Thursday, December 16, 2010

We've Establsihed That. Now We're Negotiating A Fair Price

Owen takes exception to Marty Beil's characterization of Russ Decker's vote to knife the state employee unions.

Looking at it more closely, Russ took the money, and he did the screwing. I'd say that fits Beil's definition. Owen's beef is that the GOP calls that the Full Legislator Experience.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

The Budget Is Not The Kobayashi Maru

And you are not James Tiberius Kirk.

Michelle Bachmann wants to redefine "deficit" so that the Bush tax cuts don't count. Apparently wishing will make it so.

If you'll recall she also wants, "earmark," redefined to not include transportation projects in MN6.

Monday, December 06, 2010

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Not Everyone Offers Thanks & Congratulatins To Army Sgt. Salvatore Giunta

AP reports:
Giunta, the first living Medal of Honor winner of the Afghanistan and Iraq
wars, braved heavy gunfire to pull a fellow soldier to cover and rescued another
who was being dragged away by insurgents.
Bryan Fischer, the "Director of Issues Analysis" for the conservative Christian group the American Family Association adds:
"...the Medal of Honor has been "feminized" because "we now award it only
for preventing casualties, not for inflicting them."
Why do conservatives hate America so much?

Friday, October 22, 2010

A Question For My Conservative Friends

Do you believe that an unborn corporation is a person with free speech rights?

Friday, October 15, 2010

You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means

com·mu·ni·cate (k-myn-kt) VERB:com·mu·ni·cat·ed, com·mu·ni·cat·ing, com·mu·ni·cates VERB:tr.
1-To convey information about; make known; impart: communicated his views to our office.
2-To reveal clearly; manifest: Her disapproval communicated itself in her frown.
3-To spread (a disease, for example) to others; transmit: a carrier who communicated typhus.

1-To have an interchange, as of ideas.
2-To express oneself in such a way that one is readily and clearly understood: "That ability to communicate was strange in a man given to long, awkward silences" (Anthony Lewis).
3-Ecclesiastical To receive Communion.
4-To be connected, one with another: apartments that communicate.

Compare that to Uncommunicative:

"I don’t know what the standard is,” Kleefisch told WHBY.

A "professional communicator" who won't communicate, a lazy reporter who can't be bothered to find out that Barbara Lawton and Jean Hundtermark debated twice, a free-range moralist without an anchor; are those really qualifications for the second highest office in Wisconsin? Could you live with Governor Kleefisch if you had to?

Saturday, October 09, 2010

A Few Loose Thoughts After the Friday Night Debate

  1. Johnson seemed surprised by the way that Milk Marketing Orders work. Given that he has the DBA endorsement, shouldn't he have known about this before?
  2. I have to believe Feingold shaved at 7:15 or had a heavy layer of foundation on. He never actually looks clean-shaven.
  3. Johnson in one response talked about how well he worked with the School Board when he was asked about Judicial Advise and Consent as a way of telling us that he was for judicial capabilty and not litmus testing. In the next response he was trying to pin Feingold for the gun views of the judges he'd let GWB have. Either he was confused or lying.
  4. Johnson definitely looked more comfortable in the middle of the debate. He started off with too many "ums" and "uhs" for a Senator and ended looking tired, as if a full hour was just too much.
  5. Dear Senator Feingold, It's good to be all mavericky but you might not want to claim the TEA mantle too quickly. Those votes are shiny but you'll never get them and people who vote on facts don't really care for their brand of emotionalism.
  6. Dear Mr. Johnson, Stand up straight. You're not running for School Board. Respect your audience and the job you seek even if you don't respect your opponent.
  7. Johnson seems ready to throttle the HCR monster even after it starts to drag him under the waves. Acceptance rises every week now that people understand it. To run on a platform of "woulda, coulda, might," seems more than a little disingenuous.
  8. I only saw one candidate with a fire in his belly to serve the people last night. Say what you want about Scott Walker, he always looks like he WANTS the office. Johnson didn't look like that last night. He looked like a man who is used to making his own decisions and then having his decisions carried out. His body language was that of a man who'd rather be somewhere else.
  9. Bring on Monday night!

But He Doesn't Like It When We Say He's Not Really Very Good At Making Connections

Scott Walker tweets with no irony about how hard it is to get from there to here because of traffic.

Friday, October 08, 2010

Great Moments In American Political Debate

"The electric cord ... that links the hearts of patriotic and liberty-loving men together [is a self-evident truth.]" –Abraham Lincoln

“This is not a contest between persons. The humblest citizen in all the land, when clad in the armor of a righteous cause, is stronger than all the hosts of error. I come to you in defense of a cause as holy as the cause of liberty - the cause of humanity.” – William Jennings Bryan

“You, Sir, are no Jack Kennedy.” -Lloyd Bentsen

“I will not make age an issue of this campaign. I am not going to exploit, for political purposes, my opponent’s youth and inexperience.” - Ronald Reagan

"Yeah, I got nothin'" --Rebecca Kleefisch

Wednesday, October 06, 2010

What Do David Vitter and Rebecca Kleefisch Have In Common?

An aversion to telling voters what they think.

Would You Buy A Candiate In A Poke?

Can you have a horse race if only one horse shows up? Politico ran an article yesterday titled The Year of the Missing Candidate which featured Wisconsin's Own Bought and Paid For Candidate, Ron Johnson above the text. Politico likens the tactic by many candidates on the right to running out the clock in a basketball game; hoping that time runs out before they make a mistake that ends the game.

Johnson's propensity for gaffe and dodge has made him a target of more than a little derision. At his appearance at The Milwaukee Press Club Johnson declined to spell out his ideas because
"...I'm not going to get in the game here and, you know, start naming
specific things to be attacked about, quite honestly,..."

"I've never been a newsmaker before," said Johnson, smiling. "This is
new to me. I'm a rookie."

That's hardly a campaign stance. It's more like something your Prom date would say.

And Johnson is hardly the only debate dodger. The Walker Campaign is so afraid of what Rebecca Kleefisch might say in front of a live microphone that she's dodging debates altogether. The good people of Wisconsin won't buy a cantaloupe without testing it to see if it's good, they test-drive any car they're thinking about buying and check to see if they're getting a good deal on a washing machine or TV and, at the same time, they're being asked to take Rebecca Kleefisch on trust.

Even Saint Ronnie said, Trust. But verify." WisGOP and the Walker Campaign aren't willing to let you do that. They know their candidates are so extreme that you won't buy what they are selling so they're hoping you'll buy them sight unseen.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

A Plethora Of Pages, A Dearth Of Ideas

I'm pretty sure that even a group as intellectually lax as the McLovin Institution wouldn't pay by the page.

If they don't want people to call their candidate stupid, why do they do stupid things in his name?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Election Reax- Eleven On The Top Of My Mind

  1. Nice turnout, Evansville. I heard we were close to 600 before 7 PM. That's around 43%
  2. Wow. I almost feel bad for Brett Davis. He took a deep breath and jumped feet-first into the Milwaukee radio crazy pool and still had his career handed to him by a member of the Liberal Media (everyone in TV is Liberal Media, right?) If he'd stuck to his principles he might have been electable in November. Now Scott Walker has a millstone around his neck by the name of...
  3. Rebecca Kleefisch who has promised to consult her Bible before making any decisions as Governor Lite. The Good News is she'll never be able to make many decisions from that chair. The bad news is she's one heartbeat from taking over. If you like Scott McCallum you'll love Becs. Or something like that.
  4. Coattails weren't worth much. Brett Davis tried to ride in on the Tommy! train without much success and Pompadour Paul Ryan's hand-picked candidate in the 44th, Ken Brotheridge, moved back into Wisconsin only to run fourth in the primary.
  5. In a race in which I had no favorites it was a shame to see Bill Truman run second. He deserved a shot against Sherman.
  6. Jeff Plale finds out that the environment matters and that Wisconsin isn't West Virginia. Both good lessons.
  7. Memo to Cousin Bill in Sauk County; It's only 44 votes out of 8800. Demand a recount. Soon.
  8. There's no substitute for money. RoJo makes the case for Original Intent by trying to return office-holding to only rich white guys and drops four and a half million dollars of family money doing it.
  9. Implied in the Governors race, the Republicans made it clear that they are strongly anti-competence by rejecting Scott Feldt for Treasurer.
  10. No matter how strong Kurt Sclicht ran in winning the 27th he still was nearly 2-1 behind Tony Wickersham in the 4 precincts in Rock County. There's a huge lesson there for an organization smart enough to hear it.
  11. Congrats to Jennifer Keach. She'll do well in a second term.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Either Walker Is A Master Of Shady Dog-Whistle Politics Or He's A Clueless Putz. You Pick

Let's see, the racist retweet was supposed to be a mistake.

The ad with the boxing gloves and going the distance with a man who faced a severe beating in the aid of a grandmother and a one-year-old was supposed to be inadvertent.

So how does Walker choose to commemorate the National Day of Remembrance for the thousands killed in the worst terrorist hijacking of all time?

That's right. The Candidate Without a Clue didn't think that maybe, just maybe, using a hijacking metaphor might be seen as being in poor taste on September 11.

There was more honest emotion this afternoon under the festival tent when the crowd rallied round the flag and sang God Bless America than Walker could ever hope to incite with his clumsy use of the media. We don't need this nimrod in office anymore.

Scott Walker's Cryptic PR

Following on the heels of the Walker Campaign's ridiculous linkage of back-bench Congressman Mark Neumann with First-time Female Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi with stick puppets and their desperate robocalls by robofixture Flyin' Jim Sensenbrenner on Walker's behalf comes this latest release from the beleaguered camp.
Ahh, but the strawberries that's... that's where I had them. They laughed at
me and made jokes but I proved beyond the shadow of a doubt and with...
geometric logic... that a duplicate key to the wardroom icebox DID exist, and
I'd have produced that key if they hadn't of pulled the County out of action. I,
I, I know now they were only trying to protect some seasoned politicians...

There has been no response from the Barrett campaign about Walker's delusions of adequacy. Stay tuned.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Scott Walker's Big Brown Bag O'Desperation

Remember those heady days of Summer when Scott Walker thought he was running against Tom Barrett for Governor? Or when he was tripping lightly over thoughts of shadow boxing Jim Doyle's record?

Yeah. Those days are gone. Walker, never a strong long-range planner, lost sight of his primary opponent and suddenly finds himself locked in a real competitive race instead of the coronation he thinks he deserves.

In the past week Walker has sent out, not one, but two high-zoot glossy direct mailers trying to link Mark Neumann's record on a single vote with (Ladies, sit down, lest ye feel faint) Nancy Pelosi. Oh, nevermind that the bill passed with something like a 3-1 margin. Nevermind that support was bipartisan for the bill. Walker thinks that simple name-calling will sway the voters of Wisconsin.

I think he's accomplished that mission. Voters are coming out of the woodwork to announce their support for Neumann while Walker supporters find themselves reeling under the weight of the sheer ineptitude of a campaign that planned for a cakewalk and found themselves in a street fight.

Walker's newest mailer calls Neumann a "seasoned" politician, apparently in hopes that people will forget Walker's 16 years of suckling on the public teat. Look past the fact that politics been berry, berry good to Scott Walker and that he's seasoned enough to have managed himself an in-ground pool. Not too bad for a college drop-out. But what does Walker's expensive direct mailer tell us? Let's go to the dictionary.

Definition of SEASON
transitive verb
a : to give (food) more
flavor or zest by adding seasoning or savory ingredients b : to give a
distinctive quality to as if by seasoning; especially : to make more agreeable
c archaic : to qualify by admixture :
a : to treat (as wood or a skillet) so as to prepare for use b : to
make fit by experience

So, Merriam-Webster tells us, to be seasoned is to be made fit by experience. Isn't that pretty much the opposite of what Walker intended? Isn't that pretty much the way he and his campaign have operated?

To add to the stink of desperation in the air the Walker campaign is running the much-hated robocalls, this time featuring the voice talents of seasoned politician, Flyin' Jim Sensenbrenner. Sensenbrenner, sounding like he'd rather be eating raw squid than doing political ads, makes the pitch of the party insiders for Walker. There's something especially heart-breaking about getting a man who's been in one office or another for more than forty years being called on to slander a fellow party member for being a "seasoned" politician.

In a little over 100 hours this squalid little story will have been written and we can all move on to the next chapter. But, there is one thing Scott Walker has shown us. Where he's making the decisions it's all about the short-term gains. He doesn't care about the future of his party. He doesn't give a rat's rip about crushing anyone in his mad scramble to higher office. Think twice before giving your vote and your future to this ruthless, conniving man.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

I Guess We Should Have Expected That

If you get caught breaking the law it's probably a given that you'd ask your opponent to not bring it up.

How does the canard go? "I'll stop telling lies about you if you'll stop telling the truth about me."

Senator Kapanke, if you can't stand the heat you shouldn't misappropriate the money. Once you've used the proceeds for your personal gain it doesn't really matter what good your foundation did in the past.

Let's Just Stipulate This Much Now.

At least we can all agree that if Scott Walker gets less than 60% of the Republican Primary vote his campaign has been an abject failure.

Thursday, September 02, 2010

First Rule Of Press Releases? Check Your Source

Second rule? Check it again.

How many things are wrong with this sentence?
Republican Party spokesman Andrew Welhouse says he thought the fundraiser
happened because he heard about it on Milwaukee talk radio.

Welhouse thought it happened. He did not Know. But he heard it on a Milwaukee Talk Radio Show. What could go wrong there? In his fevered brain he was sure that talk radio wouldn't lie to him. Does anybody else remember when the parties made news and the radio stations reported it instead of the other way around?

What's the difference between a pack of Cub Scouts and WisGOP? A Cub Scout pack has adult supervision.

Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Making It Nationally

First it was Jill Bader and her racist retweet that brought the Walker Campaign unwanted national attention.

Now, it's his lack of awareness that the boxing glove thingie might backfire.
A complication in the imagery of this ad: Back in August 2009, Barrett was
severely beaten by a man with a tire iron at the Wisconsin State Fair. Barrett
intervened to protect a woman who was trying to protect her 1-year-old
granddaughter from the girl's drunk father, who in turn then attacked Barrett.
Barrett was hospitalized and has undergone multiple operations on his hand,
which doctors say might never fully recover. The assailant was later sentenced
to 12 years in prison.

Oh yeah, you can add your voice to the call to force Walker to retract his slurs.

Well, Yeah. It Is Kind Of A Big Deal

Dan Kapanke taking money from a 501(c)3 to pay his personal debts is more than an indiscretion. It's a violation of the Tax Code and a fundamental betrayal of trust for all those legitimate organizations that depend on the goodwill of donors for their support.

The DA and IRS should be treating this as a crime at the very least.

"Stop The Uncertainty," The Candidate Cried

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, we were having problems with a Chinese supplier. One group of investors had locked the plant in an attempt to wrest control from another--read, "My"--group of investors. We were told to not worry at all.

Our lead investor calmed us with the news that, "We have paid the Army. If there is no settlement in ten days they will reopen the factory for us."

That must be the level of control Ron Johnson got all wistful for yesterday,
"And his point is, the level of uncertainty, the climate for business
investment is far more certain in Communist China then it is in the U.S. here,"
Johnson said.

Too much "uncertainty" in Free Markets for RoJo. Tell me again why this man is a serious candidate for office.

Where Have I Seen That Picture Before?

Walker's next ad? "I'll take a pipe to everything Barrett stands for"

I'll offer the hapless battler's campaign this new slogan.
"Scott Walker: You think he doesn't
know what he's doing now? Wait until you elect him to

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

What's The Statute Of Limitations On Being A "Young Gun?"

Let's see. One of your "Young Guns" is 45 years old and the other two have laughably minimal records in Congress except as fundraisers. How are you going to sell that to the folks in the hinterlands?

Put in those swoopy "gleam" lights on their teeth and have them turn to a forty-five degree angle a lot. Maybe that will fool the public.

Here's another video trying to sell Cantor and Ryan's failed proposals.

Probably Just A Coincidence

Every time RoJo or Walker say they want to reduce the burden of government regulation you need to remember that it is this kind of thinking that has gutted USDA and FDA inspections of our food supply and made the egg recall more likely every day.

You'll want to get used to this kind of thing as Ayn Rand disciples, Walker and Johnson grab power for their corporate donors and cut the ropes on the remains of the Reagan safety nets.

But, let's all take a moment to savor the delicious irony that the egg recall itself is centered on GALT, IA.

RoJo Channels His Inner Sandra Bullock

Somebody changed the website to match the candidate's version of reality. How Net-like!
Meanwhile, back at the primary, Dave Westlake says
In any hiring situation, an applicant who submits a resume but refuses
outright to show up to a job interview is immediately disqualified,” says
Westlake. “Yet that’s the kind of disdain for voters we’re seeing here,” the
West Point graduate and Army Veteran adds.
...and calls Johnson out for his lack of respect for voters.
Why is RoJo afraid to debate Westlake?
Is it because Westlake has a consistent message and connects with working people while Johnson gives the working man crumbs and distortions?
Or is it because Westlake is a tireless campaigner who has proven himself on the rubber chicken and Lincoln Dinner circuits while Johnson was busy buying himself an endorsement?

Monday, August 30, 2010

Beck Doesn't Know Much About Architecture, History or Irony

Pointing to the place about 150 feet up the Egyptian-style obelisk, where
the color of the stone suddenly changes, Beck gravely exhorted the crowd to note
the "scar" on the founding president's memorial. It happened, he said, when
construction was halted for the national trauma of the Civil War -- the apparent
implication being that Saturday's rally would perform some necessary plastic
surgery on race-related social divisions splitting the country.

When building ceased, a private group of political activists grabbed
the project's reins -- but they promptly made a huge mess of things.

Among other problems, they were rabid anti-Catholic nativists,
religious fanatics who believed only native-born Americans should hold any
public office. They stoked popular fears that waves of Irish and German
immigrants were overwhelming the United States.When Pope Pius IX donated a
building stone from the Temple of Concord in Rome for the restarted Washington
Monument project, the activists had it destroyed. Through in-fighting,
ideological division and bursts of election-related violence, the group fell
apart after two years. The shoddy work they had done on the monument had
to be removed. Hence the "scar" we see today.

h/t The Chief

Sheer Joy

You Can't Do Wrong Doin' Right from The Affairs of Dobie Gillis.

Barbara Ruick, Bobby Van, Debbie Rynolds and Bob Fosse. Watch the difference between Van and Fosse's edge. Van was a servicable dancer, Fosse a genius.

Also of note...sweaters, skirts and an improbable waistline. Enjoy.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Everything Is Hooked To Everything Else

We congratulate Ken Mehlman on the courage it to to speak out while still inside the lion's den and wish him well as he begins his walk to the light.

Still my favorite Wisconsin Mehlman Moment was when he put his arm around the weaker candidate. We happen to have a dramatic recreation of the conversation that night. Rod Steiger plays the part of Ken Mehlman and Marlon Brando fills in for the man who thought he was a contender but was a... Well, watch for yourself.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Oh! The Humanity!

Bristol Palin + Margaret Cho = DWTS Fabulous!

Friday, August 27, 2010

Yeah. I See What You Mean

Meg Whitman is necessarily racist. She's just telling two different stories to two different audiences. The retweet would be like saying that Scott Walker believes all white people are swallowing his brown-bag recycled lunches.

Those Are All Mistakes, Otto. I Looked Them Up.

Walker? Neumann? Facts?

Yeah. Not so much.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Enough Is Enough

It's time to stop pretending that you can safely let people who despise government run government.

Nope. That's What It Was Alright.

Definition of SUBSIDIZE

: to furnish with a subsidy: as

a : to purchase the assistance of by payment of a subsidy

b : to aid or promote (as a private enterprise) with public money

Sorry, Ron. Wrong again

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Betting Line

What's the over-under on retractions and clarifications for the RoJo campaign?

Has anybody noticed that Westlake has been able to stand behind everything he's said for the last 18 months while RoJo has been contradicting himself with alternate breaths?

Lt Governor Candidate Just Figured Out What He Voted For

From Brett Davis' press release (emphasis added):
Lieutenant Governor candidate and State Representative Brett
Davis has learned that the Wisconsin Department of Corrections
is now using state dollars to pay for driver’s licenses and state-issued
identification cards for prison inmates. Davis learned
the policy change went into effect on July 1 of this year.

“These absurd spending programs continue to show Governor Doyle to be hopelessly tone deaf to the will of the people of

All really inflammatory rhetoric that looks good on a campaign website. It overlooks the fact that the measure was part of the 2007-08 budget that Scott Suder and Mark Pocan put together. I guess though, as one of Brett's constituents all these years, I kind of assumed he was reading the bills he was voting for.

Maybe he should have talked to Scott Suder about the problems that being careless with ID can cause.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Walker Attempts The Blagojevitch Defense

Asked if he was surprised by the timing of the probe, Walker said: "I can't
be surprised by something I don't know about."

The candidate maintains that he's too clueless about the actions of his team to be surprised by anything they might do.

On the other hand, John Banner made a good living off of just one sentence. "I know nothing!"

Monday, August 23, 2010

RoJo On Union Issues and Local Land Use Laws

Johnson said. "I just hope the zoning officials and the city, the state
revisit that, rezone that piece of property."

The Republican candidate for U.S. Senate continued: "If they don't
do it I hope the construction workers in New York show their outrage and say we
are not going to do that."

-Racine Journal Times

Ron Johnson, your pro-thuggery candidate.

Why Is Greenland Like A Chi-Chi's Margarita?

They've both been pretty much 80% ice since the beginning.
"There's a reason Greenland was called Greenland," [Johnson]
said. "It was actually green at one point in time. And it's been, since,
it's a whole lot whiter now."

Yeah. About That Mortgage Deduction That Pretty Much Drives the Housing Industry

RoJo is willing to give that up for you in order to save high-earner tax cuts.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The Ad Scott Walker Doesn't Want You To See

Not because it's wrong but because it's mean.

What do they call that when an elected official tries to make the media kill a story? There must be a word for it.

Monday, August 16, 2010

"You Keep Using That Word. I Do Not Think It Means What You Think It Means"


Main Entry: en·tre·pre·neur
Pronunciation: \ˌäⁿn-trə-p(r)ə-ˈnər, -ˈn(y)u̇r\
Function: noun
Etymology: French, from Old French, from entreprendre to undertake — more at enterprise
Date: 1852
: one who organizes, manages, and assumes the risks of a business or enterprise

Photo by Z-Dub

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

"He's a sociopath, but he's our sociopath."

As his personal failures and his political contradictions closed in on him,
she began to entertain fears about his fundamental decency.

Monday, August 09, 2010

It's As Simple As They Are

The right-wingnut-o-sphere is spinning itself into a tizzy trying to figure out why Russ Feingold would use the name of a person in an ad that they couldn't find.

"Why?" They cry. "Why wouldn't he put a real person's name in that ad?"

Thursday, August 05, 2010

Taken To Its Logical Conclusion

Would you go to a dentist who advertised, "My competition has done nothing for the past 23 years except drill teeth. Choose me because I've never done it before?"

Would you choose a surgeon who prided himself on not being a career surgeon while deriding his opponent as someone who'd done nothing but surgery for two decades?

Would you hire a bus driver who had never driven, a plumber who had never soldered a joint or an electrician who knew nothing about amps and volts and wattage?

Of course you wouldn't. So why swallow the ads of a knucklehead like Ron Johnson, who admits he doesn't "know" a lot about the Constitution, who plays stumble, fumble and fall with something so basic as a blind trust for his BP stock who sees the parade of jobs out of Wisconsin as creative destruction that's good for the businesses in the state?

Why vote for a candidate whose self-proclaimed strong suit is that he's never done the job and doesn't know much about how it works.

RoJo would hire a line worker with those qualifications. Why does he think Wisconsin is gullible enough to hire him?

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

I'm Struggling To Imagine Ike Introducing Mamie This Way

Offered without further comment from Real Clear Politics.
"Dear Lord Baby Jesus....I just wanted to take time to say, thank you
for my family: two beautiful, beautiful, handsome, striking sons Walker and
Texas Ranger - or TR, as we call him. And, of course, my red-hot smokin' wife,
Carly, who's a stone cold fox." -
Will Farrell playing Ricky
Bobby in Talladega Nights

“I'm very thankful for my red-hot smoking wife, the first lady of
Minnesota,” -
, the sitting Governor of Minnesota, testing out the 2012
waters in Iowa this weekend.

Monday, August 02, 2010

Making One's Point By Example

This quote might be the single funniest thing I've ever read in a newspaper.
"There are tens of thousands of people with master's degrees who don't have
the common sense God gave a rabbit," said state Sen. Glenn Grothman (R-West
Bend), who has a law degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.
At least one name comes readily to mind. I think you make your point admirably, Senator.

It's A Fair Question

I haven't faulted Scott Walker for never finishing college. After all, I just got around to getting back to it myself. But he's making an issue of his record by not releasing the transcripts of the work he did while he was in college in the first place.

Nobody really expected Walker to have a record of A's and B's as Neumann has, just based on his critical thinking and decision-making skills, but if it took him four years to amass 84 credits that means that either Walker was a less-than-full-time student or he has more than just one or two F's in that transcript.

Maybe there were circumstances that kept Walker from finishing a class or two. Maybe he just wasn't putting his best effort into school. But the citizens of Wisconsin have to know a few things about a man who wants to run DPI, appoint the Board of Regents, and oversee the hiring of top-level administrators at the UW System Schools.

Join the call for transparency by Scott Walker. Ask to have his transcript made public. Mark Neumann and Tom Barrett have both done so and have shown they not only have nothing to hide but would be well qualified to weigh in on questions in education. What is Walker hiding by refusing to meet this simple request?

Sunday, August 01, 2010

Keeping A well regulated Militia and Stopping The Man From Mowing Your Lawn

Well-reasoned Constitutional argument made by Ohio man. Neighbor says, "I'm really surprised it ended peacefully."

Saturday, July 31, 2010

There Is No After Hours In Politics

"Ron Johnson’s campaign didn’t make him available for questions"

Feingold runs on the issues while RoJo runs from them. Even Westlake isn't ready to follow Johnson and Ryan down the Crazy Trail

WBAY Friday

If You Believe, "Yes," You Vote, "Yes."

NY Congressman Anthony Weiner attacks the cowardly Republicans who hid behind a mantle of Procedure to vote against providing health-care benefits to responders at Ground Zero.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Moderately Cloudy Day for WisGOP Candidates

The headlines that almost were.

"Jim Doyle not personally responsible for all the troubles in the country."
Two-thirds of the states already forecast another round of double-digit budget
gaps in FY 2012. The deficit tally so far is $72.1 billion. Eighteen states
expect the gap to be at least 10% of their general fund.

"Feingold refuses to divest stock holding"
"However, I want to make it clear that I will not be divesting my one
share in the Packers," Feingold said. "Not because it's the only stock I own, or
because market conditions predict a Super Bowl, but because I am a committed
Packer fan whether they are up or down."

Johnson had suggested
he would sell the stock and use the money for his Senate run. But this week he
balked. "I think that will eventually happen, but I'm going to do it based on
market conditions," Johnson
reporters. "I'm going to have to finance this campaign. ...

"LaHood tells GOP Gov candidates they've missed the train"
"High-speed rail is coming to Wisconsin," LaHood said. "There's no stopping

Just another obstructionist day on the campaign trail for Neumann, RoJo and Walker; wandering around in a land where ethics depend on market conditions, where public transportation is bad and where you can cherry-pick the blame.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another Brilliant Idea From Scott "The Thinkifier" Walker

Remember Scott Walker's idea to not fill jobs that were already not being filled and then claiming the money that nobody is spending as "savings?" Well, he's been thinking again.

Now he claims that the state can save money they're not spending by not spending the money nobody is asking for.
Walker explained that currently the federal government’s free phone program
allows low-income individuals to apply for discounted phones and $15 a month
phone use, but the State of Wisconsin goes further than other states by
supplementing the additional costs of the phones. With this additional
money, taxpayers foot the bill for approximately $10 a month per person in
additional charges. Eliminating this program saves an immediate $1.4
million per year for the taxpayers and averts spending as much as $5.4
million. Under Walker’s proposal, low-income Wisconsin residents can still
apply for the discounted phones, but the state will no longer provide the
additional funding to make them completely free.
It all sounds good until you realize that the extra $4 million isn't being spent at all and there is no reason to expect it to ever be spent. He's just throwing around numbers and hoping that someone believes in them.

And why was the state in the business of providing phone subsidies to low-income households in the first place? Where is this cut being made?
“For the over 547,000 households that qualify for Lifeline services in
Wisconsin, SafeLink provides a modern necessity that could help them secure
employment, communicate with their child-care provider, reach hospitals, fire
departments, or police in the event of an emergency and they would receive that
help at absolutely no cost"
So Walker--he of the jobifying pronouncements--wants to take away the ability for employers to reach the very people who need the phones to communicate with them.

So let's see, first he inflates the problem, then he misstates the problem and then he rushes in to "solve" the problem. Surely, those low-income households depending on the Lifeline Program deserve to have the phones yanked from their hands. Surely they've been lounging on the phone instead of being out finding jobs.
The SafeLink Wireless service will provide eligible low-income households a
free cell phone, mobile access to emergency services and free 60 minutes of
airtime, monthly, for one year

The SafeLink program is limited to an hour a month of airtime for access to job hunting and emergency services. Walker doesn't understand that the program fills a vital need for constituents in his county. He just sees them as people who will never cut him a check.

Scott Walker just doesn't get it.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

RoJo's Campaign Off To A Stammering Start

RoJo said, "Great Lakes," but meant something else than the rest of us mean by that.

RoJo said Feingold voted against drilling in the Great Lakes but PolitiFact finds that message to be "Barely True," in that Johnson was correct that there are in fact lakes known collectively as The Great Lakes.

When asked about drilling for oil specifically in the Great Lakes, Johnson said, "the U.S. should get the oil where it is," even if that includes the Great Lakes.

The truthiness seems to elude Johnson. Perhaps he should refudiate his words.

Meanwhile, Dave Westlake is plugging away.

Friday, July 09, 2010

That's A Relief

Every cable or satellite network has their own version of the channel crawl, a revolving list of whatever is playing now and next. And, they all use it to advise viewers of line-up changes for some period of time.

There's a note on the Direct TV channel guide now that gives me hope. In a spot that once broadcast repeats of unscripted dreck we now see the message:
Fox Reality is no longer available.
Would that it may ever be so.

Sunday, July 04, 2010

Why I Have A Great Job

The phone rang at 7:50 this morning. "Is it too late to have my pony in your parade?"

Nobody else gets those calls.

Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July everyone. Fly your flags high.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Zach over at Blogging Blue has posted Dave Westlake's reaction to the Ron Johnson endorsement purchase plan.
“Earlier today former U.S. Senate candidate Terrence Wall alleged that
ballot tampering occurred at the state GOP convention. While these allegations
are troubling, we are focused on meeting people to talk about jobs, the economy
and cleaning up the oil spill. However, if these charges have merit we will stop
at nothing
to eliminate fraud and abuse in the Wisconsin State Republican

It seems to me that the situation stands there already. Reince and his cohorts started at Nothing and stopped. Priebus has had a tough couple of years; first doing damage control for Michael Steele and now acting as ringmaster at the Rojo Circus.

The Picking Of Nits Shall Commence

The headline in today WSJ called T Wall's accusations that RoJo and his campaign bought the GOP endorsement, "Unfounded."

Wall accused Johnson of buying votes at the Republican convention in May. He
also accused the Republican Party of stealing votes from him and delaying the
vote for senator by a day, to give Johnson an advantage.

"A handful of people came in and spread money around, from the guy who called me after the convention and said his hotel room was paid for by Johnson's people ... to the guy who ... admitted to taking votes from me and putting them in his pocket," Wall said, during the interview. "I've got over a hundred stories like that."

I think the headline writer meant, "Unconfirmed." After all the internal GOP investigation into Johnson's actions hasn't even commenced yet. I'm sure the CRG goofballs will be filing an ORR for the payment book at the convention hotel soon.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Remember When All Those Conservative Bloggers Were Saying Fred Thompson Was The Future Of The Republican Party?

"I had an insurmountable object to overcome in that presidential bid
and that was the wisdom and the inherent good judgment of the American people," Thompson
told John Stewart Thursday on
Comedy Central's "The Daily Show."

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

What Do You Get When You Cross A Polling Organization With Ideology?

An invitation to the cruise.
Pollster Larry Rasmussen to be a featured speaker on National Review cruise
along with Karl Rove and Phyllis Schlafly. Prices start at $2500

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

No Comment

Citizen Video of the fire caused by a lightning strike.

Big Butter Jesus by Heywood Banks

Monday, June 14, 2010

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Senator Feingold on Candidate Johnson

At the reception on Friday.

"If you believe that big government is bad why would you believe that a Big Government owned by Big Business was good?"

The Four Stages of Pist

Overheard last night (paraphrased):

Stage 1- Oh, My God!

Stage 2- What the Hell? Can they do that?

Stage 3- Those bastards will not get away with this!

Stage 4- It's time to ram something up something.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Never Forget?

Who did you choose to remember on Memorial Day?

Memorial Day was originally called Decoration Day and was celebrated to remember the sacrifices of the Union soldiers who gave their lives during the Civil war. After WWI it was expanded to honor all of the soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice for their country. It has expanded further over the years into a day of remembrance of lost family as well.

Many politicians use Memorial Day as a day to issue a press release. Rep Roger Roth adopted a somber yet thankful tone.
“As Americans, we benefit from a distinctive brand of freedom which
makes us the envy of the world, fully absent the authoritarianism and oppression
that has so often plagued the rest of the globe.

Like anything worthwhile, the freedom we enjoy had to be earned; and it
has only been made possible by the brave men and women who have given their
lives on the battlefields of Lexington and Concord to Iraq and Afghanistan so
that we can all continue to live free and prosper.

House candidate Sean Duffy stressed the shared values of all Americans.
But what unites all Americans, however they choose to spend Memorial Day, is
a solemn reverence for the sacrifices our country's brave men and women, and
their families have endured. Let's take a moment to give thought to the families
and the friends of the fallen. We cannot measure the depth of their loss, nor
comprehend the true measure of their sorrow.

Rep Kagen's presser was a little heavy on "I" strain for my taste but he still showed a basic empathy for the nature of the day.
This Memorial Day, we will come together again to join in celebrating the
lives of those who have given their full measure in the defense of our nation
and our way of life. As one nation under God, we believe in keeping the memories
of our fallen soldiers alive, especially during annual Memorial Day

Tom Barrett's statement emphasized that the sacrifices continue, that Memorial Day should not be a once in the year event.
We can honor them by never forgetting their sacrifice, and by paying tribute
to the 430,000 veterans in Wisconsin – including 30,000 courageous Wisconsinites who have served in operations in Iraq and Afghanistan.

But one candidate for Governor chose to make his press release on the day after Memorial Day to show us where his head was on the day of remembrance. Rather than keep quiet and honor the dead or speak up and offer a tribute to them Scott Walker chose to celebrate something else entirely.
Over 75 volunteers visited 40 parades across Wisconsin on Monday. The
volunteers delivered over 40,000 Scott Walker brown bags with the phrase “I have to brown bag it to pay Wisconsin’s taxes",

So it was more important to Walker that his followers had handed out 40,000 recycled paper bags with his recycled message than it was for him to take one day away from campaigning and just be a grateful American. No message of gratitude or remembrance, no honor or grace; just the same-old, same-old tin-ear, graceless Walker puffing out a quick, "Look at me!" on a day set aside to celebrate others.

But, lest you think he is only capable of a lack of grace, Walker also manages to offer up one of his patented twists of fact in the same release.
On the previous weekend, Scott Walker received the endorsement of thousands
of grassroots supporters at the GOP state convention with 91.3% of the vote.
The high estimate of attendance at the WisGOP was 13-1500 and the bulk of those attendees were, as is usual at every political convention, party insiders and hangers-on. How Walker manages to make that out to be "thousands of grassroots supporters" is a mystery.

Scott Walker just can't see how others see him.

Friday, May 21, 2010

The Perfect Storm (and a prediction or two)

The Wisconsin State Journal (or, as my Dad called it, not that nutty liberal paper) this morning has a few good stories about Wisconsin Republicans and what they've been able to accomplish over the past few years. I thought that taken together they made kind of a nice introduction for the WisGOP (think of it as the Weak Tea Party) convention which is about to start in Milwaukee.

The MJS is reporting that Scott Walker has pissed away any surplus that 2009 medical cost reductions may have given him.
Just five weeks after learning it had posted a surplus for 2009, Milwaukee
County faces a projected $6.6 million deficit this year, according to a report
issued Thursday.
Running a government is hard work and Walker is just not up to the task. He is good at slash and burn as well as the politics of divisiveness but not much else.

The Pubbies had to move the convention to the Frontier Airlines Center after being unable, once again, to plan and allocate resources necessary for the task at hand. Of course, they didn't tell everybody that they were moving from the Hyatt.

But she'll get her chance when the GOP goes back to giving out endorsements for the first time since 1978. We all remember how well that coronation of Bob Kasten before the primary went over with the rank and file.

Dreyfus' victory led Republican Party leaders to stop - at least
temporarily - the practice of endorsing gubernatorial candidates in contested
primaries. Embarrassment over the issue led the Wisconsin State Journal that
year to state in a story that the Republican practice was "comatose."

"No party wants to have its leadership look ridiculous in an
election," Franklin said.

Reince never got the word. My advice to Mark Neumann is to start wearing a red vest.

But the big news for the Republican Party is that Scott Jensen gets his name in the headlines just in time to remind Wisconsin voters what happens when you let the GOP have the big chair. Justice delayed is justice enough according to the scofflaws in the GOP and Jensen heads home to a familiar wallow for his retrial.

Jensen doesn't really deny the charges. He just wants special treatment for his case. If Brad Schimmel has any sense of irony at all he'll bring this back into the headlines just before Halloween so that the festering lump of self-pity and Public Defenders that is Jensen is fresh in the mind when voters head to the polls in November.
The Journal adds (but the emphasis is mine): Jensen and other top
lawmakers - Democrats and Republicans - used public money and resources to pay for their campaigns and those of favored candidates. The devious goal was to
unfairly tip elections - including party primaries - in favor of hand-picked loyalists who would keep Jensen and the other leaders in power
. Other top state leaders from Jensen's era have already pleaded guilty and served time behind bars.
So we come back to the Party elite picking the chosen few for the voters to swallow. It should be the theme for the weekend in Milwaukee.

In other pre-convention musings:

I predict that the Party faithful will endorse the far-right wallet of Ron Johnson over the not-sufficiently-nutty wallet of T Wall. David Westlake will have his Road to Damascus moment this weekend and be back in civvies by Tuesday.

The Light Governor endorsement will go four ballots and come down to Sykes' handpicked media darling and the guy who thinks the Humane Society is a fringe organization. At that point reality will set in and "No Endorsement" will carry the night.

As for me, I'll be following the convention coverage of Kyle Maichle. I took the over on Mismatched Verb Tense for $200 and put $150 on Inappropriate Hockey References +6.

Mazel Tov

Monday, May 10, 2010

Just Askin'

Did you ever notice how few Supreme Court nominees, from either party, graduated from Hamline University?

Why is that, do you suppose?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Ryan Statement Expected

Inside sources say that Paul Ryan will issue a response to the NCAA championship victory by Duke at a speech today at the Lincoln Day Dinner in Dumptruck County, Oklahoma. Ryan will maintain that the Blue Devils did not use enough of Butler's plays in last night's 61-59 victory.

Ryan has prepared charts to show that he has a plan for Butler to win the game and has had that plan ready to roll out for the last 6 years. He will call for the game to be restarted with 15 minutes on the clock and Butler to have the first 7 possessions. After that his plan will call for all out-of-bounds situations to be decided by having the teams compare alumni donations.

In a separate speech in Bonduel today candidate Mark Neumann will circulate a petition calling for a ban on NCAA basketball in Wisconsin. "Wisconsin has a great basketball tradition, all on its own," Neumann said yesterday. "We don't need some national association coming in here and and ramming socialized brackets down the throats of the good people of our state."

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Difference In The Governor's Race

While Walker was trying to fix blame and present commercials Barrett and Doyle were working to fix the bridge and present some solutions.

Don't fall for slogans. Believe in getting the job done.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Think About It For A Minute

You'll see what's wrong. There's no big political point here. Just pointing out some foggy thinking.
All the President is trying to do is reverse his 50% disapproval rating.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

You Are What You Read?

Some folks want to make a big deal out of President Obama's reading of A Post-American World.

I would remind them that his immediate predecessor read a number of books good Presidents without ever coming close to acting on the ideas within them.

Friday, March 26, 2010

It's Hard To Be A Wingnut #Next

Poor wingnuts have to stand out in the cold rain to chant, "Up or down vote! Up or down vote!"

And the, when that vote is inevitably cast, they have to be ready to start wailing for its repeal.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

It's Hard To Be A Wingnut #Whatever

How can you say that there isn't a single incumbent worthy of being re-elected and then say that you're voting for a career politician like Walker?

He is the poster boy for incumbents; a perennial under-achiever who has never done anything but cash government checks.

Anthem For the Draft Tommy! Movement

Letters? We Get Letters

Just a quick note or two to some of the candidates who are connecting with me on The Face Book and by direct mail:

Dear Mark Neumann, That balanced budget you're so fond of bragging about during your last term in Congress came during a Democratic administration while you were a minor player in the party that tried to kill the golden goose with an impeachment. You may want to stop bragging about that quite so loudly. People will think you have delusions of adequacy.

Oh, and Mark? Your predecessor's name was Les A-s-p-I-n. With an "I." You should have your out-of-state direct mail bunch run those things past someone from the state you want to lead. You look silly when you make those simple mistakes.

And one for the national scene. Kay Bailey Hutchinson For Governor sent me this missive sometime last night.
"Dean Young is running for Lt. Governor of Alabama. He is a stanch and experienced Conservative leader. "

Now, given that one definition for stanch is,"to stop or check in its course," it seems very likely that Young may be the best choice for the obstructionists.

When do you suppose that the GOP will swing back to wanting some actual thinkers on their side?

Monday, March 15, 2010

Time To Bag The "Brown Bag" Theme

Scott Walker wants us to believe that he's so tight that he packs his own lunch. From now on we should probably ask to watch him eat it, too.
[]...campaign finance records show Walker’s campaign has piled up big tabs at some restaurants for meetings, including more than $2,000 at Ruth’s Chris Steakhouse in Middleton...[]
The State Journal adds clarification, lest some say, "Well, they all do it."
By contrast, the campaigns of his GOP primary rival Mark Neumann and Democratic opponent Tom Barrett spent some money on food and drinks for fundraisers but virtually nothing on meals for themselves and their campaign meetings.

It's clear that they don't all do it. This is about Walker's hubris; his feeling of being the anointed candidate.

Saint Ronnie said, "Trust. But verify."

He was talking about someone who said one thing and did another. You know? Like Scott Walker

(cross posted at Whallah!)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

That Good Old-Timey Politics

The GOP faithful showed up in The Dells to work on their Southern Strategy with the loud people of AFP. AFP is a political wing of The Koch Company and works to reduce taxes on Koch's energy, chemical and cattle businesses. Founder Fred Koch was a founding member of the John Birch Society. It also has been active in the so-called "grassroots" tea party movement.

Let's just take a look and see what kind of hollabacks and throwbacks the GOPers came up with.

JB van Goodhair showed that he knows the code.
“We need to preserve America for Americans,” Van Hollen said.
Tim Nerenz showed he knows the code, too.
“And what does a good master do when a cabana boy doesn’t know his place?” Nerenz, a Llibertarian running against Dem U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin of Madison, asked the crowd. “That’s right. He fires him."

And count on Not-Really-Joe, the Make-Believe Plumber to rail against socialized garbage collection and police-for-all.
"I demand less taxes. I demand less involvement in my personal life," Wurzelbacher said, drawing applause.
The AFP shindig was a collection of speechifying against clean air regulations, healthcare reform and tolerance.
Nerenz declared, “We are not the party of no. We are the party of hell no.”

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Daddy Said

Apparently, Scott Walker is running an ad saying that he gave a part of his salary back. Daddy always said that we shouldn't criticize those who work for less because they know what they're worth.

Scott Walker says he doesn't believe in Wisconsin. Why should we believe in him?

Thursday, February 18, 2010

That's Why I'm For Barrett

I've been struck by some of Walker TosaRanger's Facebook ads.
He's running ads that ask, "Who did Sarah Palin meet with when she came to Wisconsin?" I think the answer is, "Anybody who could help out sales of her book or would pay the admission."
He's running ads that claim Newt Gingrich feels that Walker is the best choice for Governor. But, then, we all know how often Newt has been right in the last 20 or so years.
He's even running an FB ad with President Obama's face on it. I suppose that everyone--even Scooter--wants to be identified with a winner now and again.
But the picture above, captured from Walker's own campaign website strikes me as a silly way to present oneself. I know that Wisconsin deserves better than Walker. You know that Wisconsin deserves better than Walker. It's just a little refreshing for Walker to come out and admit that Wisconsin deserves better. Maybe it's because, by his own admission, he doesn't believe in Wisconsin anymore.
Walker is so deeply vested in the notion that Wisconsin can't, that Milwaukee can't, that the government--we the people--can't, that he's finally admitted that we the voters shouldn't. Wisconsin does deserve better than Scott Walker. He got that one right.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Let Him Tell His Story Then Sit Down

By all means, let Tim Tebow's Mom make a commercial. But then you'd better sit respectfully when any other marginal celebrity is spouting off on their own pet political rant.

Tim Tebow gets a say? Then so does Rosie O'Donnell.

Ted Nugent is a deep political thinker? Then so is Avril Lavigne.

Kelsey Grammer and Patricia Heaton are trenchant political commentators? Then take your lumps from Alec Baldwin.

Kirk Cameron and Scott Baio are now your poster boys? Golly, I don't know. Carrot Top and Gallagher? What's their POV? It's hard to riff on Baio and Cameron. They weren't really relevant when they were working steady.

Sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Small Favors

Aren't we all grateful that there are no Cosmo pictures of Flyin Jim Sensenbrenner?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Scott Brown; Lovable Goof Or Goofy Creep?

Let's see.

Embarasses family whilst pandering them to America? Check.
A visible embarrassed Ayla told her father that Arianna was not single, to
which Brown replied, "Arianna is definitely not available, but Ayla is."
Shown off his "bit of a patriot" for the publicity of it? Check

It's no wonder Drudge thinks he's just as Presidential as Palin.

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

It's Hard To Be A Wingnut #7

You have to believe that America is in the worst shape it has ever been, all the time, and that we must do everything we can to make sure it never changes.

Some people beat their swords into plowshares. Some just stockpile pitchforks. At least now we won't hear anything about all that pesky reform.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Things That Make Me Go, "Huh?"

The People Most Likely To Be Up In Arms are, predictably, up in arms over remarks credited to Harry Reid in the new book, Game Change. They're absolutely certain that the authors were right on the money when they reported on Reid and all they print must be gospel.

Those same people are lighting their punks to go after the authors of the new book, Game Change, for the things they reported about Sarah Palin. It appears that the authors are nothing but shills and hacks and nothing they say in print should be taken seriously.