Friday, February 29, 2008

Giving Proper Credit Where Credit Is Due

What is it with the right wing squawkers? It is a well known fact that the local right wing media makes their livings out of distorting the truth, twisting facts, and even telling outright lies. If this wasn't true, there would be no need for Whallah! to be ever watchful, ever vigilant, and fearless in our pursuit to bring you, the gentle reader, the real truth, as opposed to their venomous lies and slanders.

But for pity's sake, why do they always fail to at least give proper credit to their sources? This is easily exemplified by McIlheran quoting one of my posts, but only referring to the source as "some blogger or other".

And for some unknown reason, one of their favorite targets to shortchange giving credit to is Michael Horne, the astute observer/reporter who writes at the fine site of MilwaukeeWorld.
We first noticed this sort of skulduggery when Jessica (Where the heck has she been?) McBride gave him the short shrift by posting on some of Mr. Horne's work, but then giving the credit to another blogger.

Now, Jeff Wagner joins in this lack of blogging ethics with a post smearing the next Milwaukee County Executive, Lena Taylor. Wagner has this line from his post:
...Then there was the non-announcement announcement of her candidacy. ...

The reader would notice that the link (included from Wagner's post) leads to a column posted by Bruce Murphy, at Milwaukee Magazine. If the reader continues and reads Mr. Murphy's post, you would see that Mr. Murphy is also a journalist of high standards (and a darn good read as well) when he wrote:
It was actually that jumped on the story first. My column credited that Web site with reporting Taylor’s intention to run, as declared in her speech at the Fighting Bob Fest in Baraboo. But the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel soon quoted Taylor to the effect that she wasn’t running yet.

For those of you who are interested, here is the link to Mr. Horne's post in which he broke the story of Senator Taylor entering the race.

What is with these right wing squawkers? Are they so afraid of the left that not only will they add a liberal site to their blogrolls, they refuse to give proper credit to the original author? What Wagner should have done, had he any scruples, would have linked to Mr. Horne's post, and noted that he found it through Mr. Murphy's column. Instead, Wagner only gives the credit to Mr. Murphy, and doesn't even mention Mr. Horne. (Incidentally, Mr. Horne has more journalistic skill than the whole lot of the squawkers combined, which may be another cause of their insecurity.)

Could you imagine what would have happened to this state if Wagner had actually won his bid for Attorney General all those years ago? He would have lost every case he prosecuted, as his ineptitude would provide legal fodder for even the most incompetent of lawyer wannabes. And he would have been absolutely humiliated if he were to be put up against one of the better attorneys in this fine state of ours.

Paddy's minority report on voter fraud

Paddy McIlheran, a member of the Journal Sentinel editorial board, thinks that "the Milwaukee police" found vote fraud. He's just beside himself, apparently having just learned that there were some mistakes made in the election more than three years ago -- mistakes first reported, and reported extensively and repeatedly, by his own newspaper.
But 2004 included much more, enough that U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic could report afterward that he stood by his initial assessment: There was clear evidence of vote fraud, even if most cases would be impossible to prosecute.

Now, the Milwaukee Police Department’s report serves up 67 pages of cases, addresses, numbers and this conclusion: “The task force believes fraud was committed.” It quotes one of its investigators: “I know I voted in the election, but I can’t be certain it counted.”

The details are damning, with investigators repeatedly blaming not mischance but the flawed combination of an inept election apparatus and the nation’s most porous voting procedures.
Perhaps Paddy Mac should read Milwaukee's daily newspaper, the Journal Sentinel, which pays him to write such drivel.

In its front page story, he might have found this:
In a statement, Police Chief Edward Flynn said the report's findings are the views of the investigators, and the department would not take a stand on the policy issues.
In other words, it was not the Milwaukee Police Department but some still-unidentified detectives who took it upon themselves to recommend policy changes in the state's voting laws. Their assignment was to investigate for possible criminal behavior, of which they admitted they found almost none.

Then there's US Attorney Biskupic, the guy who reportedly almost lost his job because Republicans didn't think he was aggressive enough in trying to suppress the vote. McIlheran says Biskupic said there was "clear evidence of voter fraud." But Paddy didn't say how much. Here, again, is what the JS said in its lead story:
In the end, U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic said there had been no findings of widespread fraud. About a dozen cases were pursued, to mixed results.
In other words, a handful of cases of proven fraud among 277,000 votes cast in the city.

Then there's the editorial, representing the view of the paper's editorial board, of which Paddy is a member. It says, among other things:
A Milwaukee police investigation of a badly managed general election in 2004 describes a litany of, well, bad management.

This is old news. The Journal Sentinel has reported extensively on this, and, shortly after the 2004 election, a city task force noted many of the same problems.

But here's what you should consider if you agree with the report's recommendations to eliminate same-day registration and create a voter ID requirement. The city and the state have had at least two major elections since 2004. There was the 2006 November election and the state primary election earlier this month. Both had good turnouts, and both went swimmingly...

Almost as an afterthought, the report recommends, "in the absence of any substantive change," that election inspectors be given "adequate training and resources" to do their jobs well.

Fortunately, cooler heads already moved that final and best recommendation to the front of the line a while ago. They did so because, as the report seems to document, true incidences of voter fraud were few.
Just consider Paddy's rantings the complaints of an editorial board member who had a chance to make his case to his colleagues on the editorial board, lost the argument, and now feels compelled to make a fuss about it. No one else on the board behaves that way. But, then again, no one else uses terms like bien-pensant when a 25-cent word would do. Perhaps a tribute to the late William F. Buckley, Jr.? Not in his league, Paddy. Not now, not ever.

(Cross-posted at Uppity Wisconsin.)


The Miami Herald announced an award won by one of its own and one of America's finest columnists.
The American Society of Newspaper Editors has awarded Miami Herald columnist
Leonard Pitts Jr. the top prize for commentary/column writing, it was announced
Sunday. Pitts won the award for a selection of columns including those on the
death of NFL star Sean Taylor, the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the Jena

This marks the second time Pitts was named top columnist in the nation by ASNE.

In other news, Journal-Sentinel columnist Patrick McIlheran packs his own lunch three days out of five.

Did Sykes Write A New Book?

Or is he just promoting his older ones?

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Whatever Will He Do Now?

Pity poor McIlheran. First, he has to decide between following his religious leaders, or his conservative tendencies. Now McIlheran has to make another choice.

It is well documented that McIlheran despises any group that would dare make recommendations towards healthier living styles. He rails against those that point out that smoking is unhealthy, alcohol consumption can have bad effects, fatty foods aren't good for you, and so on. He is always griping about what he calls the "nanny state."

Likewise, McIlheran often sides with positions that are commonly espoused by Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce. He is against taxes of any sort (unless they're for building more freeways). He is also opposed to any sort of regulations on businesses. In fact, he could be safely labeled as being pro-Big Business.

Interestingly, WMC has now come out and joined forces with Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease. Today's JSOnline is quoting WMC as saying:
In a statement, WMC said chronic disease accounts for 75% of health-care costs, and that half of costs are related to lifestyle choices such as smoking, unhealthy diet and lack of exercise.

One of his favorite groups is now saying people need to quit smoking, eat healthier, and get more exercise. In other words, they are teaming up with the nanny states.

The question is: What will McIlheran do now? The way I figure it, he has one of four choices:
  1. He can take the position that being a nanny is sometimes OK,
  2. He can take the position that WMC is not always right,
  3. He could simply ignore the whole thing, or
  4. He could come up with some real twisted way of rationalizing away the dichotomy.

What is your guess?

Score One For McCain

Last month, there was a discussion regarding whether talk radio was still relevant. There was serious doubt being expressed, even by the right wing pundits themselves.

The cause of their consternation was the fact that even though the majority of radio squawkers were spending all of their air time telling the faithful conservative masses that McCain was somewhere between Hillary Clinton and pond scum, Republicans still voted for him in mass numbers until he became the apparent nominee for the GOP.

Even though now most of the squawkers are reluctantly throwing their support behind McCain, there are still some that try to lord it over him in a desperate effort to show that they are still relevant.

Earn more than a small bit of respect from me, McCain showed that he has more class than all of the squawkers combined when he repudiated one of their ilk for their usual brand of fear-mongering and hate-speech:
"I apologize for it," the Arizona senator told reporters, addressing the issue before they had a chance to ask about Cunningham's comments.

"I did not know about these remarks, but I take responsibility for them. I repudiate them," he said. "My entire campaign I have treated Senator Obama and Senator (Hillary Rodham) Clinton with respect. I will continue to do that throughout this campaign."

McCain called both Democrats "honorable Americans" and said, "I want to dissociate myself with any disparaging remarks that may have been said about them."

Yes, I have more respect for McCain than I did before this incident. I'm still not going to vote for him, but I do respect him more than I used to. I just wish some of that gentility could have rubbed off on the local squawking heads when he was here.

Sykes Newest Motto

Like we didn't already know this:

By Golly, This Is Easy

Mark Belling
Overblown and overrated

News Flash For Sykes

Sykes "hot read" for the day is actually a video of McCain's sound bite attacking Senator Obama about al Qaeda in Iraq.

What Sykes doesn't want you to know is the whole story. Here, via Senator Obama, is the real news flash for McCain and Sykes:

I wonder if Sykes is afraid of change, because that would mean he would have to start telling the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, for a change.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Sykes: Walker's Water Boy

While doing my homework for a post on folkbum's, regarding the upcoming election for County Executive, I came across something of interest.

It was a post by Ken Mobile, who was refuting Walker's horrific plan to continue the ruination of the Milwaukee County Parks System. Mr. Mobile cited another post, one written several months ago by a Mark Maley, who is a member of the Parks People.

You know that Mr. Maley knows his stuff when he has this near the top of his post:
...On the surface, Sykes’ regurgitation of Walker’s attribution of clear thinking sounds plausible, but when looked at in the context of its effect on the park system it is exposed for what it is – irresponsible.
and ends in a strong fashion with this:
The bottom line is that if you truly value a quality park system and believe that the spiral of reductions to our once-envied Milwaukee County Parks Department should stop, here and now, don’t listen to the weak rationalizations of Charlie Sykes. After all, he is merely toting water for his own personal county executive, Scott Walker.
Of course, Sykes' backing of Walker is another excellent reason to support Senator Lena Taylor for Milwaukee County Executive. You can visit her website to find how you can support her.

What We Have Here Is A Failure To Communicate

McIlheran sure knows his way around a thesaurus. Too bad he doesn't know his way around a dictionary as well.

In one of his posts today, McIlheran posts his views on an article that appeared in the morning's daily local. Said article had to deal with a woman who filed a discrimination lawsuit against her former employer. The woman claimed that she was harassed at work, and eventually suspended, for speaking Spanish to her mother on the phone, and to a coworker about personal issues.

As one would have guessed, McIlheran was not sympathetic to the woman. Amazingly, for someone who makes in living working for a newspaper, as a columnist, he shows a remarkable lack of understanding of the basics of communication. McIlheran writes (emphasis mine):

But that wasn't the issue. Ethnicity wasn't the issue. Language was. Ethnicity is immutable and doesn't have anything to do with how people interact. Language is learned and has everything to do with how people interact.

What in the world is he thinking, saying that ethnicity has nothing to do with how people interact? That is one of the very basic premises of communications. A person's ethnicity goes into forming their culture and their cultural norms. A person's culture determines what is and isn't significant to a person and how much weight they give to any given word or principle.

Just about every major school and university in the world has a series of courses dedicated to intercultural communication. Problems in this area has been known to start wars and hostilities that last for generations.

And McIlheran cluelessly claims that ethnicity has nothing to do with communications. Unbelievable. And I thought McBride was bad.

Sigh. Oh, well, since we know that McIlheran reads Whallah!, I will try to help to steer the man towards something he should have already known. We'll start out simple. From Wikipedia, here are some tips that McIlheran might want to bone up on before he tries to communicate with anyone outside of his very small circle:

When language skills are unequal, clarifying one’s meaning in four ways will improve communication (emphasis theirs):
  1. avoid using slang and idioms, choosing words that will convey only the most specific denotative meaning;
  2. listen carefully and, if in doubt, ask for confirmation of understanding (particularly important if local accents and pronunciation are a problem);
  3. recognise that accenting and intonation can cause meaning to vary significantly; and
  4. respect the local communication formalities and styles, and watch for any changes in body language.
  5. Investigate their culture's perception of your culture by reading literature about your culture through their eyes before entering into communication with them. This will allow you to prepare yourself for projected views of your culture you will be bearing as a visitor in their culture.

Another Area Where They Don't Really Want To Go

Sykes, as I figured he eventually would, put up a post that has been circling the right side of the Cheddarsphere. It highlights a YouTube video of state Senator Lena Taylor having a moment of confusion during a session at the Senate.

Is this where they really want to go? After eight years of them promoting this guy for POTUS, and then apologizing for him for all of those years?

And with Sykes starting to advertise his "Incite 2008" squawkfest, who can forget his wonderful blunder from last year, when he started accusing Michael McGee, Jr. of saying things that weren't said. It still warms the cockles of my heart to remember him having to apologize the the "Alderthug" for his false and malicious statements.

Of course, in retrospect, it was probably just Sykes having a Freudian slip, and he meant to put down the Jewish religion.

Sykes Changes Sides

But, but, but I thought Sykes was a Giuliani Thompson Romney McCain backer...

We're In Full Agreement

Guess who can do his own screen caps now?

He Keeps Writing Them, We Keep Posting Them

More fun with screen caps, thanks to the illusory one.

Those Wacky Talk Show Hosts Don't Know Much About...Current Events

Ha, ha, ha! Vicki Mckenna has defaced the once-proud WIBA website with a picture of poker-playing dogs but only...(Get this now. It's a knee slapper in conservative circles.)... some of the dogs have been replaced with tyrants and one of them has been morphed into Barack Obama.

She seems to be trying to make the point that...well, I'm not sure. Castro's out of power and Saddam is dead and is that Idi Amin or Robert Mugabe? Now Osama, we know is still hiding out there somewhere because President Rainman quit looking for him, but the rest?

Is McKenna's point that if Obama is elected we'll start talking to Ahdeminijad? The Secretary of State has been hinting at starting those talks since 2005. She's not actually been able to accomplish anything but McKenna finds that a virtue in an elected official, apparently.

Is McKenna trying to say that Obama will go back in time to deal with Saddam? Or is she just trying to make the usual lame visual puns based on the candidate's name?

I think that, as usual, she's missed the real story. If she's looking for pictures of people embracing tyrants she doesn't need to rely on (bad) Photoshop. Those pics are out there for all to see.

He Said, We Didn't

Again with many thanks to the ever observant iT:

Monday, February 25, 2008

Don't Take My Word For It

If you're conservative and looking for a reason to sit on your hands in November, Bellowing has a list just for you.
McCain voted against the Bush tax cuts, is opposed to oil drilling in Alaska, supports the Kyoto global warming treaty, sponsored the anti-free speech campaign finance "reform," sabotaged attempts to confirm President Bush’s judicial nominees, pushed for amnesty for illegal immigrants, is opposed to mild interrogation tactics like "waterboarding," wants to close Guantanamo, supports racial preferences and hasn’t been a leader on a single issue important to conservatives other than the war in Iraq.

'Nuff said?

A couple of side questions for Mark. I can understand why someone with your mindset would put "reform" in quotes but what's up with the punctuation on "waterboarding?" And if it's just a "mild interrogation tactic" would you recommend that Scott Jensen volunteers for it to avoid another trial? Or are you opposed to that?

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Do They "Really" Want to Go There?

In the wake of all the stupid conservative harping and demagoguing on what Michelle Obama “really” said or “really” meant, one can't help but wonder whether the Republicans “really” want to go there? Mr. Populist at Daily Kos wonders just this and adds this about the “real” John McCain who:

... follows the usual "family values" profile of Republican social climbers. He divorced first wife Carol in April 1980 and married Cindy one month later. Infidelity? Hell no!... they were just "friends.

Ah yes, the forgotten first Mrs. McCain. You know the one who stood by her imprisoned husband, and was there during his months of physical rehab, all the while suffering through her own physical ordeals. She would later echo her skirt-chasing husband's comments that he was indeed a 40-year old man going on 25 after extra-marital affairs were revealed.

Aside from being the other woman and anorexic trophy wife, what is the second Mrs. McCain's “really” biggest claim to fame? Why, it's that:

... in 1989 she developed an addiction to perocet and vicodin, two powerful morphine based pain killers. In 1993 she was caught stealing percocet from supply of the American Voluntary Medical Team, a charity she founded to provide health care and medications to war victims in underdeveloped nations. The DEA was investigated her and with the intervention of her well connected parents and McCain himself, Cindy got off the hook with the usual 90 day trip to the posh rehab. The American Voluntary Medical Team folded shortly after it ceased to be a supply point for Cindy's opiate habit.

Do conservatives “really” want to reopen this can of worms?

Friday, February 22, 2008

Sykes Wants To Steal Your Money

Today, both by blog and by airwave, Sykes starts his smear on Senator Lena Taylor, who is running for County Executive.

He selects one quote from the MSJ article on yesterday's debate, and then correctly, if rather snidely, points out that it is taxpayers money.

What he fails to tell is that because Walker sabotaged any attempts to get more money into Milwaukee, Walker is hoping that his budget holds together for one more month. And if our money doesn't go to Milwaukee, it will only go somewhere else. It isn't a realistic expectation that they will give us our money back directly.

Of course, no one, but yours truly, has given you a more comprehensive analysis of the debate, as well as highlighting the lack of a liberal bias in the local media.

The Beating Of One's Own Breast Is Often Counterproductive

Little Dan rambles over at Still Spinnin' about the indictment of Rick Renzi in an Arizona land and money laundering scam. Renzi announced back in August that he wouldn't be seeking re-election.

Deibert details the indictment and then starts to imitate the lesser lights of Milwaukee's squawk brigade. That's when the real fun starts.
Hey, he’s from Arizona! Look for a front page NY Times story tomorrow about how some (anonymous) person told them 10 years ago that Rick Renzi had a drink with John McCain and how another (anonymous) person told them that Renzi voted for McCain. Then a former (anonymous) member of John McCain’s staff will admit that McCain talked with Renzi on the phone once. They won’t know about what, but I think it’s a good guess that McCain was in on this 2005 deal.

Now if Dan wasn't spending his time ramblin' it's a pretty fair chance that he'd have been able to find out that Renzi is one of the two dozen McCain co-chairs in Arizona. I don't know about talking on the phone or who Renzi votes for but I do know who he's associated with in the past.

Grammar Does Matter

A friendly story for our grammatically-challenged conservative friends, Mickey and John.

Harry is getting along in years and finds he is increasingly unable to perform in bed. He finally goes to his doctor who tries a few things but nothing seems to work. Finally, the doctor refers him to an American Indian medicine man who happens to have an office around the corner.

The medicine man listens to Harry's description of his ailment. He tells Harry, "I can cure this." He throws a white powder into a flame. There is a flash and billowing blue smoke. Then the medicine man says, "This is powerful medicine. You can only use it once a year. All you have to do is say '123' and it shall rise for as long as you wish!"

Harry asks, "What happens when it's over, and I don't want to continue?"

The medicine man replies: "All you or your partner has to say is '1234', and it will go down. But be warned, it will not work again for another year!"

Harry rushes home, eager to try out his new powers and prowess. That night he showers, shaves, and puts on his most exotic shaving lotion. He gets into bed, and lying next to his wife, Joyce, says, "123." He immediately becomes more aroused than anytime in his life, just as the medicine man had promised.

He turns to his wife and touches her on the shoulder. Joyce, who had been facing away, turns over and asks, "What did you say 123 for?"

And that, my friends, is why you shouldn't end a sentence with a preposition.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Taking It To Him

We here at Whallah! feel it our civic duty to do two main things.

One is to point out the fallacious reasoning and positions of the local right wing media.

The other is to say the things that need to be said, if we were given an equal platform.

Sometimes, in a rare moment, you, the public, are allowed to Whallah! on your own.

A prime example would be a reason post by McIlheran. In this post, he puts cites another right wing blogger who thought it was a poor move on Obama's part not to go into Wall Street, where the big bucks are. McIlheran ends his post with this:
Yeah, unless you happen to think business and commerce stink because other people make more money than you. It's soooo unfair, you know. Which is pretty much my understanding of where that state senator was coming from. Free country, I guess.

Earning more than just a little respect from me, McIlheran lets a lot of comments stand. Comments that many other right wing bloggers would have just deleted. Take a look-see, especially at some of the comments. They have the Whallah! spirit in them. To whet your appetite, here is one sample comment:


In defense of THE NATION and NEW REPUBLIC, back in March and April of '07 they were still carrying water for Hilary. And THE AMERICAN THINKER is a tad skewed to the right. STILL, you have presented clear evidence that OBAMA worked hard to try and help the poor in Chicago. IS it surprising that he was not totally successful? At least the problem of poverty in one the richest nations on earth is a priority for Obama.

My sense, no offense intended, is that you distrust Obama's organizing and union roots because of the perceived harm this will do to BIG BUSINESS. And I would suggest that it might be time to consider the health and wealth of everyone in this country instead of relying on business and the very rich to TRICKLE DOWN their profits to the rest of us.

These are the differences of vision that make our great country so dynamic and successful

MR. BigCAt

It does bring a tear of pride to my eye to see this.

Sometimes Captions Aren't Necessary


Again, with many thanks to iT

Are There Problems In Paradise?

I always thought Sykes and Wagner got along...

With many thanks to iT

Wait A Cherry Picking Minute!

Sykes was kind enough to find a site of a right wing special interest group that did manage to do something honorable. Due to a lapse of judgment, a member of the Wisconsin Judicial Campaign Integrity Committee (WJCIC) who used an university system computer to do some emailing regarding Judge Gableman's refusal to sign on to a campaign pledge to have a clean campaign, as he tries, with the help of the WMC among others, to oust Justice Louis Butler.

However, fellow righty, and sometime guest pundit, Owen Robinson, lets slip that Sykes was "kind enough to excerpt some of the more troubling bits." In other words, Sykes cherry-picked the parts he wanted to make it seem as damning as possible. It does make one take pause to wonder, just what did Charlie leave out of his diatribe.

Our Royal Barrister, Illusory Tenant, in a rather unfair move, puts his keen mind and acumen against the relatively unarmed Sykes:
Some of the more entertaining portions of the e-mails concern Sykes himself. The committee briefly discusses, for example, an earlier Sykes cut-and-paste job from the Club For Growth's website alleging the committee's supposed "direct ties" to Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle and wonders whether it should formulate a response. Committee member Bill Kraus observes, "Replying to Charlie is the equivalent of getting into a pissing contest with a skunk."

Interestingly, in the same Sykes blog entry of January 3, which described the WJCIC as "a scam," longtime Republican Kraus is portrayed as the only committee member without a tie to Doyle.

You can read the how iT shreds the rest of their arguments here.

Please Get Help

Patrick Dorwin of Badger Blogger infamy had this to say the other day regarding Michelle Obama:

I’m glad that Michelle Obama is proud of her country “for the first time in [her] adult lifetime.” So I guess she pretty much thought that America sucked until now, huh? Well, I’m proud of America each and every day of my life. I am proud of the selflessness of our troops, as they fight for freedom of people around the world, I am proud of the technical advancements that our freedom has created. I am proud at our generosity around the world, the billions of dollars we spend every time there is a disaster somewhere. My hears [sic] swells when I see a flag blowing freely in the breeze or hear the National Anthem and other songs that make us proud. Seeing the Berlin Wall coming down, the defeat of Communism in Europe, seeing people risk death to come to freedom… How can you not be proud?

What Michelle Obama said, made me sick. I joked about being sickened by voting for Hillary Clinton, but this is no joke, saying that we don’t have anything to be proud of as Americans makes me physically ill.

Aside from the fact that Patrick's faux outrage is really quite funny to read, I just want to point out that he should probably step back a bit. Swelling of the heart, which is one of the symptoms of cardiomyophathy, is a dangerous condition, usually a result of genetic abnormaility (which would explain many things), and can result in heart failure. If you are becoming physically ill because of heart swelling, Patrick, you should really see a doctor.

And, preemptive comments like this one by Patrick, found later in that same thread are not cures for this ailment. Rather, they are indicative of deeper anxieties that should best be explored privately with a licensed psychologist.

I don’t care enough to check, but if they haven’t started already, Liberals will soon start talking about “those flag draped Conservatives” and making fun of those that are moved by patriotism as if it were something to be ashamed of.

It's because we care, Patrick.

Stuff To Share

Sometimes you just have to share the good stuff with your friends. Charlie shares with us every day and I'm not always properly grateful. He goes out and finds a piece of interest and then adds his own four or five words of analysis to it and sends it winging on its way under something called Sykes Writes. (More like Sykes Cuts and Pastes, but I digress.)

Tuesday he shared something he called the Best Email of the Day. I have seen it bandied about that if this was the best of the day, then reading through Charlie's Inbox could be the dreariest job in Milwaukee. Let's look at that missive Charlie thought so scintillating.
I haven't made up my mind yet, but I am putting together my Vote-For-A-Democrat-Kit to be ready to vote for Hillary. I've got some Anzemet for nausea and scopolamine for vertigo from a shady doctor, a Tyvek suit and Nitrile gloves to avoid any skin contamination, a tank of 100 percent oxygen to help clear my head and prevent nitrogen bubbles from forming in my blood as I return from the dark, punishing depths of Deomcratworld to the clear air of the real world, a bottle of tequila to give me courage (but it's cheap stuff so as to unconsciously punish me for doing something bad), and a stiff brush and a six-pack of Lava soap, for the long, long shower I'll need to try to wash it off me when I'm done. I can use my daughter's college fund to pay of the therapy for the next decade or two. The world needs ditch diggers, too.

All in all, a small price to pay, if it works.

The danger is, I vote for her and she wins in Wisconsin, Obama realizes he is a lightweight fraud and drops out, Hillary gets the duck hunter vote and cruises to victory in November, and it will all be my fault, because, of course, the universe revolves around me. I better get a 12-pack of Lava: I'll keep six in reserve to help scrub the hubris off me if she wins.

Jeff DavisEditor,

Whitetails Unlimited Magazine

Ha. Ha. Scintillating, non?

Now, I never realized that the organizational purpose of WTU was spreading political influence in the larger sense. I always thought it was a group of outdoors types who were banded together to improve hunting and preserve habitat. If they had to influence a lege it would be for support for programming or such. But now it's out. This Davis person, who is listed as Communications Director for the non-profit, has spoken for the entire organization and made it very clear that WTU will be just fine without the membership dollars or the Legislative support of a single Democrat.

Whitetails Unlimited is so flush with cash and so strong in its position that it feels comfortable having its lead communicator telling Democratic State Reps and Senators across America to go piss up a rope. I hope you'll all take a little time to share Jeff's email with your legislator. After all, Charlie thought this was good enough to share and Mr Davis thought it was good enough to share. I think you should share, too.

If you can spare a minute or two give a call to WTU and thank them for clarifying their position on the elections. I'm sure they'll appreciate the feedback and the attaboys.

Jeffrey Schinkten – President
Peter J. Gerl – Executive Director
William E. Gerl Jr. – Executive Vice President
David J. Hawkey – Vice President of Field Operations

Or you can drop their sponsors a polite note. Here's a list of companies who support the messages sent by Mr Davis.

Or you can just do what I'm going to do. I'm going to highlight Mr Davis remarks about duck hunters and run off enough copies for everyone at the Ducks Unlimited banquet tonight. WTU probably doesn't need donations from duck hunters anymore. I know they won't see another dollar of mine.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

The Stench Of Desperation

The right wing is in full desperation mode and it's only February. There's a saying about "don't let them see you sweat," but Sykes has such bad pit stains that he will have to buy a whole closetful of new shirts.

Sykes and others in the right wing echo chamber is trying to conflate some minor campaign speeches into something their not.

They try to act all indignant about a speech (actually two speeches) given my Michelle Obama. They accuse Obama of plagiarism. In fact, one right wing blogger stretches the limit of credibility by accusing Obama of lifting lines from a movie.

Let's look at these.

Thanks to Sir James the Wiggy One, we have a video contrasting the two speeches given by Micelle Obama. He also points out, accurately, it's no big deal. It's not. Even if one wanted to take her literally, lets look at the past twenty-five years. The most recent have been with Bush the younger who has led us into Iraq, the biggest deficit ever, alienated most of the world, and given all our money to his cronies in Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Whatever.

Before that we have eight years (up to 15 for those keeping count), we had Clinton and the stained dress. Eight years of political bickering and partisanship so fierce, one could only be glad that they outlawed dueling generations ago.

The four years before that was Bush the elder (19years), who's only real contribution was giving great soundbites for Dana Carvey skits on Saturday Night Live. But to give him (Bush, not Carvey) credit, at least he had enough sense not to invade Iraq.

And finally, before that we had the Gipper. At the risk of treading on the toes of the right's great icon, what did he do besides run up the deficit to record levels (until Bush II) and have great speech writers. The right like to give him credit for the fall of the USSR, but he only saw the end of something that took decades to accomplish, but he did not do it all by himself.

Sure there were some good events, but not the same kind of passion that we are seeing now.

As for the plagiarism, if you can even call it that, even some conservatives are pulling back on that stretch. And there are even legal questions if you can plagiarize a speech.

And for the movie business? A commenter on that blog points out that Obama's speech came before the movie was made. Obama must have had a time machine, went forward in time, not to bring back wealth, information that could help all mankind, or the cure for cancer. No, according to the right, he must have taken this secret time machine forward in time to get soundbites.

And what about Reagan? Sykes plays an intro on his show on a regular basis which is a soundbite of Reagan telling some tax increasers, to "Go ahead. Make my day." Funny, I don't recall hearing anyone complaining about that one.

But if Sykes and company want to have their accusations and allegations taken as anything more than a punchline for a bar joke, I will be glad to give them the gravitas that they crave.

Just as soon as they post seven years worth of Bushisms, admit Bush lied on so many things, like Iraq, the cost of Medicare Part D, Katrina, Rumsfeld's firing, and the so called benefits of the so called tax cuts. They will also need to post about Reagan stealing lines. About the truth of Reaganomics, and how it did nothing but widen the gap between the rich and the poor and drive up the deficit.

Then, and only then, will I give more than a grain of salt to their desperate attempts at relevancy.

McIlheran Takes A Quick Hit

No, it's not the kind of quick hit you're thinking of. The newest member of the Patrick McIlheran fan club makes an appearance in the letters to the editor in this morning's paper:
The news is more negative than positive

Patrick McIlheran's Quick Hit on Feb. 15 listed all the positive things that he thinks are happening in Iraq. Never mind that almost 4,000 Americans have been killed and more than 29,000 maimed since our disastrous and unnecessary invasion. And disregard that our current occupation is costing around $250 million per day, according to recent reports. But, hey, who's counting, since the good news is that our lucky kids and grandkids get to pay the bill?

McIlheran, like President Bush, is obviously a bright-eyed optimist and sees the glass as 1/8 full rather than 7/8 empty. The only thing lacking in his comments was a big mission accomplished sign like we saw on the deck of that carrier almost five years ago.

Edward Creamean Sr.

Whallah! has not been able to confirm this as of this posting, but we do believe that McIlheran does have a "Mission Accomplished" banner in his cubicle at MSJ.

Mickey, The Original John

Since McBride is still on hiatus, we are not exposed to the wit and wisdom of a favorite commenter over on her site, John.

Fortunately, we have the original prototype of John, Mickey. The only guy besides John Foust that I know of that was kicked off of Boots and Kittens Sabers. Here is one of Mickey's comments on a post by Brian Fraley, enjoy:

Mike Plaisted’s post would be funny and poignant if Mike Plaisted wasn’t such a lib tool.
One of Demolibs’ biggest misconceptions is that the Mike Plaisted liberal ideologues of the world, see “Conservatives” vis a vis their own Lib template.
In other words, liberals are generally dishonest ass-hats, and in their twisted world of dishonesty, they EXPECT and BELIEVE, those whom they disagree with and abhor, are PHONIES like they are. It’s kind of like a UNION CONTRACT negotiation technique. Libs are lying windbags. Libs are anything BUT diverse. Libs are weak needy, government, group think dependant, coalition needy, panderers. And they cannot relate to those who ARE NOT. Lying and posturing is seen as acceptable as long as the PARTY achieves it’s goals.
Take Rodham for example. She’d lie to her own offspring for power. She played soccer in high school. NOT. She was named for Sir Edmund Hilary. NOT. Her daughter Chelsea was jogging past the WTC at 9/11. NOT.
Lying comes naturally to a liberal. The specifics don’t matter. The “PARTY” matters.Until NOW. The “PARTY” doesn’t matter to Rodham anymore. The common good” isn’t relevant. ANYMORE.
Sir Edmund Rodham is all that matters. Look at Billy.
He’s making an ass of himself.
But again, that matters NOT to the Plaisteds’ of the world.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Worry About Your Own Houses

Perhaps Sykes and the rest of the right wing echo chamber should stop worrying about some bogus charges of plagiarism and worry about cleaning up their own acts.

And while they're cleaning house, perhaps they could stop telling flat out lies.

The mighty Brawler and the illustrious Illusory Tenant clarify two of the right's favorite lies.

Thanks, Fellas

To all of the people on the right side that thought they would follow Sykes' advice on doing a crossover vote--

Thank you for wasting your vote. Keep up the good work.

A Star IS Born

A woman by the name of Margaret Welch pays Boots and Sabers a visit.

In the process she takes husband and wife Robinson to the woodshed.

Worth the price of admission.

Captain Blowhard and Bombastic Lad

As always ... apologies to the true genius: Tom Tomorrow.

Election Day

It's Election Day, people! I know it's cold out there, but for pity's sake, bundle up and get out there and vote!

As for recommendations:

Monday, February 18, 2008

The African Bush

McIlheran is crowing over the warm reception that Bush is receiving in Africa, even while the rest of the world thinks a little less kindly towards him. (I can't imagine why.) Just because he starts an immoral, unjust war, McIlheran figures they should just get over it by now.

But as Bert at folkbum's points out, while Bush's bringing attention to the plight of the African people is commendable, he still can't do it without at least one Bushism.

But the one thing that McIlheran fails to mention: How are they feeling about Bush in Darfur?

Lines in the Sand

I hope that Sir Zachary the Blue Knight does not mind, but I also wish to add my two cents worth to the question of "Where's The Line?"

It has long been a peeve of mine that people like Sykes are able to give their pet politicians like Scott Walker and David Clarke (yes, Clarke is a politician, cuz he sure isn't worth squat as an enforcer of the law) a platform that includes free air time on his show and on his blog. It seems highly unfair that anyone running against these people doesn't receive the same kind of consideration from TMJ. But then again, since when has TMJ been know to be anything more than a shill for the conservative agenda anyway?

Oh, I know the usual arguments from the right. It's not a news show, it's entertainment. Sykes is just expressing his opinions. We need to counter the liberal MSM (wherever that might be is beyond me). All they are doing is trying to rationalize their misbehaviors.

But do these arguments hold water when the squawker is also a state employee? Especially when said employee is working for a state senator, who just so happens to be up for re-election in the fall?

As Zach pointed out, Fischer has now made the "big announcement" that he is going to be back on the air at WISN. (Given his sexist posts, he would be a good match for WISN, as I previously pointed out.)

I would like to point out that Sir James, librarian and barkeep extraordinaire, has a very reasonable and balanced post with some very good points. James also questioned whether this meant that Fischer would be leaving his postion as state Senator Mary Lazich's aide.

In the comments section, Fischer replied that he was not, and took what I thought was an unfair swipe at James, lumping him in, for the second time, with us low down dirty liberals.

James, the gentleman that he is, ignored the swipe, but did respond with some excellent points and questions. James comment is so good, that I will post it here, in its entirety:
Perhaps Kevin given your public role in a state senator's office it would be more responsible not to keep secret your "expanded role" with Clear Channel.

That said, do you think it's appropriate for a "News Talk" radio station to have as one of it's on-air personalities someone who works for the state legislature in a political role? When you were a practicing journalist, what would your reaction have been?

What is your view of a newspaper depending on politicians and their staff for content that they sell to the public? Do you not see the potential for conflict in both cases?

I realize it's not your problem. It's the problem of Journal Communications and Clear Channel. But unless your expanded role at WISN is cleaning the floors, your own journalism background should make you uncomfortable with the arrangements they have made.

james wigderson Homepage 02.18.08 - 9:13 pm #

Again, I have to ask, especially given Fischer's role at Lazich's aide, even if it is perfectly legal, is it ethical? Of course, I would say no, but I'm just biased towards fairness.

Where's The Line?

Kevin Fischer, who ranks as perhaps my favorite conservative blogger*, made a big announcement last night:
I’m back on Newstalk 1130 WISN!

I will be filling in for Mark Belling for several days while he’s away on his annual listener cruise.

I will be filling in for Mark this Friday, February 22nd.

I’ll also be filling in on Monday, February 25th, Thursday, February 28th, and Friday, February 29th.

WISN Program Director Jerry Bott will be filling in the other days.

Also, my role on WISN will be expanding in the future.

Stay tuned for more details.

Now ordinarily I wouldn't think this to be a big deal, but given Fischer's position as a legislative aide to State Senator Mary Lazich, I can't help but wonder if a line's being crossed - or at the very least blurred - when it comes to the divide between politics and journalism. Perhaps I'm crazy, but it seems to me to be a serious conflict of interest for a paid staffer for a Wisconsin State Senator to be serving a second master as a paid shill for the local right wing squawk brigade.

*It's just too bad my sarcasm can't be adequately conveyed through a computer screen.


Just when they had us somewhat believing that there is no central command, no tinfoil hub that spews out marching orders. Brian Fraley and Owen Robinson apparently got their signals crossed as they posted, independently of each other, and one day apart, the same piece word-for-word regarding Barack Obama's new website.

I was reading through Barrack Obama’s website to see his policy positions. He’s been touting lately that he has detailed policy positions posted on his website. He doesn’t really. He says things like he’ll create a “living wage” but fails to say what that would be. Anyway, there’s plenty to pick on, but this one made me laugh out loud.

Expand Flexible Work Arrangements: Barack Obama will address this concern by creating a program to inform businesses about the benefits of flexible work schedules for productivity and establishing positive workplaces; helping businesses create flexible work opportunities; and increasing federal incentives for telecommuting.

Really? I see companies every day trying to figure out how to offer flexible work schedules, enable home workers, and the like. It allows companies to access a wider labor pool. Most private companies get this issue and are doing everything they can do, within the confines of the needs of the business, to attract and retain good employees even if they can’t work a traditional work schedule. Meanwhile, Obama wants to spend our money to have the federal government teach private businesses how to do this? Maybe the federal government should learn something from private businesses instead of the other way around.

Thanks, guys. We believe you. You were just channeling each other. Actually, what was that you wrote, Owen, about the blind leading the ....

Can you both say "Dishonest"?

h/t Seth Zlotocha

Useful Definitions

From Merriam Webster
coincidence 2: the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection;

Local examples would be Milwaukee appearances by a Presidential Candidate following tragic National news stories or a mini-flurry of Nazi Funnies in blogs' comment threads.

Coincidences have the appearance of connection but are unrelated.
related 1 : connected by reason of an established or discoverable relation

A local example would be the Green Bay online gun-seller who sold supplies and accesories to shooters at Virginia Tech and Northern Illinois who then shot and killed a total of 39 people. That website makes those killings related.

Another word often misused is Karma. Let's take a look at "Karma."
karma: 1 often capitalized : the force generated by a person's actions held in Hinduism and Buddhism to perpetuate transmigration and in its ethical consequences to determine the nature of the person's next existence

A local example of Karma would be having to swallow long-held beliefs and hold your nose to cast a simple ballot because you'd backed yourself into a corner with your nattering. Karma can often improve your lot in your next life. It can also have resulted in your coming back as a cockroach or WTMJ host in this one.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Is Berkeley preventing Charlie Sykes' kids from enlisting in the Marines?

If not, then why is Charlie, the father of two otherwise-engaged kids 0f prime fighting age, so exercised about Berkeley trying to uninvite USMC recruiters?

(Obviously Charlie's kids are under no obligation to act on the militaristic predilections of their father...who also didn't serve.)

A Disturbing Mental Image

As I pointed out earlier, there is photographic evidence of Sykes' slow decline into irrelevancy.

The Irrational Conversation has a post decrying this event, with the picture attached.

In the comments thread, there is a humorous observation by Grumps:
Charlie is even leaning to his left in the picture.

After that is a very disturbing one from someone named Diane:
I think thats a big blow-up doll of Charlie's likeness.

A Sykes blow up doll? Sold at a truly perverted sex store near you.

Just How Offensive Can He Get?

As I am sitting here, surfing the Web, I have the radio on, listening to James T., the Hip Muser.

He is ranting about healthcare, complaining that if we went to a universal health care system, we would have to wait for up to five hours in the emergency room, citing some antecdote or other. I don't know when the last time he had to go to an ER, but at certain hospitals, that would be an improvement.

But the thing that got to me, was as he kept referring to Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama as the Shrew and the Chocolate Jesus, respectively. I tell you, you can't find of odious fecal matter in a sewage treatment plant.

He Can't Handle The Truth

The word debate can be defined as: To engage in argument by discussing opposing points.

Apparently, that is not the definition Fred Dooley chooses.

He is again going through selective outrage and melodramatic histrionics. The selective outrage came from, what could be described at worst as a misinterpretation but is really nothing more than semantics. The melodramatic came from a slight from a commentator that he chose to conflate to much larger proportions than was needed. Now, apparently feeling the need for attention, Dooley again goes into histrionics, this time using me as the object of his "affection." This seems to be a pattern for him, doesn't it?

Now he has decided to target me for his hissy fit:

That brings me to Capper who wanted to know last night why I had deleted one of his comments yesterday (now 3). Capper attacks me personally on his website and in comments at every other opportunity across the web. Then he comes here and tries to play nice with his attacks. I’m tired of his antics.

This would be like a bully hitting you at every opportunity wanting to be welcomed into your home because he had not hit you there.

I’ve said before that tone matters. Capper’s tone towards this blog and this blogger are atrocious everywhere except here. I’ve decided to no longer give him a pass on this. If Capper would like to add to an issue and do so in a proper manner he is welcome to do so (as is PCD) but he has worn out his welcome on snark from his own actions across the net.

For the record, he did indeed erase three of my comments. Of course, the thing he doesn't want to tell you is what my comments were. Fred had put up a post regarding the AFP Defending the American Nightmare event. In his post Fred included this paragraph:

Sheriff David Clarke made a couple of interesting points. In four consecutive budgets the Sheriff has returned money to the county. (I wish more department heads were so responsible) He also shared a plan he had to privatize a small part of the prisoner transfer process. That procedural change would have saved the county $1.5 million over five years. The Finance Committee voted it down 7 to 0 saying they would NEVER vote against union jobs. Who do these people work for anyway, the taxpayers or the unions? Wait, we know the answer to that one apparently.
I left a comment asking if Clarke had mentioned all the money he has cost the taxpayers with all of the lawsuits that he has lost. (By the way, if you think I was making up my points about Clarke, go here.)

That's it. I didn't mention Fred, insult him in any way, or use any vulgarities. All I did was point out that Clarke is not exactly the taxpayer's friend. But he still deleted it. I left a second comment asking why deleted the first one. He deleted this one as well. Dooley did send me an email in which he wrote:

You want to know why I deleted your comment.

Because it offered nothing. Good people put on a good event and you have to come in and try and slime it. It's mean and hateful, par for your course.

You continually slime me on your blog and on virtually every place you see me leave comment on the web.

I'm tired of it.

Be civil and offer something of worth or I will not welcome your comments. Your continued pattern matters and I'll look at the entirerty of your work rather than judge it comment by comment.

I'm sure this will generate another ridiculous post showing me as some ridiculous hard case. Go ahead what else is new, you'll show half the story and draw whatever your conclusions you want.

I don't know any reason why I should welcome someone at my blog who seems to have nothing better to do than attack me at every opportunity.

I have better things to do.
I then wrote a third comment agreeing to his request for civility and said that I expected the same in return. He deleted this one as well. I really fail to see how any of this is hateful or slimy. Perhaps Fred just is unable to differentiate himself from his blog, or from his opinions.

I should also mention that there are plenty of examples of Dooley going around stalking other people he is mad at, with the most recent target being Jay Bullock. I suppose he will start doing that with me now as well.

I could go into this further, but I won't. I could point out all of the true debates I have had, on respectful, if not amicable terms, with various conservatives, but that would start being too redundant. I just wanted to have it clarified what Fred considers "slime" as opposed to be a "real debate."

If you are reading this Fred, I would encourage you to go back to the top of this post and reread the definition of the word debate. Then compare that to the phrase "echo chamber." Judging from some of the comments left on your post slamming me, I am not alone in the perception that you have the two terms confused.

I don't expect this to change anyone's opinion. Those that know me, already know what the truth is.

He Says It Like It's A Bad Thing

McIlheran's column in today's MSJ is nothing more than his usual griping about Obama's popularity. As is the norm for any right wing pundit, he is trying to find something, anything to use to smear Obama.

His complaints about Obama include that Obama wants to
  • Help out college kids get their education, by subsidizing them if they work for Americorps or Peace Corps, which in turn will help other people
  • Help people pay for child care
  • Improve our schools
  • Improve the health care system
  • Give tax breaks to the elderly
  • Give tax breaks to the poor and middle class
  • Stem the flood of jobs being outsourced, if not outright moved, to overseas location
  • Clean up the environment
  • Get the U.S. out of Iraq

Gee, those goals sound pretty good to me. I guess it is simply that McIlheran does not want the poor, the middle class and the elderly to have any money when there are still starving CEOs out there trying to survive off of their multimillion dollar bonuses. He doesn't want people to get an education, because then they would be able to see through his smoke and mirrors routine.

And heavens know he wouldn't be able to handle the concept of peace.

But if that wasn't enough for you to contemplate on this dreary, icy, rainy day, compare his column from today, and compare it to the column he wrote for the New York Sun two days ago.

It's bad enough that MSJ is charging so much and feeding their customers this kind of drivel, but then its nothing more than reheated hash on top of it.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Remember--You Heard It Here First

About a month ago, I introduced the gentle reader to a fellow named Kevin Fischer. The story has grown, and more and more bloggers started to look into the stories behind the story.

Now it is even bigger. It is in the newest edition of Milwaukee Magazine. Their newest edition just came out in the mail, and it is not on their website yet, but when they do update it, it can be found here.

The article is in the "insiderpressroom" section of the magazine and is written by Erik Gunn. The article is titled "Hey Cheescake Breath!" and the teaser is:
Nasty, bickering blogs have lowered the quality of Journal Communications' suburban weeklies.

Mr. Gunn starts out with a brief history of how Journal Communications bought out the CNI papers and systematically perverted them into the current NOW templates. Then it gets good:
Perhaps no one exemplifies the sort of juvenile name calling that goes on better than Kevin Fischer, a longtime Republican operative who works as a legislative aide to state Sen. Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin). Fishcer is a Franklin Blogger who has accused the city's school board and administration of being "unethical" and has engaged in a running battle with blogger Greg Kowalski, a college student who is on the Franklin Environmental Commission. Fischer called Kowalski "cheesecake breath" in a comment on Kowalski's blog in January, and barred Kowalski from commenting on Fischer's

The site features a similar war pitting blogger and ex-school board member Linda Richter against blogger Matt Thomas, current vice president of the board and a leader of its conservative majority. Talk about getting personal: Richter publicized the bankruptcy records of Thomas on her blog to undermine his claim as a champion of fiscal sobriety.

Mark Maley, the CNI executive who oversees the NOWWeb sites, doesn't see a serious problem. "Even with the skirmishes, nobody's been sued," he says. "It's basically been a handful of people tossing mud. There's been some online behavior that I'm not thrilled about, but the vast, vast majority is pretty positive stuff." Even some of the people involved in the verbal duels have also engaged in enterprising work, like airing details of community development projects or conducting open-records requests for officials' e-mails.

Yet as a coherent source of information - or even reasoned analysis - the blogs largely fail. One anonymous commenter pronounced them "a trashy, useless, and inflammatory method of modern communication." A former vlogger who quing in disgust wrote, "We don't need a dogfight...we want debate." And New Berlin Mayor Jack Chiovatero says his administration has opted not to post press releases online because of the blogs. "They're negative and filled with wrong information," he says. "If we post our information on there, people won't know if it's true or not."

But bad journalism might be what the readers want. "I'm not crazy about it," Maley says. "But the FranklinNOW site has rapidly become our No. 2 Web site rather than 6 or 7."

Please note: All emphasis is from the article. Any misspellings are my own, and I apologize.

A tip of the hat to John Michlig for the heads up.

I Hope He Wore Gloves

The Brew City Brawler, a manly man if there ever was one, is not afraid of a little dirty work. To prove the point, he starts out a post parsing some inane claims from McIlheran with this understatement:
As the Brawler's buddy illusory Tenant has pointed out in a different context, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel conservative columnist Patrick McIlheran has an impressive ability to pack 50 pounds of offal in a 5 pound bag.

And so it goes with his "Quick Hit" on Friday, describing in glowing terms the stituation in Iraq.

You can read the rest of Brawler's analysis here.

No Surprises Here

McIlheran writes a post mocking Paul Soglin and others who protested outside the office of WMC. In McIlheran's post he makes the comment:

Why? Because, of all things, the group representing business will probably buy television ads expressing an opinion and trying to sway yours in the Supreme Court election.

Well, I never! Really? Businesses, who can find their world turned upside down by the whim of any four justices, would dare pay money to express an opinion to voters? The cads!

I was going to respond with a post about how McIlheran apparently feels that the desires of the poor people should not count, and how I wouldn't be surprised to see him advocated that only people that meet certain financial requirements should be allowed to vote. I was also going to mention how we saw WMC work so well before in promoting Annette Ziegler, who was elected with a cloud of scandal enveloping her, and how they have besmirched the Wisconsin Supreme Court with their actions.

But I won't be doing any of that.

Instead, I will just refer the gentle reader to our Royal Barrister, who is wise in all things legal, including the infractions of the unholy alliance of Gableman and WMC. Illusory Tenant, when not busy dealing with an annoying little know-nothing, took the time to eviscerate McIlheran's false arguments and opine further:

So this was McIlheran's project after all, to show that WMC's hoary talking point is proven to be not only just a wash, but it's been positively superseded by more recent polling data in demonstration of the fact that the 2006 election of Governor Doyle was also a popular endorsement of Justice Butler.

You really have to keep a close eye on these conservative columnists, they can be a pretty sneaky bunch. And since the impending State Supreme Court election is nominally a non-partisan affair, even the support for Butler voiced by a dependable GOP mouthpiece like Patrick McIlheran is legitimate. That alone is a refreshing change.

The Slow Slide Into Irrelevancy

As was predicted by yours truly, Charlie has now completed the complete slide into irrelevancy, by showing that he has now lowered himself to support McCain.

Grumps has taken the painstaking act upon himself to document the slow but steady decline of Sykes, going from rabid McCain-hater to McCain endorser. Grumps starts his post with this:
The Horror, The Horror! Charlie spends a pretty good portion of his airtime decrying the tendency of media types to show (ladies avert your eyes)... bias. People who cash checks from newspaper companies aren't supposed to show any favoritism to any one candidate.

Charlie has used that fierce independence of his to spend most of his time since New Hampshire criticizing the Liberal elements of the GOP for abandoning the idealistic Conservatives to whom it owes so much. Not for Charlie is the coexistish, mealy-mouthed, bipartisan, campaign finance-reforming John McCain. Charlie has shown us time and time again that McCain not only doesn't deserve the support of Conservatives but that he is unelectable, a used husk of a candidate unworthy of a 420nd glance.

and then goes to show, post by post, Charlie's slow devolution, along with pithy observations of the descent.

But he wasn't the only one to pick of on Sykes' metamorphises. James T. Harris would be pulling his hair out if he had any, and bewails how Charlie has gone to the "dark side" of the Republican party. (Actually, wouldn't it be the less dark side?)

You can see the damning proof here.

Friday, February 15, 2008

A Cure For Obamaphobia Already?

In psychology, there is a method of treatment called desensitization that is used to help people get over phobias, anxiety disorders and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. It is basically the repeated and increasing exposure to the object of said phobia until the patient is able to cope with the stressor.

My colleague in rambling and ranting, Bert, has a similar suggestion to help Sykes get past his Obamaphobia:
It is laughable to hear Charlie Sykes dutifully talk this Obama point this week on his radio show. As a matter of fact, today Charlie again said Obama is “content free.”

It’s na├»ve for me to ask this, but why doesn’t Charlie have Obama on his radio station, as he has had Republicans like Huckabee this week, and ask Obama to give some content? If Charlie thinks it is a problem that people don’t know enough about Obama, Charlie and his transmitter possess a solution.

Like I said, naive question. Of course the right wing’s real problem is not what they say it is. Their honest-to-goodness problem is that their project to destroy Obama is not getting traction, yet.


The CDC should be issuing some kind of warning. There apparently is an epidemic among the conservatives. Call it Obamaphobia-an irrational fear of Barack Obama. It is causing mayhem among the right wing echo chamber, causing quite a dissonance.

McBride, stumbling out of her winter's hibernation presents the sarcastic and phony posturing we all have come to know and love by saying that Obama is full of empty platitudes. McIlheran says that instead, Obama has agendas...very scary agendas. Sykes complains that Obama is too hip. Belling, ah heck, who gives a rat's patootie what Belling says?

Instead of getting myself all worked up and on the verge of banning someone, I'll just take a little help from my friends.

Paul Soglin, channeling Whallah!, starts out with the line:
I have to read Mark Belling every week to see if there is fodder for a post. Thank you, Mark.

and goes on to explain how Belling makes a good example of the self-destruction of the neocons as their demented version of utopia continues to crumble.

James Rowen also breaks down the Belling break down.

I'll let Kay show how unhip McCain is in his version of the video.

Ken Mobile of Mobile's Takes takes on McIlheran's fears of Republicans for Obama.

And for the coup de grace, who better than that manly man, Brawler, to point out to McBride and all the other echo chamber rats that their hero, George W., offered them nothing but empty platitudes, and reminding them that they were OK with it then. So why are they complaining of it now?

Free Association

This reminds me of someone...if only I could think of who it is...

Yes, I Saw It

I did indeed see Fred Dooley's post misrepresenting the truth, and the truth about me. I have yet to decide if I really want to bother responding to it.

While I ponder if I will be bored enough to make all the corrections and refutations needed for that one post, I will leave you with the thoughts of Kay, who knows Fred better than she would care to, and Grumps, who has also tangled more than once with Mr. Dooley.

It Is To Laugh

For those of you who haven't been following the Fischer saga to closely, it should be known that there is another blogger who had been involved in the fringes of the story. This person's name is Fred Keller, and to be honest, I don't know much about him except that he is quite conservative. I also know that he used to be part of the FranklinNOW blog community until he either left on his own, or was forced out, under questionable circumstances. Either way, he has been a big ally to Fischer.

All of that is really irrevelant, but I'd just thought I'd give you the background so that the reader may have a fuller appreciation of one of his posts, which a faithful a reader pointed out to me.

His post is basically a picture of Johnny Cash flipping the finger at the camera, and he titles the post Happy Valentines Day “Favorite Left-Wing Nuts!”. The body of the post, in its entirety, is as follows, with my emphasis added:

Since I don’t know all of you that well, this is the only thing I could think of.

I hope you like Johnny Cash!
  • Musings of a Thoughtful Conservative
  • Fairly Conservative
  • Folkbum's Rambles and Rants
  • Wigderson Library & Pub
  • Real Debate Wisconsin
  • Pundit Nation
  • Inside New Berlin
  • Whallah!
  • Blue Racine
  • Blogging Blue

Please email this to any left-wingers on your Blog Rolls I inadvertently missed!


I wonder how Thoughtful Conservative, Cindy Kilkenney, Wiggy, and Fred feel about being labeled left wingers? I think this could be categorized under "How not to win friends and influence people."

Thursday, February 14, 2008

The Not So Free Market

McIlheran loves the free market. He feels that it is the panacea for whatever ails you.

No matter the subject, from education (school choice) to heathcare to global economics, free market strategies will clear it right up.

Well, almost any subject. Apparently, McIlheran feels that the free market isn't as important as one's God given right to smoke a cigarette. He is very upset because a condo association has banned people from smoking inside their own homes.

This isn't a government telling the people that they can't smoke. It's not the nanny state either.

It is the residents themselves, telling each other they can't smoke in their own homes.

If McIlheran really believed in the free market system, he would be behind this ban. He would just tell the smokers that if they didn't like the ban, they could just move. Like he does if someone is opposed to a WalMart being built in their neighborhood.

Iraq Moratorium Day

Tomorrow, Friday, February 15th, is the 6th event for the Iraq Moratorium. Please click on the button at the top of the right column for a list of events or just click here.

If you're unable to attend any of these events, but will be in the Milwaukee area, you can always go to Serb Hall, have a fish fry, and let John McCain know what you think of his position of being willing to stay in Iraq for a hundred years.

Seeing that he will be there for the some super Republican Day Dinner, you can also share your appreciation for some of your other favorites, like Scott Walker.

That's So Much Better

A couple of days ago, Whallah! pointed out the work of John Michlig, author of the blogsite, Sprawled Out, who highlighted the deception that the right wing print media was trying to pull.

Well, it appears that Mr. Michlig got someone's attention. He shows us that this week, the FranklinNow has changed they way that they present who Kevin Fischer is. But instead of being forthcoming, they just made it even more ambiguous.

And while we are talking about Fischer, Cindy Kilkenny, author of the site, Fairly Conservative, has come to some interesting conclusions about Fischer's work ethic, or lack thereof.

Incoherent Thinking

After a long hiatus, McBride joins the land of the blogging. It didn't take long for her to get back to form. Here is a post she did about some guy claiming to be a love child of JFK:
This could be a fascinating story... or not. The lack of response from Ted Kennedy's office is interesting.

That's it.

Maybe that's also why she hasn't been posting much lately. She's got nothing.

That would be like Whallah! writing something like:
It's been reported that Charlie Sykes goes through a case of hair spray a day. We think that the lack of response from Mark Belling is very telling.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

How About Doing The Job Right?

McIlheran has a column in today's paper in which he extols the supposed panacea of privatization. He must still be feeling giddy from his weekend in Pewaukee, as that he is being rather silly, even for him.

To save you the grief of having to first read it, and then decipher it, and then translate it to English, then wonder what the heck he is trying to say, I will give you some of the lowlights.

Take this part (emphasis mine):
This balance goes to the heart of most complaints about privatization. County Executive Scott Walker has talked about seeing whether the county can provide services while saving some money. Critics say it's all about the jobs.

The question here is which Walker is he talking about. The one that is running now, for an election he promised he wouldn't run for, or the Walker that promised he was against privatization.

Then McIlheran tries this argument (again, emphasis mine):
Critics like to cite the Milwaukee Public Museum as a sign privatization doesn't work, though that story was more about a missing-in-action board of directors. Locally, governments have successfully contracted out or simply shed all sorts of tasks. As in the case of the sewerage district, it's made it easy to change vendors when it suits the public purpose.

He shoots himself in the foot twice here. First, he admits that the board of the private agency running the museum screwed it up. That is not a way to win an argument. Then, he highlights the fact that if one company is dumping sewage in the lake, just switch companies. Sooner or later, I'm sure we'll find one company that will stop dumping sewage in the water. But then there will be extra costs, so your taxes will still go up.

McIlheran shows he doesn't do research, or just ignores the facts if they don't agree with his premise with this ditty (emphasis is no one's but mine):
But even the possibility of privatization lowers costs, says Peoples, because when competition's a possibility, unions have less leverage in bargaining. Tellingly, Milwaukee County finally won concessions on the benefits it was paying courthouse employees only after it threatened to contract out security and maintenance.

The thing that McIlherna fails to tell you is that a) Walker also gave the union a $250 signing bonus to pass the contract, b) this is virtually the same contract that the union offered the county two year prior, and c) the recommendations for the contract came from his 2002 opponent, David Riemer, who Governor Doyle had to send in to help Walker out of the mess of his own making.

Finally, I will leave you with this annoying bit of factual evidence. When former Governor Tommy Thompson decided to privatize Milwaukee County's child welfare program, an independent study (pdf) was done. The results: Public employees had twice the production per dollar than the private agencies.

The big difference is not the cost of the service, it's who gets it. Public servants that are paid sufficiently provide better service. Private agencies cost the same, if not more, but all the money goes to a few executives, and the services suffer.