July 31, 2010

Glenn Grothman, speaking for himself

"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.
"Democrats will turn America into a country like Africa."
Tom Barrett declined an interview request on the issue.
Now that is smart.

* An odd choice for GG, given their notorious sexual promiscuity.

Getting at the hole truth

"County officials have released only a small number of documents"
A change order was issued to make a few panels shorter to allow for more clearance. [That's a fact reported by the Journal-Sentinel.] The only panels this would apply to are the ones that vehicles pass under ... the ones over the [drivers]! IMO, the precaster [who fabricated the decorative panels] made the wrong end shorter (the top instead of the bottom) but had to keep the tops even so it looked right. To do this, the holes then didn't align. So direction was probably given by somebody to drill the 1/2" rods into it.
She/he might be on to something there. Although the dimensional change would need to have been transmitted to the fabricator on documents resembling Spinal Tap's print for their Stonehenge prop.

Because it's hard to imagine how the fabricator could have mistaken the lip for the leg without a massive breakdown in communication.

But it may not be purely coincidental that the one of the 70 panels on the building that fell was the one subject to a contract change order.

Ron Johnson's toe in the news

Item: Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Ron Johnson got a flu shot at Walgreens and also had something on his toe checked out.*
With [Ron Johnson's] free-market philosophy, we can turn our medical care over to any franchise — drive-through mammograms at McDonald's, a stress test at Stop and Go, appendectomies at Kwik Trip. — Gerald Martin, Franklin
We already have Pill & Puff for contraceptives and bronchitis.

* TMI.

"Sort of a mongrel people."

I understand Barack Obama has a quirky sense of humor, but that sounds like something you'd expect to hear at a cross burning.*

If the human species wants to get over "race" — and it should — then everybody's got to abandon that 19th-century fallacy completely in favor of thinking in terms of ethnic and cultural uniqueness instead.

And that includes the guy in the bully pulpit.

* Minus the "sort of," granted.

Arizona governor looks into mooting own case

Republican Governor of Arizona Jan Brewer, who signed the law and appealed a ruling blocking its most controversial sections, said Friday she would consider changes to "tweak" the law to respond to the parts U.S. District Judge Susan Bolton faulted. ... Brewer has said she'll challenge the decision all the way to the Supreme Court.

Ron Johnson's "screaming 20-somethings"

That's who's running his campaign for U.S. Senate, it says here.

May God, in His infinite mercy, help us all.

'The Senate is not an entry-level job.' ― Erick Erickson

eta: Candidate Ron Johnson flees from local reporters

This is known as giving them the Sharron Angle.

July 30, 2010

Has Scott Walker lost his marbles?

Walker blames way slab was hung*
All Advance Cast Stone [one of the O'Donnell Park parking garage construction subcontractors] needs to do is provide an analysis of the connection as installed, proving that it is capable of sustaining the minimum specified loads indicated on the construction drawings. . . .
Much as I had said, nearly a month ago.
[County executive Scott] Walker also lashed out at critics ...
I thought this guy was at least a relatively savvy politician. It seems very foolish of him to even acknowledge his own perceptions that those calling for the investigation to be handled by a body comprised of other than county officials are themselves motivated by politics.

Walker's reaction smacks almost of paranoia.

In Scott Walker's professional capacity as one of the persons in charge of the investigation at present, this appears extremely ill-advised and hints at his own lack of objectivity. Which is to say, not the sort of qualities you'd seek in a responsible investigator.

Let alone a State governor.
The county executive's latest remarks drew a strong reaction from the lawyer for Advance Cast Stone, the Random Lake precast concrete firm that built and installed the panels.
I guess so. That's all he needs, is Scott Walker trying his case.

If anybody wants a compelling reason to remove the investigation from Walker's control, I reckon Walker has just handed it to them.

On the other hand, maybe he knows what he's doing. But that's not the impression conveyed by the Journal-Sentinel's latest report.

* The original headline was: Walker sees no evidence other than concrete panel installation, which was a bit less accusatory.

Arizona loses another one

The Clerk shall calendar this case during the week of November 1, 2010 in San Francisco, California.
Ninth Circuit: Order (.pdf; 2 pgs.).

Arizona had sought the fast track but failed to show "good cause."
"I wouldn't be surprised if this gets fast-tracked."
Maybe he had a better argument than "this Clinton appointee."

Ben Nelson to oppose Rehnquist confirmation

Cites "lack of a judicial record."

In truth, his principled objections obtain from being terrified of voters. The Framers were observed to rotate in their crypts.
This may be the least defensible 'Nay' vote on a Supreme Court justice since Senator Obama gave John Roberts the thumbs down.

Well if it isn't the ol' Jesse Anderson trick

[According to the criminal complaint] Szuta called police later that night and said a young black male had pulled a gun on him and Weinhold while they were in Oak Creek, forced Szuta into the backseat and drove away with Weinhold and Szuta still inside the van. — South Milwaukee man charged in slaying
Jesse Anderson@Wikipedia

Ron Johnson: Champion of Freedom!

You and whose Dick Armey?

Champion of Freedom? Who are they trying to kid? Ron Johnson wants to license your guns and then inspect them every other year.

"In sum, it is clear that the Framers and ratifiers of the Fourteenth Amendment counted the right to keep and bear arms among those fundamental rights necessary to our system of ordered liberty."
The United States Supreme Court, June 28, 2010

That was after Ron Johnson had a chance to read the United States Constitution four or five times (he found it "difficult to understand").
We cannot infer much about [Elena Kagan's] current view on the Second Amendment and what restrictions on guns are permitted by it. — the "conservative" candidate Ron Johnson
You needn't infer anything about Ron Johnson's. He flat out told you.

Shorter Jeff Wagner

Penetrating legal analysis for the right-wing squawk devotees:
"This Clinton appointee — you knew it was going to be a Clinton appointee; you knew this — Clinton appointee ... It's one federal judge who, like I say, happens to be a Clinton appointee — what a surprise ... this Clinton appointee ... "
h/t James Rowen (who deserves a medal for enduring this blather).

Indeed, what a surprise.

How about the Reagan/Bush 43 appointees?

Jeff Wagner further consoles his afflicted followers:* "It's not even a ruling on the merits."** Strictly speaking, that's true. A ruling on the merits — that is, on the question of whether the challenged provisions of S.B. 1070 violate the federal Constitution — is yet to come. But you don't win an injunction unless you can establish a likelihood of succeeding on the merits, which is what the feds demonstrated. So it isn't as if the merits aren't considered.

* In the course of guaranteeing them a win in the U.S. Supreme Court without once saying how or why, apart from "this Clinton appointee."

** Republican Senator Jon Kyl, J.D. of AZ apparently begs to differ:
"[Judge Bolton] said that portions of [S.B. 1070] — the bulk of it — needed to be enjoined because of her view that it was pre-empted by federal law because it created undue additional burdens on the federal government."
Them's the merits right there. (Sen. Kyl overstates the case. If that was her view then she would have granted a permanent injunction.)

eta: At the Volokh Conspiracy, Prof. Jonathan Adler writes: "As Orin [Kerr] noted, Bolton held these provisions are preempted by federal law ... " No she did not. Surely this professor of law knows better.

She held only that the United States was likely to succeed in showing that those provisions are preempted by federal law. Big difference.

Judge Bolton was not even tasked with answering Adler's question.

Which reminds me ...

Ron Johnson manages to offend everybody*

Candidate Ron Johnson, arch-capitalist destroyer of jobs:

"Disgusting ... cruel ... offensive ... appalling ... ridiculous ... "

h/t Sly in the Morning.

Atlas Shrugged is not long enough. ― Ron Johnson
The Senate is not an entry-level job. ― Erick Erickson

* Except for Red China.

July 29, 2010

D.C. v. Heller changed everything

Which is to say, nothing:
This appeal presents a single issue, whether Defendant Michael Marzzarella's conviction under 18 U.S.C. § 922(k) for possession of a handgun with an obliterated serial number violates his Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. We* hold it does not and accordingly will affirm the conviction.

[W]e begin with Heller ...
Third Circuit: United States v. Marzzarella (.pdf; 35 pgs.).

This identical question has come up here before, in the context of our top local right-wing conservative firearms experts. I think that Heller and its recent companion, McDonald v. Chicago, should be of greater import to historians and political theorists than to gun buffs.

* Two Reagans and a G.W. Bush, for the record. It's amazing there are still any guns left after Obama and Elena Kagan seized them all.

Thank Heaven for Russ Feingold.

End Times held over until next Sunday

So Huckabee may rock and roll again.

This has been the End Times now for, what, 2500 years?

Only five billion more to go.

Methane gas alert issued for Wisconsin State Fair

A most unseemly petting zoo
The first [live debate between Republican candidates for governor Mark Neumann and Scott Walker] on Aug. 6 will take place on Jeff Wagner's radio program on WTMJ-AM at noon. He'll be broadcasting from the Wisconsin State Fair.
They'd best cut the horses' and bulls' rations a day or two beforehand.

Ron Johnson in the market for a new outrage

Opposition to the landmark health care overhaul declined over the past month, to 35 percent from 41 percent, according to the latest results of a tracking poll, reported Thursday.
Americans Warm to Single Greatest Assault on Their Freedoms

Megyn Kelly's alarmed grimace made permanent

Dems say nay to investigation of Bush DoJ's prosecutorial discretion

Ron Johnson is out for Mitch McConnell's scalp

We can bring America back, but first we need to boot professional politicians out of Washington.
I'm sorry, I meant to say out for Mitch McConnell's cash money:
Multimillionaire Ron Johnson will make his second secret fundraising trip to Washington DC [today]. Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is scheduled to hold a fundraiser for him at the [National Republican Senatorial Committee] headquarters.
Mitch McConnell has been a U.S. Senate fixture for more than a quarter of a century and just scant weeks ago threw his weight behind the Establishment Republican candidate Trey Grayson against conservative darling Rand Paul in the Kentucky GOP primary.

Go get 'em, Ron.*

So the next time Ron Johnson says Russ Feingold has been in Washington for too long, do take a moment to point and laugh.

* While you're at it, bring America back by dumping Richard Shelby (23 years), John McCain (23 years), and Chuck Grassley (29 years).

Check Ron Johnson's market conditions by following NYSE: BP

Prof. Rick's horn book statement of facts

Not even the public defender will come to the aid of Steve Doocy:
[Fox News] did not run it until after Sherrod was fired.
"I had to read it twice to makes sure that it wasn't satire."
— Prof. Rick

J-S editors nominate stealth judicial candidate

The manuscript I submitted referred to "Judge Bork." Apparently "William Bork" was substituted by editorial staff for publication.

July 28, 2010

Scott Walker's blogging of a political nature

[Milwaukee County executive and Republican candidate for governor Scott] Walker and three aides visit Wispolitics.com on their work computers from time to time.
Does that count?

Just call me Nostradamus

WorldNutDaily dot com headline: Clinton appointee guts Arizona law to defend citizens from illegal aliens

However, WorldNut's ambiguous grammar leaves open the question of whether the said defense obtains from the law or from its gutting.

Glenn Grothman gets his panties in a bunch

State Senator plays the posturing martyr in Madison.

"Democrats will turn America into a country like Africa."

Does the ADA know what "blogging" means?

Because 'web logging' doesn't mean reading the local news:
On that county computer, we found extensive blogging activity, including blogging of a political nature ...
Inquring minds want to know.

July 27, 2010

Ahmadinejad disses prognosticating cephalopod

Irony watch:
The Iranian president accused Paul the Octopus of spreading "western propaganda and superstition." Paul the Octopus was mentioned by Mr Ahmadinejad eight times for good luck during a speech in Tehran at the weekend. — Daily Torygraph
Cinema news: Retired Paul portrayed by body double

Scott Walker: The Crusher

Probably not the optimal choice of verbs.

h/t Playground Politics (comments thread).

Wisconsin teevee viewers warned of gross insults

Item: The National Republican Senatorial Committee has reportedly bought $470,000 worth of air time in Wisconsin.
Media insiders said the Republican ad buy was timed to coincide with the premiere of Bad Girls Club Season Five: Miami Beach.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee is chaired by Texas Senator "Big" John Cornyn, who is very concerned about the influence of foreign law in U.S. courts, such as Blackstone's Commentaries.

July 26, 2010

Ron Johnson's Headlines of the Damned

The Chief rounds 'em up:

Wis. Senate candidate wavers on sale of BP stock
— Chicago Tribune

Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson undecided about selling BP stock
— Appleton (WI) Post-Crescent

Republican Wis. Senate candidate Johnson who said he'd sell BP stock, now says he may not
— Minneapolis Star Tribune
(Schmitz as in Darrin Schmitz, that is.)

Ron Johnson's miracle blind trust can see again

Decisions, decisions, decisions:
On July 9, Ron Johnson's campaign said he would be moving his investments into a blind trust. — Associated Press*
What kind of a blind trust is that, where you're still personally involved in directing the retention or divesting of its assets?

Has it been to Lourdes or something?

* Further: "The campaign also said Johnson is entering all of his holdings into a blind trust to avoid any conflicts of interest."
— Mary Spicuzza, Wisconsin State Journal, 07/09/10

More: "'[The blind trust is] a traditional setup,' said Mordecai Lee, a political science professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. 'This is very common for wealthy candidates.'" — AP, 07/09/10

Eyesight To The Blind — Sonny Boy Williamson

Peaceful beatings, burnings, and hangings

The Most Reverend Randall Terry is a Blessed Man of Jesus.

Shouldn't Miguel Estrada be getting the same treatment?

The American Expectorator's low-tech lynching

Shorter Jeffrey Lord:*

I am a prima facie idiot,** therefore Shirley Sherrod is a liar.

The American Spectator always was a quality publication, wasn't it. What I'm curious to know is, how do you write a four-thousand-word magazine article without once cracking open a frigging dictionary?
So my apologies to Ms. Sherrod.***
Could become a regular thing: Thus sayeth the (Jeffrey) Lord.

File under: Breitblartiana.

* Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director.

** "Idiocy on its face," in the words of Mr. Jeffrey Lord.

*** For his prior horse shite.

eta: Radley Balko's advice to black people.
Also: Be sure to point out that Richard Russell was a Democrat.

Nay to Debbie Stabenow

This letter penned by MI Senator Debbie Stabenow has been making the rounds lately, and now it's appearing in some local papers:
Thanks to the leadership and strong support of Senator Russ Feingold, we were able to pass that ban, an extension of the ban in 2003, and a permanent ban in 2005. Russ Feingold stood with me every step of the way.
Well, not quite. The permanent ban was a provision in the Energy Policy Act of 2005 which Stabenow supported, but Feingold didn't.

None of this mitigates Ron Johnson's Great Lakes confusion.

Tyop of the day: 'Ron Johnson used Erie music.'

Oh no he din't.

July 25, 2010

Feingold and the War Logs

While I am disappointed it did not pass, I am encouraged by the support my Afghanistan timetable amendment received, particularly by most of the Senate Democratic leadership. This amendment would have given the American people the information they deserve on when our massive, open-ended military operation in Afghanistan will end. Now, however, this supplemental will add some $30 billion more to the nearly $300 billion we’ve already spent in Afghanistan, with no end in sight. This cannot go on and is yet another reason why a flexible timetable for drawing down our troops in Afghanistan is necessary and appropriate.
Seems he's been on to something. For quite some time.

Senator Feingold has been highly skeptical of Pakistani assurances that its intelligence services have not been collaborating with anti-American insurgents inside Afghanistan. And now it turns out that Sen. Feingold's skepticism has been remarkably well placed.

Ron Johnson in a nutshell

Ron Johnson calls [the federal health care reform bill] "socialized medicine," while acknowledging that it is not that.
Why is Ron Johnson lying to Wisconsinites?
On Friday, Johnson said he did not think he ever heard the Great Lakes portion of the question. ... [Lake Michigan] freezes over at times, making drilling difficult, he said.
Where does he think Alaska is, on the Equator?

Dave Westlake pounces in Polk County

Do I detect a hint of sarcasm?
DAVE WESTLAKE: I recognize the Constitution is the law of the land. It's not a difficult document to truly understand. [Ron Johnson] has said on multiple occasions that he's not a constitutional scholar and he's not qualified necessarily to make some interpretations of the Constitution.

Well, that's kind of the purpose of what you do in the Senate. You look at the law of the land and you make sure that everything that you do is within the Constitution, within the framework of the Constitution.
On the campaign trail with Dave Westlake

July 24, 2010

Who cut that purchase order

The large disparity in bid prices should have raised concerns for county officials when deciding whom to choose for the precast panels, said Mark Federle, a Marquette University professor of construction engineering management.
I'll say.

Moreover, somebody ought to take a look at the three contractors' estimates, because the labor hours should be roughly equivalent.

Wow, Christian Schneider actually has a point

For once:
[Mike McCabe's] views on this subject, on which he is constantly being cited by [Wisconsin] media,* appear driven by politics, despite the fact that the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign is a supposedly nonpartisan operation.
Mr. Schneider's suggestion is well taken. The WDC is about as nonpartisan as Schneider's Wisconsin Policy Research Institute.

* Truth be told, I find this baffling as well.

Breitblart presents BigJudiciary.com

Via something called "Courthouse News Service" (which is "for lawyers," it says) this report on the Wisconsin Supreme Court's split decision in Wisconsin Judicial Commission v. Michael J. Gableman:
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices David Prosser, Drake Roggensack [sic] and Annette Kingsland Ziegler agreed that the complaint by the Wisconsin Judicial Commission against Gableman should be dismissed.
Courthouse News Service doesn't even mention that there are three other justices on the court who came to the opposite conclusion, despite entitling the report, "Wis. Justice's Campaign Ad Wasn't Defamatory," the latter theory of defamation being a feature of the competing opinion which the report's author completely ignored.

And to top it all off:
Gableman's ad was in response to a Butler ad claiming that Gableman "coddled child molesters" and had "purchased his job."
Pure falsehood. Louis Butler claimed no such thing.

Quite the "news service" you got there.

Here's a funny video of Breitblart demanding CNN verify its sources.

July 23, 2010

What Republican Ron Johnson is known for

Among conservatives, that is:
Ron Johnson is also known for rudely walking away from people who he feels won't vote for him — even Republicans!*
Johnson lacks substance and knowledge — the only things he has going for him [are] a negative ad campaign and money.
RedState.com conservatives keep on beating up Ron Johnson

* Not to mention tearing down Republican election signs off the wall.

GOP's cunning plan to relieve grandkids of deficit

NOT the whiteman's Mitch:
Make it so they can't read or count.

h/t Scot@OWN.

Caution urged

County executive warns pedestrians of debris

La Crosse priest's trial delayed until October

Sexual assault trial was scheduled to begin next Monday.

Dishonest J-S editorial criticizes dishonest ads

File under: Breitblartiana

Xoff saved us all a lot of time on this one.

Nevertheless, let's drill down, so to speak.

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial reads:
WisPolitics asked, "Do you want to open up more of the United States — the continental United States — to drilling. I mean, would you support drilling like in the Great Lakes for example, if there was oil found there, or using more exploration in Alaska, in ANWR, those kinds of things?"
So far so good. Here's where things go awry:
Johnson said in part, "We have to be realistic and recognize that fact, and I think we have to get the oil where it is but we need to do it responsibly."
Recognize what fact? The Journal-Sentinel doesn't say. Ron Johnson asserts two facts, both of which the J-S deliberately omits. This is his immediate response, including the preface that the J-S excised:
RON JOHNSON: Y'know, the bottom line is that we are an oil-based economy. We're really, there's nothing we're going to do to get off of that for many, many years. So I mean we just have to, we have to be realistic and recognize that fact and I think we have to get the oil where it is ...*
1) This are an oil-based economy.
2) It will be for many years.

Therefore, says Ron Johnson, "we have to get the oil where it is," including in the Great Lakes. That is what he was specifically asked, and that is what he was specifically answering. That he wants to do it "responsibly" doesn't change the fact that Johnson says we have to "get the oil where it is," including the Great Lakes.**

Conclude the J-S editorialists:
So, he doesn't respond directly to the Great Lakes portion of the question, instead answering generally.

And, as Xoff correctly points out, it wasn't until nearly a month later — after Russ Feingold's teevee ad appeared — that Ron Johnson went hiking the flip-flop trail. Johnson said a number of politically silly things at various events in June before someone told him to clam up.

That's why he's more recently gone Sharron Angle.

* 100610Johnson.mp3. The exchange is at 13:23.

** There is oil there. See "Should Canada Continue Drilling for Oil and Gas Under the Great Lakes?" by S. Nazhmetdinova (.pdf; 41 pgs.).

July 22, 2010

Freud slipped here

"We're running behind, I'm sorry." — aide to Sharron Angle

I thought that wasn't supposed to be possible.

NOT the whiteman's Volokh

I would be inclined to say that a viewpoint-neutral rule prohibiting vulgarities or epithets might well be constitutional, since the ballot is a state-created limited public forum.
Well, there is no such rule. There was a ruling, and it most certainly was not viewpoint-neutral: It was directly viewpoint-discriminatory.

Volokh then refers us to a federal case from New York where the dispute was over exceeding the maximum number of letters in a ballot message, yet the "epithet" was allowed to stand. Not helpful.

Further demerit points assessed against Prof. Volokh for egregiously conclusion-assuming use of the word "since." Final grade: D.

Surely by the time they've reached voting age folks have had more than ample opportunity to get their delicate sensibilities assaulted. I know some 13-year-olds who read The Onion (and get the jokes).

Newt Gingrich brings Wahhabism to WI 7th

But stops short of advocating
Death by stoning for adultery

An odd and repellent "ideas guy"
Related: Newt hearts Sean Duffy
And: Newt hearts Scott K. Walker

Shed a tear for Breitblart, the real victim

Gee whiz, who would have seen this coming.

Breitblart meant well, so innocent and trusting was he.

Conservative strategy upon losing AZ injunction

Blame the Bill Clinton appointee. Just you wait and see.

Did God call Johnson campaign to break the law?

"Hey, don't blame Me for this one." — God
"God is calling me to this," said Tony Blando, president of the Unified Catholic Schools of Oshkosh, WI. — May 18, 2010
Unified Catholic Schools President Tony Blando on Tuesday acknowledged he "screwed up" when he sent a July 2 e-mail to UCS parents, staff and faculty asking them to support Republican U.S. Senate candidate Ron Johnson by walking with him in Oshkosh's Independence Day Parade. — July 21, 2010
h/t The Chief.

Bobby Jindal, the oyster exorcist

In statements to The A.P. and The Journal, Garrett Graves, chairman of Louisiana's Coastal Protection and Restoration Authority, and a lead official in the state's oil spill response, indicated that BP would be held responsible for the damage to the oyster beds caused by the freshwater releases.
Not a chance in Hell.

July 21, 2010

Whiteman O. Ricardo ignores precedence

Nothing quite like proving Ieshuh Griffin's point.
Care must be taken in any interpretation that the government is not placed in the position of deciding "what political speech is safe for public consumption by applying ambiguous tests."
Wisconsin Judicial Commission v. Michael J. Gableman, Memorandum Decision of Justice David T. Prosser, Justice Patience Drake Roggensack, and Justice Annette Kingsland Ziegler (citing Citizens United v. Federal Elections Comm'n, 130 S. Ct. 876, 896).

One man's vulgarity is another's lyric. — Cohen v. California

Lonely Melody — Paul Whiteman feat. Bix Biederbecke (Cornet)

'White man' is two words, election board rules

Independents are allowed a five-word statement of purpose on the ballot to explain to voters what their candidacy is about.
But I thought the right to political speech was darn near absolute.*

This here white man hopes Ms. Griffin wins her appeal.

* See, e.g., Wisconsin Judicial Commission v. Michael J. Gableman.

Young Republicans, you stay classy

The Board also dismissed a ballot challenge against Tammy Baldwin brought by the Young Republicans of Dane County, saying she should be disqualified for running for re-election because she had listed her campaign office rather than her home address on her nomination papers.

The Board said Baldwin could continue [since 1998] to list her office address because, as an openly lesbian member of Congress, she had received threats.

Journal Broadcast Group quote of the day

Milestones in shameless self-promotion:
I actually told James about it. He didn't think it was a big deal ... until Sykes called to interview him about it.
Via Folkbum.

Also, the Brawler notes that Charlie Sykes got as thoroughly and completely suckered by Breitblart as the NAACP and Tom Vilsack.

I caught a bit of the kerfuffle on CNN yesterday afternoon. Rick Sanchez and Roland Martin were onscreen, and they had Shirley Sherrod on the phone. Rick Sanchez was telling Ms. Sherrod to pipe down while Roland Martin (sans ascot) continued lecturing her about being careful what she said, because of the Breitblarts and their editing machinery, as if that should be her primary consideration.

Is he kidding? To hell with Breitblart.
"What's striking to me about this Department of Agriculture fracas is that everyone was so quick to jump to conclusions: Someone reports a few ambiguous comments out of context and, before checking with the woman or getting the whole story, concludes: 'She's a racist!'" said Richard Ford, a law professor at Stanford and author of "The Race Card: How Bluffing About Bias Makes Race Relations Worse."

"This is the way race plays out all too often these days — as soon as the accusation of racism is made, good will, the benefit of the doubt, presumption of innocence all go out the window. It's seen as a virtue to jump to the least charitable conclusion when the issue is race — those who reserve judgment are accused of naivete or complicity," he said.

Wisconsin constitution pretty easy to amend

All you have to do is get Scott Walker to sign it.

Scott Walker's mighty powers as Milwaukee County executive are rivaled only by those of its Democratic [sic] sheriff, whose unilateral authority can turn the House of Correction into a Bible camp.*

* Another Constitution may have something to say about that.

July 20, 2010

Ron Johnson requires you to license your guns

And submit to government-mandated functionality testing in order to receive the benevolent granting of those licenses' annual renewal:
Like we license cars and stuff. I don't have a real problem in minimal licensing and stuff. I mean, I don't.
— Republican candidate Ron Johnson, June 11, 2010
So it comes as a bit of a surprise to read Ron Johnson's blog post essentially accusing Senator Russ Feingold of dishonesty for his Second Amendment positions. But thanks to Russ Feingold, Ron Johnson's licensing proposals are probably unconstitutional.

While Ron Johnson was just another multi-millionaire from Wisconsin lolling on his divan hypnotized by Bill O'Reilly and Dick Morris's snow jobs, Russ Feingold was affixing his name to Texas Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison's amicus brief in McDonald v. City of Chicago.

Senator Feingold and the others filed the brief with the U.S. Supreme Court to urge the Justices to make their holding in a prior decision, D.C. v. Heller, applicable to all State and local governments. The Court agreed with Feingold, and cited the brief numerous times during the course of its majority opinion, authored by Samuel Alito.

Ron Johnson, for reasons best understood by only he and his crack team of legal researchers, apparently finds that incongruous because Russ Feingold opposed the confirmation of Justice Alito in 2006.

Gun buffs

Except Russ Feingold's opposition to the confirmation of Samuel Alito had nothing to do with the Second Amendment. As a career conservative Republican, Alito could certainly be depended upon to sympathize with the attitudes prevailing among Larry Pratt, Wayne LaPierre, and the rest of the nationally prominent gun buffs.

Rather, Feingold's opposition had to do with Alito's record of support for unilateral executive encroachments on the individual liberties enshrined in the Bill of Rights, specifically, the Fourth Amendment.

For but one example, substantive questions raised by Alito's celebrated dissenting opinion as a Third Circuit Court of Appeals judge in the 2004 case of Doe v. Groody, in which Alito defended the strip-search of a ten-year-old girl in her home, even though the executive authorities' warrant did not "particularly describ[e] the place to be searched," as the U.S. Constitution requires.*

Nor had Feingold's opposition to Alito's nomination anything to do with the then-president. Had Johnson been paying attention to someone other than Fox lawyers Megyn Kelly and Andrew Napolitano, he would have known that Senator Feingold was similarly vigilant throughout the Clinton era, and remains so during the Obama years.


If candidate for Senate Ron Johnson really is as devoted to "freedoms" as he claims he is, his attentions should be in perfect consonance with Senator Feingold's principled defense of individual constitutional protections as against any broadening of executive branch power over the liberties guaranteed by the Bill of Rights.

And perhaps some intrepid reporter might ask candidate Johnson why he's so cool with subsuming the right to keep and bear arms — which Senator Feingold recently succeeded at incorporating into the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment — within a DMV-like regime of state approval and registration. At the least, it will give the GOP candidate an opportunity to perform another about-face.

* The majority opinion was written not by some wild-eyed Warren Court devotee, but by Michael Chertoff, appointed to the Third Circuit by George W. Bush (with Sen. Feingold's advice and consent) and later named to head up the Department of Homeland Security.

Because everybody is on the edge of their seats

Yes, Lindsey Graham will vote 'Yea' to confirm Elena Kagan, because he is not a petulant child as are his Republican committee colleagues.

(She will respect "precedence.")

July 19, 2010

Gableman asked to reprimand judge

Now there's a recusal rule WMC they hadn't considered.

Nate Silver is not liking Ron Johnson's chances

Statistical Wunderkind Nate Silver crunches a bunch of numbers and puts the Republican/Fox News/BP candidate at 3-1 odds against.

Five-to-one he can name all of the Great Lakes.

Johnson mocks "geographically-challenged" West

Hypocrisy alert:
"Does Feingold support endorser Peggy West's geographically-challenged immigration policy?" tweets the geographically-challenged Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson. Takes one to know one?

See also: Ron Johnson ad rated "barely true." That's being generous.

Wisconsin Senate race: Overheard on CNN

'The Senate is not an entry-level job.'
Ron Johnson became a politician in May, because Dick Morris.

Ron Johnson insists NY is not a Great Lakes State

A gift that keeps on giving:
Ron Johnson's campaign responded Thursday by providing links to three government and academic websites that divide the country into general regions, and don't include New York in their Great Lakes region. — The Associated Press
Funny, the "Tea Party" speaker deferring to both the federal government and the pointy-headed academics. How convenient.

Except Johnson was referring to "Great Lakes Senators" in his video ad. In the case of those government and academic websites, obviously the naming of the regions came after dividing them up.

It's like the Pacific Reporter, which includes Oklahoma and Kansas.

Ron Johnson should know that Senators represent States, not regions. But Ron Johnson may find some solace in the fact that the Cat Fanciers' Association likewise snubs both Wisconsin and Illinois.

Prof. Rick's horn book writing and research

Prof. Rick is skeptical Republican/Fox News/BP candidate for Senate Ron Johnson ever said he wanted to open up the Great Lakes to oil & gas drilling. "His answer did not mention the Great Lakes but the question to which he was responding is said to have used the Great Lakes as an example — although I have yet to see anyone reproduce it and it now seems to be behind WisPolitics' pay wall," alleges Rick.

No it ain't. June 10, 2010:
WISPOLITICS: Do you want to open up more of the United States to drilling? I mean, would you support drilling like in the Great Lakes, for example, if there was oil found there, or more exploration in Alaska, ANWR, those kinds of things?

RON JOHNSON: Y'know, the bottom line is that we are an oil-based economy. We're really, there's nothing we're going to do to get off of that for many, many years. So I mean we just have to, we have to be realistic and recognize that fact and I think we have to get the oil where it is ...
"Like in the Great Lakes, for example." That was the question.

To be fair, Ron Johnson doesn't know where the Great Lakes are.

Sarah Palin's freedom from religion foundation

Pls refudiate warlike Muslims swimming pool kthxbai.

July 18, 2010

More Sensenbrenner's swivel-eyed maniac

The Guardian's George Monbiot wonders:
Is this the man who was invited to testify before Congress?
Yes, he was, by Wisconsin's own F. James Sensenbrenner.

Like Jesus, Republican served on school board

God's plan involves populating U.S. Senate with crackpots

Thanks for guaranteeing Harry Reid his job.

Well whaddya know

In court, the Obama administration and its allies now defend the [federal individual health insurance mandate] as an exercise of the government's "power to lay and collect taxes."

And that power, they say, is even more sweeping than the federal power to regulate interstate commerce.
Who'da thunk it.

July 17, 2010

J-S: Kagan will make a competent probate judge

Solicitor General knows a creditor from a surviving spouse
[H]er answers demonstrated a respect for precedence ...
Presumably the editorial board meant precedent.

They did pick up on her throwing Thurgood Marshall under the bus.

(Speaking of Justice Thurgood Marshall, Prof. Mark Tushnet is appearing live in Milwaukee this Wednesday evening at 5:30.)

Lose the decorations, says Barrett

Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett has ordered workers to remove all the façade panels remaining on the MacArthur Square parking garage, the city's public works chief said Friday.
And rightly so. It's a frigging parking garage, not the Taj Mahal.

Meanwhile in the county government bailiwick:
"The problems that appear to have come to light are things that would not have been readily available with a sight inspection, short of knowing what to look for," county executive Scott Walker told reporters.
One might hope building inspectors would know what to look for.

There you have your two candidates for governor of Wisconsin: one is taking affirmative measures while the other is making excuses.

July 16, 2010

Great moments in clinical denial

Patrick McIlheran: "Climategate" "scandal" anything but over
Mark Williams: Racism "impossible" in Tea Party movement

Trout learn of Ron Johnson threat to drill lake

This one was trying to relocate to Irondequoit.

"Ron Johnson can't seem to make up his mind about anything on any given day," said Alan the brown trout, 16, of Racine, WI. "But I figured I'd be on the safe side and haul anal fin to somewhere he doesn't even know exists, like maybe Titicaca or Lake Ontario."

Earlier: Canadians politely refuse Ron Johnson's gift of Buffalo (NY)

Feingold aide implicated in espionage plot

Blogging Blue's proprietor Zach W. makes note of hysterics erupting among the local wing-nuts, upon their learning of the presence of a dastardly interloper at a Ron Johnson campaign event. But you'd have to be a fool not to follow what your political adversary is up to.

Especially when the adversary is Ron Johnson, who appears to be not only developing a habit of contradicting his own prior assertions within hours (and in one case rather expensively* projecting his comically dishonest denial), but reducing the United States Senate to 98% capacity** and the Great Lakes by 17,480 square miles.

I understand Republican/Fox News candidate Ron Johnson famously enthused he is "glad there is global warming," but that is ridiculous.

* Johnson has money to burn producing a growing collection of video ditties. Credibility is more precious and far more easily flammable.

** An assault on our constitutional freedoms!

Footnotes key to court's "dysfunction"

Another take on the "baby mama" sentencing case:
The interesting, but hardly surprising, aspect of this case is that Justices Gableman and Ziegler with their history of allegations of bias and who have used the ambiguity in this area of the law to their advantage, wanted to avoid adding clarity to the area and discuss how to resolve situations involving potential judicial bias. In fact, Justice Gableman could offer no more a rebuttal of the concurrence other than saying in a footnote bluntly and rudely (conduct uncharacteristic of the civility that once was the standard in all judicial decisions), "She is wrong."

I submit this may have been an instance of a defendant breathing a sigh of relief at losing his appeal. He received a fair to middling sentence for selling cocaine and I believe was released from the confinement portion of the sentence some time ago. Had his appeal succeeded, his remedy would have been resentencing, where he would have stood a reasonable chance of getting sent back to jail.

While the appearance of bias claim wasn't without merit — the defendant won his first appeal; that decision was reversed by the Supreme Court — filing the appeal was a mighty close call.

One thing that's always bothered me about this case is that it isn't even clear whether the defendant understood those portions of the judge's sentencing colloquy which later became contentious.

When the judge said (I'm paraphrasing), 'Where do you find these women, is there a club?' the defendant replied, 'She doesn't go to clubs.' But the judge wasn't talking about nightclubs. So what was argued to be among the most disparaging of the sentencing judge's remarks seems to have gone right over the defendant's head.

July 15, 2010

Surefire election year loser

MKE county leaders want info on sheriff's immigration policies

If anything is going to turn sympathies toward Sheriff David Clarke, it's this. There is currently approaching zero patience for — especially — persons who've entered the country unlawfully and not much more for those ones here on expired visas and travel documents.

This is a tough enough year for Democratic politicians as it is, without these chilling "sanctuary city" rumblings. So let's get back to some more stories about Sheriff Clarke's unrestrained constitutional authority to set up Bible camps in the House of Correction.

What's Lake Ontario, chopped liver?

Republican Ron Johnson campaign commercial voiceover: That's right. Feingold was the only Great Lakes Senator to vote no [on the Energy Policy Act of 2005].
Except New York Senators Clinton and Schumer voted 'Nay' as well.

For a moment yesterday Fox News/BP candidate Ron Johnson was running for governor of Wyoming, today he's abandoned Lake Erie to the Canadians (where you can't get a knee or hip replacement).

No wonder Ron Johnson can't make up his mind if he wants to drill for oil in the Great Lakes or not: He doesn't even know where they are.

"I pity the poor research assistant." — B.A. Baracus

Ron Johnson raking in the dough today

BP is headed for $40 on news the firm successfully capped its well.

And, wow, does Ron Johnson ever sound like Henry Waxman.

Separated at birth?

Son of Canadian radio legend mortally wounded

David Frum asks and answers of leading wing-nut Mark Levin:
Why would anyone boast of having been the first to introduce a noxious falsehood into American life? Why take credit for ugly and stupid propaganda? But human vanity is an amazing thing. Back in medieval York, I'm sure there was considerable scuffling over who was the first to think of accusing the Jews of grinding up Christian babies to make matzah.
He called me "FrumBum." Ouch. Ow.

Wisconsin Supreme Court footnote of the day

[14] Chief Justice Abrahamson has never liked the good-faith exception to the exclusionary rule. She obviously prefers the law as it stood in 1923 ...
State v. David A. Dearborn, 2010 WI 84.

Actually I think she prefers the 2009 law that you just adopted.

"Gableman, who is white ... "

A provocative little aside from the AP.

We knew pretty well Gableman was not black from his teevee ads.

Now Ron Johnson wants BP to drill for free

Ron Johnson would have voted to approve relief from royalty payments on BP's lease in Mississippi Canyon Block 252, where crude oil has been spewing into the Gulf of Mexico for nearly three months, described as the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

Republican/Fox News/BP/Onetime-but-since-spurned Tea Party candidate for Senate Ron Johnson is running a teevee ad complaining about how he was totally for oil & gas drilling in the Great Lakes until a couple of days later, when he suddenly became adamantly opposed to it. Now apparently he's angry with himself for saying addlepated things and therefore he's lashing out against Russ Feingold.

Makes sense. If you're a Dick Morris protégé, that is. Which he is.

Another thing Ron Johnson is upset with Russ Feingold about is that Feingold opposed the Texas-driven Energy Policy Act of 2005, which contained tens of billions of dollars worth of subsidies and tax breaks to the hard-done-by oil & gas industry, including relief from paying royalties on deepwater oil drilling leases in the Gulf of Mexico.

No wonder Ron Johnson would have voted with Texas representative and official British Petroleum apologist Joe Barton to relieve British Petroleum of its American public mineral rights obligations: Ron Johnson owns as much as $325K worth of British Petroleum stock.

Perhaps if you're going to lambaste somebody for opposing certain legislation, you might want to take a look and see what's in it.

After all, Ron Johnson has the bigtime political researcher now.

July 14, 2010

What the city engineers said

City engineers were uncomfortable with the setup and that played a role in their decision to remove the 23 façade panels over the entrance and exit at MacArthur Square last year and early this year. Besides ... [city] engineers saw no reason to take any chances with purely decorative elements.
Me neither. I can't possibly be the only one having a really hard time with the very idea of "26,000-pound decorative concrete slab."

I don't even get to "aligned and mounted vertically" or "overhead."

Dumb MSM pack improves nut-right fortunes

It says here.

Ron Johnson: Wyoming wolf issues are "chronic"

A bit of personal bio from Ron Johnson's campaign website:
Growing up in Cody, I came to understand the importance of tourism very early. Many parts of Wyoming rely heavily on tourism and travel and I have the experience and the knowledge to lead on these important issues. I have the right plan to deal with the wolf problem and bring management of these predators under the control of the people of Wyoming.
Ron Johnson has a tourism policy for, er, Wyoming.

(What, aren't there any web designers in Oshkosh?)

Thank you, Chief Judge Frank Easterbrook

Top conservative at the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals:
We do not think it profitable to parse these passages of Heller as if they contained an answer to the question whether [a particular statute] is valid. They are precautionary language. Instead of resolving questions such as the one we must confront, the Justices have told us that the matters have been left open. The language we have quoted warns readers not to treat Heller as containing broader holdings than the Court set out to establish: that the Second Amendment creates individual rights, one of which is keeping operable handguns at home for self-defense. What other entitlements the Second Amendment creates, and what regulations legislatures may establish, were left open. [Heller] is not a comprehensive code; it is just an explanation for the Court's disposition. Judicial opinions must not be confused with statutes, and general expressions must be read in light of the subject under consideration.United States v. Skoien (.pdf; 38 pgs.).
Almost exactly as I had said.

h/t Michael O'Hear.

Baby mama unites "dysfunctional" court

At best, this term ["baby mama"] reflects popular slang, referring to a mother who is not married to and may or may not have a continuing relationship with the father of the child or children. Even [the defendant, who is African American] acknowledges this phrase is sometimes used with reference to non-African Americans. It also appears that both parties agree the phrase, at a minimum, can be offensive depending on the context of its use.

Looking at the [sentencing] hearing transcript as a whole, we do not believe that the circuit court's use of the phrase "baby mama" makes it highly probable or reasonably certain that the circuit court actually relied on race when imposing its sentence.

— Majority opinion at ¶¶55-6

[The defendant] also contends that the term "baby mama" was "racially offensive." The parties dispute whether the term "baby mama" has a racial connotation, but both agree that the term has recently emerged in popular culture. As the Seventh Circuit has explained, "[t]he use of slang in discharging the awesome duty of sentencing is regrettable." In addition to diminishing the proper decorum of the courtroom, the use of slang should be guarded against because it may be subject to unintended interpretations.

I conclude that there has been no showing of actual bias or the great risk of actual bias. Generally, "baby mama" is a slang term referring to the unmarried mother of a man's child, and the court was considering [the defendant's] relationship with a woman who fit that definition. Thus, based on the above, I conclude that [the defendant] has failed to meet his burden to demonstrate that the sentencing court actually considered or appeared to consider an improper factor, racial stereotypes, when imposing the sentence.

— Concurring opinion at ¶¶111-12

State v. Landray M. Harris, 2010 WI 79.

Please visit the baby mama archives.

Van Hollen may only join the silly suits

Item: Governor rejects Wisconsin AG's "political stunt"

This one really does sound like a political stunt.

But Gov. Doyle did allow Van Hollen to chase down the Godless.

July 13, 2010

Vitter would join amicus craziae briefs

Senator Vitter of Louisiana has nothing better to do.

Ron was speaking to the greater reality

Yeah right.

Ron Johnson must think you are pretty dumb.

"The worst piece of journalism I have ever read."

Notwithstanding its triumph of puerility ...
This is the worst piece of journalism I have ever read. Putting aside any criticism of the NAACP, some of which may very well be valid, to throw around allegations of Marxism, allegiances to Mao and to link Democrats to genocide is inflammatory, irresponsible (both professionally and personally) and insulting. The post only proves the NAACP's point as it reeks of McCarthyism and worse. I appreciate hearing from both sides on an issue but the Journal Sentinel would do better if they replaced this columnist with any other living person in the world. — nicholas53202, on the "award-winning" P. McIlheran
When exactly did newspaper columnists become internet trolls?

Walker strategist reveals elitist disdain for voters

Scroll down for "tweet."

Big jerk forgets Ashlee makes us want to believe in Wisconsin again

Double negative of the day

In his official capacity ...
Spartanburg, SC council chairman Jeff Horton says that as a Christian he could not ask anyone not to pray in Jesus' name.
h/t Religion Clause.

Sessions needs another week to think about "No"

Jefferson Beauregard III is not exactly the brightest of bulbs.

Bloomberg: Elena Kagan committee vote held over to next Tuesday

Why not just get rid of them all?

County to remove adjacent O'Donnell Park panel Thursday:
County Executive Scott Walker has said it is unlikely, but possible, that the structure may never reopen for parking if it is deemed too expensive to repair or replace the panels.
They're for decoration.

July 12, 2010

Ron Johnson's Belgian oil skimmers

Here's Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Ron Johnson rambling away about some stuff maybe he heard from Dick Morris:
"I think [the moratorium] is strictly a purely political move. [The Obama administration is] trying to cover their hide because they did not suspend the Jones Act so we could get all those skimmer ships in from Belgium." — June 21, 2010
Surprise: Ron Johnson is a shameless purveyor of buncombe.

First Ron Johnson said BP was guilty of negligence before all the facts were in, then he said it wasn't appropriate to speak of BP's negligence until all the facts were in. First Ron Johnson said he was all about drilling for oil & gas in the Great Lakes, then he said he was firmly opposed to drilling in the Great Lakes. Which nugget of political wisdom recently dispensed to Tea Party and nut-right radio interviewers is Ron Johnson going to utterly contradict next?

Free agent Dred Scott signs with Miami Heat

'Professional sports,' like 'music business,' is an oxymoron
"[Dan Gilbert's] feelings of betrayal personify a slave master mentality," Reverend Jesse Jackson said in a statement released Sunday. "He sees LeBron as a runaway slave."
That's another guy you wonder why anybody calls them "Reverend."

h/t Eugene Kane.

"Extensive political blogging"

You know, a source for a direct quote that one is attributing to the Milwaukee County District Attorney's Office would be nice. As would an explanation of how a "technical forensic expert" is tasked with evaluating the so-called political content of forensic discoveries.

"Concluded" and "finding" are both words with significant legal import. Do the DA's statements officially support such language?

Its seems Citizens for Irresponsible Hackery are gambling they will.

h/t Cindy Kilkenny.

Wisconsin AG dons national prayer day suit

Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is listed among several "additional counsel" on a friend-of-the-court brief* filed with the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals last week in support of defendant President Barack Obama, and challenging federal district Judge Barbara Crabb's April ruling that the Act of Congress directing the president to declare a national day of prayer is unconstitutional.

The friends in alliance with Obama's main argument is captioned:
The Private Prayers Contemplated By the National Day of Prayer Statute Are Less Intrusive Than the Public Prayers Routinely Offered by Each Branch of the Federal Government
Translation: The NDP is not as bad as some of the other stuff we do.

Argue the friends, formulating this conditional statement:
If public prayers opening sessions of the federal and state governments are permissible as acknowledgments of our Nation's heritage—and they surely are—than [sic] the private prayers contemplated by 36 U.S.C. § 119 also pass constitutional muster.
But that isn't the point, nor was it the question presented to, addressed, and decided by Judge Crabb. The referenced federal statute requires ("the President shall") the president to "issue each year a proclamation designating the first Thursday in May as a National Day of Prayer." It doesn't matter whether whatever prayers obtain from Congress' directive "pass constitutional muster."

What's at issue is the requiring of the executive branch by an Act of Congress to do something, as the First Amendment famously puts it, "respecting an establishment of religion." The prayers themselves — which for many people didn't even get prayed — are irrelevant.

Nobody ordered prayers, and nobody ever said anybody did. Ultimately, "no law" should mean "no law" to your garden variety strict constructionist. Or else you might reasonably expect it would.
It is DECLARED that 36 U.S.C. § 119 violates the establishment clause of the First Amendment to the United States Constitution.
That is, the statute violates the Constitution, not the prayers. Judge Crabb couldn't have been any clearer, yet J.B. Van Hollen and friends completely miss the point. The circuit court would do well to ignore the brief, just as the brief's authors ignore the district court's ruling.

I keep hearing from allegedly conservative jurisprudes about how they venerate above all other considerations, "the plain meaning of the text." Well, here is a good chance for them to prove it for once.

Update 04.14.11: And they did not.

Two things Barbara Crabb never said
Impeach Barbara Crabb
Western District of Wisconsin letter of the day
Pulitzer unlikely for J-S editorialist

* Brief of the States of Texas et al (.pdf; 22 pgs.).

eta: "The other side of this coin is that, the more Congress and craven politicians proselytize with rote exercises that have the depth and meaning of flag lapel pins, the more they cheapen religion."

July 11, 2010

Loophole Wallace bests Wisconsin business group

Fox News's Chris Wallace, touted as the network's most reputable newsman, told "Fox & Friends" this morning that the Supremacy Clause of the U.S. Constitution is "a technicality." Fox's Wallace surpassed the previous record held by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, which called the Sixth Amendment a technicality.

Face it, the whole thing's a technicality, and gets bent to suit policy preferences every day by liberals and conservatives alike. The difference is, the conservatives are in complete, certifiable denial.

July 10, 2010

Candidate Ron Johnson's oil and (mostly) gas

Item: Millionaire Fox News Republican heavily invested in BP
Campaign manager Juston Johnson said Ron Johnson thought it was inappropriate to focus first on BP's negligence before the spill was capped and a cleanup was under way.
What a load of bollocks.

Because it was none other than candidate Ron Johnson who was announcing "the fact" of BP's negligence last month, based on an article he'd read in the Wall Street Journal. The article said nothing of negligence; it compared BP's and other oil companies' use of two different engineering techniques for undersea drilling. Johnson took the report as fodder for speculation, and leaped to a legal conclusion during, ironically, a colloquy on his reverence for the "rule of law."

Accusing a firm in which you're heavily invested of negligence does not smack of acting in one's rational self-interest. Suspicions about the company's carelessness are among the reasons why its share price lost more than half its value throughout May and June (it's on a rebound as of late, closing the week at 34.05 after sinking to 26.75).

Also during the same discussion candidate Ron Johnson declared BP's voluntary $20 billion escrow fund "not good for America," thus igniting Friday's hubbub over whether Johnson was speaking to cover his assets, which reportedly include up to $325K worth of BP stock.

On the other hand, Johnson's individual stock portfolio is almost entirely blue chip — he owns shares in a number of the Dow Jones 30 industrials: Alcoa, Caterpillar, DuPont, GE (Rachel Maddow, Chris Matthews, and Keith Olbermann's boss), IBM, Pfizer, P&G* — so it's hardly surprising he's got a whole whack of BP stashed in there too.

Naturally, much political hay is being generated by Johnson's financial disclosure, but what seems more significant are the candidate's incoherent pronouncements, now made even less credible with Johnson's oddball self-renunciation of his finding of BP's negligence.

* As well as Big Tobacco concerns Philip Morris and Altria.

Amusingly, Johnson also owns stock in the Bank of Montreal and Royal Bank, two venerable Canadian financial institutions. Those are solid investments, as the True North socialists have managed the recession far better than has the U.S. economy, and in spite of Ron Johnson's ridiculous attacks on that country's health care system.

Even more troubling, the Ringo stuff is real

Fine Art by Ringo Starr — Célébrités Galleries
Célébrités Galleries also sold a microphone Lennon purportedly used to record "Imagine," his second solo album, recorded in 1971, but the microphone wasn't manufactured until 1977.
Turns out it was actually used to record Do That To Me One More Time by the Captain and Tennille.

Gimme Some TruthJournal-Sentinel

What You GotJohn Lennon

Ernest J. Pagels, Jr. will sweep Minocqua

Wonkette is having a field day with this Wisconsin politician.

h/t Ken Reibel.

July 9, 2010

Ozaukee County's apology tour

Rep. Joe Barton Memorial Public Service Award
By a narrow margin, the Ozaukee County supervisors voted to apologize to the people of Arizona whose feelings might have been hurt by Milwaukee Area Technical College's decision to endorse the international boycott of the state.
Eyerolling, to be sure, but little better is the Capital Times's comparing Arizona's S.B. 1070 with South African apartheid.

Brookfield Unitarians pose mortal threat

Your latest Second Amendment heroine.

I suspect the sight of a woman strapped with a sidearm at a Unitarian service was even less believable than the Holy Ghost.

What I know of the Unitarian congregations around here, the likelihood of needing to exercise self-defense against them is zero.
"Truthfully, we found it very intimidating," especially in light of the 2005 shootings at a church service at a Brookfield hotel that left eight people dead, and a 2008 shooting at a Unitarian church in Tennessee that killed two people.
Unitarians are also up on their current events.

However, soon we'll have photos of churches with "No Guns" signs outside, which could be useful to a variety of rhetorical arguments.
[A] guest minister was speaking about civil rights.
Just not the same ones Ms. Sutterfield had in mind. I get wanting to intimidate crooks, but I don't get wanting to intimidate Unitarians.

eta: WTMJ-4 video. Sutterfield hoped to "engender discussion" and won't return to the church unless they let her bring her 9mm Glock.

Some other "prominent gun buffs."

Conservative suspicious of Washington County DA

Item: Governor Doyle appoints Washington County judges

Wonders a follower of one of Wisconsin's top conservative blogs:
What was DA Martens' relationship with Doyle when he was Attorney General? The people should know more about [him].
Yes, of course, it's another Jim Doyle conspiracy.

Todd Martens is a Republican, albeit without the silly "social conservative" trappings. He was the Washington County DA for ten years, and an ADA for nearly ten years before that. If you don't know enough about him by now, then you've forfeited your right to inquire.

He'll make a first-rate circuit court judge, as did David Resheske.

July 8, 2010

Dendrochronologist McIlheran busted, skewered

Never mind McIlheran's woebegone spluttering (although it's good for a laugh if you'd been following the nut-right's "Climategate" scam — McIlheran disgorged its swill for weeks) and go to the comments.
What's the most disappointing about this post, though, is this squirming excuse that you were mostly just "linking" to ill-founded opinions — as if hyperlinks to the Telegraph and Daily Mail just drop themselves into your blog. I think your unnamed nemesis can be excused for thinking that you share the same antipathy for scientists as your compadres, when you so clearly enjoy stitching their screeds into equally mocking, belittling and endlessly sarcastic entries of your own.
Nailed it.
Ugh. Even now, the zombie lies keep resurfacing. (How long did it take you, Patrick, to admit that "hide the decline" did not mean "cover up a decline in temperatures," as you claimed in print?)
I recall it was rather a long time.

But it's that the "award-winning" McIlheran wasn't able to admit it because he didn't know what the hell any of it meant. And even when he did figure it out, he just went soldiering forward, in spite of the "hide the decline" thing being all they had. Got to keep the Bradleys and the Heartland Institute pleased, I guess, that's the main thing.

eta: gmta.