gaslight district of San Diego that
military action will not last more than a week. Are you willing to take that
wager?”(Fox News Channel’s Bill O’Reilly, 1/29/03)

“The war was the hard part. The hard part was putting together a coalition,
getting 300,000 troops over there and all their equipment and winning. And it
gets easier. I mean, setting up a democracy is hard, but it is not as hard as
winning a war.”(Fox News Channel’s Fred Barnes, 4/10/03)

“We’re all neo-cons now.”(MSNBC’s Chris Matthews, 4/9/03)

“Congress returns to Washington this week to a world very different from the one
members left two weeks ago. The war in Iraq is essentially over and domestic
issues are regaining attention.”(NPR’s Bob Edwards, 4/28/03)

“Now that the combat phase of the war in Iraq is officially over, what begins is
a debate throughout the entire U.S. government over America’s unrivaled power
and how best to use it.”(CBS reporter Joie Chen, 5/4/03)

There's much more here and here.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

They May Think It's A Movement- Arlo Guthrie Looks At The Senate

According to a report in Roll Call, Tom Harkin has added his sponsorship to Russ Feingold's call for censure of George Bush for domestic spying.

(Update) Read Tom Harkin's statement here.

Remember what Arlo Guthrie said:

And friends, somewhere in Washington enshrined in some little folder,
is a study in black and white of my fingerprints.
And the only reason I'm singing you this song now is cause you may know
somebody in a similar situation,
or you may be in a similar situation, and if your in a situation like that
there's only one thing you can do
and that's walk into the shrink wherever you are ,just walk in say
"Shrink, You can get anything you want, at Alice's restaurant.".
And walk out.
You know, if one person, just one person does it they may think he's really
sick and they won't take him.
And if two people, two people do it, in harmony,they may think they're both
faggots and they won't take either of them.
And three people do it, three, can you imagine, three people walking in
singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and walking out.
They may think it's an organization.
And can you, can you imagine fifty people a day,
I said fifty people a day walking in singin a bar of Alice's Restaurant and
walking out.
And friends they may thinks it's a movement.

And that's what it is , the Alice's Restaurant Anti-Massacre Movement, and
all you got to do to join is sing it the next time it come's around on the

Need Advice? Ask Casper At The Carnival

The Carnival of the Badger XXXI is up at Ask Me Later and Casper is doling out advice from the Cheddarsphere. Click over to see the best of Wisconsin blogging last week.

Don't forget the you, too can host the Carnival. Go ask Nick how to get on the list. This link also shows how to submit for next week's Carnival at Know What I Mean?

Evansville Candidate Forum- Big News In The Observer

The first Observer Candidate Forum will be held at the Eager Free Library on Saturday, March 25 at 9:30 in the morning. Candidates for Mayor Council and School Board will attend to answer your questions.

In addition to the live, moderated session there will be a virtual session to follow in the pages of The Observer. It is anticipated that there will be more questions than time permits on Saturday. A series of Watercooler topics will be posted on the Observer for the candidates response and your comments leading up to election day.

The live session will be moderated by none other than yours truly and for that I ask your help. I know that you all have questions for the candidates. If you would be kind enough to share them with me by e-mail to (corrected) I will see them through to the candidates. Please include the phrase "Forum Question" in the subject line.

Stay tuned for a list of attending candidates and for more information as the day draws closer.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

True Love Seldom Runs Smooth

Nathan beat me to the post with the story of the worst marriage going.

How can you not love the line?
"Espinosa told reporters he was glad his wife had suffered burns, while Contreras [Espinosa's wife] said she was only sorry she had not "hacked off his manhood" during the fight."

Tuna Under the Bed. Powdered Milk In Your Closet

For an administration who strives to control the message, they aren't very good at understanding how that message will be perceived. HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt's remarks in Wyoming last week suggest a response to bird flu that would make the Katrina response look as if Hannibal planned it.

He has been widely quoted for his suggestions to
"go to the store and buy three cans of tuna fish, buy a fourth and put it under
the bed, When you go to the store to buy some milk, pick up a box of powdered
milk, put it under the bed."

Deeper in the article it becomes clear that he spoke to larger concerns as well but the remark that will always stick in people's minds is:
"Communities that do not prepare, thinking the federal government will help in
all their needs, will be "tragically disappointed.""

Haven't These People Suffered Enough?


Not Brownie.

Not the Corps of Engineers.

Not Nagin.

Not Dubai Ports World.

Not Bush.

The people of New Orleans have no one to blame except one of their own.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Republicans Look To A Future Without Bush

I don't believe that Yahoo saw the irony in that headline. There are a lot of folks looking toward that day, some with regret, some with glee.

The story talks about the meeting last week of the Southern Republican Leadership Conference in Memphis. I call it, "How a nice Yankee boy wound up in Memphis during the CUSA Tournament with Chris Matthews, 1800 Republicans and all of the 19 year-olds who couldn't afford Spring Break in Florida or Mexico." Suffice it to say that Graceland was not the most surreal moment of the week.

  1. Hundreds of stickers proclaiming, "Bill Frist is My Leader." How can that not make you pause? Frist is the red-state Hillary, only carrying more baggage. How often does Ken Mehlman want to see the "Terri Schiavo's Okay" videotape?
  2. John McCain says that a straw poll two years out foretells nothing and hat the Pres needs party support through a difficult time. He urges the delegates to not vote for him but to write in Bush's name.
  3. Bush finishes tied for third in the straw poll.
  4. Matthews is Honorary Duckmaster at The Peabody Hotel for a day.
  5. Trent Lott is doing his level best to keep Newt G. from taking the party elder role from him.
  6. 1800 Republicans in the city and there was no talk of; a) TABOR, b) More guns in the hands of law-abiding yada yada, c) Ethanol (except to support the Pres' call for increased use of, oh, and a 3 page article in the Times Courier about the success Brazil has had weaning itself from the influence of other countries by using mandates and incentives to encourage development of flex-fuel vehicles and ethanol production and using the vegetable waste to generate the heat for production and selling the excess), d) Russ Feingold.
  7. I spent three days in the same town as Mike Huckabee, Lindsey Graham, George Warner, and Mitt Romney and the world just kept on spinning. Easy enough.

Meet The Candidates/ Evansville

On Saturday March 25 the Evansville Observer will host a meet-and-greet with the candidates for Mayor, Alder and School Board. The meeting will begin at 9:30 in the lower level of the Eager Free Library.

In addition to a live moderated Q&A session, the Observer is soliciting questions for the candidates online. Details about the activities are here. Watch the Observer for the online discussion.

Monday, March 13, 2006

Sometimes It's Hard To Pick A Winner

While John Gard has the Cheney albatross around his neck today the other R candidate in the 8th is looking for a little attention from her party. As dismissive as Cheney and Gard can be, I don't think she's likely to get it from above. Maybe she can get it from the voters who are tired of the carpetbagger from Sun Prairie.

Here's Terri McCormick's statement on the Cheney visit:

“It is always an honor when the Vice-President or President visits our state.
When President Bush was running for re-election, Vice-President Cheney invited
me to stand with him on stage at the Green Bay Railroad Museum.
“However, this visit, a pre-primary endorsement before the voters and my neighbors have had the opportunity to listen and learn about both Republican candidates, has raised legitimate concerns for many.
“I wish my primary opponent well in his fundraiser. I wish the Vice-President well in his visit to Wisconsin and Illinois to stump for congressional candidates.
“My race for Congress has been and will continue to be focused on the voters of the 8th Congressional District. I have not been an insider in Madison, and I believe that has given me a tremendous opportunity to craft major reforms that served my constituents who live in Northeast Wisconsin.
“My reform packages for health insurance and job growth, such as the Small Business Regulation Act, have been recognized in Washington as national models for reform. My passion to clean up government with the ethics and elections board reforms will make a difference for those we serve.
“The voters have two very distinct choices for the 8th Congressional District Primary in the Republican Party. I have and always will remain close to the people I serve. It is because of my strong belief in service over self that I founded the charter school movement and wrote the first charter school laws in the state.
“My goal is to seek the endorsement of the people who live and work in the 8th
Congressional District. It is for this reason that I will remain a Washington
outsider when I go to Congress to represent the people of Northeast

Why Nuns Are Like The House Of Representatives

Sister Mary Carol Hellmann says, "Librarians give us a scare."

Spelling nuns come back to challenge for their Spelling Bee title. The librarians had won three straight after the nuns left the Literacy organization fundraiser.

The nuns were right to fear the libs. After missing on ‘chimopelagic,’ they watched the Boone County Public Library team win on “trinitrotoluene.”

No word on a rematch for next year.

Sunday, March 12, 2006

It's More Than A Little Disconcerting

Last Tuesday I had to go for what the doctor calls "a procedure." Nothing extreme or painful, just one of the perks of a cardinal birthday.

Twenty four hours of mildly nasty prep and an early arrival at the hospital. Stripped down to sneakers, an open-back robe and my wedding ring. IV in the back of my right hand, heart monitors glued to chest and abdomen (not in the spots they shaved for the stress test dammit), "Relax, deep breaths," blood pressure cuff around the left upper arm, oxygen monitor on left forefinger, "Just relax. We'll start a demarol drip in the IV so you don't feel any pain and then after you talk with the doctor we'll start the anasthetic." Oxygen line draped over my ears and into my nose, the doctor's voice soothing in my ear. A few instructions, "Just relax. We'll turn on the radio. Just listen to the music."

Good idea. Soothing music. Just relax. WTF!

The radio is playing Sarah McLachlan.

"In the arms of the angel,

fly away from here,

from this dark, cold..."

I woke up in recovery about an hour later. Everything is fine.

Friday, March 10, 2006

A Few Words From Leon Redbone

"Mistakes have been made in this life. Never pay the dancing girls up front."

Last night at the New Daisy Theater on Beale St in Memphis Leon Redbone explained why there were no dancing girls on stage.

Let this be a lesson to you. Make sure that you are getting what you pay for.

Carnival Of the Rose

Brent retells HC Andersen's lovely tale of The Loveliest Rose In the World with the help of the bloggers of the Cheddarsphere.

Follow me to Milwaukee's Layton Park Blogger to read this week's Carnival of the Badger for your self.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Race Begins Today In Texas

Today is the first day for independent candidates in Texas to collect signatures for nomination for the general election. Independent candidates for governor are required to collect about 45,000 signatures in the period after the primary from eligible voters who did not vote in the primary.

Raconteur/singer/author Kinky Friedman will start his campaign in earnest today as will Carole Keeton Strayhorn. Strayhorn, the mother of Bush spokesman Scott McLellan, will run as an independent, having turned her back on the Republican shenanigans of the current administration.

The Happy Circumstance supports Friedman who is running on a platform of, "How hard can it be?"

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Old Habits Are Hard To Break

With a primary battle taking place in Texas to determine Tom DeLay's future DeLay be at a lobbyist's fundraising bash in Washingtom.

The fundraiser will be hosted by lobbyists Bill Paxon and Susan Molinari, both former members of Congress from New York. Paxon is now a lobbyist with Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP. What makes this a story worthy of local note?

Former Health and Human Services Secretary, former Wisconsin Governor, until Tuesday on Scooter Jensen's character witness list and Akin Gump partner Tommy Thompson is also listed as a co-host of the DeLay event.

h/t to Mike Basford's Spin City and Xoff

Monday, March 06, 2006

Car Crash Warps Into Wild Goose Chase

This story keeps on getting weirder. The crash of a rare Ferrari Enzo is odd enough but as the story morphs and twists it is the stuff of Internet legend.

The car's owner is Stefan Ericksson, founder of the failed Net site Gizmondo. He told authorities that it was being driven by a man he knew only as Dietrich who then bolted into the California hills. Witnesses claimed the Ferrari was racing a Mercedes SLR, a clip for a Glock was found, badges were flashed and Homeland Security invoked. Very little of the story is true.

Check out the full story, so far, at the Independent via Fark.

Sunday, March 05, 2006

Bill O'Reilly Channels Dr Johnny Fever

One of my favorite episodes of WKRP has Johnny Fever smashing a telephone with a toolbox and then having Venus threaten him with a visit from The Phone Cops. Now Bill O'Reilly takes that ridiculous premise to the next level by threatening a caller to his radio show with a visit from the authorities, bidden by Fox Security.

Johnny Cougar has the details over at Someone Took In These Pants. Check it out here. The clip is about seven minutes but worth the time.

Brian Christianson Throws In the Towel

Free Will acknowledges that, whatever the verdict, Scott Jensen has damaged the GOP in Wisconsin in ways that will take years to recover from. His post, The Last Campaign of Scott Jensen, is here. His lead laments that which will become ever clearer as the veil of denial lifts.

It’s over. The die has been cast. The stain has set.

The Trial of Scott Jensen has torpedoed any strategy Republicans might have trotted-out this election year exploiting ethics reform. Those 30 second TV ads and 60 second radio ads slamming Dem. Gov. Jim Doyle and legislative Democrats are now toothless.

Star Chamber Justice- The Sixth Amendment Means As Little As the Fourth

While our county prosecutors are busy locking up ordinance violators, ticket scoff-laws and non-violent offenders the Feds are busy returning cooperative killers back to the streets in increasing numbers.
One of the cooperating witnesses admitted to seven murders and testified in
open court against co-defendants who had committed fewer, Christ said. But like
the others who pleaded guilty and cooperated, that witness' plea deal and
sentence were sealed.
"Cooperating witnesses are pleading guilty to six or
seven murders, and the jury doesn't know they'll be sitting on the Metro
(subway) next to them a year later. It's a really, really ugly system," Christ

The AP found thousands of cases sealed by the Feds over the past three years in which cooperative felons were released in exchange for testimony. The secretive nature of these deals conceals their effects from our communities. The Feds have gone past sealed cases to the institution of secret dockets.
No matter how few turn out to be almost totally sealed after the
defendant's case was completed, "it's still significant," said Lucy Dalglish,
executive director of the Reporters Committee and a pioneer in campaigning
against court secrecy.
"The Supreme Court has said that criminal proceedings
are public," Dalglish added. "In this country, we don't prosecute and lock up
convicts and have no public track record of how we got there. That violates the
defendants' rights not to mention the public's right to know what it's court
system is doing."

Ugly Americans Redux

The Bush entourage creates a small-scale international incident in India.

Wouldn't it seem more respectful to change the itinerary if you couldn't guarantee security without desecrating the shrine? Why must we always take the "me first" path?

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Evansville's Bloggers Get Their Duwe

"I just light the fire and watch what happens." That's the quote from the venerable Observer that closes the Gazette article on Evansville's blogging community. Now our little dysfunctional cadre has the same MSM imprimatur as the Waukesha cabal or the Kenosha/Racine ring.

Local papers taking notice of local bloggers is nothing new. We've been treated to the Wisconsin State Journal's article profiling Carrie Lynch and Ann Althouse, Isthmus' gave us Madison Freedom Fighter and Jess Bucher has run her own right-leaning list in the Freeman.

This is our chance to bask in a little reflected glory, to see if there's a little spike out there this weekend. Gina did a fine job of profiling a few of us in town and let on that there are others to be found. But, don't you wish that the online version of the story had the sidebar with the links?

Are You Ready For The Main Event?

Chuck Todd at The National Journal ranks the top five contenders for Presidential candidate from each party every month. Heading the list are John McCain and Hillary Clinton, no surpise there.

The rest of the Dems in the top five are; Mark Warner, John Edwards, Evan Bayh and Bill Richardson. The top tier R's are; George Allen, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, and (sit down, everyone) Newt Gingrich.

Net fave, Russ Feingold is ranked in the pack with Bill Frist, Wesley Clark and Tom Vilsack. Interestingly enough, Rudy Giuliani doesn't show on the list except as a Wild Card. That list of Maybe-Never's includes Condeleeza Rice and John Kerry along with Al Gore and Michael Bloomberg.

It Might Be Impossible To Write the Least Read Book

The oddest book title of the year has been chosen by Bookseller magazine in England. This year's winner is People Who Don't Know They're Dead: How They Attach Themselves to Unsuspecting Bystanders and What to Do About It, a tome to help the haunted.

Previous winners include How To Bomb-proof Your Horse and Greek Rural Postmen and their Cancellation Numbers. Both worthy champions, I'm sure. This year's runner-up was Rhino Horn Stockpile Management: Minimum Standards and Best Practices from East and Southern Africa.

It sort of reminds me of a friend who checked out How To Hug from the library for some pointers and later found out he had Volume 8 of the Brittanica.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Cognitive Dissonance

We're having a going-away party at lunchtime at work. The Pizza Hut delivery guy was just here in a Buick Park Avenue. I fear that I'm doing something wrong.

F Jim Connects The Dots So You Don't Have To

F James Sensenbrenner sent out a press release today crowing about the renewal of the PATRIOT Act by the Senate. He gloats about the passage,
Thankfully, the overwhelming majority of the Senate voted to extend the
most critical anti-terrorism legislation enacted since 9/11. The 89-to-10
bipartisan vote illustrates an understanding that the PATRIOT Act has kept us
safer while protecting the civil liberties we cherish.
without noting that the opposition this time was ten-fold the original vote. He also takes a shot at his colleague, Russ Feingold,
“I remain thoroughly disappointed, though, that one of my state’s Senators
continued to play political games right until the end. His single-minded
obsession with blocking this antiterror law – despite over 30 new civil
liberty safeguards – was categorically rejected by 89 Senators who chose to
put our national security first.

After the smackdown F Jim goes on to help us understand that the PATRIOT Act is not a tool for going after Americans, that it will only be used to protect us from the enemies who showed themselves on 9/11,
“Enactment of this legislation will ensure that the CIA and FBI will continue
sharing information to help ‘connect the dots’ and prevent terrorists from

And, lest we forget what those dots are, he enumerates, providing law enforcement new authorities to secure our ports,
enhances penalties for attacks against mass transit and railroads, combats
terrorism financing networks, improves air travel security...
All good points made by supporters of the Act. All admirable targets for our anti-terror forces. And then, his big finish,
...and fights the deadly scourge of methamphetamine abuse in our communities.”

Wait a minute. Is F Jim suggesting that meth is being imported from Iraq or Iran? Doesn't he know that it's a domestic problem, that kids are cooking it right down the street? Did he just say that the PATRIOT Act is going to be used in our communities, but just for our own good? Is there a reason I'm not being reassured by Sensenbrenner's release?


Tom McMahon writes about keeping ones life in perspective in a very well written post.

My favorite?
You never anticipate the really bad stuff
Think of all the old Twilight Zone episodes that had a post-World War III theme. Now think of all the episodes with a
big-jetliner-smashing-into-a-skyscraper theme. We tend to worry about a lot of things that never happen, and let ourselves get blindsided by reality.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Friendship Cards For the Rest of Us

Richard has these alternative Friendship cards up over at Russelings.

I especially like #2:
When you are blue -- I will try to dislodge whatever is choking you.

Somebody Doesn't Understand

F Jim says everything is hunky-dory.

Robert Byrd and Arlen Specter say it's neither hunky nor dory.

Who is looking out for the Constitution?

John Gard Tries Out His New, Cheney Inspired, Campaign Slogan

"Go to Hell, Marlin"

That's the level of civil discourse at the Capitol under the leadership of John Gard. When Marlin Schneider questioned the closing of the galleries during the debate of the Amendment to Strip Wisconsinites of Equal Protection John Gard responded with the aforementioned crudity.

Gard will be appearing with Dick Cheney in the Green Bay area at a fundraiser on March 13. Let's just assume that Gard was trying to impress the bully-in-chief with his swearing prowess, just like the kids on the playground do.