Saturday, May 31, 2008

Where Have We Heard That Defense Before?

Jef Hall points out the linchpin of Michael Gableman's argument that he did no wrong.

"I forget."

Now, I remember, "I have no recollection of that," as the mantra of disgraced Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (We tried to warn you that he was no good, too. But you wouldn't listen.) but it nagged at me that, "I forgot," was used closer to home. Who had used that defense before?

I should have looked back in the archives.

"I forgot." The cry of the Wisconsin Scoundrel is heard once more upon the land. Why are we surprised?

Because, "What Could Go Wrong?"

What could possibly go wrong with inveting worker's retirement funds in Stocks?

Thousands of workers at U.S. Sugar thought they were getting a good
deal when the company shelved their pension plan and gave them stock for their
retirement instead. They had a heady sense of controlling their own destiny as
they became the company’s biggest shareholders, Vic McCorvey, a former farm
manager there, said.

“It was always stressed to me, as manager of that 20,000-acre farm,
that the better you do, the higher your stock will be and the more retirement
you could get,” Mr. McCorvey said. “That’s why I worked six and seven days a
week, 14 hours a day,” slogging through wet and buggy cane fields, doing
whatever it took.

It's a win-win, right? The workers will have more because they made it into more.
Now that many U.S. Sugar workers are reaching retirement age, though, the
company has been cashing them out of the retirement plan at a much lower price
than they could have received. Unknown to them, an outside investor was offering
to buy the company — and their shares — for far more. Longtime employees say
they have lost out on tens of thousands of dollars each and millions of dollars
as a group, while insiders of the company came out ahead.

Remember these stories anytime a snake-oil salesman like Paul Ryan comes along trying to sell you an the wisdom of turning your retirement over to his pals on Wall Street.

Now, go read the rest of the story

Friday, May 30, 2008

Somehow, "Czech Shepherd" Doesn't Ring As Well

At times, Janesville’s newest rookie cop would nod off in the back of the
squad ...

It looks as if they've been able to change that behavior.

Seriously, one of the Janesville dogs got his vest at the DU banquet in February. He and his handler make a great showing for the department.

We Need To Vote- Now!

Which is funnier?

This line from an Yahoo News story about an assault...
A more serious charge of assault with a weapon — the hedgehog — was
dropped. The maximum penalty for that charge is five years in prison.

...or this unfortunate ending to the same story?
It was not known whether the hedgehog was dead or alive at the time of the
attack, but Senior Sgt. Bruce Jenkins said earlier that it was dead when
collected as evidence.

Learning To Be A Winner

All the good GOP shills are reading the new Scott McClellan book and getting a quick lesson in Hosea 8:7. I think they need to heed the words of Shel Silverstein as shared by Bobby Bare.

Whatever McClellan is now, he is definitely one of theirs walking toward the light.

He said "Now behind this grin, I got steel pins
That holds my jaw in place
A trophy of my most successful
Motorcycle race
And each morning when I wake and touch
This scar across my face
It reminds me of all
I got by being A WINNER."

"Now this broken back was a dying act
Of a handsome Harry Clay
That sticky Cincinnati night
I stole his wife away
But that woman she gets uglier
And she gets meaner every day
But I got her, boy
that's what makes me A WINNER.....

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wind Turbine Siting Ordinance Discussion Tonight

I think I'll head down to the library tonight for the Town Of Union PC meeting. The wind ordinance is #7 on the agenda.

Raising The Bar- One Misbehaving Judge At A Time

Fred was attempting to take me to task in one of his comment threads yesterday. We were talking about Mike Gableman's lack of qualifications for SCoWI and he said.
I am so sick of you and your liberal buddies supposedly so tolerant throwing
works like hack, unqualified, Deke suggested he took his bar exam with a

I just wanted to say that he can't possibly be more sick of hearing it than we are of trying to warn him about it.
The discipline stems from Ziegler's acknowledgement that while serving as a
circuit judge, she presided over nearly a dozen cases in which she had a
conflict of interest. Ziegler was elected to a 10-year term on the court in
April 2007, about a month after the conflict of interest involving West Bend
Savings Bank was revealed.

Even Ziegler acknowledges the wrongdoing. Other folks can argue about the severity of her reprimand. The stink is there and there it will stay. We tried to warn you that your candidate wasn't clean but you wouldn't listen.

Mike McCabe, as expected thought the reprimand was too lenient.
"They obviously leaned very heavily on past precedent, which I find bizarre
since this is the first time the court has had to discipline a sitting Supreme
Court justice," he said."They obviously leaned very heavily on past precedent,
which I find bizarre since this is the first time the court has had to
discipline a sitting Supreme Court justice," he said.

The words he left out, of course, were, "So far."

Dig In. It's Going To Be A Hard-Candy Christmas

From Snopes. Look for the following closures this year due to CEO Administration's economy.

Pier 1 Imports will be closing an unspecified number of

The Foot Locker shoe store chain closed 274 stores in 2007 and
another 60 in the first quarter of this year; more such closures are likely
before the end of the 2008.

The Ann Taylor women's apparel chain plans to close 117 struggling
stores by the end of 2011.

Pacific Sunwear closed 74 underperforming stores in its d.e.m.o.
line in 2007 and will be closing all 154 of its remaining d.e.m.o. stores in
2008. (The company has not so far announced plans to close any of its core
Pacific Sunware outlets.)

Wilsons Leather (the Leather Experts) will be closing all 260 of
its mall-based locations — 160 will be shuttered permanently, and the remaining
100 will be remodeled and revamped as a "Studio" concept focused on fashion
accessories for women.

The Zales chain of jewelry stores plans to close about 100 of its

Friedman's Jewelers plans to close an unspecified number of

The Pep Boys chain of auto parts stores will be closing an
unspecified number of outlets.

Charming Shoppes, which owns the Lane Bryant and Catherines brands
of women's clothing retailers, plans to close at least 150 stores.

The Kirklands chains of home decor stores announced at the end of
2007 that they would likely close between 40 to 130 of their stores in

Last updated: 27 May 2008

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Viagra In The Water

Camille West sings about the tragedy which befell, ahem...Johnson City

Michelle Malkin Comes Down Hard On Paisley- Warns Houndstooth, "You're Next!"

Michelle Malkin takes on Rachel Ray and Dunkin Donuts by claiming that Ray's scarf is, somehow, a jihad symbol.

Dunkin Donuts has pulled a commercial featuring pitchwoman Rachael Ray wearing a scarf because Michelle Malkin and other conservative observers thought the scarf looked too much like a keffiyeh, what Malkin describes as "the traditional scarf of Arab men that has come to symbolize murderous Palestinian jihad."

The Boston Globe reports that Dunkin Donuts caved to pressure from the conservative blogosphere — and the fear of a mass boycott — and removed the ad:
The company at first pooh-poohed the complaints, claiming the black-and-white wrap was not a keffiyeh. But the right-wing drumbeat on the blogosphere continued and by yesterday, Dunkin' Donuts decided it'd be easier just to yank the ad.

Said the suits in a statement: ''In a recent online ad, Rachael Ray
is wearing a black-and-white silk scarf with a paisley design. It was selected
by her stylist for the advertising shoot. Absolutely no symbolism was intended.
However, given the possibility of misperception, we are no longer using the

Malkin praised the decision in her column, writing, It's refreshing to see an American company show sensitivity to the concerns of Americans opposed to
Islamic jihad and its apologists. Too many of them bend over backward in the
direction of anti-American political correctness.... Fashion statements may seem
insignificant, but when they lead to the mainstreaming of violence --
unintentionally or not -- they matter. Ignorance is no longer an excuse. In
post-9/11 America, vigilance must never go out of style.
Malkin has
previously lauded Dunkin Donuts for its support of immigration

It's as if Malkin is so desperate for attention that she'll take offense at anything. She's in the final throes of O'Reilly's Syndrome, apparently.
Chalk it up as a victory for the nattering class. They won't be getting many more.

For Two Hundred Points You Can Get A Decoder Ring

C'mon Kids, you can join the McCain Online Action Center and post vapid talking points all across the Intertubes. Just swing in here for daily updates on the talking points, post them to your favorite shill and then come on back for your valuable points.

Of course, the McCain Online Action Center hasn't bothered to update the talking points for more than two weeks so you'll just be saying the same things over and over and over without making any valid policy points. And the McCain Online Action Center doesn't really give you any ammunition to explain why McCain left veterans hanging out to dry by voting against the New GI Bill just before Memorial Day.

And it's really just more of the same-old, same-old echo chamber because McCain's webstaff can't seem to think of a single Liberal blog for their drop-down that might put up with being a part of such a blatantly cynical scheme. Oh, and the points? There doesn't seem to be a link to a place to get points or an explanation of what points might or might not be worth or if McCain even has a plan for points beyond staying the course and doing whatever it was that George Bush did with points or...

It's probably easier to buy some Cheerios and send off for the free iTunes or whatever they're giving away this week. At least you won't have that bad taste in your mouth after being used.

Changing Tastes Call For Changes In Tastes

Good news. Kellogg's is bringing back Hydrox Cookies. Didja know that Hydrox predate Oreo's?

And Kraft decided that more people were talking about drinking the Kool-Aid than were actually drinking it so they're reformulating and repackaging the drink mix.
The company said it added antioxidant vitamin E to its sugar-sweetened
Kool-Aid formula and changed its formula for its Kool-Aid Singles so that one
packet can be used to flavor 17 ounces of water. Previously, two packets were

Kraft also said its sugar-free Kool-Aid products have been
reformulated to taste closer to regular unsweetened Kool-Aid.

Most of the drinks already fell under Kraft's nutritional
guidelines introduced in 2005, which call for limited amounts of sugar,
calories, fat and sodium and "meaningful" amounts of vitamins and nutrients.

The sugar-sweetened variety, though, did not meet the criteria
until the addition of vitamin E, Kraft said.

I don't think Mom ever gave us Kool-Aid for the health benefit. She gave us Tang for that.

Bad News For The Pres

You know it's going to be a bad day when the guy you paid to lie for you, the one you lied to to keep him from telling the truth while you were paying him decides to start telling the straight story.
Former White House press secretary Scott McClellan blames President
Bush and Vice President Dick Cheney for efforts to mislead the public about the
role of White House aides in leaking the identity of a CIA operative.

In an excerpt from his forthcoming book, McClellan recounts the
2003 news conference in which he told reporters that aides Karl Rove and I.
Lewis "Scooter" Libby were "not involved" in the leak involving operative
Valerie Plame.

"There was one problem. It was not true," McClellan writes,
according to a brief excerpt released Monday. "I had unknowingly passed along
false information. And five of the highest-ranking officials in the
administration were involved
in my doing so: Rove, Libby, the vice
president, the president's chief of staff and the president himself."

Scooter wasn't a fringe player. He's a solid Republican from a good Republican family. I'll bet his Mama told him to tell the truth.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

They Also Serve Who...Well, Serve

From Sen. Erpenbach's Newsletter.
Apply to Fill Vacancies on State Boards and Commissions - There are hundreds
of Boards and Commissions that need to be filled by members of the public with
staggered terms. Most are appointed by Governor Doyle. His office sent out the
following link for a database
If you see a vacancy you would like to apply for you can contact Senator
Erpenbach’s office at 608-266-6670 as well as Governor Doyle’s office at

I hear that the Railroad Commissioner slot is filled.

Looking For The Loose Ends

We looked at one news story that was hidden away on a holiday weekend. What else might we have missed?

Scott Suder is back in the news this week.

Lisa Brabazon, 33, of Wausau sought the restraining order Monday in
Marathon County Circuit Court, claiming she is in imminent danger of physical
harm. She also noted in the petition for the order that Suder has access to a
handgun, and she asked a judge to not allow him to own a gun.

A hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.

The Assemblyman says that it's all a misunderstanding and that Ms. Brabazon is trying to get back at him.

Young Mr. Suder may not have a way with the ladies after all.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

In Mutual Respect And Love

Tammy Baldwin's newsletter passes on this quote to ponder during the Memorial Day weekend. Any emphasis is mine.
“We pray that peoples of all faiths, all races, all nations, may have their
great human needs satisfied; that those now denied opportunity shall come to
enjoy it to the full; that all who yearn for freedom may experience its
spiritual blessings; that those who have freedom will understand, also, its
heavy responsibilities; that all who are insensitive to the needs of others will learn charity; that the scourges of poverty, disease, and ignorance will be made to disappear from the earth; and that, in the goodness of time, all peoples will come to live together in a peace guaranteed by the binding force of mutual
respect and love.”

The speaker was, of course, the well-known mushy liberal, Dwight David Eisenhower.

On Veterans And "Service"

h/t Badlands Blue

George McGovern schooling John McCain about service to one's country.

The following is transcribed from Sen. McGovern's speech Saturday night
at the McGovern Day dinner in Sioux Falls.

This is the greatest country on the face of the earth, I still
think that. But what a tragedy to have our reputation brought to the lowest
level that any of us can remember. I'm sometimes charged with being a softie
about war and national security.

Well, let me take one minute on that. When I was 19, Pearl Harbor
was attacked. A few days later, I dropped out of college and volunteered to fly
in the Army air corps and flew 35 missions over the most heavily defended
targets in Europe. I've always been proud of that service in World War II; I've
never had one day of regret that I participated in helping to smash Hitler's war
machine. And let me just add this. There's never been a day in my adult life
when I wouldn't have gladly sacrificed that life if America was faced with a
genuine threat to our national security.

Some years ago, I was on one of the networks with former Secretary
of Defense Robert McNamara, one of the chief architects of the war in Vietnam.
But the reason I was on television that night is he had just come out with a new
book saying that the war was not only it was a mistake, in his words it was a
tragic mistake. Well, in the course of that three-way discussion, which included
in addition to Secretary McNamara and myself, Sen. John McCain. And in McCain's
first opening remarks, he said, well we all know that George McGovern knows
little about national defense.

Let me tell you what I would say to John McCain: neither of us is
an expert on national defense. It's true that you went to one of the
service academies but you were in the bottom of the class. It's true that you
were a pilot in Vietnam, that you were shot down and spent most of the war in
prison and we all sympathize with that and honor you for your courage. But
you and I both had these battle experiences, you as a Navy fighter plane, I as
an army bomber. I am not going to criticize your war record and your knowledge
of national security but I don't want you criticizing mine either.

If I'd be allowed just one little dig at Senator McCain, since he
gave me. I would say, 'John, you were shot down early in the war and spent most
of the time in prison. I flew 35 combat missions with a 10-man crew and brought
them home safely every time.'

Kick At The Darkness Till It Bleeds Daylight

I'll admit that this video was a lot better in memory but the song is still as good as ever. BTW, Kids, the fabric in those shirts was called Qiana and it was made by DuPont.

Bruce Cockburn
-Lovers In a Dangerous Time

As a bonus, the BNL version

Saturday, May 24, 2008

Ya' Got Trouble

I'm bringing an old favorite to the top. It looks like it's a good weekend for a little van Hollen bothering.

Originally posted April 27, 2006

Harold Hill:
Well, either you're closing your eyes
To a situation you do now wish to acknowledge
Or you are not aware of the caliber of disaster indicated

JB van Hollen via Fraley:
Former United States Attorney JB Van Hollen says that
State Attorneys General can and must play a
fundamental role in the war on terrorism.

But just as I say,
It takes judgement, brains, and maturity to score
In a balkline game,
I say that any boob kin take
And shove a ball in a pocket.

“I am shocked, quite frankly, that
Paul Bucher really doesn’t know that
President Bush has entrusted the
state attorneys general with a significant role in
fighting terrorism here at home,”

The first big step on the road
To the depths of deg-ra-Day--
I say, first, medicinal wine from a teaspoon,
Then beer from a bottle.
An' the next thing ya know,
Your son is playin' for money
In a pinch-back suit.

“The Attorney General must,
like all law enforcement, remain vigilant regarding
all possible threats to public safety.”

Now, I know all you folks are the right kinda parents.
I'm gonna be perfectly frank.
Would ya like to know what kinda conversation goes
On while they're loafin' around that Hall?
They're tryin' out Bevo, tryin' out cubebs,
Tryin' out Tailor Mades like Cigarette Feends!
And braggin' all about
How they're gonna cover up a tell-tale breath with Sen-Sen.

"Twenty eight county district attorneys,
20 county sheriffs and 36 prominent elected
Republican legislators are backing my campaign
because they know I have the experience and integrity
to fight crime as Attorney General,”

Towns People:
Trouble, oh we got trouble,
Right here in River City!
With a capital "T"
...We've surely got trouble!
Right here in River City,
Right here!Gotta figger out a way
To keep the young ones moral after school!
Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble...

“Terrorism is a threat in Wisconsin.
It would be naïve and irresponsible to assume otherwise,”

We've surely got trouble!
Right here in River City!
Remember the Maine,
Plymouth Rock and the Golden Rule!
Oh, we've got trouble.
We're in terrible, terrible trouble.
That game with the fifteen numbered balls is a devil's tool!
Oh yes we got trouble, trouble, trouble!

Twenty eight county district attorneys,
20 county sheriffs and 36 prominent elected
Republican legislators are backing my campaign
because they know I have the experience
and integrity to fight crime as Attorney General,
This includes fighting cyber-crime,
the scourge of methamphetamine, and the
threat posed by potential terrorists here.”

One fine night, they leave the pool hall,
Headin' for the dance at the Arm'ry!
Libertine men and Scarlet women!
And Rag-time, shameless music
That'll grab your son and your daughter
With the arms of a jungle animal instink!
Friends, the idle brain is the devil's playground!

Towns People:
We've surely got trouble!
Right here in River City,
Right here!
Gotta figger out a way
To keep the young ones moral after school!
Trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble, trouble...

Car Thief Foiled By The Pigs

No, really, by the pigs.

German police pursuing a car thief through a dark forest turned rescuers
when the man became cornered by a family of angry wild boar.

Officers caught the man's passenger after the pair rammed into a squad car on a cross-country chase and leapt from the stolen Opel, police in the eastern city of Schwerin said.

My new favorite line of the story?
Officers rescued the man from the boars, then arrested him.

Where Do You Hide A Needle?

If you want to hide a needle you should put it in a needlestack according to my brother. There are several good ways to find one in a haystack but if you want to hide a specific needle...

The DOJ knows that if you want to hide something you release it just before a holiday weekend. From the Gazette

The Justice Department is investigating the prosecution of Georgia Thompson,
a Wisconsin state employee wrongly imprisoned for corruption.

The department makes the revelation in a letter to the House Judiciary Committee, which released it this week.

The Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility is investigating allegations of „selective prosecution“ in several cases, including Thompson’s.

Speaking of things lost and found, when will we see Scooter Jensen back in a courtroom? Does anybody know the timetable?

Friday, May 23, 2008

Light Blogging

It looks as if everyone is taking off a little early for the Memorial Day weekend. Please remember two things as you run through your busy agendas over the next four days.

First, be safe. We need you back here on Tuesday.

Second, take the time to remember. It ain't about you.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

"Protect Me From My Friends," He Said

Paul Soglin explains about a vanishing breed and shares a few words about why we're all a little poorer because of the loss.

What? What'd I Do?

Count along and see how many errors you can find for this young man.
A Chippewa Falls man was cited for inattentive driving Tuesday after hitting
a Chippewa Falls Police Department squad car while eating a sandwich and talking on his cell phone.
Hmm. Do you count that as two or three so far?
Grill was driving a 1987 Ford Crown Victoria coming down the Court Street
hill when he attempted to turn left onto Highway 124.

'87 Crown Vic? There's another one.
Det. Sgt. Robert Adams, 51, was driving a city squad car southbound on 124
approaching the bridge at 12:04 p.m. He stated he tried to move over but was
still struck while in the right-hand lane.

Ahh, there's a biggie right there.
Grill told the investigating officer that he was “talking on his phone” and
didn’t see Adams’ squad. He also said he was eating a sandwich while

Hmm. Well, at least he's not in denial about his actions.
City officer Lee Hakes filed the accident report, and issued the

According to Adams, Grill’s reaction was: “I’m getting a ticket? For

Whoopsie. Yes, he is. He is too in denial.

I hope this story has a happy ending.

The squad car can still be driven and remains in service, Nehring

“It looks like a Chicago squad car now.”


On Parading Or Not

This WWII vet is from Oregon, right up the road.
This WW II vet doesn't do parades

By David G. Brenzel

Although I am one of the few remaining World War II veterans who
was a member of the Battling Bastards of Bataan and Corregidor, I don 't do

To beat the draft, I joined the regular army for a tour of foreign
service that the Japanese Army and Pearl Harbor extended to five years overseas,
including 40 months of slave labor as a prisoner of war.

Thirty months of that slave labor were in Yokohama, where I was a
welder in a Mitsubishi shipyard refurbishing the Japanese Navy.

We put in full days on empty stomachs, kept lively by guards
carrying pick handles, which we referred to as vitamin sticks.

Our living quarters were in a warehouse on Tokyo Bay about 2 1/2
miles from the shipyard. This will explain my being on parade for literally
thousands of miles in Yokahama alone, sharing the city streets with the public
morning and night to and from the labor.

Read the rest here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Pacing The Cage

I've seen a lot of home-made music videos since YouTube came online. I have never seen one that affected me like this one does. Please watch it.

The song is Pacing the Cage by Bruce Cockburn sung by Jimmy Buffett. I don't know the name of the soldier featured in it but he looks like a very lucky man.

Thanks. Just thanks.

First Look At The WI-GOP Platform

YP asks the question, "What do the Republican's stand for? What's their platform?"

Now, thanks to my mole at last weekend's GOP State Convention and Bake Sale, I can offer you a first, secret look at the platform so carefully crafted by Reince and the White Guys.

Of course, the facilities are separate.

Make It For A Good Cause

Face it. Instead of cleaning the garage you were going out golfing anyway. Why not salve your conscience and hit the links for a good cause?
So, your next decision is, "What golf outing should I sign up for?"
That's followed closely by, "Which charity should I support?" And then, "When is
that golf outing?" and "Which course is hosting it?"

That's where we can help make your life easy. Small Business Times
has launched the Wisconsin Golf Event Guide (

SBT hereby invites all of Wisconsin's nonprofit organizations that
have annual golf outings to post the information about their events at the web
site. It's free. And free is good.
More than 40 organizations already have
taken us up on the offer in a soft launch earlier this week.

"We want to connect Wisconsin's charities with businesspeople who
are looking for a reason to get out and golf and support a good cause. Everybody
wins," said Dan Meyer, publisher of Small Business Times. "You can search the
Wisconsin Golf Event Guide by date, by charity name or by golf

These fundraisers are often a large part of the cashflow for smaller charities. Dig deep in your pockets and enjoy a day in the sunshine at the same time.

Feelin' Good Again

Just 'cause. Robert Earl Keen

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Pay Attention When The Canary Starts To Cough

There's going to be a lot of this around this Summer.
Due to various market conditions, Jevic Transportation Inc., a
regional less-than-truckload (LTL) carrier providing services in the Northeast
announced today it is discontinuing operations.

In a letter to customers, Jevic President and CEO David H. Gorman
said “the current high fuel costs, economic downturn, increasing insurance
costs, and tightening credit markets have made this decision necessary.” The
letter also noted that Jevic will cease providing pickup service, effective
today, but it will continue to deliver all freight within its system prior to

With market conditions in the LTL sector remaining unsteady and
capacity continuing to outstrip demand, this news did not catch anyone
off-guard. In fact, one LTL executive who asked not to be named told LM this
could be the beginning of a trend which sees more LTL operators put the brakes
on business.

Fennimore based Koschkee Truck Lines closed their doors last week. With fuel going the way it is I look for a lot more fall-out in the industry. I predict that one or two more local LTLs are on the ropes and that Jevic won't be the biggest carrier to close their doors this Summer.

Demand is mushy and there's way too much capacity to carry into a slowing economy. Given a hard shake-out it'll be a buyer's market for any carrier with strong cash reserves this Fall. If YRC let's one of its carriers go down to break the Union and consolidate terminals we could be looking at a blood-letting like we haven't seen since deregulation.
“With the way market capacity has been greater than demand, companies of
this kind will struggle because of the difficulties of customers to understand
what the true value proposition is,” said Jindel. “Other companies with revenues
in the $50-to$100 million revenue range are likely to experience these types of
challenges in the next four-to-six quarters.”

Six quarters is an ugly-long time. You might want to fasten your seat belts.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Yes. We're Glad He's Okay.

We're glad that Senator Kennedy is going to be okay after a health scare this weekend.

But admit it. How many of you had this image when you heard that he'd been airlifted from Hyannisport?

Some Helpful Definitions

There seems to be some confusion. Like the difference between "affect" and "effect" or between "lay" and "lie," it's important to make a distinction.

The first word seems to be a really, really hard one because it's not been used much in the last 7 years. It's what strong countries do to solidify their place in the world.

Main Entry: di·plo·ma·cy
Pronunciation: \də-ˈplō-mə-\
Function: noun
Date: 1796

1 : the art and practice of conducting negotiations between

2 : skill in handling affairs without arousing hostility

While President Rain Man has been in charge diplomacy has fallen by the wayside. See the reference to the synonym "tact" and you'll understand the deficiency of this administration. Also see the definition's specific reference to taking care of things without arousing hostility. Bush has shown the diplomatic skills of a porcupine on crystal meth.

The other word, one which has found much favor of late among people who don't know what it means is "appeasement."

Main Entry: ap·pease
Pronunciation: \ə-ˈpēz\
Function: transitive verb
Inflected Form(s): ap·peased; ap·peas·ing
Etymology: Middle English appesen, from Anglo-French apeser,
apaiser, from a- (from Latin ad-) + pais peace — more at
Date: 14th century

1: to bring to a state of peace or quiet : calm
2: to cause to subside : allay
3: pacify, conciliate; especially : to buy off (an aggressor) by concessions usually at the sacrifice of principles

Why would this just now be coming into play? Is it because some natterers can't listen? Or is it because they hope to point attention away from their own candidate's foreign policy flaws? Or is it just the same chickenhawks trying to make sure no one sees the fallacy of their own failed policies?

I votes for Number 3.

You know, he was so good on King of Queens. I wonder when he got stupid.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

Area Graduate Makes Good

From Tammy Baldwin's e-newsletter this week.
Also this week, I had the great pleasure of calling Andrew Gibler, who is a
senior this year at Brodhead High. Based on his high record of achievement
and other outstanding qualities and recommendations, I nominated Andrew to the
U.S. Air Force Academy Class of 2012. I'm very proud to report that
Andrew did receive an appointment to the Academy and I called to give him
the good news. He will be sworn in this summer and I'm sure you join
me in wishing him well. Congratulations, Andrew!

My congratulations to the Gibler family.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Hunt For Next November

There's a moment near the end of The Hunt For Red October with Joss Acklund and Richard Jordan as two diplomats dancing around a military problem.

Ambassador Andrei
: There is another matter... one I'm reluctant to...

Dr. Jeffrey Pelt: Please.

Ambassador Andrei Lysenko: One of our submarines, an Alfa, was last reported in the area of the Grand Banks. We have not heard from her for some time.

Dr. Jeffrey Pelt: Andrei, you've lost another submarine?

Lysenko gives up, knowing he's lost the question before it was asked. Because of his reluctance to ask for what he wanted in the first place, he's now restrained from getting what he really was seeking.

Last April we saw a whole lot of crowing that the "Frankenstein Veto" was dead once and for all time. No more would Wisconsin's governor be able to splice together words and letters from across two or more sentences to create laws from the whole cloth.

That lasted a month.

Governor Doyle used the remains of his line item veto to create the spending bill that the legislature didn't have the stomach or the huevos to pass. With a pass of his pen he was able to give his allies the spending which they desired and to make the cuts that they were unable or unwilling to make.

The State Journal cried, "Frankenstein," even though, admitting that they knew that the bill as written sucked eggs, they applauded his results. Legislative leaders stand with hands in pockets and slack jaws dangling wondering how Doyle gave them all the old Packer Sweep.

Say what you will, Doyle pulled the tablecloth out from under this one and, even though you may not know how he did it, you have to be impressed by the trick.

Friday, May 16, 2008


It has been said that one should learn an answer to a question about one's self each day.

Yesterday I learned that the answer to, "How far do you consistently hit your pitching wedge?" is, "12 feet."


Setting Standards

The headline is a grabber.

43,000 deployed unfit for combat

The truth is only a little less disconcerting. 43,000 is an aggregate number since 2003. In 2007 there were "only" 9,140 troops deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq who had been judged medically unfit for deployment.
"It is a consequence of the consistent churning of our troops," said
Bobby Muller, president of Veterans For America. "They are repeatedly exposed to
high-intensity combat with insufficient time at home to rest and heal before

The numbers of non-deployable soldiers are based on health
assessment forms filled out by medical personnel at each military installation
before a service member's deployment.

According to those statistics, the number of troops who doctors
found non-deployable but who were still sent to Iraq or Afghanistan fluctuated
from 10,854 in 2003, down to 5,397 in 2005, and back up to 9,140 in

The reasons for an assessment of medical non-deployability vary.
A Pentagon staffer examined 10,000 individual health records last year
to determine causes for the non-deployable ratings, Kilpatrick said. Some
reasons included a need for eyeglasses, dental work or allergy medicine and a
small number of mental health cases, he said.

This is the first war in which this health screening process has
been used, the Pentagon said.
Most of the non-deployable service members are
in the Army, which is doing most of the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan. From
5% to 7% of all active-duty, National Guard and Reserve soldiers slated for
combat were found medically unfit due to health problems each year since 2003,
according to statistics provided to USA TODAY.

Unit commanders make the final decision about whether a
service member is sent into combat, although doctors can recommend against
deployment because of a medical issue, Army spokeswoman Kim Waldron said.

I'm not sure that I'm comfortable with the DoD's assessment of only a small number of mental heath issues and I certainly can't see the benefit in deploying a soldier needing eyeglasses to the lines. Some in Army leadership question the process as well.
At Fort Carson, in Colorado, Maj. Gen. Mark Graham ordered an
investigation into deployment procedures for a brigade deployed to Iraq late
last year. At least 36 soldiers were found medically unfit but were still
deployed, Graham told USA TODAY.

For at least seven soldiers, treatment in the war zone was
inadequate and the soldiers were sent home, he said, and at least two of them
should never have been deployed.

In testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee in
February, the panel's chairman, Sen. Carl Levin, D-Mich., asked Army leaders
about an e-mail from the surgeon for the Fort Carson brigade that said medically
"borderline" soldiers went to war because "we have been having issues reaching
deployable strength."

"That should not be happening," Army Secretary Pete Geren told the
committee. "I can't tell you that it's not, but it certainly should not be

This is one of the definitions of "overcommitted." It's time for new leadership, not more of McSame.

Do You Have A Plan?

When our kids were little we'd drill with them every year on how to exit from each room, two ways if possible, and where to meet up in case of a fire.

The Survive Alive House and area fire departments work with 3rd graders to make sure they know what to do in case of a fire.

Do you and your kids have an escape plan? Have you practiced it?

Thursday, May 15, 2008

How, Um...Unfortunate

Let's see. The Republicans are having their convention in Minneapolis this Summer and they want us to focus on the issues. They want us to forget the Larry Craig/Minneapolis Airport incident.

So, then. Why would their official convention logo be an elephant with a wide stance?

Handgun At The Ready. Making Us All Safer.

Is it considered cowardly to shoot yourself in the back?
Jorge Espinal, 44, was drinking beer and playing poker around 3 a.m.
Sunday in his home in the 3500 block of Montague Street, when he got up from the table and walked into another room, said Fort Worth police Lt. Kenneth Dean.

“He told officers he had an itch on his back and grabbed the first
thing he could get a hold of, which was a revolver,” Lt. Dean said. “The gun
went off."

Just to be clear. The gun didn't "go off." It was fired. Probably by accident but most assuredly it was fired.
Mr. Espinal went back and told his buddies that he shot himself. “They
didn’t believe him until they saw the blood coming down his back,” Lt. Dean

At least one person has said if he'd shot himself a little further down he'd be considered a "Crack Shot."

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

At Least He Understands The Meaning Of Sacrifice

President Bush has for the first time revealed the great sacrifice he's made
for the sake of our soldiers: he's given up golf.

Boy, he's damned if he did and damned if he didn't. If he'd kept on hitting the links he'd have been pilloried for being insensitive. Now, when he says he's given up the sport, he'll take flak from those who are underwhelmed by the depth of his sacrifice.

Maybe his better choice would have been to do the right thing and then keep his mouth shut about it. That would have kept him from appearing, once again, to be an insensitive boob.

State Of The City

Gina has the text of Mayor Decker's address from last night's Council meeting.
We have been very busy this past year! City officials, staff, committee
members and scores of volunteers worked diligently to accomplish necessary
community work. I thank everyone for their service.

Since last year’s State of the City report, the Common Council has
met 21 times. Two meetings were dedicated to planning. Last October a strategic
planning meeting was held that included review of City departments, staffing and
programs. A Committee of the Whole meeting last month dealt with specific City

Evansville continues to make progress positioning City operations
to accommodate future growth. EMS is in the process of moving into the Dean
Community Center on Church Street. Groundbreaking has occurred for the new Fire
District building on Water Street; current plans provide for completion of the
station in November. An additional Water and Light Department building is under
construction and the Marsh Road substation will go online next week.

The current fire station has been purchased by the City to again
locate the Police Department in the center of the community. The City has also
purchased the Post Office to secure the property for a future expansion of the
Library. Preliminary design engineering is underway for a needed Wastewater
Treatment Plant upgrade. Construction is expected to begin in 2009 with
completion in 2010.

Follow the link to read the rest.


Saturday night, Orchestra, Center.

This is the show that looks like this.

One Yawner, One Mild Surprise

I've fought lots of battles that wasn't worth being won.

-Delbert McClinton; Honky Tonkin'

Hillary Clinton overwhelmingly won an underwhelming number of delegates in West Virginia last night. All six of that state's delegates will go to the Senator's tally.

In the meantime, the House Democrats added to their number in a special election last night in Mississippi, winning a district that has been called the reddest of the red. Trent Lott's former district was considered to be a Republican stronghold.
It is yet another rejection of the House Republican agenda, the Bush
administration's misguided policies, and John McCain's campaign for a third Bush
term," Van Hollen said.
Most of the attention this election cycle has focused
on the race to succeed Bush, but the two parties are locked in an equally
competitive battle for the House and Senate, with Democrats seeking to extend
slim majorities.

Childers' win follows two gains by Democrats in seats in Louisiana
and Illinois and suggests that formerly solid Republican districts might be up
for grabs in November.

"If Democrats can win safe Republican districts, then those that
are truly on the fence certainly have got to be looking like Democratic seats,"
said Marty Weisman, professor of political science at Mississippi State

Toddler Left Behind

I can almost see how this could happen. Limited language skills, tinhorn authority figures at the airport pressuring the family to repack, a family split up to get through the airport. It could happen.
A family boarded a flight on Monday in westernmost Canada, and forgot
their tot at the Vancouver international airport, media said Tuesday.

The 23-month-old boy's family had just arrived in Canada from the
Philippines, but they were forced to repack their overweight bags before
catching a connecting flight to Winnipeg, causing them to run late.

In their sprint to the gate, the family became

The boy's father Jun Parreno, told local media he had thought his
son was with his wife and the boy's grandparents, who ran ahead. They thought
the boy was with his dad.

But, c'mon. You still have to have one person checking to make sure that everything and everybody gets taken care of. My mother used to have someone check under the bed at every motel, "Just to make sure."

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Another Great Blog

I showed you List Of The Day and its Olan Mills page.

I pointed you towards Truly Awful Stuff and you haven't been able to turn away.

So you'll trust me when I point you at Things younger than Republican Presidential candidate (oh, and did I forget to mention “war hero”?) John McCain

You will, won't you?

Live Blogging At Its Finest

The Critical Badger was on the scene of the Sig Ep fire this morning. This is a fine use of the tools for getting the word out.

As with any live stream of information there is specualtion and there is bound to be some correction needed. But CB stuck with the story in a way that only New Media can.

He Shoulda Worn The Pants

What caused Jason Castro to flub his lines on American Idol?
Jason Castro — despite steadily increasing rumors to the contrary — says he
did not purposely blow his chances on American Idol.

But I think I know the real reason he wasn't quite prepared for the Big Time.
The Texas A&M construction science major charmed Idol viewers and
judges with his laid-back attitude, folksy charm, dreamy eyes — and those
dreadlocks. His top 24 performances of the Lovin' Spoonful's Daydreamin' and
Leonard Cohen's Hallelujah helped secure Castro a position in the all-important
top 12.He engaged A&M students and staff, who threw weekly watch parties and
printed up "Gig 'em Castro!" T-shirts.

We know all about Aggie engineers, don't we?

I think that it is a shame the way you pick on the Aggies. After all it
was an Aggie engineer that invented the toilet seat.

...of course a UT engineer stole the design and cut a hole in the

What's The Difference?

Say what you want to about Derrick Turnbow, at least his attitude was, "Give me the ball. I'll get it done."

Whether or not he could actually deliver was a question for the ages.

But when your putative closer says,
"I don't deserve that ninth inning right now. It's very simple,"

"It's embarrassing."

You should probably take him at his word and try to move on. The fact that Jason Isringhausen is in the same boat is cold comfort, indeed.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

We Love Our Mothers In Different Ways.

You'll have to follow the link to see Drew Hastings' irreverent, sideways tribute to his Mom.

Or see Dolly's more traditional tribute.

The Friend Of My Friend Is...

...seizing the aid planes flying into Myanmar, apparently.
The man picked by the John McCain campaign to run the 2008 Republican
National Convention resigned Saturday after a report that his lobbying firm used
to represent the military regime in Myanmar.

It seems that John McCain, the Lobbyists' Friend, had to throw a friend under the bus this weekend. That friend, Doug Goodyear, was the sole US rep for the military junta in Myanmar in 2002 and 2003. Goodyear says in his defense that they only defended the killers and rapists for a little while and it didn't happen recently.
Newsweek said the firm drafted news releases praising Burma's efforts to
curb the drug trade and denouncing claims by the Bush administration that the
regime engaged in rape and other abuses.
"It was our only foreign representation, it was for a short tenure, and it was six years ago," Newsweek quoted Goodyear as saying. The magazine said Goodyear added that the junta's record in the current cyclone crisis is "reprehensible."

If the Bush administration is calling your actions corrupt, it's a fair bet that they're corrupt. These people know corruption, folks. But Goodyear's firm was willing to put a happy face on the regime.

That isn't the McCain Campaign's big concern, however. The defense of the indefensible is old hat for them. They need to keep the sheen on McCain's "Maverick" badge as long as possible.
The Newsweek article also reported that some of Goodyear's allies worry that
worry the choice of Goodyear could fuel perceptions that McCain is surrounded by
lobbyists. DCI Group earned $3 million last year lobbying for ExxonMobil,
General Motors and other clients, the report said.

McCain represents business as usual in Washington as well as in the Middle East but he'd like you to believe otherwise. What could Doug Goodyear possibly have done for McCain?
Newsweek also reported DCI has been a pioneer in running "independent"
expenditure campaigns by so-called 527 groups, the kind of operations that
McCain has denounced in his battle for campaign finance reform.

Butthey are the kind of group that's really effective in getting out a smear if the candidate wants to keep his hands clean.

Some people are pioneers in cancer research or pioneers in finding ways to bring groups together. Some are pioneers in putting lipstick on a junta or poking holes in campaign finance law to coarsen the process. Everybody is good at something, I guess.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Handguns Making Us Safer?

A periodic feature.

What could go wrong with a legally kept handgun?

4th-Grader Brings Gun To Cudahy Elementary School

Weapon Not Fired, But Loaded

The gun was discovered inside the boy's desk after another student finally
reported it.
By then, the boy apparently showed the gun, or told others that
he had it, but it wasn't reported to a teacher until just before the end of the

Friday, May 09, 2008

Did You Pack It Yourself?

Just because everything can't be serious...

Click A Link In Haste. Reboot At Leisure

Nathan asks us to rewrite aphorisms for the Digital Age.

What's your contribution?

The Party Of Personal Responsibility?

Personal responsibility? Not so much.

Vitter gets off without so much as a slap on the wrist after his procurer was sentenced to 55 years. The committee let him off even though...
In fact, if proven to be true, the Members of the Committee would find
the alleged conduct of solicitation for prostitution to be reprehensible."

Thursday, May 08, 2008

Families' Values Candidates

I'm not sayin'. I'm just sayin'.
"I have had a relationship with Laura Fay, with whom I have a three
year old daughter," Fossella said in a statement.

"My personal failings and imperfections have caused enormous pain
to the people I love and I am truly sorry.

"While I understand that there will be many questions, including
those about my political future, making any political decisions right now are
furthest from my mind.

It's just an unfortunate coincidence that he's a Republican Representative.

Wednesday, May 07, 2008

One For The Recess Supervisor

from here

Hey, Aaron! I Found A Picture For You

Ben has one of the pics you're looking for.

CORRECTION: Not Ben, of course, but Zach.

The problem is not in our links but in ourselves. My apologies.

"What Could Go Wrong?" They Said

That thought was echoed in South Bend, where Elizabeth Bridges, 63,
said half of the people working in her voting precinct were family members, but
still she showed her ID.

"I think the law is a good thing because a lot of people are
crooked," she said.

"A lot of people are crooked," She said. That's the supposed impetus behind the calls for picture ID at the polls. The Right is in an apoplectic rage, demanding that "all of those illegal voters" be turned away. Thousands, nay, millions of crooked people will be trying to just walk up to the polls and use someone else's name to vote.
About 12 Indiana nuns were turned away Tuesday from a polling place by
a fellow sister because they didn't have state or federal identification bearing
a photograph.

Sister Julie McGuire said she was forced to turn away her fellow
members of Saint Mary's Convent in South Bend, across the street from the
University of Notre Dame, because they had been told earlier that they would
need such an ID to vote.

The nuns, all in their 80s or 90s, didn't get one but came to the
precinct anyway.

When the hoopla started I asked about my Grandmother. 104 years old and out of her car for a decade, Grandma struggles to leave the house. She's been outside her apartment twice in a year, one of those trips to the hospital. How should she get a new picture ID? I was told that old people could just buck up and get in line at the DMV like the rest of us.

"I think the law is a good thing because a lot of people are crooked," she said.
One newly married woman said she was told she couldn't vote because her
driver's license name didn't match the one on her voter registration record,
said Myrna Perez of the Brennan Center Justice at New York University's law
school, coordinator of the 1-866-OUR-VOTE hot line. Another woman said she
was turned away from casting her first-ever ballot because she had only a
college-issued ID card and an out-of-state driver's license, Perez said.

"People will be turned away from the polls who have a legitimate right to vote," We said. "You will disenfranchise Americans."

The Right turned a blind eye and a deaf ear. "I think the law is a good thing because a lot of people are crooked." After being trained to fear for seven years they have learned their lessons well. "I think the law is a good thing because a lot of people are crooked."

"What could go wrong?" became the mantra of the Right. When shown that the system run by human beings, our neighbors and friends, was only too human they decided that the fix was to make the system more complicated. Add one or two more layers of bureaucracy to the voting process. What could go wrong? "I think the law is a good thing because a lot of people are crooked."

"These laws are confusing. People don't know how they're supposed to be
applied," she said.
According to the New Voters Project, sponsored by Student
Public Interest Groups, about a dozen college students at Notre Dame, Butler
University and Indiana University said they were told at the polls they didn't
have the right form of identification.

Angela Hiss, a 19-year-old sophomore at Notre Dame, presented her Notre Dame ID card and her Illinois driver's license. Poll workers did not inform her that she
could have cast a provisional ballot, she told project staff monitoring her
polling place.

This is the fruit of the tree that Flyin' Jim and his cronies planted. It's been watered and fed by fools like O'Reilly and Limbaugh and McIlheran and those who live their lives in fear have eaten their fill of its poisoned bounty.
"I think the law is a good thing because a lot of people are crooked," she

That's you that she's talking about, you know. She doesn't know you but she knows that you're crooked.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

Monday, May 05, 2008

Friday, May 02, 2008

McCain Says It's Important To Not Vote For Republicans In General And Him Specifically


You can't trust them to do the right thing. Senator McCain blamed the Republican-led Congress, of which he was a senior member, for the bridge collapse in Minnesota last year. This is refreshing because a candidate will seldom expose his shortcomings in such a fstraightforward manner.
"I think perhaps you can make the argument that part of the
responsibility lies with the Congress of the United States," the Arizona senator
McCain said Congress spent roughly $20 billion on special-interest
projects when it approved a new highway bill, signed into law by President Bush.

"We spent approximately $20 billion of that money on pork barrel,
earmark projects," said McCain. "Maybe if we had done it right, maybe some of
that money would have gone to inspect those bridges and other bridges around the
country. Maybe the 200,000 people who cross that bridge every day would have
been safer than spending $233 million of your tax dollars on a bridge in Alaska
to an island with 50 people on it."

Sources close to the candidate said that he would continue his campaign of frankness by admitting he was scamming campaign finance laws by riding in his wife's jet and that his temper occasionally caused him to eat kittens for aan after supper snack.

iT Has A Point

Whatever did happen to that Culture of Personal Responsibility?

Thursday, May 01, 2008

You Want Heartwarming? I Can Do Heartwarming

If this doesn't make you puddle up just a little then you may have no soul.
Gary Frederick thought he had seen everything in 40 years at Central
Washington University. He'd coached baseball and women's basketball for 11
years, been an assistant on the football team for 17 and athletic director for

Last weekend, he learned he was wrong.

In the top of the second inning as his Wildcats played host to
Western Oregon University in Ellensburg, Wash., something happened that spoke to
the beauty of athletics. It came in the form of a home run that no one in
attendance will forget.

"Never in my life had I seen anything like it," said Frederick, 70,
in his 14th season as softball coach.

"It was just unbelievable."

You may never see me post this again, either. h/t Fischer

Let The Nutbar Conspiracies Theories Begin

Condolences to the family.

McSame And The Happy Anniversary

Five years goes by so quickly. Maybe we won't even notice the passage of the next hundred.
May you all have a wonderful Mission Accomplished Day.
The current resident will try to spin this away and blame the crew of the Lincoln for the banner. Let's remember his words from that day so he can't weasel again.

Thank you all very much. Admiral Kelly, Captain Card, officers and sailors of the USS Abraham Lincoln, my fellow Americans: Major combat operations in Iraq
have ended
. In the battle of Iraq, the United States and our allies have prevailed. And now our coalition is engaged in securing and reconstructing that


Other nations in history have fought in foreign lands and remained to occupy and exploit. Americans, following a battle, want nothing more than to return home. And that is your direction tonight. (Applause.) After service in the Afghan -- and Iraqi theaters of war -- after 100,000 miles, on the longest carrier deployment in recent history, you are homeward bound. (Applause.) Some of you will see new family members for the first time -- 150 babies were born while their fathers were on the Lincoln. Your families are proud of you, and your nation will welcome you. (Applause.)

Status quo is as status quo does. Do you suppose he's even asked why 60% of us want our troops out of Iraq? Or do you suppose he's just another incurious candidate?