Monday, March 31, 2008
The Royal Recommendations
There are only three races really worth mentioning. The first would be the race for the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The Royal Nod goes to the Louis Butler, who has Illusory Tenant has shown us in his prolific, yet detailed work, that Justice Butler is a honorable and sagacious man, who only wants to make sure all of the citizens are protected from those who would do us harm. And which would any thinking person rather believe: A detailed, exhaustive plethora of research done by a real attorney, or McBride and her "judgment calls?"
The second race is between Bill Gleisner and Lisa Neubauer. This race should go to Neubauer. Gleisner has shown himself to be opportunistic and dishonest, and cannot be relied upon to render decisions that would be strictly in accordance to the law.
The last race is for Milwaukee Circuit Court, Branch 40. The candidates are Rebecca Dallet and Jeffrey Norman. While Mr. Norman appears to be a competent and nice person, I recommend Ms. Dallet. She has the experience and the balanced insight that a judge should have.
The race for County Executive is the easiest one of all to call. The Royal Endorsement is for Senator Lena Taylor. Walker has shown himself to be incompetent and only interested in using the position has a launching pad for another position, like governor or U.S. Senator. In the interim, he has willfully failed to maintain even the most minimal standards for the parks, the courts, the House of Correction, mental health services, transit or any other area of the county's responsibilities. Walker's record is so abysmal that he has resorted to a Karl Rovian type of campaigning of "fear and smear."
On the other hand, Senator Taylor remembers the gem that Milwaukee County once was, and would return it to its days of splendor and a leader not only in the state, but in the nation.
If the reader needs references, I would suggest the work of yours truly and Jay Bullock at folkbum's, the biting insight of Brawler, and the Nation of Pundits. In Walker's camp, he has the likes of Sykes, Belling and McIlheran.
Need I say more?
In some of the races for the County Board, I would recommend Marina Dimitrijevic, Elizabeth Coggs-Jones, Christopher Larson, Lynne DeBruin and John Wieshan.
For mayor, the race obviously should go to Tom Barrett.
The city attorney should remain Grant Langley.
The King has spoken. So shall it be.
They Must Have Made Up
Asking The Impossible
6. But Jessica McBride says that she has with the "against" and "for" numbers. Let's take her at her word. Do we doubt that the relative numbers that she generates constitute actual differences?
Forgive him, for he knows not what he asks of us.
Telling It Like It Is
What Is It With Them?
What do I get for my polite request? This piece of crap:
It equally sad to see that the owner and operators at said blog did nothing to condemn such vulgarity (nor did anyone answer my question.)
Finally, I would be greatly remiss if I did not express my gratitude to Grumps and Jay Bullock for calling out on this atrocity.
They're Just Writing To What They Know Best
James goes on to tell us how everyone from Fischer to Wagner to Rush Into Limbo throws around the word so much that the horror that should be connected to that term has lost a lot of its potency. It is especially scary when one considers the adage about those who forget history are doomed to repeat it.
The Truth Will Set You Free
Sunday, March 30, 2008
Schizoid Thinking From the MJS Editorial Staff
So failure is an option after all.
Too strong for some of you?
Look no farther than the ongoing breakdowns at the jail and House of Correction, in the parks, the pension system, and the transit system.
All failures, and getting worse.
Walker is not a visionary, or a leader, or a problem solver.
He's an unimaginative one-note (tax freeze) tactical politico, a willing tool of talk radio, a place-holder waiting his turn to run for F. James Sensenbrenner's Congressional seat.
He got elected in 2002, despite an undistinguished career as an anonymous GOP Assemblyman from Wauwatosa, because the Ament administration corrupted itself out of office.
But Walker has not been the breath of fresh air he promised he'd be, and basic county services, like the parks and the transit system, are worse than they were when Walker took over.
And continuing pension system malfeasance is simply unacceptable.
Little wonder that county government is living on credit, and teeters towards financial bankruptcy.
Lena Taylor is an attorney and State Senator. Her credentials are more substantial than Walker's.
She would have been a breath of fresh air, and a fresh start for the county and local politics.
The paper got this one wrong.
At least Stuart Carlson gets it:
Saturday, March 29, 2008
Supreme Saturday Shorts
The Lost Albatross, in an article at Dane 101, says:
In this case, my recommendation would be to ignore the television ads all-together and instead spend a little time going over the actual records of each candidate. Then compare those records to what the job description of a state Supreme Court Justice actually entails. I’ll give you a hint: it has less to do with prosecuting criminals and more to do with examining, applying and upholding the law of the land.The indefatigable iT weighs in with an update on McBridean silliness, Gableman ignorance and Esenbergian blinkerage (in which even Rick can no longer bring himself to defend the journamalist:)
Fair and balanced newshound Jessica McBride also puts Campbell in the "pro-criminal" column. Why? Because immediately after AFFIRMING ALL THREE CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS,
Butler wrote "passionately."Er, what? Wrote what "passionately"?
I kid you not. McBride admits her "judgment call" to portray State v. Campbell as "pro-criminal" (did I mention that Butler AFFIRMED ALL THREE CRIMINAL CONVICTIONS?) may be "debatable."
"Don't conflate CFAF with McBride." — Rick Esenberg, 3/28/08
You can't make this shit up, folks.
Wiggy shows us the last shoe to drop in the bought-and-paid-for campaign of the bought-and-paid-for candidate.
Mathias has been putting in yeoman's work on this campaign as well and shows us who helped Gableman to get where he is today. It's all about family values.
James Rowen says something nice about Annette Ziegler:
The parents of Supreme Court candidate Michael Gableman made large donations to the gubernatorial campaign of former U.S. Rep Mark Green in 2005 and 2006 that appear to follow a pattern of giving established by Gableman and several associates to the campaign of former Wisconsin governor Scott McCallum.
The size of the contributions, and in one instance their timing, raise questions,
particularly since Gableman’s parents appear to have no previous record of
election giving. Moreover, the contributions add to several unresolved questions raised about Gableman's appointment to the Burnett County circuit court by McCallum.
Saying that he is "proud" of his widely-condemned campaign - - including a broadside launched by 33 current judges and one retired State Supreme Court Justice who called it "a new low in judicial campaigns in this state" - - Mike Gableman might be the worst candidate to ever run for Wisconsin's high court.
And that's paying Annette Ziegler a compliment.
And, the piece de resistance, Jay Bullock cuts through the piffle of the Dohnal campaign complaint to show that there really isn't any there, there. Cause, when you think of piffle-cutting, you think of Jay.
So that's what Club For Growth gets shrunk to--three cases where if there were a conflict of interest, it wouldn't have mattered.
Perhaps most upsetting in all of this is the origin of the complaint itself. Dohnal and his enablers, all slaves to the notion that a dimwitted but loyal Gableman is better than an independent Butler, are working on the presumption that Louis Butler is stupid.
Somehow, they think the guy who was so good with the law to be called, affectionately by his friends and now pejoratively by his enemies--"Loophole Louie" has now lost all ability to follow the law. Butler is a smart man (reading through his opinions, concurrences, and dissents this morning was more intimidating than reading the parts written by the other justices, I tell you what), and to suggest that he is too dumb to follow campaign finance law and basic ethics is idiotic itself. But, then again, coming from Dohnal and CFG, I suppose that's what we should have expected.
Have a good weekend.
Friday, March 28, 2008
They're Barking Up The Wrong Tree
But, as I have been reading the tireless Illusory Tenant parse, fisk, debunk, expose, lampoon, and otherwise disprove the faulty arguments presented by those who are desperate to take control from the people in favor of Big Business and the uber-rich, a trend came to my attention.
While the right consistently squawk that Butler is a "liberal activist judge" or being "pro-criminal", it is that they just don't like his rulings. His rulings only follow the law as it is written. That is when it occurred to me that they don't really think that Butler is the problem, they think that the law, as it is written, is the real problem.
Instead of fixing the law, they would rather attack Butler, and try to get their hand-chosen, groomed and controlled activist judge on the Supreme Court, like they did with Ziegler, so that they can just ignore the law.
Then another thought occurred to me. The penal code was revamped in the not so distant past. Back in the latter parts of the 1990s. Unfortunately, when the laws were revamped, the work was not finished. This lack of follow through has contributed to the high incarceration rate in Wisconsin, and can be directly related to the higher taxes we are paying to house the criminals.
And who takes the most pride in this incomplete job of reconstruction, thereby increasing incarceration, and jacking up our taxes? Yup, Scott Walker.
Seeing this line of thought, it would only be proper for the right wing to stop attacking Butler on baseless allegations, and go after the guy who did cause the problem. Please excuse me for not holding my breath while the waiting for the right wing squawkers to do the right thing.
ADDENDUM: For more on Gableman, and his questionable background, I would refer the gentle reader to this fine piece of research by Clyde Winter.
The Night Chicago Died
The Importance Of Being Literate
He does reluctantly admit that education is important. He even more reluctantly admits that finishing what one starts is also important.
What he doesn't do is tell the whole truth. From Senator Taylor's online chat at JSOnline:
Q: Bill of Wauwatosa - Do you believe that a college degree is a requirement to be a county executive?
A: Lena Taylor - Bill, thanks for your interest in this election. A college degree may not be a requirement for county executive, but I have pointed this difference out between my opponent and myself because I believe that it speaks volumes about our ability to get the job done. My life experiences show a drive and sense of commitment which I believe is lacking in my opponent. When I set my mind on a goal, I stick with it until it is completed. Our education is but one example of our commitment and ability to the get the job done. My opponent was elected county executive and almost immediately began his campaign for governor. He abandoned the job we elected him to do because of personal ambition. For almost two years, while he campaigned for governor he was absent. During this time when the county was without the services of a full-time county exec, the problems multiplied. We now have $300 million in deferred Parks maintenance alone, the pension problems which happened on his watch continue to multiply, county health insurance is out of control, and the county lacks a coherent strategy to promote and develop economic growth. At the same time, my opponent continues to be the poster child for bad relationships with others to get the job done for Milwaukee county whether it's within our county, our region, state or federal levels. A college degree may not be a requirement for being the county executive, but in a county where less than 20% of individuals have a higher degree - we need a leader that will lead by example so we can encourage growth in this area. My opponent's lack of college degree speaks volumes regarding his priorities and his ability to complete what he starts. Moreover, would his credentials warrant his salary in the corporate arena, or an increase in pay by $50K when his management has cost us millions of dollars at the HOC, jail, courts, Huber, mental health, etc.
Now, don't get me wrong. I'm sure McIlheran went to school and got a degree. But I think we all know whose school of thought he takes after.
I Hope She Knows A Real Attorney
However, McBride has apparently surpassed even herself, in inappropriateness. She levels some serious allegations against Justice Louis Butler. I had thought of copying iT's entire post, it is that good. And that damning. However, I will just go with this part of it:
Let me say it again: McBride's is an extremely serious charge to level against a sitting Justice of the State Supreme Court, and it may well even be actionable.
Fortunately for McBride, while the charge is serious, and almost unspeakably irresponsible without any proof of it — to put it mildly — it's absolutely impossible to take McBride seriously, although it's unclear whether that is an effective defense against a defamation action. Unless McBride's blog is parody, which is entirely possible.
A bit further along, immediately before the 2007 bar chart, McBride hoots:REELECTION TIME!!!And then, immediately after the chart,(Note: You're reading it right. The court as a whole got less pro criminal)Got that? Right after essentially accusing Justice Butler of some fairly profound professional and judicial impropriety, she apparently acknowledges that the same "trend" affected the entire court.
It's hard to believe, it truly is.
Perhaps someday somebody can explain to me why anyone in their right mind takes this person's "journalism" at face value, let alone trumpeting it uncritically in a major metropolitan daily newspaper and linked to by any self-respecting "blogger" for reasons other than perversely comic entertainment.
And did McBride the pretend statistician factor her conclusions to correct for Butler's declining inclination toward 'pro-criminality'?
Unlikely. What a complete and utter farce.
You can and must, by royal decree, read his entire post here.
McBride Promotes Judicial Activism
However, when their candidate advocates a position that is against the law, well, that's different. That's just good old conservative and/or family values.
McBride displays this in her most recent post. Since even Sykes bashed Bill Gleisner, and Paul Bucher for shilling for him, McBride must have felt an irresistible urge to defend her man. She emailed the Gleisner camp and received a letter from them. The letter is from a Catholic priest that vouches for Gleisner's pro-life stance.
The question McBride doesn't, and probably won't ever, answer is: So what?
The freedom for women to control their bodies is still legal. This was ruled by the U.S. Supreme Court, which trumps the state's Supreme Court. At best, his stance is irrelevant. At worst, she is promoting an activist judge, which makes her a hypocrite (again).
And she hasn't answered all of the other allegations of liberalism that have been shown regarding Gleisner.
Perhaps, McBride's support of Gleisner goes deeper than just because her husband is a tool for him. Perhaps she appreciates him as being another trial lawyer, just like Paul, and filing frivolous lawsuits. Perhaps there is some other, deeper connection, that we're just not aware of.
Thursday, March 27, 2008
Through A Glass, Darkly
Well, now Mark is putting all that writing dexterity to blogging and, like so many of us did as newbie bloggers, he's blogging about blogging. Only, and this is the part that made my head hurt, he's blogging about James, blogging about Block blogging and uses the entire block-Block-blog-quote from James' post about Block's post.
This makes Fischer's self-referential (self-reverential) fave five look positively Steinbeckian. It reminds me of those Infinity Boxes that someone was always building back in High School.
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
Belling: Moronic Liar or Lying Moron-You Decide
As I listened to Belling's belligerent banter, it struck me that I had not heard any thing so microencephalitic or misleading since the last Walker commercial.
He was doing the usual doom and gloom routine about how Senator Taylor would raise our taxes so high, that the county would become an abandoned ghost town within hours of her election. This is, of course, blatantly false.
He then followed this up with squawking about how terrible it is that the county board overrode Walker's veto, and decided to put bike racks on buses. He lamented about how much this would raise our taxes. Too bad for Belling the amount is zero. Eighty percent of the cost will be picked up by the feds. The rest will be raised with private and corporate sponsors, coordinated by some bike advocates. He also failed to mention how federal studies have shown that it actually would increase ridership, making the system more self-sufficient.
Belling also trotted out Walker's shtick about his plans for the parks, and eliminating the experienced workers for some kids. This plan is so ludicrous, that I will merely point out that even the Park People are against it.
Then he got to the part that almost made me loose control of my vehicle. He said that in the six years that Walker has been the county executive, he never cut a single service. I am truly surprised that Belling wasn't struck by lightning for telling a lie that big.
Belling must have simply forgotten about not only the parks, but the transit system, the courts, mental health services and the House of Correction.
All I can say is that if Sykes, Belling, McIlheran, Fischer and McBride all favor Walker, what other reason does one need to vote for Senator Lena Taylor?
Is Mrs.Charlie Sykes pro-choice?
Now wouldn't it be interesting (to use one of Charlie's favorite words) if Mrs. Charlie Sykes were pro-choice?
Because, at least when she was Liz Woodhouse -- a regular on Charlie's show back in the late 1990s when he was otherwise married -- she was.
From a 1/10/97 Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel column by Tim "Cup" Cuprisin:
... it's not precise to classify "Liz" as an "outspoken conservative." She seems more libertarian, mixing anti-big government views with a stand in favorof abortion rights. And when was the last time an outspoken conservative got fired for stating her views? That would be a huge story.
So does Mrs. Charlie Sykes hold those pro-abortion rights views today? Now, it is, of course entirely possible that the opinions expressed by Liz Woodhouse (real name Janet Riordan) were a lie, as was her name. Could Charlie have changed her mind since she expressed those views? Possible -- but the Brawler suspects that people's opinions on that issue are fairly set when they reach Liz's age.
But the question is: What does it say about Charlie Sykes that he would attack pro-choice politicians with the vehemence he does if his own wife holds -- or once held -- the same position? It couldn't just be an act? Could it?
Statistics And Stooges
He hasn't slowed down yet. The illustrious and indefatigable one takes on both McBride and the CFAF, showing how both of them use the same faulty data, and gets the same faulty conclusions, in their desperate efforts to promote the same faulty judicial candidate, Gableman.
iT's work is ponderous that it took up not one, but two, different posts. Here's a sample to whet your appetite:
She could have asked, I suppose, but since when were investigative reporters in the business of asking questions? That's just crazy talk! Who knows or cares what in the world these numbers mean, the main thing is, they're WRONG WRONG WRONG!!!1Whatever they are.
McBride then goes on to ramble pointlessly about a number of cases that aren't on the list of 62, despite the fact that, in the meantime, the Butler campaign had released the revised list of 70 cases, which contains all the cases McBride is wondering about (and, natch, taking advantage of the occasion to call Justice Butler a liar, and so forth).
Even when McBride did get her mitts on the revised list, she still has no clue what all the little (0:1)'s mean. What are they?! Oh never mind. Butler's a liar!
Sykes Gets Double-Teamed
Sykes has also been shown to be lacking in cerebral fortitude when going up against the Invulnerable Brawler.
But when these two towers of truth team up, there is nothing left of Sykes, except the hair gel.
Both of these intrepid souls do a complementary trouncing on Sykes as he is caught spreading more of his silly slander and inane patter regarding Justice Louis Butler. Brawler starts it off with a move off the top rope with his title:
Sykes the performing ape continues his lying campaign for Gableman
iT finishes him off with this:
The press coverage of this race, incidentally, is utterly baffling. "Both sides are slinging mud," they tell us, as if there was some manner of mudslinging equilibrium.
Horse. Shit. While misrepresenting the law and the American constitutional scheme for the purposes of tearing down a good man's character is certainly mudslinging, pointing out — with evidence — in response that the Gableman campaign has been engaging in dishonesty and misrepresentation practically since day one hardly is.
Nostradamus He Ain't
The Mighty Brawler explains why McIlheran is no Nostradamus.
MJS Does FOX
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is stealing a page from FOX's playbook.
In today's Regional Briefs, the have the following blurb:
Policy Research Institute offers alerts
Thiensville - The Thiensville-based Wisconsin Policy Research Institute is offering a new feature through its Web site that provides notification electronically when a new report or commentary from the institute becomes available.
For details, see www.wpri.org.
The nonprofit institute was established in 1987 to study public policy issues affecting Wisconsin.
Funny thing is, the supposedly liberal-leaning MJS is giving free publicity to a conservative think tank, but I don't recall a single mention of One Wisconsin Now, nor of that fine group when they started up their WMC Watch.
Just remember this, gentle reader: You can't always trust the local paper. And you can never trust those that label it as liberal.
Tuesday, March 25, 2008
A Wagnerian Trifecta
A Rose By Any Name...
James Rowen makes the same observation. He also adds the fact that Kevin Fischer, among many of the right wing squawkers, seems unable to refer to U.S. Senator Barack Obama without highlighting and even emphasizing his middle name:
The blog posting is a horse-race round-up of opinion about where the campaign stood at the time, discussing and referencing opinion about John McCain - - no middle name by Fischer, while he ID's Hillary Clinton merely as "Clinton."
Only Obama gets the middle name treatment.
This repetition of "Hussein" throughout Fischer's blog is cheap and classless, and as deliberate an act of denigration as are "Loophole Louie" and Laptop Leon."
But because it enables Fischer to wield an irrelevant fear-mongering club against Obama - - Hussein = Middle East/foreigners/Muslims/Saddam - - it's even sleazier.
I must say, I agree with the question that Mr. Rowen puts forth to these witless pundits:
So here's the question, fellas:
Why do you guys like to fool around so much with the names of Black public officials?
From The Mailbag
They stated that Sykes spent an inordinate amount of time on his show today talking about U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton's latest blunder.
He apparently kept harping on the difference between misspeaking and outright lying.
The group wonders how long Sykes will be allowed to keep up that "type of crap" given his own little bit of misspeaking: Liz Woodhouse.
I don't know how to break it to them, but this is the sort of stuff TMJ wants him to do.
That is why Whallah! is here.
Update On L'Affaire De Fischer
This produced a ripple effect through the cheddarshpere, including the question of did he do his blogging on state time and if he did the blogging for his boss, state Senator Mary Lazich.
Michael Mathias at Pundit Nation, has kept up his own research and has received a response from Lazich about how much work Fischer does for her (emphasis mine):
State Senator Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin) permits her legislative aide Kevin Fischer to prepare and post blog entries that appear under her name at the Journal Communications' Now sites as part of his duties as a state employee, but she prohibits Fischer from doing any work on his own blog at the Franklin Now site.That's all fine and dandy, but her response raises one question in my mind: How does she enforce her prohibition? Given how much production levels drop around the country during this season of March Madness, how can she be sure he is not up to shenanigans in her office?
Lazich confirmed this arrangement in an e-mail to me following concerns raised about Fischer's personal attacks on bloggers and readers leaving comments at his site (some of whom were Lazich’s constituents) as well as concerns I raised about whether it was appropriate for Journal Communications to give both Lazich and Fischer such a prominent platform for their political operation.
They Never Stood A Chance, Part Deux
Now observe how his kindness and diligence towards the causes of truth and justice know no bounds.
First he observes that McIlheran starts to parrot McBride's ill-informed and even more poorly interpreted post. iT takes it upon himself, again without recommended protective gear, to take on the task of correcting the record.
Then McBride comes out with new and not improved facts (as she perceives them). iT again corrects her in this post.
McIlheran again parrots McBrides inaccurate allegations, and sets the record straight. Not only does he posts on it, but then submits it to McIlheran's site as a rebuttal.
McIlheran, in what we hope is play-acting at being obtuse (if he is genuinely this obtuse, he would need a picture book instruction manual on how to breathe), takes artificial outrage in an effort to distract from the fact that he can't argue against the facts. iT again patiently points out that this time McIlheran is intentionally lying, instead of just parroting lies. (On a side note, Other Side also enters the fray on McIlheran's site. But you can't teach an old brick new tricks.)
So, the illustrious one spends a greater part of his weekend to do an independent analysis of the data and finds that the facts gasp Justice Butler's original assertions, and that the McGoof twins are full of fecal matter.
Not only did the Tenant find that McIlheran willingly fail to do the minimal in basic journalism, but he also found out that McIlheran was actually present during an interview with the good Justice, and yet willfully fails to tell the truth on the matter. iT leaves off with a very good question for McIlheran, one that I'm afraid I already know the answer to:
eta: This comment was left on McIlheran's blog Sunday evening (containing no HTML commands):
I played your numbers game for you, Mr. McIlheran. It also turns out that Justice Butler had previously explained the basis for the percentage in advance to you, when you were literally sitting across a table from im.
It's all on my blog. Go have a look.
My only question at this point, Mr. McIlheran, is: Are you going to give your apology to Justice Butler at least the same prominence that you gave McBride's hatchet job?
A Critique Of Sunday Incite And Of Sykes
Going in without the recommended safety gear, iT takes it upon himself to watch the show, or at least as much as one could humanly stomach. He shares with us some of his observations:
Charles J. Sykes, in short, is a buffoon, a performing ape. During the mercifully brief discussion of the Supreme Court election, Sykes managed to refer to Gableman as "Michael Gableman" or "Mike Gableman." But Butler may only be "Loophole Louie." Charming.
iT then goes on to peruse Sykes's blog and shares his findings on that with us:
Sykes's response to Bice's item is also funny: "Justice for sale?" is the headline at Sykes's "blog," without the slightest hint of evidence as to whether the question is even called for, let alone the clear suggestion of impropriety on the part of Justice Butler. That headline, by the way, is Sykes's sole contribution to the discussion. Despite this, Sykes has earned his own nickname, "the blogfather," from some of his fawning acolytes on the right.
Why this is is a bit of a mystery, since Sykes's blog contains almost entirely copy-and-paste jobs from other blogs and the occasional YouTube clip of scantily-clad, booty-shaking females. (If Sykes does provide any meaningful public service at all, it's those.)
If you aren't pointing and laughing yet, I'll leave you with an example of Sykes's legal acumen, the substance of which practically precludes him from commenting on this Supreme Court race at all, except that would deprive us of grist for the comedy mill, and that's not such a good thing.
Anyway, here's what Sykes had to say about Knapp (he does write his own stuff occasionally, in between shouting on the radio, just not at his blog):What stunned the dissenters and many court watchers, however, was the court’s decision to ignore the specific decision of the U.S. Supreme
Court in the case before it.Now this is beyond merely comical, it's demonstrably idiotic, and if you want to know why, go and read my original post. Or, obviously, watch the Butler interview (which you should do anyway).Charlie Sykes, I'm told, is actually taken seriously among a certain local demographic, which is as much a mystery to me as was initially the red-shift of galaxies to Edwin Hubble. Hubble eventually figured it out, but I remain at a loss to explain Sykes's apparent popularity, aside from as, of course, an occasionally entertaining performing primate.
Another Spot That Needs Fact-Checking
Anybody out there that's up to taking a look?
4000 Too Many
The right side of the cheddarsphere is silent.
Pundit Nation shows us that Bush is taking it all very seriously and is consulting with his top advisers.
Dan Cody shows that Cheney doesn't give a damn.
Xoff tells us what we can do to express our outrage at this outrage:
Across the country, antiwar activists will mark that grim milestone with vigils, marches, and other actions.
In Milwaukee, Peace Action Wisconsin and Veterans for Peace will hold a vigil and procession of caskets from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 25, at the VA Hospital, at the intersection of National Ave. & Hwy 41 (Stadium Freeway.)
When similar events marked the 3,000th American death, on New Year's Eve of 2006, the right wing accused us of "celebrating" the death toll.
It is anything but a celebration, of course. We will mark the 4,000th death because it is an opportunity to remind the American people of the price we are paying for an unjustified war that has entered its sixth year. Unfortunately, although they continue to say overwhelmingly that the war was a mistake and should be ended, Americans have become numbed to the casualties, which have long ago slipped from the front page.
Monday, March 24, 2008
It's Time For Sykes To Stand Up For What's Right
He went on and on and on about the non-issue if Obama committed plagiarism for using the same ideological rhetoric that another politician, who happened to be close to Obama, had used. Now imagine the frothing at the mouth we would have seen if Obama also lied about people that appeared in one of his commercials. Clean up in Aisle 62o, please.
Well, Sykes has his chance to do the right thing now. Scott Walker has been busted using a previously used theme in political ads, in his latest commercial, the "I believe in Milwaukee" shtick.
Not only that, but as Xoff points out, Walker has lied about the people appearing in the commercial. They're not real taxpayers, in the local sense, but paid actors, who I am sure probably paid taxes on the money they were paid to shill for Walker.
And has icing for the cake, yours truly has taken Xoff's points, and added that Walker is a big old hypocrite when it comes to his whole "I won't raise taxes" malarkey.
If I were a betting man, I would put my whole kingdom that Sykes is going to be as big of a hypocrite as Walker, showing that they both share something besides receding hairlines.
Shorter Patrick McIlheran: Some Republicans might not vote Obama
While 77 percent of Americans thought Barack Obama's speech on race was fair to excellent, I will focus on people who've turned against him over Reverend Wright -- including one longtime Republican who liked Obama until he realized Obama and Wright were the same person.
Sykes Recognizes The Brawler
Indeed, What Did Happen To Guilt
Yes, Charlie, what happened to guilt? How about you tell us what happened to yours? There's more than enough reason to believe you should have a large share of it.
Sunday, March 23, 2008
McBride Promotes Liberalism
Unfortunately for McBride, and her hubby, McBride's arguments are a two-edged knife that cuts both ways. In today's Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Daniel Bice does something McBride hasn't done in a long time, if ever. He does some investigation before writing a column. From Bice's article today:
Not long ago, he was asking Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle to give him the job that went to Neubauer. In the past, Gleisner has given $2,200 to the second-term governor, who is despised by many on the right.
Gleisner has also written checks to two liberal judicial candidates, to the Democratic Party and to Democratic presidential candidate John Kerry.
Gleisner has been active in the state and federal associations for trial attorneys, who are supporting his campaign. He has even spoken out in favor of judicial activism.
Now look for his gifts to GOP candidates or conservative political causes. You'll come up empty.
Furthermore, Paul's all-too-frequently-aired commercial plugging for Gleisner points out that Gleisner is pro-life, anti-gun control and pro-voter ID. Now, choice is the law of the land, whether one likes it or not. Likewise, Wisconsin is one of the few states with enough sense not to bow to the NRA. And even U.S. Attorney Steve Biskupic has stated that there is no widespread voter fraud, thus no need to disenfranchise and suppress the votes of certain types of citizens.
To promote oneself to stating that these positions are wrong, whether directly or indirectly through Bucher, smacks of judicial activism. That is something that the right is continuously complaining about, or at least they do when the law doesn't favor their wishes.
I'm just glad that McBride isn't backing any of my candidates. I'd hate to have to start second guessing my sanity.
Happy Easter Belatedly
Saturday, March 22, 2008
Words we will never hear from Sykes, McIlheran et al on Iraq -- but should
John Cole of Balloon Juice, a war supporter who has since seen the light, has more integrity:
I was wrong about the Doctrine of Pre-emptive warfare.
I was wrong about Iraq possessing WMD.
I was wrong about Scott Ritter and the inspections.
I was wrong about the UN involvement in weapons inspections.
I was wrong about the containment sanctions.
I was wrong about the broader impact of the war on the Middle East.
I was wrong about this making us more safe.
I was wrong about the number of troops needed to stabilize Iraq.
I was wrong when I stated this administration had a clear plan for the aftermath.
I was wrong about securing the ammunition dumps.
I was wrong about the ease of bringing democracy to the Middle East.
I was wrong about dissolving the Iraqi army.
I was wrong about the looting being unimportant.
I was wrong that Bush/Cheney were competent.
I was wrong that we would be greeted as liberators.
I was wrong to make fun of the anti-war protestors.
I was wrong not to trust the dirty smelly hippies.
I mean, I could go down the list and continue on, but you get the point. I was wrong about EVERY. GOD. DAMNED. THING. It is amazing I could tie my shoes in 2001-2004. If you took all the wrongness I generated, put it together and compacted it and processed it, there would be enough concentrated stupid to fuel three hundred years of Weekly Standard journals.
I am not sure how I snapped out of it, but I think Abu Ghraib and the negative impact of the insurgency did sober me up a bit.
War should always be an absolute last resort, not just another option. I will never make the same mistakes again.
Cole then links to Jim Henley, who sums up the thinking of people who opposed the war (i.e. got it right):
What all of us had in common is probably a simple recognition: War is a big deal. It isn’t normal. It’s not something to take up casually. Any war you can describe as “a war of choice” is a crime. War feeds on and feeds the negative passions. It is to be shunned where possible and regretted when not. Various hawks occasionally protested that “of course” they didn’t enjoy war, but they were almost always lying. Anyone who saw invading foreign lands and ruling other countries by force as extraordinary was forearmed against the lies and delusions of the time. It’s a heavy burden, I’ll admit. But the riches and fame make it all worthwhile.
Or, you know, we could have just listened to the pope.
From beyond the grave, Adam Smith calls out McIlheran, Sykes et al for their support of the Iraq occupation
In great empires the people who live in the capital, and in the provinces remote from the scene of action, feel, many of them, scarce any inconveniency from the war; but enjoy, at their ease, the amusement of reading in the newspapers the exploits of their own fleets and armies. To them this amusement compensates the small difference between the taxes which they pay on account of the war, and those which they had been accustomed to pay in time of peace. They are commonly dissatisfied with the return of peace, which puts an end to their amusement, and to a thousand visionary hopes of conquest and national glory from a longer continuance of the war.
(via Brad DeLong)
Friday, March 21, 2008
They Never Stood A Chance
As a journalist, McBride likely wouldn't appreciate the working draft of a project similarly critiqued prior to its completion. But this is unsurprising, since she has something of a history of jumping the factual gun in favor of expressing zealous ideology.
Patrick McIlheran, on the other hand, can be less easily forgiven. As a prominent columnist at Milwaukee's only daily newspaper and haranguing from the pulpit it provides, he has a far greater responsibility for circumspection and skepticism.
Yet here he is, assisting in more widely disseminating accusations of "outright lying" on the part of Justice Butler. That is remarkably irresponsible for a so-called journalist, by anyone's standards.
I'm willing to bet he didn't spend one minute checking into any of McBride's claims. There's certainly no evidence that he did in his little piece of right-wing puffery. Needless to say, it's also a very poor reflection on the Journal-Sentinel itself.
iT also adds another post showing that Gableman better get his eraser out when it comes to his list of endorsements.
Thursday, March 20, 2008
Iraq Moratorium Day, Five Years
Yours truly will happen to be in Wausau that afternoon. I hope to conclude my business there in time and shall seek out those good people.
I'll bring print outs of a prayer to say for our brave men and women, as well as the prayer that Grumps points out to us:
The War Prayer
"O Lord our Father, our young patriots, idols of our hearts, go forth to battle -- be Thou near them! With them -- in spirit -- we also go forth from the sweet peace of our beloved firesides to smite the foe.
O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief; help us to turn them out roofless with little children to wander unfriended the wastes of their desolated land in rags and hunger and thirst, sports of the sun flames of summer and the icy winds of winter, broken in spirit, worn with travail, imploring Thee for the refuge of the grave and denied it -- for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet!
We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts.
Why The Heck Should Conservatives Vote For Michael Gableman
After writing two posts trying to blow holes in the campaign of Justice Louis Butler, she wrote a post that was supposed to be a skewering of Lisa Neubauer, but does nothing but makes herself look bad. Xoff has already shown some of her factual errors, here and here.
In the same post that Xoff has covered, she has written, in glaring, bright red letters (emphasis mine):
Why in the heck should conservatives vote for Lisa Neubauer? Answer: There's not a single reason to do so. *and that's without counting the fact that Jim Doyle engineered her last-minute appointment after raking in the campaign cash from her over the years
To use that as a rationale for whether to vote for or against any candidate, then I am sure McBride would agree that the same line of reasoning (and I use that term in connection to McBride in the most liberal of terms), would prevent a true conservative from voting for Michael Gableman, who has a cloud of suspicion a mile wide, regarding his methodology of being appointed to the bench.
What Sign Is Charlie?
And here's a sign despite the hand wringing of Joe Scarborough the conservative purient interest over Rev. Wright is loosing steam.
The off-shoot of the episode of course was Barack Obama's brilliant speech on Tuesday. They must have picked over this like a Thanksgiving turkey two hours into the feast.
Now it all comes down to this from Cheap Shot Charlie Sykes. In referring to the statements about his grandmother and her leariness about black people, Obama chalked these sentiments up to the way an average white person thinks. Clearly an off-hand remark.
Charlie of course felt he struck gold...
Think about it: can you imagine any Presidential candidate, in any context, describing anyone as a "typical black person?" Or a "typical Asian person?" Worse, what Obama said was that the "typical white person" views others of different races with fear and suspicion.And then the payoff pitch:
Obama appears to be digging himself in deeper and deeper.Hardly Charlie. In fact that concluding statement reaks of farce.
Here's a suggestion to enhance the quality of your radio show. Why not talk about real issues rather than the continual fishing for statements which you then magnify into gaffes?
Oh, I'm sorry. When it comes to GOP policies Charlie really can't afford to talk about issues because if people would wake up to the screwing in store for them by his favorite party, even his sheep might wake up from their slumbers in the pasture.
Or maybe Charlie isn't concerned about quality.
Don't let the facts get in the way II
On second reading (I must be a masochist) it turns out there's even another obvious error. McBride, always the teacher, tells her readers:
Note: For those of you who don't remember Lydia Spottswood, she is the liberal who tried to unseat conservative star Paul Ryan.Actually, when Neubauer was contributing to Spottswood in 1997 and 1998, Ryan was not in Congress. He was a young whippersnapper who, the Journal Sentinel reported, had spent most of his adult life (which wasn't much, at age 28) in DC:
Ryan, 28, comes from an old Janesville family but spent nearly all of his post-college life in Washington, D.C. He worked there as a congressional aide and as a speech writer at Empower America, a think tank founded by Jack Kemp and William Bennett, former cabinet secretaries under President Reagan.So the "conservative star" hadn't quite risen yet, and Spottswood was not "trying to unseat him." The Congressman at the time, "for those of you who don't remember him," was Mark Neumann.
Ryan now works as a part-time marketing consultant for a family excavation business.
If she were a student in my news writing class, she'd flunk. Or I'd at least make her take a remedial course in how to Google.
Don't let the facts get in the way, Jessica
Why in the heck should conservatives vote for Lisa Neubauer? Answer: There's not a single reason to do so. *and that's without counting the fact that Jim Doyle engineered her last-minute appointment after raking in the campaign cash from her over the years..."I'm told"? Pillow talk from Paul the Bucher? There is certainly no evidence that Gleisner would be "tougher on crime." He's a plaintiff's trial lawyer, for Pete's sake.
The Greater Wisconsin Committee, AKA the Bill Christofferson, liberal hatchet committee front group, is part of a new huge TV buy to benefit Neubauer. Chris Micklos, former PR guy for convicted Democrat Chuck Chvala, is part of it too.
Score another one for Gleisner. Now, there are three reasons to vote Gleisner. Abortion, guns, and GWC. Plus, I'm told he'd be tougher on crime than she is.
Only trouble with her well-presented, carefully-reasoned argument is that the bogeyman, the Greater Wisconsin Committee, isn't doing anything for Lisa Neubauer.
So I guess that leaves two reasons. Why should conservatives support Neubauer? McBride should take it up with one of the state's top Republicans, Michael Grebe, who had more than two.
UPDATE: Another factual error in the same post.
Racism And Politics
Yesterday, on his show, he continued his diatribe against Senator Barack Obama. First he condemns Obama for not distancing himself from Reverend Jeremiah Wright, for what some on the right are trying to say is racist and anti-American speech. He seems to forget that the right have more than their fair share of crackpot religious leaders.
Then, when Obama did criticize the "hate speech", and removed the Reverend from his campaign committee. Sykes criticized him for throwing the Reverend "under the bus." Sykes is so vain that you know he's just has to have a mirror near him at all times, but does he ever really look at himself?
The local right wing media has more than their fair share of racism as well. Sykes' own brand of racism has been noted when he compared Jews to Nazis, and how he railed against people that asked him to remove his offensive post. Who can forget Belling's comment that got him suspended only after a hard long fight by community activists, as well as his racist smears against McGee and Lena Taylor? And there was McBride who was released from her radio show just after mocking the death of little girl, and after she made some offensive statements based on racial stereotyping after the death of a up-and-coming R & B star.
Given this repeated pattern of racist and hateful statements and attitudes of the local media, I demand and expect that Scott Walker, Michael Gableman and Bill Gleisner would condemn and distance themselves from these people immediately and their attitudes.
Where Are The Comments, McBride?
Last night, I noticed two comments left on her post. Both were left by our intrepid Sir Zachary the Blue Knight. One pointed out that she was completely inaccurate in her misstatements, the other provided a link to the post by Illusory Tenant.
Both comments have since been deleted.
Why did she do this? Since she is married to an attorney, one must rule out a bias against attorneys. It must be the usual reason--the phobia the conservative right has towards the truth and towards reality.
Wednesday, March 19, 2008
This Is The Best They Can Do?
This year, they had to settle for a seventh round draft choice in Michael Gableman. Not only that, but they are requiring the aid of McBride to help try to help this unqualified candidate win his election. We already know that McBride has difficulties with the concept of journalism, even though she is allegedly a teacher in that fine art. For her to try to tackle law...Well, even a super lawyer apparently couldn't help her with that endeavor.
To illuminate this point, I had asked the illustrious illusory one to peruse the post and enlighten us all. Even though very busy, he did give us a few moments of his time to give her post a cursory lookthrough and gave us this:
Eschewing scare italics for scare boldface, McBride goes on to say:Butler makes a serious error in the law by misclassifying two sexual predator cases as criminal cases (Brown and Bush). Under the law, sexual predator cases are defined as civil commitments expressly so they pass Constitutional [sic] double jeopardy protections.First of all, the list of cases McBride provides contains three "Browns," but she doesn't tell us which one Butler's "serious error in the law" arises from.
In the other case, State v. Bush, Butler wrote for a unanimous court in favor of upholding the constitutionality of Chapter 980 provisions against the motions of the defendant, who was previously deemed a sexually violent person. Furthermore, the issues addressed by the Supreme Court turn almost entirely on the defendant's sexually violent behavior, that is, criminal behavior.* As a matter of fact, Butler specifically and explicitly rejects Bush's claim that he is no longer dangerous, despite the evidence Bush presents.
Generally speaking, Bush is about as "anti-criminal" as they come. (That's a borrowing from McBride's own parlance, where "pro-constitutional" equates to "pro-criminal.")
Secondly, while Chapter 980 does not contain criminal statutes per se, you don't get to be a sexually violent person under Chap. 980 unless you've been convicted of a sexually violent offense, a conviction which is, obviously, a criminal conviction. McBride's distinction, in this context, is bordering on the graspingly ridiculous.Thirdly, if McBride's distinction is accepted, then Gableman can't criticize Butler's record with respect to criminal cases where they involve Chapter 980 commitments, which would pretty much gut the central point of his entire campaign. "Louis Butler, soft on civil commitments!!!1" doesn't play quite as well with the mugs.
You can read the rest here.
This Could Be Interesting
Tuesday, March 18, 2008
Close, But No Cigar
"Just how bad is this commercial?" you may ask. Well bad enough that Former Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske condemned it. And if that's not enough for you, even Sykes takes a swing at it, albeit a half-hearted swing. Sykes' backpedalling might be enough for some of my esteemed colleagues, but I do not believe he was totally devoid of minimizing its true nature.
Sykes denies the full racist quality of the post, and merely labels it as misleading. Labelling this commercial as misleading is as much of an understatement as saying that Alexander the Great, Genghis Khan, and Napoleon Bonaparte were assertive people.
To further show that he might not have been sincere in his condemnation is the fact that he later boasts of making the paper for it, and linking to another right-winger linking to him (that reminds me of someone, now who could it be?).
So, instead of winning the prize, Sykes gets a double screencap, on closer to reality:
And on based on true fantasy:
Updating The Royal Blogroll
The first is "Hearts and Minds", a blog written by Clyde Winter. To be honest, when I first learned of this site, I was a little put off. Not by the quality of his writing, but by the simple fact that he also writes a column for Greater Milwaukee Today. GMToday is also the "proud" hosts of columns by Belling and McBride.
But after doing some perusing, I found that Mr. Winter is not only a more than capable writer, he is also a reality-based writer. He pursues many topics and he does his homework where few others (including myself) extend themselves that far very often. The thing that sealed the deal is when I observed a recent post of his that managed to tick off Brian Fraley and Bob Donhal at the same time. A feat worthy of entering the Royal Blogroll in and of itself.
The other new addition is a post called "Milwaukee Social Worker BLOG". It is written by Social Worker, but has also been observed to comment under the tag of Milwaukee Social Worker. MSW has also fearlessly tangled with some of the commenters on BadgerBlogger, including the likes of PCD and Mickey.
Now, not only is MSW a clever acronym for those of us in the field, but MSW also writes about things near and dear to this king's heart--the simple act of trying to make other people's lives a little bit better.
So, dear reader, I encourage you to drop by and visit these good people. Tell'em Whallah! sent you.
A New Way Of Self-Promotion
Some of our soldiers come back to face time in rehab or in hospital. Some of our soldiers come home and head straight to church to take the opportunity to face their maker and give thanks for their survival or the gifts to which they have returned. Most of our soldiers, without regard for rank or upbringing, will make a bee-line for their family, taking time to rejoin and re-engage in all that is good about America.
I knew nothing about Roger Roth, of Appleton, before I saw him get back to work last week. The legislator had just returned from a two-month tour in Iraq with the National Guard. I was predisposed to have a little bit of a warm fuzzy feeling for this man who had just returned from standing up for his beliefs and putting his own skin on the line.
That good feeling didn't last long. We found out all too soon what had held Roth's attention while he was serving amongst some of the most disenfranchised people on the face of the Earth. He was trying to find a way to replicate that disenfranchisement in Wisconsin.
Within hours of getting back to the people's business in Wisconsin, in the dying hours of a busy session, Roth found the time to introduce a measure to make sure that the Hmong constituents in his district would be guaranteed second-rate service at all government agencies.
Roth's contribution to the Assembly session last week was the introduction of an English-only Government Bill. He knew it stood no chance of becoming law but he had to make a show of being "tough on furriners." Roth ignored the changing demographics of the state to make a paean to a time gone past that may only exist in his own head.
I have written before about how the founders of our state dealt with the language problem. The Constitution of the State was published in English, German and Norwegian back in 1848. Our legislators knew then that withholding the documents of government from the people was a bad idea.
Apparently, Roger Roth couldn't see that from Iraq.
Monday, March 17, 2008
Scene From The Burnett County Courthouse
I think everyone should read the full GMT Today/Freeman column and count up how many different ways Jessica tries to have it in the column.Boxer's comments also reminded me of another example of media bias:
My personal favorite: "Foley's terrible personal choices were painted as a failure of the party to which he belongs." That's right, because that party's leadership knew of Foley's terrible proclivity for making "terrible personal choices", some of whom were underage, and yet did nothing to address the problem before it became public and the GOP was linked to the scandal.
She fails to distinguish party-linked scandals of Congress and the White House from Democrats and Republicans who had a personal scandal. For example, party affiliation had nothing to do with Jesse Jackson's extramarital affair--he happens to be a Democrat, but was not elected to office, so his affair is between him, his wife and the other woman. However, Larry Craig's solicitation for gay sex occurred while he was serving as a member of Congress, being paid by the taxpayers to represent the residents of Idaho, and presumably was only in the Mpls airport on his way to or from his Washington DC job. So yes, it was a Republican party-linked scandal. Why else would the Republican caucus have called for his resignation?
Neither of these 2 examples (Foley, Craig) explains the viciousness with which these 2 "I'm not gay" legislators went after gay people who only wanted to marry, adopt children or just "be out" without being harassed.
It's the hypocrisy, stupid.
March 17, 2008 4:42 PM
So, yeah, McBride's correct in asserting there's a media bias. And it should give one shivers down the spine to think that she is the one teaching it.
Another Mystery Explained
The Lies Of Gableman Make Me Ill
Nevermind that he can't seem to tell the difference between a criminal serving out a sentence and being released. His basic disregard for reality should be enough to have him disqualified.
If he really, really, truly hates loopholes why hasn't he smacked down on Scooter Jensen? Oh, yeah. Nevermind again. Miserable, effing hack.
Happy St. Patrick's Day
Do You Know Any Good Divorce Attorneys?
Sunday, March 16, 2008
McBride Continues Irrational Crusade: Former reporter and right-wing radio host Jessica McBride, never known for her deep sensitivity—she was one of the few hardhearted souls who mocked Parkinson’s-afflicted Michael J. Fox—is continuing her irrational crusade against illegal immigrants. But this time she’s using her UW- Milwaukee students as her trusty assistants.
McBride has been bashing immigrants for years now, knowing that she can inflame both sides of the political spectrum with her over-the-top attacks. First she used her blog. Then she was going to research illegal immigrants in the corrections system for the conservative Wisconsin Policy Research Institute. Just after she announced her project, her husband, former Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher, started quoting stats on the very same topic during his failed campaign for state attorney general. Cory Liebmann, then blogging independently, pointed out the coincidence, and McBride dropped her project. Bucher lost in the primary to J.B. Van Hollen.
But the crusading McBride hasn’t given up on her misguided dream of demonizing immigrants—she’s just using her students at a public, state-funded university to advance her agenda. This past week, Frontpage Milwaukee, an online student publication, published an investigative piece on illegal immigrants in the corrections system. The paper’s faculty supervisor is—you guessed it—Jessica McBride.
Saturday, March 15, 2008
Gableman and the Enablers
Friday, March 14, 2008
Couldn't Have Said It Better Myself
Quick thought of the day. If you have a weekly television show on local network affiliate, a 2+ hour daily radio talk show on the biggest AM station in the region, and write an occasional editorial column in the daily newspaper, you are the “mainstream media”.
Not some Robin Hoodish character on the outside looking in who’s rebelling against it.
TMJ's GOP Infomercial Hearts Lena Taylor
Charlie Sykes big annual "Insight " live radio panel at the Country Springs Hotel in Waukesha Wednesday was aired today.
One of the low-lights: a couple of the panelists talked over each other to eagerly agree that Milwaukee County Executive candidate Lena Taylor was "crazy."
They threw a few other adjectives the Milwaukee State Senator's way - - like "incompetent."
Hard to identify the classy panelists who ganged up on Taylor, but the podcast portion of his blog should help.