April 30, 2010

Mental illness is a liberal conspiracy

Says — who else — Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman.

No, I'm the Reagan Republican

"I'm Brian, and so's my wife."
An earlier version of this story incorrectly said Sen. Feingold presented himself as a conservative Reagan Republican. The story should have said candidate Richard Leinenkugel presented himself as a conservative Reagan Republican.
It's funny because Leinenkugel the sudden Reaganite is a former member of the detested liberal Democrat Wisconsin governor Jim Doyle's cabinet, now running in the Republican primary for the opportunity to oppose Russ Feingold in the November election.

Since Leinenkugel formally announced his ambitions earlier this week and on account of that résumé, he's been mercilessly attacked by the conservative True Believers as a "Republican In Name Only," and tarred with the disparaging Freeperish moniker, "RINOkugel."

Much of that opposition, it seems to me, arises from the fact that he's got lots of money and instant name recognition and is by all appearances considerably more competent than either of his two current GOP rivals, Terrence Wall and Dave Westlake.

That is, the local conservative Twit-terers aren't exactly renowned as the sharpest knives in a drawer. Unless they want to get trounced in November, Leinenkugel's probably their best bet against Feingold. He's certainly the least clownish of the three potential candidates.

But apparently the successful GOP candidate will need to present his credentials to the base as being slightly to the right of Attila the Hun.

And then move back toward Genghis Khan for the general election.
"Health care wasn't much of a debate. It was back room deals made by Senators," Leinenkugel said.
What a silly talking point. Those bills were in Congress — and the country heard about virtually nothing else — for 18 months. And it's comically disingenuous for an aspiring Senator to assail that chamber over "back room deals." The Senate operates on back room deals.*

* See, e.g., Robert Caro's marvelous account.

April 29, 2010

White person fails IQ test

I don't think it is that controversial of an opinion to say I think it is at least possible that African Americans are less intelligent on a genetic level ...
Harvard law student (which you have to pass an IQ test to be).

Come on, she was only saying she didn't think that that possibility was a controversial opinion for her personally to espouse.

I don't believe you can even determine "race" from genetic material.

Republican proposes unique immigration solution

Deport U.S. citizens born to inadequately ensouled parents

Shorter Ken Blackwell

Stewart: How, specifically, has Obama subverted the Constitution?
Blackwell: Buh buh buh buh buh buh buh tee hee hee!

Part 1 @ 6:45

And that's about the full extent of his "argument."

April 28, 2010

So much for that vacuous slogan

Gift keeps on giving.

Gillian the Plumber

Oh dearie, dearie me.

She predicted it, in her hesitation about complaining of "Eastern European" immigrants gobbling up the unemployment benefits.

Stateside conservatives should make a meal of this: your typical leftist politician's condescension toward the salt of the Earth, etc.

BBC: "Gone quite horribly wrong."

Speaker collapses in fear of FFRF lawsuit

"Thank you Jesus, for your death."


Another victim of the secular progressive Kulturkampf and the Supreme Court's incoherent Establishment Clause jurisprudence.*

* [eta] As if on cue, and proving truth in sarcasm:
KENNEDY, J., announced the judgment of the Court and delivered an opinion, in which ROBERTS, C. J., joined, and in which ALITO, J., joined in part. ROBERTS, C. J., filed a concurring opinion. ALITO, J., filed an opinion concurring in part and concurring in the judgment. SCALIA, J., filed an opinion concurring in the judgment, in which THOMAS, J., joined. STEVENS, J., filed a dissenting opinion, in which GINSBURG and SOTOMAYOR, JJ., joined. BREYER, J., filed a dissenting opinion.
Had to take a shoe off to keep track of that.

("I didn't know we had so many justices," Rehnquist quipped.)

It's notable that Justice Sotomayor has aligned herself with Justice Stevens, the closest thing to a strict separationist since Hugo Black.

A wise Latina, indeed.

Salazar v. Buono (.pdf, 71 pgs.)

Van Hollen counting on GOP to sue Obama

"So a 'no' from the assembly, senate and the governor?"
I think with the political climate not just in Wisconsin but nationally the prognosis for one of the Republicans getting elected [governor in 2010] is high. Both of them made it very, very clear they would give me the approval to file the lawsuit, and so hopefully one of them will get elected and we'll be able to proceed after the first of the year.
He tells Greta.

Also: JBVH won't let OWN waive attorney general-client privilege

April 27, 2010

Mr. Manzi’s public flogging

More crack-up.

What do they expect: Their leaders are Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck. It's not about elitism. It's about ignorance, lying, and pandering.

Creationists debunk Shroud of Turin

Radiometric dating works, suddenly.

Advertent expletives

Boy, that Timberwolf.
Even isolated utterances can be made in "pander[ing,] ... vulgar and shocking" manners, and can constitute harmful "'first blow[s]'" to children. It is surely rational (if not inescapable) to believe that a safe harbor for single words would "likely lead to more widespread use of the offensive language."

The boat people, from Thunder Bay

Bet you didn't know about them:
He is near the Canadian border, he was appointed a prosecutor, but Republican Congressional candidate Sean Duffy refuses to answer whether or how he would enforce the Republican anti-immigration law just passed, with strong racial connotations, in Arizona.
WisDems, in apparent all-seriousness.

April 26, 2010

I got two words for you

Shut the hell up.

TX GOP official is the go-to Commerce Clause guy

St. John said Taffora was not available for an interview but wouldn’t give a reason why.
Interesting little tidbit.

The wit and wisdom of William Kristol

I doubt that it violates the Constitution. If it does, it's a matter of federal preemption against State law.
Faux News Sunday
Details, details. Next up, Arizona declares war on Iran.

On teh web: Refried swastikas.

Why Patty can't read

I think Patty can read, he just prefers not to. And that includes the award-winning scribe's non-reading of his own hyperlinks.
The troupe says it got the name from a Che Guevara quote about how America is a monstrousness to be fought.
Well, no. They said they got it from the Cuban essayist José Martí, who was dead 30 years before Che Guevara was born.
Martí was astonished by the "inviolable right of freedom of speech which all U.S. citizens possessed." Martí applauded the United States' Constitution which allowed freedom of speech to all its citizens, no matter what political beliefs they had.
Monstrousness, that Constitution, whose fundamental democratic precepts José Martí felt should be adopted south of the border.

But Martí wasn't quite as enamored with U.S. foreign policy, imperialist as it was toward Latin America in the 19th century. Not that you'd ever hear Patrick McIlheran criticize government policy or even individual political leaders personally (except for always).

Or publish a correction, invented pagan gods forbid.
Here's a question: Would it constitute performance art if you went and, nauseated by the enormity of the waste [a $25K stimulus check], upchucked along the parade route?
Perhaps, but guess who would have to hose down the sidewalk.

National Day of Pretzels ruled constitutional

Pretzels date to 610 AD in France. Monks baked thin strips of dough into the shape of a child's arms folded in prayer.
Then again maybe not.

The freak show will be merchandised

Rachel Hamil, a home-schooled 17-year-old running a booth, smiled and pointed to one of the more popular pins: SOMEWHERE IN KENYA, A VILLAGE IS MISSING ITS IDIOT.
Irony is well and truly dead.

April 25, 2010

Diversity mocked

"Will Obama pick the former [Clinton] deputy assistant attorney general for the criminal division (Merrick Garland), the former [Clinton] deputy assistant attorney general for the antitrust division (Diane Wood) or the former [Clinton] associate White House counsel (Elena Kagan)?" Kerr wondered.
Mark Tushnet: What am I, chopped liver?

Pontiff considers strategy to avoid UK arrest

September visit could be canceled — Torygraph
Senior Papal aides suggested the British Foreign Office had not taken strong enough disciplinary action against those responsible for the document, which suggested the Pope should open an abortion clinic, bless a homosexual marriage and launch his own range of condoms while he is here.
Those aren't as good as the Foreign Office wag's recommendation the Pope "do forward rolls with children to promote healthy living."

The perpetrators were surreptitiously transferred to another parish.

Also: Milwaukee civil suit "illegitimate," sez Vatican

(Op-ed) Page under construction

Writes an Iowa attorney* in a Milwaukee paper:
The problem lies in the fact that the courts have read into the Constitution two religion clauses when there is in fact only one — "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." . . . The only way to consistently protect all aspects of religious liberty is to read it as one unified clause prohibiting religious discrimination by the government.
That's one unique solution, I suppose. It ignores the fundamental tenets of English grammar, but what the heck. Let's apply a similar rule to the federal law at issue and forget about the commas:
The President shall issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.
So the praying to God may take place only at churches, although you don't actually have to sit or stand near anybody else. That doesn't exactly solve the problem, however. In fact, it makes it even worse.

* Who, along with nearly every other editorial commentator in Christendom, claims the court found the National Day of Prayer to be unconstitutional. That isn't the case. The court found that a significant component in the method by which the establishment of a National Day of Prayer came about to be unconstitutional. To wit, Congress made a law, a brute fact that not even a single-clause reading of the First Amendment can successfully eradicate.

April 24, 2010

NRO reminscent of PRC: David Frum

Canuckian ex-pat's painful ascent to redemption continues
Two Corner [McIlheran's favored news source] contributors complained about Jim Manzi's "tone." Mark Levin is the most vituperative radio host this side of Mike Savage — but imagine anyone at The Corner complaining about Levin's tone!
Here's the backstory: Adventures in Bubble World.

Entertaining stuff. I'm nearly ashamed to admit I actually read Mark Levin's earlier "book," Men In Black.* Complete and utter garbage and barely suitable for birdcage-lining. It's too bad I hadn't seen this first.

There's also an .mp3 somewhere on the internets featuring Levin screaming about (or at?) Keith Olbermann's penis for half an hour. It's absolutely horrifying. Levin is a respected conservative intellectual.

* There has been at least one woman on the Supreme Court since 1981. The title alone is a pretty good indicator of Levin's scholarship.

UW med students examined human body

Of indeterminate gender, but dean said not to attend ball

Erick Erickson out-Palins Palin

Sarcasm FAIL:
Billy Graham's Son Is Too Christian For Barack Obama's Army

Apparently these prominent spokespersons of the right-wing would wish to see Franklin Graham starring in another terrorist video.

It's mordantly amusing that Mr. Graham the Junior considers himself an authority on what constitutes "True Islam" (it's "evil" and "wicked"), which he claims requires "murder[ing] your children if you think they've committed adultery or something like that."

Honor killing is an atavistic cultural institution that exists within a variety of religious traditions and it certainly predates Islam.

There is divine guidance in the Book of Deuteronomy (22:20-21) whereby if the father of the bride cannot produce evidence of her virginity (in the form of bloodstained bedsheets) then she must be brought outside where the devout can stone her to death.

Deuteronomy would be Graham's book, not al-Zawahiri's.

Come to think of it, Franklin Graham is an atavistic cultural institution. And CNN recently hired Erick Erickson as a political commentator, whether as a serious representative of modern conservative thinking or as a deliberate parody, it isn't clear.

As for Palin, she evidently finds it appropriate and even wonderful for the Pentagon to present Graham fils behind a national podium as an official spiritual leader while its armies are engaged in the Islamic republics of Afghanistan and Pakistan, which should give some further indication of the depth of her grasp on foreign policy issues.

It's little wonder Democrats support her presidential aspirations.

April 23, 2010

Atheist devil worshippers ruining everything

Barrett likely to succeed Doyle

Stephen Baldwin needs your silver and your gold

As the Holy Scripture commands it:
Now it's up to the Christians of the world to save him so he can yell at people some more and still pay for soul-patch wax and pouting cream.
All major credit cards in lieu of precious metals.

The Democrat has steadily been gaining ground

GOPers Scott Walker, Alf Landon within margin of error
Friday PM-release Rasmussen Poll: WI GOV 2010

Time to fire up the "nonpartisan" WPRI Survey-Sez machine.*
* Rotary 'phone / Literary Digest subscribers only

Jack Craver's courageous public service

For one thing, Jack Craver deserves a medal for slogging through a virtual Annapurna of pretentious tedium and producing a relatively demure profile of Ann Althouse at the Isthmus yesterday. For another, it elicited the following comment at Althouse's blog:
From looking at her vita, it appears as if Professor Althouse has not published any serious legal scholarship since 2005. Instead, it appears she is spending her time watching American Idol and blogging about it. Whether her blog brings in a lot of money or not is beside the point. The point is that she is a tenured professor, holds an endowed chair, is paid a salary commensurate with that position [reportedly $158K], and sure doesn’t seem to be producing much in the way of scholarship that taxpayers can see as a return on their substantial investment in her.
Which is to say, the prototypical Tea-Republican object of scorn.

Palin/Grothman 2012

Because of a few angry feminists ...
Democrats will turn America into a country like Africa.
State Senator Glenn Grothman

Apparently he plays well in West Bend.

That informed electorate

Besides her ruling, as was pointed out many times in the previous blogs, was not based in law. The entitlement cause only applies to laws and the National Day of Prayer is not a law. If it was a law, Obama would not have been able to cancel it last year.
Makes me want to pray.

April 22, 2010

That's not what's hard to understand

We find it hard to understand U.S. District Court Judge Barbara Crabb's ruling that Congress designating a day of prayer "establishes" religion in the United States.
That isn't what she ruled. Has anybody read her decision, or what?
Crabb, whose Western District Court is based in Madison, said that the National Day of Prayer violates the First Amendment of the Constitution ...
No, she did not. Oy vey. What's the point.

Obama goes through the motions

The appeals, to be precise:
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that defendants President Barack Obama and White House Press Secretary Robert L. Gibbs hereby appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit from this Court's Judgment of April 20, 2010 as well as all other opinions, orders, and rulings that merge into that judgment, including, but not limited to, this Court's Opinion and Order dated April 15, 2010 and this Court's Opinion and Order dated March 1, 2010.
The latter is U.S. District Judge Barbara Crabb's granting the FFRF standing to sue on the question of the constitutionality of the particular federal statute, but denying its standing to challenge the constitutionality of "prayer proclamations generally."

He might have better luck getting that reversed, although the opinion depends heavily on the Seventh Circuit's own precedent.

It is here (.pdf; 49 pgs.).

Judge Crabb's decision is wrong, just because

etaObama goes through the motions
Here's a couple of Marquette law professors in mutual agreement over their insistence that United States District Judge Barbara Crabb's recent decision in FFRF v. Obama is "wrong," except without either one of them offering the least shred of illumination as to why.

In the meantime we can only speculate.*

Presumably the objections to Judge Crabb's verdict that a federal law ordering the president to announce a national day of prayer violates the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment are based in a notion of historical validation: the claim that if some government-directed religious practice is sufficiently ancient (1988?) then it's somehow exempted from an unequivocal constitutional prohibition.

This was the late Chief Justice William Rehnquist's preferred tactic of manipulating the First Amendment's plain textual declaration of "make no law" into becoming "make some laws" (as Leonard Levy and several others would have it).

That move entails combing through the documents and proclamations of various long-since-deceased political figures and selecting the ones that support the tactician's pre-ordained conclusions while at the same time ignoring the ones that don't.**

The latter technique is considered by some commentators to be a legitimate form of legal reasoning (the modifier "legal" having the desired effect of undermining the very methods and objectives of what is more generally understood as "reasoning").

Others might argue that the federal national day of prayer statute so mandating the president to executive action is merely an exercise of what's known in the constitutional law trade as "ceremonial deism," a judge-made doctrine which has been occasionally found within the relevant case law to be inoffensive to Establishment Clause concerns.

For example, those government acts which purport to acknowledge the (undeniable) role religious faith has played in shaping the contours of American society, such as erecting a granite block inscribed with Biblical commands and placing it alongside a facsimile of the Declaration of Independence in a courthouse display.***

But in fact the present example as correctly adjudicated by Judge Barbara Crabb is, by definition, "ceremonial theism."

The distinction between deism and theism is — or certainly should be — dispositive, but often overlooked. Deism posits a universal creator who created and then disappeared on an extended and still continuing sabbatical whereas theism stands for the proposition that the said creator maintains an interventionist interest in earthly conundrums such as the results of college gridiron contests and determining which missing children are chosen to be recovered unmolested.

So there isn't much effectual point in praying for direct, beneficial action to a deist-style god, is there? Ceremonial theism, on the other hand, remains constitutionally problematic. As the judge has shown.

* See, this blog can do theology with the best of 'em.

** And it's how Rehnquist's spiritual predecessor Associate Justice David Brewer, writing in 1892, could declare, "this is a Christian Nation" despite the U.S. Senate's unanimous affirmation nearly one hundred years earlier that "the Government of the United States of America is not, in any sense, founded on the Christian religion."

*** Not to be confused with the reindeer-in-a-nativity-set doctrine.

Vikings draft Tim Tebow in round 3:16

We'll never forget you, Brent.

[Buy a shirt.]

Graham Jr. prays himself clear off prayer day

Wisconsin judge's ruling an "assault against Christianity"

Evidently the Framers of the Constitution were onto something.

April 21, 2010

Pope suspends Roethlisberger for six games

Either that or else my Google News reader is on the fritz.

WPRI helps indict Gableman

Via the "nonpartisan" geniuses at the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, in direct support of the Wisconsin Judicial Commission's case against Michael Gableman:
WJC: The false statement of fact [contained in Gableman's teevee ad] is that something that Louis Butler did during the course of his representation of Reuben Lee Mitchell allowed Mitchell to offend again. And that is demonstrably false.
Compare and contrast:
WPRI: The ad ... accus[es] Butler of freeing his client so he could then go on to molest another child.
Yes, that is precisely what the WJC contends. That is exactly the "statement" the WJC argues the teevee ad contains. And that accusation is indeed demonstrably false. And Gableman knew it.

Case closed: thanks for coming out.

The WPRI blog post is comically rife with baseless innuendo and general idiocy. For example:
Liberal Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson waited a full 110 seconds before interrupting WJC executive director James C. Alexander’s opening statement ... *
She didn't interrupt Mr. Alexander at all. The WJC's counsel had just finished reading aloud a complete paragraph from his prepared opening remarks and in fact was in the process of silently turning a page to the next one when the Chief Justice inquired of him:
Are we looking at this language [in the teevee ad] from the viewpoint of the speaker, and what the speaker's intent was, and what the speaker did, or are we looking at it from the listener's?
A crucial point. Once again, according to WPRI, it's the former:
WPRI: The ad ... accus[es] Butler of freeing his client so he could then go on to molest another child.
The WPRI describes itself as a "think tank." Good work.

* To be sure, Alexander was interrupted repeatedly by "conservative" Justice Patience Roggensack, but apparently those interruptions were deemed unworthy of notice by the "nonpartisan" tank-thinkers.

(Of course it's ludicrous to criticize any of the justices for interrogating either attorney. That's what they're all there for.)

Jesus is (almost) everywhere

Just not on Tennessee license plates:
Yes, we think a court would conclude that the establishment of a new specialty earmarked license plate asserting that "Jesus is Lord" violates the federal and state constitutional provisions against the establishment of religion.
Because, said the TN attorney general, such assertions are government speech and forbidden, particularly where plates proclaiming "Cthulhu is Lord" or what-have-you are unavailable.

I used to work with a welding inspector who carried his Bible wherever he went but would never put it inside his briefcase, which contained his secular documents and his various accoutrements. Something about avoiding contact between the sacred and the profane, so he would presumably endorse the AG's opinion.

But the Tennessee lawmaking people can ignore it if they want.

John Hiatt — Tennessee Plates

Earlier: Separation of Church and Taste.

April 20, 2010

Van Hollen owes Doyle bigtime

Remember, the WI Gov wouldn't let the WI AG join this lawsuit:
Fifty-four percent of Florida voters believe it was a "bad idea" for their AG to sue over health care reform, compared with 40 percent who said it was a "good idea." In another surprise for the McCollum campaign, 41 percent of independents said it made them less likely to vote for him, compared with 27 percent who said it would sway their vote in his favor.
I was there for ya broham.

Impeach Barbara Crabb

Rages Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council,
for violating her "sacred oath of administering justice ... under the Constitution and laws of the United States."
There isn't any requirement under the Constitution for federal judges to swear any oaths at all, sacred or otherwise.* They're subject to "good Behavior," that's about it. Following the law likely counts as good behavior, although maybe not in Tony Perkins's phantasies.
Judge Barbara Crabb of the Western District of Wisconsin also said her ruling was not about prayer itself, but instead about the statute establishing the National Day of Prayer.
I think of all the reports I've seen about this decision, this is the first one to mention this rather important fact, albeit in the 11th paragraph. Even the distinguished professor of law Rick Esenberg said that it was the day of prayer which violated the Constitution.

[T]he case raises the question whether the statute creating the "National Day of Prayer," 36 U.S.C. § 119, violates the establishment clause of the United States Constitution. . . . Although the [U.S. Supreme Court case] law does not always point in the same direction on matters related to the establishment clause, my review of that law requires a conclusion that 36 U.S.C. § 119 is unconstitutional.
How could Judge Crabb have been any clearer? You need to be extravagantly delusional to consider this an impeachable offense.

I've read a lot of these Establishment Clause decisions, and I can't think of one other that involves such a literally, facially direct violation of the First Amendment. Good luck getting it reversed.

Now if all the individual States banded together and proclaimed a National Day of Prayer, they'd probably be able to get away with it.

* A simple affirmation suffices. Demanding a "sacred oath" of any federal officer would itself be a plain violation of the Constitution.

April 19, 2010

McIlheran Global Initiative

Bill Clinton is a "has-been" — Patrick McIlheran
Since 2005, commitments made through CGI have affected more than 200 million lives in 170 countries. More than 1,700 commitments have been made, valued at $57 billion. More than 300 commitments have been fully completed.
Since 2005, Patrick McIlheran made a link to powerlineblog.com.

Shorter The Ed Show

Guest: Obama is anti-freedom.
Ed: Obama is anti-freedom?
Guest: I didn't say that.

Earlier, Larry Pratt, executive director of a gun club that makes the National Rifle Association look like the Brady Campaign, told Chris Matthews on Hardball that Obama "hates the Constitution" and called J. Edgar Hoover a socialist. Pratt allegedly aspires to seriousness.

Religion Clause predates Ratzinger papacy

Belated felicitations to the indispensable Prof. Howard Friedman.

Falwell disciples catalogue their sexual fetishes

Ye gods. Have these people nothing better to do with their lives?

Diane Wood's nomination sabotaged

By Glenn Greenwald's emphatic support for it.

Bush Obama Derangement Syndrome

"Congress authorized the EPA to draft the rule 20 years ago, and the EPA published the order in 2008." Who was prez 20 years ago? Who was prez in 2008? Obama, that's who.

Unconstitutional Day of Prayer

Interestingly, a virtually identical view [to that of President Thomas Jefferson and now United States District Judge Barbara Crabb] was voiced in the First Congress on September 25, 1789—the very day the Bill of Rights cleared both houses. When New Jersey Representative Elias Boudinot introduced a bill recommending "a day of public thanksgiving and prayer," South Carolina's Thomas Tucker rose up in opposition: "[I]t is a religious matter, and as such, is proscribed to us. If a day of thanksgiving must take place, let it be done by the authority of the several States...."
— Akhil Reed Amar, The Bill of Rights, p. 35.
Not that a State proclamation would solve the problem nowadays ...

April 18, 2010

Western District of Wisconsin letter of the day

Comes to us from George Young Jr., of Madison:
I read that Judge Barbara Crabb sided with the Freedom From Religion Foundation in ruling that the National Day of Prayer is unconstitutional.
No, she ruled explicitly that the federal law creating the National Day of Prayer, and in fact ordering the president to proclaim a National Day of Prayer, is unconstitutional. That distinction is crucial.
Congress established it in 1952 ...
And amended it in 1988. In either event, "established" is a decidedly unfortunate choice of words, if your contention is that the law does not violate the First Amendment, which reads: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion."

This is a law, that Congress made, respecting an establishment of religion. Note that the First Amendment does not merely forbid an establishment of religion, a popularly held misconception (ironically, often held and espoused by self-described "strict constructionists").
... so they must have thought it was a good idea.
Which is hardly relevant, considering Congress must have thought any number of things were good ideas that even conservative activist judges found unconstitutional. That's why there is a Bill of Rights.
It is not forcing us to pray.
This was never in question, contra also the editorial page editor of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. And insofar as prayer is a matter of personal conscience, you can't "force" other people to do it anyway.
I would like to see her ruling overturned on appeal if one is filed, because it seems to be a frivolous lawsuit in the first place.
The fact that the suit was successful in the district court is a reasonably good indication that it was not frivolous, but rather meritorious, the latter being the antonym of frivolous.
I wonder what the next foundation lawsuit will be. How about Christmas? And they should change their name to what their goal really is: "Freedom from God," because God is religion.
That settles it then, if God is religion. Because in that case, the law orders the president to proclaim a day when the people of the United States "turn to religion in prayer and meditation at churches."

There is no acknowledgment in the law of synagogues, mosques, adobe huts, nor any other non-Christian buildings, incidentally.

April 17, 2010

Bishops victims of circumstance, says bishop

Media make it hard not to molest children
"With so much invasion of eroticism, sometimes it's not easy to stay celibate or to respect children," Bishop Felipe Arizmendi said during an annual meeting of Mexican bishops near Mexico City on Thursday.

"If on television and on the Internet and in so many media outlets there is pornography, it is very difficult to stay pure and chaste," said Arizmendi, an influential bishop from the colonial town of San Cristobal de las Casas in southern Mexico.

"Obviously when there is generalized sexual freedom it's more likely there could be cases of pedophilia," he added.

File under: Rationalizations, perfidious.

April 16, 2010

Repeal the ban on dueling

There would be a whole lot less cheating, rumor mongering, and outright lying from and about political opponents, if the victim could issue a challenge to those who would slander. In period dress, of course. Run a few of these 'Chickenhawks' through with a rapier and I think that the general discourse between opponents would improve much to the better.
Alexander Hamilton would approve (Aaron Burr even moreso).

A fact not in evidence

Plain error review:
Atty. Daniel Berkos refers to Patrick McIlheran as a journalist.

Otherwise, very well said.

Pulitzer unlikely for J-S editorialist

Quantity of straw burned
A National Day of Prayer proclamation does not mandate that anyone pray. It does not establish a national religion.
On prayer, judge got it wrong — Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

Nobody suggested either of those things.

Maybe if Mr. Pimentel read the federal statute that Judge Barbara Crabb found unconstitutional, he might notice that Congress mandated that the President issue the proclamation in question.

That was the problem.

Furthermore the instances of the word "outsiders" which so trouble Mr. Pimentel were lifted from Establishment Clause decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court, which the district court is compelled to follow.

Freedom From Religion Foundation v. Obama (.pdf; 66 pgs.)

Wisconsin ruling raises cash for conservatives

Send money now, help us fight Satan and also the gays, also.

Mr. Alan Sears is the author of The Homosexual Agenda: Exposing the Principal Threat to Religious Freedom Today. Yes, seriously.

Foust on Faust

Faust says Satan is a job-creator: pride (pro-USA jingoism and all its marketing opportunities), avarice (tax-lowering obsessions, dollar worship, Sam's Club, ten pounds of crap in a five-pound bag for $3.99), envy (cul-de-sac homes and lawn care, bass boats, 60-inch screens), wrath (gun porn, Fox News' Daily Hate, cocaine sentencing), lust (Dancing with the Stars, Cosmopolitan magazine, Hooters, most advertising), gluttony (all-you-can-eat buffets, drive-throughs, HFCS), acedia (golf, couches, the Packers, computer gaming). (Coincidence? I think not.) — Foust on Faust

Song for Jeff Sessions

Cry Like A BabyThe Box Tops

New law in Wisconsin today

Top cleric describes the appropriate role of courts
The President shall shall not issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer on which the people of the United States may turn to God in prayer and meditation at churches, in groups, and as individuals.
36 U.S.C. § 119 (as amended).
Milwaukee Archbishop Jerome Listecki, who has spoken out against what he calls the "religion of secularism,"* called it a "missed opportunity to acknowledge our nation's identity, which was founded on our dependence on God."**
I don't know which Constitution he's reading. Iran's maybe?

* Mr. Listecki also inveighed against the "hair color of bald."

** One story, perhaps apocryphal, claims that when Hamilton was asked why the framers omitted the word God from the Constitution, he replied, "We forgot." One is tempted to reply that Alexander Hamilton never forgot anything important.
— Ron Chernow, Alexander Hamilton, p. 235.

April 15, 2010

Hopefully the court can clear this up tomorrow

As I had wondered previously:

Judge Ralph Adam Fine, quoting from Brown v. Hartlage, asserts that "demonstrable falsehoods" are not protected by the First Amendment, but elsewhere in his opinion he states:
Certainly, it is not a true representation to imply through crafty sculpting of words that because Justice "Butler found a loophole[,] Mitchell went on to molest another child."
(Brown v. Hartlage pits "demonstrable falsehoods" against "erroneous statement[s]," i.e., mistakes. Yet as Judge Fine himself points out in his footnote 4, this was no mere mistake, a finding of fact that all parties including ["apparently"] Michael Gableman acknowledge.)

Nevertheless, Judge Fine concludes that Gableman's speech is protected by the First Amendment. With all due respect to the learned judge, the difference between "demonstrable falsehood" and "certainly false representation" eludes me at the moment.

If it's certain, then it must somehow be demonstrable. And, indeed, Judge Fine did adequately (IMO) make that demonstration.

"Falsehood" and "not a true representation" are synonymous.

Highlights from Thompson's Tea Party address

"And now back to Days Of Our Lives."
— WTMJ-4 teevee announcer

Full list of Tea Party persona non grata

Tommy Thompson
Orly Taitz
Hitler (?)

You've got Tea-mail

At least, Cory Liebmann does:
[Americans For Prosperity's] Mark Block needs to understand now that he is irresponsibly playing with our reputation, that co-opting grassroots events for political/GOP gamesmanship is not acceptable, that he has compromised our trust in doing this thing, and that if this bad decision is not immediately undone and rectified, there will be consequences in the relationship between local grassroots and AFP moving forward.
Signed, fervent disciple of Glenn Beck.

eta: Others are considering booing — AP

'Cause they're all about the free speech, don't you know.

Kooks rehearse for Tea-Republican Party event

Mr. Feingold does not work for the people of Wisconsin. He and his fellow liberals work for and answer to only SATAN.

April 14, 2010

No it won't

Falsehood watch
The [Wisconsin] Supreme Court will decide Friday whether and how to punish Gableman ...
— Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel legal correspondent Patrick McIlheran

It's only hearing arguments.

Beware of low-rent James O'Keefes

Pundit Nation: Legal impossibility.

Tea candidate foments unrest over D.C. usurper

Dave Westlake, a Republican running for Senate who identifies closely with the tea party movement, said [former G.W. Bush cabinet secretary Tommy] Thompson shouldn’t be using the rally to make his [non-]announcement.

"He’s using a platform that’s supposed to be about rallying around a common cause to reduce the size of government, to lower spending and lower taxes and he’s using it for his own personal announcement," Westlake said. "He’s not the tea party movement. He’s a big spender and did a lot of things that was the antithesis of what people in the tea party want."
Why can't we all just get along?

Earlier: Westlake empties a clip into a stand of magic mushrooms

Irony beaten to within an inch of its life


Patrick McIlheran is "annoyed" his paper published a falsehood.
In a letter to the editor. To coin a phrase: "breathtaking inanity."

Where is Dave Westlake's amicus brief?

Feingold has been a principled Bill of Rights proponent for years.
This video released last week features Dave Westlake saying he learned to "shoot a gun before learning how to ride a bike," "children going to hunter's safety classes have been demonized," and finally "our Second Amendment rights have been eroded." Westlake then rapidly fires seven rounds from a pistol before eying up the camera.
Except Russ Feingold is just a bit ahead of Westlake's curve. So where is Dave Westlake's U.S. Supreme Court amicus brief and what, exactly, is the point of his "blaze orange" campaign?

Maybe Dave Westlake would be better off defending warrantless wiretaps on Fourth Amendment grounds, or detailing how money is speech and corporations are persons for First Amendment purposes.

Because if the Second Amendment is Dave Westlake's signature issue, then he should probably vote for Russ Feingold himself.

Democrat romps in special Congressional election

Florida District 19

Still, Tea-Republicans were philosophical and gracious in defeat. Said Ron: "Alzheimer's Alley. What do you expect? Clueless old ***** who still think they are voting for FDR or JFK's democrat party of old and not realizing it's been taken over by a capitalist-hating Marxist."

WPRI fiasco all for naught

Feingold guaranteed fourth Senate term


April 13, 2010

Obama's brazen lie proven fruitless

Obama said, "Just the smallest amount of plutonium — about the size of an apple — could kill and injure hundreds of thousands of innocent people." But Brookings Institution arms control expert Steven Pifer said such a package would be closer to the size of a grapefruit.
Associated Press "fact check"

The Maltese Bippy

Last thing the pope needs to be reminded of.

Ed Garvey owes me lunch

Michael O'Hear (great guy, by the way).

This Friday works.

Height of grassroots frustration and anger

Obamacare 53, Romneycare 45
Given a choice of the first-term Democratic president and the former governor of Alaska, 55 percent of those [registered voters] surveyed by CNN pick Obama, 42 percent Sarah Palin.
The Swamp.

Paul Ryan's unseemly bromance with Glenn Beck

Glenn Beck: "I love you."

BECK: It's a cancer!
RYAN: Exactly.

How disgusting. Cancer is cancer. Ask somebody who has it, or who has lost a loved one to it. This is about as low as a politician can get.

Glenn Beck is hopeless but Paul Ryan should be ashamed of himself.

Call his office: 202-225-3031.

A Republican dress rehearsal

D.C.-area Walgreens report Depends on back order
Previewing Friday's Senate Judiciary Committee shenanigans

Concern Trolls of America contend Prof. Liu is unqualified because — oh dearie me — he had an unkind word for John Roberts and Samuel Alito. Conservatives insist they have never criticized a liberal judge.

Tough call, though: CSPAN-3 vs. WisconsinEye.

Top blogger quote of the day

I'm sure actual experts will rush to correct me.
— "libertarian" Megan McArdle

April 12, 2010

Pulitzer committee spurns Charlie Sykes again

Better luck next time.

Seriously, big congratulations to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Raquel Rutledge on this prestigious recognition. We all like to make fun of the local paper but it employs a number of very fine reporters.

(Chas. Sykes we just like to make fun of, period.)

Mike Huckabee slanders millions of Buddhists

You and your bogus categorical imperatives

Atheists "have no moral groundings at all" — Mike Huckabee

Mike Huckabee is a Baptist preacher, a top Republican presidential candidate, and a beloved Fox News personality. Also an ignoramus.

But at least he completed his term as governor.

Xoff hands Koschnick an election issue

Justice Prosser and the pedophile priest

WisDems "very upset" at Tea Party speaker


Amusing article in the Badger Herald:
Alleged ties to a white supremacist group ... could have views that may be questionable ... potentially disturbing background information ... reportedly spoke at an Alabama Secession rally ... covered topics touching on slavery and the Constitution ...
Golly! Reportedly could have possibly maybe potentially in theory ...

Anybody lay a glove on this guy yet? No?
Eidsmoe was not available for comment as of press time.
Funny, John Eidsmoe replied to my e-mail an hour before press time. I guess that makes me a white supremacist and a proponent of slavery also. That's some great reporting there, Badger Herald.

Exclusive — True/Slant reveals Eidsmoe's crimes against humanity:
Eidsmoe has suggested that the government "may not act contrary to God’s laws."
Whoa! (Uh, so does the Declaration of Independence.)

April 11, 2010

Blessed sanctity of "traditional" marriage(s) news

'Hey, SWAMPY!'*
Ninth time's the charm.

* Disclaimer: For all I care, Elizabeth Taylor can get married as many times as I could watch Who's Afraid Of Virginia Woolf?, which is a lot. And, in this particular instance, I expect the "procreative purpose" argument would fail, as Ms. Taylor is 78. But if the screen legend can marry nine times, why can't a gay couple get married even one time?

Oh, right. Because it would devalue Elizabeth Taylor's ninth marriage.


Ratzinger's claim of sovereign immunity "risible"

Geoffrey Robertson QC attacks the premise
[T]he papal states were extinguished by invasion in 1870 and the Vatican was created by fascist Italy in 1929 when Mussolini endowed this tiny enclave — 0.17 of a square mile containing 900 Catholic bureaucrats — with "sovereignty in the international field ... in conformity with its traditions and the exigencies of its mission in the world."

The notion that statehood can be created by another country's unilateral declaration is risible ...
Put the pope in the [prisoner's] dockGrauniad

Earlier: Lover's knots

April 10, 2010

Hemorrhoids favored by 37%: Poll

Boehner flaccid but within margin of error

h/t capper.

AG reminds Wisconsinites his is a partisan office

IOKIYAR update:
"I would expect to receive the requested information within ten business days," J.B. Van Hollen said in 2006. "That is if [then-Wisconsin AG Peg Lautenschlager's] office isn't too busy filing more frivolous, partisan nuisance lawsuits."
One Wisconsin Now, ten business days later.

Great moments in guilt by association

3) Jesus Christ hangs with Pharisees and whores
2) Johnny Cash performs for killers and thieves
1) James Bopp explains the law to Mike Plaisted

And, more recently ...

I have Googled John Eidsmoe

[Addendum: April 12.]
Wausau Tea Party organizer Meg Ellefson really should have at least Googled John Eidsmoe, the right-wing speaker with a history of white supremacist statements and affiliations, before inviting him to speak at the local rally next week.
Help me out here, willya: I cannot locate one "white supremacist statement," nor any "white supremacist affiliations," save the Southern Poverty Law Center's assertion, repeated uncritically by the Associated Press, that Eidsmoe once spoke to the League of the South (speaking engagements are how Eidsmoe makes his living).

While I certainly understand what legitimate concerns that such "statements" and "affiliations" would raise, this affair appears more of a fallacious guilt-by-association witch hunt than anything else.

In fact the views described by the Associated Press and other actors who picked up on the story were not connected to Eidsmoe himself, who, as far as I can tell, is a fairly standard-issue, right-wing paleo-constitutionalist with a Biblical bent (he's on YouTube — go watch).

And recall it was Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Randy Koschnick who initiated this hubbub when he reportedly objected to John Eidsmoe's alleged opinion that Jefferson Davis understood the U.S. Constitution better than Abraham Lincoln. Whoop-de-do.

Jefferson Davis: Not David Duke nor even Nathan Bedford Forrest.

While more open-minded students of the founding documents might find this speculative claim intriguing and wish to hear enunciated Eidsmoe's unique vision of federalism, Koschnick, presumably more mindful of his own political ambitions, chose instead to raise a fuss.

At, it seems to me, John Eidsmoe's considerable expense.

Yesterday in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, columnist Eugene Kane suggested that John Eidsmoe was a racist: "these folks," seemingly counting Eidsmoe among them. Kane offered no evidence either.

WXOW-19, the ABC affiliate in La Crosse, WI, also called Eidsmoe a white supremacist, complete with an additional false attribution.

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin asserted that Eidsmoe is a "[member of] a group that believes slavery was ordained by God" (without any supporting documentation whatsoever) and one blogger went so far as to describe Eidsmoe as a "proponent of slavery."

That is simply outrageous and there has been presented not the slightest shred of evidence in furtherance of such an accusation, which clearly should not be made lightly and without solid proof.

Somebody feel free to prove me wrong. Certainly Col. Eidsmoe is entitled to unpopular and even bizarre legal and historical opinions without getting tarred a "white supremacist" in the responsible press.

This may not be the confederacy, but it's still America. By the ghost of George B. McClellan, I enjoy the occasional flight of whimsy on the account of the Tea Party as much as the next person, but come on.

Maybe I'll hook up with a few of my pals at FreeRepublic.com and procure a speaking engagement for Col. Eidsmoe in Milwaukee.

Local clown will convene his circus tomorrow

Wow, what a balanced lineup. Should be a great debate.
Was Dad29 busy?*

Actually, Mikel Holt is sensible and considerably less of a personal masseuse to Charlie Sykes, but the others never listen to him.

Because then they might have to jabber something other than what they found in their National Review Online RSS feed instructions.

* Sunday INCITE! tapes during the 10:15 at Our Blessed Lady of Perpetual Conservative Republican Dyspepsia, Goerkes Corners.

See also: WTMJ power goes out on wrong day of week

GOP doesn't want another John Roberts

The umpire who prefers strikes to balls
Senate Republicans said Obama's Supreme Court nominee should not be an activist, which they describe as someone driven by a preferred result rather than by the law.
Evidently they've not read Justice Stevens's Citizens United v. FEC dissent. Or Stevens's opinion in Boy Scouts of America v. Dale, in which case they don't want another William Rehnquist either.

First of all I'd like to see Senate Republicans justify the proposition, on "original intent" grounds, that the Framers had in mind whining and weeping in public like colicky babies when they wrote "Advice."

Sex ed teachers unlikely to be prosecuted*

According to the Wisconsin Legislative Council.

My idea of a successful defense would be to sit silently at the table and make him prove it (assuming any judge would find enough probable cause to let the politically motivated stunt get that far).

* The Journal-Sentinel headline should read "successfully prosecuted."

"The most evil, remorseless sociopath of the lot."

But the priest was skillful with a rope and a true lover's knot
John S. Cummins, the former bishop of Oakland who repeatedly wrote his superiors in Rome urging that the priest be defrocked, said the Vatican in that era, after the Second Vatican Council, was especially reluctant to dismiss priests because so many were abandoning the priesthood.
Optimus contemplor, Joseph Cardinal Ratzinger

April 9, 2010

Republicans seeking to diminish Obama's power

Deep-six OLC lawyer who would diminish Obama's power.

They really are geniuses.

Hey Obama

When somebody asks you about Sarah Palin, say "Next question."

It just ain't worth the aggro, ever.

Nominee better bone up on art. I, § 8, cl. 1

'Cause Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Petulant) is comin' to getcha!

Earlier: Art. I, § 8, cl. 3, not so much.

Why can't God smite the Phelpses?*

Shirley they're the ones most needful of a decent smoting.

* For your humble correspondent, it's a rhetorical question.

Pontiff yields to petty gossip

If Erica Jong, then 1950s Lawrence C. Murphy. Q.E.D.
Father Lombardi repeated the church's analysis of what caused a profusion of abuse cases of past decades: the "sexual revolution" and a general secularization of society ...
Gimme a break. The clergy used to be better at logic than that.

Two brilliant Jon Stewart bits

From last night:
The Big Bang Treaty
Confederate History Month

Why Randy Koschnick complained

Tea fauxtrage sets Shelby Foote to rotating in his crypt

Update: WisDems clamber aboard the wild hyperbole bandwagon
Koschnick decided not to attend the rally with Col. John Eidsmoe* after being provided links to a video of a February celebration marking Alabama's secession from the union in which Eidsmoe said Confederate leader Jefferson Davis understood the Constitution better than Abraham Lincoln.**
So what? Perhaps he has his reasons for coming to that conclusion. They may be idiotic reasons, but that hardly makes the guy a racist either. Free speech is important to Koschnick when it's his speech.***

Now Judge Koschnick's complaining has deprived the Tea Party enthusiasts of John Eidsmoe's unique constitutional perspectives. Meanwhile, Koschnick has his own unique constitutional perspectives.

On balance, Eidsmoe is probably less full of it than Koschnick is.

If the Tea folks are adamant that their "beautiful movement" is entirely free from racial sentiment, then why are they so sensitive to what appear to be, in this case, highly questionable insinuations?

* Maybe RK really objected to the tacky black leather sports jacket.

** He's the one who suspended habeas corpus.

*** In which Koschnick espouses the money = speech theory. The former president of the southern confederacy's views of this peculiar First Amendment construction were unavailable at press time.

April 8, 2010

Koschnick got played in leftist media plot

Details of diabolical scheme emerge from Freeper consensus
An Alabama author who's spoken to white supremacists who believe slavery is ordained by God [was] scheduled to headline a Wausau tea party rally next week.

Jefferson County Circuit Court Judge Randy Koschnick complained to the rally's organizer ...
Associated Press
John Eidsmoe has spoken to white supremacists [sic]. What if he told them they were a bunch of apostate xenophobes and that they must repent. It's not often (as in: never) this blog quotes approvingly (in pertinent part) from FreeRepublic.com, but here goes:*
I have heard John Eidsmoe speak, and he is no racist. If you look at his biography, you cannot find anything in his life that would indicate that he is a racist. Read it for yourselves, and you decide. Obama was a member of a racist congregation for twenty years, but the MSM told us that he was not a racist simply because he was a member of a racist congregation. Eidsmoe is on a speakers circuit. He speaks at all sorts of meetings. This is a horrible slight against a good man.
And he's a retired Air Force lieutenant colonel and a professor of law, among other accomplishments (including a fifth degree black belt: step quickly, Grill Daddy!).
Eidsmoe offered to withdraw from the rally.
Sounds like a gentleman too.

Eidsmoe may espouse a few wacky Biblical interpretations of his own, but nobody seems to have shown him to be any kind of a racist yet.

So has potential Supreme Court candidate Randy Koschnick tragically misfired his political blunderbuss, and helped propagate unwarranted negative aspersions against this man's character and reputation?

Or else does Koschnick know something about Col. John Eidsmoe that the rest of the world doesn't know. In the meantime what he should know is that you can't believe everything you read in the papers.

Koschnick didn't mind sitting down with Joe the Plumber who, while not a racist, is just a goof, which in many respects is much worse.

* Grant me mercy, 0 Lord.

Koschnick refuses to appear with law professor

2009 Supreme Court candidate only sits with reputable characters
Jefferson County Circuit Judge Randy Koschnick complained to the Wausau, WI Tea Party's organizer after being presented with information about John Eidsmoe's background.
By the Associated Press.
John Eidsmoe is Professor Emeritus of Constitutional Law at the Thomas Goode Jones School of Law in Montgomery, AL, where his students have twice given him the Outstanding Professor Award, and serves as Senior Staff Attorney at the Alabama Supreme Court [formerly home to Roy's 10C Rock].
By the Lutherans For Life Speakers Bureau.

Huh. But, Joe the Plumber was A-Okay.

Next, teachers on the sex offender registry

Some very pointed commentary here.

It's one thing to dutifully publicize an alleged conflict between two statutes, quite another to threaten a criminal investigation and potential charges against (literally) law-abiding school teachers.

Talk about chilling speech and indeed, a textbook exercise in government prior restraint of protected speech. And so it was amusing yesterday to see some of the local nut-right Tea constitutionalists actually applauding this DA's memorandum.

Southworth previously railed against "the woolly-legged amazons at the [UW] Campus Women's Center," as Dahlia Lithwick explained.

Canada's socialist envoys to headline Summerfest

Rush has sold more than 40 million records worldwide. Rush is third behind the Beatles and the Rolling Stones for the most consecutive gold or platinum studio albums by a rock band.
I knew they were monsters, but I did not know that.

I wonder if those are Canadian gold or platinum, which you get for 10% of units shipped compared to what you need to sell in the U.S. (Canadian gold is 50K, Stateside it's 500K).

And I haven't kept up on it, but there used to be federal Canadian content laws according to which commercial radio stations had to play a mandated percentage of Canadian acts. There's no question Rush benefited from those Marxist commands which is funny because drummer Neil Peart's lyrics are mostly derived from Ayn Rand novels.

(Rep. Paul Ryan will be camping out for tickets.)

Apart from a few early numbers Rush's screaming, bombastic sci-fi pretentiousness always drove me crazy despite each and every member being superb musicians (especially Neil Peart). I much prefer Rush's sometime collaborators and touring mates Max Webster, who I expect are virtually unknown south of the Tundra.*

They put out a couple of minor masterpieces in the late 70s, Max Webster and High Class In Borrowed Shoes. Check 'em out.

Summerfest should talk them into reuniting.

* Although I see Max Webster's frontman-gone-solo Kim Mitchell went to #86 on the Billboard Hot 100 with "Go For Soda." (I would have guessed "Patio Lanterns" but it only made the Hot Mainstream Rock Tracks chart, whatever that might be. Both catchy tunes complete with suitably fromage-infused [literally: there's cheese in that fridge] 80s videos. Considerably less heavy and less harmonically dexterous than Max Webster was, however.)

Not appearing at the Coffee House Apr. 9

Pentecostal rock zombies:
If you close your eyes and pretend you’re not listening to a crew of inflammatory religious fanatics who dress like homeless warlocks, they’re actually pretty hilarious in a campy sort of way.
The Essential WinterBand.

April 7, 2010

Elect Sean B. Carroll for West Bend school board

University of Wisconsin geneticists discover how spots evolve

Yet alas, West Bend prefers creationists. Kind of embarrassing.*

* Assuming where that capacity exists.


Palin-Southworth ticket gains national steam
Wisconsin famous today for DA who'd charge hygiene teachers

Now all the folks who accused J.B. Van Hollen of pure political pandering can have an appropriate target for their derision.

Amazing: Rapid macroevolution observed

Complete skeleton discovered of intermediate RINO
The comments about this guy yesterday were beyond insulting from conservatives. He says he's a right-winger, and now, all of a sudden, the guy is George Washington. Laughable.
Take that, West Bend school board.

Who could have possibly seen this coming

Anybody, that's who:
Republicans argue that 39-year-old UC-Berkeley professor of law Goodwin Liu is a left-wing nominee whose case for confirmation rests on credentials and legal intellect, a threshold Liu himself said was insufficient when evaluating candidates for the Supreme Court.
Controversial writings = Senate war.

Goodwin Liu's hearing is (also) set for April 16.

What a festival of outlandish GOP performances that will be.

Jackson Browne to play Coffee House Apr. 9

Admission two cans of food. This man is clearly a pretender.

Conservative judge defeated

District II construction may now be less than strictly strict
Waukesha County Circuit Judge Paul Reilly on Tuesday defeated fellow Waukesha County Circuit Judge Linda Van De Water for a seat on the District II Court of Appeals.
Van De Water had even invoked all the magic words:
I believe it is imperative that a judge apply the law and uphold the Constitution with a strict interpretation rather than legislate from the bench by imposing their personal philosophy and opinions to achieve a particular outcome.
It's never been clear to me how you apply a "strict interpretation" to, for example, "unreasonable seizures" or "well regulated." In fact much of the Constitution's language (deliberately) eludes so-called "strict construction" and therefore it's one of the silliest claims a candidate for judge can make. Yet they make it all the time.

Why anybody buys it is a complete mystery.

And if "legislating from the bench" is just a facetious way of saying "making law," then appeals courts do that every single day. It's their job. By providing written opinions clarifying an unsettled aspect of the law, they repudiate prior understandings and create new ones.

That's called making law no matter what sarcastic conservative Republican euphemism you choose to designate it with.

xoff had produced a little backgrounder last week.

Retiring judge Harry S. Snyder wrote the lead opinion in Michael Gableman's judicial ethics proceeding. The Wisconsin Supreme Court will hear more arguments pursuant to that decision on April 16.

Meanwhile, this one won handily. Pure politics, which obscure merit.

Remembering Don Blankenship

The CEO of Massey Energy:
Blankenship set up a § 527 organization called "And For The Sake Of The Kids" which aired teevee ads that attacked Benjamin's opponent, then-incumbent Justice Warren McGraw.

The ads stated, "Letting a child rapist go free? To work in our schools? That's radical Supreme Court Justice Warren McGraw. Warren McGraw — too soft on crime. Too dangerous for our kids."

Blankenship also coordinated a letter writing campaign to the State's physicians, ostensibly appealing to their business concerns over medical malpractice insurance premiums, but actually asking them to help "get rid of a judge ... who let a rapist of children out of jail."
You think Wisconsin is bad, 07/28/08

April 6, 2010

West Bend prefers creationists

On its public school board.

District attorney "not a credible legal source"

Slow crime day in Mauston, WI
Juneau County DA Scott Southworth, a Republican, said in his letter he may charge teachers [teaching about contraceptives and STD prevention] with contributing to the delinquency of a minor, depending on the specifics of cases that come to him.
Palin/Southworth 2012.

I've got $20 that says this guy will be interviewed on Fox News in the next week. Any takers?

Sorry, gays, but marriage is a sacred institution

Set design by Leni Riefenstahl
According to a source who watched one of the videos, a naked woman is seen on her knees with her hands bound, while James is wearing a Nazi hat and waving his arm in a salute.
New York Daily News

This guy makes Tiger Woods look like Mahatma Gandhi.

Brang you're speling craywuns

That's not nice.

Still ...

Walker not beating Neumann hard enough

Poll shows rival Republican hopefuls in dead heat
Both Neumann and Walker have been running television advertisements statewide while Barrett has not.
Keep spending boys!

April 5, 2010

Streetwise Like Me

Embattled RNC chairman Michael Steele told ABC's George Stephanopoulos that as a black man, he has to stay hipper than white Republicans, it's how he maintains his edge. Lord knows, it's a tall order. So let's not overlook Steele's more formidable achievements.

Melissa Harris-Lacewell, a professor of politics at Princeton University, suggests that pragmatic young African Americans seeking political leadership positions may initially evaluate both parties.

With the Democrats, they find long lines of their peers, and the positions at the head of the line are occupied by entrenched personalities seemingly reluctant to relinquish their authority to more youthful aspirants.

On the other hand, the Republicans: 'Nuff said. Shorter lines to leadership and in fact, vacant positions. It's an intriguing hypothesis and would help to explain the likes of Thomas Sowell, whom nobody believes could take seriously his own unhinged natterings.

Woods gets in a few practice rounds

Beginning on Thursday former Accenture spokesman Tiger Woods will limber up for four days at a secluded course in Georgia in preparation for his return to professional golf this summer near Sheboygan, WI.

I'd sooner have unanesthetized root canal

Wisconsin Democrats solicit monitors of right-wing radio

Come to think of it, I might sign up for Crosstalk with Vic Eliason. If you want to do guano-crazy, then you may as well go for the gusto.

Ethics board clears Walker to campaign in Iowa

GOP candidate says he'll be promoting Milwaukee County tourism

While Walker may ride his Harley without protective headgear, helmet laws will be enforced during the courthouse portion of the tourist itinerary, due to volleyball-size chunks of falling limestone.

Delightfully irreverent cartoon

By Stuart Carlson, here.

Listecki is the current archbishop of Milwaukee.

See also: Keep a close eye on that child molester, sez Vatican

Charlie Sykes duped by canon law judge

Medium wave bloviator demanded "dead tree" coverage
Self-reported act of ecclesial heroism greatly exaggerated

Last week the Rev. Thomas Brundage briefly became a right-wing darling for claiming that had he been aware of the contents of then-Milwaukee archbishop Rembert G. Weakland's 1998 letter to the former office of the Inquisition in Rome, he would have appealed its recommendation halting the "church criminal trial" of an alleged 200-count child molester all the way up into the papal apartments.

Then on Friday Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reporter Annysa Johnson revealed that Rev. Brundage had actually drafted the letter himself.

The alleged child molester expired shortly thereafter and was, as the New York Times described it, "buried in his priestly vestments."

Earlier: Contradiction fails to trigger priest's recollection

April 4, 2010

Ryan will retire comfortably in a doomed America

Notes The Chief.

Deferred maintenance invites fear of lawsuits

A volleyball-size piece of cornice popped out March 4
County Executive Scott Walker's chief of staff declined to provide additional documents on the 2008 inspection [which found "significant deterioration and/or distress" in the courthouse's decorative limestone seven storeys above pedestrians]. He said county lawyers advised against releasing them* in case anyone sues over the falling limestone chunk.
It says here.

The same Republican candidate for governor Scott Walker who spent his time making a ridiculous great fuss over the Zoo Interchange, which was back to normal traffic capacity after only a couple of days.

* Orr used to mean Bobby Orr but now it means open records request.

Reader comments get off topic fast

Stanley ... The pedophilia of the Catholics has little to do with a Christian belief of Christ rising from the dead. Your mother would be ashamed of you for making that comment.
The story is about a highway construction.