December 27, 2012

Scott Walker, competent man of business

"Wait, you have people on this board of directors who aren't reading financial statements and don't have a clue about how internal controls work?"
Scott Walker is chairman of the WEDC board.

A career politician with zero business experience.

December 21, 2012

December 10, 2012

December 2, 2012

Why couldn't Ron Johnson book better gigs?

Obamacare is the law of the land. There's little Johnson can do about it. This pretty much voids his raison d'être in the Senate.
The Chief.

November 29, 2012

Waukesha County GOP victim impact statement

"At this point, I can't drag her back kicking and screaming."
That's Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel, referring in court to an alleged victim of domestic violence, believe it or not.

Don pridemore for, Superintendant of edukashun


h/t Lisa Mux.

November 28, 2012

Wisconsin Supreme Court footnote

What Dane County Circuit Judge Maryann Sumi enjoined in the spring of 2011 was the publication of Act 10, and not Act 10 itself nor any of its provisions (the "substance" of the law). Act 10 had already been enacted. The legislative process was completed. There was nothing left for the legislature to do. What remained for Act 10 was purely administrative. Bear that in mind during the inevitable storm of right-wing bullshit* should Judge Sumi decide to run against Roggensack.

* The Bradley Foundation's publishing house has started already.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice seeks reelection

Patience Roggensack also noted she is the only justice with the court who previously was a state appeals court judge.
Where she affirmed one potential challenger 12 times out of 13.

"Joy's producers look for knowledgeable guests."

Fruitlessly, it would appear.

November 27, 2012

Scott Walker's Judge Bradley (Foundation)

Reports the local organ:
Scott Walker on Monday appointed president of the Milwaukee chapter of the Federalist Society Rebbeca [sic] Bradley to fill a spot on the circuit court bench in Milwaukee County.
Q. What is your favorite website?
Dear God help us, here comes another one.

November 8, 2012

Jim Troupis, professional Republican concern troll

Here we go:
Troupis was disappointed Judge Sumi is considering a run. "It's obvious she was talked into it because of Act 10," Troupis said. "It should be about competence and qualifications, and clearly the only purpose of her running is to open that pro-union stuff."
What a dyck. And I'm sure Sneerin' Rick Esenberg won't be far behind.

Meanwhile have some facts, not foolish, condescending speculation:

Judge Roggensack affirmed Judge Sumi 12 out of 13 times

September 11, 2012

Gableman flack profiled

In the Wisconsin State Journal:
Some Republican operatives contacted by the State Journal criticized Schmitz, specifically regarding the Gableman incident, but none of them would go on the record.
Why not? The Gableman "incident" was so sleazy by any objective measure, who could possibly fear retribution for criticizing it?

What a bunch of babies.

August 24, 2012

August 11, 2012

Rep. Paul Ryan's bucket of warm piss

He prefers it to his constituents, or so Rob Zerban should tell them.

August 10, 2012

Gableman scratches self

Despite there being nothing to disqualify himself from:
I disqualify myself from participation in the matter.
That makes four of seven. Now what.

August 3, 2012

"I guess I need the maps."

Wouldn't you need the maps before you consent to "bless" them?

What are they running over there, a law school or a WISGOP PR firm?

August 2, 2012

Well well what have we here

Some of the emails appear never to have been released before.

Wisconsin Republicans fought tooth and nail to keep this correspondence out of federal court, to the point of Eric McLeod being personally fined, and these emails went straight to the heart of the issues under litigation so it's difficult to believe they were overlooked, especially as they represent a contentious disagreement between the lead attorneys.

You thought those judges were pissed before.

Wait until they get a load of this.

July 30, 2012

Wisconsin Judicial Commission hates Dave Prosser

"Oh my God I'm touching her neck."
"If I hated you and wanted to cause you as much grief as possible, if you are not independently wealthy, the best way to get you is to get you to eat up your assets," Prosser said.
Or file a complaint because you put your hands around a woman's neck.

Nah, that couldn't be it.

July 14, 2012

'Trash, just that, trash.'

Janice stated she was familiar with Ottelien.

And it's all downhill from there: Hilarious.

July 13, 2012

Eric Hovde is to geology

As Ron Johnson is to the Constitution.

This guy is a real piece of work.

And if Hovde calls this the solution to high gas prices whereas oil shale makes poor feedstock for gasoline, why isn't his claim completely false?

ETA: More Hovde

July 10, 2012

Prof. Rick's Freud slipped here

Law professor returns to his eager defenses of Mike Gableman:
We might say that "free legal services' is — deliberately or accidentally — not a complete and accurate description of the free arrangement at issue.
We knew it was a free arrangement all along. It's pleasant to see Mike Gableman's stoutest cheerleader finally acknowledging that fact.

He goes on:
I am also confident that Justice Gableman understood the nature of the arguments being made for his recusal and, in fact, made clear that he based his decision on "the circumstances of the case ... and the submissions of the parties."
'Because he said so,' offers Prof. Rick of Gableman, who doesn't exactly enjoy a reputation for honesty, having been prosecuted by the Wisconsin Judicial Commission for lying about another judge's professional record.

If Prof. Rick is so confident now that Gableman "understood the nature of the arguments being made," where was his confidence that Gableman understood the procedural history of State v. Reuben Lee Mitchell?

If Prof. Rick's level of confidence in the latter equaled his present confidence in Gableman's profound understanding, then Prof. Rick would have to admit that Gableman knew full well that he was baldly lying during his political campaign in 2008. But you'll never hear that from Prof. Rick, whose own partisan expediencies regularly trump whatever pretense to principled scholarship he's apparently duped the Journal-Sentinel into accepting. That farce is worse than the sloppy writing.

Good for a laugh, at least.

July 8, 2012

Fiercely conservative* means never wimping out

'He said he would do what we were looking for.' — Career WISGOPer

Ironically, this latest escapade is directed at protecting a Wisconsin Supreme Court justice who is "emasculated" by his female colleagues.

* Translation: Fiercely partisan Republican, in keeping with the Judicial Commission's mandate to "maintain public confidence in the judiciary."

Uh huh.

"When they introduced themselves, three of the nominees referred to their long-term marriages as qualifications to serve on the Commission. One of these, Eileen Burnett of De Pere, spoke at some length of her experience as a homemaker and expert in abstinence education. What she didn’t mention was her record of donating $5,350 directly to Republican campaigns over the past eight years." — Rebecca Kemble

July 6, 2012

Introduction to logic with your host Robin Vos

[State Rep. Robin Vos] said he heard second hand that someone tried to use a Bed Bath and Beyond mailer as proof of address.
"Is that fraud? I don’t know. It isn’t right and it seems fraudulent. You tell me how that’s not a fraudulent vote."
That's a clown question bro.

July 5, 2012

Reminder — Gableman may be under investigation

Annals of the Peppercorn:
11 The other forums may be the Wisconsin Judicial Commission and the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board.
He had better be.

More gems from the Chief Justice:
Justice Gableman’s Order, whether deliberately or accidentally, misconstrues the allegations against him . . .
Although Justice Gableman's Order claims that he "considered the circumstances of this case" and "the submissions of the parties," I conclude that nothing in Justice Gableman’s Order demonstrates that Justice Gableman actually considered the submissions of the District Attorney. Rather, because Justice Gableman's Order either intentionally or inadvertently misstates the grounds of the District Attorney's motion, the Order contains no reasoned basis for the Justice's conclusion that his recusal is "neither warranted nor justified."
The Order inaccurately asserts that the District Attorney seeks recusal because "the Michael Best & Friedrich firm was involved in the cases and had previously represented me." Actually, as I have stated previously, the District Attorney explained in the initial and supplemental filings that he seeks recusal not because Justice Gableman has been personally represented by Michael Best, but rather because Justice Gableman received allegedly free legal services from Michael Best.
Yet, nowhere in Justice Gableman’s Order is there any reference to payment (or absence of payment) for legal services, the fee arrangement with Michael Best, free legal services, a gift of legal services, or valuable consideration for the fee arrangement. None of these words, or any synonyms, appears in the Order.
In other words, the Wisconsin Supreme Court's so-called "conservatives" continue to rule by fiat and Mike "Peppercorn" Gableman hasn't changed a bit in terms of his "deliberate or accidental" misrepresentations.

After all, those are how Mike Gableman got elected in the first place.

However, those were more deliberate and deliberative than accidental misrepresentations, as Mike Gableman himself admitted. Indeed if they were accidental misrepresentations then failure to understand a relatively straightforward appellate case should have disqualified him from the State of Wisconsin's highest appeals court right off the bat.

Wisconsin Republicans must be real proud of this character. But nobody else should be proud of what he's done to the reputation of this court.

Follow the PolitiFact logic

PolitiFact grants Willard "Mitt" Rmoney a "Mostly True" for misrepresenting a decision of the Supreme Court because Rmoney is a politician: "PolitiFact focuses on political speech rather than legal speech and judged by that standard Romney is pretty close to accurate."

Haha. Can you believe that? What difference does it make who said it?

If it's false it's false.

Earlier: WSJ calls both the payment and the penalty taxes

The Wall Street Journal is having an Rmoney sad

Lament the hosts of their own Fox "News" teevee show:
[Willard "Mitt" Rmoney] is managing to turn the only possible silver lining in Chief Justice John Roberts's ObamaCare salvage operation—that the mandate to buy insurance or pay a penalty is really a tax—into a second political defeat.
First of all, the Supreme Court didn't say that buying insurance was a tax. And it barely said the penalty for not buying insurance was a tax, only that the penalty was a constitutional exercise of Congress's power to tax, and one that was well supported by a host of federal precedent.

As the Chief Justice put it for one majority of the Court:
Although the payment will raise considerable revenue, it is plainly designed to expand health insurance coverage.
And what the WSJ editorial mandarins refer to as a "salvage operation" was in fact an exercise of the Court's deference to the will of the elected legislature, the exercise of which in other circumstances Republicans who claim to be "judicial conservatives" rejoice over.

This time they just don't like the result that it led to, in the latest example of why such claims to "judicial conservatism" are fraudulent.

Anyway this sad WSJ editorial is a fun read for reasons other than its inept characterization of the Court's health care reform decision.

July 3, 2012

Why the gun-totin' DA's petition was denied?

That I don't know.

Perhaps because the gun law has three exceptions to the prohibitions on carrying, and the law says "any" of them apply. In one exception, the law says a judge has the power to grant — or not grant — permission to conceal-carry licensees and in another exception the law says a DA can conceal-carry in court.

Because "any" of the exceptions apply, the judges chose the one that inconveniences the DA, and the judge has quite a bit more stroke in the courtroom than has the DA. For example a judge can tell a DA in her courtroom to sit down, be quiet, stop being such a dick, etc.

The Supreme Court wrote just a few months ago that a petition for a supervisory writ won't be accepted unless the lower court's duty is "plain" and the alleged violation by the subordinate court judge is "clear."

I don't think either of those elements are present here.

Furthermore if the court did accept this petition, it would potentially be in the position of having to contradict itself on the questions of supervisory and original jurisdiction — these are two separate grants of power to the court in the Wisconsin constitution and the Wisconsin statutes — for the third time in roughly one year.

What I find amusing is that the court combined these two separate grants of authority in its Act 10 decision in June, 2011, and a few months later laid down the law with respect to the high burden — the "clear" and the "plain" bits — of establishing its supervisory jurisdiction, which the "conservative" majority itself clearly had not done in the petition against Dane County Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi.

The attorney(s) who drafted this petition recognize the distinction between supervisory and original jurisdiction, hence the "or in the alternative" language and the separate references to 809.70 and 809.71 (the distinction between which was also discussed at this blog pursuant to some nonsense that was published at the Marquette Law School Faculty blog by a young Federalist Society pinhead).

More on all of that behind the links in the post [below].

July 2, 2012

Wisconsin Supreme Court title block of the day

Not effing both.
Petitioners ... must therefore go unarmed from their offices to the courtrooms, through public, unsecured areas.
The poor sods. They must be frightened out of their respective wits.

See also: 809.70.

* "[P]rior to the commencement of this supervisory writ/original action[**] proceeding ... District Attorney Gossett submitted to Justice Michael J. Gableman a memorandum, dated February 6, 2012 ... "

Which got neither of them anywhere.

** Now that is some sly joke, what with the forward slash.

June 30, 2012

They chose to rely on prayer

Killed by religion:*
Leilani Neumann noticed that her daughter was very tired, but nobody believed she was suffering from a serious illness.
Yet they did believe the child, who died two days later, was "under spiritual attack" and medicine would "be taking the glory from God."

Certification by Wisconsin Court of Appeals (and acceptance).

* Or alternatively, libertarianism.

June 28, 2012

You are hereby notified of the following order

[T]he judicial discipline statutes, Wis. Stat. § 757.81 through § 757.99 (2009-10), do not require this court to act at this stage in the proceedings. . . . At this point, the statutes direct the chief judge of the court of appeals to select a judicial conduct panel.
N. Patrick Crooks, J. (emphasis added)

So why doesn't he?

Earlier: Patience Roggensack Prosser's latest recusal target

June 26, 2012

Justice David Prosser just making stuff up again

Prosser maintains panel formation takes a formal order from the court


Immigration quote of the day

Rick Esenberg, in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
"If you are not here illegally, you ought to go back."
This after criticizing the "incoherance" of the immigration debate.

I kid you not.

June 21, 2012


Priceless. 'Twas more than a peppercorn, apparently.

Go Scot. That's me boy.

June 19, 2012

Wisconsin Republicans win but keep lying anyway

Of the single loss they did sustain:
“Unfortunately a portion of it was fraud,” Robin Vos said.
And unfortunately for Robin Vos, fraud requires intent, which must be proven, and Robin Vos hasn't proven it, so he's simply lying about it.
"I still think that in many ways the election was illegitimate," he said. "To have a recall where someone is going to be serving for the next two years but use the old district lines seems like kind of a rigged setup.
Which is funny, because that is how Robin Vos's party wrote and passed the law, so that the new districts wouldn't take effect until November.

No wonder that dude poured a beer on this clown's head.

It's almost the appropriate reply to his nonsense.

June 18, 2012

Out-of-State agitators return to Wisconsin

How's this for pointless, recreational litigation.
Christian Gossett, a Republican ...
... [is] represented by a Georgia lawyer.
Also, naturally. I hope they lose but if not, the expression "law enforcement officer" is broadened to include defense attorneys.

Why shouldn't it? Equal protection and all that, figuratively and literally. Defense counsel appears in court for the same reasons, to ensure the law is enforced within the boundaries of the various constitutions.

Given the preponderance of ineffective assistance of counsel claims, an unlucky defendant is just as likely to shoot his own lawyer as the ADA.*

Possibly even more likely.

* The conflict is between sub. 3 and sub. 2, wherein permission to carry in the courtroom is required from the presiding judge, as it should be.
Perhaps Mr. Gossett and his subordinates are free to strut around with their handguns in the courtroom so long as the court is not in session.

Or else maybe a judge can invoke her "supervisory/original" jurisdiction.

Predictable Republican decount hypocrites

Well well, looky here.

On teh web: Kloppenburg + decount.

June 15, 2012

Peppercorn Mike Gableman

Is back in the news, courtesy of Rep. Robin Vos.

Where are the WJC's complaints against Peppercorn Mike?

Anybody remember this cock-and-bull story?

June 13, 2012

"It is rather obvious emasculation."

Good grief man. Make of that what you will, I guess.

WJC: Response to formal records request.

Journal-Sentinel photo caption of the day

[In this aerial photo] Gov. Scott Walker can be seen working the grill, just below the American flag.
What a guy.

June 5, 2012

Glenn Grothman rests the WISGOP voter fraud case

Asked for evidence of "voter fraud" — which both Wisconsin governor Scott Walker and Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus claim accounts for several tens of thousands of ballots in every election in the State, up to 2% of millions — Wisconsin GOP senator Glenn Grothman stated there's a "feeling" out there that there is. Seriously.

He said it on the teevee just last night.

Earlier: Rep. Jim Ott's critical thinking skills quote of the day

Scott Walker will not be praying for victory

Is what it says here, because, as Abraham Lincoln put it:
God doesn’t pick sides in elections. He* calls us to be on his side.
It's true. Libertarian Jesus calls us to break the law, violate the constitution, and invent jurisdiction by Republican fiat. And of course Libertarian Jesus says 'No' to collective bargaining. It's in the Bible.

Never mind that Abraham Lincoln's context was the emancipation and restoration of full and equal civil rights for black African slaves according to the promise of the American Declaration of Independence. But that's Scott Walker for you, a pious fraud with a six-figure criminal defense fund derived from political contributions, who's only ever drawn a salary from the tax dollars he professes to detest. After an entire life spent as a career politician, it's about time for Wisconsin governor Scott Walker to gain some experience in the private sector. Do send him there today.

Don't worry, he won't starve, and he'll hardly have to do any actual work.

(Also, if anybody deserves to get elected today, it's Lori Compas.)

* God's an aging white male Republican who probably lives in West Bend.

June 4, 2012

The Elephant in Scott Walker's Courtroom

Excellent story by Charles P. Pierce* in Esquire.

And if Mr. Russell's attorney is so concerned about pre-trial publicity, then I don't know what he's doing dropping tasty little bonbons like that.

On the morning before the day Walker stands for reelection. (Not that the True Believers care the noose is tightening on their Golden Boy.)

Also, here's one for the leak conspiracists:
"There was nothing illegal in the release of the information," [Judge David] Hansher said. "It was a part of the public file."
Russell takes another crack at having his case dismissed on July 11.

* Who was hilariously busy today.

June 2, 2012

Scott Walker's creationist bag-o-tricks

Take some expert completely out of context.

Standard creationist modus operandi. For suckers only.

More on this Gableman-quality teevee ad:
Wisconsin — the land of admirable good-government ideals[*] but also of some unpleasantly behind the times racial dynamics.
Thanks, Republicans! You're the best.

* And so much for those.

Scott Walker's world's most expensive photocopying

Reports the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
[Wisconsin governor Scott] Walker said he put money [$160,000] into the [criminal] defense fund so that he could provide thousands of documents to Milwaukee County District Attorney John Chisholm, who is heading the [criminal] investigation.
Walker also says he "will not use campaign funds to pay for the criminal defense of his aides." That's a blinding glimpse of the obvious, as the statute authorizing Walker's criminal defense fund says nothing of "aides," but rather "agent[s]," and if he was using the fund to defend his aides who are not agents, then that use of the fund would be illegal.

Reportedly there is about a 50/50 chance that Wisconsinites on Tuesday will return to office a governor "who is being investigated for, charged with or convicted of a criminal violation." That's seriously messed up.

May 31, 2012

Scott Walker's famous emails

Here's an interesting item:
"Typically, a secrecy order covers questions asked, answers given, transcripts of the proceedings, exhibits produced during the proceedings, or other matters observed or heard in the secret session at a John Doe proceeding," according to an article on the Wisconsin Bar Association website by Marcus J. Berghahn, a criminal defense attorney with experience in such cases.
Huh. "Typically"?
[I]f the [John Doe] proceeding is secret, the record of the proceeding and the testimony taken shall not be open to inspection by anyone except the district attorney ...
Call me a strict constructionist/judicial conservative but I don't see anything in there about "exhibits produced during the proceedings."

Exhibits aren't testimony. Similarly it's been argued that 'typically' the Wis. Supreme Court appoints a three-judge panel to hear judicial discipline cases. That practice is unauthorized by State statute as well.

Indeed, it's directly contrary to State statutes. Not to come over all philosophical, but what is the point of having statutes? Would it work better if we wrote them in a language unfamiliar to English speakers?

Semi-serious question.

GOP chairman's baldfaced lie is "disputed"

Whoever writes the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's headlines is quite the comedian. Reince Priebus, the ridiculous chairman of the Republican National Committee, tells an outright lie — that there are tens of thousands of fraudulent votes cast in the State of Wisconsin — and the Journal-Sentinel calls it an "allegation" that is merely "disputed."

"We need to do a [percentage] point or two better than where we think we need to be, to overcome it," sez R. Priebus, so you know what's coming if Tom Barrett edges Scott Walker* in the election next Tuesday.

More baseless lies dressed up as "allegations" by the local paper, which has made something of a habit of legitimating right-wing propaganda.

* Walker is quoted as saying he has no "'reason to agree or disagree' with Priebus' comments," but just the other day he was saying exactly the same thing as Priebus. At least they could keep their lies consistent.

Obviously he has a "reason to agree" if the pair are on the same page.

These clowns depend on popular stupidity — in turn fortified by disingenuous newspaper editors — in order to flourish. Wake up ffs.

May 30, 2012

Nice work if you can get it

The Archdiocese of Milwaukee has confirmed that it paid suspected pedophile priests to leave the ministry.
Twenty grand.

Then the RCC made Tim Dolan a cardinal. Nowadays he's on Fox News complaining about "Obamacare" trying to force a condom on him.

Ugh, the visuals. Jesus, save me from your followers, as they say.

Which law is Scott Walker talking about?

[Embattled Wisconsin Republican governor Scott Walker] told TMJ-4 television Tuesday morning that he couldn't release the emails because of the ongoing investigation. "I can't by law. I'd be violating the law," Walker said.
Bullshit.* What law? Does it not occur to any reporters** to ask?

Or is "the law" Walker is purporting to hide under a secret as well?

* And you don't have to take my word for it.

** Apart from TMJ-4, which is Scott Walker's official press agency.

May 27, 2012

Anal intercourse reminds J-S reader of Scott Walker

Where does the word Sodomy or Sodomites come from and what does it mean— Sodom and Gomorrah were cities where Homosexuality was rampant and was destroyed and is a reminder to us today that the lifestyle is wrong. BTW— Do you think for a second we will not be judged the same if we allow gay marriage— Marriage is an institution created by the ALL MIGHTY and that means HE has the final word— We are fortunate God hasn't allowed us to be destroyed for domestic partnership status ... Y'all have a nice day and GO SCOTT WALKER !!! — Nascarfan
I'm not certain that anal sex is exclusive to same-sex couples, but whatever. Attempted reasoning is a waste of time with these folks.

May 25, 2012

Wisconsin papers create false equivalencies

Glad somebody exposed these silly propagandas for what they are.

Here's my favorite risibly false equivalency from — where else — the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel:
In more signs of the national attention, both the National Review and The New York Times Magazine are running lengthy stories about the June 5 recall race.
Yeah, one by an actual reporter and the other by a complete hack.*

* Ed Fallone made short shrift of the WPRI buffoon earlier, here.

May 24, 2012

So Scott Walker is being investigated for crimes

That would be the right honorable governor of Wisconsin

It must be true, because Rick Esenberg — he's a professor of teh law, doncha know — said so, and in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel even:
To establish a legal defense fund ... [i]t is only necessary that your conduct is being investigated for potential criminal violations of the pertinent laws.
Ah, so as the governor has in fact established a legal defense fund, ergo the governor is being investigated for crimes: the "pertinent" ones being, incidentally, felonies. That means they carry prison sentences.*

That's good to know! Because Walker is up for reelection in a couple of weeks. And the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which hosts Prof. Rick's legal lessons,** thinks you should return to office a governor who's being investigated for felony crimes. But wait! Right after he just got done establishing his "only necessary" bar, Prof. Rick appears to lower it a bit:
Nor is it even necessary for Scott Walker to be the one who is being investigated. If the agent of a candidate or a public official is being investigated, he or she can establish a fund.
Prof. Rick isn't being terribly clear here, is he? I mean, for a Marquette University professor of teh law. Who is the "he or she"? Is it the agent?

Nope, it's the candidate or public official, Scott Walker (who is both).

And, being a rather coy professor of the law, Prof. Rick doesn't want to tell you what an agent is, in the legal sense of the expression. Maybe he forgot to, after all his nattering about "partisan panic" and "proctological examination[s]."*** Well, I'll tell you: An agent is a person who is authorized to act on behalf of the principal. The principal, in this case, is Scott Walker. And the agent could be one of several individuals already implicated — or soon to be implicated — in the Milwaukee County DA's investigation. Funny Prof. Rick wouldn't tell you what an agent is, huh?

Because the thing is, if the agent mentioned in the statute wasn't authorized to act by Scott Walker, then she or he is no agent at all.

Evidently Prof. Rick was seized by his own partisan panic and clenched sphincter, because for the purposes of the relevant statutes the public official and the agent(s) are one and the same, given that the authorization to act is bestowed upon the agent(s) by the public official.

"Much ado about nothing," harrumphs Prof. Rick.

Well sure it is, when you simply ignore a substantive legal term of art.

Too cute by half, this character is. God help his law students, if they're absorbing any of his special brand of Republican Party disingenuousness.

* As opposed to merely confined at David Clarke's evangelical county jail.

** He's kinda like their agent, reporting from WISGOP HQ.

*** "Elevating the discussion," is what they call this. The elevating in this instance, assumedly, is Prof. Rick's characterization of his adversaries' heads elevated up their asses: respectful debate. Thanks for that, MJS.

May 23, 2012

Somebody is stupid but it's clearly not Tom Barrett

"I understand that Barrett is apparently privy to the entire investigation — contrary to the law." — blargher Owen Robinson*
"Is Barrett too stupid to understand what 'John Doe' means?," wonders leading Wisconsin conservative Republican blargher Owen Robinson of Milwaukee mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett, who's called for the incumbent Scott Walker to release emails from Walker's secret system, which isn't a secret any more. "The whole [John Doe] proceeding is legally bound to be secret," claims the top blargher.

That's simply not true.

The examination of any witnesses identified by the district attorney to the presiding judge may be secret,** say the statutory provisions governing John Doe proceedings; secrecy is at the discretion of the presiding judge and in any event the judge's authority to impose secrecy is limited to the witnesses' testimony and the record of the proceeding.

That is, the judge may impose secrecy with respect to testimony about the emails during the examination of witnesses at the proceeding, but he has no authority to impose secrecy orders upon Scott Walker's interoffice emails themselves. Therefore it's perfectly appropriate — and not at all "too stupid" — for Tom Barrett to demand that Scott Walker produce his formerly secret — the former secrecy of which has nothing to do with the discretionary secrecy given the judge — correspondence.

Stupider still is O. Robinson's claim that Barrett is "privy to the entire investigation ... contrary to the law." That's the sort of assertion, which strongly implies unlawful actions on the part of either Barrett or those investigators subject to the actual secrecy orders of the judge, that its speaker needs to provide either testimony or evidence in furtherance of.

But obviously top Wisconsin blargher Owen Robinson is in possession of neither such evidence nor such testimony. It's just a stupid thing to say.

And it's precisely those manifestly irresponsible and baseless accusations that Janine Geske et al took to the papers to thoroughly debunk.

Meanwhile blargher Robinson wonders if others are stupid? How droll.

The right-wing's tedious assertions that there are "leaks" coming from the John Doe investigation into several of Walker's political cronies — and perhaps Walker himself — are popular among the local conservative contingent, yet not one of them has ever provided even one example. But they believe whatever they want to believe, contrary to the reality.

However, that's nothing new, and is most certainly no secret.

* See also our friend John Foust's Owen Robinson parody site, Boots and Kittens, still the funniest blog in Wisconsin: "Follow the logic."

** Compare "shall select."

May 22, 2012

lol wingnutz

As such.
I took down my post on Elizabeth Warren plagiarizing from the book Getting On the Money Track. On, the Warren book All Your Worth is listed as having been published January 9, 2006. As it turns out, that is the paperback publication date; the hardback book was published in March 2005. As such, it appears that Getting on the Money Track (published in October 2005) plagiarized from All Your Worth, not the other way around.
Via your preeminent Republican house organ, the National Review.

In fact the copyright claim was created in 2004.

Publication date: February 8, 2005. Stellar work, GOP house organ.

After all that, still wrong.

Wing-nut Freudian projects own sexual frustration

A typical suburban Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel reader responds:
There is no way that the man's wife does not have a huge effect on the conduct of the [John Doe] investigation. A man has needs and a wife with a husband that has a powerful position that can control the outcome of a political prosecution and doesn't do what his wife desires will not be seeing those needs met any time soon. This is certainly a much worse conflict of interest than even the signing of a recall petition. The sex drive is very powerful and being cut off by the wife is certain to induce bias into the case.

That's right, kids: It's pent-up semen that will bring down Scott Walker.

Well, whatever it takes, I guess.

Ron Johnson, now more embarrassing than ever

If that is possible ...

Ron Johnson Praises Right Wing Talk Radio for Educating Americans

But see:

It’s Official — Watching Fox Makes You Stupider

What a thoroughgoing doofus.

May 21, 2012

One square blockhead surrounded by reality

That would be Sunny Schubert, among the "columnists" retained by the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel to "elevate the level of discussion," who vilifies the homeless* as "squalid squatters" while choosing to heap praise on — I'm not making this up — "big corporations" like Home Depot.

Presumably because a Sub-Zero carton makes adequate living quarters.

On the other hand, perhaps David Haynes and his friends on the daily paper's editorial board are to be commended for providing a platform to let conservatives make themselves look as foolish as humanly possible.**

Sunny Schubert, incidentally, is the same one who inaugurated Haynes's project with the admonition, "Dems should shut up." Yes indeed. Just kick back and marvel at Sunny Schubert's comic lack of self-awareness.

* A lot of these folks suffer from mental illnesses, so Sunny Schubert's Republican ravings are more insidious and heartless than they appear.

Not that that should come as any surprise, where one of the Grand Old Party's current golden boys is an enthusiastic disciple of Ayn Rand.

** The one who is to be commended is Caryl Davis — whose name the Journal-Sentinel's editors can't even spell correctly: they advertise her as "Carol" Davis — who made one post and apparently fled the scene.


May 19, 2012

Paul Ryan's (R—Côte de Nuits) budget triage

1. Impoverished imaginary children
2. Impoverished blastocysts
3. Actual impoverished children

According to a supporter:
"If [Congressman Paul Ryan is] guilty of anything, it's of caring too much for the children of tomorrow and not enough for the children of today," said historical theologian Mark Johnson.
It's how Jesus and the pope would have wanted it, argues Paul Ryan.
The $700.00 in wine [Congressman Paul Ryan's table for three] consumed over the course of 90 minutes amounted to more than the entire weekly income of a couple making minimum wage.
Let them drink 2004 Domaine Robert Jayer-Gilles Echezeaux du Dessus.*

* "A really mediocre year in Côte de Nuits."

Not to worry — the hungry children won't know any better.

May 17, 2012

Dick Ginkowski, in praise of Lori Compas

Well said. And yes, she is very much for real.

Wisconsin: It's about time to fire Franklyn Gimbel

Dear sir, your account is net 60 days in arrears.

Admits veteran Milwaukee attorney Franklyn Gimbel, who the Wisconsin Judicial Commission retained to "assist in the prosecution of [the] formal action" against State Supreme Court Justice David Prosser:
“Even though there's nothing in the statutes that requires [an order from the Supreme Court], apparently there's some past practices where that's happened,” Gimbel said.

This guy filed a formal complaint against Prosser two months ago and he's still stuck on "apparently"? "Apparently," Mr. Gimbel's done little more than look at the Supreme Court's online dockets for a few prior Judicial Commission cases — including two which were filed against Prosser's Republican Party colleagues, Justice Annette Ziegler and Mike "Peppercorn" Gableman; that makes three out of four Republicans* on the court being the respondents in formal disciplinary actions — and was seeing the word "order" at the left hand side of the docket notations.

That isn't law. That isn't even doctrine. And it isn't even past practice, as former Justice Janine Geske points out in the same Shepherd Express article, it's a "referral," a mere acknowledgement. It's like an entry on an accounting ledger. According to Mr. Gimbel, Richard S. Brown, the chief judge of the Court of Appeals who is mandated by State statute to convene the three-judge panel which is to hear the Commission's case, is "waiting for an order from the Supreme Court before proceeding."

I hope he's not holding his breath because there ain't no such thing. The Supreme Court has no authority anywhere to withhold an order that doesn't exist in — nor is even contemplated nor implied by — the law.

The operations of the Wisconsin Judicial Commission's investigations and prosecutions in both ethics and disability cases are at arm's length from the Supreme Court and that arm is a detachable, detached prosthetic.

Seriously, if Gimbel hasn't gotten to the bottom of this after 60 days, it's time for the Commission to hire somebody who will do it. Hell, if David Prosser's Republican buddy Scott Fitzgerald can conjure up fake arrest warrants based on bogus premises derived from frivolous lawsuits, then somebody can compel Judge Brown to obey the clear directive of the State statutes and get on with entertaining the Prosser prosecution.

A prosecution that is separately mandated by State statute — it's one thing to disobey the law, it's another to obstruct its progress on a distinct procedural track: Here now we have both happenstances.

And Ed Fallone is correct, as usual: "[M]y guess is that they do not want to have a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals issue a negative ruling against Prosser." Quite so. And they'll ignore the law to avoid it.

Even the chief judge of the Court of Appeals will ignore it. "Apparently."

What a travesty. Of the law. Courtesy of alleged judicial conservatives.

The latter phony pretense being the grandest farce of them all.
"Your precious belief that we have a government of laws in Wisconsin never fails to amuse."@BrewCityBrawler
Fortunately that's still funny, but admittedly a little less so this morning.

* The fourth Republican is "hypocritical" and makes stuff up.

May 16, 2012

MJS: Level of discussion elevated higher still

"Tossing insults," announces Marquette University professor of law Rick Esenberg, is "the preferred approach of the Barrett camp."

That would be the same Rick Esenberg who just got done saying Milwaukee mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett was suffering from 'female hysteria.' And all of it at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's project devoted to "elevating the level of discussion."

Dunno who should feel sillier, the paper or the university.

Although the paper is pretty much beyond hope at this point. I know the newspapers are dying but they don't have to be so pathetic about it.

Prosser, Roggensack hypocrites? Of course!

Atty. Tom Basting writes:
The conference regarding [learned counsel John] Dawson was held in secret. After the vote was taken not to reappoint, Justice Pat Roggensack spoke to Gannet Wisconsin Media (according to the Appleton Post Crescent) and attempted to disclose what had occurred in the closed session — which she had insisted be closed.
Meanwhile Justice Prosser is deciding who gets reappointed to the chair of the Wisconsin Judicial Commission at the moment Justice Prosser is the subject of a pending Wisconsin Judicial Commission prosecution.

How embarrassing. For everybody.

May 15, 2012

Journal-Sentinel: Consider the discussion elevated

Commenter Jim Spice notes Marquette University professor of law Rick Esenberg's use of the term 'having the vapors' to describe Milwaukee mayor and Democratic candidate for governor Tom Barrett. 'The vapors' is an archaic expression for an equally archaic Victorian-era condition known then as "female hysteria." Once again, Esenberg's addlepated prose* is part of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's latest project of enlisting local bloggers, purportedly to "elevate the level of discussion."

How's that workin' out for ya, MJS?

Predictably, it was the right-wingers who poisoned the well.

* At least somebody's checking his brutal spelling and grammar.

Yes let's elevate the level of discussion shall we?

An initial entry in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial page editor David Haynes's local blargher project, which was advertised to "elevate the level of discussion," begins — I shit you not — "Dems should shut up."

"Comes now" the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel

More rubbish from your local fishwrap's editorial board, decrying State Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson's objection to the four allegedly "conservative" members of the court's refusal to reappoint learned counsel John Dawson to the Wisconsin Judicial Commission.

The edit board mandarins quote Justice David Prosser, the subject of a current Judicial Commission prosecution — which those same mandarins just happen to oppose — complaining about the Chief Justice putting her and two of her colleagues' objections to Prosser's refusal in writing.

Evidently the broad irony of Justice Prosser granting an "interview" with the editorial board to complain about Chief Justice Abrahamson's publication of a letter completely eludes the edit board's deep thinkers.

Or else they're depending on it eluding the mugs to whom they cater.

"And that word ['corrupt'] was used," bitches Justice Prosser to the Journal Communications, Inc. organ, without revealing the context, nor, apparently, do the editorialists see fit to ask for that context, as not providing it plays into the false equivalencies between the court's factions the local paper is in the business of fallaciously promoting.

How's this for a false equivalency: Three of the Supreme Court's four "conservatives" have been — or are being — prosecuted for violations of the Code of Judicial Conduct. Among the Chief Justice and Justices N. Patrick Crooks and Ann Walsh Bradley? Zero ethics prosecutions in total.

And, strangely enough, when those same four alleged "conservative" justices pouted in their respective chambers for more than an hour during one of the court's open administrative conferences, Messrs. David Haynes, Ernst-Ulrich Franzen, et al's silence was conspicuous.

But now their laughably self-righteous hypocrisy is palpable.

May 14, 2012

Tom Barrett's wife did what?

Emails from Barrett's wife violated MPS policy

Or so announces a current Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel headline.

The story claims — without substantive basis: it's not explained how the Milwaukee Public Schools reached the determination memorialized in the headline — that Kris Barrett, wife of Milwaukee mayor and candidate for Wisconsin governor Tom Barrett, violated the MPS ethics guidelines against specific politically-related activities using the MPS email system.

Follow the paper's link to right-wing creeps Media Trackers' website (like Hell I'll link to it) and compare the content of Ms. Barrett's emails with the proscribed activities. None of the emails are "contribut[ions]" either in "financial resources" or "donate[d] services," nor do any of the emails contain attachments of "political or campaign materials." Not a one.

What a crock. If it really is the case that Ms. Barrett was found in violation of MPS guidelines, and those are the proffered emails and the allegedly relevant proscriptions, then Ms. Barrett should contest that finding. Any halfway competent litigator could easily knock it down.

Or any halfway competent reader of English, for that matter.

And the reporting, by Sharif Durhams, is textbook gullible. Just awful.

It's really sad what's going on up there in your great State these days.

Justice Bradley named to international judges board

Congratulations are in order.

Cue Republicans: 'Why isn't there an Association of White Man Judges?'*

* There used to be one, called Scott v. Sandford.

Wis. Sen. Scott Fitzgerald: "a whiny, sexist pig"

Via Jezebel and Badger Blue.

I know for a fact that Lori Compas has been directing her own campaign since before day one and I have the private correspondence to prove it.

Indeed, Lori Compas barely had any support — if any at all — from the Democratic Party of Wisconsin until only very recently. And she's challenged Fitzgerald to several debates, whereas he's accepted none.

Possibly because he's unable to conceal his arrogance and contempt.

Video: "The Fitzgerald boys are slowin' down."

May 13, 2012

MJS right-wingers to "elevate level of discussion"


Notes Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial page editor David Haynes: "Another writes regularly for a local think tank." Except three of them do, in addition to a fourth who writes regularly for WPRI, but he already has a regular column in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. What Haynes also fails to mention is that Rick Esenberg's Kulturkampf boutique law firm — which last I heard consists of Prof. Rick and Mike Gableman's former law clerk — is in essence a subsidiary of the Bradley Foundation.

Here's Prof. Rick "elevat[ing] the level of discussion."

And some observers may recall Prof. Rick's lojinks last spring, when he and his compadre James Troupis filed a frivolous lawsuit in Oconto County, the distorted fruits of which they used to underpin 14 comic faux-arrest warrants against the State's Democratic Senate caucus.

Whose idea was it to let this character teach law at a university?

Glad I got the hell out of there before he turned up.*

* Although I admit I was sworn to the bar by Justice David Prosser (following an extended homily on professional ethics, ironically enough).

Of course it could have been worse: it could have been Mike Gableman.

May 12, 2012

WJC v. David Prosser, the story so far

A reader asks.

The Wisconsin Judicial Commission has done its own initial investigation, having been alerted to "possible misconduct" by a Wisconsin judge, namely David Prosser. The Commission found probable cause that Justice Prosser "has engaged" in misconduct. The Commission has filed a formal complaint "with" — notably, not in — the Wisconsin Supreme Court.

Now, the Judicial Commission "shall prosecute any case of misconduct ... in which it files a formal complaint." (All of these quotations are from Chapter 757 of the Wisconsin statutes, by the way). And now, "[t]he chief judge of the court of appeals shall select the judges [for the three-judge panel] and designate which shall be presiding judge."

But the Commission cannot prosecute its case until the chief judge selects the panel, which he hasn't yet done because reportedly he's waiting for an order from the Supreme Court. There is no such order mentioned, contemplated, or even implied by the Wisconsin statutes.

Why Franklyn Gimbel, who is the attorney the Commission has retained to prosecute the case, hasn't explicitly pointed this out, or taken steps to force the chief judge of the court of appeals' hand, I have no idea.

Even if it was the case that the Supreme Court "ordered" the formation of the panel in prior misconduct actions, it has no statutory authority to do so, nor, more importantly, has it any statutory authority to withhold such an "order," because such an order does not exist in the Wisconsin statutes. It could be that some members of the Supreme Court believe its supervisory authority — which is constitutionally granted — supersedes the clear directives of the statutes. I have no idea of that either, because none of them has said so, and perhaps nobody has asked them.

If any of them believe that, and if any of those are self-described "judicial conservatives," I, for one, would find that belief highly comical.

But not in the least bit surprising.
"Your precious belief that we have a government of laws in Wisconsin never fails to amuse."@BrewCityBrawler

May 11, 2012

So Scott Walker was doing Satan's work all along

Pious fraud Scott Walker, just last week, when he "issued a prayer":
Dear God [a.k.a. Jesus] . . . Please bless all of the people of Wisconsin. Unite us so that not our own, but Your will be done.
Now we hear he's all about "divide and conquer," for the big dollar.

Religion is not exactly my bag, but one thing I do know is that in America, Republicans like Scott Walker debase its utility every day.

Furthermore, news stories indicate that

the [Wisconsin Judicial] Commission presently may have requests to investigate possible misconduct by one or more justices.
Gee I wonder who that could be *cough* Mike Gableman *cough*.

I don't know Mr. Dawson but I took his media law course at Marquette University Law School. He was excellent, as was his course and his method of pedagogy. I remember telling him about a Ninth Circuit case that he'd never heard of in which Evel Knievel and his wife sued ESPN for calling the daredevil motorcyclist a "pimp." The Court of Appeals threw out the Knievels' complaint because, it determined, the ESPN photo-caption writer meant it as a compliment. Mr. Dawson was still laughing about the case when I mentioned it again months later. He struck me as a pretty straight shooter and a learned attorney, not a partisan at all.*

 * Incidentally this is not the same John Dawson who the idiotic wing-nuts at Media Trackers claimed signed a Recall Scott Walker petition.

Prosser got to fight. For the right. To ex parteeee

Mr. Reak is David Prosser's attorney, corresponding with Mike Gableman.

Most unusual indeed. Hardly at all surprising, however. #BFFs


eta: Prosser attorney letter to Gableman seeking recusal

Predictably, it's larded with nonsense at odds with Wisconsin law.

And it's dated May 8 but according to the docket not received by the Supreme Court until May 10 (except by fax). So much for formal proceedings. Maybe Mike Gableman can "tweet" his reply to Prosser.

And then Justice Prosser can "like" Mike Gableman on teh Facebook.

May 8, 2012

Milwaukee columnist Joel McNally propagates a myth

How disappointing — depressing, even — to find Joel McNally, who writes an otherwise quality political column in the Milwaukee Shepherd Express, propagating this complete myth that the Wisconsin Supreme Court is somehow tasked with ordering the formation of a tribunal to assess the Wisconsin Judicial Commission's complaint against Justice David Prosser:
Nearly two months after Prosser was charged, the [Wisconsin Supreme Court] still has not been able to appoint a three-judge appeals court panel to hear evidence, decide guilt and recommend any appropriate punishment.
It doesn't need to be able to: that court has nothing whatsoever to do with appointing the panel. Why would a scribe of McNally's abilities trust the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, which is presumably where McNally has obtained his premise, over the plain language of the State statutes?

Here it is again:
A judicial conduct ... panel shall consist of either 3 court of appeals judges or 2 court of appeals judges and one reserve judge. Each judge may be selected from any court of appeals district including the potential selection of all judges from the same district. The chief judge of the court of appeals shall select the judges and designate which shall be presiding judge.
How much plainer could it be? Go ahead and read Wis. Stats. §§ 757.81 through 757.99 and show me where the Supreme Court has anything to do with the commission's or the panel's work until that work is complete.

You won't find it. The complaint is filed with the Supreme Court for one obvious reason: because that body has supervisory authority over the State judiciary and the filing of the complaint is mere notice that an action has commenced. The process described in the aforementioned statutes is unique; it's neither civil nor criminal and indeed the statutes themselves explicitly acknowledge the uniqueness of that process.

Nowhere is the Supreme Court given any authority over the formation of the appellate judge panel and indeed if the Supreme Court is denying the exercise of a chimerical authority then it is thwarting the clear directives of the statute whereby the investigative process is wholly given over to the judicial commission and the appeals court judges.

Nobody should ever trust newspaper or teevee reports of legal proceedings,* especially these days when so many original sources are available online. And certainly don't trust the Journal-Sentinel, which has even editorialized that the complaint against Justice Prosser  —  whose candidacy the paper endorsed last year  —  should be dropped, again, based on the demonstrably false premise that the Wisconsin Supreme Court has formative authority over the judicial conduct panel.

The Supreme Court has nothing to do until the panel has done its work and more recently we had Prosser's "conservative" ally Justice Patience Roggensack recuse herself from a case that isn't even before her court!

The present situation is one of pure lawlessness and again I ask myself, what is the point of even posting at this blog directed to a jurisdiction where conservative media drive the political narrative and now even prominent local liberal commentators are suckered by that narrative.

Well, whatevs. Have at it, y'all. And hey, there's always Rick Esenberg.

I have a couple of "unfinished business" posts I want to throw down but after that, it's either back to hiatus or I'm going to find something else to write about other than this banging-your-head-against-a-wall stuff.

* An FYI: Worst offender, CNN's Jeffrey Toobin. That dude is dreadful.

May 7, 2012

Walker has less than a month to create 250K jobs

Bill Lueders: Scooter's vanishing acts

"By the end of his term," June 5, "God willing," as he is fond of saying.*

* I'd mention that al-Qaeda also punctuates its press releases with this mini-prayer, but I'm mindful of the Journal-Sentinel's admonitions.

Wisconsin DNR takes exception to ... nothing

Via Jim Rowen, comes now Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp's Sunday evening response to yesterday's story in the State Journal about a gaggle of Republican political appointees and campaign donors connected to contaminating Jefferson County drinking water with human excrement. Stepp doesn't dispute a single word in the report and in fact claims she's going to take steps to more thoroughly identify potential conflicts of interest in the future. Despite all of those elements, Secretary Stepp's press release is shot through with fauxtrage.

What's Stepp's point, other than to take people for fools? I have no idea.

May 6, 2012

Shirley, you go girlfriend.

'Some justices who speak most forcefully for more prompt issuance of opinions are the very justices who are slow in circulating theirs.'
¶20 Another claim, particularly advanced by Justice [sic] Gableman, is that "in the 13 years, the nearly 13 years that this court has been doing it, no court in the United States, no court in this country has seen it wise to emulate our practice."
¶21 So what?
SHIRLEY S. ABRAHAMSON, C.J. (dissenting).

Wisconsin Republicans: The most apt metaphor

"So much human waste it risked poisoning nearby drinking water."

If you watch this space you've likely seen this story already but it deserves as wide a circulation as Mr. Herr's human excrement.

And as does that gang of scofflaws the WISGOP's metaphorical shit so y'all can send them packing at the general election June 5 in spite of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel editorial board's ridiculous bellyaching.*
The handling of the case raises questions about whether the political and business ties of top administrators appointed by Walker are influencing their handling of law enforcement cases.
Haha ya think?

* "It also carries the potential, as [Scott] Walker told the Editorial Board this week, for setting the stage for a constant recall election cycle."

Er, no, the Wisconsin constitution did that a long time ago. Not that Walker and his henchpersons have any respect for that thing, of course.