November 30, 2009

Birthers creationists climate deniers oh my

Little Green Footballs, under the Palin bus you go.

h/t Mike Mathias.

McIlheran embarrassment continues

No, no one can double-check the alarmists' data. They threw it out. Their work cannot be checked by others. — P. McIlheran
Too bad it ain't true (a.k.a., old news).

Does P. McIlheran actually get paid for this utter credulity?

Fortunately for the intrepid scientific expert P. McIlheran, all of his data are already collected in one place: the nut-right blogosphere.

Follow the logic

This sportswriter argues that the integrity of a breakfast cereal is compromised because Tiger Woods won't explain why he ran his car into a fire hydrant. I'm always looking for excuses why I made triple bogey. Which golf clubs did Tiger Woods endorse so I can get some.

eta: Pat O'Brien of "Access Hollywood" was just on Wolf Blitzer's "Situation Room" comparing Tiger Woods to ... Michael Vick.

By whose authority?

DATE: November 2009
TO: Lawyers admitted to the State Bar of Wisconsin in Odd-Numbered Years
RE: Wisconsin Mandatory Continuing Legal Education Requirements

7. Enter in the EPR [ethics and professional responsibility] Hours Attended.
By his authority? Why in the world should I be required to comply with the Supreme Court Rules when a member of the Supreme Court can't?

And if I fail to so comply, do you believe a panel of referees will recommend the complaint against me be dismissed? Not bloody likely.

JSOnline comments policy

We train young men to drop fire on people. But their commanders won't allow them to write "fuck" on their airplanes because it's obscene!

I'm not much of a cook

But "simmer" doesn't mean "increasing heat," does it?
Says science-misconduct expert Nicholas Steneck of the University of Michigan, "I believe what the CRU e-mails will show when carefully studied is a group of professionals struggling with the (climate) dilemma."
You have to read through 18 paragraphs to get to that truth.

November 29, 2009

Great work, journalists

"Climategate," it's a terrible, terrible scandal, don't you know:
This weekend it emerged that the [CRU] has thrown away much of the data. Tucked away on its website is this statement: "Data storage availability in the 1980s meant that we were not able to keep the multiple sources for some [foreign measurement station] sites ... We, therefore, do not hold the original raw data but only the value-added (ie, quality controlled and homogenised) data."

If true, it is extraordinary.
Reports the Times of London breathlessly.

Needless to say, the nut-right has gone bananas, and inferred that because the CRU didn't store all data, then all data no longer exists.

In fact the raw data is all over the internets, among other places.

eta: Even Andrew Sullivan managed to sniff it out.

Help, help, I'm being repressed

With all this talk of "attempts to suppress dissenting scientists’ research and other questionable data fabrication,"* now is a good time to recall the "Sternberg peer review controversy":
The paper by Stephen C. Meyer,** "The origin of biological information and the higher taxonomic categories," in vol. 117, no. 2, pp. 213-239 of the Proceedings of the Biological Society of Washington, was published at the discretion of the former editor, Richard V. Sternberg. Contrary to typical editorial practices, the paper was published without review by any associate editor; Sternberg handled the entire review process. The Council, which includes officers, elected councilors, and past presidents, and the associate editors would have deemed the paper inappropriate for the pages of the Proceedings because the subject matter represents such a significant departure from the nearly purely systematic content for which this journal has been known throughout its 122-year history.
Sternberg pulled a Dick Cheney:
As managing editor it was my prerogative to choose the editor who would work directly on the paper, and as I was best qualified among the editors I chose myself.
A film released in April 2008 featuring Ben Stein, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed, discusses the Sternberg controversy, but misrepresents several key facts.
You don't say. Ben Stein & Co. probably thought that misrepresenting misrepresentations would make them true.

Wikipedia: Sternberg peer review controversy.

* Mr. Jim Ott (R-Mequon) needs to support this accusation.
** I have an e-mail from Stephen Meyer dated 1905.

So who's hiding the climate data

Not the AGW proponents:
Svensmark has never tried to defend himself properly, i.e., by a peer reviewed reply article, against these serious charges. Friis‐Christensen once tried to defend himself against the criticism of the 1991 Science article. However, the apparent rebuttal in his reply article was only achieved by introducing two simple arithmetic errors, which were well hidden in the article and quite difficult to spot. The two arithmetic errors artificially created an agreement of the new observational data with the values of the 1991 article. Applying correct arithmetic, the support of the solar theory totally vanishes.
Peter Laut (.pdf; 6 pgs.) via RealClimate.

D'you think our local denialist will make note of that? Me neither.

Mr. McIlheran's latest missive on the subject, incidentally, is characteristically uninformed and credulous. Beneath the headline, Climate 'science' was rigged from the start, the local paper's "right-wing guy" and ace environmental reporter finds soothing words at the Wall Street Journal and endorses the red herring of a Detroit News editorialist who declares: "Science should never be settled."

Obviously, all scientists knows this, and concur. It's a question of degree: some science is "more settled" than other. Yet there are still Young Earth Creationists and people who believe diseases are caused by Hell-dwelling pixies. Likewise, there is still Patrick McIlheran.

November 28, 2009

Pro golfer seeks publicist

New York night club hostess Rachel Uchitel has hired high-profile attorney Gloria Allred to represent her.
Must be available to start yesterday.

The WaPo finds these claims irresponsible

But it keeps on publishing them nevertheless.

Darn that librul media anyway.

November 27, 2009

Palin cheated at Scrabble™

There is only one K and one Q.

hoard n : a hidden accumulation

See you in Hell

If Kennedy [D-RI 1st] wants to disregard the laws of the Church, that's his business, but there are consequences. If he is not a believer ... as you appear not to be ... Heaven* is not in the cards. Simple as that. That's the way it is.
God's love sure is harsh.

Via Plaisted Writes.**

* Not capitalized in original, which I am given to understand is itself an unforgivable blasphemy. (Hell is getting mighty crowded.)
** Next year I think Frogwater and John Sieger should open for us.

Gore says "millions" instead of "thousands"

Points out the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's associate editorial page editor. If the significance of Al Gore's recent Tonight Show "gaffe" escapes you, then welcome to the club. Now were the temperatures within the Earth's mantle actually lower than they are on its surface, then perhaps Mr. Ulrich-Franzen would be on to something.

Maybe the Journal-Sentinel's editorial board will next adjust its withering glare toward Rush Limbaugh's allegations of "substantial fraud" on the part of climate scientists, as Limbaugh's stature as a demagogue in the public imagination is roughly commensurate with that of Al Gore's, and allegations of substantial fraud are considerably more serious than an apparent slip of the tongue.

But I wouldn't hold my CO2.

November 26, 2009

Suit alleges inappropriate truth-telling

A right-wing Washington D.C. "think tank"* wants to sue NASA scientist Gavin A. Schmidt for his Herculean undertakings at the website
Yes they’re planning to sue Schmidt for the "inappropriate behavior" of moderating comments at RealClimate. Of course, the point of this vexatious suit isn’t to win — it’s to harass and distract Schmidt because he is being effective.
Very, very effective.

This is a remarkable and fascinating story, and one has been able to witness, over the course of just a couple of days, the construction of a right-wing meme based entirely on falsehoods and ignorance.

Schmidt has been virtually instrumental in correcting the factual record and enlightening the ignorant. And now they want to punish him with a lawsuit: for telling the truth. Think-tank about that.

Read: Every factual assertion by the CEI fellow is false

* Whose benefactors include Milwaukee's own Bradley Foundation.

Timing of "climategate" not at all suspicious

Copenhagen Diagnosis Executive Summary

Question: Does the (alleged) fact that Penn State's Michael E. Mann is a bit of a dick invalidate the laws of physics? Or confirm them?

November 25, 2009

Fraud, yes, but denialist fraud

Further to this "Climategate" nonsense:
One of the e-mails is quite explicit:
I think the scientific fraud committed by Douglass needs to be exposed. His co-authors may be innocent bystanders, but I doubt it.
Fraud? Right there in front of everyone? In the climate debate?

In the end, the scientists in the discussion determined not to hold a press conference to announce a finding of fraud, but instead to hunker down and work on publishing datasets that would contradict the alleged fraudulent paper, and establish their case with data instead of invective and press conferences.
Not even a Tea Party.

Read: Smoking guns in the CRU e-mails.

Earlier: Lord McIlheran, Maven of Science.
"It sure looks like trying to fool the rubes — that is, us."
McIlheran's self-description is accurate, if nothing else.

November 24, 2009

Hitler, Stalin fingered in climate conspiracy

Steven J. Dubner, co-author of SuperFreakonomics, lent credence to the fevered "ClimateGate" ravings of Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), and other global warming deniers in an interview with Fox Business Network host David Asman, after Asman compared climate scientists to Stalin and Hitler.
"Stalin ... and of course, Hitler," he says. Haha. Fox.

Watch it.

Say what, Dubner thinks the scientists he's accusing of distorting evidence don't take methane into consideration?

As a matter of fact, a legitimate and reasonable criticism is that they take methane too much into consideration and to the extent that climate projections include for a certain volume of methane that never materialized, those projections would be inaccurate.

So Dubner is telling climate scientists, who he's accused of distorting evidence, and who are already well aware of the effects of methane, that they should be paying more attention to methane, and not CO2, even though there has been approaching a zero increase in the amount of methane in the atmosphere over the last decade or so.

And for those reasons, it's fair to criticize some climate projections. That is, criticisms all based on the exact opposite of what Steven J. Dubner is claiming. You can't help except wonder ... does Dubner even know what it is in the tarnation that he is talking about?

Wild hyperbole of the day

For sheer, homegrown genocide, consider this. Over the last 40 years, a period of time that coincides with black wholesale capitulation to the Democrat [sic] Party, black people, with the help of white liberals,* have managed to do what the Ku Klux Klan in their WILDEST DREAMS! could never do. Legally kill 16 million Americans of African descent.
— Journal Broadcast Group radio "personality" James T. Harris

Or: consider looking in the dictionary under 'genocide.' You'd expect the tinfoil hat routine from a caller, but this guy has his own show.

And I know Harris — being a Biblical creationist — is unable to buy the evidence, but all Americans are ultimately of African descent.

* I'm looking at you, Leonard Bernstein and Sandra Day O'Connor.

"Scandal" upgraded to "satire"

OK Sen. Inhofe demands probe into smart-alecky scientists
However, it [was] not immediately clear what Inhofe hopes to accomplish with his proposed hearing.
Laughs, what else.

Direct marketing the Palin readership

They're the ones who can't even spell the title.

You and your some kind of elite Ivy League education.

Thank God Darwin didn't invent gay sex

Only racism and slavery.
This summer I read the book Darwin's Plantation: Evolution's Racist Roots [by Ken Ham], which expertly outlines the dark roots and devastating consequences of evolutionary thought.
Racist roots = dark roots. Well played.

Expertness, for experts. And it's absolutely astonishing, is it not, that somebody might have misconstrued a good and useful idea and put it to nefarious use. That's just never happened, before or since.
Ugh, stick good, make fire. Ugh, stick bad, hit over head with. Ugh, maybe stick neutral, me give contingent meaning.
If non-whites are descendants of Ham, why is there still (Ken) Ham?
— internets wag

Ronald Reagan denied GOP blessings

What madcap antics has Gableman's lawyer got up to now

Bopp, James Bopp.

Deeply suspicious

Hail Comrade,

What makes me deeply suspicious is the complete lack of correspondence with Al Gore in these released emails. Where are all the emails showing Al Gore's involvement? Even more bizarrely there is no plotting and planning on how to raise taxes. I don't see any mention of the socialist new world order that these scientists are trying to bring about. Not once do they talk about how to best achieve wealth redistribution or world government.

btw I don't know what to do with all that grant money coming through my door, it is starting to fill up my front hall. I bought 5 more Ferrari's and a yacht, but it isn't reducing it much.

In Stalin,

Lord McIlheran

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's parent corporation Journal Communications, Inc., announced today it would seek to defer some fourth-quarter losses by billing calumnist Patrick McIlheran's salary to the Republican National Committee.
Dear Lord McIlheran:
Keep what little integrity you have and remove the title of Lord in your posting. Ironic how you do this and then talk about 'fraud' in your blog. — "Quivers"
Typical McIlheran. Where is McIlheran's lecture on bad faith?

Dangerous frauds.

The CRU hack: context (1400+ comments, exhaustive detail)

So much for "dangerous frauds." If these e-mails contain no evidence of deliberate data manipulation — and nobody has found any yet — then what now is the justification for having obtained them illegally, and for right-wing calumnists to misrepresent them completely?

McIlheran's very next topic: The virtues of church-based morality. Back in my day, Roman Catholics made a virtue of critical thinking.

November 23, 2009

Most likely you'll go your way

11.25.09, 8:40 p.m., is what I hear.

Another column supporting gay marriage

The Brawler has written one also.

P. McIlheran's glow-ball warming

Predictably (what took him so long, though?), ace reporter Patrick McIlheran has latched on to the East Anglia e-mail "scandal," wherein a bunch of scientists, annoyed by professional denialists like P. McIlheran, shared around some catty messages with each other.

Several of the illegally obtained messages make reference to suggested manipulating of data, and those are certainly a bad reflection. But nobody's come up with any proof of any data fudging in any actual research papers, which is what McIlheran is claiming.

And nobody should be surprised that scientists are annoyed by denialists. We observe it as a regular feature of the so-called "controversy" over evolution. Even in that milieu, however, it's rare to see, 'Next time I see Duane Gish I'm going to punch his lights out.'

Yet even that degree of intemperance is no evidence of "fudging data" or "dangerous frauds," as McIlheran darkly puts it.

McIlheran, aside from the standard litany of tediously grandiose and false conclusions, has nothing to offer except a link to the squash-playing denialist Steve McIntyre and a couple more to the Daily Torygraph, a venerable Fleet Street subsidiary of Fox "News."

And then the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel just republishes this, specially adorned with McIlheran's paranoid, addlepated phantasies. Do they really think their readership is that gullible?

McIlheran would never send you, for example, here.

Just a teensy bit more than meets the eye. I bet it took longer to
edit those e-mails than it did to write Sarah Palin's entire book.

Didn't we all

"I wrote a column supporting gay marriage."
Truly one for the ages.

h/t Daniel Bice.

Miles from Standish

A Cheney knows best.

That would be the New Fear-deralism.

Unter dem Doppeladler

At least Borders filed the candidate in the correct section.

It's not often we get to peer in on the "Real America."

Wealthy now get to keep all the lupins

Wot, d'you mean the flower lupin?

Most despicable in Wisconsin history

Says the Green Bay (WI) Press-Gazette.
Gableman's [teevee Ad] was grossly misleading — and it aired during a race for Supreme Court justice, a position entrusted with finding truth and clarity from conflicting views.
Correct, and the polity's granting of that special position of trust is among the reasons why judges are held to higher standards of behavior and — in an assumed abdication of rights — to ethical guidelines they sign onto before they engage in election activities.

Recently a panel of three appeals court judges unanimously found that one of their colleagues nevertheless deliberately and willfully violated the Wisconsin code of judicial ethics, which in turn is a violation of Wisconsin statutory law.

Yet they also unanimously recommended that the Wisconsin Judicial Commission's ethics complaint against Gableman be dismissed — because Gableman had requested that it be dismissed.

So, if you're a politically ambitious judge with negligible scruples you may with deliberative aforethought tell scurrilous lies about another judge, and if anybody happens to complain, all you have to do is ask three other judges to please have that complaint dismissed.

And if that recommendation is accepted by another set of judges, then you've successfully gotten away with lying without any official, professional consequences whatsoever. Gotten away with it upon submission of your own request to get away with it.

All because, we are instructed, the operation of ethics may only occur within the stilted parameters of often incoherent legalistic theories.*

Truth and clarity, eh? Something is fundamentally messed up here.

* Didn't Jesus used to complain about that too?

November 22, 2009

Second Amendment news

If you're following the Second Amendment's impending re-appearance before the U.S. Supreme Court next year,* Prof. O'Hear posted this must-read item reviewing last Wednesday's decision of the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, United States v. Skoien (.pdf; 27 pgs.).

A federal appeals court, making policy. Tsk, tsk.

My question is: Was that really intermediate scrutiny, or just rational basis scrutiny "with teeth"? Either way, since it's protecting "gun rights," few complaints are expected from the formerly anti-dentite.

* Wisconsin AG J.B. Van Hollen is to file a Friend of the Court brief.

Blogger, heal thyself

Marquette University law professor Rick Esenberg has once again taken up the question of "civility" and thus admonishes the local blogosphere:
They take opposing arguments out of context or restate them inaccurately and in bad faith.
What might be useful there would be an example. Fortunately I have a near-perfectly illustrative example right here, from this blog, quoting a complete, stand-alone proposition:
That Justice Gableman agonized over running the ad before deciding to run it certainly could support an inference that he did not believe it was false. — law professor Rick Esenberg
Replies Prof. Esenberg:
You're taking my comment out of context. I was discussing the constitutionality of sanctioning political speech, not speculating on Justice Gableman's intent — about which I have no knowledge.
The comment was no more nor less taken out of context than it would be to take "You're taking my comment out of context" out of the context of the two sentences above.

Rather, it communicates a discrete, very particular idea that goes directly to one of the crucial elements of the code of judicial conduct Gableman is accused of violating: Intent. Prof. Esenberg well knows this and only pure sophistry can facilitate his evasion.

And even if I was "taking it out of" some context I was addressing it in its proper context: the record of the Wisconsin Judicial Commission's case against Gableman, the initial impetus for which is the object of the very remark of Esenberg's that he's suddenly now claiming was taken out of context. Mighty tricky, I do reckon.

Alas, it's nothing but a trick.

You don't get to cry 'context!' just because you are at once discussing a broader topic and then make an individual statement which has no necessary connection to that larger topic (in this case, Prof. Esenberg claims, the constitutionality of sanctioning political speech).

If I'm talking about going to the Packers game and mention how much I love the stadium brats at Lambeau Field, it serves me little effective purpose to subsequently recant loving the stadium brats because, hey, I was only talking about the Packers game.

Finally — and read these one more time — watch how Prof. Esenberg actually denies what he'd previously written:
1) That Justice Gableman agonized over running the ad before deciding to run it certainly could support an inference that he did not believe it was false.

2) [I was] not speculating on Justice Gableman's intent — about which I have no knowledge.
But of course contemplating Gableman's agony seeking (and then "certainly" finding) support for inferences as to Gableman's true/false beliefs is "speculating on [his] intent." That's exactly what it is.

Bad faith, indeed. Once we see the good faith, then perhaps we might begin to concern ourselves with the requisite "civility."

Better yet, if Prof. Esenberg ever takes to exposing his fellow travelers Charlie Sykes and Patrick McIlheran, both of whom operate in a perpetual paradigm of bad faith, that would really be something.

Hinterland Who's Who

The Black Bear
The Chipmunk
The Wood Spider nsfw

November 21, 2009

Utah gays clear major civil rights hurdle

Homosexualists may now live in houses, hold jobs

Unless they "act Out." Mr. Buttars is a Republican.

Candidate has solid fact résumé

The Committee to Draft Jay Bullock for Governor this evening released this statement that Jay Bullock re-released earlier today:
I believe that what Wisconsinites are seeking is not the elitism, the kind of a spinelessness that perhaps is made up for that with some kind of elite Ivy League education and a fact résumé that's based on anything but hard work and private sector, free enterprise principles.*
* Source.

Glenn Beck, a community organizer

Mr. Beck provided few details about his plans for the tour, making it unclear if he truly intends to prod his audience of millions into political action or merely burnish his media brand ahead of a book release.
There's a difference?

Mr. Beck is available for political endorsements, if you dare.

He ain't heavy, he's David Broder

Aging scribe put out to pasture years ago says Senate leader

The AARP was unavailable to comment, it being nap time.

Adventures in Posterior Self-Analytics

Sarah Palin prefaces her book with epigraphs including one from — make sure you're done swallowing your coffee — Aristotle:
Chapter Two is introduced by a fake quote from Aristotle, who never in fact wrote that "Criticism is something we can avoid by saying nothing, doing nothing, being nothing." Instead, such banalities are more properly credited to a book called Seeds of Greatness by Denis Waitley,* a hack motivational speaker and author who once served as an executive for a skin-care Ponzi scheme.
One of those things that pretty much says it all.

h/t The Chief.

* "In 2007, Denis Waitley resigned from his post as a member of the board of directors of USANA Health Sciences, Inc., after it was discovered that he did not have a Master's degree from the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. In addition to this USANA informed the Wall Street Journal that they were unable to verify Waitley's Ph.D. from the unaccredited La Jolla University."

Definitely, the go-to guy for all your wholesome "advice for living."

Wisconsin Chair and Country Blues Co.

A superb piece of historical writing, about the record business in Grafton and Port Washington during the 1920s.

Mississippi Sheiks — Sitting On Top Of The World

Palinistas under the bus

What do they expect from a scam.

Why do they call it the Holy Land

I never could figure that one out.
Miller, the Episcopal bishop, said only that Atta is "not in a position equal to those who go to the breakfast."
Now would Jesus kick a guy away from the table for that?

Cell biology

Exposed to a harsh environment constituted out of, uh, reality, the rightoplasm is easily damaged. In order to protect this delicate tissue, a graduated barrier grows up around the rightoplasm. The outermost layer, the cell lamebrane, is thin but tough: it detects environmental information, reverses its polarity, and passes the results through to the thick, sluggish matter lining its internal surfaces. This second layer, the lietoplasm, is itself completely insensitive to external information, but is highly chemically excitable when stimulated by the reversed product passed onto it by the cell lamebrane. Its hyperactive responses serve to distribute the anti-information throughout the internal structures of the rightoplasm.
From the comments.

November 20, 2009

Until now

In 30 years teaching at the UW, I've participated in the awarding of indefinite status about a couple dozen times, and never once has a candidate had legal representation.
Via The Brawler.

Speaking of academic tenure, Google francis beckwith discovery institute baylor for much profitable fun and entertainment.

Sean Hannity's ultimate ground of Being*

"I've read all the arguments." — Sean Hannity, Fox "News"
Hannity totally dissects Christopher Hitchens with unique and novel argumentation never before considered: Video embed by The Sconz.

After being informed that Hitchens doesn't believe in god(s), Hannity accuses him of being "angry with God," always the brilliant riposte.

* How does Hannity know the universe had a beginning? Or is it "Hannitys all the way down"? What caused Hannity? Stay tuned ...

November 19, 2009

And McIlheran, still, is hopeless

McIlheran approves of this load of absolute bollocks.

Patrick McIlheran, another high profile Journal Communications employee who apparently has only the dimmest inkling of the judicial branches, fails to remind us about how he eagerly assisted in spreading to his Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel readers some of the more fragrant bat guano secreted on behalf of Michael Gableman.

You might call it a conflict of interest; that is, you might if professional calumnists like Patrick McIlheran had a code of ethics.

Shark jumps shark

Or possibly is 'Gone Galt.'

Professor of law Rick Esenberg has went and compared the employment of deliberate falsehoods (by a judge) in the service of the professional and character assassination of an individual with teevee advertisements "suggesting that John McCain was advocating a huge middle class tax increase." Both are equally "despicable."

Tough call

This one vs. this one. Or this one.

Concerned MSM elitists are concerned

It's unclear why all of these East Coast elitist mainstream media types* are suddenly so fascinated by the Badger State, but here's the latest example of their concern-trolling from the Wall Street Journal:
After serving four years, voters had seen enough of his brand of judicial philosophy, making him the first sitting justice on the Wisconsin Supreme Court in four decades to lose a retention election last year.
Conspicuously, none of those political Brainiacs is capable of extending their "theory" to an explanation of why Wisconsinites delivered 69 of the State's 72 counties this year to Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, whose "brand of judicial philosophy" should be — by any of their own measures — even more repugnant to them, since she voted with Butler in every single decision which so greatly offends, and even authored one of the two that the WSJ mentions.

And, as a matter of WSJ-escaping fact, in that case Butler joined a concurring opinion separate from Abrahamson's emphasizing that statutory caps on exactly the type of legal damages at issue certainly can be constitutional, but in this instance they weren't on account of the evidence of arbitrariness and dithering** in the legislative record.

In other words, if laws infringe against the protections guaranteed to the people of Wisconsin by their constitution, then there had better be — at a bare minimum — a consistent basis for the legislature's reasoning. And here, the record demonstrated otherwise.

That's the courts' function: To ensure the people's representatives aren't acting against the people's best interest, as expressly articulated in the constitution. The people said the latter controls.

You'd expect this foundational concept to appeal to the average Tea Party-er as they're making a spectacle of pinning giant copies of constitutions to their chests and weeping along with Glenn Beck.

What the Wall Street Journal is implicitly demanding is that if the courts are performing their function effectively, then throw the judges out and replace them with a matching set of rubber stamps.

Even — and especially — if you have to lie to do it.

Why not get straight to the point and eliminate the legislature itself while they're at it, and just re-institute a monarchy. Constitutional republicanism would be so much simpler (the WSJ prefers the Big-R version, which is their irrational basis — minus even the teeth).
At his confirmation hearing this month, Mr. Butler was quick to make light of his double rejection by Wisconsin voters, telling the Senate Judiciary Committee that "After 16 years on the bench, I may be a better judge than a politician."

Ahem. That's a coded nod to liberal groups like the George Soros-funded Justice at Stake that are trying to eliminate judicial elections.
This is a purely speculative partisan fantasy, and an ignorant one at that. If it's a "coded nod" at all, it's to the sleazy program of bottom feeding poli-ticks advanced by Michael Gableman and his supporters, which Louis Butler possessed the judiciousness (I know — what an unusual quality for a judge) and the plain common decency to resist.

So it's blindingly obvious who are the ones making the most compelling argument for eliminating judicial elections.
In Ferdon v. Wisconsin Partners ...
It's Wisconsin Patients. These characters can't even read a case caption, let alone engage the decision's other 178 pages, and we're supposed to extend to them a presumption of objective credibility?

Only a local medium wave sad harlequin like Charlie Sykes,*** one of the aforementioned more vocal supporters, would do such a manifestly foolish thing. And that tells you plenty, also.

Plenty amusing, pathetic, or some of each, there's your trilemma.

* It wouldn't surprise me if they went to Stanford Harvard too.
** More recently not a conservative Republican Value.™
*** As a 50K-watt marquee employee of Journal Communications, Inc. (NYSE:JRN), about as elite as mainstream media can get 'round here.

You said it pal

One should be careful about defending character assassination. I’m not a lawyer. I don’t claim to know all the particulars of this case. But I don’t think either is necessary to conclude that the Gableman ad was despicable. How could anyone with a moral compass conclude otherwise? The fact that such brutalism has been mainstreamed into politics—and defended if not celebrated—demonstrates how badly the civic fabric is fraying. What a vile business our campaigns, even judicial campaigns, have become. Do you not think this corrodes the democratic spirit, makes voters cynical, and serves as a warning shot to citizens to not offer themselves up as candidates for fear their reputations will be destroyed in a lying 30-second commercial?
Marc Eisen.

November 18, 2009

Hold not thy Peace, O God of my praise

So this Psalm 109 deal is really making the rounds.
In all fairness, Psalm 109:8 says: "Let his days be few; and let another take his office." The rest of the Psalm is pretty scary, but the death threats aren't technically part of the specific verse they are citing. The bit about fatherless kids is 109:9.
Yes, well, we'll be certain to retrieve that technicality the next time a Bibliolator fusses over The Word of God removed from context.

Personal offense getting harder to come by

Journal-Sentinel columnist insulted by roll of tin foil

KSM trial to resemble Tea Party, GOP warns

Critics of Holder's decision — mostly Republicans — have argued [sic] the trial will give Khalid Sheikh Mohammed a world stage to spout hateful rhetoric.
Obama pledges successful prosecution, penalty phase — AP

Related: Why does William Kristol hate America?

Out of their gourds

"[Russ Feingold is] all over the place," said Mike Maistelman, a politically connected Democratic lawyer in Milwaukee. "You'll see him at ... pumpkin patches. The guy's everywhere."
Wonder if he's been over to this one.

Quote of the day

I think that the three judge panel's decision to recommend dismissal of ethics charges against Justice Michael Gableman is the right outcome. I doubt that we really want tribunals passing upon the truth and falsity of campaign speech — even for judges.*
Really, what's the point of holding judges to any ethical standards at all, then? They're just politicians anyway (contra separation of powers doctrine, evidently the judiciary is just another political branch).

I'm not sure who "we" is, but apparently it's not the same "we" that elected the folks who drafted, debated, amended, voted on, passed, and signed into law Wisconsin Statutes §§ 757.81-95 (the legislative, procedural means to identify and discipline judicial misconduct).

Of course, we shouldn't have to hold judges to ethical behavior. One might expect that by the time they get to be judges, they would already be roughly familiar with the concepts. In fact, most are.

Certainly "we" should not be celebrating getting away scot-free as a "right outcome." Doing so is precisely the sort of "situational morality" political conservatives are otherwise poised to condemn.

And, lest we forget, it was a condemnation of so-called "loopholes" that started this unforsaken ball to rolling in the first place.

* I comment here instead, so as not to be embargoed.

Jeff Sessions, defender of the Constitution*

There has never really been a filibuster of a judicial nominee in the Senate until now, when our Democratic colleagues have decided to change the ground rules on confirmation. They have said so and done so openly, and seem to be little concerned that the Constitution may be violated in the process.
— Sen. Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III** (R-AL), 07/25/03
So you'd never guess who led yesterday's failed attempt in the U.S. Senate at filibustering the nomination of Judge David F. Hamilton to the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals: the principled Jeff Sessions.

Hypocrites also figure prominently in the Gospel of Matthew.

* So long as there's a Republican in the White House.
** Not by any means a member of the nation's elite.

November 17, 2009

Gableman "oozes" through loophole

The Racine (WI) Journal-Times

However: I really wish people would stop saying "Butler found a loophole" is true. It wasn't a loophole, and Butler didn't find it.

So how could it be true.

Or, don't believe me, ask Gableman himself:
The evidentiary error as found by both the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of Wisconsin is the "loophole" to which the Advertisement referred.

[The Supreme Court] found that the error had occurred in the trial court in the Mitchell case ...
Responsive Statement of Facts at 7, Wisconsin Judicial Commission v. Michael J. Gableman, No. 2008AP002458-J (Wis., April 1, 2009) (highly instructive scare quotes in original).

Not a loophole, and not found by Butler. Says Gableman. His words.

And Butler was not Mitchell's trial lawyer. Upon conviction, Mitchell's counsel at trial would have filed a notice of appeal, following which Butler would have been alerted to the evidentiary errors committed during that trial. Every lawyer in the State knows the routine. It's simply inconceivable that a sitting judge, Michael Gableman, didn't.
That Justice Gableman agonized over running the ad before deciding to run it certainly could support an inference that he did not believe it was false. — law professor Rick Esenberg
These bland apologetics are just laughable. Gableman is hardly that dumb. Moreover, one of the three-judge panel's unanimous findings was that Gableman's ethics violations were committed knowingly.

An early prediction

This one's a no-brainer:
State Rep. Mark Gundrum (R-New Berlin) said Friday that he is running for Waukesha County circuit judge and will challenge incumbent Judge Richard Congdon in the April 6 election.

Judge Congdon was appointed to the bench in January, 2009 by Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle.
Gundrum in a cakewalk.

New Berlin's Linda Richter:
Gundrum said he would be a judge who would follow the rule of law and not impose his own views.
However, in the very next paragraph:
"I think it would be good to have a person with a solid conservative view of the law in there," Gundrum said.
Uh, that sounds like politician double-speak.
Of course it is. That's how he's going to win. And it's how Randy Koschnick scored 60% of the vote in Waukesha County last April.

Ricky and Sarah Hollywood

"I just look at her in disgust."

What an unseemly circus all the way around.
LARRY KING: S.E. Cupp [Who he? — ed.], what do you think of this phenomenon?

S.E. CUPP, CONSERVATIVE COLUMNIST: I think she's unstoppable. I think Oprah missed a real opportunity here. Only five minutes in she started asking about Bristol and then it was on to her clothes and Levi. I think she was treating her like some tawdry, sleazy kind of Jerry Springer guest.
And the "unstoppable" Sarah Palin had no apparent objections to acting like one. Indeed, it was an opportunity completely embraced.

"Something, anything, to make her brain work." — NY Daily News

Get real, America. Who are the serious GOP contenders?

M. Horne at the T. Barrett presser

'Twas a pitiful sight to see the once-mighty Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel so snubbed.
The always entertaining and informative.

You're pretty perky yourself

The New York Times runs a piece featuring Rudy Giuliani's hooting about Eric Holder's decision to try suspected 9/11 terrorists in federal court, without once mentioning that Mr. Giuliani praised and even testified at Zacarias Moussaoui's criminal trial in Alexandria, VA.

And, like Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, Moussaoui isn't an American citizen either. These days he's just a permanent legal resident.

Nor was the late Timothy J. McVeigh convicted by a military tribunal.

Speaking of potential 2012 GOP presidential candidates, there's also poor old Mitt Romney, who accuses the current commander in chief of "dereliction" — a mighty loaded term in the military context — and barely warrants a notice, thanks to Sarah Palin and Oprah Winfrey.

November 16, 2009

Pray for Obama

To die and leave his children wandering beggars, that is.

(Whew, I thought that was the Qur'an for a moment.)

Oh: Shark Returns. Strong condemnation of "Hatred" to follow, doubtless. Also an hour's worth of outrage from Sykes, also.

[/Snowball in Hell]

eta (sayeth the original Bible-cherry-picker):
Typical, take something out of context to attack someone you do not agree with.
Irony — It's dead, dead, dead as a doornail 'round those parts.

Smerdyackerov with a guitar*

Daniel J. Acker's mother told authorities Acker was visiting Walt Disney World ...
Whoops. That would be a child sex offender no-no.
which Acker denied Monday during a bail hearing before telling the presiding judge that he stayed in Florida with a male friend in his 40s, and that he spent that time sunning, playing his guitar and relaxing.
Acker pleaded no contest to two counts of second degree sexual assault of a child. Three additional charges of child enticement were dismissed but "read-in," which means that while not an admission of guilt, the judge can take them into consideration for sentencing.

It's anticipated that Mr. Acker will die in prison.

Speaking of read-in charges, remember Louis Butler, the "pro-criminal" Supreme Court justice?
Once Wis. Stat. § 973.20(1g)(b)'s definition of "read-in crimes" is considered, not in isolation but together with this surrounding statutory language, a plain reading of § 973.20 in its full context clearly indicates that by agreeing to a read-in, a defendant agrees to have his or her criminal conduct considered at sentencing, not just to have some words, devoid of such context and meaning, read out loud by a court. It is further clear that a defendant's agreement that his or her criminal conduct is to be considered must logically entail an implicit admission by the defendant that such criminal conduct by the defendant exists.
State v. Straszkowski, 2008 WI 65, ¶111 (Butler, J., concurring) (emphases in original).

That doesn't sound terribly "pro-criminal" to me, which is more than likely why Justice Annette Ziegler joined Butler's opinion.

* Thus concludes Celebrate David Ziemer's Favorites Day. (Sorry, but I simply couldn't find time to throw together the Linzertorte.)

Shorter loyal opposition

Chris Matthews: Where did KSM go to college?
Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL): Probably Harvard.
Wouldn't you know, Rep. Judy Biggert (R-IL) went to Stanford and Northwestern, the latter being one of the top ten law schools in the country (Harvard being another). Glib, idiotic "elitist" card play FAIL.

KSM attended a Baptist college in North Carolina.

Video (lol@'the Boston Manicure').

Post-post-post-postmodern ... something

Andrew Sullivan is "live-blogging" an episode of Oprah.

Isn't that show already on broadcast teevee? Anybody out there who doesn't have cable, let me know, and I will "live-blog" Rock of Love 3.
Andrew Sullivan: 4.16 pm. There is no journalism being committed here. As I suspected.
lol - He can't possibly be serious. It's frickin' Oprah, not Frontline.

One for Ziemer

King Crimson — Red

Bonus Fripp discovery:
The Roches — Want Not Want Not

Finally, reparations for the Chevy Vega?

GM to start repaying debt to

'Yo General Motors, I'm really happy for you and I'm-a let you finish, but the AMC Pacer was the worst ride of all times. Of all times!'

Fish that sprouted legs

Sarah Palin doesn't believe in tetrapods.

"She doesn't know how dumb she still is." — Ann Althouse

November 15, 2009

Pastor Haggard mounts

A come back.
Pastor Ted Haggard said he has more compassion for gays because of his trials in recent years.
The only impressive thing about this character is his denial.

November 14, 2009

When is a rule not a rule?

Or: What would the Strict Constructionist do?

Being a couple of additional thoughts on last week's recommendation to the Wisconsin Supreme Court from a three-judge panel that charges of misconduct brought by the Wisconsin Judicial Commission against Michael Gableman should be summarily dismissed.* Indented below are the two rules of judicial ethics at issue.

The first sentence:
A candidate for a judicial office shall not knowingly or with reckless disregard for the statement's truth or falsity misrepresent the identity, qualifications, present position, or other fact concerning the candidate or an opponent.
The second sentence:
A candidate for judicial office should not knowingly make representations that, although true, are misleading, or knowingly make statements that are likely to confuse the public with respect to the proper role of judges and lawyers in the American adversary system.
Two judges (the majority) found that Gableman did not violate the rule announced in the first sentence (the "shall not"), but did violate the rule announced in the second sentence (the "should not").

The third judge found that while Gableman did not violate the rule announced in the second sentence, Gableman did violate the rule announced in the first sentence, but because the rule announced in the first sentence is unconstitutional, Gableman may not be prosecuted under the judicial misconduct statute (§ 757.81(4)(a)).

In sum, all three judges recommended that the Wisconsin Judicial Commission's complaint against Gableman be dismissed, but for competing reasons. Accordingly, we will set aside the third judge's (Ralph Adam Fine's) concurring opinion for the time being** and consider only the majority's reasoning.

The Wisconsin statutes define judicial misconduct to include "Willful violation of a rule of the code of judicial ethics." Which is exactly what the majority found: the willful violation of a judicial ethics rule.

So why can't Gableman be prosecuted under the Wisconsin statutes?

Because the preamble to the code of judicial ethics reads: "The use of 'should' or 'should not' in the rules is intended ... not as a binding rule under which a judge may be disciplined."

That is, the second sentence is a rule alright, except it's not a "binding rule." But the statute doesn't say "willful violation of only those rules of the code of judicial ethics which are binding rules."

In other words, the statute (a.k.a. "the law") makes no exceptions.

Yet, since this issue is never raised in the panel's opinions, must we then simply assume that the second sentence is not a rule at all?

Because the statute says misconduct is willful violation of a rule of judicial ethics, and the panel majority found that Gableman willfully violated a rule of judicial ethics, but instead recommends the Wisconsin Judicial Commission's complaint be dropped ... wait, what?

If Gableman can't be prosecuted because he's not in violation of the statute, then the rule the majority found that Gableman violated can't be a rule at all, let alone not just specifically a "binding rule."

The life of the law has not been logic, it has been experience.Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.
Ah yes, thanks for the reminder.

It seems to me that at a minimum, what we have here is an extremely poor fit between the language of the statute, which is the expression of the people through the legislature, and the language of the code of judicial ethics, which is the somewhat more insulated expression of the separate institution of the judicial branch.

We may arguably have a situation where the courts — in this case both those courts which are respectively promulgating and interpreting the rules — are not permitted to create exceptions to a statute in addition to those authorized by the legislature.**

And that, according to the statute, is no exceptions at all.

* Findings of fact, etc. (.pdf; 37 pgs.)

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

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

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

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

*** The loathed and feared "legislating from the bench," another of Gableman's signature campaign slogans, I'm compelled to remind my fellow aficionados of dramatic irony, or else to recruit new ones.

Grand scale irony watch

The most sustained and vehement barbs in this book are directed not at Democrats or liberals or the press, but at the McCain campaign. The very campaign that plucked her out of Alaska, anointed her the Republican vice-presidential nominee and made her one of the most talked about women on the planet — someone who could command a reported $5 million for writing this book.
Sarah Palin's erratic new memoir

"She doesn't know how dumb she still is." — Ann Althouse

Hey kids! Beware ye Sodomites!*

Via Mpeterson's Washington County (WI) chronicles.

* Also Gomorrans, Atlanteans, and Ewoks.

Nobody should be in the least bit surprised

That Palin is "Going Rogue" on the facts:
PALIN: She says her team overseeing the development of a natural gas pipeline set up an open, competitive bidding process that allowed any company to compete for the right to build a 1,715-mile pipeline to bring natural gas from Alaska to the Lower 48.

THE FACTS: Palin characterized the pipeline deal the same way before an AP investigation found her team crafted terms that favored only a few independent pipeline companies and ultimately benefited a company with ties to her administration, TransCanada Corp. Despite promises and legal guidance not to talk directly with potential bidders during the process, Palin had meetings or phone calls with nearly every major candidate, including TransCanada.
Like I said more than one year ago, before the AP investigation:
The Alaska legislature came up with the Alaska Gasline Inducement Act (AGIA), which is essentially a set of commercial and technical specifications, and TransCanada was the only company whose proposal was seriously considered, as TransCanada's proposal was the only one deemed initially in compliance with the AGIA.

So there weren't any commensurate bids with which to compare to TransCanada's, at least according to the terms of the AGIA.
I still await my Pulitzer.

More: Following the Palin pipeline

Walker fails in ruse to prevent marriage

A Milwaukee couple, whose nuptials are to be celebrated this afternoon, attempted to obtain their marriage license at the courthouse yesterday, only to find salaried county executive Scott Walker, the Republican candidate for governor, off on vacation.
A librarian finally tracked down John Barrett, Milwaukee County clerk of circuit court. Word of the predicament eventually reached a maintenance worker, who unlocked the county clerk's office.
Despite Walker's mandated furlough day, the pair will unite in traditional marriage at 1 p.m., thanks to the stalwart efforts of several dedicated county employees, AFSCME District Council 48.

Almost immediately thereafter, reports began to emerge that the clerk of court's brother, Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett, has decided to run for governor of Wisconsin against Scott Walker.

November 13, 2009

Citizens for Republican Government

A non-partisan group,* is critical of the Milwaukee County budget.

* Keynote James T. "Cheap Gasoline Found on Jupiter" Harris.

Kent Hovind was already booked, apparently.

They must be wondering how I do it

h/t Google Analytics.

Law school faculty blog loosens embargo

This qualifies as a "comment," believe it or not: A link to National Review Online's "The Corner," posted within moments of submission.

Heck, back in my day, we had to wait 24 hours for "approval" and in the meantime watch while nearly a dozen other comments were duly published. And yet the school keeps sending me fundraising letters.

Instead, I've decided to bestow my philanthopy by endowing the Ann Althouse Chair for Third Amendment Studies at Liberty University.

eta: Worse, "bruce thomas" is merely a pseudonymous Dick Morris.

Interesting comments policy that, especially considering Dick Morris's (and Eileen McGann's) own published columns are protected by copyright, yet there is one reproduced in its entirety by a law school with a highly respected intellectual property department:
You may not modify, copy, reproduce, republish, upload, post, transmit, or distribute in any way any material from this site including code and software without express permission from or as permitted in Reprint Requests.
Says so right here (although it doesn't really even need to).

Yeah I don't think so

Thank you for purchasing "One" by Metallica*
You might also like these recommendations

Raining Blood
h/t iTunes.

Giving Lars Ulrich money is hard enough to live down.

* eta: Okay, that was one of the worst songs I've ever heard in my life, not to mention it being about 5-1/2 minutes too long.
Jason Newsted's bass was purposely turned down on the album as a part of the continuous "hazing" he received, and his musical ideas were ignored.
Nice guys.
In 1989, Metallica received its first Grammy Award nomination for ... And Justice for All, in the new Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance Vocal or Instrument category. Metallica was the favorite to win; however, the award was given to Jethro Tull.
Well, alright then:

Songs From The Wood

Much better.


[Sarah Palin claims she] agreed to her disastrous interview with Katie Couric — a central event during Campaign 2008 — because a top McCain aide told her Couric had low self esteem, leading Palin to take pity on the CBS anchor.
"It's ridiculous."

But for the sex crimes

Court cites unseemly use of eternal damnation threats

TEXARKANA, Ark. — Evangelist Tony Alamo used his stature as a self-proclaimed prophet to force underage girls into sham marriages with him, controlling his followers with their fears of eternal suffering.
It's Evangelism-business-as-usual. (Some may feel free to quibble over the exclusion of sex crimes, but I'm not quite that "militant.")

Abortions for me, but not for thee

More breathtaking political hypocrisy.

November 12, 2009

SCR 31.02(2) also unconstitutional

SCR 31.02(1) A lawyer shall attend a minimum of 30 hours of approved [continuing legal education] during each reporting period.

SCR 31.02(2) A lawyer shall attend a minimum of 3 of the 30 hours required under sub. (1) on the subject of legal ethics and professional responsibility in every reporting period.

Would you believe that rule is enforced by Michael Gableman.
Time shall unfold what plighted cunning hides;
Who covers faults, at last shame them derides.
Well may you prosper!
King Lear (I.i.284-86) (h/t Ralph Adam Fine).

Gableman has a constitutional right to lie

And he deliberately exercised it, according to Judge Ralph Adam Fine, who concludes that while Gableman did indeed violate the Wisconsin judicial ethics rule against telling lies about one's political opponent, that rule is an unconstitutional abridgment of speech.

Findings of fact, etc. (.pdf; 37 pgs.)

Judge Fine's significant analysis begins on page 20.

At least Judge Fine concedes that Gableman's teevee advertisement itself is a "statement," and that setting each of its individual spoken English propositions in isolation is "a crabbed reading, lashed to the mast of sentence-by-sentence literalism, and ignores the way we use language, often deriving significant meaning from implication."

The panel's decision also contains a number of admonitions directed toward Gableman, but all are completely toothless in light of its recommendation that the complaint against Gableman be dismissed.

The other two panelists voted to dismiss the Judicial Commission's complaint because Gableman didn't violate the code of ethics or, at most, only violated that portion for which no prosecution is available.

What's missing from the panel's opinions is any discussion of Gableman's — who was not only a candidate but a sitting judge at the time — professional obligation to adhere to the code of ethics in spite of his desire* to behave outside its restrictions, yet still within the broader protections guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

I guess this is what they call a "victory for free speech."
Gableman's lawyer, James Bopp, described the panel's recommendation as a complete vindication, the AP reported.
Disgraceful. I would even say immoral.

So, why exactly does the Supreme Court of Wisconsin require lawyers to complete biennial training in ethics to maintain their licenses? I mean, by what authority does Michael Gableman get to mandate that I complete biennial training in ethics? Also the First Amendment?

Because it's clearly not a moral authority.

* In fact the record shows that Gableman allowed his political advisers to convince him that it was a need: a need for lying attack ads even though those attacks were inspired by communications made by third-party interests that Gableman decided were politically threatening. That decision alone was a twisted ethical failure.

Loophole Gableman, Parte the Firste
Loophole Gableman, Parte the Seconde

Just imagine the other 149

Supporter of local politician mortified by "publicity grab"
If there is one thing about Neumann’s latest publicity grab this sort of reminds me in last year’s Wisconsin Democratic Presidential Primary in which Hillary Clinton was desperate to get a debate against Barack Obama.
Both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama since failed in their Democratic bids to become President of Wisconsin.
It ain’t no joke website here especially with me being named best blogger of the 2009 Americans for Prosperity National Defending the American Dream Summit. I competed with over 150 different blogs across the nation to win the award.
The AFP's national bestest blogger is therewith attacking GOP gubernatorial candidate Mark Neumann on "career politician" grounds in defense of Neumann's rival Scott Walker. Mr. Walker's photograph appears in the dictionary under "career politician."

Beg your pardon, "public servant."
Walker has had ... 16 years experience as a public servant.

The reason why Neumann is a career politician because he has spent four years with the party establishment against conservative values.
h/t, whose standards slipped a notch yesterday.

Pictured: Scott Walker delivers a fiery non-political speech on the importance of completing post-secondary education to an audience of two million tea ceremonialists in Milwaukee, September 19, 2009.

More like interdependent groups

Harris Kane and Cory Leibmann have intriguing tales to tell.

Grassroots work up a sweat in one of the MAC's pools

Sean Duffy is a Republican candidate for the United States Congress. You may have seen him on MTV's The Real World: Boston. I mean, I didn't, but you may have (I was probably watching Rock of Love 3).

Duffy was preceded as district attorney in Ashland County by Michael Gableman, who was appointed circuit judge in 2002 by Republican governor Scott McCallum, and who also appointed Sean Duffy.

Gableman went on to preside over thousands of uncontested traffic tickets in Burnett County.*

Gableman lost Ashland County in the 2008 spring election after Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce spent nearly two million dollars underwriting the judge's "crime fighting agenda." Gableman recently approved revised rules of judicial ethics authored by WMC.**

* Actual Gableman campaign claim.
** But, thankfully, not the one he stands accused of violating.

November 11, 2009


The next summer the soil, fertilised by twenty thousand corpses, broke forth into millions of poppies. The traveller who, on the road from Saint Tron to Tirlemont, saw that vast sheet of rich scarlet spreading from Landen to Neerwinden, could hardly help fancying that the figurative prediction of the Hebrew prophet was literally accomplished, that the earth was disclosing her blood, and refusing to cover the slain.
In Flanders Fields

Quote of the day

Laughter is a serious business, and comedy a weapon more dangerous than tragedy. Which is why tyrants treat it with caution. The actual material of tragedy is equally viable in comedy — unless you happen to be writing in English, when the question of taste occurs. The English are the most tasteless nation on earth, which is why they set such store by it.

Funny thing about Charlie Sykes

Seems he found it hilarious when Saturday Night Live joked about incest and pedophilia in Sarah Palin's family. But because those quips were in service of mocking the New York Times, then it's all good.

So there's more than just a whiff of partisan hypocrisy to all of this.

Not that anybody should expect otherwise, obviously.

November 10, 2009

Almost like Christmas!

Basic math says the Liberty Counsel has pulled in an estimated $300,000+, the Alliance Defense Fund an estimated $500,000+, and the American Family Association an estimated $600,000+ from selling their "War on Christmas" wares.
Got a good scam going there. Praise the Lord.

I'm no fan of the death penalty

But this one doesn't bother me* too much:
Shortly after 9 p.m., the executioners will inject Mr. Muhammad with a series of chemicals, ending with a fatal dose of potassium chloride, according to prison officials.
Governor Will Not Stay Sniper Execution
Tim Kaine, Virginia's first Roman Catholic governor, has openly expressed his faith-based opposition to capital punishment, but promised as a candidate in 2005 that he would carry out Virginia's death penalty law despite his beliefs.
Mr. Muhammed, as the Times calls him, was a terrorist and capital punishment — like it or not — is pretty clearly authorized by both the Fifth and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

It's too bad H.L. Mencken's "On Hanging A Man" isn't online.

* This one does.

A principled Republican

I'd vote for this dude:
If anything, [the "Impartial Justice" legislation] inhibits the ability of candidates to get their message out and it expands the influence of outside interests. That is exactly the opposite of reform and there is no way I could support that.
And this abridging of speech is bound to be troublesome, particularly as it's exacerbated by the expansion of those outside influences.

Moreover, bear in mind that a majority of the Wisconsin Supreme Court recently voted to insulate themselves against legal challenges based in the propriety of that influence by subjugating the people's right to due process of law to their political fundraising objectives.

I don't understand why more Wisconsinites aren't appalled by that, never mind the fact that anybody would actually celebrate it.
Legislators and the governor are expected to respond to public opinion. It's the very nature of their jobs. But judges are not at all supposed to concern themselves with or respond to public opinion. Their job, plain and simple, is to interpret the law and to make rulings and decisions based on their interpretation of the law.
Michael Ellis: Court campaign bill misses the mark

The core problem is that they are political candidates at all.