Sunday, December 31, 2006

Unfortunate Synchronicity

As ABC wrappped up coverage of the Ford funeral ceremony at the Capitol last night Jack Ford led his mother from the rotunda. Coverage faded to black and the network brought up a slide to signal the return of the regularly scheduled programming..."Ugly Betty."

Someone needs to be transferred to another set of duties. Continuity and Traffic seems to be too much of a challenge for them.

Q2 '06 -The Linky Love Goes On

Continuing to look back at some of the stories we all blogged about in 2006.


Frank Lasee threatened to "Bring the Love." Steve at Grandpa John's was just about the only one who noticed.
TPA went down in flames. Teeth-gnashers rose from the ashes to post comments at Jenna's.
We saw the first "Batman" moment in the AG race. This guy went on to be elected.
The City Council disorganized then reorganized. Most everybody had the story.
United 93 came out to rave reviews. It's showing up now on a lot of 'Year's Best' lists.


We got our first look at The Brawler.
Paul Bucher wanted to throw money at the problem.
Nathan got all "Old Timey" about immigration reform.
Flyin' Jim got his priorities in order.
Tommy said, "If I run, I win." MJM said, "Not so much."


Flag burning was still an issue even though it seldom happens for real.
Zelig's got nothing on Aaron.
JB rolled out the Batman Bus. It could traverse any terrain except a cranberry bog. DY snickered behind his hand.
Rick Santorum said he had finally found the WMD. Now he has time to look at his leisure.
Mark Green showed that he doesn't understand how businesses make their choices.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

A Look Back Q1 '06

Let's look back at the stories we blogged about in 2006. We'll start with the first quarter of the year.


Aaron looked at the postage increase.
The Recess Supervisor looked at the first Whiner Of The Year candidate.
Congress voted. Alito floated. Wiggie gloated.
Sadie Says went dark.
Concealed Carry went down. I gloated.


Fraley went on about felons at school.
Dean told us that Ann Nischke wanted to downsize the County Board.
The President got some definition in his life.
Wendy posted a love story of sorts.
Tommy started waffling early this year. Bill told us about it.


Scooter got sentenced. Paul deconstructed the event.
Evansville made it into USA Today and the Observer was there. He had my opening remarks to the forum as well.
Scott Walker quit the race and left Mark Green alone. Belle covered the embargoed story.
There was a public hearing in Madison that wasn't public. Mark told us why.
Paul Bucher made another misstep on the road to private practice.


Of course, the world is a better place with one fewer tyrant on it. Does this show trial and fair-hanging make Iraq safer? Will it now be easier to win the hearts and minds of the Arab world? Do you feel safer this morning?

When is the reckoning for those who propped up Saddam when they needed him? Will he head straight to Hell or hold the boat for those who come behind?

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

The Horror

Josh points us to a troubling post. Be afraid.

Celine Dion covers AC-DC, You Shook Me All Night Long.

Monday, December 25, 2006


Merry Christmas from my family to yours.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Decorations and Diversions

There is a house on my way home that is decorated with a dozen 6-foot lollypops that are lit in the evening. It's a cute and original display in a city full of badly strung icicle lights.

I'm wondering, though. Is there money in growing lollypops? Can I get set-aside money if I file to not grow lollypops? If so, how many acres of lollypops should I not grow?

I'm already not growing 3 rows of soybeans for the new crushing plant. Can I not grow soybeans and lollypops together?

And, what about Jerusalem artichokes? Is anybody still not growing them or have they all changed over to not growing sugar beets?

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Amaze Your Friends

Pick any four names. Type them separated by commas. Find out which is least significant in the eyes of the Press.

Try this list.
Tommy Thompson, Rudy Giuliani, John McCain, Bill Frist

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

RIP, Joe Bash

Peter Boyle is dead at age 71.

I never knew until today that John Lennon was best man at his wedding.

Second Annual Light Show

Visit for the rest. I'm speechless.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Government By "Neener, Neener"

The "Hate Wisconsin First" crowd has been given the chair of the Assembly Colleges and Universities Committee.

Owen thinks it's peachy. Dave Diamond is appalled.

Steve Nass sticks out his tongue at the grown-ups in the room. It looks as if he's been picked to carry on the John Gard infantile style of governance.

Well, That Was Quick

From the AP
Turnover, NBA. The league will scrap its new microfiber composite ball and
bring back the old leather one beginning Jan. 1.
The NBA sent a memo to its teams Monday, telling them that the change would
be made for the remainder of the 2006-07 season. In the memo, NBA president Joel
Litvin said that Spalding had 450 new leather balls on hand for use.

So, it took about 4 months to see the need, analyze the consequences and make the change. Any idea why it took 6 years to get rid of Rumsfeld?

Monday, December 11, 2006

File Under: USEFUL

My Holiday Household Hint.

Use Soft Scrub to get that pesky pine sap off your hands.

List Of Weapons That Don't Exist, But Should

From Laser Guided Polar Bears to Deadly Assault Kittens, the Uncyclopedia has them all.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Quick Hits

It's probably not my least favorite sentence but it's right there on the list. "Be careful with that bag. Your eggs are on the bottom."

Do you suppose that there's any truth to the rumor that GWB is pushing for a moon base by 2024 as a way to replace Guantanamo?

The people of Louisiana have shown that Democrats can make choices every bit as poorly as Republicans can.

Is anybody else concerned that Brian Christianson, he of the small government Fulton Township takeover, he of the Koshkonong Lake District debacle is now the voice of the land swap deal? Should the County trade 367 acres for 465 acres without some sort of guarantees that the promises of the developers will come true? Are there just too many questions to be answered by Thursday's board meeting? I think so.

Apparently, He Needed Killin'

From St Louis Today.
St. Louis police say a woman shot her husband, who was about 70 years old, four
to five times in the chest after he tried giving her a warm can of Stag beer.
Perhaps she wanted a Bud.

Do You Like Venn Diagrams?

Do you want to see how the Universe works explained on index cards?

Check out Indexed, the newest addition to the blogroll.

Friday, December 08, 2006

It's A Carnival. Know What I Mean?

There are several new contribuors to the Carnival Of The Badger this week. When will you run off and join?

See Nick to find out how.

New Carols

You've got to admit that the world is ready for a new Christmas Carol. Bob Hope gave us Silver Bells in The Lemon Drop Kid and that may have been the last fully new "traditional" carol.

Cartoonist Joe Martin of Lake Geneva gives us his nomination for a new holiday song in this youtube animation.


Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Work Week Is A Quality Of Life Issue

Republicans are upset that the new House schedule for January doubles the amount of time they are expected to be in Washington.
"Keeping us up here eats away at families," said Rep. Jack Kingston (R-Ga.), who
typically flies home on Thursdays and returns to Washington on Tuesdays.
"Marriages suffer. The Democrats could care less about families -- that's what
this says."
How dare they ask for a four and a half day workweek?

To be fair, Rep. Elton Gallegly (R-Calif.), who had intended to retire this year, only to be persuaded to run again, wondered whether the new schedule was more than symbolic.
"If we're doing something truly productive, that's one thing," he said. "If it's
smoke-and-mirrors hoopla, that's another."
It's time to get something accomplished.

Monday, December 04, 2006

The Explanation We've Been Waiting For

Republican Senator John Sununu was speaking to a group of Economic development leaders in Concord, NH last week and had some words of advice for them.

"This may be the most bizarre recommendation, but I am sincere," Sununu
said. "I'm not saying it's not an issue or it's not important, but
proportionally speaking, stop complaining about health care."

Health care "is so darn expensive," he said, "because it's worth it."

Isn't it refreshing to see a Republican willing to tell business leaders to stop complaining and take care of the big picture?

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Perhaps now you understand why I haven't been beating a drum for Charter to add the NFL Channel.

Pete Rozelle has his wish. The entire league sucks. But they all suck at the same level.

Friday, December 01, 2006


It's been a while since we did any cleanup around the whole Happy Circumstance. A mess-o-candidate-sites fell off the blogroll after 11/7. Today a couple of defunct or nearly inactive sites went away.

I've not seen many sites that I'd like to add lately but Jay pointed out one that I think we'll all find useful. The WisOpinion Political Blog Search Engine is up and running. It allows you to search all of the blogs listed on the WO site, active or not.

Check it out. The Link is right over there.

The List Of Things That Ain't Right #181



The whole sick-leave accrual business is what you call a tempest in a teapot. Those who are spending the most time complaining about jobs with good benefits are the same folks who say that we should be working harder to attract jobs with good benefits.

Tearing people down doesn't build a strong workforce. It's time to start working to get benefits for all workers.

The Recess Supervisor calls it jealousy. I call it short-sightedness.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Lest There Be Any Doubt

Newt is running to the right and winds up in New Hampshire with a new slogan; "Iraq: "Victory or death."

It looks as if those who have been calling for a sharp right turn for the Republicans have their candidate. Gingrich will pull Romney and McCain to the right with him. The choices in 2008 look to be black and white rather than any shade of gray.

If These Two Crazy Kids Can't Make It

From the sanctity of traditional marriage file:

Pamela Anderson and Kid Rock each filed divorce papers Monday seeking to end their marriage of less than four months. Anderson's representative would not comment on the reason or any particulars of the divorce. Anderson and Rock, whose real name is Robert Ritchie, each cited "irreconcilable differences" in their divorce filings in Los Angeles County Superior Court.
We should have seen it coming. They haven't had a ceremony since August.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Welcome Back, Welcome Back, Welcome Back

Tryptophan and Christmas lights. One day with 550 miles in a little over 10 hours. One day when I barely dressed.

It was a very good weekend and welcome back to you all.

Back With The Carnival

The Happy Circumstance made a return appearance at the Carnival of the Badger this week. Check out the Wild Turkey Edition over at Wigderson's Library and Pub.

Then sign up to host the best of Badger blogging yourself. Nick will tell you how.

Long Ago And Far Away

Back in the distant past when my Starter Wife and I were just starting the process of demarriage (if you want to see how much the State of Wisconsin values marriage you need to see how much it costs to get out of one) I went to a well respected law firm on the West Side of Madison to try to obtain representation.

I spilled my broken heart on the desk of a senior partner. Ahem. What I mean, of course, is that I dispassionately explained my side of the story in hopes that he would assigned some third-junior sub-lawyer to my case and allow me to come through the process with my dignity, if not my 401k, intact.

He listened to the whys and wherefores and asked many pointed questions about the who did whats and then gently slid my heart off his desk, onto the floor, and stomped that sucker flat. He would not, he said, be able to have his firm represent me because they were already representing the not-quite-ex wife of my nowhere-near-ex wife's new best friend and roommate. That, he said might lead to a conflict of interest and ethical law firms did not engage in such actions.

Along the way things worked themselves out okay. I found another lawyer with a good sense of humor. He listened to my lawyer jokes without billing me for the time and bought me a beer at The Great Dane when everything was said and done. (Done, anyway. It seems as if everything is never said.)

That lawyer came to mind over the weekend with the story, somehow overlooked in an election cycle in which nothing was overlooked, that The New sheriff, I'm sorry, the new AG was in the employ of a law firm in which he was switching sides. Now that he had been chosen by the good people of Wisconsin to serve as their bastion of moral uprightness and All Things Good his first proclamation of his sense of duty was to pay back his buddies and act against the wishes and interests of the citizens of the state.

In his campaign JBvH said he wasn't a politician. He's proved it with this fiasco. Even giving him the benefit of the doubt and saying that there is no quid for the quo in this case you would think that a man who rode to victory on the shoulders of those who saw influence peddling under the corner of every carpet would, at least, have the sense to take the oath of office before starting to sell out those whose hopes he was stomping.

It's been a long weekend and I'm sure that once all the turkey is digested that those bloggers who rode Jim Doyle for the last three months will be going after the hypocrisy of van Hollen's recusal refusal. I'm sure that will happen soon.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

A Blast From The Past

One of my favorites among all the things I've written is this piece from last Thanksgiving Day.

The Giving Of Thanks

Give thanks in private, with family or friends.
Give thanks to those who deserve, to those who serve, to those who give of themselves.
Give thanks where it is due rather than where it is expected.
Give thanks more than one day a year.

This morning I was able to wake in a soft bed, eat a good meal and listen as the furnace started. I am thankful.

My daughter's family will pick me up to go to a meal fit for royalty. I am thankful.

My life is good. I am thankful and grateful and not bashful about giving thanks where it is due.

Find the people and things in your life that make it better and give thanks.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Quick Hits

Because time is tight right now.

Kathleen Falk should concede. There are not 8000 votes in play.

Michael Richards is an idiot. There is no excuse for his actions on stage Friday night.

To those who question Rangel's draft proposal..."Why do you hate America? Why won't you support our troops?"

Tommy, sit down. You're embarrassing us.

Nancy Pelosi is not mortally crippled by the Murtha vote. That's just wishful thinking.

Anyone who thinks the Republicans got moved to the sidelines because the party was not far enough to the right hasn't been listening to what they've been saying about Michael Moore.

The proposal to reinstate the draft will generate some good discussion and almost no votes. Bringing it back three years later is a purely political move by Rangel.

Nancy Pelosi needs to move Alcee Hastings, William Jefferson and John Moran to the back bench, and soon.

Don't forget your local charities over the next few weeks. They need your help as much as the better promoted nationals do.

CAmpaigns for the Spring elections start in earnest in 6 weeks. Enjoy!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Conspiracy Theory At Its Finest

Jessica McBride makes the airtight case for a serial killer at work. Among the irrefutable pieces of evidence linking the drowning deaths.
Last seen out drinking with friends or at a party
(and coincidentally...)
Were under the influence of alcohol
(proximity is key in her argument)
Lived in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana or Chicago the area surrounding
Lake Michigan
(That narrows it down to less than 10% of the land mass of America)
Became separated from the friends with whom they started the evening
(Um, Jess, that's a symptom of drowning, not a cause)
All disappeared between the hours of 10 PM and 4 AM
(Timing is everything. Very few college drunks show up at 9:15 in the morning)
All disappeared between the months of September and April
(Or when class isn't in session)
The closed cases were all determined to be accidental drowning or possible
(Because of...wait for it) Many of those found drowned were found in the Mississippi River, Red Cedar River or Lake Michigan ("And the reason we can tell it was murder?" you ask.)
Victim's body, if found, had no signs of strangulation - gunshot - stab or other
obvious sign of murder
(Using the powers of Bucher-reasoning, Jess determines a likely common factor)
Were reported missing by friends or family
(That clinches it for me, Jess. It must be the work of a criminal genius)
You wonder why I bother to make fun of this trash?

McBride sets herself up as a teacher of journalism at UW-M. If this is the heights of her critical thinking skills then her students and employer are being short-changed. Kevin Barrett's theories are no more or less wrong than this pap.

McBride has the bully pulpit of a show on WTMJ. There are people who believe this woman knows something about the topics upon which she speaks. If her other arguments are built on such a faulty foundation as this she shouldn't be able to draw a crowd while standing on a peach box downtown.

McBride and her family have some standing in the community. If this is an indication of the way in which her household builds arguments I'm scared for their children and the people they influence.

This sort of "the sky is falling" mindless causality-seeking has parallels in modern government and politics. It is the breeder of the mind-numbing dread that holds this country in its thrall. We need clear headed leaders of opinion, not conspiracy-fogged parrots telling us to be afraid of the things that make up the fabric of our lives.

This piece would be sad if not for the fact that there are people who read it and agreed that McBride deserved anything other than bully-ragging and derision for having written it. We are all just a little bit worse off for having read it.

Friday, November 17, 2006

Frank Is Pro-Partition

Of course he is, they've already got guns in their schoolhouses.

Two For Flinching

The sentence you don't want in the story of your botched kidnapping attempt?
The man had just stuck the gun back into his waistband when it fired, shooting
him in the left testicle.
Second place?
He cringed, causing the gun to fire again and strike him in the left calf.
The dispute was over stereo speakers.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Sometimes A Ballot Is Just A Ballot

Nathan uses Freud to deconstruct the election results.

He Prounounces It why-TEECH-ah

Daniel Wietecha from southern Minnesota has accepted the city's offer and will take over as administrator on Jan 1.

Gina Duwe has the story at the Gazette.

Pearls In The Snow

From The Review.

Evansville voters bucked the statewide trend last week on Election Day. Locally the Gay Marriage Ban went down 961-747 and voters chose against the death penalty by a slim margin, 859-840.

The complete totals show just how blue Evansville is. Democratic Party candidates carried the city by a general 10-6 margin with no Republican getting a majority within the city.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Name One Difference Between Jack Abramoff and Scott Jensen

Smilin' jack is behind bars today.

The Elephants In The Room

Josh asks for a little clarity.
Perhaps this is something of an existential question. But do we really have to
pretend that Rudy Giuliani has more than a snowball's chance in hell of getting
the Republican presidential nomination? Or can we all just stipulate that a
multiple adulterer, who supports gay civil rights and choice, has deep and
on-going ties to mobbed-up and now-disgraced Police boss Bernie Kerik, has a
largely unscrutinized (outside of New York) resume, and had the bright idea of
locating the NYC disaster center in the already-once-bombed World Trade Center
probably will have some rough sledding in Republican primaries?

The Scooby Doo Moment Has Arrived

In most every episode of Scooby Doo there is a moment when the bad guy, having been vanquished despite the efforts of Scoob and the gang, says something to the effect of, "I'd have gotten away with it if it wasn't for those pesky kids."

Yesterday we had the Scooby moment of Election '06 when Bob Dohnal sent out his post-mortem of the reasons for the GOP meltdown.

He starts out by saying that Mark Green was the perfect candidate and that:
I believe that Mark Green is one of the finest people we have ever had run for
office in this state. I have nothing but admiration for him and his career.
While many of those of us that have run campaigns can always find differences in
the way campaigns were run and things that could have been done differently I do
not see that anything that was done that could have been changed to win the
In the next paragraph he says that Scott Walker would have won if he'd run.

Dohnal blames Rick Wiley, the GOP grassroots organization, Dale Schultz and GWB for the spanking in the Senate without looking at the weakness of his own candidates. When your candidates spend 5 months cozying up to Bush, Cheney and Rove it seems disingenuous at best to claim that they dragged you under.

Dohnal whines that:
I believe that Don Taylor needs special mention for the job that he did in
Waukesha County. He stepped up to help Tom Reynolds in his narrow loss. The
failure of the party and the Senate leaders probably cost us that seat for
decades. Where was the state party? Who made these decisions? Losing all of
those legislative seats needs to be examined. Who was allocating the funds, why
isn't there any help for candidates. If you put all of your money in two rolls
of the dice, then lose them and then take it in the gut in the Legislature it
becomes obvious that we need a new direction and a discussion of the
Dohnal completely ignores the effect of the efforts made for and by Reynolds, including the "Captain Morgan" flyer.

To be fair to Dohnal, he grinds a few personal axes while repeating the meme of the right over the last week, he's not the only one to have missed the message of last Tuesday. Politics in America cycles around the center. The left got the 30's, 60's and a fair chunk of the 90's. The left kicked butt in the 50's, 80's and for the last 6 years. The parties have cut their messages so fine that it takes a swing of a few points in the middle to change the dynamic of power. We just saw one of those swings.

With a little luck, it's building momentum as it goes.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Monday, November 13, 2006

I'm Mad That I Didn't Think Of It

I think Dick Cheney uses the one that tastes like Teen Spirit.

If the Coast Guard uses the one that tastes like drawn butter on Lake Michigan...

It's Not Censorship If It's Not The Government Doing It

It might be a bad business practice, though.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

Linky Goodness In Place Of Actual Effort

Jay puts a smackdown in motion.

Nick wonders why anyone would be a member of a group that doesn't respect them.

Carrie does the math of ticket-splitting.

The Recess Supervisor shares his thoughts and asks for a little cake. Happy birthday, RS. The Circumstance is just 3 days behind you.

Seth takes a look at the upside.

Dan is shaking his head so you don't have to.

Watchdog shares two tales of Presidential ambition.

Fun While It Lasted

My thanks go to the Blue Devils football team and all of their supporters. It was another great season.

Now my household has nothing left but to cheer for the Flying Arrows next week.

nt hapn'n

nt n my clas.

Saturday, November 11, 2006

Friday, November 10, 2006

Not Even An Aggie Would Attempt This

From the AP
LONDON - A 22-year-old man suffered internal injuries after lighting a small
firecracker he had inserted into his buttocks, paramedics said Thursday. The
incident took place Sunday, when Britain celebrated Bonfire Night, traditionally
marked with fireworks to celebrate the Guy Fawkes' gunpowder plot to blow up
Parliament in the 17th century.
The Times newspaper reported the man is a soldier who recently returned from Iraq.

Goodbye, Bill

Thank you.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

48 Hours Later

I did election night right. I assigned the class a three hour essay exam and spent the entire class time (between proctoring walks, of course) scoping the results off the coast. By 9 o'clock the first returns from the 80th had me giddy enough to consider running straight through to Brooklyn for the party and totals. By the time I got as far as the Pig it was close enough that I figured they didn't need me hanging around.

Here we are 48 hours out. The winners have been annointed with fragrant oils and spices (Did you see JBvH's hair? Fragrant oils. I'm tellin' ya.) The long knives have taken care of the wounded. (Anyone seen Mark Graul since 11 pm Tuesday?) Now it's time to take a quick look at some of the winners and losers from Tuesday night.


Unless he starts running amock in the halls of the DoJ he has to be the presumptive favorite in 2010 for a seat at the big table.

God, how I hate to say this but Fraley kept vH from stepping on his pecker for 8 weeks. After the primary there were no glaring Batman moments, no terrorists training at the Country Inn and Suites in Hayward. If he didn't spend Wednesday afternoon soaked in champagne, no one did.

Barbara Lawton
See notes for JB

Nancy Pelosi
She now has Rummy's distended manhood in a trophy case in her new office. May the Deity grant her the wisdom to never use the word "mandate."

Julainne Appling
I'm betting she will use the word "mandate" before Pelosi. Any takers?

Janis Ringhand
A 1% loss against an incumbent is a strong showing by any measure. She's earned another shot if she wants it.

Kim Hixson
This one ain't over yet. No matter the outcome he's done a great job in a tough race. See notes for Ringhand.


Kathleen Falk
14:58 and counting. Two statewide races. Two losses. That isn't building name recognition. It's getting branded.

Right-sided bloggers
Not all of them and not always but I'm sure a lot of them feel gut punched right now. My advice is to hold tight. Everything is infinitely flexible. Special condolences to Peter who saw it coming and could do nothing to stop it and to TC who is taking it harder than he should be.

Mark Green and John Gard
Each ran a pathetic campaign against a beatable opponent. Start calling them Butterball Popups. They're done.

Bryan Kennedy
Time to form a support group with Jeff Thomas and Dave Magnum. It's not going to happen, kids.

I just like to say it. Not only did they call it wrong but they're not figuring out why. It's fun to watch them writhe.

The Challenges

The Easy Part Is Over
It's time to govern, not to take revenge. That goes for both sides of the aisle.

Credit Where Credit Is Due

Janis Ringhand and the voters of the 80th AD delivered a sharp message to Brett Davis on Tuesday. My thanks go out to her for the strong, clean campaign she ran. The final tally is 249 between the two.

I can only hope that Brett's attention turns back to the families of his district and away from the misguided leadersip in the Assembly. With a little luck, the sea-change in the Senate will serve to mitigate some of the foolishness that presents itself to the lower house.

All The Power Of The Internets Brought To Bear

Since the election is over it's time to get back to doing what bloggers do best; fart jokes.

Here's the headline from CharcoCaps Homeopathic AntiGas Formula:

Tackle Tailgate Flatulence Before the Next Game

No Pass is a Good Pass, When it Comes to 'Passing Intestinal Gas'
Most pre-game celebration fare -- hamburgers, baked beans and alcohol -- have a
tendency to trigger intestinal gas. Dr. Patricia Raymond, M.D.,
gastroenterologist and assistant professor at Eastern Virginia Medical
School, says "we all experience flatulence. Yet, we can get it under control
if we slightly change our diets -- even at a tailgate party."

Read her tips here.

Out On A Limb (Revisited)

RDW is having a prognosti-contest. Here's what I posted.

Okay, Fred, here we go

Lehman +3 (Lehman won by 7)
Doyle +6 (Doyle by 7, not so far off)
Falk +9 (Um, mumble mumble JBvH by a smidgen 4/10ths)
Sensenbrenner +13 (Dammit) (Flyin' Jim by 26. I meant 13 per chin)
Ryan +19 (Double-dog dammit) (Ryan by 25 double, double dog)
Lieberman +6 over Lamont +31 over Schlesinger (+10 over Lamont, +40 over Sclessinger)
Senate D+1 (Looking good right now)
House D+4 (I must have dropped a digit. It's 43 right now with 10 to count>)

Just for giggles:
Robson +9 over Addie (Robson +23)
Towns +11 over Hixson (Right now the edge is six votes. I'm way off but hopeful.)
Brown +7 over Vinehout (I've never been so happy to be wrong, wrong, wrong)
Kreitlow +3 over Zien (Call it +2 and color me giddy)
Sullivan +6 over Reynolds (700 votes, like a schoolgirl, giddy)
Baldwin +22 over Magnum (It was 25. Not bad again)
Kohl +26 over Lorge (Um +38)
Kagen +3 over Gard (+2.4 now Johnny Boy can move his kids back to where their friends live)

Cardin +4 over Robinson (NC- Owen took on Jay instead)
Nichols +3 over McBride
Soglin +2 over Sykes (Soglin had Borat. Sykes had kittens. Advantage Soglin)

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

DY Puts It In Perspective

From Dennis York
Think about the 85% of Wisconsin citizens who can't name a single one of their
elected representatives, and how happy they generally are. To these people, it
makes absolutely no difference who inhabits state government - as long as their
trailer is still there when they get back from the liquor store, they live
content lives.

Get Yourself Out Early

The lovely Mrs. Circumstance and I voted at 7:10 and were numbers 47 and 48. I'm glad we didn't wait until after supper.

There Will Be No More Ads Tomorrow

How will local TV survive for the next year and a half?

Get out and VOTE!

Monday, November 06, 2006

He Has Seen The Future

Every vote makes a difference. Don't stay home on Tuesday.

And Then There Were Five

Gina Duwe has the scoop on the candidates for Evansville City Administrator.

-- Daniel Weitecha, Nicollet, Minn.
Education: Bachelor's degree in American studies, University of Notre Dame, 1993; master's degree in planning, University of Minnesota, 2006

Experience: City administrator, Nicollet County, Minn., Tri-City Joint Powers Board (administrator of the cities of Courtland, Lafayette and Nicollet), 1999-present; intern, Plymouth, Minn., Housing and Development Authority, 1997-99
-- John Hausmann, Burr Ridge, Ill.
Education: Bachelor's degree in economics, Union College, 1966; master's degree in business administration, University of Virginia, 1970

Experience: President/owner, Hausmann Enterprises, 1983-present; vice president, Continental Bank, Chicago, 1976-83; village president, LaGrange, Ill., 1981-89; village trustee, LaGrange, Ill., 1979-81
-- Stephen Compton, Richland Center
Education: Master's degree in human resources management, University of Redlands, 1986; bachelor's degree, University of Redlands, 1984

Experience: City administrator, Richland Center, 2005-present; village administrator, Sturtevant, 2003-05; finance director, Omnitrans, San Bernardino, Calif., 2002-03; assistant city manager, Indio, Calif., 1999-2002; support services director, Ridgecrest, Calif., 1994-99; police officer and supervisor, Ridgecrest, Calif., 1979-94
-- Anthony Carson, Jr., Courtland, Ohio
Education: Master's degree in public administration, Valdosta State University, 2006; bachelor's degree, Kent State University, 1982

Experience: County administrator, Trumbull County, Ohio, 2004-06; purchasing director, Trumbull County, Ohio, 2001-04; deputy auditor/appraiser, Trumbull County, Ohio, 1998-01
-- William Bowers, Rock Island, Ill.
Education: Carthage College, San Diego State University and UW-Milwaukee.

Experience: City clerk/finance officer, Buffalo, Iowa, 2006-present; director of coding and support, Fidler Election Company, Rock Island, 1999-2005; city clerk/MIS manager, New Berlin, 1987-99; deputy city clerk, New Berlin, 1985-87; bookkeeper, New Berlin, 1981-85

Mayor Decker says we should have an offer outstanding by next Tuesday's Council meeting.

Wendy Wonders

Wendy speculates on what was going on in the Green RV when it got to the Washington County Republican's Soiree on Sunday.

One possibilty?

Faint Praise, or...?

Jess McBride gives a tepid endorsement of JBvH in her blog today.
My endorsement of Van Hollen is not with great enthusiasm. I know too much about
his record, and I saw him up too close during the primary. He waged a campaign
of character assassination and outright distortion behind the scenes, and that's
not something I can respect, nor was it even necessary. There are many examples
of this, but there's no point in revisiting them all now.
At the same time, I'm having trouble feeling empathy. Maybe that's because his
campaign sent out a mass e-mail during the primary that falsely accused my
husband of releasing a sex offender on a signature bond, when my husband's
office had opposed it. You see my problem. I'm also troubled by Van Hollen's
inability to articulate a single major accomplishment in office (the mall rapist
was largely Blanchard's case), and I think he was a satisfactory U.S. Attorney
at best, although he has the misfortune of being compared to the prosecutorial
rock star, Steve Biskupic, appointed at the same time. Anyone would probably
fall short. Finally, I remain troubled by his last minute primary money influx,
obtained from an extension on a second mortgage on a home that didn't have that
much equity in it a short time ago. I also don't like his position on
first-offense drunk driving. Think what you want about these comments. I am not
going to water down my honest opinions to keep everyone happy.

The interesting part, to me at least is that she makes a charge that I'd not seen before. In all of the folderol about whether JBvH did or didn't review a sex offender's bail and choose not to revoke it or set it higher or whatever I hadn't seen a word about it being van Hollen's wife, acting as defense attorney, who was responsible for the offender being out on the street in the first place.

Is it possible that this is correct and that it hasn't come up in all the conversation about what did or didn't happen in this case? Is Mrs Bucher wrong about her facts? Did the GWC pull its punch in an effort to temper its message?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Just Win, Baby

Derek Cashore scores 3 times in the Blue Devil's 24-6 win over Platteville. Mayville is next up and the last hurdle before State.

Not Smothered And Covered

It always seems to be a Waffle House, doesn't it?

From A/P

NASHVILLE, Tenn. - No shirt, no service? What about no clothes at all?

A couple that began squabbling in a motel room Friday morning carried their dispute over to an adjacent Waffle House restaurant in the nude, police said.

The woman, who was not identified, told officers she was staying in a room with Larry Boyd when he took a hit of cocaine, started trashing their room and choked her.

She ran in the buff to the nearby restaurant and locked herself in the bathroom. Boyd, also naked, followed her into the restaurant and then fled in a car.He was arrested — still naked — after a short chase by police and was charged with driving under the influence and felony evading arrest, among other charges.

The capper of the story?
It was not immediately clear whether he had an attorney.

Saturday, November 04, 2006


How do you suppose John Gard feels knowing he's not even the best-qualified candidate at his breakfast table?

From Jawjacking To Jaw Dropping

Dave Magnum crashed Tammy Baldwin's presser in Verona this week to try to attach himself to Herb Kohl's coattails. Channel 27 has the video if you click the "video story" link.

h/t to DY, who always gets the good comments.



Jim Doyle has mitigated the effects of the Thompson/McCallum deficits, held the line on school spending and taxes and minimized the damage of a John Gard-led Assembly. He's offended those who would turn back the clock on labor and consumer laws and, for that, has had to suffer one ad hominem attack after another. Time after time his actions have been shown to be above board.

He is not without faults. His lack of charisma means that he is not an energizing figure. It has been said that he refuses to compromise. So be it.

Congressman Green has voted time after time for huge deficits in Washington. Congressman Green has voted to choke the life out of the Constitution in the name of a spurious security. Congressman Green has been consistently on the wrong side of health issues for women and seniors. It's time for Wisconsin to give him a little private time.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Who Is In Favor Of Cutting And Running?

Kroll Security says Afghanistan and Iraq are too dangerous for its bodyguard teams. They're pulling out.

Bechtel says it's lost enough money in Iraq. Too much is going for things other than rebuilding efforts.

Bechtel's first reconstruction contract, awarded shortly after Saddam Hussein's overthrow in April 2003, assured the company that it would have a safe environment for its workers.
But, by the end, dozens of Bechtel's employees and subcontractors had been
killed, some of them kidnapped, others marched out of their office and shot.
Forty-nine others were wounded.

"That's really an under-told story -- we've stopped the reconstruction,"
said Frederick Barton, co-director of the Post-Conflict Reconstruction Project
at the Center for Strategic & International Studies think tank. "There are
some things we're still finishing up, but we're wrapping up, and we're stepping
It's really a tragedy."

Now the Inspector General for Iraq Reconstruction is leaving Iraq, too. Why? (from the NYT)

Investigations led by a Republican lawyer named Stuart W. Bowen Jr. in Iraq
have sent American occupation officials to jail on bribery and conspiracy
charges, exposed disastrously poor construction work by well-connected companies
like Halliburton and Parsons, and discovered that the military did not properly
track hundreds of thousands of weapons it shipped to Iraqi security forces.

And tucked away in a huge military authorization bill that President Bush
signed two weeks ago is what some of Mr. Bowen’s supporters believe is his
reward for repeatedly embarrassing the administration: a pink slip.

Dick Cheney says that the stakes are high in the election Tuesday. Show him you understand. Send a Republican home, too.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006



JBvH has a single note to his campaign and it's a false one. Once he's learned the difference between running for DA and running for AG he might consider running again. Anyone who believes that abortion is equivalent to homicide doesn't deserve a public office in Wisconsin. Anyone who promises to not enforce environmental law should be made to move out.

Falk has a track record of service for all of the people of this state and will continue that service as Attorney General.

Who Is In Charge In Iraq?

Andrew Sullivan says it's pretty clear that it ain't the US.

While the media is obsessed parsing the ad libs of someone on no ballot this
fall, something truly ominous has just happened in Iraq. The commander-in-chief has abandoned an American soldier to the tender mercies of a Shiite militia.

Yes, there are nuances here, and the NYT fleshes out the
today. But the essential fact is clear. In a showdown for control of
Baghdad, the Iraqi prime minister took orders from Moqtada al-Sadr, and
instructed the U.S. military to withdraw from Sadr City. The American forces
were trying both to stabilize the city but also to find a missing American
serviceman. He is still missing



To steal a phrase from Jody, "My Assemblyman doesn't suck." The bad news is that he consistently votes with the ones who do. Every vote for Brett Davis has the effect of being an echo vote for Gabe Loeffelholz and the clueless mass in the lower house. Carrie shows us how Davis has voted against the interests of the 80th District.
If Davis had moderated his voting more than he had, he could have locked up this
seat for the Republicans again with an entrenched Republican like they did with
former Rep. Powers. But Davis voted for concealed carry, voted to criminalize
some of the techniques used by stem-cell researchers, voted to put the
constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage and civil unions on the ballot, and
voted against requiring hospitals to carry emergency contraception for victims
of rape or incest. And those are just the appetizers. A side note on his
concealed carry vote - Davis did vote for an amendment to prohibit the weapons
from being carried into banks, but voted against amendments that would have
prohibited them in places where kids go like Chuck E. Cheese. So the banks
deserve to be protected from guns, but kids don't.
Janis Ringhand will be a voice for the people of the 80th against the dunderheads in the Assembly. She has government experience but isn't beholden to Madison.

Janis Ringhand deserves your vote.

Once More, GW Attacks The Wrong Target

President Rain Man thinks that John Kerry is the issue, showing the same lack of focus that led us into Iraq instead of closing the deal in Afghanistan.

When will the administration apologize to the troops?

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sorry, Charlie

Sometime the facts have a bias of their own.


Our company is promoting our low-environmental-footprint packaging system this year at PackExpo in Chicago. So, I spent all day Sunday wandering around McCormick Place with a Go-Green shirt on.

Much dissonance ensued.



Bob Spoden has the experience and the rapport to lead the Rock County Sheriff's Department. He is both lawman and administrator while Scott Wasemiller lacks the experience to lead the cost-sink that the department has become into the future. Spoden is open to ways to save the county from its own bad instincts where the jail is concerned.

Wasemiller may be willing to discuss alternatives to the $60 million jail expansion but has no experience in leading such a project.

Prediction? Gary Keller siphons off enough of the "lock-em-up or shoot them" crowd to let Spoden cruise on Tuesday.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Against both.

Wisconsin has thrived without being in the retribution business for a century and a half. There are no compelling reasons to make us more like Texas at this point.

My take on the Discrimination Amendment is simple. When we've invested enough energy to wipe out the problems caused by animosity and fear and hate, then we can start looking for ways to regulate who-loves-whom. Until then we have bigger fish to fry. Let's stop wasting our time and energy on this red herring.

Wisconsin is a better place than these two refernda could ever make us.

Sorry For The Slack Time

I was laughing so hard when I heard Tommy T blame someone besides himself for high taxes that I couldn't blog.

We've just about cleaned up the mess that the wannabe Prez made, and here he is bloviating about someone else being to blame. Who does he think he is? GWB?

Okay, Wait A Minute

We're supposed to reject Embryonic Stem Cell research because "a cure from its technology is not imminent" but we've been pissing good money down the Star Wars Missile Defense rathole since before Reagan could have benefitted from ESCR.

Does that single argument make sense to anyone?

Any Questions?

Beatles tribute correctly done.

Beatlse tribute poorly done.

An Ugly Win Is Still A Win




Jenifer Keach stood up and took the reins of the Coroner's department when the other two candidates were engaging in finger pointing and blame throwing. Keach is the single candidate not involved in enabling the behavior of the prior Coroner and has performed admirably in the office.

She deserves a full term in the office.

Updated to address comments: Haverly did blow the whistle after standing by, in her estimation, 25 times. Apparently, the first 24 didn't register with her as being wrong.

Coroner isn't about party-lines. We'd probably be better off with a paid Medical Examiner on a contract basis. Until then, Keach was there for Rock County when there wasn't much reason for her to do so. She doesn't deserve your vilification.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bang postponed. Not Big enough. Reboot.

The headline is a six-word story by David Brin. Wired magazine asked dozens of authors to write their own very short stories. You can read the rest here.

The collection includes Hemingway's self-professed "greatest work," For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Perspective, I Suppose

The poster in the doctor's office asked, "Are you suffering from post-partum depression?"

I thought, "Hell yes. My daughter will be 30 next year. That's enough to depress anybody."

How Do You Get Your Money's Worth?

Lisa has some good points about the campaign for State Executioner should the Death Penalty Amendment bear its tainted fruit.

I just wonder how many executions per year we'd have to hold to make the Executioner's job cost effective in the minds of the corporate types over at WMC. You'd hate to form a whole new bureaucracy only to use them two or three times a year.

Maybe Mark Green has a plan to make this a part of the DNR restructuring he keeps bringing up.

It Looks As If Bill Connors Has His Work Cut Out For Him

Former City Administrator Bill Connors left us to become the Director of Continuing Legal Education for the State Bar of Wisconsin.

In a moderately related story Michael Horne, writing at Milwaukee World, says that some of Wisconsin's largest companies could benefit from Bill's tutelage.

It would be any CEO’s nightmare: Your General Counsel, entrusted with the
in-house legal department of your firm, tells you that you never really had a
legal attorney-client privilege agreement, and every negotiation you’ve
undertaken must therefore be revealed to your adversaries, who could hold you in
contempt. Your attorney could face sanctions for engaging in the unauthorized
practice of law, and disqualification all because he or she, for whatever
reason, never got a Wisconsin license despite working for years from a Wisconsin
office. A far fetched scenario? Hardly, according to a

Among Wisconsin firms where the general counsel does not
appear to have Wisconsin licensure: such giants as Oshkosh Truck Corp., Briggs
& Stratton Corp., Sensient Technologies, Corp., and Robert W. Baird &
Co., Inc.

Check out the rest of the story here.

Well, At Least He Didn't Say We Should Burn Them All

Bill Crozier wants to be State Superintendent of Education in Oklahoma. He's the best person the Republicans could recruit to run in their stead in the entire state.

Crzier's money quote?
"We need to look at protection of young people that sometimes people may think
you are a little smarter than everybody else or a higher IQ or whatever."
How does he propose to do that? By putting textbooks under the desks to use as shields. He sent video to a local TV station showing a test of the concept. If you get just the right book and just the right gun at just the right range you might not get shot.

Wouldn't our time and money be better spent keeping guns out of the hands of people who would use them in a school and making sure they can't get into a school with them?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Where Is The Recess Supervisor When We Need Him?

GWB has made another recess appointment because the mean, old Republican dominated Congress wouldn't approve his nominee. This time it's Richard Stickler as the head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

You remember mine safety? That's an issue that the adminsistration gave lip service to after Sago and now another in Preston County, WV. The House was concerned that Stickler was too cozy with the industry and has a record that show that mines he's been responsible for have an accident rate double the national average.

Do you feel safer now?

Just Wondering

There are reports of tension between The Current Resident and his father.

How much different would 41's reaction be to the events of the last 6 years if we didn't have the father-son dynamic?

There has been a ton of speculation about 43's actions and how much they have been pushed into a direction to "take care of" perceived mistakes by the earlier Bush Presidency. There has been little written about the way the elder would be speaking out if his progeny were not in the big chair.

Just wondering.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

"Bush: Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over."

The headline is from the Onion but it ain't far off base.

Majority Whip Roy Blunt has a post on his website that claims that if Dems win control of Congress they'll establish a "Department Of Peace."

Remember when peace was something this country supported? Remember the Paris Peace Talks? Remember "Peace In Our Time"?

Again, from the Onion:
President-elect Bush vows that "together, we can put the triumphs of the recent
past behind us."
That the Onion saw it coming in January of 2001 is an even poorer reflection on the rest of us.

In The Hands Of Gravity

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfield have been driving the country for six years (abetted by the likes of Mark Green) and a reader at TPM has an observation.

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld were in the front seat.They drove the Iraq car off a
cliff.Then they turned to the Dems in the back seat.

And said the Dems couldn’t complain unless they could come up with a plan of their own.The tragedy is that there is no rational hope for a plan (any plan) that will work well. When you’ve driven the car off the cliff, your range of options is quite limited.

We’re in the hands of gravity at this point.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Brackets? We Got Brackets

Click here for the WIAA Division 4 Football Bracket. it looks like the Blue devils could see Brodhead-Juda in the second round and Bigfoot in the third.

Click here and the follow the Tournament information link for all the brackets and rosters.

Mencken And Russell

Dick Russell discusses Family Values.
“You have a choice. You can be nice to other people or you can be mean. Don’t be

Character Counts

President Bush has declared this as "National Character Counts Week." He celebrated character by appearing with Rep Don Sherwood (R-PA.) in a campaign stop.

Sherwood showed his own character by reaching a financial settlement with his mistress to end their long-time affair. He denies that he ever choked her. That's probably why Bush was able to appear with Sherwood. The whole "no-choking thing," I mean.

AQ Mathias has more character examples.

Upgrading The Candidate

It's time to move Tom Reynolds up a grade to Fully-Baked Clown.

He's done.

...And Having Writ Moves On

Okay, we can work through this together.

The Marine Corps is cracking down on tattoos and discharging those who violate the policy while this book is getting momentum.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Trouble With Quibbles

Congressman Green is having some struggles with distance. He's, apparently, too close to President Bush for his own follower's liking. The MJS says he voted with the President's agenda 92% of the time and the Congressman's suporters are in high dudgeon.

"Harumph!" They sputter. "He did not vote with the President 92% of the time. That would be insane. Congressman Green is his own, independent man. He only agreed with the President and House leadership (of which he is a part) 90% of the time. How dare you accuse him of being a lick-spittle, rubber-stamp lap-dog."

Here's the sad truth. In a day when parties build their majorities on razor-thin pluralities, the members of those parties have to vote party-line to accomplish their agenda. Congressman Green had to follow the fold in Washington to keep his access to those K-Street dollars he's fighting so hard to use against the Governor.

It works the same way in Madison. Every time you vote for one member of a party you are voting for all members of that party's ability to bring legislation to the floor. If you vote for Debi Towns because you like what she's done for Edgerton you are casting a party-line ballot which gives added weight to the per diem wastrels, Zien and Gard. If you vote for Brett Davis you are casting a vote that will support bringing guns onto playgrounds and all manner of silly social-engineering policy. The silly ideas of Frank Lassee get no traction if the Republicans are the minority party. He can't embarrass the whole state from the back bench.

Over the last two decades it's become clear that if you sleep with someone you are sleeping with everyone that person slept with. It works the same way in Madison. If you vote for someone you are voting with everyone that person ever voted with. The moderate votes in the party in power are traded away to amplify the most extreme. In the same way that Mark Green's votes are used to support the policies of GWB and Denny Hastert, the votes of Brett Davis and Debi Towns are used to support Tom Reynolds and Scott Suder.

It's time for a change. Vote for it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Really Big Shew

The British Are Coming! The British Are Coming!

Update: Tickets are still available at the Pharmacy, Real Coffee, The Pig and The Night Owl in Evansville.

Drawing at intermission for framed or matted Beatles cover prints.

Doors open at 6:45.

That’s right. It’s the British Invasion all over again as American English takes over the stage at The Performing Arts Center at the Evansville High School. E-Arts is proud to bring the band called, “Simply the best Beatle tribute story of our time,” to town for one performance on Saturday October 21 at 7:30 PM.

American English has shared the stage with musical headliners such as The Grassroots, The Neville Brothers, Three Dog Night, The Ides of March, Eric Burdon, The Buckinghams, The Doobie Bros., Badfinger, and now they are coming to Evansville.

At the inception of the band, they were voted “number one” by thousands of Beatle fans as winners of sound alike contests at Beatlefest® for three consecutive years. Demand in the US and abroad, coupled with their spectacular fan base, anchored them into a professional setting, and launched them into larger venues and theatres worldwide.

With the band's increasing success, American English hit the international scene in 1999 making their debut in Tokyo. The frenzied crowds in Tokyo reacted as though they were seeing the real Beatles!

In Nov. of 2000, American English awakened a major significant figure in The Beatle world. Sam Leach (the original Beatles promoter from Liverpool) was in town for a book signing for his story “Birth Of The Beatles”. After seeing American English, he called the band “The Beatles incarnate!” and is now back promoting and managing American English. Under the wings of Sam Leach American English traced the historic footsteps of The Beatles, and performed on the hallowed ground of several original Beatles venues including The Cavern Club in Liverpool.

In December of 2001, the band headlined the George Harrison tribute at the House of Blues in Chicago, where they were joined by several legendary Beatles/Wings related artists. This tribute was the first of its kind and the event made news headlines around the world. The band was honored to perform with the original Beatles drummer Pete Best!

Their crowning moment came in 2002, as they headlined International Beatle Week in Liverpool in front of a screaming crowd of 50,000 plus! To top it all off, American English recorded a concept album at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London. The fantasy album “What If”, features songs that might have ended up on the next Beatles record, had they stayed together in 1971.

The show begins with the early years of Ed Sullivan and includes classic Beatle favorites such as She Loves You, Twist and Shout, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, and many others. American English captures the very essence of John, Paul, George and Ringo!

Next, you’ll take a trip with American English as they recreate the psychedelic era of The Beatles. Every musical and visual detail is magically shaped in a colorful journey back in time. You’ll witness incredible versions of selections from Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour. All the songs are performed completely live without any tapes or backing tracks.

And in the end, you’ll be transformed to a spectacular musical excursion of the final years of The Beatles partnership. Relive the years of The White Album, Let It Be, and Abbey Road. Moving renditions of songs such as Hey Jude, Something, and Let It Be, are sure to complete the tribute to The Beatles!

The fantasy lives on with these remarkable musicians who take the music to the highest level possible. American English is the closest you will ever get to reliving The Beatles. Whether you grew up with the Fab Four or not, this show will be your window to the past. Witness “The Complete Beatles Tribute” with American English!

Tickets are $16 in advance and, if available, $20 on the day of the show. Advance tickets may be purchased at Real Coffee al Gusto, The Evansville Pharmacy or Kopecky’s Piggly Wiggly or contact Peter Diedrich at (608) 882.3570.

All We Need Is Some Elephants And A Calliope

The parade of administration officials pleading guilty stretches out in gay enfillade.

Former FDA chief Lester Crawford will plead guilty for failing to disclose a
financial interest in companies his agency regulated, his lawyer said Monday.

The CEO Administration lives down to its title once more.

Waiting To Get Blown Up

"Think of what you hate most about your job. Then think of doing what you hate
most for five straight hours, every single day, sometimes twice a day, in
120-degree heat," he said. "Then ask how morale is."

-Army Staff Sgt. Jose Sixtos on convoy duty in Baghdad

Monday, October 16, 2006

So, Um...What's Scooter Doin'?

Next-door-neighbor, George, has to go to jail while his appeal is being heard. Why is Scott Jensen out walking around?

Nietzsche...Billy, Billy...Nietzsche

Take one random Family Circus cartoon. Add one random Nietzsche quote. Hilarity ensues.

The Shift Is On

A editor in Overland Park, KS explains why his paper will be endorsing Dems this year for, almost, the first time.

But I could not help but put in perspective a more global phenomenon that has led us to re-evaluate our traditional support for Republicans. [snip]

But the shift, frankly, shocks me, because I have pulled the lever over and over since my first vote in 1968 for Republicans. If I was a closet Democrat, I must have hidden it well, especially from myself, since I always beat up on Democrats in my columns. I have called them leftists, socialists, and every other name in the book, because I thought they were flat-out wrong.

And, for the most part, I still do. I am opposed to big government. I have little use for unions. I never liked the welfare plans. I am opposed to weak-kneed defense policies. I have always been for fiscal prudence. I think back to the policies of most Democrats, and I cringe. [snip]

You almost cannot be a victorious traditional Republican candidate with mainstream values in Johnson County or in Kansas anymore, because these candidates never get on the ballot in the general election. They lose in low turnout primaries, where the far right shows up to vote in disproportionate numbers.
To win a Republican primary, the candidate must move to the right.
What does to-the-right mean?
It means anti-public education, though claiming to support it.
It means weak support of our universities, while praising them.
It means anti-stem cell research.
It means ridiculing global warming.
It means gay bashing. Not so much gay marriage, but just bashing gays.
It means immigrant bashing. I'm talking about the viciousness.
It means putting religion in public schools. Not just prayer.
It means mocking evolution and claiming it is not science.
It means denigrating even abstinence-based sex education.
Note, I did not say it means "anti-abortion," because I do not find that position repugnant, at all. I respect that position.
But everything else adds up to priorities that have nothing to do with the Republican Party I once knew.
That's why, in the absence of so-called traditional Republican candidates, the choice comes down to right-wing Republicans or conservative Democrats.
And now you know why we have been forced to move left.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Boehner Says...

Republicans were too clueless to be held accountable.

He says that the Republican leadership in the House (including Assistant Whip, Mark Green) didn't have a clue despite being told. It's all someone else's fault.

Whiter Than Sour Cream

Aaron has a video that strikes a little too close to home.

"No Kiddin'" Headline of the Week

From Reuter's

Suicide attacks change life in Afghan capital

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Phone Isn't A Toy

Don't extrapolate. Don't infer. Mark Green probably didn't train this volunteer personally.

Just enjoy the frustration if you've ever done cold calling from a phone bank. I owe a h/t to an anonymous commenter but the credit goes to benandjenelle.

Wrong On So Many Levels

Delay was wrong. Schelske was wronger. The Family Values crowd rides again.

National Republicans Can't Think Of Anything Good To Say About Their Candidates

So they lead the exact opposite of a "clean campaign."

Mixed Emotions With The Raspberry Vinegarette, Please

There's an odd dissonance in these two stories yet, in the end, they are related somehow.

Go read them and hurry back.

SEAL falls on grenade to save comrades

Texas school tells classes to fight back

My reactions are manifold. I am awed by the sacrifice by the young SEAL who was doing the thing he was trained to do. He sacrificed himself to save the unit. I am also apalled that our best and brightest are being pissed away in Iraq. I wonder if training 14 year-olds to make the same decisions under fire is a good thing.

I understand the pioneering spirit that built this country. I also understand that the same spirit caused a lot of heartache for those who stood in the way. One of the first things a town wishing to be "civilized" did was to hire a lawman. The second was to start churches and schools. These were the civilizing institutions which separated us from the "savages" and the lawless. Now there are those among us anxiously backsliding to the late 19th Century.

I'm not offering glib solutions here or pointing fingers. This post is just to share my mixed emotions; admiration, disgust, despair, hope. I just wonder what crooked path we are being led down and when we, as a civilized society, will decide together that it's time to find another way.


Friday, October 13, 2006

A Question For Paul Ryan

If one of you from the eastern edge of my readership should happen to find yourself in the same room as Paul Ryan (It could happen. I went to a Lorge meet and greet.) would you ask him a question for me? Just get him on the record, please by asking,

"If the Republicans retain the majority in the House next month will
you vote for Denny Hastert for Speaker?"

I'd just like to hear what he has to say about leadership. It'd be fun to get Flyin'Jim on record as well but I think that's a little less likely.

Louis Shares His Reasons

Rock Netroots shares the reasons that Jenifer Keach deserves your vote for coroner.

What Do The Authors Say?

We can banter and bicker about what the second sentence of the Anti-Marriage Amendment means, but what does it mean to those who wrote the accursed thing?

“By putting 'substantially similar,' we're asking the court to step in.”
- Scott Fitzgerald in an interview on WIBA, March 17, 2004, when
asked if the second sentence would impact domestic partner benefits

“If there are lawsuits filed in regard to it, the lawsuits are going to
come down the way I'm stating they're going to come down and that's just the way the legislation's been structured and that's clear in the legislative intent as well as in the language.”

- MarkGundrum guaranteeing he knows how courts will rule on the second
sentence. Madison WISC-TV, Channel 3, Feb. 20, 2006

Sounds like pandering to activist judges and limiting the rights of all citizens to me. Wisconsin doesn't need this amendment to be strong. Vote "No."

North Korea Timeline- Who Let What Happen? When?

From Think Progress

Mid-1980s: First signs of North Korea nuclear program detected by US intelligence. [Link]
1986: North Korea produces plutonium in reactor. [Link]

1991: US begins talks with North Korea to end to nuclear program. [Link]
1992: North Korea has separated an estimated 0-10kg of weapons-grade plutonium, enough for 1 to 2 bombs.

1993: North Korea announces it will leave nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; US prepares to attack nuclear sites. [Link, Link]
1994: Clinton Administration reaches Agreed Framework, North Korea freezes nuclear production for the next eight years. [Link]
August 1998: North Korea tests medium-range “Taep’o-dong-1″ missile. [Link]
December 1998: North Korea warns they will test another missile, but pressure from US dissuades them. [Link]
September 1999: Pyongyang agrees to long-range missile moratorium. [Link]
October 2000: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is highest ranking US official to ever meet with Kim Jong Il.

March 6, 2001: Secretary of State Colin Powell says the administration will “pick up where President Clinton left off.” [Link]
March 7, 2001: President Bush undercuts Powell, declares negotiations will take on a different tone. [Link]
January 2002: Bush labels North Korea a member of the “Axis of Evil.” [Link]
March 2003: United States invades Iraq. [Link]
April 2003: North Korea withdraws from the Non-Proliferation Treaty; soon thereafter, they restart their reactor. [Link]
April 2005: North Korea appears to unload nuclear reactor with up to another 15 kg of weapons-grade plutonium. [Link]
September 19, 2005: In six-party talks North Korea agrees to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for incentives package. [Link]
September 19, 2005: US labels bank that provides financial support for North Korean Government Agencies as “money laundering concern.” Bank freezes North Korean assets; causes collapse of September 2005 agreement. [Link]
June 2006: North Korea is believed to have now produced enough plutonium for 4 to 13 nuclear bombs. [Link]
July 2006: North Korea tests missiles: one medium-range and five short-range. Medium-range “Taep’o-dong-2 fails. [Link]
October 3, 2006: Kim Jong Il announces North Korea plans to test nuclear weapons.
October 4, 2006: North Korea asserts that nuclear test is a measure to “bolstering its nuclear deterrent as a self-defense measure.” [Link]
Mid-2008: If North Korea unloads another batch of fuel, it may have enough nuclear material for 8 to 17 nuclear bombs. [Link]
– Rachel Weise

I'm Sorry, Did You Bring Facts Into This Room?

The headline kind of sums up the last 3 years.

Bush dismisses Iraq death toll study

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mark Warner Isn't Running For President

How much does this change things?

Probably, not much.

Dear Jim,

Nine months ago, I left the office of Governor in Virginia. I was immensely proud of what we had accomplished. We faced historic challenges and got real results.

Upon leaving office, I committed all my time and energy to Forward Together because we need a new direction in America.

Everywhere I’ve traveled, I found hope that we could turn this country around. That Americans are looking for leaders who at this moment of enormous challenge for our country can actually bring us together and get things done.

I’ve heard that regardless of the depth of dismay at the direction President Bush has taken our country, rank and file Democrats are energized, and want ours to be a party of hope, not of anger.
I am especially proud of the work we’ve done in supporting those kinds of candidates throughout America.
We got a lot done.

Forward Together has contributed more money this year to Democratic candidates and party organizations than any other federal leadership PAC. Our effort raised over $9 million.

I headlined 86 events in 25 states to help raise or directly donate $7.3 million to Democrats this cycle.
And our work is not done—especially at home in Virginia, where I continue to work to help Jim Webb win.
But this has also been another kind of journey—one that would lead to a decision as to whether I would seek the Democratic nomination for President.

Late last year, I said to Lisa and my girls, “Let’s go down this path and make a decision around Election Day.”

But there were hiring decisions and people who’ve put their lives on hold waiting to join this effort.
So about a month ago, I told my family and people who know me best that I would make a final decision after Columbus Day weekend, which I was spending with my family. After 67 trips to 28 states and five foreign countries, I have made that decision.

I have decided not to run for President.

This past weekend, my family and I went to Connecticut to celebrate my Dad’s 81st birthday, and then we took my oldest daughter Madison to start looking at colleges.

I know these moments are never going to come again. This weekend made clear what I’d been thinking about for many weeks—that while politically this appears to be the right time for me to take the plunge—at this point, I want to have a real life.

And while the chance may never come again, I shouldn’t move forward unless I’m willing to put everything else in my life on the back burner.

This has been a difficult decision, but for me, it’s the right decision.

It’s not a decision I have easily reached. I made it after a lot of discussion with my family and a few close friends, and ultimately a lot of reflection, prayer, and soul-searching.

Let me also tell you what were not the reasons for my decision.

This is not a choice that was made based on whether I would win or lose. I can say with complete conviction that—15 months out from the first nomination contests—I feel we would have had as good a shot to be successful as any potential candidate in the field.

As for my family, Lisa and our three girls have always had a healthy amount of skepticism, but would have been willing to buckle down and support the effort. I love them all and appreciate their faith in me.

So what’s next?

First, I know that many friends, staff and supporters who have been so generous with time, ideas, energy, and financial support will be disappointed.

My decision does not in any way diminish my desire to be active in getting our country fixed. It doesn’t mean that I won’t run for public office again.

I want to serve, whether in elective office or in some other way. I’m still excited about the possibilities for the future.

In the short-term, I am going to do everything I can do make sure Democrats win in 2006. It’s an exciting year to be a Democrat. I leave shortly to go to Iowa to support folks running for state and congressional office. Hope they are still excited to see me.

I want to thank the thousands of Americans who have donated to Forward Together, hosted me in their homes, shared their ideas, and given me encouragement.

I also want to thank all of the staff and key advisors at Forward Together who have created a great organization. If we had chosen to go forward, I know they had the skills, talent, and dedication to take us all the way.

And finally, as I have traveled the country, I have been amazed at what pent-up positive energy for change exists.

In my speeches, I always acknowledge that what disappoints me most about this administration in Washington is that with all the challenges we face . . . and the tragedies we have experienced, from 9-11 to Katrina . . . that the President has never rallied the American people to come together, to step up, to ask Americans to be part of the solution.

I think a number of our party’s potential candidates understand that. I think, in fact, we have a strong field. A field of good people. I think they’re all hearing what I heard: that Americans are ready to do their part to get our country fixed. I wish them all well.

And I want to say thanks to all who’ve been part of this effort.

Mark Warner