May 31, 2011

A Wis. Stat. for Republican hack Kevin Binversie

Wis. Stat. § 895.05(2):

Before any civil action shall be commenced on account of any libelous publication in any newspaper, magazine or periodical, the libeled person shall first give those alleged to be responsible or liable for the publication a reasonable opportunity to correct the libelous matter. Such opportunity shall be given by notice in writing specifying the article and the statements therein which are claimed to be false and defamatory and a statement of what are claimed to be the true facts. The notice may also state the sources, if any, from which the true facts may be ascertained with definiteness and certainty. The first issue published after the expiration of one week from the receipt of such notice shall be within a reasonable time for correction. To the extent that the true facts are, with reasonable diligence, ascertainable with definiteness and certainty, only a retraction shall constitute a correction; otherwise the publication of the libeled person's statement of the true facts, or so much thereof as shall not be libelous of another, scurrilous, or otherwise improper for publication, published as the libeled person's statement, shall constitute a correction within the meaning of this section. A correction, timely published, without comment, in a position and type as prominent as the alleged libel, shall constitute a defense against the recovery of any damages except actual damages, as well as being competent and material in mitigation of actual damages to the extent the correction published does so mitigate them.

Read that very carefully and be checking your snail mailbox little buddy.

P.S. I am (1) not a public figure, limited purpose or otherwise; (2) not kidding around; and you are (3) maintaining a "periodical" for the purposes of the statute; and (4) free in the meantime to dig yourself into a deeper hole, as your old boss Ron Johnson would and did say.

Wisconsin Open Meetings Law too burdensome

Dept. of Absurd Results:
There is a somewhat disturbing policy issue to the argument made in defense of the legislature's process in this case — the implication that the rules the legislature makes for everyone else should not apply to the legislature itself. If, in this case, the Open Meetings Law is too burdensome for the legislature to follow, it is unclear why other units of government should be expected to follow them. — MULS blawg commenter Bruce Thompson
Yes exactly. Although it's less an implication than it is a clear statement of the law. And that particular argument being made in defense of the legislature is being made in court by Republican Scott Walker and the Republican leadership in the legislature, and put forth by the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which is "representing the Republicans."

I don't know why those Republicans and their supporters in this grave matter don't just come out and say what their objective is: It is having the Wisconsin Supreme Court declare the Open Meetings Law — which guarantees reasonable public access to government — unconstitutional.

That's the takeaway, as they say. That's the real story.

The one that our librul media isn't reporting.

They've already tried locking all of the doors to the State Capitol and you know Scott Fitzgerald was aware of the law that he needed to provide at a minimum two hours notice for his March 9 twilight jamboree, as evidenced by the literally last-minute scrambling around to do so revealed by the sworn testimony in Judge Maryann Sumi's courtroom.

By the way, has Scott Walker's building maintenance supervisor Mike Huebsch ever determined whether any of the scuffed limestone piers were caused by Senate aide Rachel Veum's clogs? Anything's possible!

eta: [Wis. AG J.B.] Van Hollen is acting shamelessly, and shamefully.

At least somebody else gets it.

No ethics complaint forthcoming for Justice Prosser

In the Isthmus, Bill Lueders noted the other day that former Wisconsin Supreme Court justice Donald Steinmetz filed an ethics complaint with the Office of Lawyer Regulation against Joel Winnig, the Madison attorney who lost to JoAnne Kloppenburg in the February primary.

Steinmetz is upset Winnig referred to Mike Gableman as "a cancer on the body politic" who "continues to pollute the Wisconsin Supreme Court." (This space strongly condemned the remarks as "not helpful.")

It may be recalled that Gableman himself was found in late 2009 by a three-judge panel to have violated two separate provisions of the State code of judicial ethics for his antics in the 2008 Supreme Court election.

Joel Winnig's harsh comments are pure opinion, obviously. On the other hand, what to make of Justice David Prosser's rejoinder:
"I think Joel has been smoking some of the stuff he wants to legalize," Prosser said, referring to Winnig's position on marijuana.
Isn't Justice Prosser accusing Joel Winnig of committing a crime? That's damaging to Winnig's reputation, even if Justice Prosser was kidding.

So where is the OLR ethics complaint against Justice Prosser?

Fair's fair.

May 30, 2011

MKE Co. sheriff has problems with law, facts

"Significantly, the sheriff being the sheriff picked a case that is hardly representative of the gun cases we see and got the facts wrong to boot," said MKE County Chief Judge Jeffrey Kremers.
Prosecutors recommended the eight-month sentenceDan Bice

Now that is good reporting.

Assuming they'd have me

If JoAnne Kloppenburg files suit tomorrow I'm joining the WISGOP.

Fitzgeralds try foisting civics lesson on Wisconsin

Because evidently they simply presume we're all compleat idiots:
It's disappointing that a Dane County judge wants to keep interjecting herself into the legislative process with no regard to the state constitution. Her action today again flies in the face of the separation of powers between the three branches of government. — Assembly speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-WISGOP)
It's always amusing when right-wing ideologues accuse our judges of ignoring the law. Fitzgerald has no basis for this ridiculous assertion.

If anything "flies in the face" of separation of powers doctrine, it's the Open Meetings Law, crafted and approved by the Wisconsin Assembly, the very legislative body over which Jeff Fitzgerald now presides, and which Judge Sumi faithfully followed in both its letter and its spirit.

(Indeed the OML's letter explicitly describes its constitutional spirit.)

Judge Sumi's reasoning is a textbook demonstration of what are under less inconvenient circumstances for conservatives the latter's very own articulated principles of modest construction and judicial restraint.

What up bruh

Then there's Jeff Fitzgerald's big bruh broham Scott Fitzgerald, WISGOP leader of another State legislative body, the Wisconsin Senate:
There's still a much larger separation-of-powers issue: whether one Madison judge can stand in the way of the other two democratically elected branches of government. The Supreme Court is going to have the ultimate ruling, and they're still scheduled to hear the issue on June 6. This overdue reform is still a critical part of balancing Wisconsin's budget.
A couple of things. In Wisconsin, the judiciary is also a democratically elected branch of government (and Judge Maryann Sumi — like, for example, Justice David Prosser — has been elected twice*). And the Wisconsin Supreme Court is not scheduled to "hear the issue" on June 6.

The Supreme Court is only scheduled on June 6 to hear arguments as to whether or not it should decide to "hear the issue." There has been no appeal filed, as has been widely reported, and the Supreme Court has not even accepted Scott Walker's notorious Republican building maintenance supervisor Mike Huebsch's desperate petition for a writ.

And if it is the case that Fitz Van Walker's union-busting provisions of law are indeed "a critical part of balancing Wisconsin's budget," then not only were those provisions passed unlawfully according to constitutional and statutory open meetings requirements, they were also passed unlawfully according to Article VIII of the State constitution, which requires a three-fifths quorum of State Senators** in order to pass "any law which ... discharges or commutes a claim or demand of the state."


Scott Fitzgerald did not have such a quorum when he had passed the provisions of law during a twilight meeting for which he gave only one hour and fifty seven minutes public notice, provisions of law designed to discharge collective bargaining demands of the State to the express end of, as the horse's mouth itself puts it, "balancing Wisconsin's budget."

In other words, even if the State Supreme Court complied with Governor Scott Walker's Department of Justice lawyers' demand that Judge Sumi's decision be vacated, 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 would likely be immediately enjoined by another court on other constitutional "fiscal bill" grounds.

But the reality of the matter is, Scott Walker and his henchpeople in the Wisconsin legislature are inexorably making themselves into pariahs even among their own partisan colleagues, and they can no longer count on the support of the latter to pass their union-busting provisions lawfully, otherwise they would have done it months ago, as early as March 10.

Hence the various desperate flailings of Huebsch, J.B. Van Hollen, et al.

* Thrice if you consider the recent decount attempt.

** And by the end of this summer it's highly probable the Fitz Van Walker regime's cohort of dependable partisans will be diminished considerably, as two or three incumbent Republican State Senators stand a pretty good chance of getting knocked off in recall elections. A recall election, incidentally, is precisely how Scott Walker first gained political power in his prior incarnation as Milwaukee County Executive. But naturally, as recall elections now pose a serious danger to Republican control of the State Senate, they're all of a sudden a really bad idea, says the WISGOP.

(Even as the WISGOP undertakes recalls against several Democrats.)

May 29, 2011

Kim Simac: Help yourself to an abortion

It's your responsibility, and don't let anybody stop you:
I support the rights that are guaranteed by the US Constitution, and believe it is our responsibility as good citizens to exercise those rights, and to refrain from infringing on the rights of others. — Neanderconservative recall candidate Kim Simac
You have to watch this.* Did you know that once Elena Kagan is confirmed to the U.S. Supreme Court, you won't be allowed to even talk about your religious freedoms and beliefs. Simac wrote a book for ages 7 and under on "owning and operating firearms." The book, With My Rifle by My Side, sells for $18.95 and appears to contain about 7 or under pages. She sat down for an interview with Dorothy Spaulding.
Dorothy Spaulding: [This book for 3-year-olds is] just such an easy read: "And the days all get shorter, the leaves turn brown." And I bet they're going to go deer hunting. Eh heh. "We watched the geese fly above and travel to warmer ground. We love to go out with our dad in the truck. He loads up corn and apples and does it in the bucks." [puzzled] "And does it in the bucks ... "

Kim Simac: The does and the bucks.

Dorothy Spaulding: Oh!
More Kim Simac traditional family values.

* Or not. It's drearily familiar far-right fruitcakery.

May 28, 2011

Wisconsin quote of the day

Gov. Scott Walker, via Dane 101's Jesse Russell:
One way or the other, either through the Supreme Court or by the legislature, these reforms will be put in place.
Funny, because they used to deride the former as "legislating from the bench." Now either legislating from the bench or legislating from the legislature will equally do. So much for vaunted conservative principles.

What an outfit, this WISGOP. Unintentional comedians the lot of 'em.

Earlier: Pro-life Scott Walker affirms Roe v. Wade

How Patrick McIlheran lies for the WISGOP

Perfect example right here:
One Dane County judge rules that collective bargaining reform is unacceptable ...
This is your Journal Communications, Inc. brand of journalism.

But as one Dane County judge very clearly explained, both the federal Constitution and the Wisconsin constitution confer the judicial power equally to both higher and lower courts.* And as one Dane County judge very clearly explained, her ruling was directed at "the March 9, 2011 action of the Legislature's Joint Committee of Conference" and not whether the Walker administration's policy was acceptable or not.

Journal Communications, Inc.'s Patrick McIlheran is flat-out lying.

On the other hand, the Wisconsin Department of Justice, which is "representing the Republicans," makes repeated explicit defenses of Republican political policy in its latest filing with the Supreme Court pursuant to its attempt to have that court legislate from the bench.

The DOJ, on behalf of Scott Walker's infamous building maintenance supervisor Mike Huebsch, has gone so far as to suggest that the one Dane County judge, Maryann Sumi, violated the State code of judicial ethics by responding to the DOJ's petition for a supervisory writ (it's not an appeal, as has been widely reported). Now that is remarkable.

The Supreme Court, which does indeed have superintending authority over the (lower) circuit courts, on May 4 ordered Judge Sumi to file a response to the Huebsch/DOJ petition. Yes, ordered. The DOJ suggests that Judge Sumi should have exercised her option not to respond. The Wisconsin Rules of Appellate Procedure, at Wis. Stat. § 809.51(2), allow that a respondent to a petition for supervisory writ "may file a letter stating that he or she does not intend to file a response."

In other words, a respondent is not exempt or excepted from the Supreme Court's order but may disobey an order of the Supreme Court. Respondents to petitions for a supervisory writ are not limited to "court[s] and the presiding judge[s]," but the petition may be filed against "other person[s] or bod[ies]." And clearly Judge Sumi is in a different position vis-à-vis the Supreme Court than other persons or bodies not courts and presiding judges. Yet the Wisconsin Department of Justice suggests she should have disobeyed the Supreme Court's order.

Obviously Judge Sumi did not disobey an order of the Supreme Court.

And for not disobeying the Supreme Court's order, the Department of Justice is now veiledly threatening to file a motion for recusal against Judge Sumi, despite the fact that the ultimate determination for Judge Sumi's disqualification from the case of Ozanne v. Fitzgerald resides with Judge Sumi, once again, according to the black letter State law.

So at this point the Department of Justice is merely throwing stuff against the wall to find out if any of it will stick, in the course of its "representation of the Republicans." Thus whose impartiality is under question here is pretty obvious. And it sure ain't Judge Sumi's.

All of which demonstrates at least three things: (1) the ideological zealotry of Deputy Attorney General Kevin St. John, (2) Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's acquiescence to Mr. St. John getting on this breakaway, and (3) the WISGOP Republicans' abject terror at attempting to have their union-busting bill passed by a non-illegal procedure.

McIlheran's bald lie is put forth in service of advertising his appearance tomorrow morning on another Journal Communications, Inc. buffoon's teevee show, Charlie Sykes's Sunday Insight [sic], which runs on Journal Communications, Inc.'s teevee station, TMJ-4. And of course Sykes is also an employee of Journal Communications, Inc.'s radio station, WTMJ.

There you have it, Journal Communications, Inc.'s corpo-blanketing of Milwaukee media with conservative Republican talking points. Because I wouldn't expect a discussion of the Rules of Appellate Procedure among Charlie Sykes and his guests tomorrow, who also include one of the most absurd conservative Republican political hacks in Wisconsin, Brian Fraley.

Roughly as absurd as the political hacks at Journal Communications, Inc.

* Matter of fact the same principle was invoked here in defense of J.B. Van Hollen, which days of defending JBVH at this space are long gone.

May 27, 2011

Wisconsin quote of the day

Or rather, Fitzvanwalkerstan quote of the day ...
The State Justice Department is representing the Republicans.
Couldn't have said it better myself. Doesn't sound like something a "Justice Department" would be doing, but there it is. Moreover, the Republicans, by their agents and counsel the State Justice Department, are asking the Supreme Court to legislate from the bench, on account of the Republicans are too frightened to legislate from themselves.

Because now their union-busting bill won't pass legally, which is something they could very easily attempt, as they've known since March 9, when they passed their bill illegally. They've turned Wisconsin bizarro.

And they are desperate now. This is where superciliousness gets you.

By the way this all sounds very familiar doesn't it.

Remember, you saw it here first. All of that, and then some.

Your wing-nut in a wing-nutshell

How can [Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi] void a law she said doesn’t exist because she wouldn’t let it be published? Here’s the ruling: [link]. I’m not even going to bother reading it.
There you have it folks.

h/t @jfoust.

Maintaining a political blog in Wisconsin

Is like banging your head against a [scuffed limestone] wall:
[Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann] Sumi argues that the state senate violated the open-meetings law by failing to provide 24 hours' notice of a legislative meeting — in this case, the conference committee meeting that forwarded the bill to the full senate. Yet, in her order, she doesn’t address the clear exemption to the rule provided in Senate Rule 93, which allows for no notice of proceedings for conference committee bills. The state statutes clearly give precedence to legislative rules in the case of conflict; Sumi simply believes no conflict exists, ignoring the fact that the bill was, in fact, a conference committee bill.
The rest is blargh blargh dirty hippies blargh union thugs blargh. This is in the National Review (which once upon a time preluded its founder's teevee chat show with the second Brandenburg: these days Old Bach is spinning in his crypt like Frank Luntz on methamphetamines) and its own rather less meticulous composer is the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute "senior fellow" Christian Schneider. WPRI is another outfit wrapped up with Journal Communications, Inc. The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel not infrequently features WPRI "policy research" as front page news (the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit is considerably less impressed), Christian Schneider is an oft-featured columnist, and Mike Nichols, another WPRI "senior fellow," is a regular columnist.

And Charlie Sykes, another of Journal Communications, Inc.'s marquee performer/clowns, edits WPRI's own magazine and so on and so forth.

They're every single one of them cuddled together in bed.

They also generally don't know what they're talking about and the above is a useful case in point. In fact Judge Sumi found that the defendants failed to give two hours notice of the meeting, whereas the statute is as clear as clear can be: "in no case may the notice be provided less than 2 hours in advance of the meeting." In. No. Case. Judicial conservatives, "strict constructionists," "plain meaning textualists," are you listening.


Moreover the violation concerned the Republicans' selection of a tiny venue for the conference committee meeting, which served to disallow members of the public from attending, where larger accommodation was available. This the WPRI "senior fellow" Schneider simply ignores, despite its being among the crucial connections between the Open Meetings Law and the Wisconsin constitution at the heart of the action.

Schneider then hypocritically claims that Judge Sumi "doesn’t address the clear exemption to the rule provided in Senate Rule 93." Well of course she does, as this invalid argument was among the Fitzgeralds' defenses to the complaint. And there is no such "clear exemption" because Senate Rule 93 addresses the manner of notice required, and not the time of notice required. We've been through this months ago, after Ellen Nowak, chief of staff to the Waukesha County executive, had published at WisPolitics dot com her tissue of defamatory misrepresentations.

Judge Sumi doesn't "simply believe" no conflict exists: The unrebutted evidence that witnesses presented during the court's hearings demonstrated that no conflict exists. And the cherry on the backside of Schneider's remarkable cluelessness is his appeal to a Senate Rule for guidance on what he admits was a conference committee, for which Joint Rules of procedure exist, and which Judge Sumi also addressed.

Senior fellow: The law "allows for no notice." Pure b.s.

In short, WPRI's Schneider is hopeless, uninformed, and flat wrong.


Meanwhile in Journal Communications, Inc.'s daily organ the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, the equally addled Patrick McIlheran appeals to yet another Journal Communications, Inc. frequent columnist, Marquette's professor of #rwnj law Rick Esenberg,* to whom McIlheran laughably attributes a "most enlightening insight," linking to the prof's blog post.

McIlheran claims Esenberg "dismantled Sumi's understanding." Except Esenberg did no such thing and in fact repeats the travesty of law committed by the WaukCo. executive's chief of staff. And indeed if one follows the comments thread at Esenberg's blog you will discover your humble correspondent reiterating precisely the evidence and law which yesterday appeared as among the bases for Judge Sumi's decision, and which Esenberg either simply handwaves away or ignores completely.

And has never addressed, as far as I know. Because it's best to remain silent when you are wrong, I suppose, and allow your quasi-colleagues at Journal Communications, Inc. to wallow in their misunderstandings and present long-since-debunked "arguments" as alleged "journalism."

And, naturally, WPRI/Journal Communications, Inc.'s Charlie Sykes will repeat this complete nonsense once again this morning. We discussed similar situations at our panel event in Madison on May 12, and the Journal Communications, Inc. family is making us look like prophets.

Now maybe if we were to predict the Rapture, it will happen for sure and then all the JRNers will fly off to ... somewhere. It really is a joke.

* Esenberg is also trundled out as an expert "who has followed the case closely" in the Journal-Sentinel's straight news report of yesterday's decision. Did you know that he's the only lawyer in the State who has?

May 26, 2011

Calling Waukesha County: What say you?

"I am disappointed in Judge Sumi's ruling that declared 2011 Act 10 void," said Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas.
What, and he's not disappointed Republicans in both the Assembly and the Senate both violated the Wisconsin constitution and broke the law? There's another guy who, as Supreme Court Justice David Prosser would and did put it, "has got a little too much Waukesha County in him."

But easily the best part of the attached document is this notification: "Contact: Ellen Nowak, County Executive’s Office, (262) 548-7902."

You remember Ellen Nowak, she's the former Assembly counsel who grotesquely misrepresented the law in service of defaming Judge Sumi.

Have they no shame? Evidently they'd like you to ring up and ask.

Wisconsin Fitzgeralds won't be fined ... for now

Except for the parts we completely ignored:
"We are supremely confident that we followed the law perfectly," said Andrew Welhouse, spox for Scott Fitzgerald.
Well this is pleasing (Judge Sumi, Final Judgment) (.pdf; 18 pgs.).

Judge Sumi's Decision and Order (the good stuff) (.pdf; 33 pgs.).

Poor Mike Huebsch, he's going to have to retool his whole strategery.

Because Judge Sumi just scuffed his limestone pier.
¶ 79 There is no rule adopted by the Legislature, applicable to the March 9, 2011, meeting of the Joint Committee of Conference, that conflicts with any requirements of the Open Meetings Law, within the meaning of Wis. Stat. § 19.87(2).
But you knew that already.

lol@Sykes calling Rick Esenberg. Might have to actually listen to that.

Sneering comedy gold, doubtless.

And, via @wisconsinreport:
Assembly speaker [Jeff Fitzgerald] confident high court will undo
Their hubris truly knows no bounds.

Big Fitz caught lying and the 2nd Amend. amended

Astounding! And amusing because Scott Fitzgerald, brother Jeff Fitzgerald, and Fitzgerald père are all living on government handouts.

A bunch of un trained yahoos, being necessary for the security ...

Meanwhile the younger Fitzgeralds are part of Republican caucuses in the Wisconsin legislature that insist it's "essential" (absolutely necessary; central to the nature of something; fundamental) concealed, loaded weapons are carried around nearly everywhere in the Badger State (the WISGOP thoughtfully exempted jails and prisons, although Scott Walker said he'd sign any gun bill that passed the legislature, according to an internal memo Walker's policy director Ryan Murray had "fired off").

Supporters of the proposal call themselves the "constitutional carry" crowd. However, "well regulated" must mean something and it can't possibly mean any person who's never even handled or fired a weapon is good to wander around Summerfest with a loaded Glock in their pants.

Yes, that sounds really "necessary to the security of a free [S]tate."

And no public safety issue whatsoever.

Apparently they're advised on constitutional law by Ron Johnson, where "well regulated" means "no regulations nor requirements whatsoever."

The Journal-Sentinel story on the gun bill contains repeated references to "recall targets" which bring to mind Sarah Palin's celebrated "crosshairs" advertisements. However, these shouldn't raise any eyebrows because untrained, unpermitted, loaded concealed firearms-bearers wouldn't be able to hit the damn broad side of a barn anyway.

But they surely could hit some unintended target (including themselves, which at least would put them in contention for a Darwin Award).

May 25, 2011

Occupation Wisconsin: This was a lot of fun

#WIUnion panel, UW Madison Union South 11.12.11
I'm trying to remember the joke Sen. Larson told me at 40:25.

0:12:50 — Sen. Chris Larson
0:22:05 — Melissa Ryan
0:33:35 — Emily Mills
0:45:15 — Chris Liebenthal
0:55:25 — Max Love
0:32:35 — Obligatory Glenn Grothman joke
1:08:50 — WTMJ's Hip Musings, a dramatic recitation

Couple acquitted of widespread voter fraud

This story is totally buried at JSOnline dot Inc.*

Yet the Republicans insist "voter fraud" is "widespread."
"Talk radio hosts are the purveyors of misinformation," said Milwaukee County Circuit Court Judge Rick Sankovitz.
Haha. Very last line of the story. Apparently the couple acted on some claptrap the usual suspects — a.k.a. JRN superstars — were peddling.

And speaking of JRN: Recall the Journal Sentinel

Journal Communications CEO paid $2 million in 2010

That would be the one the paper's editorials don't mention is also on the board of the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce when the editorials complain about the Milwaukee sick leave ordinance, despite the fact it was the MMAC that filed suit against the sick leave ordinance.

* I love the subheadline: "Intentions considered in rendering verdict." Which is to be expected, as the couple was accused of violating Wis. Stat. § 12.13(1)(e), "intentionally ... vot[ing] more than once in the same election." So it would be an important thing to consider.

Because it's not against the law to vote twice, just not intentionally.

Wisconsin apologizes to you today

This lament comes from Steven P. Senski (@spsenski on Twitter):
To high school seniors & college students excited to come of age and cast your first ballots, #Wisconsin apologizes to you today. #VoterID

To the disabled, casting ballots against physical odds that would daunt the strongest of us, #Wisconsin apologizes to you today. #VoterID

To the homeless, who vote as a matter of personal dignity when dignity is all you have left, #Wisconsin apologizes to you today. #VoterID

To seniors, having given your lives to the heritage of our state, voting in impressive numbers, #Wisconsin apologizes to you today. #VoterID

To our newcomers, moving to this state to find a life better than the one you left behind, #Wisconsin apologizes to you today. #VoterID

To the poor, who weigh every financial decision against the balance of home, food and medicine, #Wisconsin apologizes to you today. #VoterID

To minorities, who struggle against marginalization to be heard and represented in government, #Wisconsin apologizes to you today. #VoterID

To all who believe you should be able to enter a polling place without suspicion or apprehension, #Wisconsin apologizes to you. #VoterID

To all who remember when this state was renowned for granting rights instead of erasing them, #Wisconsin apologizes to you today. #VoterID

I apologize to you on behalf of our state. Scott Walker & Co. are not #Wisconsin. They never will be. And their time grows short. #VoterID

We will right this wrong. It will not be allowed to stand. Because THAT is the #Wisconsin way. #VoterID
Today Scott Walker signed a bill restricting access to the voting franchise — a First Amendment right, according to the most conservative justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court — in America, the world's greatest democracy. Walker held what was described as a "ceremony" to do this.

Sort of a funeral.

He and his fellow Republicans in Madison are apparently quite proud of this achievement, which they claim is designed to remedy "widespread voter fraud" throughout Wisconsin, of which there is zero evidence.

In fact it's designed to limit political participation. In America.

And indeed the recently completed Wisconsin Supreme Court election recount proved there is no voter fraud at all, let alone "widespread." Perhaps that is the real reason why Republicans opposed the recount.

May 24, 2011

The deeper catalog Bob

"Anyone who wants to ignore particular periods of Bob Dylan's work is entitled to what I would consider their rather ignorant opinion." — Elvis Costello, who is well qualified to so opine

"Play it fucking loud." — Bob Dylan, Manchester, 1966
From somebody who's spent possibly way too much time studying the evidence, a recommended playlist comprised of one lesser appreciated song from each of Bob Dylan's studio albums,* chosen not necessarily for the lyrics but for the musicianship. Because Bob Dylan, who turns 70 today, is as good as or a better singer than Frank Sinatra. Seriously.

From a purely musical perspective, his intonation and his phrasing are virtuosic. He's also seriously copyright-litigious, which is why the links are to the Wikipedia entries for the albums and not to YouTube uploads, because there aren't any and if there are, they'll be gone tomorrow.

Not that Dylan has been uniformly consistent because, speaking as a hardcore aficionado who considers Dylan one of the most important American musicians (and indeed, persons) of the last 250 years, not only has Dylan produced some of the greatest records ever but the worst ever: Dylan & The Dead. Do not even go near it. On the other hand Dylan has so far refused to release one of his best shows, from Massey Hall in April of 1980, which was professionally recorded and filmed.

The bootlegs are easily available. And yes, the show is from Dylan's so-called Born Again period, which legend has it began around the time Dylan was baptized in Pat Boone's Hollywood Hills swimming pool. You might not expect praise from this space for New Testament-infused songwriting and performing (Dylan actually delivered sermons during those Gospel tours that would make a fundamentalist preacher blush) but as Leonard Cohen** put it, although Cohen didn't concur with the sentiments expressed, those songs are among the finest of the genre.

[One record that you can listen to in its entirety online is Gotta Serve Somebody: The Gospel Songs of Bob Dylan,*** a collection of covers performed by Gospel artists. Bob himself turns up on the last track to chat with Mavis Staples about the press and knockin' a few of them chickens in the yard off and fryin' 'em up before kicking some righteous ass on a revamped version of Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking.]

One thing that's truly remarkable about Bob Dylan is that he's succeeded in being among both the best and the worst musicians ever, sometimes even not only within the same song but within the same verse. He's also managed to write one of the worst lines in all of popular music: "They stamped him and they labeled him like they do with pants and shirts" — Lenny Bruce. And I'm here to tell you that probably the worst concert I ever attended was a Dylan concert, early '90s, O'Keefe Centre. Dreadful.

Something you can say for the Dylanologists: We are brutally honest.

Anyway, the deeper catalog, so go and make your iTunes playlist:
Gospel Plow
House Carpenter
Spanish Harlem Incident
I'll Keep It With Mine
Queen Jane Approximately
Obviously 5 Believers
I Am A Lonesome Hobo
Tell Me That It Isn't True
Gotta Travel On
Sign On The Window
Billy 4
Big Yellow Taxi
Tough Mama
Meet Me In The Morning
Tiny Montgomery
Abandoned Love
We Better Talk This Over
Do Right To Me Baby (Do Unto Others)
Solid Rock
The Groom's Still Waiting At The Altar
Foot Of Pride
I'll Remember You
You Wanna Ramble
What Good Am I?
[None: This record is horrible]
Diamond Joe
Lone Pilgrim
Dirt Road Blues
Honest With Me
Someday Baby
Shake Shake Mama

Bonus single: George Jackson (which you won't find on iTunes).
As for the Christmas album, I gotta say, it's pretty hard to take, except for Must Be Santa, which is a classic, and has some fantastic drumming on it. Speaking of drummers, Dylan has been known to hire the best, including one of my all-time favorites, Jim Keltner. If you've never heard of him, I guarantee you've heard him play a thousand times on anything from Knockin' On Heaven's Door to (the less litigious) Steely Dan's Josie.

In other words a tremendously busy studio cat who said that of all the musicians he's ever played with, the only one he'd drop whatever he was doing to answer the call for is Bob Dylan, which is pretty high praise.

And since this is mostly a political blog, I'll leave you with a couple of stanzas that are hard for the liberals to deal with, from 1983's Infidels which Peter Goddard, the music critic for the Toronto Star, called "Dylan's reactionary thesis." Be that as it may, it's one of his best.

This one:
Now his holiest books have been trampled upon
No contract he signed was worth what was it [sic] written on
He took the crumbs of the world and he turned it into wealth
Took sickness and disease and he turned it into health
He’s the Neighborhood Bully
And this one:
Well, it’s Sundown on the Union
And what’s made in the U.S.A.
Sure was a good idea
’Til greed got in the way
Happy Birthday Bob, may you play it fucking loud.

* Including a couple of outtakes. Sometimes he leaves the best songs from a recording session off the record.
** Also well qualified to engage the topic.
*** The title number actually frightened Allen Ginsberg, who considered it as embracing a fascistic "the Devil or the Lord" dichotomy.

May 23, 2011

Scott Walker loses UW history professor to

Freakin Texas:
After 10 years of teaching at UW-Madison, history professor Jeremi Suri announced Friday that he will leave the university due to pay cuts faculty will face as a result of Gov. Scott Walker's proposed budget repair bill. "I love this place and am very sad about leaving, but it's been a really hard year here," Suri told The Capital Times. "I think with the political attacks on the university and the budget cutting, it's hard. And that's not the fault of the university, but it's the environment that we're operating in."
He's going to Texas, where the history books are written by David Barton. He's leaving Wisconsin. For Texas. Thanks to Scott Walker.

(Yet fear not, Althouse is staying.)

Election so nice they made Prosser win twice

Item: Wisconsin Supreme Court decount certified
Finally, that stupid charade of a Supreme Court recount is over. So tired of getting updates from Kloppenburg campaign.
Haha. At least I didn't have the latter problem.

But where was Jack Craver (or anybody) five weeks ago?

I've been mighty lonely.

This is funny too. An online "troll" is someone who pretends to sympathize with positions they actually oppose:
@wiunion You know what we all need to do? Contact Kloppenburg to demand a lawsuit. Please rally around this folks. We win! Solidarity.
That's a pretty good troll (although you can sense the halfheartedness).

Decount timeline:
April 8: Anomaly, question
Early April: Prosser, Scott Walker in secret midnight Capitol meeting
Late April: Widespread anomalies and questions about election conduct
Early May: Anomalies and questions about election conduct
Mid May: Anomaly, question (See April 8)
May 23: kthxbai


There is one bright spot, however, in that the GAB has collated and archived an enormous amount of data for the scrutiny of Journal Communications, Inc.'s two political science professors and one lawyer.

Votes and injunctions all smell the same, however

Headlines We'd Like To See:
July 13, 2011 — Wisconsin to Scott Fitzgerald: 'Smell Ya Later'

Here's your famous majority Republican leader in the State Senate telling the people of Wisconsin — his constituents — that they physically stink:
Fitzgerald joked about the protests that engulfed the Capitol earlier this year, saying the [WISGOP] convention was the first time he had been around so many people who weren't chanting and yelling at him. And he says, "You all smell a lot better too."
Classy as ever and brilliant politics as usual.

Wisconsinites could return the favor July 12, and relegate Sen. Scott "We followed the law perfectly" Fitzgerald to well-deserved obscurity by ousting three other WISGOP State Senators in scheduled recall elections.

State Sen. Glenn Grothman on life as a gay teen

I notice the New York Times is soliciting personal stories about life as a gay teen. Wisconsin State Senator Glenn Grothman has one:
"Did people even know what homosexuality was in high school in 1975? I don't remember any discussion about that at the time. There were a few guys who would make fun of a few effeminate boys," he said, "but that's a different thing than homosexuality."
Grothman is among the most powerful WISGOPers in the legislature: It's like a nightmare, but without the being chased (by a gay homosexual).
Children are more commonly chased by some fantasy figure.
That would be Glenn Grothman's sleeping and waking nightmare.

Big Fitz spox: "I am not going to answer that."

Blogger Jeff Simpson, rappin' with Big Fitz spox Andrew Welhouse

You remember Andrew "We followed the law perfectly" Welhouse.

"Good luck with that, buddy."

Incidentally, you want to know what version we here, in Journal Communications, Inc.'s corpo-saturated reading/listening/viewing area got of Steven Elbow's Capital Times report? A column by a Wisconsin Policy Research Institute "senior fellow" about two zany brohams in a tent who had apparently smoked a joint somewhere inside the Capitol. No mention of either the State Senate majority leader's abusive shouting or the "deeply besotted" Republican legislative aide's attempted B&E.

I shite you not. And that "senior fellow" is a regular MJS columnist.

Our librul media, dontcha know.

Also: Meet another notorious Walker regime communications director.

One who is evidently to this very day still lying.

May 22, 2011

Brad Mehldau: Martha My Dear


J.B. Van Hollen for U.S. Senate Archives

A selection:

03.28.11 Van Hollen voids all pre-1901 law in Wisconsin
02.01.11 Health care reform dead, exulted Van Hollen*
11.04.10 No point to Van Hollen joining HCR suits now
07.12.10 Wisconsin AG dons national prayer day suit
08.21.09 J.B. Van Hollen attacks a statute
04.21.09 Van Hollen barks out a memorandum**
06.03.08 Isn't remote jurisdiction still jurisdiction?

* Van Hollen never exulted "It's Alive!" when Vinson stayed his order.

** More on Van Hollen's open carry memo, which caused a ruckus.

Here's J.B. Van Hollen shouting at a Tea Party

"Thanks Vicki."
Fightin' the [non-existent] voter fraud!

Perfect candidate, the more I think about it. Good times ahead.

J.B. Van Hollen for U.S. Senate

I heard from a little birdie recently that Wisconsin Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen will seek U.S. Senator Herb Kohl's vacated seat. Meanwhile Abe Sauer notes that was registered May 13 by Mike Austin at Persuasion Partners. PP is our old friend Darrin Schmitz, campaign manager to Mike Gableman and former employer of embattled State Senator Randy Hopper's 26-year-old Capitol girlfriend.

The WISGOP is like an almost-literally-incestuous family.

Can you imagine: Wisconsin Senators Ron Johnson and J.B. Van Hollen.

By the way if you don't read Abe Sauer's work at The Awl, you must.

May 21, 2011

In other words, RoJo stepped to the podium

U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson opened his remarks with a joke
He noted that Justice David Prosser's re-election, which is still under a recount, "took just a little bit out of [Democrats'] sails."
Maybe in Ron Johnson's sunspot-dreams it did.

Umali Awards, the Tenth Annual

"It's the dry humor event of the year."
Poster: 1055 DIWITTYs by RumAli
The Decadian milestone is on, and it's on tonight.*

Yours truly will be on hand to present the Umali Award for "Most Famous Person [Spoken To in 2010]." Mr. Umali hisself has composed a highly amusing speech for me to read, which I shan't reveal at this time.

But here is an earlier Umalis.

* Top right, yr hmbl corresp. presents "9th Place DIWITTY," 2008.

Rich in Retail is now Rich in State government

Hey, does everybody remember Rich in Retail, Scott Walker's deceitful, eavesdropping, surreptitious recorder-of-putatively-private-bar-time-conversations political campaign communications specialist?

Well! look what the cat dragged in:

Yeah we already know what other stuff you do.

There is your classic Republican tea-glibertarian: Hatin' on the gummint, but lovin' him some sweet, sweet gummint salary and Cadillac benefits.

Time for a little follow-up, Mr. Daniel Bice?

Oh noes: Is Kloppenburg lying about our Shark?

Alleges local right-wing perfesser of the law Rick Esenberg:
I understand the Kloppenburg campaign has been claiming that I "work for" [Wis. S. Ct. Justice David] Prosser. Not true. I have nothing to do with the Prosser campaign or the recount effort.
Prof. Rick proffers no evidence. I wonder how many layers of hearsay it would contain, if he had any. Maybe Kloppenburg got Esenberg mixed up with James Troupis, who is working for Prosser, because both Esenberg and Troupis were working for State Senate Republican majority leader Scott Fitzgerald, which you'd never know when Journal Communications, Inc. proffers Rick Esenberg as the disinterested academic observer.

Which he most certainly is not. He is a partisan political operator.

By the way, can somebody explain to me how come a Journal-Sentinel reader might have published by that organ a reference to Kloppenburg as "Kloppenpig," which subsequently receives 82 122 (as of this writing) "thumbs up," more than almost any other comment in this thread, but when another J-S reader calls the organ's right-wing calumnist Patrick McIlheran a "dick" (with good cause), the latter observation disappears with nary the opportunity to garner even one solitary "thumb up"?

Apparently you get to write your own rules in a one-newspaper town.

May 20, 2011

When with the Capital insanity end!!!!!11uno

Republican Rep. Michelle Litjens has had QUITE enough, TYVM

This guy in the Capital ... its almost to much!

And: Litjens felt politically abused by tale of actual abuse.*

Since when did Wisconsin start electing barely literate legislators?

This is one of the nitwits gutting public education.

* @WITreasSchuller loved that one!

Althouse "festival of misogyny and homophobia"

Funny (and also deeply pathetic) stuff, via Brian Leiter.

c/w linkage to another hilarious Lawyers, Guns & Money thread.

Posts tagged Althouse.

Statement of Melissa Mulliken

Statement of Melissa Mulliken, Kloppenburg for Justice Campaign Manager on Supreme Court Recount

Melissa Mulliken, Campaign Manager for JoAnne Kloppenburg, today issued a statement on the conclusion of the recount process in Waukesha County:

Clerks around Wisconsin have done hard and good work on this recount and all Wisconsin residents owe them thanks. We also thank the hundreds of volunteers across the state who have served as observers. The recount has uncovered numerous anomalies and irregularities. Vote tallies have changed in every county. Now, as the process calls for, we will review the record and we will determine, based on the facts, the evidence and the law, whether to request judicial review.
Lord help us. Poor old Brad Blog's going to have an aneurysm.

h/t A little birdie.*

* Melissa Mulliken wouldn't add me to the Kloppenburg campaign email list despite two requests, the first on February 28, the other in late March. Meanwhile I find myself on email lists of politicians who I've never even heard of, let alone not put in any direct requests to.

Isn't that how politicians usually operate? I would have thought so.

MacBeth, I hear you callin' . . .

Shakespeare once suggested that life may be a tale "full of sound and fury, signifying nothing." I am not that pessimistic, but MacBeth's famous soliloquy could well be applied to the recount in the race for state Supreme Court.
Actual lead paragraph from a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel "guest columnist." How does something like that get past any editor?

Shakespeare, ffs.

Walker: Voting same as smoking methamphetamine

Where else but in Scott Walker's Wisconsin would you hear this:
"If you need an ID to buy cold medicine, [then] it's reasonable to require it to vote," said the Republican governor of Wisconsin.
Apparently (I had to ask my tweeps) Scott Walker is talking about pseudoephedrine, a decongestant that is used in the illicit production of methamphetamine. Walker is actually comparing purchasing it to the constitutional right to vote. He's saying because the federal and State controlled substances statutes require photo ID to purchase controlled substances, then, thus, therefore, ergo, the state may require you to present photo ID in order to exercise your constitutional right — your First Amendment right, according to the right-wing Justice Patience Roggensack — to vote. Does anybody really buy Walker's illogical and nonsensical analogies? If so, do they need to present a photo ID?

And can Scott Walker go one day without insulting our intelligence?

Oh, and get this, look who's being investigated for "vote fraud," an aide to a conservative Republican legislator in the Wisconsin Assembly.

What a clown show.

May 19, 2011

Scott Walker's beloved Truth in Sentencing

How's it workin' out for ya.

Expensive, huh? Yet Walker the big fiscal conservative refuses to entertain the notion of moving some of those less threatening offenders into community supervision programs, which are cheaper.

What he would like to do instead is kill women by cervical cancer.

Btw, there is no more more credible source than Michael O'Hear, who also happens to be a genius of the highest rank and a hell of a nice guy. And the owner of the biggest coffee cup I ever seen in my life.

Moulton fails to cast self out of Wisconsin Assembly

You may remember Rep. Terry Moulton (R-Chippewa Falls), he was one of the leading caster-outers of demons* in the Wisconsin Assembly:
Addressing his colleagues in the chamber, Moulton pleaded to Jesus. "In your name, and by the power of your spirit, I come against the Evil One. And I ask that he be cast from this place, this day," he said as the Assembly opened a floor session.
Odd, then, that it turns out Rev. Moulton was caught lying to his constituents on the subject of voter photo ID, which if I'm not mistaken is one of the defining criteria for your average demon.

It seems to me this is why many folks get annoyed by so-called fundamentalist Christians: they are forever telling other people how to conduct their lives long before they get their own Acts together.

If they ever do. Oh well, they're all getting Raptured Saturday anyway.

And sorry, but I've got dibs on Rick Warren's Beverly Hills mansion.

* Among the earliest local sightings of reporter/percussionist/auteur Emily Mills, who has since become what they call a #wiunion rockstar.

Kloppenburg Supreme Court decount ends today

It says here:
The Government Accountability Board's Kevin Kennedy says a court challenge of the final results is possible. "The grounds for changing the outcome based on a legal challenge are very slim."
Now that's the understatement of the year. Because the grounds for changing the outcome based on the decount were already very slim. I hear Republicans are waiting to hire Kloppenburg's campaign manager.

She's done such a good job at making the left look like fools.

Wisconsin BREAKING: Please give generously

How shall we go on?
Althouse troubled Kloppenburg "consuming [Althouse's] precious time"
Is greatest personal tragedy since Herb Kohl bored Patrick McIlheran

May 18, 2011

Your devoted conservative federalists at work

True stories
Single insipid buffoon from Alabama vows to block
nomination of judge who presides over Guam
And this clown is the top Republican on the Judiciary Committee.

Scott Walker's vote suppression bill delayed

For a few hours at least

Good story by Patrick Marley on the WISGOP's latest antic:
Sen. Joe Leibham (R-Sheboygan), author of the bill, said many people "have truly lost their confidence in the election system" because of reports of voter fraud.
And do you know who those "many people" are?

They are elected Republicans and their noisiest enablers among the local Journal Communications, Inc. marquee personalities who push those ginned-up "reports" of voter fraud. Because look here:
The Wisconsin Department of Justice and Milwaukee County district attorney's office have prosecuted 20 cases of voter fraud from the November 2008 election. None involves people voting in someone else's name at the polls.
None. Zero. Nada. Niente. They are mostly ineligible electors (e.g., persons with an unfulfilled felony sentence) attempting to vote. And I bet you every one of them already had a photo ID in their wallet.

It's worth a reminder that Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Patience Roggensack, who may be the most conservative judge in the State, has argued that voting is a First Amendment right; that is, it is a fundamental right of Americans that any legislation attempting to curtail without sufficient reason should be subject to the strictest of judicial scrutiny.* In other words, did Walker and Scott Fitzgerald and their pals not contemplate how many times they would be (successfully) sued pursuant to their radical legislative agenda?

Fitzgerald may be unconcerned because when hundreds of thousands of protesters — many of whom literally camped inside the building for weeks — descend on the Capitol and cause an alleged $112K worth of scuffed limestone (including an unspecified number of scuffs caused by people in wheelchairs), conservative Republicans go apeshit. But when Fitz personally spends one quarter of that on three Republican-for-hire attorneys for a couple of days' work, nobody bats an eyelash.

Meanwhile the people of Wisconsin's investigation of Scott Walker, Scott Fitzgerald, and indeed the entire WISGOP legislative caucus for votee fraud committed in November, 2010 continues unabated.

* Meaning the legal burden would be on the WISGOPers to prove they were compelled to make voting more difficult based on a record that includes the zero instances of related "fraud" depicted above in a high-interest election that featured candidates for everything from Waukesha County clerk to president of the United States. So good luck to 'em all and may God bless Fitz Van Walker on that account.

May 17, 2011

Walker budget will kill women by cervical cancer

That's what it says right here:
The medical director of the Wisconsin State Laboratory of Hygiene says women will likely die of cervical cancer if Gov. Scott Walker's budget proposal eliminating $266,400 for cervical cancer screening prevails.

"Sometime after 2015, we will have women dying of cervical cancer as a predictable consequence of the funding reduction for testing in this budget," said Dr. Daniel Kurtycz.
Right here.

Who's running Walker's PR department, Graeme Zielinski?

Songs for Newt Gingrich

a.k.a. Newt Blingrich

Item: Serial marryin' Gingrich owed $500K to Tiffany & Co.

Baubles, Bangles & Beads* — Eumir Deodato

Perfect speaking engagement intro music for Newt, if you ask me.

(You remember Deodato.)

* Long time since I've heard this. The guitar solo is pretty awful.

MJS edit board not entitled to own facts

Sez JoAnne Kloppenburg:
The recount has uncovered significant and widespread errors and anomalies in the securing of ballots and recording of votes on election day. There have been changes to vote totals in every county due to miscounted or missing votes.
But neither is JoAnne Kloppenburg entitled to her own facts, and the latter claim is untrue. The recount did not change the vote totals in several Wisconsin counties. Moreover in many, many other Wisconsin counties, the changes in vote totals were so negligible, or exactly what you'd expect in any Statewide recount,* that they are hardly evidence of any "significant and widespread errors and anomalies."

Just a thought, but if you're going to take the MJS to task for drinking the wing-nut Kool-Aid — and there are a number of legitimate reasons for doing so — it's probably best not to accuse the paper of inventing its own facts whilst inventing facts of one's own.

Now please make it stop. Dissipation of sympathy is near complete.

* And they'd change negligibly again if they were counted again. Perhaps the MJS could call up the one or two professors of political science it keeps in its Rolodex to confirm the foregoing observation, which is already more than well confirmed in the academic literature.

Thanks kloppy-choppy, for identifying yourself as the most pathetic and worthless person in the state. And, that is saying a lot when you consider the last few months, you are perhaps the most despicable and rotten human being in the western hemisphere. To think that your worthless backside could be on the bench is enough to scare the beegesus out of most civil minded wisconsinites. Thanks again, for being such a incredible whack-job.
This is acceptable reader commentary** at the MJS, but don't dare call the newspaper's dissembling calumnist Patrick McIlheran a "dick."

** Complete with 29 "thumbs up" as of this writing.

Angry Wisconsin left should be jubilant

And merry and gay even.

I noticed a number of my friends on the left were angered by the news that Wisconsin governor Scott Walker is withdrawing completely from defending the State's domestic partnership registry against a suit brought by Julaine Appling, a Madison spinster and bit of a nut.

They should be overjoyed, as anytime Walker's lawyers step the hell away from anything is a victory. They've done little more than create havoc and lawlessness since Walker became governor in January.

Appling attempted to have the Supreme Court hear her case (such as it is) directly in 2009, but the court declined. So Appling turned to a Dane County circuit court, which is where the action sits these days.

As Wisconsin has a constitutional amendment barring same-sex marriage, Ms. Appling and her fellow travelers argue that the domestic partnership registry creates situations "substantially similar to marriage" and therefore violates the State constitution.

The law was, ahem, published under the previous Democratic administration and Republican attorney general J.B. Van Hollen refused to defend it, alluding to some religious scruples, so then-governor Jim Doyle hired the capable attorney Lester Pines.
The registries allow same-sex couples to take family and medical leave to care for a seriously ill partner, make end-of-life decisions and have hospital visitation rights.
Yes, certainly those religious objections are understandable.

Scott Walker fired Lester Pines in March. Now he wants out of the case completely, which is great news. Some on the left are angry because Walker's refusal is yet another indication of his agenda to tear down whatever progress in social justice the domestic partnership registry represents. But this should come as no surprise.

Don't forget Scott Walker's running mate and now his lieutenant governor Rebecca Kleefisch, a fundamentalist Christian, on a fundamentalist Christian teevee station famously asked of the domestic registry, "Can we marry dogs? This is ridiculous."

So we already knew which Santorum-world this gang is coming from.

In the meantime Fair Wisconsin, an advocacy group specializing in these things, was granted intervening defendant status by the circuit court and will do just fine without Walker's attorneys' participation.

The less we hear from Scott Walker's lawyers the better.*

* Comic relief excepted.

P.S. Do not google Santorum.

May 16, 2011

Wing-nut jurisprude goes off message

Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan was in MKE tonight ...
Long after Obama is out of office we'll have to live with the intellectual lightweights he (Kohl and Feingold) appointed to the Supreme Court. Introducing Kagen ...
Can't even spell her name.

You know what's funny is the most articulate recommendation and support for Justice Kagan's nomination came from Miguel Estrada, who not too long ago was the wing-nut juridical hero par excellence.

And there is Justice Kagan chatting with Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals Chief Judge and legendary conservative constructionist Frank Easterbrook. Think he thinks Kagan is an "intellectual lightweight"?

Doubt it.

By the way, Wisconsin State Senator Leah Vukmir pronounced former Associate Justice David Souter "dim" and then Obama's other appointee to the Court, Justice Sonia Sotomayor, "even dimmer."

Perhaps a debate could be arranged. So, evidently these views are shared not just among anonymous online conservative Republicans but voiced and encouraged by their elected political leaders.

Good to know. Especially on July 12.

How about a pink slip for Ron Johnson

Recent con law scholarship corner
Ron Johnson opposes their nominations and has not returned "blue slips" on either to the [Senate Judiciary] committee.[*]
You remember Ron Johnson, he's the woefully unqualified Oshkosh millionaire** who read the U.S. Constitution three times in his entire life, and found it difficult to understand. Now he's pronouncing on the qualifications of the president's nominees to the federal judiciary.

I'd like to see a committee of lawyers grill Ron Johnson on his qualifications to assess those qualifications. Even one lawyer.

Frightening, comical (your humble correspondent tends strongly toward the latter, for the sake of his personal sanity), or both.
"We know what needs to be done to try to get out of a deep hole. First you have to start digging." — Ron Johnson
Of course there are no "blue slips" in the Constitution but evidently Ron Johnson has taken it upon himself to avail himself of these "blue slips." I guess that means Ron Johnson reckons there's a right to privacy and a right to have an abortion in the Constitution as well.

Hell, there may even be an individual insurance mandate in there.

* Which members of the president's political party controls.

** With much thanks to federal, State, and local government.

Wing-nut law prof handicaps Kloppenburg

Jurisprudence alert
I now place the odds of [S. Ct. candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg] conceding without court action at less than 50/50.
Says William Jacobson. When last we encountered Prof. Jacobson, he was claiming Wisconsin Sec. of State Doug La Follette was "likely wrong" when the latter said 2011 Wisconsin Act 10 was not law (La Follette was entirely correct) and claiming the fellow in Buffalo, NY who rang up Scott Walker impersonating Tea Partying billionaire David Koch was guilty of a Wisconsin felony. Impressive track record.

Of course Jacobson doesn't bother contemplating what grounds Kloppenburg might have for a lawsuit.* That Kloppenburg will seek, through the courts, to "have the entire election thrown out" is the latest conservative Republican wet dream, popularized obviously by Journal Communications, Inc.'s marquee radio and teevee personality Charlie Sykes and his various ill-informed disciples for weeks now and most recently by our own local law-prof-to-the-wing-nuts Rick Esenberg. In former times I might have been surprised to see the latter embracing the speculative cacophony, but not any more.

Cut from the same cloth, the lot of 'em.

* The substance of his comment is to make fun of her name, which is apparently what passes for conservative legal scholarship these days.