June 30, 2010

Feingold endorsement needs more guns

Feingold endorsement. Needs more guns.

Parsing Scott Walker (Ghoul alert)

[Milwaukee county executive] Scott Walker's not looking for the best way to find our whether county facilities are safe; he's looking for "the best way to make the case that our facilities are safe." Walker's worst nightmare is that [an audit] would come out in October* and conclude that his budget-cutting and delay in maintaining county facilities may have contributed to the fatal accident at O'Donnell Park.
Via Xoff.

Add Xoff to Rick Esenberg's growing list of "political ghouls."

* Walker is also a Republican candidate for Wisconsin governor.

Elena Kagan slams Thurgood Marshall

"To be a results-oriented judge is to be the worst kind of judge that you can be." — U.S. Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan

Let's see if Jeff Sessions is bright enough to pick up on that. If I was a Republican on the Committee, I'd be all over it like a cheap suit.

eta: Nope, Sen. Sessions just kept on barreling down his DADT blind alley, the proverbially unarmed man turning up for a battle of wits.

Capital Times calls for Ron Johnson's replacement

Editorializes the Madison (WI) Capital Times:
[W]e are led to wonder whether the [Wisconsin Republican] party’s sensible players might be noting that there is still enough time before the petition filing deadline to get a more credible candidate [than Ron Johnson] on the ballot.
This is a profoundly significant development, because the Capital Times's editorial board's and op-ed columnists' views have traditionally carried a lot of weight with Wisconsin conservatives.

Candidate never voted for Civil Rights Act of 1964

Nor anything else. h/t Whallah!

Wisconsin constitution constitutional

Article XIII, Section 13: Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.
We hold that Article XIII, Section 13 of the Wisconsin Constitution — the marriage amendment — was adopted in conformity with the separate amendment rule in Article XII, Section 1 of the Wisconsin Constitution, which mandates that voters must be able to vote separately on separate amendments. Both sentences of the marriage amendment relate to marriage and tend to effect or carry out the same general purpose of preserving the legal status of marriage in Wisconsin as between only one man and one woman.

As for this ruling's potential application to questions arising from the State of Wisconsin's domestic partnership provision:
We need not decide what legal statuses identical or substantially similar to marriage are prohibited by this clause in order to understand its plain and general purpose.
It would appear that there isn't one.

Matthew Hrodey: Political ghoul

How dare he. How dare he go there.

And Patrick McIlheran? Ghoul.
Mark Neumann? Ghoul.
Rick Esenberg? Righteous Ghoulbuster.

Inside Ron Johnson's bag of dirty tricks

• hiring away my direct-mail vendor
• trying to hire away my staff at the [WISGOP] convention
• [fomenting] chaos during the balloting
• party official ordered my staffer to vote for Johnson
• delegate instructed to change his vote [to] Johnson
• man with a woman's credentials trying to vote
• unrecognizable individuals voting in [someone's] county
• County chair told to keep his mouth shut
• Republican "kingmakers" had kicked into high gear
• delegate stuffed a few [ballots] in his pocket
• hotel room paid for by Johnson in exchange for vote
• Johnson float[ed] rumors and lies about his opponents
• skipped Lincoln Day dinners, threw money around
"[W]e continue to hold other negative information on Ron Johnson in confidence. (No doubt the Democrats will take care of that.)"

Terrence Wall is bitter.

June 28, 2010

Wisconsin GOP primary getting mighty confusing

One candidate is referring to himself in the third person:
Dave Westlake said he has gotten pressure [from people within the Party] to drop out of the race so that Ron Johnson can cruise through the September primary. "They're a little less willing to go along with me, but there's not been an all-out push to have Dave Westlake drop out of the race," said Dave Westlake, "because they know that I'm not going to."
Another has either lost or gained a hotel room.

And: Terrence Wall grants another interview.

Retiring WMC CEO kills irony dead

WMC leader laments polarized politics — WI State Journal

Feingold secures gun rights for all Americans

McDonald v. City of Chicago (.pdf; 214 pgs.)

Earlier: Senator Russ Feingold's amicus brief.

Justice Clarence Thomas, writing separately:
I agree with the Court that the Fourteenth Amendment makes the right to keep and bear arms set forth in the Second Amendment "fully applicable to the States." ...

But I cannot agree that it is enforceable against the States through a clause that speaks only to "process." Instead, the right to keep and bear arms is a privilege of American citizenship that applies to the States through the Fourteenth Amendment's Privileges or Immunities Clause.
Your humble correspondent, 03/02/10:
Should be a very interesting set of opinions, especially that of Justice Thomas, who will write a concurrence that nobody else joins based in Privileges or Immunities rather than Due Process.
Can I call 'em or what.*

* I don't share the Left's antipathy toward Justice Thomas. He's a valuable contributor to the Court — so long as there's only one of him.

Wisconsin gay marriage ruling coming Wednesday

It says here (McConkey v. Van Hollen).

God finally answers Tom Coburn's prayers

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) went to the Senate floor to propose a prayer. "What the American people ought to pray is that somebody can't make the vote tonight," he said. "That's what they ought to pray." It was difficult to escape the conclusion that Coburn was referring to the 92-year-old, wheelchair-bound Sen. Robert Byrd (D-W.V.).
Washington Sketch.

Whatever it was, it worked

Milwaukee County prosecutors said Judge Amato placed his hand on the defendant Wesley's shoulder while chatting with him, though they couldn't hear what was said. Later the same day, Wesley dropped his demand for a jury trial and pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge ...
Wapps [sic].

June 26, 2010

Beauregard's Bibliolator Boykin bounced

Monday's Republican circus is off to a flying start:
"Although General Boykin’s prior comments concerning the war on terror are unrelated to his scheduled testimony on Dean Kagan’s nomination, it is clear that these comments would be used to distract from the very important issues surrounding Ms. Kagan’s actions at Harvard Law School," said Stephen Boyd, a spokesman for ranking member Sen. Jeff Sessions.
Nice try, Sessions.

Oh well, he's still got Tony Perkins and Ed Whelan.

Ron Johnson cancels another conservative event

"Quickly cancel[ed] ... for Ron Johnson to go to DC."

h/t RoJo's homeboy, The Chief.

Johnson visited the Heritage Foundation to uphold the rule of law by personally acting as successful civil plaintiff, judge, and jury in "proving" British Petroleum's "totally negligent" tortious activities.

Because that's totally how the rule of law works in America.

Geraldo Rivera is a gigantic mustachioed hypocrite

Journalist Geraldo Rivera, who got hit on the head with a chair by a Nazi, is upset at freelance writer Michael Hastings, whose article in the current issue of Rolling Stone brought about the nomination of General David Petraeus as commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan.

Geraldo, appearing on the roundtable of prominent intellectuals "The Factor with Bill O'Reilly," called Hastings "a rat in an eagle's nest." Geraldo said each time one of General Stanley McChrystal's posse of cowboys made a statement which tended to undermine the bedrock constitutional principle of civilian control of the military, Hastings should have asked, 'Dude, are you sure you want me to print that?'

This despite the fact that Gen. McChrystal and his entourage were made entirely aware up front of Hastings's occupation and project. Hastings was a war correspondent for several years, reporting from Iraq and Afghanistan for Newsweek and other publications.

Geraldo also once briefly reported from Iraq for his current employer Fox News in 2003, until he was picked up by the 101st Airborne and "dropped at the Kuwaiti border"* after he "compromised operational information by reporting the position and movements of troops," according to the Pentagon. Geraldo did so on live television.

Thus is "a rat in an eagle's nest" perhaps not Geraldo Rivera's most consistently appropriate characterization of Michael Hastings.

By the way, the right wing's messenger-assassination of Rolling Stone generally is facile and absurd. It's ran excellent political reporting for decades, and published one of the best books on U.S. politics ever, Hunter Thompson's Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72.

(McGovern adviser Pat Caddell has since completely lost his marbles.)

* Apparently from not too great — or great enough — a height, as he was still raving on Fox News as recently as yesterday evening.

eta: I missed the part where Geraldo compared Hastings to al-Qaeda.

June 25, 2010

Terrence Wall stokes the far right against Johnson

Ron Johnson's Republican endorsement "incredibly suspicious"

The Republican Women of the North are "shocked."

Says one of the Rock River Patriots, before whom Ron Johnson's disastrous performance forced him to flee to the woodshed for nearly a week:
I've heard rumors that there was "funny business" going on at the convention from other TEA Party / Patriot Groups.
Affirmation of suspected "funny business" also appears at the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel version of the Terrence Wall bombshell:
I was at the convention — this is NOT "out of thin air." I guess it would be difficult to understand if you weren't there, but, Ron's endorsement was incredibly suspicious.
I sent a letter to Ron Johnson and the RPW requesting an honest, prompt response to the allegations. I was a delegate who always felt robbed after the endorsement process. We need honesty and integrity in Madison and Washington DC. We need honest voting and results whether it be at the polls or at the convention. We need to demand this.
Best of all, the gang at RedState.com, where on Wednesday Ron Johnson was described as "contemptible, shameful, and disgusting":
Ron Johnson, Wisconsin candidate for U.S. Senate, is not, perhaps what he's been attempting to make himself out to be.
Terrence Wall will surely return with more. You don't campaign for months and months only to have some unknown character turn up out of nowhere and scoop the Party's official endorsement right from under your nose and then be expected to go lay down and be quiet.

Especially when the first thing that other character does is start ripping down his rivals' election posters off the convention wall.

More: Terrence Wall righteously protecting delegates' identities
See also: Terrence Wall is my new hero
Earlier: Tea group warns of Johnson's authoritarian streak

Ron Johnson totally out of step with Americans

Ron Johnson says BP's $20 billion escrow fund is bad for America.

Evidently, America strongly disagrees (Economist poll).

Also, don't you know Ron Johnson is devoted to the rule of law:
It’s been proven how they were totally negligent in this thing.
"They" being BP, Macondo being "this thing." Now that is news.

RoJo: You Should Never Have Opened That Door

eta: Sly In The Morning ("absolutely stunning" audio):
I've got over 100 stories like that, of corruption, bribery ... coercion. My own employee being forced to vote for Johnson, being told absolutely that he was not allowed to vote for me, what he had to do is what the [GOP] vice chair told him to do.
Terrence Wall
To paraphrase the late Dee Dee Ramone,* Ron Johnson should never have torn that election sign off the (Terrence) Wall:
Former Republican Senate Candidate Terrence Wall told WTDY News Director Zach Stein that Ron Johnson engineered his surprise endorsement vote, less than a week after Johnson entered the race, by using "corruption, bribery (and) coercion."
Oh dearie, dearie me.

Jeez, guys, can't we all just get along?

You Should Never Have Opened That DoorRamones

* I'm one of several hundred who actually bought that record. In my defense, I don't think I ever made it past the third or fourth track.

House passes unconstitutional bill

Money is speech (or so we are told) and to the extent anonymous political contributors are discouraged from speaking by H.R. 5175's mandatory disclosure requirements, freedom of speech is abridged.

Dead in the water, count on it.

Federalist Society vs. observed reality

Back in October, 2008, Federalist Society co-founder and law professor Steven Calabresi wrote, "If Mr. Obama wins we could possibly see ... the mass freeing of criminal defendants."

Mr. Obama won.

Then on Wednesday the U.S. Department of Justice wrote, "During 2009 ... [t]he federal prison population increased by 6,838 (or 3.4%) which accounted for all of the increase in the U.S. prison population."

Keep up the objective scholarship, Perfesser FedSoc.

Recess Supervisor goes there

O'Donnell garage kills Walker campaign?

However, TMJ-4's report doesn't mention "decorative concrete." (A different Journal-Sentinel reporter calls it a "collapse," which implies a structural failure.) Some people contend it's tasteless to inject politics into what for these victims and their families is undeniably a devastating personal tragedy. Perhaps it is, but it's also inevitable.

@Ron4Senate: Thanks, RedState.com!

Here's Ron Johnson thanking RedState.com. And here's RedState.com calling Ron Johnson contemptible, shameful, and disgusting.

Thanks ... I think!

At the zoo

Item: County considers killing zoo animals to cut expenses
The sort of man who likes to spend his time watching a cage of monkeys chase one another, or a lion gnaw its tail, or a lizard catch flies, is precisely the sort of man whose mental weakness should be combatted at the public expense, and not fostered. He is a public liability and public menace, and society should seek to improve him. Instead of that, we spend a lot of money to feed his degrading appetite and further paralyze his mind. — H.L. Mencken
At The ZooSimon and Garfunkel

June 24, 2010

Shameful. Disgusting. Shameful and disgusting.

"Contemptible behavior."
WI Republican candidate Ron Johnson, according to RedState.com.

Man oh man, those grassroots conservatives are harsh.

Ken Salazar still most likely irrational

Obama denied.

Part of the problem here is the federal government's benchmark of "deepwater": 500 feet. Macondo is ten times that depth, a hint of Salazar's arbitrariness in covering wells 501-feet deep in his rejected moratorium. Salazar says he'll issue revised guidelines soon, and you can count on his walking back that capricious over-inclusiveness.

Salazar's decree was a blunder from the outset.

Johnson: BP's $20 billion "not good for America"

The Republican Party of Wisconsin's official millionaire candidate Ron Johnson is troubled that Sen. Russ Feingold got the impression Johnson is opposed to holding BP accountable for the Macondo spill.

Johnson insists that he is not, but his reasoning is incoherent.

During a WisPolitics.com candidate forum on Monday, Johnson was asked what he thought of the $20 billion escrow fund BP's CEO Tony Hayward agreed to on June 16. The money will be set aside in increments over a set period of years to compensate local individuals and businesses affected detrimentally by the spill, which has been described as the worst environmental disaster in U.S. history.

According to Johnson's campaign website:
At a forum in Waukesha County on Monday, Ron Johnson reiterated his position regarding BP's negligence and responsibilities. "I think the bottom line is BP will be held accountable for this above the 75 million cap [the federal statute which imposes that damages limit is a separate issue]. And I think the fact they were willing to do it kinda shows they recognized the fact they were negligent."
If Johnson believes in the "fact" of BP's negligence, then why does he oppose what he also believes is BP's own demonstration of its negligence? (It isn't an admission of anything. That "it kinda shows" BP's negligence is only Johnson's personal interpretation.)

What Johnson ultimately said about the escrow fund, which even Johnson admits BP was "willing" to set up, is: "This is not good for America." He suggested it was "a circumvention of the rule of law."

He didn't say which law, but the fund was negotiated between BP and White House officials. BP wasn't ordered to set it up. Far from being a circumvention, such negotiations are a typical feature of the rule of law as a means to avoid time-consuming and expensive litigation.

That is precisely the case here, as the fund is directed toward paying claims that can be made by application to the fund's administrator instead of filing in court. In fact it's likely to save BP millions in attorney expenses, probably one reason why the firm agreed to it.

[Additionally, it keeps the courts unclogged so they can concentrate instead on adjudicating — to coin a phrase — the rule of law.]

Johnson also predicted BP is "gonna be found to be negligent" based on an article he'd read in the Wall Street Journal describing two alternative methods of oil well design. Congressional Democrats said they discovered that BP used the less costly of the two methods more often than other oil companies and used it for the Macondo well.

But even Democrats stopped short of blaming BP's choice of well design for the spill, and the WSJ piece points out that "the well would have been secure if the cement plug at the bottom of the hole had held." The report presents only speculation that the alternative well design would have mitigated the effect of the cement plug's failure.

So it isn't clear which rule of law candidate Johnson is espousing and defending when he declares the "fact" of BP's negligence based on an obviously incomplete set of findings. Maybe Ron Johnson could try again to better explain to affected Gulf Coast residents why British Petroleum's $20 billion compensation fund is bad for America.

June 22, 2010

Texas got something right

Via Religion Clause — A federal court in Texas denied the Institute for Creation Research Graduate Studies program's attempt to have its "Master's Degree" in "science education" certified by the State.

The ICR made a series of constitutional claims to its rights to be a collection of buffoons but was told to go pound sand pursuant to each. At least, they seemed to make those claims. The court had to guess:
[A]lthough it is difficult to follow ICRGS’s complaint, it appears ICRGS contends the Board engaged in "viewpoint discrimination" against ICRGS, thereby violating its constitutional rights to free exercise of religion, free speech, and equal protection.
In what appears to be an attempt to raise a substantive due process claim, ICRGS also asserts the Board "us[ed] arbitrary norms and procedures to deny ICRGS a license to which it was duly entitled."
So the ICR won't be looking to accredit its law school at this point.

The frightening thing is that the ICR did at first have its "Master's Degree" certified by the State, but the Board revisited the application with a different team of inspectors who knew exactly what those madcaps were up to and who put the kibosh on the initial approval.

That's when the "biblical scientific creationists" sued and last week finally got tackled down by another white male Republican appointed by a member of the Bush family of strict constructionists.

Creationists have never won a court case since John T. Scopes was fined $100 in 1925. But Senate candidate Ron Johnson supports it.

Ken Salazar most likely irrational: federal court

Nobody wants to hear that:
After reviewing the Secretary’s Report, the Moratorium Memorandum, and the Notice to Lessees, the Court is unable to divine or fathom a relationship between the findings and the immense scope of the moratorium.
Secretary Salazar was way, way out of line in ascribing to industry experts a remedy they hadn't endorsed by inserting paragraphs into his report after the experts had signed off. It's appropriate for the court to have taken that into consideration. And I don't really care how many shares in Transocean Judge Feldman owns. Transocean has lots and lots of other customers and places to lease its drilling rigs.

They better beef up that case if they expect to win an appeal.

Injunction granted (.pdf; 22 pgs.).

"A federal judge's decision today to block a six-month moratorium on new deep-water drilling projects is extremely shortsighted," said a public advocate. "If anything, the temporary ban that President Barack Obama declared in May should be made permanent."
A permanent ban probably would have seemed more reasonable.

Johnson misrepresents Feingold Senate vote

Being the first of many misrespresentations to come, undoubtedly.

Not so long ago, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Dave Westlake served as last-minute understudy for missing GOP rival Ron Johnson at a Madison, Wisconsin Tea Party affair.

Johnson disappeared after his notoriously "disastrous" performance last week, a YouTubed excursion to a deep woods Patriot clubhouse where Johnson dismayed Tea Party sympathizers not only with his inability to address specific Tea concerns, but with his failure to even recognize their most cherished constitutional ideals.

Some were led to wonder: Was he Tea or wasn't he GOP?

Yesterday morning Johnson emerged in the affluent Milwaukee suburb of Brookfield presumably after days of relentless murder-boarding with his new internets research specialist to face Westlake and WisPolitics.com's intrepid presenter Steven Walters.*

U.S. legal system derived from Bible stories

Seizing another opportunity, Westlake went on Full Tea Mode in Brookfield, calling for the abolition of the federal Departments of Education and Energy along with the IRS. He announced that in every Biblical story, one "undeniably" finds a little bit of Constitution, some Declaration of Independence, and a treatise on patent and trademark prosecution, and that the Second Amendment "defines who we are."

He proclaimed the Federal Reserve "a consumer threat," denounced Obama for performing "nothing more than a shakedown" on British Petroleum yachtsman-in-chief Tony Hayward, whose industry's safety record Westlake deemed "impeccable," and demanded that obese, sedentary tobacco smokers accept responsibility for their own poor health and stop insisting everybody else pay to take care of them.

Westlake also spoke emotionally of values and morality and especially moral hazards (to wit, federal unemployment benefits extended for another week or two, and their resultant Devilish temptation of the beneficiary to remain unemployed in perpetuity, in accordance with Tea Party psychology and prophesy).

Mr. Ron Johnson was less than truthful

Candidate Johnson came armed with new quips researched and served up from the deep recesses of the Googles, including one about how Senator Russ Feingold "voted for funding a sanctuary cities [sic]." Which sounds a lot like, "Feingold voted directly in support of something having to do with funding whatever thing it is that makes a sanctuary city a sanctuary city," doesn't it?

Except Johnson's implication is just a bit wide of the mark. Last October, Feingold voted to table (kill) a one-liner nuisance amendment advanced by wingnut Republican Sens. David Vitter and James Inhofe to withhold funding from COPS, a program in place and duly appropriated for since 1994. COPS is devoted to assisting selected local law enforcement engaged in specialized challenges.

For example, combating the social blight and attendant crime of methamphetamine addiction in distressed communities where State or municipal resources are otherwise unavailable.

There wasn't any connection between any particular city's so-called sanctuary ordinance — which discourages municipal employees from participating in immigration investigations except where required by the law — and COPS. Save that connection fabricated inside the roiling medullae oblongatae of Messrs. Vitter and Inhofe.

In fact a number of Republicans joined Sen. Feingold in opposing Vitter and Inhofe's transparent, regressive grandstanding.

Johnson said of immigration, which he claimed "is one of the weakest issues [Feingold's] on," that Feingold "has a zero rating from a group that basically calls for open borders." But wouldn't that be a good thing? Perhaps it will take Johnson a few more days to properly digest all of that newly discovered internets research.

Elena Kagan already "probably disqualified"

In a similar vein, Johnson also asserted that Feingold "voted for partial birth abortion seven times." Obviously nobody votes for "partial birth abortion." But Russ Feingold has certainly voted against placing onerous federal restrictions on women's access to what is and has been for decades — whether Ron Johnson likes it or not — a legal and constitutionally protected right: "the settled law of the land."

Johnson's embedded accusation that supporters of abortion's safe and legal availability are by definition active proponents of infanticide may be the most disingenuous of conservative Republican fallacies.

Among other freshly released Johnson zingers, the candidate determined that Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan** was "probably disqualified" for "actually den[ying] access to military recruiters at Harvard" (another falsehood) and that the very thought of Obama having the authority to appoint federal judges was "depressing."

And he repeated his nonsense about knee replacements in Canada, adding a new twist: that it's not unusual to wait one year to receive a coronary bypass in Germany, which sounds equally preposterous.

WisconsinEye supplies the video.

* Sample Walters inquiry: "Do you support President Obama's move to require BP to set up a $20 million [sic] trust fund for oil spill damage that came ahead of any formal finding of criminal or civil negligence?" Both candidates answered "No" based almost entirely on the response Walters had thoughtfully provided in the question.

** Said Dave Westlake of Elena Kagan: "I don't have a whole lot of confidence in nominee Kagan. She's never served in any capacity similar to what she'd be experiencing on the federal court." But neither has Westlake served in any capacity similar to what he'd be experiencing in the federal legislature. As such, not among the most compelling or tactical objections to Elena Kagan's qualifications.

June 21, 2010

Proof Kim Jong Il does not have a nuclear weapon

Portugal 7 — 0 North Korea

"I kick a touchdown!" — Alex Karras's Garo Yepremian impression

Mike Huckabee thinks about gay sex a lot

That alone is pretty darn icky.

Earlier: "Reverend" Huckabee slanders the Buddhists.

Will the Tea Party try to recall Russ Feingold?

By following this link, you can watch the May 25, 2010 oral arguments in the case of The Committee To Recall Robert Menendez v. Wells before the New Jersey Supreme Court. They last about an hour.

If time is at a premium, skip ahead to the halfway point.

A local Tea Party outfit is attempting to oust Menendez, one of NJ's United States Senators, by means of an untested State constitutional provision that purportedly authorizes the recall of federal officials.

Yesterday, Politico.com observed that the dispute's outcome might either inspire other Tea Party groups to similar action or else represent their fateful moment of "jumping the shark."

The U.S. Constitution is clear (in two separate locations) that Senators are to serve six-year terms. It's equally clear that the power to remove a Senator during that term and the mechanics by which Senators are to be removed reside with the U.S. Senate.

Some Tea Party enthusiasts, on the other hand, maintain that because the U.S. Constitution does nowhere expressly forbid States from recalling federal lawmakers, it may be accomplished by popular referendum within a Senator's State.

In Menendez's case, a petition would require 1.3 million signatures.

The Tea Party attorney, Andrew Schlafly, son of Phyllis and proprietor of the unintentionally comic website Conservapedia.com, rests practically his entire case on a private letter from George Washington to his nephew Bushrod Washington, containing an ambiguous reference to recalling members of Congress.

Unfortunately, Schlafly does so by essentially disregarding voluminous contemporary testimony and a number of decisions of the U.S. Supreme Court. Schlafly gets schooled pretty hard on these points by New Jersey Supreme Court Justice Barry Albin, starting around 34:00.

Mr. Schlafly also claims to possess the impossible knowledge that there was no discussion at all of the question of individual States' ability to recall federal legislators inside the tightly shuttered confines of the 1787 Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia.

That assertion is likewise a centerpiece of the Tea assumptions.

But again, the unfortunate Schlafly is confronted by Justice Jaynee LaVecchia (40:45) with a citation from his own legal briefs, showing that "recall was a matter that was being debated and considered and rejected by the members of the Convention at the time."

Schlafly: "Well Justice LaVecchia, that's an excellent point ..."

Well yes, yes it is. And not just excellent, but dispositive.

"You know nothing of my work."

Johnson said he was not familiar with Murray’s other views.
Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Ron Johnson invited Charles Murray to Oshkosh, WI without knowing he was an author of the notorious 1994 Social Darwinism bestseller, The Bell Curve.

Bit hard to believe.

I'd have imagined Charles Murray was known primarily — if not exclusively — for those "other views." There's always trouble, when the penis-measuring racialist Philippe Rushton starts popping up.

See also: The Chief.

June 20, 2010

Ron Johnson hires a blogger

Campaign welcomes aboard Kevin Binversie.

KB always seemed like a decent — if misguided — fellow.

He has a classic ringtone, I'll give him that.

Who is Ron Johnson?

The Oshkosh plastics magnate has remained in imperial seclusion since fleeing from a pointed Tea Party "vetting session" last week.

June 19, 2010

Joe Barton, Man of Geophysics

Wadn't Alaska up thar in Texas before it was down thar in Alaska?
A long-time denier of global warming, Joe Barton has [notwithstanding that] used the threat of global warming to combat something he hates even more: wind energy. In a 2009 hearing, Barton implied that wind is a "finite resource" and that harnessing it would "slow the winds down" which would "cause the temperature to go up." — TIME
That's the most powerful Republican on the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Frightening or hilarious, you make the call.

And it's a good thing fewer people will be out tanning on Florida's western beaches, because that means the Sun will stay on longer.

Niagara Falls slowed to a trickle when they put those turbines in.

More recently Joe Barton did a U.S. Supreme Court majority one better, declaring oil companies not just persons but emotionally sensitive and needy persons yearning for external affirmation.

Barton's latest antics were said to be repellent even to Republicans, "including David Vitter," according to a knowledgeable source.

Company that hired other companies to drill a hole

Remember them?
The mounting evidence clearly demonstrates that this tragedy was preventable and the direct result of BP's reckless decisions and actions. Frankly, we are shocked by the publicly available information that has been disclosed in recent investigations and during this week's testimony that, among other things, indicates BP operated unsafely and failed to monitor and react to several critical warning signs during the drilling of the Macondo well. BP's behavior and actions likely represent gross negligence or willful misconduct and thus affect the obligations of the parties under the operating agreement.

Not quite best regards,
Your non-operating investor.
That's considerably beyond the call of CYA, I reckon.

CEO Hayward's yacht should be skimming oil, Republican tells Fox

Wisconsin conservatives go following the logic

Reasons top Wisconsin conservative blogger Owen Robinson:
The thing is ... an analysis of time stamps is pretty stupid. I can put whatever time I want on a post. I think the time stamps perhaps give enough probable cause to investigate whether or not a crime (or at least a work ruled violation) has occurred, but it’s certainly not evidence.
The ellipsis is his.

So let me see if I have this straight.

1) A gang of initially non-credible right-wing mischief makers with a political axe to grind — together with the kind assistance of Journal Broadcast Group howler/blogger Charlie Sykes — threw this scam against the wall based on nothing but "an analysis of time stamps."

2) "An analysis of time stamps is pretty stupid."

3) This particular "analysis of time stamps" is so "pretty stupid" that even casual observers were able to blow its phony implications out of the water without the help of the district attorney's office.

4) Nevertheless, anything even this "pretty stupid" is representative of "enough probable cause" to launch a criminal investigation.

That's right, a criminal investigation.

No wonder Owen Robinson is a frequent guest on Charlie Sykes's dreary teevee show, Sunday INCITE! These are the same folks in constant outrage-mode on the subject of unchecked state power.

Yet here is Owen Robinson essentially justifying a police state.

Furthermore, according to Robinson's "logic," even Liebenthal's blog posts time-stamped in the late evening hours and on weekends (which is practically all of them*) may also be grounds for a criminal investigation because "I can put whatever time I want on a post."

Think that's stretching an inference? Read on.

Another of Robinson's fellow travelers claims it's "fairly obvious" Chris Liebenthal was posting to his blog on county time. His own "probable cause" for this claim? That Liebenthal is so prolific, he couldn't possibly have composed his blog posts on his own time: Yes, an "impossible feat," he says, unless Liebenthal didn't have a job at all.

Ergo, he must have been committing a crime, and not just a State crime, but a federal crime. (His "wet dream" is projected here.)

Jeremy "Rhymes With Clown" Shown, one of the few coherently thoughtful local conservative bloggers, asks:
[Liebenthal's] got an anti-Walker fixation that comes perilously close to "he doth protest too much," and the best the Walker supporters can muster is sending the DA to confiscate the computer from his workplace at the county to make sure he wasn't blogging on county time? ...

Can't the Walker camp come up with some smart folks to simply counter the pronouncements that [Liebenthal] makes on his blog?
Certainly not if Owen Robinson is its leading light.

Robinson's blog, incidentally, served as the host to an especially scurrilous libel masquerading as a "leak" from the DA's office that elicited** correspondence from the defamed party's counsel.

And by the way, don't miss visiting the recently updated "Boots & Kittens," John Foust's dryly whimsical Owen Robinson parody.

Foust has been banned from commenting at Robinson's website, yet Robinson's comments policy allows for publishing the most revolting of falsehoods directed at Chris Liebenthal. Figure that one out.

* Chris occasionally comments at this here blog, invariably in the late evening hours and on weekends, all compelling confirmations of when he's active updating his own blogs. I have all the comments, along with the separate Gmail notifications of the comments, numerous instances where it seems to me time stamps are not "pretty stupid," nor would I have the faintest idea how to manipulate them.

** Or "illicited," if one is thus inclined (read BCB's header).

June 18, 2010

Koman Coulibaly's assault on our Freedoms

FIFA: Outrage in the 85th minute.

Citizens for Irresponsible Harassment

Percussionist/blogger Emily Mills drums out a concise backgrounder.
Some deftly executed rudiments from Cory Liebmann as well.

And: Commenter "arod" is contemplating federal charges.

Dave Westlake seizes the Tea

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Dave Westlake leaped into the breech Wednesday, understudying for his missing GOP primary election rival Ron Johnson at a Tea Party affair in Madison, WI.

Westlake stressed his hard-right credentials by calling for the repeal of the Patriot Act, a position staked out by Russ Feingold in 2001.

(Dave Westlake's "blaze orange" campaign theme also appropriates Senator Feingold's position with respect to the Second Amendment, which is slightly to the right of the National Rifle Association's.)

Ron Johnson had canceled the Madison Tea Party engagement after disappearing earlier in the week when a set of YouTubes emerged showing Johnson struggling defensively to explain fundamental policy perspectives to a local group called the Rock River Patriots.

Candidate Johnson, 55, admitted to the Patriots he'd only been through the U.S. Constitution "five or six times" and that he discovered it to be "not an easy document to read." Yet almost simultaneously, he assured them he'd "take to Washington a very deep reverence for the genius of the Founding Fathers."

But the Patriots were skeptical.

Westlake is one of two Republican candidates whose election posters were torn down from the wall by Ron Johnson and his posse at the Party's State convention in Milwaukee last month, where Johnson received the Official Establishment Republican Party Endorsement.

At the time, nobody knew anything about Johnson except that he reportedly had $10-$15 million to spend and his "foundational book" was Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged (not — oddly — the Bible).

Whereas Dave Westlake had been campaigning assiduously for months, and must have chafed at seeing his poster crumpled and discarded so that Johnson might have a blank wall to stand in front of for the teevee cameras.

Johnson said he decided to run when beloved Fox "News" personality Dick Morris put out a random call for "some rich guy in Wisconsin."

Meanwhile abortion outfit Wisconsin Right to Life endorsed Ron Johnson yesterday, despite Johnson's consent to a broad range of exceptions for the procedure, including the "true life" of the mother. Candidate Westlake said he would allow for no such exceptions.

WRtL determined that Johnson was the more "electable" candidate, proving the abortion opponents' devotion to situational morality. Moreover, situational morality in service of political expediency.

On principle, WRtL's embracing Westlake seems the correct choice.

Ron Johnson remains in hiding, assessing his troubled candidacy.

June 17, 2010

Revoke Sensenbrenner's franking privileges

FFS, his stamp collection is worth as much as Gwen Moore.

Ref. BP down half a point to 31.71

Ron Johnson supports teaching creationism

Or else maybe cdesign proponentsism.
Rock River Patriot: Do you think that if the community decides that in their school system or district they want to allow creationism as well as evolution to be taught that they should be allowed to do that.

Ron Johnson: Yes! That's what local control [is] ...
That's one I can think of off the top of my head, to add to Cory Liebmann's running tally. Ron Johnson is currently in hiding.

DA must act to seize Charlie Sykes's computer

Local 48 official also ate fish fries, fixed lawnmower on weekends

Yesterday a fake comment, falsely attributed to "capper" a.k.a. Chris Liebenthal, was published on Charlie Sykes's blog, which is hosted by Journal Broadcast Group, the AM squawk radio division of Journal Communications, Inc. over which top howler Charlie Sykes presides.

It was time-stamped 12:06 p.m. Naturally this led to another succession of baseless and histrionic speculation among Sykes's disciples as to what Chris was getting up to at work and elsewhere.

Sykes is currently alone among the "lamestream media" in helping publicize the hapless allegations of wrongdoing lodged against Chris.

At the moment the bogus comment is still on full display at the Charlie Sykes-Journal Broadcast Group's website, except now it's time-stamped 5:06 p.m.* We hereby demand an investigation.

Charlie Sykes had himself a grand old pants-wetting time Wednesday basking in glee at Chris's phony persecution. At the heart of a local nut-right outfit's attack against Chris are three or four of Chris's blog posts time-stamped while he was at home enjoying one of the many non-compensated days off he was treated to by Scott Walker (co-incidentally Charlie Sykes's fair-haired boy and Chris's nemesis).

This is evidence. Clearly, the DA ought to seize Sykes's computer.

Guardians of First Amendment Journamalism
Chas. Sykes Pulitzer-nominating Committee

See also: Jay Bullock, Destroyer of "Evidences."**

* It's not the first time Charlie Sykes's slavish devotees have hijacked Chris's online ID and persona. And in an earlier instance, it was none other than ... Charlie Sykes who was right in the thick of it, falsely attributing to Chris statements that Chris had never made.

** And, on a couple of those other days, fierce blizzards blew into Milwaukee, Wisconsin. One was described as the equivalent of a Category 2 hurricane. What is all of this other than a sleazy witch hunt, with the reliable groundfish Charlie Sykes goading it along.

Palin's recipe: Soak up the oil with word salad

SEN. McCAIN: Energy. She knows more about energy than probably anyone else in the United States of America.
With the possible exception of Inside Edition's Bill O'Reilly.

Who takes Sarah Palin seriously, you have got to be kidding.

June 16, 2010

Ron Johnson flees from Tea grillings

"I certainly share the concerns on civil liberties now that you have Barack Obama in power versus George Bush. I wasn't overly concerned with George Bush in power," Johnson said.
Good grief man. The civil liberties concerns under Obama are precisely those concerns under Bush, as it was the latter whose administration promulgated the policies Obama has yet to rescind.

If the Tea spokespeople are the principled consitutionalists they claim to be, they're vigilant over the executive power, no matter who is wielding it, and rightly horrified to hear a candidate for Senate state he "wasn't overly concerned" about civil liberties at any time.

No wonder he fled. Russ Feingold has got to be loving this.

Speaking of dirty campaigns ...

This is pathetic. Chris pursues his hobby from home, and posts his blogs most of the time damn near midnight. So these geniuses found three or four of Chris's innumerable blog posts time-stamped during business hours ... while Chris was once again at home, on mandatory furlough imposed by county executive Scott Walker to trim expenses.

(See Chris's innumerable midnight-oil-burning blog posts as to why the latter fiduciary justification is disingenuous.)

Those dates are in the public record, reported on in the local paper, and in fact Chris blogs about what days he's on furlough. So why didn't these geniuses check into that before they disturbed the district attorney's office with this obviously gratuitous charade?

And what is Charlie Sykes — twelve? Pants-wetting, indeed.

More: Agent 414 Jason Haas.

Feingold will best Gableman, predicts Johnson

Said Ron Johnson campaign manager Juston Johnson: "Based on Feingold's comments so far we fully expect him to run the dirtiest campaign in Wisconsin history."
Funny. The only thing Russ Feingold needs to do — which is what he has been doing — is read Ron Johnson's own words right back to him. Johnson's the one who said he wants to go get all the oil right now, including in Lake Michigan and Charles Krauthammer's backyard.
"The tea party people have made it clear they agree with some of the positions I’ve taken," Feingold said, adding that Johnson "doesn’t match up with some of their views. He's trying to use the label of the tea party, but under closer scrutiny, they're going to realize they don't match up."
That's not dirty, that's smart. And true.

Soccer sounding better every minute for Liddy

Discussing soccer's popularity in the U.S. on his June 10 radio program, G. Gordon Liddy noted that "this game ... originated with the South American Indians and instead of a ball, they used to use the head, the decapitated head, of an enemy warrior." — Conservatives go to bats against World Cup
Also, the fair catch rule was invented by Touchdown Jesus.

McIlheran releases prime contractor from liability

The villain's obvious: The company that hired other companies to drill the hole.
— sarcastic Journal-Sentinel legal analyst Patrick McIlheran
"I recall a skirmish between the company man, the OIM (offshore installation manager), the tool-pusher and the driller," said rig worker Doug Brown. "The driller was outlining what would be taking place, whereupon the company man stood up and said, 'No, we'll be having some changes to that.' It had to do with displacing the riser for later on."
CBS News

Johnson needs another 45 days to count his money

Ron Johnson, the Republican Oshkosh businessman who wants Russ Feingold's Senate seat, probably would fit right in with the well-heeled members of the upper chamber, where the average net worth is $15M. But Wisconsinites won't get a sense of his net worth until after July 17, a 45-day extension of the deadline by which he was required to file a report.
Green Bay (WI) Press-Gazette

Ron Johnson also suggested that career politician and Republican candidate for governor Scott Walker "has been on the public dole" for nearly his entire adult life. By contrast, conservative avatar Ronald Reagan was only on the public dole for about 16 years.

Johnson was told to get himself on the public dole by Dick Morris.

June 15, 2010

Tea group warns of Johnson's authoritarian streak

Ron Johnson wants to empower the federal government to snoop in the lives of ordinary private citizens, tap phone lines, and spy on Wisconsinites.
Neocon Ron.*

* No relation to Telegram Sam.

Ron Johnson's Hip (and knee) Musings

One way the health care reform bill is going to assault your freedoms, GOP candidate Ron Johnson tells WisPolitics.com, is that hip and knee replacement surgeries will become miracles of the past:
Up in Canada right now if you're over 50 you really don't get one. That's when you need a knee replacement.
At least the second sentence is more or less accurate.

Of 43,805* knee replacements performed nationwide in 2006-07, only 1% were to persons under 45 and another 8% to those between 45 and 54. Replacement knee recipients aged 55 and over: 91%. Two-thirds of the operations were performed on folks who were 65 and older.

The same went for hip replacements. Of 28,664 procedures, 81% were for those 55 and older. These age demographics are identical to the ones recorded in the U.S. and the total number of operations is per capita roughly in line with the number of similar operations performed in the U.S., which has nine times Canada's population.

Feel free to frighten people about "Obamacare's assault on our Freedoms," but be so kind as to get your figures and facts straight.

Of course we all know that Canuckistan is the European Socialist Hell ne plus ultra. So there have to be some actual, real reasons for it.

Upon another notorious piece of federal law, Johnson muses:
I am really glad that we enacted the Patriot Act because I don't know how many Americans might have lost their lives or how many terrorist plots we wouldn't have foiled had it not been for the Patriot Act.
By the same token, Johnson presumably wouldn't have known either statistic if the Patriot Act hadn't been enacted. As a method of evaluating the efficacy of legislation, it's as innovative as insisting you don't get a knee replacement in Canada if you're over 50.

Incidentally, the Rutherford Institute's concern for the Fourth Amendment makes Russ Feingold look like Richard B. Cheney.

* Canadian Joint Replacement Registry Annual Report 06/16/09
That little-bit-of-Socialist-Hell registry, by the way, happens to be the envy of U.S. orthopedic surgeons from coast to coast.

How is Pat Robertson going to explain this

Enormous Jesus hit by lightning, destroyed.

June 14, 2010

Tea Party candidate repeals Amdmts I-XXVII

Hey, there's no Bill of Rights in Rick Barber's Constitution.

Both Adams and Washington were dead by 1808, so Rick Barber's séance must have taken place while "Importation of such Persons as any of the States [then] existing shall think proper to admit" was a matter untouchable by Congress. Is that what's making him so angry?

Neumann's contrivances "confusing enough"

A droll analysis from Jack Craver a.k.a. The Sconz.

Because Mark Neumann knows that when it comes to the easily confused, you got to hit 'em where it hits.

College Republican captured and released

NC legislator ensures alleged citizen's papers are in order

Why is WRtL salivating over Ron Johnson?

Because as One Wisconsin Now points out, Johnson's Republican foe Dave Westlake is the one with the "no exceptions" abortion position.

Dave Westlake knows there simply aren't enough victims of violent sexual assaults to justify their access to safe, legal medical care.

Call WRtL and tell them to stand up like James Dobson.

Earlier: Ron Johnson would allow abortions

Ron Johnson lectures the Pilgrims

Ron ... believes that freedom of religion doesn't mean freedom from religion.
— Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Ron Johnson
Why does he think the Mayflower sailed?

GOP bigwigs to Neumann: Stop your nonsense

Ex-supporter was for giving Neumann $10K
before he was for asking him to give it back

Walker backers caught with pants down
— reporter Dan Bice obtains the note
McCoshen, a lobbyist and former top aide to ex-Gov. Tommy Thompson, sent the note to dozens of prominent Republicans — mainly, his fellow Thompson acolytes — last week.
And apparently to at least one non-acolyte.

Xoff: Turncoat Klauser turns Walker hatchet man
Foto: Mark Neumann rallies the opposition Saturday
Also: Doyle and Obey's legacy includes a pantload of cash

June 13, 2010

Boehner's boot on BP's neck

TAPPER: The Democrats are pushing a bill to lift the liability. Right now, it's at $75 million. Democrats are pushing a bill to lift the liability cap. Do you support that?

BOEHNER: I believe that lifting the liability cap on BP and for this spill is appropriate. I have concerns ...

TAPPER: So lift it entirely for BP?

BOEHNER: Absolutely. They should be held responsible for every dime of this cost.
ABC: This Week.

Keep after that tort reform boyo. Of course the caps stay on against children who ate paint chips though, right? It was bad enough when the anti-government forces started demanding the government do everything — right this instant — except raise Lazarus again.

Apparently my figure was a little modest

DPW 2010 Convention:
Over the seven-hour broadcast, 21,225 unique viewers logged on ...

(@ReincePriebus still doesn't count though.)

Wisconsin Tea Party movement "swells"

According to the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.

It's "exploding in size," as it "flex[es] some muscles."

Wouldn't you need some numbers to support those claims? I can't locate any in this story, apart from the "80 tea party groups," many of which likely fit inside a breakfast nook. The Journal-Sentinel advises that "movement leaders [got] together this weekend" in Marshfield, but doesn't even bother to find out how many.

And this is some front page, above-the-fold stuff.

The story does contain one item of significance:
The Democrat seeking re-election in the Senate race, Russ Feingold, has cast votes against bank bailouts and the Patriot Act that match up with tea party views, his campaign says.

"We're going to fight for every voter in the state," said John Kraus, Feingold's senior campaign strategist. "We have a good record on many of the issues these folks care about."
Guns, too, their issue numero uno. I've been saying this for awhile.

Moreover, Russ Feingold has long been an independent critic of the U.S. conventional military response to global terrorism. As the Afghanistan mission continues to go south and the Tea Party cohort inevitably directs its ire against commander Obama's management, it may well be more sympathetic to Sen. Feingold's strategic proposals.

He ought to talk to them about that.

Russ Feingold certainly should court those voters, and can do so legitimately. Anybody who says Feingold is a straight liberal Democrat party-line politician either hasn't been paying attention or else is so brainwashed by AM radio bollocks they're barely worth speaking to.

There are a number of "Tea Party" candidates in Wisconsin (actually they're just Republicans counting on the "explosion" of supporters). I bet you never, ever heard of any of them, and probably never will.*

Face it, the impending demise of the two-party system is a fantasy.

In any event, Wisconsin Republicans want millionaires in Congress.

Plus ça change, ain'a?

* God bless 'em, though; they've got the courage and the convictions.

Russ Feingold on the Dick Morris candidate

"A regrettable but very candid answer."
Now, the Republican Party anointed Mr. Johnson at their convention even though their primary isn't until September 14 but ... let's talk about why Mr. Johnson is in the race. Don't ask me. Let's ask him.

On his maiden appearance in front of his political mentor Charlie Sykes, on the Charlie Sykes show [laughter], he was asked — he was asked! — what was clearly intended by Charlie as a softball question. Whoops.

Here's the question. From Charlie: 'Was there a moment when you were sitting on your couch and you go, "Maybe it's gonna be me, maybe I'm the guy that has to step forward and do this thing."'

Mr. Johnson replied, 'Y'know, there actually was. I was watchin' Fox News [laughter] and ... Dick Morris came on, who was talking about, "Hey, Russ Feingold's really vulnerable. Hey, if you're a rich guy in the State of Wisconsin, maybe you oughta decide to run!"' This is right out of the mouth of Mr. Johnson [laughter].

So it wasn't a voice from on high. Or something in a dream. Or some businessman telling him to run or some person who'd lost their job ... It was Dick Morris, for God's sakes [laughter, applause].
Preaching to the choir, obviously, but Ron Johnson's immediately stated inspiration is pretty ridiculous, one is forced to admit. He's since adjusted the circumstances of his epiphany to, 'Obamacare's assault on our Freedoms is the straw that broke the camel's back.'

Whatever that's supposed to mean.

Feingold's entire speech Friday evening is at WisPolitics here.

eta: And now on the YouTubes.

June 12, 2010

Democrats double GOP in convention attendance

Update: So what I looked at was off by a factor of ten. Close enough.

While the Wisconsin Republican Party may have induced a few more bodies out to attend its convention last month in downtown Milwaukee, Badger State Democrats easily attracted hundreds more by streaming their proceedings live to tech-savvy supporters online.

According to figures tabulated by the DPW convention video provider USTREAM.tv, almost 2300 attended the virtual convention, in addition to the 1100 or so who made it over on the rainy, muggy weekend to a Marriott Hotel in Middleton, northwest of the Capitol.

In sum, the Democrats doubled the Republican attendance, 3400 against 1700. Sources said that during popular Milwaukee mayor and candidate for governor Tom Barrett's rousing speech this morning, 1700 online viewers joined about a thousand in-person celebrants.

[eta: Turns out it was more like 15,172 online viewers. Thus are there even fewer people with actual lives than hitherto imagined.]

However, at least two suspicious interlopers were discovered, one identified by his Twitter account as @ReincePreibus and who officials said should in all fairness be removed from the grand total.

"Troll alert," a Tweet had warned, as if sensing malevolence.

The status of the other was less clear. Mark Neumann, one of a pair of declared Republican gubernatorial hopefuls, showed up outside the Marriott surrounded by enthusiastic supporters waving Barrett signs.

At press enter time there were unconfirmed rumors the purpose of Neumann's pilgrimage was to re-gift disgruntled former benefactor James Klauser's ten thousand dollars to the Tom Barrett campaign.

Yet a number of bipartisan reports suggested that Neumann had recently been beating up another Republican and Barrett rival, Scott Walker, so hard that Neumann's $10K donation to the Barrett For Governor campaign would be seen as "largely symbolic."

Another wag quipped that Neumann was probably just lost.

Steve Kagen goes Godwin

Waxing a wee bit hyperbolic at the DPW convention:
We must never forget that four years ago, when our children and our jobs and our families' health and our national economy were being destroyed — being destroyed by policies that rewarded wealth rather than work — it was these Republican policies that drove our economy into the ditch. It was the Republican policies that destroyed 8-1/2 million jobs. Destroyed 8-1/2 million jobs. It's not an easy task.

One of my friends put it this way: What George Bush has done singlehandedly, the Germans and Japanese together in World War Two couldn't do it together.
— Rep. Steve Kagen, 06/11/10
That seems a little much.

On a brighter note, Tammy Baldwin won the intro musics:
Staples — I'll Take You There
More Staples (and friends): The Weight

June 11, 2010

DeMint likely to escape anti-incumbent rage

"I have the same answers for the same questions."

Shepard Smith: Hmm.

Conservatives condemn ploy to recuse judge

Only kidding! (Cf. Same shoe + Different foot = Melodrama.)

Ron Johnson faces down existential crisis

GOP, philosophically, must ipso facto not be Tea.

'E 'ad an accident.

Sensenbrenner angry he didn't sell BP in April

When his 3,604 shares in the firm were worth $60 apiece.

British Petroleum stock began its steady decline on April 23, three days after a semi-submersible oil rig exploded 40 miles offshore from Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico, killing 11 crew members. The rig sank in 5,000 feet of water, where conservative Republicans said BP was "forced" in 2008 when the Bush administration solicited cut-rate royalty bids on the property, known as Mississippi Canyon Block 252.

You know the rest.

"BP notes the fall in its share price in US trading last night [June 9]. The company is not aware of any reason which justifies this share price movement," said a flack. BP PLC closed up more than 12% yesterday following F. James Sensenbrenner's devastating blog, which details an extensive list of proactive solutions to the present crisis as well as engineering and regulatory tips for preventing future ones.*

F. James Sensenbrenner has served for several years on the House Committee on Science and Technology, which supposedly oversees federal energy policy and specifically as it relates to the environment.

And we already know how Sensenbrenner is all about the science.

Portfolio in a jackpot? You were a person-in-charge there, buddy.

See also: F. James Sensenbrenner, Congressman of No
And: Who stands to profit from pro-oil industry legislation
eta: Sensenbrenner tantrum transparent even to the press (h/t Xoff)

* Seriously, Tony Hayward is an oil executive, whose ultimate duty is to his shareholders (like Sensenbrenner with his unproductive tirade). President Obama is rightly far less interested in what he has to say under the circumstances than BP's construction superintendents and engineers in the field who are actually performing the work.

It's like when your toilet breaks, you don't call Herb Kohler.

In an instance of genuine national catastrophe, it's troubling that instead of rallying behind the president, a certain cohort can offer nothing except tearing him down, and on the flimsiest of pretense.

June 10, 2010

Empirical evidence for God mounts

Celibacy joins flowers, stars, and the Bible on growing list of proofs:
The pope acknowledged [sarcastically?] that celibacy was itself "a great scandal" in a world where people have no need for God. But he called it "a great sign of faith, of the presence of God in the world."
That's a new one. Fortunately celibacy's opposite number made it possible for Mr. Ratzinger (b. 1927) to expound this latest claim.

Yet in Reformation theology, God encourages relentless copulation. According to Der Pabst, His presence is simply not made manifest on those fleshly occasions, in spite of the impassioned cries out to Him.

He'll be back when you people quit rutting.

Neumann shooting deer at 13, Walker at 56

I'll sit out the general election if Mark Neumann is the nominee [for Wisconsin governor]. The Dems have to be loving this.* Get it through your thick skull, Mark. You're not going to be the nominee. If this is what your campaign is going to be all about, stop wasting your money and just GO AWAY.
Rock 'Em Sock 'Em Republicans

Better: "Aghast" Neumann donor wants his ten grand back

* Lisa Kaiser is.

Hannity stroked, ring kissed

Barbara Boxer's hairdo still waiting impatiently
GOP Senate candidate Carly Fiorina apologizes
for implying Fox "News" host has any credibility

Nudge nudge Wink wink

Lawyer wasn't brains behind operationblogged Dogged

In new ad, Johnson complies with OSHA regs

Observes The Chief.

And Dave Umhoefer explains Johnson's point (it's "jobs").

Dog returns to vomit

Novelist Glenn Beck fleeces the Left Behind crowd some more

Ron Johnson's foreign policy facts and stuff

Last week Oshkosh, WI Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Ron Johnson told Hot Air radio's "Cap'n" Ed Morrissey:
I'm totally sympathetic with Israel's plight, I'm totally sympathetic with the fact that that is a country that is just under daily assault. ... I'm a little concerned of how this thing seems to be sort of a set-up incident. Um, y'know, so I mean obviously it's a tragedy that these people were killed and stuff, but y'know it just really seems like part of a planned provocation which was, uh, just unfortunate. I'm a little disturbed that the, uh, boarding of the ships took place on international water so, again, I don't have all the facts and stuff to, to y'know come to the total judgment on the thing but again I totally defend Israel's right to defend itself.
"It smells to me, quite honestly," concluded Johnson.

That it does:
McClatchy obtained an Israeli government document that describes the blockade not as a security measure but as "economic warfare" against the Islamist group Hamas, which rules the Palestinian territory.

Last week, after Israeli commandos killed nine volunteers [including one natural born U.S. citizen; a former U.S. Marine and Gulf War veteran was beaten] on a Turkish-organized Gaza aid flotilla [delivering electric wheelchairs and a Pikachu backpack], Israel again said its aim was to stop the flow of terrorist arms into Gaza.

However, in response to a lawsuit by Gisha, an Israeli human rights group, the Israeli government explained the blockade as an exercise of the right of economic warfare.

The Israeli government took an additional step Wednesday and said the economic warfare is intended to achieve a political goal. A government spokesman, who couldn't be named as a matter of policy, told McClatchy that authorities will continue to ease the blockade but "could not lift the embargo altogether as long as Hamas remains in control" of Gaza.
Gaza blockade isn't about security

We don't much care for Hamas but it was democratically elected.

And they spilled their saliva on the ground

Wisconsin Right to Life is "salivating" (Blech) over Tea/Fox News/Republican candidate Ron Johnson. But why? Johnson supports abortion rights. Johnson's Republican rival, Dave Westlake, does not:
I believe that all human life is precious and is a blessing from the Lord. We are not the arbiters of when natural death occurs, and therefore I do not support abortion.
No "true life" exceptions for he.

June 9, 2010

Sensenbrenner's swivel-eyed maniac again

Last month Wisconsin Rep. F. James Sensenbrenner (R-Allen Edmonds) ranking-membered a House subcommittee hearing on the Earth's climate. The Democrats on the panel produced experts in atmospheric science, oceanography, biology, and dendrochronology.

Sensenbrenner produced this twit.

Read the correspondence and then follow the links to John Abraham's thoroughgoing taking-apart of "Lord" Monckton. Monckton is cited approvingly by a wide range of conservative Republican observers,* including the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's ridiculous Patrick McIlheran. And of course F. James Sensenbrenner, for whom one almost feels sorry, for taking the pompous charlatan seriously.

Watching John Abraham's entire presentation requires a substantial investment in time and concentration. Because it's a vastly complicated subject and relies on a lot of interdisciplinary science and mathematics, so it can get pretty hairy.

Which makes it all the more preposterous when Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Ron Johnson dismisses it all with an absolutist hand wave. Now that is an extremist.

* To the extent that a "wide range" of conservative Republican views is available. See, e.g., the Shunning of David Frum.