July 31, 2011


We now can confirm:
Contrary to some reports, JTP won't be aboard the Tea Party Express.

Ron Johnson reverses two centuries of U.S. law

Don't just take my word for it:
1. The nomination. This is the sole act of the President, and is completely voluntary. — Marbury v. Madison, 5 U.S. 137 (1803).
Emphasis added. Ron Johnson cannot read the U.S. Constitution.

Which is not particularly surprising. What is surprising, however, is that these seven attorneys, among whom is Scott Walker's choice to head up his own judicial nominating committee, make precisely the same error.

And they are all criticizing these nominees' qualifications. It's laughable.

Ladies and gentlemen, your strict constructionist, judicial conservatives.

July 30, 2011

Ron Johnson can't read the Constitution either

We need to understand the constitutional role of senators in judicial nominations.Ron Johnson, speaking for himself
According to RoJo:
The Constitution grants the president the power to nominate federal judges "by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate." That means the voters of Wisconsin are entitled to a say in who the president nominates to judicial vacancies in the state.
That is not what the Constitution says. What it says is this:
[The President] shall have Power, by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, to make Treaties, provided two thirds of the Senators present concur; and he shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint Ambassadors, other public Ministers and Consuls, Judges of the Supreme Court, and all other Officers of the United States, whose Appointments are not herein otherwise provided for, and which shall be established by Law[.] — Art. II, Sec. 2, Cl. 2.
Clearly, the president's power to nominate "all other Officers," including lower federal judges — judges of the "inferior Courts ... the Congress shall from time to time establish" as the Constitution refers to them elsewhere — is not restricted by the Senate's duty of advice and consent, whose application is limited to the president's appointment power.

Insofar as the voters of Wisconsin are entitled to a say in whom the president nominates, they had it and did so on November 4, 2008.

"He shall nominate."

The remainder of Ron Johnson's letter consists of irrelevant petulance.

Moreover, it is manifestly fatuous to claim, as Ron Johnson does, that former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Louis Butler has or had "little regard for the rule of law," especially where Johnson himself is incapable of discovering a rule of law plainly set forth in the U.S. Constitution.

Notice that Johnson's claim is unsupported, because it is unsupportable.

This is, to date, now the second opinion piece in a week the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has published containing this same misinformation.

See also: What John Marshall said (that would be this John Marshall).

Why didn't Walker just ask Gableman what to do?

He could have saved $500K:
Scott Walker signed a contract with Michael Best & Friedrich on Feb. 7 authorizing payment to a total of $100,000. The contract was amended a few days ago to a maximum of $500,000.
Scott Walker has said he runs Wisconsin like a small business.* Using his analogy, Walker's legal services contract is like a blanket purchase order.

On a construction project, for example, blanket purchase orders are often issued to suppliers where the value of the goods or services aren't precisely known from the outset, like the cost of trucking, or consumable equipment and tools like grinding discs or welding gases. Knowledgeable buyers will overestimate the value of those blanket purchase orders, because the totals go into the project manager's status report under committed costs and then the project manager keeps track of the suppliers' invoices as compared to his committed costs.

The idea is to keep your committed costs higher than the actual costs. Where the value of blanket purchase orders is increased during a project, it should be because the scope of work has increased; that is, the size of the project has grown and additions to the construction contract cover the increases to the value of the blanket purchase orders.

That's how competent managers run a business.

If a purchasing agent walked into a project manager's office and told him, 'Oh by the way, I spent $500K against a $100K blanket purchase order,' that purchasing agent would most likely be fired on the spot.

Except Wisconsin can't fire Scott Walker. Yet.

* Walker has never run any business. He's a career Republican.

July 29, 2011

MJS: Freud slipped here

Voters want an intelligent discussion on issues that matter. Well, they can rest assured they won’t find it here. — Edit. board blog

Heroic Scott Walker battles Satan

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure. — 2 Corinthians 12:7 (KJV)
Talk about your delusions of grandeur (and persecution).

On the other hand, it makes sense where Walker plays the thorn.

Sympathy for the stabber

Audio via the Isthmus.

If I had to listen to Meade Althouse, I'd get pretty stabby too.

July 28, 2011

WISGOP Kim Simac: A Leader Who Won't Run Away

Republican State Senate candidate Kim Simac declined our invitation to participate in a candidate forum on Friday.
h/t John Foust.

Defamation suit against Breitblart moves forward

Got to love it.* (Judge Richard J. Leon is a Bush II appointee.)

You remember Andrew Breitblart, he's the belligerent who traveled to Madison from his Los Angeles home to tell Wisconsinites to "Go to Hell!"

* N.B. Mike Gableman didn't win his motion to dismiss either.

MJS recall elections reader comment of the day

Occasionally they are insightful:
PPP's last poll in 2010 on the WI governor's race had it Walker winning 53-44. The final results were 52.5% to 46.7%. That is, PPP was off in favor of the Republican candidate. That is, they overstated the strength of the Republican.

Their final poll in the WI 2010 senate race had Johnson winning 53-44. The final results was 51.9% to 47.0%. That is, PPP was off in favor of the Republican candidate.

Their poll for the Hansen recall had Hansen winning 62-34. Hansen ended up winning (GAB doesn't have a 'final' result posted yet) around 64% to 36%. Here they had the result just about exactly right, a 28 point margin.
- robertearle (scroll up for story)

eta: See also Daily Kos puts out new polls UPDATE (WisPolitics)

WISGOP sounds a little desperate to impugn these polls, aina?

Because people like to vote for winners and these are WISGOP bad news.

Six Republican State Senators face removal on August 9.

WISGOP, MacGyver Institute lying again

Or still.

Unemployment has increased under Scott Walker.

July 27, 2011

Scott Walker, Wisconsin's Evangelist-in-Chief

The current Government of Wisconsin's website takes you here:
The ultimate aim of Care Net and its network of pregnancy centers is to share the love and truth of Jesus Christ in both word and deed. As a result, the hearts of women and men are being changed by Christ's love.
Alabama of the North, indeed.

h/t Capital Times.

Remind me not to eat at the East Garden restaurant

"Wu also charges $350 to put his hand in people's vaginas and rectums."

I been waiting for the taste you said you'd bring to me
Sasha Kromraj said [Sik Kin Wu] wanted to put his fingers in her vagina. "He kept pushing me, and I said no," said Kromraj, 22. "I said it a few times and then he backed off."
Seriously, what's up with that?

Kim Simac, Glenn Beck, and the Hitler Youth

The scary comparisons of the indoctrination tactics of our youth today and those of the Hitler Regime of past.

Posted by Kim Simac on October 6, 2010 at 11:00 a.m. in Faith in the Public Square

I am done raising my kids but if I was a young parent today I would take my kids out of the public school today. At what point will we stop talking about the comparisons to what is occurring today and what actually happened by the regime of the Nazi's in the past? Taking God out of the schools has been objective #1 for decades now. Of note will be that one of the first decisions of the Supreme Court decided on was to NOT hear a case of the right of a school to sing "Silent Night: during the holidays. Already decided at a lower court to be omitted from further concerts at the public schools of the said district, our newest slate of almighty rulers of our law have decided to agree and keep our children from singing the most beautiful words that give a glimpse of that beautiful night that our Saviour was born. Which I will remind us all is a Federal Holiday (though I suppose that will be on the slate for ax next). Take the commercial that Glenn Beck showed from British Progressives that explains to little children that if they do not listen to their teachers recommendations on subjects such as carbon emissions, they could have their heads blown off. Add to that Kindergarten Sex Ed classes and I really wonder how it is American parents smile and kiss their children good bye every morning and in good conscience hand their most precious resource over to the hands of such questionable people. Now I know there are wonderful, lovely teachers, but it would be encouraging if at least a few of them would speak up at this point.

[sic passim]

Kim Simac is an actual WISGOP candidate for the Wisconsin Senate.

Glenn Beck is a well known kook and former Fox News personality who compared the victims of Anders Breivik to the Hitler Youth.

Even the conservative Daily Telegraph took notice of Beck's remarks.

Will some Wisconsin reporter take notice of Simac's?

eta: Stuff Simac Says

July 26, 2011

In Wisconsin, tantrums thrown over technicalities

Observes a Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel community columnist:
A Dane County circuit judge was able to stall the [Fitz Van Walker regime's union-busting] bill on a technicality for months.
In the business of logical fallacies, this is known as "hand waving."

The "technicality" under consideration is Wisconsin's Open Meetings Law, which occupies an entire subchapter (Subchapter V) of the State statutes, consisting of 50 separate statutory provisions, not including cross references to other statutory provisions, annotations, published interpretations by the Attorney General, prior precedent, and so forth.

In fact a Wisconsin Department of Justice lawyer admitted on the record in that very circuit judge's court that Republican legislators had violated both the letter and the spirit (as clearly articulated by those legislators' predecessors in Wis. Stat. § 19.81) of the State Open Meetings Law.

Thus this so-called "technicality" is not so easily hand-waved away.

However, Subchapter V does not contain one single forward slash.

And as for "tantrums," apparently balloon-stabbings don't count.

Your Journal Communications, Inc. personalities

Michael Savage: Oslo Attacks Were a Left-Wing Conspiracy
Michael Savage was a compassionate conservative before compassionate conservatism was cool. — 620 WTMJ bio
Among WTMJ-AM's people you know and trust

On teh web: Journal Communications, Inc.

July 25, 2011

WPRI's "New Normal"

Choking and now stabbing at the Supreme Court.

If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a balloon.

WPRI: Welcome to Wisconsin's new normal

Ross Douthat nobly grants his permission

"It’s fair to call Breivik a right-winger."
NYT conservative columnist Ross Douthat
Gee, thanks.

Also, Glenn Beck likens Breivik's victims to the Hitler Youth.

Because, you know, liberals are responsible for "coarsening the debate."

eta: What's this then, Die Ed Meese-Jugend?

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson is unconstitutional

Deep commitment to separation of powers inconvenient in this case

Seven conservative lawyers, including Governor Scott Walker's choice to head up his own judicial selection committee, are complaining about a Journal-Sentinel editorial, and misconstrue the U.S. Constitution.

The subject editorial criticizes Wisconsin Republican Senator Ron "Sunspots" Johnson for obstructing the president's power to nominate federal judges, as this space had done previously here and here.

Article II of the Constitution describes the president's powers along with those powers he (it says "he") shares with Congress. Where it comes to federal judicial vacancies, the president has two separate powers: the power to nominate, and the power to appoint. The appointment power he shares with Congress. The nominating power he shares with nobody.

In order to facilitate the nominations in Wisconsin's federal jurisdictions, the State's two Senators instituted a commission to solicit and review applicants, and then make its recommendation to the president. The Constitution does not require the commission, but nor does it forbid it.

The commission is purely a courtesy.

The Constitution places no restrictions on the president's nominating power, and is silent on the matter of how the president goes about discovering a suitable nominee. The present vacancy in question, on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit in Chicago, was notified in July, 2009. By November the commission had made its recommendation. The president is not bound by the recommendation, and in fact he can ignore it altogether and nominate somebody else. Say the lawyers:
The nomination was apparently placed on Johnson's desk two days after he took office, in disregard of a senator's duty of "advice and consent" under Article II section II of the U.S. Constitution.
This is a remarkable complaint, coming from these seven experienced attorneys — led by a former judge — because there is absolutely no constitutional basis — read: legal basis — for it. Moreover they don't even know whether they can support the factual bases for their complaint, and acknowledge that "the White House may dispute [our] account."

I should say so.

The president's nomination power is plenary, so the president can put whatever she/he wants on Johnson's desk, whenever he/she wants (assuming there's a judicial vacancy, which there was). The president makes the appointment with the advice and consent of the Senate.

And not with the advice and consent of Ron Johnson. But Johnson has had his say, and in fact used it to say nothing at all, except to complain about his own personal woes, having nothing to do with the nominee.

Ron Johnson, who ran on a devotion-to-the-Constitution platform — despite barely having read the damn thing — should appreciate that, regardless of the establishment and formation of the nominating commission, no such commission is any requirement of the Constitution.
Some of [Victoria Nourse's] supporters now rush to point fingers and assign blame to a senator who just wants to be heard and fulfill his constitutional duty of "advice and consent."
Aw. Poor Ron Johnson. And they call this an argument?

How can he fulfill that duty in the first place if he's preventing Nourse from getting a hearing before the Senate? There is no constitutional "duty" of Johnson's to vet the president's nominees, nor is there any constitutional "duty" of the president's to run nominations by Johnson.

Ron Johnson's duty is to stand aside and release his unconstitutional hold on the nomination and let the appointment process proceed. Then he can come up with some substantive reason (Advice) and then provide or withhold his Consent by voting along with the Senate. The Constitution isn't as difficult to understand as Ron Johnson says he found it to be.

However, its provisions appear to elude some FedSoc disciples. It's amazing such a fundamental first principle got by seven lawyers. Seven.
[The president] shall nominate, and by and with the Advice and Consent of the Senate, shall appoint ...
The president shall nominate. Comma.* And appoint. Discrete powers.

And the president did exercise his nomination power. Now Ron Johnson seeks to intermeddle in the nomination, and indeed to intermeddle ex post facto. Ron Johnson hasn't the power to do so, and what Ron Johnson is doing is unlawful and in clear violation of the Constitution.

Why are these lawyers — who should know better — egging him on?

* Not even a forward slash.

July 23, 2011

So this is why they oppose Wisconsin's gay couples

Julaine Appling is a never-married single woman who’s lived for many years with Diane Westphall, another never-married single woman. The two currently share a home they own together in Watertown, WI, and they also work side by side at WFA.
— ???

Terrorist's views familiar to US observers

"He writes mostly about what Americans call the culture war."
A gun-loving, highly religious Norwegian obsessed with what he saw as the threat of multiculturalism and Muslim immigration to the cultural and patriotic values of his country. — NY Times
Breivik had become ever more extreme in his hatred of Muslims, leftwingers and the country's political establishment. — Guardian
A picture is emerging, gleaned from official sources and social media, of a right-wing Christian fundamentalist who may have had an issue with his nation's multi-cultural society. — CNN
That last one sounds like Pat Buchanan.
He argues for setting up a system of social networking "such that is linked to similar organizations in other countries (similar to a beginning of a cultural Euro-version of a Tea Party movement)."
Well he would, wouldn't he.

Related: Reich or Wrong?

I got Jack Craver's back

Jack Craver of the Isthmus is attacked by a wing-nut:
"Attempting to give this state the worst possible legal environment for business (see Loophole Louie [sic] Butler and lead paint) isn't anti-business?" — McIlheran BFF Steve Prestegard
Prestegard's WMC propaganda is so tiresome. Here we go again:
It's also noteworthy that the two dissenters in Thomas v. Mallett, [so-called conservative] Justices Wilcox and Prosser, "recognize[d] the validity of the risk-contribution theory of recovery articulated by this court in Collins [v. Eli Lilly & Co.]." What they objected to was its extension and application to the facts in Mallett.

Even the two [so-called conservative] dissenters — who were as forceful as could be — affirmed only that the pigment manufacturers "can be held liable for a product they may or may not have produced" and only then as one (potential) "result" of the majority's reasoning. Emphasis added. And in fact they weren't, because the action the Mallett court allowed the child to continue against those manufacturers was ultimately dismissed.
01.06.11: WMC pet outrage tops list of "tort reforms"

Oppose the doctrine, but there's no need to lie about it. On the other hand, if and when WMC launches its advertising campaign in support of Justice Prosser, some attentive reporter might ask WMC why it is endorsing such an enthusiastic proponent of risk contribution theory.
01.27.11: WMC: Still dissembling after all these years

(No reporter did ask WMC that question, by the way.)

Michelle Malkin's "bloody Islamic jihadist"

"What we know is that he is right-wing and a Christian fundamentalist," said a Norwegian police official.

Michelle Malkin was in Milwaukee a couple of years ago, screaming* at a "Tea Party" audience down by Lake Michigan. They were eating it up. Now of course the Malkinoids will begin their claims that the Norwegian suspect wasn't a "true Christian," but it's unlikely their logic will extend to other perpetrators of terrorist attacks not being "true Muslims."

* Literally. Trust me, I was there.

July 22, 2011

Dane County Fair: One more missing scientific fact

Mr. Mary Weigand is on the West Bend, WI school board.

On teh web: Creationist insurgency.

Randy Hopper's background music turns ominous

Embattled WISGOP Senator lies desperately, pantalons flambé.

You remember Randy Hopper.

Incidentally the Wisconsin Supreme Court does not consider "ominous background music" to be part of a candidate's "statement," at least for the purposes of evaluating whether a candidate for the judiciary violated the code of ethics that candidate necessarily submits to, but it should.

Similarly, when Randy Hopper turns up to face Wisconsin working families dressed like an Edwardian fop, that's a fashion statement.

July 21, 2011

News story or WISGOP press release?

Impossible to tell:
"Recent rankings and surveys have shown that business leaders here and nationally like what is happening in Wisconsin," said Kurt Bauer, president of the Madison-based Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, the State's biggest business group. "Breaking News! Wisconsin's Working!" ran the headline on a statement from the Metropolitan Milwaukee Association of Commerce.
Top of the index page. All day.

Your MacGyver Institute "News Service"

See if you can watch this video without laughing out loud.

And reporters in this State actually cite this outfit as a credible, objective source when it's nothing more than a Walker/GOP shill.

Wisconsin GOP — An instructive juxtaposition

Reports Nate Silver: Republican Governors are Leaving Voters Behind.

Meantime, notes Keesha Gaskins, senior counsel at the Brennan Center for Justice, the WISGOP is busy repealing language in the State statutes that recognizes their "obligation imposed by their constitutional oath of office to represent the interests of the citizens who elected them and all of the other citizens of the state of Wisconsin." Emphasis added.

The latter repeal is apparently in defense of the WISGOP's ludicrously partisan redistricting plan, which those soon-to-be-repealed "other citizens" had but a few days to examine, while the WISGOP's battalion of silk-stockinged attorneys labored over the plan for months, and which plan takes effect for an entire decade. I don't understand how anyone can not be appalled by the Fitz Van Walker regime's brazen arrogance.

Scott Walker's "brightening" Wisconsin job numbers

You can polish the turd, but you cannot brighten the turd.
— Ancient #wiunion saying
"The Wisconsin employment picture continues to brighten" and "Wisconsin's June unemployment rate was 7.6 percent, up from 7.4 percent in May." Those are according to the same press release, which adds that the May figure was down from 8.3 percent in June, 2010.

Which is true. But what Republican Scott Walker's press release doesn't tell you is that the unemployment rate was reduced from 9.2 percent to 7.4 percent under the Democratic administration of former Governor Jim Doyle between January, 2010, and January, 2011, when Walker assumed the office. And since Scott Walker assumed the office, the unemployment rate has increased from 7.4 percent to 7.6 percent.

In other words, it was continuing to brighten until Walker took office.

Now how's about brightening a few Senate districts on August 9, 2011.

MJS, for all your latest papal antichrist news

Offers the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
WELS does hold to the historic Lutheran position* that the Roman Catholic papacy fits the biblical characteristics of the anti-Christ.
Not sure what this has to do with Michele Bachmann, who is crazed for several other reasons. But somebody's not been reading their Bible:
Little children, it is the last time: and as ye have heard that antichrist shall come, even now are there many antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time. — 1 John 2:18
Er, and don't follow the logic if you know what's good for you.

Of course there have been many popes too and the world hasn't ended. Besides, if the pope is the antichrist what does that make the antipope?

Anyway not to worry, there always Carole Pope.

* It's probably unwise to hold to 'em all.

Army Lt. Col. cracks under enhanced interrogation

Allen West, who apparently does not have access to C-SPAN ...
"It's not really surprising that he would crack under the pressure."

July 20, 2011

Wisconsin Senator Dave Hansen: He lives!

Hansen "survives," sez Politico dot com. Gimme a break.

survive, v., continue to live in spite of an accident or ordeal.

There was an accident, alright, in that the WISGOP's only other relatively viable candidate couldn't scrounge up a measly 400 signatures to get on the ballot. And there was an ordeal, alright, in that the candidate the WISGOP did field was rather unique, except it's the WISGOP that's enduring the ordeal of being represented by its candidates' uniqueness.

Seriously, Politico, Dave Hansen won nearly 70% of the vote in a Senate district comprising three Assembly districts, each of which went to Republicans in the "Tea Party" of November 2010. In fact one of those Assembly districts belongs to John Nygren, the fellow who couldn't raise 400 signatures (or 399, which he could have if he signed his own name).

David VanderLeest, the unique candidate that the WISGOP put against Hansen, received 5,000 fewer votes than the number of signatures that the WISGOP collected to force last night's election in the first place.

That seems pretty unique too. What happened to the other 5,000?

Gone back to Utah?
"I don't think it tells us too much about the big issues in the recalls — collective bargaining and senators leaving the State," said St. Norbert College political scientist David G. Wegge.
To the contrary, it says quite a lot, considering yesterday's general election was directly inspired by Dave Hansen's decision to leave the State in order to draw public attention to the Fitz Van Walker regime's hitherto unadvertised plan to crush the right to collective bargaining.

Instead, Prof. Wegge informs us, "it was much more about a mismatch." The embedded assumption, it appears, is that Hansen v. Nygren would have been less of a mismatch, which is probably true. But it's not as if some extraneous set of circumstances or Acts of God prevented John Nygren from participating to the extent political scientists might be in a better position to evaluate substantively. It's that John Nygren himself couldn't muster enough WISGOP support to challenge Hansen. Sheesh.

July 19, 2011

A new jurisdiction called "supervisory/original"

Required reading right here.

By and with the Advice and Consent of Ron Johnson

Senate candidate Ron Johnson maturing quickly
Wisconsin State Journal, 08/01/10
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's Craig Gilbert has more on Ron Johnson's intransigence. In a nutshell, Johnson wants to undo literally two years of work by the Wisconsin Federal Nominating Commission, and is moaning because he can't pick four instead of three members to the 12-member Commission. One minute Ron Johnson is saying nobody knows who Victoria Nourse is, and the next he's calling her "extreme."

The current vacancy became effective on January 7, 2010, one year before Johnson became a Senator. The entire process devoted to filling the vacancy took place while Johnson was still shipping plastic from his federally funded rail spur and extolling the economic virtues of China.

Johnson campaigned on promises to cut government spending. Now he wants to waste another two years reviewing applicants for a position that became a judicial emergency on July 7 due to the number of case filings that have accumulated with the Seventh Circuit in the meantime.

The Federal Nominating Commission as constituted prior to Johnson's arrival in the Senate consisted of four members each chosen by Sen. Herb Kohl and former Sen. Russ Feingold, two chosen by the State Bar, and the deans of the University of Wisconsin and Marquette University law schools. Now Johnson tells the MJS he wants a re-do, and he wants to pick the four members in place of those chosen by Sen. Feingold.

Eleven applications to the vacancy were received by September, 2009, and two months later, six of those were presented to Obama. From those six, Obama selected Prof. Nourse. Apparently Ron Johnson wants us to believe that if he got to pick four members of the Commission, then the six prospective judges presented to Obama would be different, or else Obama would have selected a prospective judge more in keeping with Ron Johnson's comically harebrained views of the judiciary.*

Either of which scenario is nonsense, obviously. In fact if Obama had a sense of humor, he'd nominate Ron Johnson to the Seventh Circuit.

What Johnson is pulling is obstruction, pure and simple. He's crying like a baby because a vacancy on the court was announced, prospective candidates were solicited and reviewed by a committee of competent professionals, their recommendations were forwarded to the president, and the president made his nomination, all before Ron Johnson even arrived on the scene. Now Johnson wants to put it off until July, 2013.

And at the moment, Ron Johnson unilaterally will not even allow Prof. Nourse a hearing before the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, a hearing from which Johnson could clearly stand to learn a great deal, including about the qualifications of the nominee, who Johnson declares either unknown or extreme, depending upon which day you ask him.

The Seventh Circuit presides over Illinois and Indiana as well, so those folks can also thank Sen. Ron Johnson for his pointless recalcitrance.

The Wisconsin seat Johnson is presenting them is his Wisconsin backside.

* With which Ron Johnson recently hired former MJS right-wing calumnist Patrick McIlheran — whose own views of the judiciary are not only equally harebrained but downright dishonest — to assist him.

July 18, 2011

Confirmed: Pope(s) is/are "the Antichrist(s)"

"We hold to the teachings of Martin Luther who himself maintained the papacy, and in turn the pope, has set himself up in place of Christ, and so is the anti-Christ," said Joel Hochmuth, spokesman for the Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod.
Big bowl o' crazee.

MJS wing-nut reader comment of the day

Hey all you libs, get a job and get off the blogs.
lvgolf, Monday, 10:41 a.m.

Candidate alleges conspiracy to commit defamation

That's a new one.

Hopefully it makes more sense than "Vanderleest doc 4."
VanderLeest's attorney Robert Gerald Lorge did say the suit would ask for millions of dollars in punitive damages. "That's the only way to stop these low-funded political organizations," said Lorge.
Well hello there, SLAPP.

Ron Johnson is an embarrassment to Wisconsin

Wisconsin Senator Ron Johnson, who admitted to only having read the U.S. Constitution three or four times and finding it difficult to understand, suddenly purports to expertise on federal judicial qualifications and is unilaterally blocking, on no stated grounds whatsoever, the nomination of Victoria Nourse, a highly regarded scholar and practitioner, to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals.

It might be different if someone who knew what they were talking about was opposed to Prof. Nourse's nomination, but it's Ron Johnson.

A letter from some folks who do know what they're talking about:

Dear Chairman Leahy & Ranking Member Grassley ...*

Among its 53 signatories: Professors Janine P. Geske, Michael M. O'Hear, Chad Oldfather, and Peter K. Rofes, Marquette University School of Law; Professor Akhil Amar, Yale Law School, a constitutional scholar of the highest rank; and, perhaps most notably, Professor Randy Barnett, Georgetown University Law Center, who has been the most dedicated and prolific libertarian opponent of what Ron Johnson calls "Obamacare," which the Senator himself describes as the single biggest assault on Ron Johnson's personal freedom in Ron Johnson's lifetime.

Over and over and over again. In fact it was tedious a year ago.

However, Johnson is likely immune to irony as well, as Barnett has made Johnson's case considerably more forcefully than Johnson is capable of.

Ron Johnson remarked that he found the very notion of the president's powers to nominate and appoint judges "depressing," so it's clear that Johnson's blue slip is motivated by nothing except the cheapest of cheap partisanship, or precisely what the Constitution was designed to avoid.

He should be ashamed.

* Pleased to see Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III got demoted. Hopefully Sen. Grassley is more capable of reason and less of idiocy.

Among WTMJ-AM's people you know and trust

Journal Communications, Inc.'s right-wing radio station WTMJ's program manager describes the on-air talent as "people listeners know and trust."

Random Charlie Sykes quote 01: "We've been a State that's been losing people." Fact: Wisconsin's population rose 6% from 2000 to 2010, the latter eight of those years under a Democratic governor, Jim Doyle.

Random Charlie Sykes quote 02: "[Scott Walker] is going to tell you what he's going to do, and then he's going to do what he says." Fact: Scott Walker never mentioned any plan to bust public employee unions during his political campaign. So Walker is not going to tell you what he's going to do, and then he's going to do what he didn't say he was going to do.

And here's Scott Walker caught lying again, by the way. Ho hum.

July 17, 2011

Nebraska AG vows to kill inmate . . . somehow

It's frustrating ... I'm angry that we're worried about cruel and unusual punishment. — Nebraska's Republican Governor, Dave Heineman
The U.S. DEA said in April that the Nebraska Department of Correctional Services did not have a license to import the sodium thiopental and could not use it to execute Carey Dean Moore. But Republican State Attorney General Jon Bruning's office continued to push for a June 14 execution date for Moore even though it knew — but did not publicize — that it could not use the drug.
Moore was initially sentenced to die by electric chair, but in 2008 the Nebraska Supreme Court ruled 6-1 electrocution constituted cruel and unusual punishment, immediately following which Bruning said he would "move to the legislative process to get a new method of execution."

This he did, and on May 28, 2008, Heineman approved amendments to the State statutes that provided for death by intravenous injection of a lethal substance. Sodium thiopental is the first of three drugs to be injected. Trouble is, there are no U.S. suppliers of the anaesthetic, the last one having abandoned its importation from an Italian plant in January, 2011, citing misuse of its product by death penalty States.

Thus did Nebraska import a supply from a Mumbai firm, which shipped 500 grams in December, 2010. But lo and behold, Nebraska did not have a proper license to do so, and the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration had informed the State's Department of Justice of the same in April.

Now, according to Carey Dean Moore's counsel, Jon Bruning concealed this fact from the Nebraska Supreme Court as the Attorney General's office argued for Moore's execution on June 14. That can't be good.

Judge allows inmate's attorney to amend execution challenge

Talk about yer botched executions. Bruning is running for U.S. Senate.

July 16, 2011

Waukesha County round-files a million dollar letter

Kathy Nickolaus embattled — Situation Normal: All F*cked Up

Wisconsin Recalls: Lawsuits threatened

Sen. Jim Holperin, Democrat of Eagle River, is threatened with a copyright infringement action by Watchmen Broadcasting of Atlanta. Watchmen is a Christian teevee outfit headed up by Dorothy Spaulding, to whom Jesus Christ Himself awarded the broadcasting license in 1995.

Spaulding alleges Holperin unlawfully used footage of an interview with Kim Simac, one of the Republican challengers to Holperin's incumbency. We took a gander at that interview here. Its nature likely precludes a fair use/parody defense, as the original is already sort of a parody.

I haven't seen — nor heard — the Holperin ad in question but I don't believe there's anything particularly actionable about one candidate for public office using another candidate for public office's own words in support of the former candidate's criticisms of the latter.

In this case, however, it's a third party's material that's allegedly been hijacked. But given the nature and brevity of political ads generally, it's unlikely there would be much to Watchmen Broadcasting's complaint.

All publishers assume the risk, so to speak, of fair use by others.

Holperin was the object of a frivolous lawsuit once before.

Incidentally and on the other hand, one practice which may well be actionable is that of bloggers who capture video segments produced by commercial teevee stations, edit the segments into shorter clips, upload the clips to their own YouTube accounts, and then hotlink to the YouTube account at their blogs. That's out-and-out theft, in my view.

If I was the teevee station I'd go after 'em for sure.

The other prospective legal action issues from David VanderLeest, the Republican challenging Democratic incumbent Senator Dave Hansen. Its text is available here. VanderLeest's counsel is making some nebulous claims against a blogger who has been riding VanderLeest pretty hard.
Use of and transmittal in any form of other than public information will be met with an immediate response in the form of a cause of action if grounded on a solid legal foundation.
Well, anybody can say that. The solid legal foundation is the tricky part.

Personally I'm unconvinced of the utility of digging so deeply into VanderLeest's obviously troubled personal relationships, in particular where it involves his children, because he probably doesn't stand a chance against Hansen anyway, his campaign having raised all of $2K.

But I still find it remarkable that Governor Scott Walker, who labored to keep the white supremacist David Duke off the Republican ballot in 1992, would appear by his continuing silence on the matter to be untroubled by VanderLeest's presence on the Republican ballot Tuesday.

Furthermore, reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald "is focused on looming recall elections for nine State senators," one of which involves VanderLeest.

VanderLeest, at minimum, is a troubling dude. Fitz has got to be conflicted over aiding and welcoming him into the WISGOP caucus.

On the other hand, they've already got Sen. Glenn Grothman and they made him the second-in-command of that august upper chamber.

So you never know with this gang.

July 15, 2011

An extraordinary writ is a supervisory remedy

Affirmed the Wisconsin Supreme Court, yesterday:
A supervisory writ is an extraordinary remedy to prevent a court from refusing to perform, or from violating, its plain duty.
So, is that what Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi did?

No, of course not. Which is apparently why the same Wisconsin Supreme Court, by a majority composed of the same four conservative justices who just one month ago needed to invent a novel form of judicial authority, which it dubbed "supervisory/original jurisdiction," to avoid precisely the requirement the Wisconsin Supreme Court now affirms.

The court elaborates:
[A] petition for a supervisory writ will not be issued unless the duty of the circuit court is plain [and the circuit court's] refusal to act within the line of such duty or its intent to act in violation of such duty is clear.
I'm paraphrasing. Yesterday's majority supplies the underlining.

Not only did the Supreme Court, in Huebsch v. Dane County Circuit Court, fail to describe either what Judge Sumi's plain duty was or how exactly she refused it or intended to violate it — and yesterday the Supreme Court confirmed that a supervisory court must do both — in fact neither the term "plain" nor the term "duty" even appear in the court's June 14 order in the context of Judge Sumi's deliberations.

Thus may one puzzle as to how the Supreme Court might issue a supervisory writ without even addressing the criteria by which it exercises its authority to issue a supervisory writ, let alone explaining it.

Simple: Invent a novel source of judicial authority, what any self-respecting conservative jurisprude would do, of course. For we are assured they are conservatives, even by those judges themselves.

Granted, they are conservative Republicans. But conservative in the sense of the oft-invoked and sacred canons of "judicial restraint"? Considerably less so, expediency permitting. Indeed if anyone was carefully mindful of conservative principles of restraint, it was Sumi.

And, more remarkably, yesterday the court clarified that "a supervisory writ is dedicated to the discretion of the court of original jurisdiction."

That's ambiguous, but what it means is the supervisory writ is aimed at the discretion of the court of original jurisdiction. That is, it's the discretion of the court of original jurisdiction, and the alleged abuse of that discretion, which a supervisory writ is dedicated to supervising.

And in Huebsch, the court of original jurisdiction was the one named in Huebsch's petition, the one presided over by Dane County Judge Sumi. That's what original jurisdiction means: the first court to hear the case.

In fact the Supreme Court was the third court to have been presented the case, the second being the District IV Court of Appeals, which passed the Department of Justice's previous motion for permission to appeal on to the Supreme Court.* So how in the world could the Supreme Court exercise any claimed definition of original jurisdiction over this case?

Again, piece of cake: Slap together with some punctuation the court's supervisory authority and its power to hear cases in original jurisdiction.

The Wisconsin constitution empowers the Supreme Court with four separate avenues of authority: superintending (a.k.a. supervisory), administrative (which is not at issue in Huebsch v. Dane County), appellate jurisdiction (the Huebsch Court dismissed the DOJ's petition to exercise its appellate jurisdiction), and original jurisdiction. Original jurisdiction was off the table in March. As Justice Crooks flatly stated, "No petition for original jurisdiction ... was filed in this court by any party. . . . There is nothing 'original' or 'in the first instance' here."

The Department of Justice clearly understood this, as is evident from the entire procedural history of this case, and from all of the DOJ's paper filings. The Supreme Court maneuvered the DOJ into position to act as the Supreme Court's proxy in order to achieve the result that a majority of the Supreme Court sought. There is no other explanation.

There's certainly no other satisfactory explanation. Take a look at this bland assertion made by the Huebsch v. Dane County majority:
¶5 IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the petition for original jurisdiction in Case No. 2011AP765-W is granted, State ex rel. La Follette v. Stitt, 114 Wis. 2d 358, 338 N.W.2d 684 (1983), and all motions to dismiss and for supplemental briefing are denied.
Case No. 2011AP765-W is a petition for supervisory writ, and not a petition for original jurisdiction. On the other hand, La Follette v. Stitt was a petition for original jurisdiction. The Huebsch majority does not tell us where exactly to look in La Follette v. Stitt to support its rationale; it merely cites the entire case. But presumably, it means this:
We granted the petition to commence an original action because this matter is publici juris and requires a prompt and authoritative determination by this court in the first instance.
However the (judge-made) doctrine of publici juris** is invoked in Stitt to justify the granting of La Follette's petition to the Supreme Court to accept original jurisdiction over his case. Indeed, Stitt itself cites to this prior caselaw: "If the matter is publici juris, this court may elect to take original jurisdiction if asked to do so." This underlining added.

Which the Huebsch Court wasn't asked. Its ¶5 is pure magical fiat.

Any conservative could tell you that.

Footnote footnote: Yesterday's footnote 6 is also pretty cute. It reads, "Wisconsin Stat. § 809.51 is the appellate rule that governs petitions for a '[s]upervisory writ and original jurisdiction to issue prerogative writ.'"

This is true as far as it goes but the fact of the matter is, Wis. Stat. § 809.51 also distinguishes between supervisory and original jurisdiction, presenting as it does a choice to prospective petitioners as to whether they will proceed in accordance with one or the other form of authority.

But the distinction is not so much germane to Huebsch, where the majority conjured a petition for an original action from a petition for a supervisory writ, and Huebsch doesn't get to § 809.51 except by way of § 809.71, which is the Supreme Court rule exclusive to its supervisory jurisdiction. While § 809.51 presents both options, the presence of two separate statutory provisions, § 809.71 and § 809.70, reinforces the contention that "supervisory/original jurisdiction" makes as much sense as "disorderly/theft" or "sexual assault of a/moveable property."***

On the other hand, the Supreme Court helpfully disabuses the absurdist notion that the only court referred to in Wis. Stat. § 809.51 is the court of appeals, a notion published in apparent seriousness on, of all places, the front page of the Marquette University Law School's faculty blog.

* And which the Supreme Court dismissed on June 14 — unanimously.

** Publici juris simply means "public right." The public also retains a couple of more fundamental rights: the right to draft constitutions and enact rules that define and delineate the powers of the courts and the right to not draft constitutions and not enact rules which authorize courts to combine those powers into new, judicially manufactured ones.

*** Notwithstanding Lt. Gov. Rebecca Kleefisch's table/marriages.

July 14, 2011

Esenberg "carried ... feet first" from Capitol

Figuratively, at least:
You know, I was befuddled by the professor's opinion. Assuming that the professor got the map and the data at the same time we all did, assuming he had ready experts who could manipulate the GIS data and what they call the geoshapes, it is astounding to me that the professor, with such superficial information — and assuming the information is the same information I have — it is astounding to me that that professor could come in here and render a legal opinion on such a flimsy basis. As a responsible lawyer, adhering to the ethical standards that govern my trade, I could not sit here and give you a legal opinion because I don't know. And I'm telling you, you don't know either.
Ouch. That's got to leave a mark, as the kids say.

Ubiquitous Republican-for-hire lawyer James Troupis despatched sometime co-counsel Rick Esenberg to Madison yesterday to pronounce definitively that the WISGOP plan "is simply not vulnerable" to legal challenge and that "any challenge to the plan would be almost frivolous."

Funny, because it was none other than the team of James Troupis and Rick Esenberg that filed an "almost frivolous" suit on March 1 in Oconto, the misrepresented fruits of which became the basis for Troupis's notorious legal memorandum advising Republican Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald to have apprehended and forcibly conveyed by law enforcement a seven-months-pregnant woman into the Capitol building.

Along with 13 other of Senator Fitzgerald's political rivals, for all of whose arrests Sen. Fitzgerald had issued warrants, following which Troupis promptly invoiced the State the sum of twenty-six thousand, nine-hundred-and-fifty-five dollars. Meanwhile Rick Esenberg continues to be presented as a disinterested academic observer in the local press.
I'm trying to put, at least in perspective to me, I just want to make sure I have the right person, the same professor who comments on Christian radio, conservative radio talk shows, and blogging? — Wisconsin State Senator Jon Erpenbach
And Fox. Yes, that's our Prof. Rick of Marquette University Law School.

Or prohibiting the free wing-nuttery thereof

The First Amendment was written by the Founders to protect the free exercise of Christianity. They were making no effort to give special protections to Islam. Quite the contrary.
Bryan Fischer, spokesperson for the persecuted Christian minority.

No wonder the SPLC calls these buffoons a hate group. What "Family Research" Fischer is saying is that the federal government, in America, can prohibit all religions but Christianity (and once those are prohibited the Christians can get to work prohibiting one another's sects; for example, Michele Bachmann's Wisconsin Evangelical Lutheran Synod can lobby to prohibit Roman Catholicism on account of the Antichrist).

July 13, 2011

Wisconsin Supreme Court quote of the day

As to the court's latest unsigned order:
That Justice Roggensack participates in this motion for reconsideration is not a due process or ethical calculation but a mathematical one: one vote plus three votes equals an attempt to achieve a majority. — SSA, AWB, NPC, dissenting

State v. Dimitri Henley, 2011 WI 67:
Nor is the majority’s explication of Caperton v. A.T. Massey Coal Co., Inc. compelling. If due process were satisfied merely by the individual justice's ruling on recusal, then how could the U.S. Supreme Court have held that "due process requires recusal" because of the probability of that justice’s actual bias?
Bold added.

Maybe we'll find out. This unsigned order, unlike the court's previous unsigned order, presents questions of federal, constitutional law.

The protections of which, the dissenters argue, were not only denied but denied in favor of other, er, less legally substantive considerations.

"Strict construction," "textualism," "original intent," and all the rest of the conservative tropes pretty much fail when it comes to due process.

There's little guidance in the text of the Constitution as to what due process means and what little guidance there is must be gleaned from ancillary provisions. In such divinations conservatives tend to be every bit as lawless and unmoored from language as they accuse liberals of being.

[Troupis] has been helping Mike Gableman in his legal defense in an ethics investigation by the Office of Lawyer Regulation — an investigation for which Gableman could be disbarred.
Is this true?

But fake Democrats were never on top of anything

The fakes barely emerged from their basements, were never elected to anything, didn't even campaign. So there was nothing to fall from. The Journal-Sentinel makes them sound like tragic heroes. Or dictators toppled by a populist mob in an Eastern European piazza. It's bad enough they received so much attention — although they're further evidence of WISGOP dishonesty and caprice — but what a silly headline.

If anything they rose, not fell. One of them actually received 46% of the vote. The others ranged from 30% to 36%, which under different circumstances — i.e., non-dishonest ones — would be deemed respectable showings. Some liberals are concerned about those figures but they probably shouldn't be. Sure, there's a hard core of determined conservative (whatever that means anymore) mischief-makers out there but obviously nowhere near enough to keep bona fide Democrats from their mission to wrest control of the Wisconsin Senate from Republicans, who even the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial board acknowledges are in an "undeclared war on urban areas and minority voters."

The latter sounds illegal.

July 12, 2011

Abe Sauer's Guide to the Wisconsin Recall Elections

Now at the venerable Atlantic Monthly.
I knew this crazy kid was going places.

Wisconsin voting day quoting of the day

Mordecai Lee, a University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee political scientist, says "single-digit turnouts" are possible, which he thinks tend to skew more conservative than higher turnouts.
Normally Mordecai Lee's "skewing more conservative" wouldn't make much sense in a Democratic primary election, which is what are taking place today in six Senate districts, except Republican chicanery put six non-entities — fakes — on the ballots and they're urging the faithful to interfere with the process. It's not illegal, but it is sleazy and dishonest.

It's how they roll.

July 11, 2011

The great minds they really do think alike

Darling loses the most Democratic parts of her district: Shorewood and fragments of Glendale and the city of Milwaukee. By contrast, the areas added to the Darling district under the new plan are hugely Republican.
Craig Gilbert, 10:15 a.m.
Redistricting sweeps Shorewood into @SenTaylor's bailiwick, which is a Dem lock anyway, while expanding District 8 into wing-nut territory.
your humble narrator, 09:00 a.m.
Next, Gilbert will report on the rejoicing heard among Leon Young's constituents at finding themselves represented by Tamara Grigsby.

That's at least one instance of Troupis doing some Democrats a favor.

WI Senate
WI Assembly

h/t @TheGeographer

And which GOP hypocrisy and dishonesty remind me

Remember Justice/Gableman's grilling of a Wisconsin attorney, Virginia Bartelt, pursuant to Mike Gableman's paranoid Sorosian fantasies? If not, here's the (unofficial) transcript.* Yet lo and behold, when Koch-funded lawyers from Minnesota and elsewhere sought pro hac vice permission before the Wisconsin Supreme Court, they were granted without comment, and without Mike Gableman's Tail Gunner Joe innuendos.

* That wasn't a case, by the way. That was part of the court's open administrative process whereby citizens, legitimately concerned about the influence of third-party interest outfits on due process and equal protection of the law in Wisconsin, presented ideas on how the court might address those concerns. The out-of-State Koch attorneys, however, were admitted as pro hac vice counsel in a case, ironically a case having to do with campaign financing of Supreme Court elections.

It's also clear to any minimally sentient observer of the court that Gableman supports the pro hac vice attorneys' position in the matter.

Atty. Bartelt's views did not prevail at the court. Instead the court adopted — verbatim — a set of ethics rules drafted by Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce. Which adoption is supposed to allay the aforementioned concerns. You can't make this stuff up, as they say.

Well, you could, or else you could just let the Republicans do it.

Speaking of dishonest GOP hypocrites

Scroll past the featured horseshit to Eric Basile's rebuttal:
Kevin Binversie's hypocrisy seems to know no bounds.
Binversie did tell the truth once, when he affirmed he's a jerk.

Fake Democrats quintuplets separated at birth

Move over, Elzire Dionne


They're not Democrats, they're Republicans, all of them. Republicans had the fakes added to tomorrow's Democratic primary ballot, as the sixth fake Isaac Weix admitted, purely to waste public time and public money:
"I ran to push back the general election," he said. "Period."
County and municipal election clerks estimate that the six Republican fakes will require $428,000 in additional public expenditures. By comparison, the Associated Press estimated the cost of the recent Statewide* Supreme Court election recount at around $500,000.

As is predictably typical, the hypocrites cried bloody murder over the latter but you won't hear a peep out of them regarding the former.

Similarly, career Republican Scott Walker fought to keep thinker of bad thoughts David Duke off the 1992 GOP presidential ballot, but hasn't uttered a word about doer of bad acts David VanderLeest, the Republican who is challenging incumbent Sen. Dave Hansen on July 19.

Consistency and honesty are clearly too much to expect of the WISGOP. There's nothing unlawful about the WISGOP's shenanigans; they exploit Wisconsin's open primaries system. But nor was there anything unlawful with the actions of the 14 Democratic Senators who decamped to Illinois to prevent a Senate vote on the WISGOP's union-busting bill. However, nobody should expect any logical consistency on those accounts either.

Nor judicial conservatism from the GOP's so-called conservative judges.

"I ran to complement the general election," he said. "Forward slash."

* Whereas the GOP fakes are running in only six of 33 districts.

Conservatives denounce anonymous source

When it implicates Scott Walker.*

But they love the anonymous source that implicates Justice Bradley.

This would be the same Scott Walker, incidentally, who admitted to Fake Koch he'd considered releasing Republican Party thugs into the protest crowds at Madison to foment violence. So threatening to run a rival candidate against Sen. Cowles is comparatively small potatoes.

* See also the last item, in which Assembly Speaker Republican Jeff Fitzgerald of the Party of Personal Responsibility blames an unnamed staffer for lying about a basketball scholarship in his official biography.

July 10, 2011

Walker caught lying, blames teachers


MJS condemns elections, defends union-busting

Wow, somebody's sure cranky today:
These [recall] elections, arising from the heat generated by a single issue [union-busting], risk further dividing the electorate and giving rise to a perpetual campaign.
Maybe the MJS editorialists missed it, but Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Republican Scott Fitzgerald went on Fox News to announce his party's policies were directed toward defeating Barack Obama in 2012.

That is, his party's policies that are supposed to benefit the people of Wisconsin, not members of the Electoral College from North Carolina.

So it's a bit late to complain about "a perpetual campaign" at this point.

In fact it's been a bit late for decades. Besides, the recalls may have initially arisen from a single issue,* but there's been plenty more presented through WISGOP shenanigans since then, and it's appropriate to hold these six Republican Senators accountable for them as well.

Why not?

The law doesn't prescribe any particular reason to recall elected officials. It simply provides "tools," as Governor Scott Walker** himself would say.

And of course the various Journal Communications, Inc. corporate organs have been mocking and downplaying opposition to Walker and his henchpeople for months, so the MJS's huffy stance comes as no surprise.

* An issue, by the way, that campaigning Republicans deliberately withheld from Wisconsin voters prior to the November 2010 election.

** Who became Milwaukee County Executive by dint of a recall election.

Michele Bachmann's sharp lawyerin'

Try pulling this stunt with a real contract:
Bachmann spokeswoman Alice Stewart said the Minnesota congresswoman only endorsed the 14-point "candidate vow," which did not include the slavery passage. However, the entire document was only four pages, including two pages of footnotes, and the slavery section was the first bullet point in the preamble.
Your honor I only signed the term not the condition.

Slavery claim "misconstrued" say wing-Christians

What a bunch of clowns.

Earlier: Mr. Reverend Bachmann sets off Cher gaydar

July 9, 2011

Luther Olsen in figurative concealed carry mishap

Somebody call a toe truck, the Senator's been shot.

Wisconsin Supreme Court quote of the day

[Justice David] Prosser's bid for re-election was nearly undermined when opponents of a controversial Republican bill to strip public employees of collective bargaining rights painted him as a partisan hack. — Steven Elbow, (Madison) Capital Times
No, Prosser painted himself as a partisan hack. And Prosser never did categorically disavow those remarks, instead putting them down to his campaign manager's having "too much Waukesha County in him."

Turns out Prosser had barely enough (0.46%) Waukesha County in him.

Here's a very good piece on the court, by the way.

July 8, 2011

Black children better off under slavery than Obama

Pledges Rep. Michele Bachmann, member of Congress and reportedly serious Republican presidential candidate. Are you effing kidding me?

This is a respectable view to hold in America? These are "Christians"?

Ron Johnson, Bircher-quality paranoid

AL HUNT: "You think [federal health care reform is] a bigger threat than communism?"

RON JOHNSON: "That’s exactly what this thing is-"
And just plain embarrassing is exactly what this character is.

J-school graduated a wing-nut

How TAQ-y:
Actually, the Democratic senators were targeted because they skipped out of Madison for three weeks in a failed effort to block passage of the bill to limit public union bargaining. The [WISGOP] senators were targeted because they voted for that bill.
WTAQ is also home to Mark Levin, which explains everything.

Walker judicial team brings the Gableman defense

Governor Scott Walker's judicial selection committee (.pdf; 3 pgs.) includes Michael Best & Friedrich partner Eric McLeod, who represented Supreme Court Justice/Gableman in the latter's unsuccessful bid to have a Wisconsin Judicial Commission ethics complaint against him dismissed.

Gableman was accused of lying in a Statewide election in 2008, Year of Our Lord. McLeod and Jim Bopp, a lawyer from Indiana, prepared Gableman's defense. I understand it's fallacious to attribute the client's views to his counsel — after all, that's what Justice/Gableman did in his unprecedentedly sleazy teevee ad* — but the judiciary is all about politics for the Walker administration, so why shouldn't it be for everybody else?

Put another way, you don't want to be cynical, but they force you.

Therefore if this is the message Walker wants to send, good for him, and if it energizes his detractors, all the better. Go for it, by all means.

On the other hand when three of the four self-described "conservative" justices who recently invented a novel form of judicial authority — which otherwise is supposed to derive from the State constitution, by the way, a connexion claimed yet ironically denied by the four "conservatives" to both the State's elected representatives and the trial judge in that case — are subject to ethics investigations and/or formal ethics complaints, it's presumed that Walker's selection committee couldn't do much worse.

Scott Walker's team also includes a fellow Gableman alumnus of Hamline University who, Walker's crack communications specialists advise us, "is currently practicing in the area of . . . Land Lord Tennant Law."

Good grief.

* Moreover, McLeod's co-counsel went so far as to malign the integrity of his client's rival by belittling him as the "type of person" who would take on a criminal case. In fact Bopp, Esq.'s remarks** were so offensive to those concerned with professional ethics that they induced Justice Patrick Crooks to switch his vote from dismissing a set of motions to have Justice/Gableman recused from criminal cases to granting those motions. That alone is a big deal and an even bigger deal that Crooks decided to make public his decision and his reasons for making it.

And it's why Lester Pines ruefully opined that nobody whoever practiced criminal defense — the right to which is guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution — could ever be a Supreme Court justice, which is most probably true, thanks to the cynical manipulation of Wisconsin's system of electing them by dishonest Republican politicians like Mike Gableman.

As was noted here in April, 2008, it's not the voters who can't be trusted when it comes to electing Supreme Court judges. It's the candidates.

** And it's not fallacious to attribute the counsel's views to the client.

Your Scott Walker supporters in the news

One pleads guilty to two felonies* and another attempts to kill his wife with a hammer. Charles McNeer also contributed to the campaigns of Glenn Grothman, J.B. Van Hollen, Annette Ziegler, and Randy Koschnick.

Those are among the furthest right "family values" crowd in the State.

* Fortunately Gardner hired one of the smartest lawyers in Wisconsin.

July 7, 2011

Where is Scott Walker's fauxtrage now?

Dave's not here. — Thomas Chong

Remember when Scott Walker went on the teevee to "debate" the racist David Duke, arguing that the white supremacist should be banned from the Republican presidential primary ballot? David Duke's crime: Having bad thoughts. So where is career Republican Scott Walker now that Republican David VanderLeest, who's been accused of committing a number of bad acts, is on the Republican ballot? VanderLeest says he hasn't heard from Walker, which isn't surprising. But how come Walker isn't going after the VanderLeest Dave like he went after the Duke Dave?

Are thought-crimes suddenly worse than real ones in Fitzwalkerstan?

You just wait until Mark Steyn gets wind of that!

Rich guy sure loves him some Scott Walker

Maybe a little too much.

And, these tidbits, via Dispatches From Fitzwalkerstan:
Take a look at Mr. White’s twitter feed to catch a glimpse into the life of this contributor.
Cocktails in Mequon 2nite, golf tourny w/dinner 2morrow, wedding Sat, Phnx to see Sara Rose, Brett & Cheri Sun am, Milw Weds midnite. Whew!
Home alone for Village meeting tonight. Back to CO and mountains 7AM tomorrow.

Surfing financial web pages from office
Mr. White owns the Rite Hite Corporation.
Which makes him our friend Rick Esenberg's old boss. Small world aina?

Clearly, there's gold in them thar River Hills:
Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) raised $30,000 this year from a single contributor.
Republicans received unlimited donations while writing budget

That would be the budget that rewards the rich and burdens the poor.

Meanwhile Democrats have to work hundreds of contributors to equal what two or three wealthy individuals donate to Republican candidates.

Tells you something, don't it. Compare Alberta Darling's few big money contributors with failed Republican candidate for Senate John Nygren's ability to round up a grand total of 398 signatures, two short of what's required. John Nygren's failure paved the way for Republican David VanderLeest, who seems a wee bit off-kilter to say the least, to ensure the continuing incumbency of Democratic State Senator Dave Hansen.