Monday, May 31, 2010


I say this every year, but it bears repeating. Before you fire up the grill, go on the picnic, catch a movie, run down to the beach, or whatever your plans might be, remember what this day is for, and reflect for a moment, even say a prayer, if you're of that persuasion.

All gave some, some gave all.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Put A Bib On That Man!

Illy-T takes Paddy Mac to school with a crash course in reading comprehension:

The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel's award-winning calumnist Patrick McIlheran complains that Leonard Pitts doesn't blame Democrats enough for their opposition to the Civil Rights Act of 1964:
[B]ack when King actually was marching, it wasn't political conservatives hating on him. It was Robert Byrd (D-W.V.), an ex-Klansman and the only current member of the Senate to have voted against the Civil Rights Act. And it was, by and large, Democrats who opposed the bill and civil rights.
In fact it was southern political conservatives of both parties, including Byrd, which Leonard Pitts clearly acknowledges:
[I]n the century after the Civil War, ... conservative Southern Democrats violently repressed would-be black voters, made a shadow government of the Ku Klux Klan, turned a deaf ear to the howling of lynch mobs and lynch victims.
You'd expect a journalist of McIlheran's stature could calculate that those 100 years extended even beyond the CRA's enactment.

Best line though is this one:
*** Pitts is black, by the way; McIlheran is the oppressed white man.

Sykes And His Crony Watch

While driving around our fair community this morning, I caught a wee bit of Charlie Sykes' show this morning. What I heard almost made me lose control of my vehicle, I was so stricken by his total and complete cluelessness.

Sykes said that he was doing something new, which he was calling Crony Watch, or some silly thing.

In today's installment, he was already doing a lot of stretching of the truth and of basic logic, as he tried to claim that Tom Barrett put State Representative Colon on the MMSD Commission as some kind of political favor.

I don't see how that is doing him any favors, but in Sykes' fevered mind, it was.

But the high hypocrisy comes in when one remembers that Sykes is Scott Walker's number one water carrier. Walker is the perfect example of cronyism.

Cory Liebmann pointed out a lot of examples of Walker appointing cronies to cushy county jobs:

Consider some of the following:

  • Jim Villa worked for Walker's campaigns bouncing between them and taxpayer financed county jobs.
  • Robert Dennik, a former lobbyist and Walker campaign manager was appointed as head of the now nonexistent Milwaukee County Division of Economic and Community Development. Let's just say that his time there didn't go so well for him or for Milwaukee County.
  • Tim Russell has repeatedly bounced back and forth between Walker campaigns and taxpayer funded positions (including a recent promotion). At one point he even took over the train wreck that was the Economic Development job (with not much more success).
  • Walker wanted to give a county job to Chuck Grapentine even though he didn't even want to move to Milwaukee County. Chuck is the father of a former Walker aide.
  • Cynthia Archer was appointed as head of Administrative Services in 2007. She was previously a top administrator for Walker's former Republican colleague in the State Assembly, Carol Kelso.
  • David Bradley Carr had not been out of law school very long before Walker replaced a veteran member of the Ethics Board with him. It was reported at the time that a partner at a law firm suggested Carr to Walker. Several partners and members of that same law firm have also been big campaign contributors to Walker. But I'm sure that had nothing to do with it.

Then there is Darlene Wink. Wink just so happens to be the Co-Vice Chair of the Milwaukee County Republicans and was Walker's Director of Constituency Services. That is until she got caught politicking on county time. That then opened up a whole can of worms for Walker to deal with as he is simultaneously driving his campaign and Milwaukee County into the ground.

One would think that Sykes would go after safer areas to play attack dog for his masters, but then again, Sykes doesn't get paid to be honest about such things.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

A Teabagger's Happiest/Saddest Occassion

So the people in Hawaii elected their first Republican Senator in a long, long time.

Now the poor teabaggers don't know if they should cheer that a Republican won in President Obama's home state or if they should bitterly cling onto their birther conspiracy theory.

I imagine that Tom McMahon will find a way to do both.

Monday, May 24, 2010

County Executive Who?

PaddyMac is putting out what I'm sure he considers witty comments, by saying that even though it took years for the Bush/Cheney economic meltdown to occur, President Obama has no business pointing this out to the impatient conservatives, who want Obama to clean up their mess, and do it yesterday, or else they will tantrum.

But darn if I can't find Paddy's post saying that it is time for Walker to give up his "It's all Ament's fault" spiel. Especially since it's been eight years.

But I know Paddy's post needs to be there somewhere, lest someone would think Paddy to be a hypocritical dullard.

A Real Conviction Candidate

Leading up to this past weekend's Republicanfest, Charlie Sykes was already touting the wonderfulness of Ron Johnson, the millionaire out of Oshkosh who thinks that the US Senate seat held by Russ Feingold is something that can be bought, like a can of tuna or something.

Johnson, a teabagger through and through, was described by Sykes as a "conviction candidate." Today, Sykes was calling him a new face and symbolic of the new direction that Americans supposedly wants to go.

Sounds pretty rosy, right? But then there is this:

Mmm. Megarich, cranky, old white guy that will stop at nothing to win a race, even something as stupid as ripping down an opponent's campaign sign.

Sounds like a typical Republican to me.

Congratulations goes to Senator Feingold for winning another re-election.

But Complaining Is Free

PaddyMac tries one of his half-hearted attempts at taking a swing at Tom Barrett by saying that the squeaky wheel shouldn't get the grease, or something like that. (To be honest, his writing keeps making me sleepy.)

Anyway, I would think that is something the penny-miser Paddy would applaud. After all, complaining is free, whereas if you want Walker to do anything, you have to donate to his campaign fund to even get his attention, much less any services to him.

Sykes Gets A Lesson On The Stock Market

And James Rowen gives it to him:

But seriously - - here's today's lesson.

Charlie Sykes noted this morning that the Dow Jones was down - - which it was at that moment - - but he tried to tie it to the Senate last night passing Wall Street banking reform.

Charlie said when the government institutes new regulations, as with the health care bill, the market tanks.

Today the Dow Jones closed up 125 points.

Right now the market is volatile. It's up, it's down. And is influenced by a zillion real factors and probably even more that are synthetic, technical or just plain irrational.

Not everything is Obama's fault.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

The Kleefisch Law of Politics

It's hard to soar with the eagles when you take campaign advice from turkeys.

Lies Woodhouse Strikes Again

A faithful reader reminded me of yet another lie that Lies Woodhouse, aka Charlie Sykes, has been ranting on about. This particular lie was that Harley Davidson was having its problems due to the combined reporting tax law.

He would constantly try to blame Tom Barrett, the Mayor of Milwaukee, for this state law and would say that Barrett would not lift a finger to do anything about it.

Again, Sykes lies:

At a news conference in his City Hall office, Barrett, the likely Democratic nominee for governor, said he and his staff had talked to senior Harley executives, contacted Harley union leaders and discussed the issue with outgoing Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle and his aides.

In talks with Harley's top managers, however, Barrett said, "They have made it clear to us that they do not want this issue politicized." The executives did not ask about tax incentives to stay in Wisconsin, nor did they offer criticisms of the state's combined reporting tax rules, he said.

Instead, the Harley management team wants to work through the issue with employee unions, and Barrett called on management and labor to work together to keep the plants open.

Even Scott Walker throws his mouthpiece under the bus, again:
In a separate interview, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker partly agreed, saying, "Having talked with officials, it is pretty clear what they need right now is support, public support, so they can work on some of their internal costs."
How anyone can believe this pathological liar, who would lie to even his own family, is beyond me.

But It Looked Good On Paper

Charlie Sykes has spent weeks going on and on and on about the racial profiling law passed in Arizona. The meme has been the usual "but they didn't read it" line of garbage.

Like when you look at the roster of a sports team, what looks good on paper, and those in charge say that it is good, the reality is often very different.

To find out how the law is really working, you need to talk to those that actually have to enforce it. All of a sudden, you might find that the law isn't what it would seem to be:

Today, Cuentame — a project of Brave New Films — posted a video interview with Phoenix police officer Paul Dobson’s reaction to Arizona’s new immigration law, SB-1070. Though the Phoenix Law Enforcement Association (the union representing Phoenix officers) “lobbied aggressively for the law,” not all of its members think it’s a good idea. In Cuentame’s video, Dobson expresses his own opposition to the law and how he believes it will affect his ability to fulfill his duties:

This [SB-1070] law will make me feel like a Nazi out there. [...] How I feel about SB-1070 is I have a great deal of contempt for it, I am very emotional about it. This law is pure and simple a racist law. It is focused on Latinos. I would not be able to show any discretion whatsoever under SB-1070. I am required to arrest that person and take them to jail. As a law enforcement officer I am required to serve and protect. Under SB-1070, I know that people will not call officers in case of a real emergency. [...] It violates our calling to serve and protect.

Of course, a police state for anyone who is not an older, white conservative is one of the main planks of any good conservative's platform, even if they were against it before they were for it.

Well, The Captain Smiles

A couple years ago, before her tumultuous fall from mediocrity to laughingstock, Jessica McBride wrote a story for Milwaukee Magazine in which she explored the spate of drownings in La Crosse, WI. Her article fed into the conspiracy theory that there was some "demonic gang" that was responsible for these deaths, leaving behind a calling card of a smiley face.

Common sense and consensus concurred that it was most likely a series of young men getting drunk and falling into the Mississippi River. That was again reinforced here in Milwaukee:
Man was drunk when he fell in
A 55-year-old man had to be rescued from the Kinnickinnic River early this morning.
According to witnesses, the man appeared to be intoxicated when he fell in at 4th and Becher.

Well, in fairness to McBride, the Captain does smile.

Battle of The Buzzing Blowhards

PaddyMac, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's residential National Review echo chamber, decided that he was going to use the argument that there is no such thing as global climate change because there is a drop in malaria:

You may have heard it breathed, in a voice edged with panic, that our warming world vast hordes of us shall die of malaria unleashed by the sweltering weather.

Leave aside the fact that the global-warming trend halted some years ago and that the "hockey stick" chart of uncontrolled head has been utterly debunked. Even if you posit that man is heating the atmosphere, reports the New York Times' Andrew Revkin, new research suggests that won't increase malaria at all.

Quite the opposite: The disease has been in retreat, researchers point out, even as temperatures rose over the past century.

This might prove to be an unfortunate point for Paddy to make, since his flies in the face (get it, mosquitoes - flies?) of one of his BFFs Daddio29, who has this to say (technocoloring his):

It was so effective that it eradicated the disease entirely in Europe, the U.S. and some island nations such as Taiwan. In the West, Malaria was defeated as an endemic disease more than 50 years ago. Now, though, it's a re-emergent disease of the poor, ravaging populations in South America, Asia and across sub-Saharan Africa. Spread by mosquitoes, malaria kills almost 1 million people a year and inflicts suffering on hundreds of millions more. But it didn't have to be this way.
Don't you just hate it when the neocons can't even figure out whether up is down or down is up?

All I know is with all the rain and hot weather, it's skeeter season. Time to put on the armor.

Friday, May 21, 2010

They Were Lying? Who'd Have Ever Guessed?

This morning, Charlie Sykes, mouthpiece for the Scott Walker perpetual gubernatorial campaign, was harping and harping and harping about the proposed increase in water rates, screaming about how it would drive MillerCoors out of the city because it would be too expensive.

When I heard him, he seemed a bit more on the histrionic side than usual, like he was trying to hard.

Now we know why. He was lying.


Julian Green, director of media relations for Miller Coors, today responded with an official statement, headlined, “MillerCoors Has No Intention of Ending Production at its Hometown Milwaukee Brewery.” Here is Green’s complete statement:
“The sensational statements and over-the-top media reporting of the last few days about the impact of the proposed Milwaukee water rate increase has blown this issue completely out of proportion. MillerCoors has no intention of ending production at our hometown Milwaukee Brewery, which is operating at historically high volume levels since the successful joint venture between Miller and Coors launched nearly two years ago. Like any good business, we constantly monitor our production costs across our facilities and seek efficiency and competitive advantage by spreading volumes optimally across our operations. While we are concerned about the proposed water utility rate increases, these costs are only part of a much bigger picture. We are only looking to lessen the financial impact to our Milwaukee operation due to the heavy volumes we utilize. We’ve been brewing great beer in Milwaukee for over 150 years with strong and continuous support from the leadership of The City of Milwaukee, Milwaukee County and State of Wisconsin. In fact, in response to the proposed water rate increase, the City of Milwaukee and Wisconsin State Legislature assisted us in passing SB651, which includes language to offset a portion of any potential future increase. We’d ask everyone to relax and enjoy one of our fine beers with the reassurance that we will be making beer in Miller Valley for many years to come.”
But then again. It should be no surprise that Sykes would lie to his audience. If a man can lie to his family, he can lie to anyone.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

McIlheran's anti-gay disorder

A letter in the Journal Sentinel needs no further comment:
Anti-gay comments appalling
In the time that I have lived in the Milwaukee area, I've been amazed by the frequency with which Journal Sentinel editorial columnist Patrick McIlheran attacks the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community in his printed columns and online blog posts.

It's almost reached the level of a compulsion - in the first five months of 2010 alone, I counted at least 14 separate occasions on which the LGBT community has come into McIlheran's crosshairs. I am absolutely appalled that the Journal Sentinel continues to allow him a public forum for his homophobic rantings.

If, rather than his belief in the "disorder" of a particular sexual orientation (which is not, as McIlheran flippantly refers to it, some kind of "preference"), he expressed in his columns the belief that, for example, women were created to be submissive and subservient to men, or that black people are inferior to white people, McIlheran would be roundly and justifiably condemned and his columns would in all likelihood be yanked from publication. But because homophobia is still an acceptable form of bigotry in large segments of society and certain religious traditions, he is given a free pass.

Homophobic diatribes like McIlheran's belong in the comments section of tea party blogs, not splashed all over the opinion pages and blog space of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

John Becker

Monday, May 17, 2010

Glen Beck Is Slinking Into Oblivion

Glenn beck is down by nearly half of his viewers, putting his show in jeopardy. This doesn't break my heart at all:

The root of the problem remains Glenn Beck himself. Beck fancies himself to be a political leader now, not an entertainer. On his radio show on April 20, Beck said, “When we were, and I’ve never told this story before, when we were starting the TV show, there were things that I did that I wouldn’t do now because I had to be more of an entertainer to get people to go what is this show at five o’clock? I never said anything I didn’t believe, but I may have said things in an entertaining fashion.” The problem is that viewers don’t seem to like the new serious Glenn Beck.

In reaction to the ratings drop, Beck has tried to spice things up by adding lots more God into his program in an effort to bring back the Evangelicals, and he started the gimmick Founders’ Friday which comes complete with a studio audience. Since Founders’ Friday led to his lowest numbers ever, I would say that it isn’t working. Beck has gone to the three Fox News G’s (God, Guns, and Gimmicks), and yet his audience continues to erode.

While Beck refuses to admit that he is losing viewers, Fox News is saddled with a program that generates no ad revenue, and sagging viewership totals. If Beck’s show starts pulling under the 2 million viewers a day Fox News averages on a consistent basis, changes will be made. Whether he wants to admit or not, Glenn Beck has a real problem here. His viewers are slowly eroding away. The Beck fad appears to be over, and what Fox News has left is redundant, repetitive, one trick pony of a host.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010


Eugene Kane, via Twitter:
Some people don't realize there have been US supreme court justices who have never been judges. Maybe FOX News forgot to tell them that?

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Throwing Themselves Under the Streetcar

Earlier this week, the Milwaukee Common Council gave the go ahead for the preliminary engineering on putting a streetcar route through downtown Milwaukee.

Needless to say, this got the usual suspects all riled up.

Charlie Sykes started ranting about it on the radio. PaddyMac said that Barrett "hated transit."

The echo chamber, such as Peter DiGaudio and Patrick Dorwin went on the attack.

Obviously, this was all an attempt to take a swipe at Tom Barrett, since their candidate of choice, Scott Walker, is plummeting like a rock in the polls.

Only problem is the same one that usually plagues these folks: Reality doesn't agree with them.

Milwaukee Alderman Robert Bauman issues a press release that shows that the streetcars are just as popular and cost effective as Walker's bus system:
Alderman Bauman, chair of the Common Council’s Public Works Committee and a longtime public transit advocate, said the 2008 data he received from the National Transit Database – the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA’s) primary national database for statistics on the transit industry – and 2009 data directly from the MCTS “clearly shows how the downtown streetcar system will measure up nicely in ridership” with MCTS Freeway Flyer and standard routes.

For instance, he said the 3.6-mile modern street car line is projected to generate daily ridership of 3,800 passengers, a ridership level which exceeds the ridership of all 11 MCTS Freeway Flyer routes and 12 of the 29 MCTS regular trunk routes. The shorter 2.05-mile street car route is projected to generate daily ridership of 1,800 passengers, or a ridership level which also exceeds all 11 Freeway Flyer routes and six of the 29 MCTS regular trunk routes.

When measured by Passengers per Bus Hour (“PBH”), a common industry measure of transit service effectiveness, Alderman Bauman said the Downtown Streetcar Circulator measures up even better. The 3.6-mile modern street car line would generate 51.24 passengers per bus hour. This level exceeds the MCTS system average of 40.33 PBH, far exceeds the PBH of all Freeway Flyer routes, and exceeds the PBH of 24 of the 29 MCTS regular trunk routes. Only MCTS routes 27, 62, 22 and 63 generate a greater PBH.

The streetcar line would generate more passengers per bus hour than the popular route 30 which generates PBH of 50.9, the alderman said.

The shorter 2.05-mile streetcar line would generate PBH of 38.2. This performance level exceeds the PBH of all 11 Freeway Flyer routes and exceeds the PBH of 18 of the 29 regular MCTS trunk routes, he said.

Another common industry measure of transit service effectiveness is “Passengers per Revenue Mile.” According to Alderman Bauman, by this measure, the modern streetcar line also compares well to current MCTS bus service. The 3.6-mile line is projected to generate 5.67 passengers per revenue mile and the 2.05-mile line is projected to generate 4.78 passengers per revenue mile. Both measures exceed the MCTS system average of 3.15 passengers per revenue mile.
I have a feeling those numbers are going to be even higher after the aftermath of Walker's incompetence is truly felt.

Monday, May 3, 2010

His Answer For Everything: Pain Pills

Rush Limbaugh, showing his usual lack of class, first puts the blame on the oil well collapse on "environmental whackos".

Then he claims that the oil spill should be just left alone, because it's as "natural as ocean water."

But when it comes to the endangered wildlife, he shows his willingness to share:

"You do survive these things. I'm not advocating don't care about it hitting the shore or coast and whatever you can do to keep it out of there is fine and dandy, but the ocean will take care of this on its own if it was left alone and was left out there," Limbaugh said. "It's natural. It's as natural as the ocean water is.

"Well, the turtles may take a hit for a while, but so what? So do we!" Limbaugh said. "Just give it a pain pill! Why not? That's what they had for us, and we don't even launch ourselves into the windshields of fire trucks."

Illy-T has a suggestion with a lot of promise.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Who's Behind "Voter Fraud"?

No, it's not ACORN. Mostly because they are no longer around.

But a story from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel which tells of a couple facing charges of voter fraud, we find the real culprits (emphasis ours):

But when he did the same thing in 2008, he said, there was no indication that he and his wife had voted absentee.

Owing to the steady chatter on talk radio about voter fraud that day, he said, they assumed the worst.

"We were convinced we had been disenfranchised," he said. "There was supposed to be a check-off" for their absentee ballots.

But didn't he know they had mailed their absentee ballots about a week earlier?

"At that moment I was convinced I had not been counted, that my vote was gone."

And so when the poll worker handed them each regular ballots, they cast them.

We fully expect that Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen to fully investigate and throw the book at Charlie Sykes, Jeff Wagner and Mark Belling. After all, he wouldn't want to be considered a political hack that would do something like take money in exchange for, oh, let's say, wanting to sue the federal government over health care reform, would he?

Impeccable Resources

Patrick McIlheran says Mark Neumann is a dead duck in the race for governor.

His source of this wisdom? Well, none other than Dad29, who thinks Neumann is mentally ill-prepared:
Neumann's elevator doesn't go all the way to the top of the building any more. The lights are on, but nobody's home. He's a couple cans short of a 12-pack. His transmission doesn't have a 3rd gear. He's wacky, folks.
Yup, the same Dad29 who's "genetic response" to homosexuals (or common sense, for that matter) is to stock up on ammo.

So, how much do you think Tom Barrett will beat Neumann by in November?

Also see: The woman who took down the GOP

Saturday, May 1, 2010

I Bet He Does

Oops. Talk about misleading headlines.

Maybe It Will Be On Sunday Incite

My friend Bert, posting over at folkbum's, with a really good question:
I thought this oil spill thing was one of the prominent stories this week. But, like when Tom Barrett's altercation was national news, I'm not seeing anything about this current event on the blog by Charlie Sykes. What gives?

That's What They Get For Not Giving Her Her Own Show

On last night's Hannity, Fox News contributor Sarah Palin did what she does best-complain about the "lamestream media throughout our country." This time, the media's "lame[ness]" was revealed through their coverage of Arizona's new controversial immigration law. Palin sniffed: "One of the media outlets the other day just-was killing me on this one, Sean, where they had a caption across their screen that said Arizona law will make it illegal to be an illegal immigrant? Some bizarre type of headline like that where it was just this illustration that they just don't get it."

The station the Sarah was talking about? Faux News.