Thursday, October 30, 2008

Good for the gander, good for the goose

Patrick McIlheran is shocked, shocked! that Sheldon Wasserman doesn't wear a big D on his chest as he goes door to door in his North Shore State Senate district, looking for votes.

Paddy Mac makes it sound like there's something unusual about that.

But if Paddy would take his head out of wherever he's had it lately, he'd discover that just about no candidates -- even for President -- advertise their political affiliation, unless they're running in a primary.

If you're someone who's going to vote for an R or a D because the candidate is an R or a D, you'll find their parties conveniently on the ballot on Election Day.

Meanwhile, one has to wonder whether Paddy has subjected Alberta Darling, Wasserman's opponent, to the same scrutiny.

In a year where Democrats seem poised to ride Obama's coattails, many Republicans running for the legislature are managing to mention even (gasp!) Gov. Jim Doyle in a positive way and brag about working with Democrats. A case in point, from the Capital Times:
Assemblyman Brett Davis touts work with Democratic governor

New radio advertisements for Republican Assemblyman Brett Davis, who is in a tight race for re-election in a Madison area district that is likely to vote overwhelmingly for Democratic presidential nominee Obama, attempt to dull the edges of his party affiliation. How so? They repeatedly mention how Davis has worked with Gov. Jim Doyle, the Democrat Republicans love to hate.

The town of Oregon legislator, who represents the 80th Assembly District (His website), has scrubbed references to his Republican roots from his campaign against Democrat John Waelti, a retired agricultural economics professor with a Swiss name in a district where a lot of the swing voters live in and around New Glarus. From here on out for Davis, it's all "independence," "independent" and "working with Doyle."

The Davis strategy is a smart one, as he will need ticket splitting to win a substantial number of voters who have cast ballots for Obama and popular Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin to switch over the Republican side of the ballot when they get to the Assembly contest.

Watch for more Republicans to be singing the praises of Obama and Doyle if McCain stops campaigning in the state.
Davis, by the way, votes the party line in the Assembly 97% of the time.

Wanna bet whether you'll find the word Republican on any Darling signs, literature or TV spots?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

National Charlie Sykes Appreciation Day

I know that Halloween might have been more appropriate, since it appears that Sykes now believes his sole purpose in life is to tell stories, trying to scare people to death, or at least to his way of thinking (and I use the word thinking loosely).

Sykes does love to rant and rave and distort, doesn't he? Just last week, he was griping about the story of Palin's wardrobe, giving it an interesting spin. Chuckles was actually trying to justify the expenditure by saying Palin was poor, and needed the nice clothes to be presentable. Gee, I didn't know that $1.2 million was considered poor.

Anywho, there are many others out there that have also noticed the ridiculousness that is Sykes.

The prodigal Brawler notes that Sykes thinks that everyone that has lots of money did the old-fashioned way-they earned it. Yeah, just like Paris Hilton. Brawler's refutation can be found here.

Brawler then points out that Sykes is less than intellectually honest, unless Sykes is referring to Reagan as a Socialist.

Dan Cody, at Left on the Lake, has learned a lot from talk radio like Sykes' show. Like when to pay attention to polls, as well as why TV news is on the decline.

James Rowen noted that Sykes is already blaming the Obama presidency for the crashing stock market, even though the elections aren't until next week, and even when Obama wins, he won't be taking office until January. Obama just might have some serious powers if he can travel back in time. I wonder if Sykes will give Obama credit for the big jump yesterday as well.

Jim McGuigan questions the judgment of Alberta Darling, who first used Mark Belling, and now Charlie Sykes, to do robocalls for her. As a commenter points out, who's next? James T. "Hit him where it hit" Harris? With people like Sykes endorsing her, no wonder she's feeling a little desperate.

So go out and celebrate Charlie Sykes Appreciation Day, and give someone a good scare.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Gableman just needs an editor

It's been some time since I had the dubious pleasure of reading any Jessica McBride "analysis," but was not terribly surprised to learn that not much has changed.

In her Waukesha Freeman column, we learn that the only problem with the slimy commercial Michael Gableman ran against Louis Butler in the Supreme Coirt race is that it was "poorly worded."

The commercial in question was more than poorly worded. It was purposely designed to make voters think that Butler had gotten a rapist freed on a technicality, and that the released rapist had then committed another rape.

That is not what happened. Butler indeed found a provision in the law -- a loophole if you will -- that convinced a judge the rapist should get a new trial. But that was overturned on appeal, and the criminal served his full sentence.

Years later, when he was released, he did indeed commit another crime. But it had nothing to do with Louis Butler.

Here's McBride's version:

Read the ad again: "Butler found a loophole. Mitchell went on to molest another child."

Could the ad have been worded more precisely? Yes. Does it imply that Mitchell molested another child BECAUSE Butler found a loophole? Arguably. But it doesn’t say that...
Nope, no foul play there. Just some bad wording.

McBride again:
You’d think state Supreme Court Justice Michael Gableman was the first candidate in state history to run a poorly worded campaign ad.
She's right about one thing. There's a lot of that going around.

Just the other day I got a poorly worded, poorly designed piece of mail from the Republican Party of Wisconsin that would leave the average person with the impression that Barack Obama worked with terrorists to bomb the US Capitol and kill some Americans.

Poorly worded, indeed. Surely McCain and the GOP didn't mean to imply that.

But I guess I will have to yield to McBride on this subject, since she clearly knows, firsthand, about how poorly worded commentary can get you into trouble. She wrote the book.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Where A Liar Tells The Truth

It's nice to see that the therapy seems to be working, and even though he can't seem to stop telling lies, at least he is now admitting that he is lying.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

McIlheran Beats Same Broken War Drum

In today's version of what's left of the newspaper, McIlheran has a column trying to argue that McCain was right about the Iraq War.

Unfortunately for PaddyMac, but not surprisingly, his whole argument is based on false premises.

He repeatedly states that the Iraq War was solely about deposing Saddam from power. Nothing could be further from the truth. But to admit to the truth would be against PaddyMac's very own nature.

But there are some real doozies in Paddy's column, that almost defy belief that someone would have the audacity to write something like this and actually put their name to it. For example (emphasis mine):
Osama bin Laden did. In 2001, he said how inspiring our failure in Somalia was: "We found they had no power worthy of mention," he told al-Jazeera. Obama likes to point out that al-Qaida wasn't in Iraq until we overthrew Hussein. But that is irrelevant now: The question is whether, once they've arrived, the U.S. skedaddles.

Ol' Paddy says that it's now irrelevant that Bush, and his squawking followers, lied to get us in an unjust war? He says that one of their main talking points, of having to fight al Qaeda, is now not important? That the truth doesn't matter anymore? Well, I'm sure in Patrick's world, it never has mattered much.

But the real kicker is at the end of Paddy's tour of untruths:
The question, then, will not be whether to start a war, and the president won't get to make it in the consequence-free circumstances of the Illinois legislature. The question will be how the war will end.

Sorry, Paddy, but whether to start a war matters a helluva lot more. Statesmanship and diplomacy can be used to avert another unnecessary and unjust war. These are skills that McCain is woefully devoid of. Preventing a false war also eliminates altogether worrying about trying to interpret who won the war, as that it never happened.

I guess that McIlheran just couldn't figure it out for himself. He's too busy beating his broken drum.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Who Are You Going To Believe?

On November 4th, one of the many important issues that voters will be deciding on will be an advisory referendum regarding an increase in the sales tax in Milwaukee County. The sales tax, if it would succeed, would still need to be passed by the County Board and the State Legislature and Governor Doyle.

However, having people speak out and say, "Why, yes, we want to save our transit system, our parks, our economic viability and our quality of life!" would be a major blow to Walker's single plank platform in his perpetual run for governor. He is desperately trying to prevent it at all costs, even using County resources to do his politicking.

As you can imagine, the local right wing squawkers, who sole job is to promote Republicans and Republican objectives are on the attack, spreading their lies, their smears and their smokescreens in hopes to distract, misinform and scare off any potential resort. It is not unlike the way they are trying to belittle Senator Barack Obama anyway they can, in order to gain some, any momentum for McCain's disastrous plans for this country.

Walker and his squawking allies, namely Charlie Sykes and Jay Weber would tell you all sorts of garbage, including that there will be no tax relief because the last time this happened, taxes went up ten years later. They will tell you that Milwaukee County will become a tax island, even though Milwaukee's taxes are already higher than that of surrounding counties, and businesses are doing just fine in Milwaukee.

They are full of so much rot.

Their arguments hold no water, and are just playing to people's fears. I've been saying this for over a year now.

But if you don't want to believe me, that's cool. I would offer up a study that was just reported in yesterday's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. The report is from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee's Center for Economic Development and reads in part:
Transit access to jobs could become much worse in 2010, the report says. The Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission and the Public Policy Forum have warned that, without new state or local funding, the Milwaukee County bus system could be forced to cut service by 35%, wiping out all Freeway Flyer routes and most night, weekend and suburban service.

If that happens, only 45% of the region's employers would be within a quarter-mile of a bus stop, leaving at least 101,066 jobs that couldn't be easily reached by public transit, the report says."Such an outcome would be disastrous for the regional economy," the report says. Even if the people most directly affected are those who depend on buses, "studies show that regions as a whole may suffer when their central cities fall into decline."

Rast agrees with other studies that called for taking public transit off the property tax levy and out of competition with other levy-funded services. Of 17 comparable metro areas, 12 fund their transit systems at least partly with local sales taxes and Milwaukee is the only one that uses property taxes, he wrote.

In recommending a sales tax, Rast said property taxes should be cut by the amount now used for transit. MMAC agrees, Beitzel said.

And if the gentle reader scoffs at this report, saying that the source is just "liberal elite academia types", that's OK. I would then present a study from the non-partisan Milwaukee Public Policy Forum, headed by former top Walker aid, Rob Henken. MPPF issued their own recommendations almost six months ago:
But the vehicle fee, also known as a "wheel tax," would be only a short-term measure to hold the bus system together until state and local officials can agree on a longer-term solution, such as a local sales tax, local gas tax or major increase in state funding, the nonpartisan research organization says.

And if county officials don't pursue any of those options and keep patching transit budget holes one year at a time, they soon will be forced to eliminate all Freeway Flyer routes and nearly all night, weekend and suburban service, the report warns. That would leave "a transit system that is a shell of its former self," the report says.

Such service cuts could slice into the regional economy because 75% of bus riders have few if any other transportation options, 52% don't even have driver's licenses and 43% ride buses to work, the report adds.

And if that still was not enough, there is always the findings of Thomas Rubin, a conservative mass transit expert:
Cutting fares and restoring slashed service could be key strategies for rescuing the financially troubled Milwaukee County Transit System, a nationally known transit consultant told the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Transit Authority on Monday.

And in a turnabout from his usual positions, California-based consultant Thomas Rubin recommended serious study of a transit sales tax and of a Milwaukee-to-Kenosha commuter rail line, although he stopped short of endorsing either option.

Rubin is an unlikely figure in the regional transit debate — a prominent rail transit critic backed by two conservative think tanks, hired by pro-transit business leaders to help break a longstanding stalemate on transit funding.

Although Rubin is the former chief financial officer of the Southern California Rapid Transit District, he is best known for studies that oppose light rail and commuter trains and promote public buses in Los Angeles and elsewhere. His Milwaukee-area study is being coordinated through the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute and the Reason Foundation, a Libertarian-leaning organization based in California.


Rubin agreed with reports from the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission and the Public Policy Forum that praised the Milwaukee County bus system’s cost-effective management, but that found major ridership losses resulted from fare increases and service cuts since 2000. He also agreed with those reports’ warnings of a 35% service cut by 2010 without new state or local funding — a cut that would wipe out all Freeway Flyers and most night, weekend and suburban service.

But Rubin said ridership could double in five years if county officials restore the service that has been cut and lower the fares. Phasing in that approach, with service restorations first and fare cuts later, would cater to “a huge unmet demand” for transit service that is growing as gas prices rise, he said.

So my friends, the question is who are you going to believe? A college drop out whose sole motivation factor is getting to the governor's office, and his radio squawker buddies, whose sole purpose in life is to promote people like Walker? Or educated professional that have given time and effort in making a thorough study, with their only interest in promoting Milwaukee County and making it the best place it can be?

My money goes with the experts. For further factual information that Walker and the squawkers don't want you to know, please check out the Quality of Life Alliance's website.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Now My Hair Hurts

Yesterday, I belatedly posted a comment by Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn. His comment was about the absurdity of talk radio.

In what I'm sure is pure coincidence (*wink, wink*), Kevin Fischer posts on the same subject.

But Fischer, who is infamous for his copying entire articles, fails to manage copying the entire quote.

Then to add to his folly, Fischer includes this tough guy bit of posturing:
Chief, people pay high taxes around here and expect something in return,
including safe streets. You were hired to arrest bad guys and reduce crime. You
do that, and maybe your hair won’t feel so bad.

Well, golly gee, Fischer sure told him. But someone should tell Fischer that under Flynn's watch the murder rate is lower than it has been in two decades.

But what can one expect from a guy who makes his living on tax payer dollars, but abuses the state's vacation policy and may be blogging on the tax payer's dime.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mr. Take-It-To-Him Can't Take It Taken To Him

James T. Harris, who begged and pleaded for John McCain to ensure his failure on November 4th, had it taken to him during a live appearance on CNN. Harris, who prides himself on his tough guy image, belies that false front by storming off like a tantruming child when called out on his shilling for McCain. Courtesy of Dan Cody, here is the video:

Tim Cuprisin has the transcript of the tantrum on his blogsite.

I would have thought that a guy as tough as Harris wouldn't have a glass ego.

It Makes My Hair Hurt

As reported in the All Politics blog at JSOnline and in Tim Cuprisin's column in today's paper:

"For the last 20 years, there's been a pervasive and persistent disinvestment in
government's ability to provide services. We're pitting cops against firefighters and libraries against after-school (programs). We've gone from 'no taxation without representation' to 'no taxation.' ... I don't even listen to AM radio any more. It makes my hair hurt." -- Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn, at a hearing on his 2009 budget, responding to a question from Ald. Nik Kovac on whether cutting funds for libraries and other quality-of-life services would ultimately lead to more work for police.

That is one smart man.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Irony Isn't Dead, After All

Breaking News: Local man who gets paid to sit on his tail and do nothing but talk calls for an uprising against the unproductive.

Working men and women everywhere squirt milk through their noses thinking about Charlie "producing" anything but a funny smell.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fred V. Keller : "Michelle Obama is a C***."

Remember the outrage from some on the right when illyT made reference to Jessica McBride in a rather unflattering way? I sure do, and I'd love to know if those same folks will now gnash their teeth and express their outrage at one of their own, former FranklinNOW blogger Fred V. Keller. In response to a photo of four individuals wearing shirts that used the "C" word in reference to Sarah Palin, Fred said:

Two things immediately popped into my head when I saw this picture:

1. Hey, look, these four Mensa members misspelled Michelle Obama.
2. So, what does this make Joe Biden?

Of course I questioned Fred on whether he was implying Michelle Obama was a "C," and Fred's response went a little something like this:
Actually, Zach, you're correct, I am implying Michelle Obama is a cunt. There are times when I won't "turn the other cheek," and this is one of those times. This is beyond the pale.

I know I'm outraged, because that kind of rhetoric should never be acceptable, and I'm wondering if those same folks who were so quick to attack illyT will now condemn Fred Keller as well.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Fischer Needs Some Schoolin'

Fischer, following in the meme of the RNC's squawking points, is just surely looking out for the taxpayer when he whines about an event being held at MATC. The event's theme, per Fischer's own blogpost, is "Learn how the political system works and take part in your civic responsibility."

Of course, being the big celebrity he is, he doesn't have time to worry about actual political grandstanding at local high schools.

And for the record, I think it is fine that a candidate appears at a school, as long as the candidate's campaign pays for the security and other costs that would not have occurred otherwise.

Friday, October 10, 2008

James T. Harris begs McCain to get in the gutter—Sykes sheds tears of unrepentant joy

Right now, the brilliant minds at the 620-WTMJ promotions department must be operating on all cylinders to suck as much cheap publicity out of James T. Harris’15 seconds in the national spotlight as they possibly can.

They’ve already managed to squeeze another day out of it by implying that Harris is a victim of an orchestrated “hate campaign” from the left. There hasn’t been a bandwagon yet that Charlie Sykes wouldn’t pounce on, so he musters up even more rhetorical excess than usual in asking, “What Was James T. Harris's Crime?

Well, since you asked, how about insisting that we elect a president based on a campaign of cheap shots, innuendo, distortions, and lies? How about demanding that political campaigns pander even more to the country’s lowest common denominator? How about contributing to an increasingly violent atmosphere at GOP rallies?

It’s safe to assume that Sykes, our resident highwayman of the low political road, probably doesn’t consider any of the above to be a crime.

What’s rather remarkable about all this bluster from Harris, Sykes, and the increasingly unhinged GOP base is that John McCain seems to be rejecting their begging to “hit Obama where it hits.” In their rush to crow about Harris’ performance, they seem to have completely overlooked McCain’s response. In the video clip, McCain makes it quite clear that he’d rather talk about the sorry state of the American economy. The audience, who cheered for Harris, barely peeps when their candidate for president finishes.

Watch it:

This pent-up yearning for more aggressive attacks, fanned by radio squawkers like Harris and Sykes, is starting to result in the McCain campaign losing any semblance of control over their audiences. At a town hall meeting in Minnesota today, McCain was booed after referring to Obama as a “decent person.”

Harris and Sykes must be so proud.


As a postscript, how exactly did James T. Harris get his place at the front of the stage? Was he planted there by the McCain campaign?

Freedom Eden reprinted a transcript from today’s Charlie Sykes show:

SYKES: Were you [an audience plant]?


SYKES: I know that. I just want to give you a chance...

HARRIS: You know, I talked to, I think it's Cameron at FOX. And he really grilled me on this because he said he didn't want any blowback. And I can understand where people are coming from. There were only like about 3 or 4 Americans of African descent in the audience. What people don't know is that I have done presentations for the Republican Party in Waukesha. I have a lot of friends in the party there and politicians and I called the office and asked for tickets.

So... And I knew that, you know, that I was, you know, a minority. And I am in the camp but I am a conservative so they would give, I'd be put in a prominent position. I had no idea I'd be that close to the stage.

And since I was there, I decided, 'You know what? I am going to ask this question,' because this really is on my heart and on my mind, and I want to at least put it out there that I'm fighting like he asked and I want him to fight to. And that's how it came about. There was no... I wasn't plucked by the McCain campaign. I've been accused of that. Lord have mercy, I've... people are saying that I got paid by the John..., by the McCain... I wish! I would love...!

Uh, huh. Okay. Anyway, just yesterday, before Harris went all viral, Freedom Eden reported:

James T. Harris, 620 WTMJ talk radio host, was in line a few hundred people behind me.

He wasn't there for long. James was picked out of the line and ushered to another entrance and given a great seat in the hall.

He even got the opportunity to ask a question at the town hall meeting.

Some guys have all the luck.

All the luck, eh? Well, I guess that’s one way to describe it.

Cross posted at Pundit Nation.

Thursday, October 9, 2008


I didn't know this about Hannity and Cheney before today. But it does my heart good to know that every time someone Googles his name and that act, the authority who posted it on the Intertubes will turn out to be Charlie.

Just Ewwww!

This was just too good to pass up even though it's a little outside the purview of Whallah!

Ed Morrissey of Hot Air has some credibility with the target demographic of some of the Milsquawkers, though God only knows why. This morning he commited the headline enshrined below. Let us all be thankful it does not mean what it says.
McCain and "full-frontal" do not belong in the same sentence.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Another Pickle For Charlie

Sykes just loves to rip on the City of Milwaukee, Mayor Tom Barrett and the city's common council for raising fees. He always screeches about how it's another tax on the already overburdened tax payer.

Fair enough.

Sykes also loves to tear into the Milwaukee County Board, while praising Scott Walker for being such a "fiscal conservative." (I know, I know, I had as hard a time writing that as you did reading it.)

That is probably why Charlie has to wear so much hairspray. When stuff like the County Board criticizing Walker for raising fees, the hairspray is the only thing that keeps his head from imploding.

A Pickle For Charlie

Charlie Sykes loves big business. It doesn't matter what the business is, oil, pharma, weapons manufacturing, just as long as it's big.

Charlie Sykes also hates letting minorities and elderly people vote. That is why he is always having faux outrage about Voter ID and ACORN.

Now Charlie Sykes is in a pickle. It appears that big business, Aurora Health Care, is holding voter registration drives.

I wonder if his head will explode. I hope not.

Hairspray all over could create quite the mess.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Probably Just A Coincidence

The Kevster shows his thin skin over at his alpha blog for calling yours truly a hater just because I wondered if I could get the same sweet deal on Journal Communications ad space as Kev's cuz.

Oh, Kevin. You should understand that we don't hate you. We'd have to care about you before that. You are just a noisy annoyance on the Milwaukee scene and we enjoy pointing that out to folks.

I did think it was cute, though, that this cartoon was posted next to Kev's at his Beta blog this morning. The post will sink on the front page and the cartoon will change tomorrow. But at least we had the one day of concurrence on Kev's column.

Playing The Race Deck

Charlie Sykes and his cronies often would say that when Obama won the Democratic nomination, that racism no longer existed. What a load of crap.

The burly Brawler notes that Sykes himself did some race baiting regarding tax policies and the current economic collapse.

And of course, we have already seen racist buttons, shirts and waffle boxes.

Both Zach and Other Side tell us of a teacher in Florida that makes up a vile distortion of Obama's slogan of "Change" into a overtly racist acronym that uses the "N" word, and only gets a slap on the wrist.

Another joker in Florida (what is with Florida?) that puts up a racist sign in his yard claiming that Obama is a "half-breed Muslin" [sec]. (I don't know if he thought Obama was half man and half a bolt of cloth, but if he was, I'd bet Rachel Ray would wear it as a scarf so that Michelle Malkin could have another hissy fit.) In the body of the article, they interview the clown and you can see just how ignorant some people's attitudes can truly be.

And to put the lipstick on the whole shebang, Sarah Palin is going around using racially tinged phrases to attack Obama. But that is not too surprising, considering how Palin mistreats the Native Americans in her own state. She has a history of being dismissive to minorities.

Instead of playing a race card, the right wing is playing the whole damn deck. The scary part is that they are doing this even though not a single one of them is actually playing with a full deck.

What Is The Color Of The Sky On His Planet?

On Friday, Charlie was crowing on his show on how Palin won the VP debate. He even put up a blog post on it, citing a handful of people with no pride that stood up for her. He continued his spewing of misinformation on Sunday's Incite.

Too bad for him that the majority of the nation is smarter than that, and declared Biden to be the clear winner.

In related matters, the mighty folkbum has a treatise correcting Rick Esenberg, another inhabitant of that alternate universe.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Just Cuz I'm Curious

How much does Journal Communications charge Kev when he runs an ad for his cousin's business on the Franklin NOW site? Can we all get the same rates?