Thursday, January 31, 2008


On January 17th, I wrote:
I do hereby predict that no matter who wins the Democratic nomination for President, even if by some strange and unexplicable fluke of nature, it turns out to be Fred Thompson or any other Republican, Charlie Sykes will call him or her the most liberal politican in the history of this country.

Today, Sykes wrote this headline:


Am I good or what?

Oh, I know some naysayers would point out that Obama hasn't won the nomination yet, and he may not ever win it. This is true.

But I prefer to think of it as that Sykes just jumped the gun.

Dumb Ass Comments Of The Week

Even as James T. Harris got his post right, he has a comment by a James Pawlak which qualifies as the dumb ass comment of the week:
Curious that the Milwaukee media has not reported on the name of the bar from which this "gentleman" went to his death OR the description of the offenders (Latinos?) OR called on the City Aldermen to shut down that Bar as they did for one where there was a justifiable killing of thugs by armed security guards.

And to make sure he clinched this dubious honor, he also leaves an equally repulsive comment on the site of Dad29, who had posted on the same subject:
Of course the Milwaukee Urinal will not publish the name of the bar (Did it fly a rainbow banner at half-staff) or the description of the Latino killers and, if they are taken, the fact of their citizenship status.

Mr. Pawlak, it doesn't matter where he was before he was robbed and murdered, nor does it matter what his sexual orientation might have been. The ethnicity of the killers also does not matter. What matters is that a person was senselessly murdered.

To indicate otherwise does not help the matter at all, nor does it do anything to prevent further similar tragedies. It only serves to make you look like a dumb ass.

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Harris Channels Eugene Kane

Whallah! often spoofs the ridiculous assertions that the local right wing media tries to ram down our collective throats. But sometimes, they do get things right.

James T. Harris does that in his post about the murder of Lodewikus "Vic" Milford:

Not your everyday Milwaukee murder story.

I am not playing the race card, but when I first read the story on TMJ’s website and in the Journal Sentinel, it was obvious that this wasn’t a black thing (primarily because I read it in the Journal and it led on the TMJ website -- both news sources that have stopped making murder in black Milwaukee a prominent story).

Why are some lives worth front page stories, while others don’t even warrant a mention?

South-side residents reacted last night. They are outraged! They should be. The mayor is angry. Miller Brewing is all over this story. Mr. Milford belonged to a powerful community.

And that’s a good thing.

Here’s my prediction:

The two killers will be caught, Walker’s Point will be cleaned up, and the family members of Milwaukee’s central city murder victims, if they are lucky, might find the names of their loved ones in News and Briefs.


Thursday's Topic On Sykes' Show

Does anyone think that Sykes, or Belling for that matter, won't be using this for most of their shows tomorrow?
Republican Mitt Romney accused John McCain of using dirty tricks by suggesting the former Massachusetts governor wanted a deadline for withdrawing U.S. troops from Iraq, in a spirited debate Wednesday night that underscored the intensity of their presidential rivalry.

Coming 24 hours after McCain defeated him in Florida, Romney vented his frustrations over the Arizona senator's claims from last weekend.

"I have never, ever supported a specific timetable" for withdrawing troops, Romney said. McCain's accusation on the eve of Tuesday's primary, he said, "sort of falls into the dirty tricks that I think Ronald Reagan would have found reprehensible."

Where Was Wagner When We Needed Him?

There was a winter storm that blew through the area last night. It caused icy conditions throughout the state, and their were extremely high winds.

Conditions were bad enough that the airport had to delay and cancel some flights.

Apparently, Wagner did not have any of his wife's friends flying in last night, because they're was no report on him complaining that the county did not put up giant wind-blockers.

Music To My Ears

Enjoy some tunes and work towards ending the war. How much simpler can it be?

Jan. 31 benefit for Iraq Moratorium

A concert featuring a mix of musical styles , to benefit the Iraq Moratorium, is set for 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 31, at Milwaukee's Shank Hall,1434 N. Farwell Ave.

The Bill Camplin Band, Jahmes Finlayson and One Drum, and Ceol Cairde "Music of Friends" will share the bill.

Madison's Raging Grannies, who have won a following for their animated and amusing performances of well-known songs with new antiwar lyrics, will be special guests.

The Iraq Moratorium is a loosely-knit national grassroots movement uniting people and groups who act on the Third Friday of every month to call for an end to the war in Iraq. More info can be found at the group's website,

Camplin is a singer-songwriter who has had a prominent place in the Wisconsin music scene for decades, and who plays and hosts musicians at Fort Atkinson's Cafe Carpe, which he and his wife operate.

Finlayson and One Drum perform music rooted in the cultures of Africa, the Caribbean, Australia, the Middle East & the Americas.

Ceol Cairde, Gaelic for "The Music of Friends," performs traditional Irish and other Celtic music.

Joel McNally, columnist, activist, and co-host of the Morning Magazine on 1290 WMCS Radio, will emcee this smoke-free night of music, fellowship and fun.

The suggested donation is $10.

A Moment Of Truth

This morning, Sykes was speaking to a political analyst/reporter from ABC News about the results of yesterday's primary. Obviously feeling a little salty about Giuliani's defeat, but trying to put up a strong face, Sykes summed up the results as that the voters are now left to figure out who is the "least despicable Republican."

At least he recognizes that Republicans, on the whole, are pretty dispicable.

Topic Suggestions For Sykes

Just last night, I wrote about Sykes citing another blogger that works to discredit some billboards that display some of Scott Walker's major failings as County Executive.

A grassroots group naming themselves "Citizens for 'Honest' talk radio" have sent Charlie the following email, with some possible topic subjects for today's show:

Those billboard ads blaming Scott Walker wouldn't be like "SWIFT BOATING"? Perhaps you could explain the difference this morning on your show.

Also, how can you, with your reputation, support a "liar" for County Executive? It's in writing, etc that says, "I will NOT run in 2008". Maybe explain that too.

Something tells me he will be still too despondent about Giuliani's electoral belly-flop to cover these pressing issues.

Catching Up On Fischer

McIlheran, a pretend blogger who pretends to be a journalist, wrote what I'm sure he thought was a pithy piece on l'Affaire de Fischer. What he did accomplish is the verification that he doesn't have a clue to what's going on. He also raises the question of whether he can define the words civility, integrity, or intellectual honesty.

Meanwhile, Mike Mathias, a real blogger, who displays true journalistic qualities, has a post that verifies that Fischer does contribute to Senator Mary Lazich's blog at FranklinNow. He also raises some interesting questions:

Lazich and Fischer are both Franklin residents, but at what point do their posts become merely an extension of Lazich’s political operation?

Fischer’s explanation would seem to indicate that it already is.

There are also other problems with this arrangement. What if Lazich got caught up in a scandal and was facing an investigation? Would she (or Fischer) be allowed to write a defense at the Franklin Now site? And what if that defense conflicted with facts reported elsewhere at Journal Communications properties?

Here’s another problem. Advertising appears at both Lazich’s and Fischer’s blog sites. Should readers doubt whether Lazich could be fairly covered by the Journal Sentinel if their content is producing revenue for the company?

UPDATE: Mike Mathias strikes again, making McIlheran's post seem even more pathetic. Mike has an update regarding his contact with FranklinNow editor, Mark Maley.

And never fear, faithful readers. Your good King is working on his own story regarding this whole sordid affair.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Public Plea For Support

Let us have a moment of silence out of respect for the grief that Sykes must be experiencing at this moment.

Tee Hee.

And McCain won. It will be fun to see the right wing media twist in the wind now.

I Blame Charlie Sykes

Sykes has a post linking to Badger Blogger, a respected member of the conservative side of the cheddarsphere. BB's post is an effort to discredit some billboards that are a bit more than illuminating about the poor job Milwaukee County Executive has put in.

While BB has indeed put forth some good effort, and has found some possible legal issues for the political action committee that put up these adds, he has also made some mistakes.

Your good King has refuted these improper claims, and thus has proven Sykes to be wrong as well.

But the question that concerns me is: When was the last time Sykes had an original thought?

I Guess This Is OK Now

With all due and heart-felt apologies to my friend, the Illusory Tenant, for opening any old wounds, I feel it my duty to point out that the kerfuffle caused by his poorly received allusion now appears to be indeed a moment of selective outrage from the right, as now some of them feel making such allusions is perfectly acceptable. This is especially true given the minimal outrage the second example as caused.

H/T Nick Schweitzer

UPDATE: The original blogger that Mr. Schweizer and I linked to apparently did not like the attention, and seems to have removed their post. For a reference, this is the T-shirt that was being referred to.

UPDATE ON THE UPDATE: The original blogger has reported that it was not taken down, but a problem with their server.

Here's Johnny

Even though he has been proclaimed the "King of the Hate Left" by authoritative sources, King capper attempted to appeal to our better angels last night as he took quill in hand and reminded us (or you can scroll down) about our civility as participants in the blogosphere, something I myself should keep in mind.

In a brilliant move Jovial John McAdams the funniest jester in the land, received this proclamation, and decided the best tactic was to confuse all of us. This is the portion of King capper's squib he reproduced:
I realize how tempting it is to become personal when writing about these people. It is also very difficult to exercise self-control, when those on the right do not. They will often vilify us, call us names, and make things very personal. But, this does not excuse us from our own behaviors.

Just as I do not hold terrorists to the standard that I judge my behavior, I do not hold these right wing hatemongers as a standard with which to use as a comparison. Because they choose to make base, false, and abusive comments, we do not need to stoop to their level.
To which McAdams replies..."he doesn't get...he just doesn't get it?"

May I add -- ?????

For fun posters, try to determine either what King capper doesn't get, or what John McAdams doesn't get, which I believe is probably --- not enough sleep.

As far as Dr. McAdams, I think Bette Midler many years ago summed it up best to Ed McMahon after she cracked a joke. "You don't get it because you don't get it."

Before the humorless cry for my head on a pike (remembering the legend of Illusionary Tenant), let me also remind that as Rodney Dangerfield put, "these are what you call jokes."

Now They're For Abortion?

As noted in my earlier post, and in one by KR, Sykes and McIlheran both refer to the same article from the Telegraph about some issues with their nationalized health care system.

What both of them neglected to include was this:
Fertility treatment and "social" abortions are also on the list of procedures that many doctors say should not be funded by the state.

Basic logic in would then follow:
  1. Nationalized health care is bad.
  2. Nationalized health care is against abortion.
  3. Ergo, abortion must be good.

There may be hope for these guys yet. Well, OK, not really.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Some Comments On Commenting

I, as your King of the Hate Left, do feel it is time to address some issues regarding commentary on this site.

This site is obviously going to have some highly emotionally charged topics as it confronts the lies, the hypocrisies and the foibles of the local right wing media. This leads people to become very angry from time to time, and can cause commenting without thought.During the past week, I've had to eliminate two comments that went over the line in personal attacks. One was directed at McBride, one was at Fischer. The last time I had to remove a comment was during the IT affair. Four in the time I've been on my throne is not bad, but I do not want this to become a habit.

I realize how tempting it is to become personal when writing about these people. It is also very difficult to exercise self-control, when those on the right do not. They will often vilify us, call us names, and make things very personal. But, this does not excuse us from our own behaviors.

Just as I do not hold terrorists to the standard that I judge my behavior, I do not hold these right wing hatemongers as a standard with which to use as a comparison. Because they choose to make base, false, and abusive comments, we do not need to stoop to their level.

I am not going to make the comment section moderated at this time. I have faith in you, my people, to make your King proud and that you would maintain the proper decorum. By all means, help me illustrate their lies, their inconsistencies and their contradictions, but please do not let your comments slip to the point of malicious, personal attacks. That is the for the likes of the mealy-mouthed right.

Furthermore, I have one other request. Please use a pseudonym, instead of anonymous. I have recently had a post with several comments, of which 75% were anonymous. This can make it difficult for your King, who needs his full attention to sally forth and do battle with the forces of evil. If you do not wish to use your real name, I cannot fault you. Capper, King of the Left Hate is not what is printed on my birth certificate or driver's license, so I cannot fault anyone for using a blogonym. Besides, as the irreproachable Sir folkbum points out, it doesn't matter what you call yourself. Also it would be fun to put at least some sort of name to your various writing styles.

The King of the Hate Left hath spoken. So shall it be.

Blogging Etiquette Tips For McIlheran

Seeing as how Sir Shorewood hath stolen one of my posts for this evening, I wouldst like to point out to McIlheran some basic etiquette tips in the fine art of blogging.

As my illustrious knight hath pointed out, Sykes linked to an article out of an English paper, describing the alleged perils of nationalized health care. One can tell that Sykes did this early in the morning, as that his first lemming commented at 8:42 a.m.

We can also see that McIlheran posted on the same subject at 11:31 a.m. He goes on with what I am sure he considers witty banter about the same exact article. At the end of his post, McIlheran adds, seemingly like an afterthought, that another blogger, one he considers enlightening for rubbish like this, "notes this story, too."

This other blogger, the charm school dropout, wrote his post sometime after Sykes, but before McIlhran's, judging by the timing of his first commenter's entry.

While it may be possible that McIlheran had somehow found this article, from an English paper, on his own and posted it before realizing it. It is much more likely however, that McIlheran simply noted either Sykes' post or this other person's post, and wrote his own spin.

Proper protocol would indicate that McIlheran should have acknowledged his source. If he noticed it first on Sykes' site, Sykes should have been give the accreditation. If he saw it on the other site first, he would have noticed the prominent "H/T Sykes" that this person used, at the top of his post. Thus it would have been more appropriate to say something to the effect of "Charlie found this article" or "On Sykes' post..." with a tip of the hat to the other blogger.

I guess that, just like with thieves, there is no honor among right wing bloggers.


King Charles over at his blog palace often feels when he posts, his nibs just presents a link and graces us peasants with a brief pronouncement and dusting off his hands -- job done. After all, he probably feels he has done the tough work of finding these wonderful self-evident gems of truth and it is a matter of res ipsa loquitor.

In many single payer countries the issue of rationing comes up and le Roi Charles happened upon an article in one of the British tabs describing a nascent debate over cutting off care for the elderly and those with unhealthy lifestyles.

These arguments come and go, but of course ever eager to produce horror movies about how awful health care is elsewhere, Charley tosses it into his sheep pen for them to upchuck their cud on. The idea is that is we took on such a system, pretty soon we'd have to make the macabre decision of who lives or dies...sometime in the future.

Obviously isolated in his royalness, Charles has failed to notice that in this country the future is not only now but always has been. Guess what Chuck. Tens of thousands of people are already dying every year in this country because of poor access to health care.

And someone is making life or death decisions. They're called health insurance companies.

Oh, Well. It Was A Nice Thought While It Lasted

Last week, MSJ columnist Tim Cuprisin wrote a couple of blog posts regarding Michael Medved's declaration that talk radio was on its death bed due to it no longer knowing what was going on, what it was talking about, or what was going to happen. Cuprisin did add:

I think Medved's over the top when he suggests that this "may may help destroy" talk radio

Mike Mathias also commented and Whallah! followed up with our prediction that the declaration of the death was premature at best.

Today, Cuprisin confirms our worst fears that the pre-mortem was premature with his column in the morning paper:

He was a bit over the top when he predicted that talk radio's "jihad against Mac and Huck . . . may help destroy talk radio."

No, talk will hang on. And as this one plays out over the next few weeks, maybe months, it will offer some pretty entertaining radio.

And the real aim of talk radio, from the radio business' point of view, is entertainment, pure and simple.

Ah, well, we can dream, can't we? I just don't understand how someone could consider spewing ignorant, hateful vitriol as entertainment. Maybe this explains professional wrestling.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Today's TV: InterCHANGE

I decided to tune in to InterCHANGE, to see how our new favorite squawker was going to do. First of all, this man has no right calling anyone else "Cheesecake Breath" or "Pillsbury Doughboy". He is a well-fed man himself. The next thing is that he needs to control his arms. He was flailing around his arms so much I kept getting a mental image of a turtle on its back trying to right itself.

Then, there was the topics:

First of all, Fischer is in deep denial of how the Repubs are doing. If one were to listen to him, one would believe that Giuliani, Romney, McCain and Huckabee were all holding hands and singing gospel songs. He was in complete denial of the sniping that was going on with the Repubs.

He did take excessive glee at the verbal sparring that has been occuring between Clinton and Obama. He would mention it every chance he got.

He, like Sykes, whined about the federal tax rebate. It was the usual spin about how the poor ultrarich pay so much in taxes, but was quickly shot down by Kathleen Dunn. He did make quite a face, which was meant to be dismissive of Ms. Dunn, but just made him look silly. Fischer did admit that he was anxious to get the money in his hands though.

To his credit, I did agree with his take on why the Packers lost last week.

And a word to PBS: Please get Mr. Fischer a bigger chair that he can fit in.

Today's TV: Sykes' Sunday Incite

After watching Gousha's show, watching Sykes was like eating a piece of rotted fruit after a steak dinner.

It was the usual theatrics, yelling, and trying to shout over each other. Sykes et al. were whining about the tax rebate, and how it is not being more beneficial to the rich than to the poor, that MPS actually enforces its contracts with the union, and whatnot.

The bright side of the show was that for once, he didn't have McIlheran or Harris.

Today's TV: Mike Gousha

Mike Gousha, formerly of TMJ4, premiered his new Sunday morning show this morning on WISN-TV. It was refreshing, especially compared to the usual Sunday morning fare.

Mr. Gousha did interviews in his traditional style: Ask a question and letting the person respond uninterrupted.

It wasn't hard hitting, but it did cover some current issues like the current financial crisis the state is trying to avert. My only complaint is that it did not devote enough time to the different topics. He should focus on only one or two items and give it more in-depth coverage.

Sykes and the others could learn a lot from watching this true professional. But then again, that probably wouldn't help their agenda.

How Bad Is Belling?

Not only have we demonstrated Belling's racism, but he is such a lousy advocate for the right, that even conservatives are criticizing him.

Dad29, who no one could ever confuse with a liberal, takes umbrage with Belling's selective outrage regarding the shambles that the Republican presidential race. He also points out Belling's hypocrisy in his own attitudes versus his behaviors.

Let The Sliming Begin!

This is dated by a few days, but I've been busy dealing with defending freedom against the thugocracy.

Anywho, Mark Belling, in his GMToday column last week has a little bit complaining about how the state is trying to actually save money by avoiding a lot of court costs and moving some cases involving 17 year olds back to the jurisdiction of the juvenile code.

In his rampage, he comes up with this (emphasis mine):

It’s not surprising that the bill is sponsored by some Milwaukee County Democrats like Sen. Lena Taylor, as they are chronically soft on crime and sympathetic to their increasingly influential gang bosses. It’s more surprising the legislation is co-sponsored by suburban Democrats like Sen. Jim Sullivan of Wauwatosa and Rep. Tony Staskunas of West Allis.
Belling is implying that Senator Taylor is involved with and influenced by gangbangers and their leaders. This is simply another example of Belling's not-so-latent racism. Remember that this is the same guy who was suspended for calling Mexicans "wetbacks". Now he mentions an African-American woman who is running against his buddy Walker, and ties her directly to gangsters. He doesn't do this for the other three people he lists in his post, all of whom are white.

With people like Belling advocating for Walker, Senator Taylor's chances can only improve.

The Prince of Pundits, Mike Mathias was more timely with this story, and a commenter on his post makes a good point:

I thought it was Scott Walker who wanted to let everyone out of jail.

In fact I know it is Scott Walker who wants to let everyone out of jail.

Now what gang member isn't going to support that.

Sir Zachary the Blue also adds his valuable insight to the right's issue with people of color that isn't white.

Blogroll Updates

Gentle readers-

I just wanted to point out some changes to the Royal Blogroll.

Other Side's site, in deference to his switch to baseball, and being renamed, Brass League, is now in the amusements section. Also added to that section is Wisconsinology. It is an interesting site chock full of interest bits if history and trivia about our fine state, and has been endorsed by Frank Lloyd Wright and Ed Gein.

Added to our respected conservatives list, one may find Fairly Conservative, home of the illuminative Cindy Kilkenny, a recent ally in l'Affaire de Fischer. The Chief is listed by BNN as a conservative, but has an amazing sense of humor and seems to be grounded in reality.

Of course, with the addition of Ms. Kilkenny, we must add our newest squawker, Fischer, to the brigade, and our newest addition to the Royal Court, the Green Knight, Sir Gregory Kowalski, at Today's Concerns.

Please treat them like the friends that they are, with respect and kindness, even in disagreement. With Fischer, eh, not so much.

The King of the Hate Left has spoken. So shall it be.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Today's Update On L'Affaire de Fischer

More bloggers have picked up on Fischer's behaviors:

Sir Zachary the Blue Knight offers us his view.

Lady Kilkenny offers us a bit more of the background of the story.

James Rowen has some advice: A blogger should know when to stop typing.

Meanwhile, there is a hearty debate happening in the comments thread at Sir Gregory the Green's post, linking to all of ours. It appears some of the local commenters don't like the attention being paid to them now. (Can you really believe they aren't aware of the Cheddarsphere? Or even of Whallah!?)

Surprisingly, not one, nope, not a single one of the right wing bloggers that were so upset about Illusory Tenant's comment has come forth to condemn Fischer for his blatant attacks. I guess they don't believe in what they preach.

UPDATE: Fred Dooley, the man who dubbed me King, has posted on it. He is fine with Fischer's boorish behaviors and even condones it, even though he cried out to the left when a young right wing blogger was persecuted from a politician in her hometown. Sniff, sniff. Smell the hypocrisy.

Empathy Deficit Disorder-Textbook Case

This is also a bit dated, but being a King is busy work.

On Wednesday, McIlheran wrote two posts on different topics, but with the same theme.

In his first post, he complains about how Milwaukee isn't just getting out of the way for the residents of Waukesha County so that they can have access to our water. These are the same people that chose to kill bus route #9, because the working poor in Milwaukee aren't worth the money, just so they can get to and from their jobs. So why would they deserve our water, Patrick? Oh that's right, because they're richer than us.

In his second post, McIlheran talks about how China is now having traffic jams. Although he never explicitly states what his point is, he does imply how wonderful cars are and the need to have more of them, burn more gas, have more pollution and to build more roads. As opposed to something so silly as mass transit.

He quotes a man from China who is happy that he can see his relatives in far away places. That is nice. The King of the Hate Left and his beautiful queen enjoy that luxury too. The difference is that we understand that those are blind, physically disabled, or have some other reason that they cannot drive, also have a right to see their loved ones. We recognize that for some people not as fortunate as ourselves, just getting to the local grocery store or pharmacy can require a lot of time and effort, even with mass transit, and would be impossible without it.

So, two different topics, cars and water, but the same theme. McIlheran suffers from Empathy Deficit Disorder.

H/T to James Rowen for the diagnostic guide.

Keep Your Hands Off My Cash

Both Sykes and McIlheran are trash-talking Bill Gates for wanting to do something totally reprehensible, like helping people. More likely, in their greedy ways, they are more likely just upset that even wealthy people can see the need to help those less fortunate, which flies in the face of their "All for me, none for you" philosophy.

The honorable 3rd way, the Earl of Evenhandedness, has this to say:

Journal Communication's dastardly duo has once again joined forces. This time they are taking aim at one of our planet's do-gooders. McIlheran and Sykes both linked to a piece that misrepresents Bill Gates as turning his back on capitalism. In reality Gates is putting his money where his mouth is by trying to create capitalists at the grass roots level. Through something he is labeling creative capitalism Gates vows to bring resources, education and market access to some of the poorest people on the planet. In the minds of the far right this somehow equates a rejection of capitalism.

You can read the rest of his insightful post at folkbum's. (And do make sure to read the first comment. What a savvy reader that fellow is.)

'Winning' in Iraq:

What would that be, exactly?

This is a little dated, but still pertinent.

Jessica McBride after Monday's Dem debate:
Hillary refused to say she wants us to win when asked the question. She responded that she wants to bring the troops home. Apparently, saying she wants us to win would be a controversial statement on the Left.
Controversial? More like inane, in that it raises the question: 'Winning' in Iraq: What would that be, exactly?

Friday, January 25, 2008

They're Serious Guys, You Know

Apologies to Tom Tomorrow.

Click on image to enlarge.

The Hate Right: Suburban Style: UPDATE

I just wanted to give some quick updates and one clarification regarding the story of l'affaire de Kevin Fischer.

This story appears to be growing legs, and has been noted by such notables as Kay, Michael Mathias, and the venerable Jay Bullock.

I also wanted to emphasize that Whallah! is not asking for Fischer to be fired, or even stifled. An apology for his boorish behavior would be nice, though.

Nor do I, not for one minute, accuse Fischer of using state equipment or blogging on state time. The incident that was referred to was January 3rd, and it is not uncommon for people to take those one or both of those holiday weeks off. I do not even think that the legislature was in session at that time. The second incident I referred to was January 19th, a Saturday. Besides, Ms. Kilkenny's open records request will clarify those issues.

But I have to agree with Michael, when he states:
And while it may be true that Fischer and Kowalski don’t care for one another’s views, it also appears that Kowalski is one of Lazich’s constituents. Regardless of the partisanship issues here, it is really in Lazich’s interests to have her aide engaged in a long-running online spat with a voter?

All the way around, it is still a poor showing by Fischer and his cohort. But it does make good fodder for Whallah!

Deceived By The Deceiving Deceived

McBride, oh how we missed her, is at it again, but in her true form. Here is her entire post:

Saddam, not Bush. Bush was deceived, not the deceiver.
To bad for McBride that reality is not on her side. It was Bush that had the intelligence reports that said that there were no WMDs, not Hussein. It was Bush who said that they knew exactly where the WMDs were even thought he couldn't find them, because they didn't exist. not Hussein.

In fact it wasn't Hussein, but Bush and his posse, that lied 935 times to get us into the war that shouldn't have been.

But why let facts get in the way? That would only cramp her style.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Almost The Perfect Post

McBride is back, and at least for tonight, is actually posting more than one piece. Her first post of the night is about how some conservative talk radio hosts are spewing hateful, vitriolic poison at Huckabee. She encourages them to discuss the issues, and not get so personal.

Looking past the hypocritical nature of the post, considering she has spewed more than enough hate at people in her time (think Eugene Kane, for one), it is actually a good post.

There are some flaws though. The obvious one is the one I already mentioned. It would be better coming from someone who wasn't as hypocritical. The second problem is the second from last paragraph (emphasis hers):

Personally, I am more of a tax-and-terror conservative. I care about social issues like abortion (I am pro-life) but, perhaps because it's a time of war, I place them secondary in this presidential election. I wish there was a candidate who was strong on all the issues, but there's not (except maybe Mitt Romney, and I don't trust him). I've always leaned toward Rudy Giuliani.

She is way off by saying she would rather see babies die, so that more soldiers can die in an unjust war? That is not exactly good Christian values. And no, I won't do the obvious why she might like Rudy line. It's already been done with Sykes.

The third problem with this is in the comments thread. A reader comments about how Huckabee brought the attacks on himself, to which McBride replies:

Romney's gone on the attack too

Tough examination is one thing; vitriol and namecaling (sic) is another.

Again, with the hypocrisy. The worst part is I truly believe she believes it herself.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

The Hate Right: Suburban Style

This is going to get complex, so pay close attention.

About a week ago, I wrote a post about the hypocrisy of the local right wing media in the way they approached former MPD Chief Arthur Jones and the way they treat Sheriff David Clarke. In the comments thread of this post, an anonymous commenter, for whatever reason, posted something about Paul Bucher with a link to this post. (Sidenote: There's been a lot of this going on lately. If you have something you think I should write about, email me directly. Or, drop the anonymous and email me, and just maybe, you too can join Whallah!)

The post in question relates to a letter written by Paul Bucher to Kevin Fischer. Paul was telling Kevin to stop trashing his client, or something to that effect. What caught my eye, was Fischer's bio:

Kevin Fischer is an award-winning veteran broadcaster who has been seen and heard on Milwaukee TV and radio stations for nearly three decades. Kevin, who is a legislative aide to state Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin), can be seen offering his views on the news on the public affairs program, “INTERchange,” on Milwaukee Public Television Channel 10. He lives with his wife, Jennifer, in Franklin.
Seeing that he is part of the local media, I went and did some reading. His site seems pretty typical of the usual foaming-at-the-mouth type of conservative (including some ridiculous post about how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was really a conservative). Pretty much like Fred at RDW (in fact, I found out later that Fred links to Fischer on occassion).

After a few minutes, it became obvious that Fischer had some kind of anger towards another community blogger at the Franklin NOW paper's website. This other blogger is a young man named Greg Kowalski, who actually posts about Franklin stories and about environmental issues.

As I perused Mr. Kowalski's site, I came across this post, dated January 3rd, that also deals with some of the wonderful comments of the hate right. Mr. Kowalski lists several of the nasty comments he has gotten from the hate right, but was is even more interesting is the comment thread of this post. In this thread, Fischer, and another right wing blogger, Janet Evans, (who apparently takes pride in living up to her post's name, Unglued) go absolutey bonkers in their vile, vitriolic, and way over the line attacks on Mr. Kowalski.

Go ahead, read the comments thread (the January 3rd link). I'll wait.


Welcome back. Pretty twisted stuff, eh?

And I'm not the only one that caught on to how disgusting it is. Another community blogger, Linda Richter of New Berlin, saw this and wrote her post, asking State Senator Mary Lazich to step in and publicly rebuke Fischer, who is her legislative aide, as she rebuked others for what she deemed to be inappropriate language. I could find no indication that Senator Lazich has done so, which apparently means she condones these sort of attacks.

Nor has McIlheran or Sykes condemned these attacks, which is not surprising. But keep this in mind the next time one of them is whining about the hate left being so mean to them.

On a side note: These two characters, Fischer and Evans, also went after another, private blogger, in the comments section of one of Fischer's posts. The comments got so bad that Fischer was forced to take them down. (I have them, but won't post them. What you've already read is bad enough.)

I won't go into asking Senator Lazich to rein in her aide, out of respect to the First Amendment, but I do question why the Journal Sentinel, which is the parent company to NOW Community Papers, is allowing this sort of crap on their web pages. Do they condone this sort of thing? Oh, wait. I temporarily forgot about Sykes and McIlheran. I guess they do condone this sort of thing.

And if Fischer and Evans don't like getting called out on their boorish behaviors, well, that's just too bad for them.

Finally, I, the King of the Left Hate, hereby do knight Mr. Kowalski, dubbing him Sir Gregory the Green Knight, and welcome him to the Royal Court.

That Didn't Take Long

In my previous post, which I just did this morning, I wrote:

I do not think Sykes or Belling (or Limbaugh or any of those other national gasbags) are going to be locked out of this election. I do believe that even if the GOP nominee ends up being Huck-I'm-A-Believer or McCain, these squawkers will be doing their locksteps right along with this candidate. They will weasel out of their words and condemnations of that same person that they had been spewing all year long. This is because the talk squawkers are that two-faced and hypocritical. They follow opinions of the Republican base more than any politician could or would.

They might criticize the Republican more than usual, but they make up for this by being unusually hypercritical of the Democratic candidate, criticizing everything about that person, to the point that some people may call for actions by the parent companies due to the extreme hyperboles and prejudice that will be exhibited.

Sure enough, as fate would have it, I had several appointments this morning, and while driving between them, I thought I'd listen to Charlie and see if he would give me something to write on.

He did his usual daily routine about how terrible Senator Clinton and Senator Obama are, and trashing them for the better part of an hour apparently.

But what was really fascinating, was that in the last half hour of his show, he claimed to be still a supporter of Rudy Giuliani, but that he didn't expect him to win. He stated that he thought if he couldn't vote for Mr. 9/11, then he could vote for McCain. After spending several weeks trashing McCain, Sykes starts in on how McCain was the conservative's conservative on many issues, like the war.

You know, Charlie, it is pretty sad, when you're so hypocritical that it becomes predictable.

The Problem With Talk Radio

OK, OK, I admit the title of this post is a bit misleading. That title could cover an entire blog in itself. Oh, wait, it does. Whallah! is McBridean French for "The problem with talk radio." But I digress.

We already mentioned Tim Cuprisin's coverage of Medved's pre-mortem autopsy of talk radio.
Mr. Cuprisin has a follow up post on the issues talk radio might have during this presidential election year. Problems that they brought upon themselves, nonetheless:

Charlie Sykes has blogged on the Medved critique of Limbaugh and his lieutenants, and how they've dumped on Messrs. McCain and Huckabee.

The way Charlie has framed the debate, it's "dueling talk show hosts."

But the reason why this McCain-Huckabee situation is potentially damaging to the talk radio biz is that the first-tier talkers live in a world with its own conventional wisdom and its own version of political correctness. That has meant years of dumping on McCain, a Goldwater conservative, and, more recently, dumping on Huckabee, a religious conservative.

It's the dumping on that's the problem for talk radio. Either you're the savior or you're the devil in the incredibly black-and-white world of talk radio.McCain and Huckabee are devils to the talkers.

If either of them win the nomination (frankly, it's more likely that McCain would do that than Huckabee, especially after McCain's showing in conservative South Carolina), the talkers would be locked out of the election.

There are, of course, some differences in talkers. In Milwaukee, for example, Charlie's been a GOP mouthpiece, while Mark's a loose cannon, more likely to turn on Republicans. But both have fallen in line with Limbaugh on Huckabee, and have long marched in lockstep on McCain.

Mike Mathias also noted Cuprisin's post and added his own take on the future of talk radio:

I actually think conservative talk radio has more resilience as a form, and that form is likely to survive an election-cycle drubbing. The audiences for Limbaugh, Sykes, and Belling could even grow if the Democrats take the White House since the talkers will hurry to remake themselves as the voice of the opposition.

I, as the your reluctant King of the Hate Left, and current defender against the foolishness, fallacies and foibles of the local right wing talk media, must say that I believe Mr. Cuprisin is wrong, and that Mr. Mathias is only partially correct.

I do not think Sykes or Belling (or Limbaugh or any of those other national gasbags) are going to be locked out of this election. I do believe that even if the GOP nominee ends up being Huck-I'm-A-Believer or McCain, these squawkers will be doing their locksteps right along with this candidate. They will weasel out of their words and condemnations of that same person that they had been spewing all year long. This is because the talk squawkers are that two-faced and hypocritical. They follow opinions of the Republican base more than any politician could or would.

They might criticize the Republican more than usual, but they make up for this by being unusually hypercritical of the Democratic candidate, criticizing everything about that person, to the point that some people may call for actions by the parent companies due to the extreme hyperboles and prejudice that will be exhibited.

In other words, it will be business as usual for them.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

You've Got Mail

Note: The following is a compilation of various contributors in an effort to translate McBride's most recent column in GMToday. Our translation and observations are in italics.

Dear District Attorney Brad Schimel,

My husband won’t be thrilled that I wrote this column. It deals with his old office, so it’s awkward. He thinks you’re a good guy. I do, too. (That will make him feel etter.) Please don’t assume my opinions reflect his. My opinions are my own only. (Too easy to start a firestorm hear-think Eugene Kane and female robots.)

I once saw you at a cop’s retirement party. You seemed comfortable there. You were the law enforcement candidate in the district attorney’s race, not the glib politician. I like that about you. I think you’ve got the potential to be an excellent DA because you’ve got a lot of integrity. (She is amazing. She picked all that up from one retirement party. I wonder what she could have learned if she had paid attention during the 16 years he worked in the DA's office.)

However, it’s my job to write about the goings-on in Waukesha County. So, I
must ask: What’s going on? (If it's her job to write what's going on, why is she asking him?)

I recognize that the media will praise you for not doing things conservatives like. I also recognize it’s not your job to do things conservatives like. (Does this mean conservatives are against upholiding the law?)

However, I was hoping you wouldn’t go easy on illegal immigrant criminals, drug offenders and sneaky Jim Doyle campaign attorneys, while suddenly getting all bothered by Scott Jensen. I didn’t expect pro-marijuana Web sites would heap praise on you during your first year in office.

I know you’re bound by the law, not politics. Even so, some of your decisions baffle me. (Is she inferring that Paul would put politics before the law?)

You were quoted in the newspaper recently pushing for Jensen’s criminal case to remain in Dane County (he’s filed a court motion seeking to change the venue to Waukesha County.) The Capital Times subsequently praised you. You stated you were working with the attorney general’s office to keep the trial in Dane. Shouldn’t you guys be working together to make sure Jensen gets a fair trial, which - news flash - is not going to happen in Dane? You might as well advocate that Ahab rosecute Moby Dick. (Is she insisting that all the judges in Dane County are corrupt, or that upholding the law is unfair?)

You told the Madison reporters that you knew little about the case except what was in the newspaper, so why weigh in now? Please read the investigative documents that came out during Jensen’s first trial (Don’t go by what you read in most ewspapers. They barely covered them). After plowing through the actual reports (and having Paul explain them), I came to believe that the Jensen prosecution was selective and unfair (Republicans are above the law, dammit!). The Democratic DA’s own investigative reports show he had the goods on numerous Democrats, yet he didn’t charge them. And that’s just for starters. (Tell that to all the legislators that have done time for their convictions.)

If you don’t like political prosecutions - and you haven’t been a very political DA so far - then you shouldn’t be OK with what happened to Jensen because it was the personification of a political prosecution. I’m not asking that you, ironically, make a political decision here yourself. I just wish that, if given the chance, you’d embrace the opportunity to review this case with a fresh eye and, if you see evidence of unfairness, you’d correct it. This is a case crying out for another prosecutor’s eye.

You also withdrew Waukesha County’s request to get federal immigration enforcement authority, even though your support for the request remains on your campaign Web site. The program would have made Waukesha County a nationwide model for dealing with illegal immigrants who commit crimes. (Yeah, by spending county dollars to do a federal job.)(And what is up with her obsession with illegal immigrants. She is fixated with them as much as she is with iT.)

I acknowledge the sheriff and police chief pulled their support first, and federal immigration officials promised to move faster to detain illegal immigrants suspected of committing crimes. The problem is that no one - including the feds - is systematically tracking which criminal defendants in our county are illegal immigrants. (And if Paul and I think it is important, you'd better do it!)

There was no reason to rescind this - pleasing the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board doesn’t count (pleasing me does count) - and every reason to do it. The head of the top Latino social service agency in town even supported the plan (a fact the media largely ignored). The authority would have been narrowly tailored to empower local cops to detain and identify illegal immigrants WHO COMMIT CRIMES. (Uh oh, now she's channeling her inner John.)

How many illegal immigrants are in the criminal justice system right now? If you can answer that question, call me. I’ll run the number next week. (Didn't her students do a study of this? Couldn't they figure it out?)

If you can’t, please reconsider. This is about public safety. For those who think illegal immigration is only a national issue, I have three words: Frame Park rapist. (See! There's one name! It's an epidemic. Just like voter fraud.)

You also took a pass at making a case against Michael Maistelman, the governor’s campaign attorney who was shamelessly firing off e-mails to the state Elections Board before it destroyed Mark Green’s campaign. (Again, there you go Brad, putting the law before politics. Now knock it off!)

Aggressive prosecutors can go down in flames occasionally (Georgia Thompson) (Georgia Thompson was a prosecutor? I thought she was the one that got railroaded.), but they also uphold an important societal line by taking tough cases. Give me the principled, aggressive prosecutor (like my hunky hubby) any day over the too-cautious one (McCann).

You next advocated for decriminalizing marijuana. This got you praised on the Madison Web site of a group advocating against "marijuana prohibition." You were quoted as saying lots of people have tried marijuana and "times have changed."

That’s why we shouldn’t decriminalize the drug. (Change is not good. It's too much like progression. And that's too much like progressive. And that's too much like liberal. And that's too much like change. And that's not good.)

Soon after, it was reported that authorities seized more marijuana in Waukesha County than the previous eight years combined, a record.

DA Schimel, I want you to succeed. This is constructive criticism, not a personal attack. (Just a warning.)

But I feel like Cher in "Moonstruck" right now: "Snap out of it"!


Jessica McBride

Here are two other observations that have been mailed to me about this column (with slight editing for grammar and/or appropriateness):

What's the subliminal message here? “Call Paul before you do something stupid Brad. He'll point you in the right direction and then you can make it up to him when he needs a favor”? Maybe he already does and that's why he's getting in trouble? Or maybe he wants to be something other than a DA someday and realizes he needs a better role model than Paul "Not One Day As A Judge" Bucher?

Stay tuned for next week for Jessica’s thrilling column, “Dear diary, this one is so secret, even I don’t know I’m writing it.”

Unintended Consequences Indeed

Sykes' hot read of the day is an excerpt from the authors of Freakonomics. Not a good omen there. The piece is a long, tortuous, circular path of reasoning in an attempt to make the American Disability Act look like it's bad for people with disabilities, or that the Endangered Species Act actually endangers animals it's meant to protect. The point was some anti-government, be aware of good intentions or something like that.

I was going to do a post about how it is the greed of people that caused these results and not the laws as he was trying to infer.

Then I thought about Bush's economics packages that was meant to stimulate the economy, but hurt it and hurt it bad. Then I remembered Bush's war on terrrorism, that actually increased terrorism.

Then I realized, I've got nothing. Sykes unintentionally got one right.

McBride Squawks Back

I've played the taped interview of McBride on WUWM's Lake Effect Show twenty some times. The first three I missed because I couldn't hear it over my own screaming. The next two, well, I fell asleep.

The next fifteen or so, I kept getting distracted by McBride's forced chuckles. Was she feeling uncomfortable or is she just scared of getting skewered.

So I'll try to blog it as I hear it:

She is doing an academic study (I know, the irony is unbearable) on blogging and its effect on politics. (Hint to McBride: Check out Paul's campaign for AG.) She said she is interviewing bloggers for this study. Mmm, she hasn't contacted me yet. Harumph!

We're apparently on the "dark side" of the blogosphere. She is still clinging to her grudge towards Illusory Tenant. She doesn't think that "the bad blogs should be read." But then what would she do without readers?

She plays the "I'm a victim of sexism role."

She still blames James Rowen for making her mock the death of a four year old girl. You're a bad, bad man, James.

It's OK for her to criticize others in cruel and vicious ways, but if she gets criticized, it's sexism.
She also uses the Scott Jensen defense, when asked about Eugene Kane: "I didn't call him anything that other conservatives hadn't already called him."

Her voices drops every time she gets defensive or slanders liberals. (Just an observation).

She claims there were no conservative voices in the media 20 years ago. She must not have heard of the Milwaukee Sentinel.

She likes the wide diversity of the blogosphere. She can read white conservatives, black conservatives, and women conservatives, young conservatives and old conservatives. Woo, boy! What a smorgasbord!

She's 37 years old.

Now, please excuse me. I have to get my ears to stop bleeding.

Hey, check out these pro-life hotties!

Patrick McIlheran: Pant, pant...Charlie Sykes: Hubba! Hubba!

The next time McIlheran and Sykes are wondering why they might be regarded as shallow and sexist they can recall that they chose to mark the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade by linking to and posting pictures of female pro-life demonstrators, not because of their views on the issue, but because they thought they were good-looking.

Really, is there a better demonstration of their opinions about women?

Remember that what McIlheran and Sykes want is to implement their own judgments and conclusions about abortion as government policy, as law, for everyone. What women want for themselves, for their families, just isn’t important. McIlheran and Sykes are smarter, more ethical, and they know what’s best. For everyone.

Pretty low.

Even for those two.

One Wisconsin Now has information about an attempt to roll back Wisconsin’s extremist and shameful abortion laws that are still on the books despite the fact they are moot.

Cross posted at Pundit Nation.

Coming Highlights

In the next day or two, Whallah! is planning on presenting:
  • A review of McBride's radio interview
  • An analysis of McBride's latest column at GMToday
  • More examples of the hate right
  • More of the adventures of Sykes, McIlheran, etc.

So stay tuned kids--Same Whallah! time, same Whallah! channel.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Death Of Talk Radio?

Tim Cuprisin of MSJ has a posting on his blog regarding the relationship between talk radio and the presidential elections. His point is basically, they don't know what they're talking about. (Note to Mr. Cuprisin: I could've told you that a long, long time ago.)

Mr. Cuprisin links to Michael Medved and cites some bits from Medved's blog showing how ineffective and inaccurate talk radio is becoming as people see through their facades. The most notable of these is:

"The talk radio jihad against Mac and Huck hasn’t destroyed or even visibly damaged those candidates. But it has damaged, and may help destroy, talk radio"

Mike Mathias at Pundit Nation (this is third mention today-You'd think he could've done that all here and given me a day off, sheesh) links to another local blogger citing Medved's site, but adds one interesting question:

So, the voters are stupid and Rush Limbaugh know what’s best for them? Hasn't that been the conservative critique about the so-called "liberal" news media?

All I can add to this is to paraphrase an old saying: "From their mouths to God's ear."

Whallahing Around The Blogosphere

First, let's start out with Steve Jagler, the executive editor of the Small Business Times, takes umbrage with some of Bellowing's bellowings:

In classic Belling form, he read the blog and then directed his anger at me. He repeatedly referred to "This Steve Jagler …" It was almost surreal, hearing myself referred to in third person, as if I was some sort of mystic.

My staff encouraged me to call in to defend myself on Belling's show, but I knew that would have been a pointless venture. So, I think I'll respond here, because he can't shout over me, and he can't hang up on me.

For the moment, I'm going to let Belling's personal attacks against me slide off my back. I have never even met the man. But I have thick skin, and I'll just consider the source. After all, moments after he ripped me, he criticized Microsoft founder Bill Gates. I'll gladly accept that company.

Second on our tour is the Pundit Nation, where Mike Mathias outlines Mr. Jagler's post and adds his own insight to when he realized Bellowing to be more than just a nuisance:

For me, Belling’s program crossed the line from being just a forum for a loudmouth with a microphone and some annoying views into a pervasive and a negative influence around 2000. That was during the last census, and Belling told a joke that advised his listeners to check “black” on their forms to get a “bigger check.”

Did he really mean it as a joke? Who knows, but the “wet-back” controversy came not long after that, and Belling’s comments on crime in Milwaukee consists of mostly racist innuendos. I’m not sure what Belling thinks his program is, but it’s not a meaningful contribution to our political or civic discourse.

And we end our little tour at folkbums, where KR gives a job performance evaluation to Sykes and Bellowing. The job: Being supporting members of the community. Their performance level:
Less than stellar:

In business, a sense of proportion is important and here you display extreme deficiency. Instances where you have wildly overstated the issues include alleging wide-spread voter fraud, the need for conceal and carry, Wisconsin as a tax hell and internationally advocating the invasion of Iraq and in so wasting valuable resources for no apparent reason. Your perception of situations is clouded by a wall of preconceived notions higher than the Hoover Dam.

In short, gentlemen you have failed to provide value to the organization.

On the positive side, you exhibit good personal grooming habits.

Though our policy precludes dismissal, a copy of this review will be in your file.

We hope this evaluation leads to some improvements in your

Who Needs Hope When You Can Have Gloom

Today was the official celebration of the birth of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Many local bloggers, like Mike Mathias, Illusory Tenant and Nick Schweitzer posted tributes to Dr. King and his legacy.

Sykes isn't that insightful. His post is about how today is supposed to be the gloomiest day of the year. He mentions the post holiday let down, the Christmas bills coming due, apathy, and the Packers loss on Sunday. (OK, we'll give him the Packer thing--that did suck.)

Not one word about Dr. King. I guess he feels that equal rights is too much like COEXIST.

Anyway, I have something that would cheer anyone up, even if the thought of civil rights and peaceful coexistence isn't enough.

Today also marks the first day of the last year of the Bush administration. Let us hope that we never get this fooled again.

L'Idee fixe

Did you ever notice how some people can become to be so fixated on something that they seem to be fixated? From Charlie's first post of the day, and his entire post (emphasis mine):

After a particularly traumatic Packer loss in the '90s, the paper ran some psychological advice for traumatized fans. The only one I remember was "avoid angry sex." Words to live by.

I wonder what Freud would have said about this one.

And this was preceded with a video of Bud Selig, trying to wax humorous about beating his wife.

Dr. Freud. Paging Dr. Freud.

The McIlheran Fan Club Gains Another Member

From Sunday's MSJ's Sunday Symposium:

Sunday Symposium: School choiceFrom Journal Sentinel readers

Posted: Jan. 19, 2008

School choice is motivated by money

Columnist Patrick McIlheran exposed flaws in the school choice movement as he attempted to rationalize its existence ("The war on choice malignly smolders," Jan. 16). As he spoke of the supposed cost savings, he unintentionally revealed the true motivation behind school choice - money.

To suggest that less money, poorly paid teachers with minimal education and training (high school diplomas or equivalent), and virtually no outside accountability somehow delivers an education equal to that of the best private schools is cynical and smacks of racism.

The people who have bankrolled the school choice movement often economically and socially segregate themselves from our needy children, refuse to place high-paying jobs in central city neighborhoods and fight to keep the poor and people of color from suburban communities and jobs by killing all public transportation initiatives.

To suggest that, when it comes to educating poor kids, they've had a change of heart requires a leap of faith and logic. It doesn't add up.

The problems with school choice are extreme and documented. The debate, as framed by those who control the money and the media, is dishonest.

School choice is a false promise that is not about kids. It's about the money.

Craig Siemsen

Of course, this was already covered by the wise Jay Bullock at folkbum's (a really good site, with some excellent writers).

And for the record, my name isn't Craig Siemsen.

Beware Of The Hyenas!

From a letter to the editor in MSJ's Saturday issue (emphasis mine):


Focus should be on talent and ideas

I read the Journal Sentinel article, "Clinton, McCain bounce back in N.H." with glee (Jan. 9). It's not because Hillary Clinton is my favorite candidate; she is not. Rather, it is that I want to see our conservative, right-wing radio talk show hosts collectively squirm in their seats.

These little men have been harassing her like a herd of rabid, flesh-ripping hyenas. The daily drumbeat goes on and on: Clinton shows too much cleavage, she is too cold and calculating, she is too weepy, she is too emotional, she laughs too loud and so on. These spinmeisters grab on to absolutely every detail and put a negative twist to it.

After a while, it gets repulsive and disgusting, and one can't help but wonder why grown men can predictably, and at length, behave in such a manner. What is their goal?

Groundless character assassination is not necessary; the best candidate will prevail. This country is dying for new leadership, and we should be grateful that there are people with the fortitude and ambition to take on this formidable task. Is it possible that these back-biting tactics will keep some good and talented people out of the race? I surely think so.

Fritz Jusak

Couldn't have said it better myself. And for the record, my name is not Fritz Jusak, nor do I live in Germantown.

And She Would Know Bias-Update

Before the weekend, we saw McBride's hypocrisy and selective outrage at the so-called liberal bias of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In the comments section, there was a comment from JB with a link to the Chief's blogsite, which highlighted the sensibility of the articles focus on TOMMY!:

I really don't know what to make of Jessica McBride's weird post on Darshan Dhaliwal, the gas station owner currently under investigation for sketchy business practices in Milwaukee. McBride's pissed that the MJS didn't mention his financial contributions to other candidates (more on this in a second) and that's fine, but is anyone really surprised that the article focused on Dhaliwal's relationship with Tommy Thompson? After all, it's one thing to be a donor, it's quite another to be an intimate associate...

You can read the rest here.

On further news, apparently, McBride complained to the paper, as she has a new post, in which the reporter responded that no bias was intended. McBride, however, was having no part of this. Her refusal to accept this might have been due to another line the reporter included in her email to McBride (emphasis mine):

As difficult as it might be to accept for those who thrive on stoking division in the community, I sincerely hope the explanation quells any concerns or confusion about bias and motivation on my part or the part of the Journal Sentinel.

Mmm, it appears she knows about McBride as well.

Well, McBride was going to let this go and apparently wrote to the editors of the paper, which we already know to be conservative, who have printed a correction.

We're waiting to see if she changes the name of her blog to "McBride: Public Avenger." Well, that's more likely than McBride correcting any inaccuracies on her site.

Friday, January 18, 2008

The Hate Right

McIlheran repeats the same drivel that Sykes had on earlier, and ends his post with this:

All I know is that, consequent to some of the opinions I post, I get comments and email saying I should be forthwith fired to save the remaining dignity of the Journal Sentinel. I am also told, often in the same comments or email, that I am writing hate-filled opinions or that I am evidently motivated by hate. To which all I can say is that I don't feel particularly enraged and that I haven't ever written a letter to the editor demanding someone be canned because I disagreed with him.

Oh, no! Someone criticized him. How Dreadful! What a blow to his fragile ego.

But did he ever receive the type of comments that Illusory Tenant did? I highly doubt it.

We might be the "hate left" in their eyes, but at least we have manners.

That'll Show Us

In a desperate attempt to spin out of the negative impression that most people have of Bush, Cheney and most of the neocons in the media and blogosphere that go on and on and on with their sermons of hate and intolerance, Charlie shows us that we are all wet.

You see, he has conclusive proof that this is simply not true, and it is the hate left that is the more intolerant, the more hateful. His proof: An article written by a right wing guy in a right wing paper whose only proof is some cherry-picked data from a rather silly study.

I'll feel ashamed after I'm done laughing....

And She Would Know Bias

McBride puts up one of her now infrequent posts, and surprisingly, it's not about the presidential election. This time she is complaining about her former employer and it's supposed liberal bias.

She specifically is complaining about this story which highlights some of the shenanigans committed by Darshan Dhaliwal, a man that own several gas stations and has been known to throw money around to various politicians. Her beef with the article is that it focuses on the fact that Dhaliwal gave most of the money to TOMMY. To her credit, McBride does admit that Dhaliwal even gave money to her husband to his failed run for Attorney General.*

Gee, I don't remember her squawking about the stories about Dennis Troha. Those stories focused on the money he gave to Doyle, with the right salivating at the thought that would be the Governor's downfall. Not only did it not turn out to be quite the smoking gun they had hoped for, it turns out that Troha had even more dealings with Bush and Paul Ryan, who actually performed acts of favor for the money Troha gave him.

Nor is that MSJ's first round with favoritism, as I have written about at my other home.

Of course, in McBride's world, it's only bias if it's against her side, otherwise it's just good reporting.

*Do you think that part of the reason his campaign failed might have something to do with the fact that he endorsed his opponent?

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The Nanny Squawkers

Sykes, Belling, McIlheran and the rest of the squawking brigade will often complain about the "nanny state" telling us how to run our lives, and in the next sentence, they will tell us how they think we should be running our lives.

Paul Soglin shows us another example:

Not content to let Charlie Sykes corner the market on telling Wisconsinites how to raise their children, Mark Belling has some sage advice and opinions for those of you disappointed that the 18th century work-houses of Oliver Twist's day are no longer thriving.

Pete Kennedy at GMtoday, wrote a thoughtful piece, Don't fill up the cup, Arrowhead drug testing a ‘really stupid’ idea , questioning the wisdom and the constitutionality of the Arrowhead High School drug testing policy.

Belling, eloquently jumps into the discussion with this profundity, Way to Go Arrowhead,

The presumption that a high school kid has rights is precisely the attitude that empowers them to make bad decisions.
The illogic, the misunderstanding of the Constitution, and the sheer stupidity of this comment makes The Three Stooges, yes, all seven of them, presidential contenders.

Paul goes to show other examples of Bellings double standards, which are so typical of all of the squawkers. You can read his entire post here.

Better Dress In Layers

Friday, January 18th, is the fifth time for the Iraq Moratorium movement. When it started out, it was small, and the right wingers mocked it. Since then, it has steadily grown, as the nation's anger towards this obscene and unjust war has grown. This month there are three communities in Wisconsin, Janesville, Ripon and Superior, that are holding their first events.

For a full listing of events, places and times, click here or click on the Iraq Moratorium icon on the right side of the page. If you are unable to attend one of these events, please do something, no matter how small, to show support.

My Democratic Presidential Election Prediction

I do hereby predict that no matter who wins the Democratic nomination for President, even if by some strange and unexplicable fluke of nature, it turns out to be Fred Thompson or any other Republican, Charlie Sykes will call him or her the most liberal politican in the history of this country.

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid

She's back on the air!

Oh, the horror...OK, must get a grip. Sob...Wait, give me a sec...Alright, I think I can go on now.

WUWM's Lake Effect program has been doing a series this week covering local bloggers. The have spoken with Jay Bolluck of folkbum (who runs an excellent site, second only to Whallah!), Mike Mathias of Pundit Nation, Gretchen Schuldt from Milwaukee Rising, and Illusory Tenant's number one fan club member.

Interesting shows that give a little insight into each of these players. As I was listening to Gretchen's interview, which happened this morning, the host of the show, Jane Hampden, mentioned tomorrow's guest. You guessed it.

She's baaaaaack!

Unfortunately for you, and fortunately for me, I won't be able to listen to it for a few days, but you can access it yourself at the link above. (Unless I can find that Tim Rock guy, or Other Side, if Tim's not available, and con one of them into doing it.)

The Clarke-Jones Hypocrisy

Remember when Arthur Jones was the Chief of Police for the City of Milwaukee? Sykes, Belling, Wagner, et al. would hammer him on an almost daily basis for his "tyrannical" type of leadership, his ineffective policing strategy, and for treating the rank and file like dogs.

So why is it that they give Sheriff David Clarke, who rose in the ranks and was a higher ranking officer under Jones, gets such a break? For example, let's look at this excerpt from Sir Zachary the True Blue:

...This is a man who, during his tenure in office, has done more to alienate the rank and file members of the Sheriff’s Department than any of his predecessors, a fact that isn’t surprising given his penchant for calling his subordinates “losers” and “dumb,” and putting aside his lack of any kind of leadership qualities, he hasn’t really done much to fix that which is wrong with the Sheriff’s Department. This is also the same man who time and time again blames his subordinates whenever there’s a problem at the jail, leading me to conclude Sheriff Clarke’s obviously not a believer in Harry Truman’s philosophy that “The Buck Stops Here.” As Sheriff, he should take some responsibility for how the jail is operated, because that is one of his mandates as Sheriff, yet time and time again he deflects any blame off himself and on to the deputies and corrections officers that work under him, ostensibly because he’s more concerned about his own political future than he is about doing what’s right for the Sheriff’s Department - and not just David Clarke.

After all, how can anyone forget the absolute failure that was the GRIP program, Sheriff Clarke’s vaunted - but ultimately ineffective - program for taking guns off Milwaukee’s streets. I sure haven’t forgotten GRIP, because it was largely due to the GRIP program that deputies in the field were sent on a fool’s errand instead that yielded little in the way of actual results, while creating holes in coverage throughout the county.

You can read the rest of the post from Sir Zachary here.

What Is Charlie Posting Today?

So far this morning, Charlie has put up three posts:

1) His "Hot Read": Which is a link showing the Bush is royally screwing things up in regards to the economy. Something which we've known for a loooooong time, but that Charlie has been in deep, deep denial about. Is there hope for him?

2) A post in which he channels his inner McBride by slamming Eugene Kane.

3) A video with a naked guy in it.

Why do people pay attention to this guy is just beyond me.

Who's The Terrorists' Best Friend?

If one were to listen to the right wing squawk brigade and their echo chamber, one would think that every liberal, Democrat and member of the hate left was in active collaboration with Al Qaeda.

So you will understand if they are a little sheepish about these grandiose, sweeping, and irresponsible allegations and generalizations for a few days. This will be because of this story found on JSOnline:

A former congressman and delegate to the United Nations was indicted Wednesday on charges of working for an alleged terrorist fundraising ring that sent more than $130,000 to an al-Qaida supporter who has threatened U.S. and international troops in Afghanistan.

Mark Deli Siljander, a Michigan Republican when he was in the House, was charged with money laundering, conspiracy and obstructing justice for allegedly lying about being hired to lobby senators on behalf of an Islamic charity that authorities said was secretly sending funds to terrorists.

The 42-count indictment, unsealed in U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Mo., accuses the Islamic American Relief Agency of paying Siljander $50,000 for the lobbying - money that turned out to be stolen from the U.S. Agency for International Development.

So, if you see a Republican, and just to be safe, any conservative, please call Homeland Security immediately, and tell them you just found an ally to the terrorists. And a likely thief to boot.

And keep an eye on those Libertarians, too. ;)

The Royal Court

Hear ye, hear ye!

I, Capper, your King of the Hate Left, hath received numerous missives inquiring about my Royal Court.

Truly, I doth see the need to make a Royal Proclamation announcing those that are to be part of my Royal Court.

For fear of offending someone through sin of omission, I hereby doth declare that if thou doest have interest in petitioning for a position as one of the nobility of the hate left, thou must doest so anon. Forsooth, it wouldst pleaseth me greatly if thou wouldst also include the title for which thou doest petition.

Thou may petition the King through the comments or direct email at

The King has spoken. So shall it be.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Wagner Run Amok

A faithful reader tipped me off to this story.

Last Friday, Wagner dedicated a fair amount of air time to blasting the staff at Mitchell International Airport. It seems that he was in an uproar because some snow caused some planes to be diverted. One of these planes happened to be carrying a friend of his, who is also a business associate of his wife.

During his tirade, he spoke to Airport Director Barry Bateman on the phone. Mr. Bateman explained that the problem was that the FAA landing system equipment failed due to the snow. You can read the whole explanation here.

In Wagner's squall of squawking, he gets several facts wrong.

  • He claims that the plows weren't called in until 7:30 p.m. The story reports they started plowing at 6:45 p.m.
  • Wagner said every weather report predicted the snow earlier. The National Weather Service didn't predict it until much later.
  • Wagner doesn't understand that there are two levels of government here, and confuses the county with the feds.
  • He feels that one can treat a sensitive piece of equipment like one would treat their TV satellite dish, even though he says that he wouldn't have done it.
  • Wagner claims that the airport was closed, even though planes were taking off. They just couldn't land.

Wagner also goes on to state at one time that planes couldn't land because of the FAA equipment, and in less than two minutes, blames the plow drivers for not clearing the runway. In fact, he blames just about everyone short of me.

He was so manic about this issue, that he wouldn't listen to the man he was interviewing. If you don't believe me, you can hear the audio of it for yourself. But be warned, you will feel the urge to yell out, "Objection, your Honor. He's badgering the witness."

What he fails to mention is that if it was due to the plowing, or lack thereof, that this would have stemmed from the draconian budget cuts issued by County Executive Scott Walker.

And now that they are forecasting snow again for Thursday, don't be surprised by a repeat performance.

Brawler Beat Me To It...

...and, as usual, did it better. So, I will cheat and just copy and paste, as usual.

Is Journal Sentinel columnist Patrick McIlheran a bad Catholic?

What do we owe people who lose their jobs to globalization?

Quoth Patrick McIlheran: Nothing!

Pope John Paul II had a different point of view:

''Unemployment that is not the fault of the unemployed becomes a social
scandal when available work is not distributed fairly and the profit of the work
is not used to create new work for as many possible.''

What a communist!

Why Weren't Those Kids In (Virtual) School?

Sykes, along with the usual suspects in the right wing echo chamber, are crowing about a rally held today in Madison. They were protesting the courts upholding the law, and finding that virtual schooling wasn't legal for school funding, as they weren't, you know, schools.

The group behind this rally issued a press release, which Sykes proudly posted on his blog. This release starts out with this:

Holding signs that read "Don't kick me out of school, I didn't do anything wrong" and "This Vote Will Go on Your Permanent Record!" a crowd of more than 1100 students, parents and educators rallied at the Wisconsin State Capitol Wednesday afternoon.

Gee, it seems to me that before this, whenever there was an education-related protest or demonstration or rally in Madison, Sykes would be the first one out there, squawking like a wet hen, about how those darn kids should be in school, and not out there trying to protect their schools.

I think the kids should have held a virtual protest. It would have been more apropos.

UPDATE: Ken Mobile raises some interesting questions about virtual schooling and has a link of his own to a site raising even more.

It's Not A Matter Of What, But Of Who

We already know what the right wing squawk brigades position towards universal healthcare is. Namely, they don't like it. They're deathly afraid of it. One of their favorite talking points to try to prevent it, is that the government would tell you what you can and cannot eat, drink, smoke, or anything else. This is illustrated in a post done by McIlheran on October 22nd:

One more reason to put the government in charge of everyone's health: You get nifty monitoring like in Britain, where authorities are going to be weighing children in school and sending warning letters to parents of kids who are too fat.

It's not Big Brother who's watching you. It's Big Nurse, actually. And wouldn't that make you feel comforted, when the people who run the doctors also run the prosecutors, the police, the courts and the child-protective services?

In another post that McIlheran wrote yesterday, he talks of Minnesota, where they are also trying to enact a form of universal healthcare. He cites a person named Katherine Kersten, and repeats some of her suggestions that should be done instead of offering healthcare to everyone. He calls them "just the usual good economics":

Permit insurers and employers to charge employees different premiums based on lifestyle choices. Obesity is pervasive, and is linked to a host of costly health problems. Yet companies charge the same premium to the 300-pound guy who smokes three packs a day as to the guy in the next office who eats a decent diet. If we permit companies to charge overweight people and smokers a premium rate commensurate with their increased risks, we’ll likely see Minnesotans slim down and toss those Camels.

So, you see, the right is not against healthcare costs going up. Nor are they concerned with the use of financial sanctions to promote things like stopping smoking or healthier diets. Good heavens, no.

They just want to make sure that your money goes to the right place. After all, how can we on the hate left be so selfish as to want everyone to get healthcare, when that would put those poor, poor mulit-millionaire Big Insurance CEOs on the brink of starvation.

Why Are They Leaving Wisconsin?

A recurring theme for our favorite MSJ columnist/blogger/squawker is that there is a brain drain going on in Wisconsin. McIlheran keeps stating that this is because of the poor economic incentives, the high taxes, or some such nonsense.

Now, let's re-enter the world of reality. Bruce Murphy, of Milwaukee Magazine, has a column highlighting the homophobic tendencies of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel in the way they chose to cover the passing of Governor Lee Sherman Dreyfus. MSJ was the only paper in the entire state not to mention that Governor Dreyfus did a lot to promote gay rights.

This story is an interesting read in itself. However, in the comments thread, we see two people who respond to this story, and coincidently steal some of McIlheran's thunder:

>> posted by Jay on 1/15/2008 12:11:22 PM

Hmmm. A homophobic paper in a homophobic city in a homophobic state. Hard to imagine. WI and MKE used to be able to call themselves progressive. Now we're just another embarrassing hate-state opposed to personal freedom. Count me as one of the MANY young, educated people here who are looking to leave, and leave this place to all the biggots.

Good riddance Milwaukee.

>> posted by Jake on 1/15/2008 2:18:27 PM

Hate to echo the pessimism, but I agree with Jay. I grew up here and, needless to say, Milwaukee ain't what it used to be. I'm outta here, too.

On a sidenote, a third commenter, and a friend of Whallah!'s, adds something that calls for further investigation:

>> posted by Michael Horne on 1/15/2008 2:59:56 PM

I am the only person who wrote regularly for the Sentinel who was openly gay, and I never found another from the Journal or the merged papers. I've been gone from there over 15 years and have yet to see another gay writer on the paper. Also note that now that Dr. Terry Boughner is dead, the paper has no go-to source on gay issues. They'd call on him 100 per cent of the time. Two of the largest gay sporting events in the United States -- one bowling, the other softball -- have taken place in this city for decades without a mention in the paper.
Michael Horne
milwaukeeworld com
P.S. You're pointing your finger in the right direction.