- Gateway Pundit points to Priebus and his law firm working to help clients snag up stimulus dollars even though Priebus was often a critic of the stimulus package (sounds like Scott Walker and Ron Johnson, doesn't it?)
- Think Progress points out that Priebus and his law firm came out calling the health care reform as being Constitutional and touting the benefits of the reform
- National Review Online also discusses Priebus and his pursuit of stimulus funds.
Friday, December 31, 2010
Wednesday, December 29, 2010
The November issue of The Wisconsin Interest has a behind-the-scenes look at Ron Johnson’s successful campaign to unseat Russ Feingold in the U.S. Senate, written by Christian Schneider. WI, edited by Charlie Sykes, is put out by the Wisconsin Policy Research Institute, a free-market think tank and policy mill for the state’s GOP.
Tuesday, December 28, 2010
I hate to add this in but the Cudahy comb-over comment is hilarious. I've been wondering about that loaf of hair for a long time. Pat- your not fooling anyone.
So do you think you'll catch Patrick McIlheran or Charlie Sykes or Mark Belling publicly lampooning the aesthetic predilections of their own conservative Republican fellow travelers and popular benefactors?
But this is the journalism that wins awards.
Wednesday, December 22, 2010
Pretty much defines the Syksian perspective when it comes to this concept of American exceptionalism.
Now just about all of us regard the good old US of A as the greatest country on earth, liberals included. We love our country warts and all, but an adult recognizes that if you want to be Miss America, you'd better burn off the warts.
In his continuing efforts to whip up his herd, Charlie Sykes is taking umbrage that President Obama is insufficiently delusional about where we stand in the world. Or as Sykes puts it:
Republicans, including a string of prospective presidential contenders, have taken their objections to President Obama's policies to a provocative and controversial level. Over White House objections, they're accusing him of not embracing the concept of American exceptionalism, saying he is pursuing an agenda on health care, the economy and foreign affairs that is at odds with fundamentals that distinguish the United States.Sykes thinks he has a winner here. By gum, no president born in Kenya is going to tell us that we lag in health care, or education, or infrastructure. The sad truth however is that we are in fact staring at the behinds of other countries, and usually our rankings come in at around the low 20s when compared to other nations. In that health care issue Sykes talks about, we're number 37.
But we also rank at the low 20s when it comes to taxes. Think there is a correlation? Of course there is. Other countries are investing in ourselves, while here all the deep pockets fritter away their money on financial speculation, not job creation as some assert. As for the rest of us, a lot of our money that is untouched by taxes goes into buying products made overseas. Again, not job generators.
Charlie apparently thinks that being exceptional comes through wishing, or can be had on the cheap. Like W put it, "it's hard work" and it also takes hard cash to measure up to our world wide competition.
Sargent Sykes always whines about how bleeding heart parents and teachers like to hand out trophies in order to bolster the self-esteem of their looser kids who come in second.
Can anyone explain what is the difference here, except for Sykes' continual effort to come up with something, anything, to criticize our President?
For the realists among us, and oddly lately they happen to be liberals, there is a fear that we are in our sunset years as a country. We can reverse this course, but this is a classic case where we have to put up or shut up.
The more that people like Sykes talk the voters out of insisting on the investments needed to make us a leading country in college education, research, infrastructure and other areas, the more we put ourselves farther behind.
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
The Journal Sentinel's PolitiFact, which has been criticized by lefty bloggers for failing to fact check Sykes, gives him a Pants on Fire rating on his claim about University of Wisconsin Rose Bowl expenses.
It's more than a a little self-congratulatory:
PolitiFact doesn’t just look at politicians or elected officials. It will take on anyone who speaks up in the civic discourse, even if their radio station is owned by the same company (Journal Communications Inc.) that owns the Journal Sentinel.And Sykes, like his counterpart Mark Belling did awhile back, cheerfully admits he made it up, as though that is perfectly OK:
"My ‘evidence’? Absolutely none."Hilarious, huh?
Sykes went on to label his remark "an off-hand wisecrack" -- "You know, humor, hyperbole, joke."
While it's nice that the JS challenged Sykes, at long last, it's too bad it chose a fairly trivial topic after ignoring all sorts of whoppers on much bigger issues during the recent campaign.
We rate this one as Window Dressing.
Sunday, December 19, 2010
If the left wing blogosphere, the unions and all their left wing pals had stuck with Jeff Plale instead of throwing their weight behind a truly radical left wing primary challenger they would have likely been able to get Plale's vote and had their new contracts.
Travel times on the busy section of freeway will more than double during a repaving project scheduled to last about three months, from early April to the end of June.
Motorists commuting between the Marquette Interchange and Wisconsin Highway 16 can expect to add an hour per day to their drive time.
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Earlier, Minnesota's Gov.-elect Mark Dayton reacted to the news, lamenting the loss and worried about its impact on Minnesota's plan to be part of a high-speed rail route from Chicago to the Twin Cities.
Today, Jerry Miller, chair of the Minnesota High-Speed Rail Commission called Wisconsin's loss of funding "a setback" but said the commission will continue to work to get the rail line established.
Posted first on Uppity Wisconsin, but then realized this is the appropriate venue.
Comment on Ed Garvey's blog:
As a vilified Wisconsin state employee and member of the Wisconsin Professional Employees Council at UW-Milwaukee, I would LOVE to see some facts/figures on the benefits, health care premium costs and coverage, salaries (including per diems claimed) and pensions of Wisconsin legislators, who, at best, are part-time employees of the state.
I suspect one could not find a better example of feeders at the public trough than our less-than-illustrious assortment of elected senators and congressmen/women. And why not throw in the figures for our soon-to-be governor for good measure?
Everyone is so concerned with state employee salaries and benefits, why are we not getting more information and the full picture concerning that particular breed of state employee known as elected legislator?
-Marie Fernleaf Milwaukee (unverified)
Plenty of meat there for one of those long, wordy series some newspapers (not to mention any names) love to do. Let's put half a dozen reporters on it.
Then, when that's finished, we can look at salaries, benefits and pensions of newspaper editors and executives.
Wednesday, December 15, 2010
Could Walker, who got 38% of the vote for governor in the county, win a third term himself? Doubtful.
But we do have to ask: Everyone has known for six weeks that Walker was leaving the job.
A small army of Democrats are still milling around, asking each other whether to run, while time slips away. It is now about nine weeks to the primary, and then seven more to the general election.
That's precious little time to assemble a serious campaign or raise the kind of money it will take to win. Stone will be well-funded, and will no doubt be able to build on the Milwaukee County organization Walker just built for November.
What in the hell are the Dems waiting for?
Tuesday, December 14, 2010
CHARLIE SYKES, Conservative Talk Radio Host, 620 WTMJ-AM: $170,000 plus bonus(Salary estimated by WTMJ radio insiders; Sykes declined to confirm.)
Friday, December 10, 2010
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
Too bad for Paddy that reality, as usual, is not on his side on this issue. Thus comes the schooling:
I am writing in response to columnist Patrick McIlheran's angry attack on my company, the WEA Trust.
He wrote in a Dec. 2 column on Perspectives that my company just lost the Milton School District as a health insurance customer because we were outbid. That is true. We competed in a fair bid process, and in this instance, the school district chose another carrier.
But McIlheran went on to make a series of unfounded and unwarranted statements that we must refute. He concluded that because we lost the business, my company, therefore, "sucks away scarce school money" from all of our state's schools where we do business. It's a choice between "more taxes or more ignorance," he says.
Saturday, December 4, 2010
There could be some value, Jungbluth says, if the exercise reassures the worried that police aren't stopping people on account of race. Lawmen already get that, however. They're trained that racial profiling will end their careers.
The transition office of Republican Gov.-elect Scott Walker appears to be working with right wing radio host Vicki McKenna to manufacture opposition to the Midwest high speed rail project for Wisconsin, according to an email from, McKenna’s corporate account, obtained by One Wisconsin Now.
“For all Scott Walker’s bluster about ‘widespread’ opposition to high speed rail in Wisconsin, his taxpayer-financed transition office is desperate to manufacture a paper trail of opposition,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “With a multi-billion dollar deficit, Walker’s use of taxpayer resources to manufacture public relations opposition to high speed rail seems about as inappropriate as sending 13,000 jobs and $810 million in rail fund to Illinois, California or North Carolina.”
In the email obtained by One Wisconsin Now, Clear Channel’s right wing radio host Vicki McKenna begs supporters to contact the Walker transition office and register opposition to high speed rail. The email appears to be sent from McKenna’s Clear Channel email address and includes not only her contact and fax number at WIBA-AM in Madison, but identifies her as a WIBA and WISN-AM Milwaukee employee.
Friday, December 3, 2010
Afterthought: One fresh face who did win was a Democrat, Chris Larson, elected to the State Senate despite the best efforts of Sykes and Co. to defeat him. Another was Rebecca Kleefisch, LG-elect and a Sykes favorite, but he didn't mention her. Maybe she already has become an embarrassment.
Sunday, November 28, 2010
Old Paddy claims that no one wanted this silly old pool and that it was just a sign of things to come, namely that there would be just a free for all in spending.
Except that he is wrong on both accounts.
From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel's article on the pool:
A group of teens at the Goldin Center's leadership program wrote a proposal recently about how important it was that Moody Pool reopen because of the lack of swimming facilities, the number of youths who don't know how to swim and the number of drowning deaths of young people, Schneider said.Apparently, PaddyMac thinks a few lost inner-city kids is worth it if it saves him a bundle on his tax bill. Or that if they want to go swimming, they could use the lake or any of the other pools. Never mind that the outdoor pools would be skating rinks, the high school pools are generally not open to the public and that the YMCA charges an arm and leg for the use of theirs, something that these kids can't afford.
And for it being so expensive, the Brewtown Gumshoe dispels that fantasy:
The $5 million price-tag on the Moody repair is .005 percent of a $1 billion County budget. Even though, comparatively speaking, this is a minuscule part of the overall County budget, McIlheran wants us to believe its and "important gauge." Yes, I would say an important gauge of a governing body realizing it must actually maintain County properties which enhance the quality of life for residents and visitors. But sadly for McIlheran, .005 percent of a budget is a red flag of runaway spending.There is also a third delusion that McIlheran puts to words in his article, which is that Scott Walker was some sort of fiscal conservative. Let us look at some of the legacy Walker leaves behind:
- Nearly $300 million in deferred maintenance and repairs to the parks system alone
- A $400 million debt for pension obligation bonds
- A 2010 budget that is projected to be at least $8 million in the red, and a 2011 budget that is close to $20 million in the hole before it even starts
- Scads of lawsuits stemming from the collapse of O'Donnell Park, the multiple failures at the mental health complex, and illegal budgeting and bad faith negotiations with the unions.
One would think that someone like McIlheran would know better than to think that simply refusing to meet one's obligations is not fiscal responsibility, but merely kicking that can down the road for someone else to deal with.
One would also think that someone like McIlheran would realize that his arguments about the pool was all wet, but then again, Paddy's been known for jumping off the deep end repeatedly over the years.
Thursday, November 25, 2010
Unable to simply admit he was wrong yet again, McIlheran unleashes his frustration on Milwaukee County Supervisor Marina Dimitrijevic because she touted that this was a good thing. In his snit fit, Paddy launches this:
We? Where does she get the presumption? Transit's healthier? Given how far I park from work, I now walk more than when I took the bus. And I have no idea what Dimitrijevic is talking about when she says it’s more “positive” when people are gotten out of their cars. Like what? “I’m positive that bus should have been here 20 minutes ago.” That kind of positive?One would think that with the increasing amounts of asthma cases being diagnosed, not to mention the high number of Air Quality warnings that Milwaukee has been receiving, most sane people would think less pollution would be healthier for all involved.
And considering that some of the top business leaders have been touting the need for a better transit system in the county, I would say that any improvement in our transit system would be a definite positive.
Paddy then goes on with one of his usual paeans to the automobile, which at first made me think he was just doing the usual pro-road builder propaganda piece.
But on further thought, I think his misplaced anger isn't all that misplaced. He is just reflecting the angst that the right wingers (or in the case of the CRG - abject fear) have that a strong, progressive woman like Dimitrijevic is becoming one of the top contenders for the county executive spot.
Because the reaction was so strong, he had his top level apologists, Charlie Sykes and Patrick McIlheran, do their best to spin the story into something it's not.
Basically, these two propagandists tried to shovel the false pretense of how refreshing it was for a politician like Walker to unequivocally say "no" to something, like raising taxes.
But the question is this: Does Walker really mean no?
As Milwaukee County Executive, Walker has said no lots of times, but turns around and does the opposite. The most obvious example of this is regards to the stimulus funds. When these funds were on their way to becoming a reality, Walker said he would not take them. In fact, he went on the national stage to do so. But when the day was done, not only did he grab that stimulus cash with both hands, he even bragged about it, whether it be for the airport or for his "Milwaukee Works" gimmick. (Whatever happened to "Milwaukee Works" anyway? Seems to me it should have been called "Milwaukee Gets Laid Off.")
He said he was going to say no to those big bad unions. But after he was forced out of his first attempt to be governor, Walker not only said "yes" to the unions, but gave them a signing bonus as well.
The list goes on and on and on with every flip flop Walker makes.
For Sykes and McIlheran to try to claim that Walker is a man of his word now is just plain desperation on their part. It also shows that they are as untrustworthy as their friend Walker, but we knew that already.
Cross-posted at Cog Dis.
Wednesday, November 24, 2010
In fact, P-Mac went into a lengthy tirade about the affair.
Which shows how hypocritical McIlheran is and how stupid he thinks we are.
For it was just a day or two before when he told his detractors to "Go back to Mommy's basement and let the adults talk."
And we're not the only ones that noted that Patrick himself isn't the nicest or sharpest knife in the drawer. Bruce Murphy, in his weekly column, notes:
I haven’t always agreed with Bauman, but he strikes me as one of the smarter, more thoughtful Common Council members. You’d never know that from McIlheran’s columns. His silly swipe at the alderman makes you wonder if McIlheran has ever made any attempt to understand what is going on in city government. That seems like a prerequisite for anyone presuming to instruct us on how it works.Illy-T also has his take on the callous calumnist.
Perhaps one of his close friends should point out to Paddy that they don't give Pulitzers for hypocrisy.
Monday, November 22, 2010
Not learning their lesson, they then hire on James "Drama Queen" Harris. Why? I don't know and I would guess neither do they.
Not having quite reached rock bottom yet, they then decided to push Phil Cianciola and Dick Albert out the door.
A few weeks ago, it was announced that Johnathon Greene was going to retire at the end of the year. People were really hoping that WTMJ would come to there senses and bring back Cianciola or even Mark Reardon.
No such luck.
Instead they decided to go with John Mercure, who made his claim to fame with his over-the-top sensationalistic reporting on WTMJ-TV. If that wasn't enough, he has also been known to make some rather volatile and unprofessional comments.
Still not reaching their nadir, it was announced today that John Jagler is leaving the station as of this Friday. There has been speculation that Jagler is going to be going to work for Goobernator-elect Scott Walker. While Jagler was fun enough to listen to in the mornings, if this is true, one would have to wonder about his judgment skills.
It has now gotten to the point that the only things worth tuning into TMJ radio for is Gene Mueller, Packer games and weather events. And it is only a question of time for these three things as well.
They should have pursued xoff when they had the chance.
I wouldn't be surprised at all if McIlheran is plotting with co-zealot Dad29 to set about a plan to enforce the Catholic version of Sharia Law.
My point is to add only this: Notice how striking it is when a public school proposes to teach a curriculum that, first, is traditional in content and, second, that actually tries imparting moral lessons of the non-denominational sort that would have been unremarkable in the Eisenhower era and that probably pass for mainstream ideals in the West Bend area.
(That’s religious! And that’s not mainstream at all! So shriek, momentarily, the roughly five militant agnostics who regularly shrill up any post on this blog that mentions faith. To them: Go back to Mommy’s basement and let the adults talk. Thanks.)
More at Illy-T's pad.
Sunday, November 21, 2010
But there's a few things that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel omitted from their report on this real serious study.
One of them is that WPRI (Wankers Promoting Republican Idiocy) has been discredited and is not a reliable source of information, especially regarding polling.
Also omitted from the paper's coverage is that despite WPRI laughingly calling themselves bipartisan, they are anything but.
Consider the fact that WPRI sent out their crack(ed) columnist Christian Schneider to be embedded in the Ron Johnson campaign. In a series of articles that Schneider is writing about this is news free, but mostly consists of the gist that "Ron Johnson is a damn fool, but boy, oh boy, he's just swell."
Another main point that you would thing a credible news source would want to disclose is that WPRI (edited by Charlie "Mr. Copy and Paste" Sykes, nonetheless) is funded in part by the Bradley Foundation. It just so happens that this neocon money tank is headed up by none other than Michael Grebe, who was also Scott "Train Wreck" Walker's gubernatorial campaign and is now part of his transition team.
In other words, he is the puppet master for both Walker and this organization.
Was there ever any doubt what their results would be on a question regarding high speed rail?
We on the left scoffed at this notion.
But damn if he and Sarah Palin weren't correct. Of course, the part they didn't tell us is that said death panels would be headed up by Republicans.
On his show, during the week leading up to hunting season, Charlie Sykes mocked this warning, saying that it was a classic example of government waste or something along that line.
Opening day comes, and four hunters are shot.
Betcha that they were the ones listening to Charlie.
Saturday, November 20, 2010
Like the stink in your bachelor buddy’s car, the ugliness issued from the hard, black heart of right-wing WTMJ-AM radio is something you can get used to after a while.
In my case, when the station played Elton John’s “The Bitch is Back” while discussing first lady Michelle Obama about a month ago, I thought that was undeserved but not at all surprising. Also, I’m used to show host Charlie Sykes and his sophomoric, classless taunting of the outgoing Democrats. Rep. David Obey gets called “a horse’s ass”, Gov. Jim Doyle is a “lying sack of sh&#” whom Charlie audibly “flips off”, and Sen. Russ Feingold’s new campaign slogan should be “want fries with that?” Get it? Get it? Whatever.
Tuesday, November 16, 2010
Steve Prestegard: observes:
Isn’t this amusing. Walker doesn’t get inaugurated for six weeks, and already he has billboards and chanting protestors.
Where were these people when Taigo got the train contract instead of Super Steel?
And … I wonder how much the protestors pay in state and local taxes each year.
The rally was no smaller than, and probably bigger than, most teabagger festivals, and it was genuine grassroots instead of a Koch Brother-sponsored hatefest that they prefer.
And why do they think it is amusing? As they point out, Walker is six weeks away from taking the oath for governor, yet he is trying to act like he has already been ordained as king. And this is on top of the fact that he hasn't even finished his job as county executive, considering the stinking mess he is going to be leaving behind.
As for Super Steel, they seem to forget the truth behind that. It was Tom Barrett that fought for Super Steel while Walker was MIA as usual. In fact, it was Super Steel that cut their own throats in the deal:
However, Department of City Development spokesman Jeff Fleming said city officials originally pushed for Super Steel to get the Talgo contract and only offered the Tower Automotive site to Talgo after the company told city officials that the Super Steel facility would not meet its needs.And finally, what the hell is that crack about how much they pay in taxes? Is he implying that poor people or unemployed people are beneath them somehow, or that one should have to pay a certain amount to be allowed to exercise their First Amendment rights?
Talgo spokeswoman Nora Friend said Super Steel first wanted to be a subcontractor to build the trains. Talgo turned that offer down because it was too expensive, she said. Super Steel then submitted a bid to provide space for Talgo, but the space did not meet the company's needs, she said.
After the Tower Automotive site, the runner-up sites were in Racine and Janesville, Friend said.
Talgo will lease the space at the Tower Automotive site from the city at market rates, for $2.59 per square foot, or $344,470 a year, Fleming said. The city is not providing free rent or utilities, he said.
“What Scott Walker and Fred Luber are saying is false,” Fleming said.
"This is just political talk," Friend said. "We are not getting any subsidy at all."
Now that the election is over, the right feels it's OK for them to show their true colors and their disdain for anyone they feel isn't worthy, like the poor and unemployed. Apparently they also forgot that there's always another election coming up.
Monday, November 15, 2010
Mark Belling, gloating in a column in the Milwaukee Post:
It isn't just that Scott Walker and Ron Johnson won the races for governor and Senate. The likelihood is that they will serve multiple terms. The last elected sitting governor to lose was Alexander Wiley in 1962. (Scott McCallum and Marty Schreiber were unelected, having ascended to governor after a resignation.) In the Senate, the only Wisconsin incumbents to lose in more than a half-century are Gaylord Nelson in 1980 and Bob Kasten in 1992 and even they served multiple terms.
Wrong, wrong and wrong.
The last incumbent governor to lose a re-election bid was Tony Earl, in 1986. Belling was on the radio in Madison then, but appears to have no recollection.
Alexander Wiley was certainly not the last sitting governor to lose, in any case, since he never served as governor.
Wiley was a long-time Senator, however, who lost his seat in 1962 to Gaylord Nelson.
When someone starts a column with three glaring errors, it makes it difficult to take anything that follows seriously.
Maybe one of his friends in the new State Capitol majority could send Belling a Wisconsin Blue Book.
Cross-posted at Uppity Wisconsin.
i’m starting to smell a rat. 3 “hate crimes” in a month? something’s up.
i am going to bet $ on a couple of things: 1. there is no KKK in whitewater. 2. this is either a fake hate crime, or a dumb kid messing w/people he knows, but doesn’t like.
And thanks to PP, here is a great video from the NOH8 campaign:
Sunday, November 14, 2010
Well, sure -- at ungodly expense and, critically, if you’re in the right spot and have the right destination. Steve Prestegard meets neither of those criteria, he writes at Marketplace.
This is one of the dumbest arguments for or against something, in my opinion.
He starts in Ripon, where he lives. He speaks in Green Bay at 7:30 a.m. He tapes a TV show in Milwaukee at 1. This apparently isn’t atypical. “Good thing I like to drive,” he writes. And:“Those in business who claim they want the Doyle–Barrett train mystify me, because I am unable to think of many non-office-based jobs that don’t require the ability to go where you want when you want. Unless you sit behind a computer all day every day, or have one location where you do business, you need the ability to see customers or your various facilities, and on your schedule, not someone else’s.”
No, high speed rail isn't go to meet everyone's needs. Especially if they live somewhere far off of the rail line. So what? I am not going to personally benefit from them expanding the I-90 from Madison to points southward. Nor am I going to benefit from the current work of expanding I-94 from the airport south. So why are they doing those?
Supposedly because it is supposed to help the overall region by allowing business people, delivery trucks, etc. get through easier. Well, so would rail.
Arguing for or against something based solely on how that thing will personally affect you is nothing more than self-centeredness and selfishness. These, however, are traits that are all too common among conservatives, so that is what they most often resort too.
The funny thing is, they really, really don't like it when you turn it back on them.
The sad part is their selfishness causes us to miss out on many things that could have benefited us all, including them, even if not directly.
*You can always tell when Scott Walker or one of their other pets are in trouble. They become monomaniacal in whatever the subject is, no matter how silly they end up looking.
I would expect the rhetoric from all aspects of the right wing media, from Belling to Sykes to PaddyMac to PolitiFarce to harp on this for a while, since it is costing their champion and their cause a number of problems.
One such example is that for the past week, P-Mac has been rehashing the same old falsities that highways are completely covered by the gas tax and are in no way subsidized by the government:
...but intercity highways are more or less entirely paid for by the user fees that are gas taxes.It wasn't true before, and it's still not true:
So, if Paddy knows this is false information he is spewing, why does he do it? Easily answered, gentle reader. Because road builders are grand contributors to the Republican Party, and without the GOP, the rich might actually have to start treating us lower classes as people also.
The researchers wrote: “In 2007, 51 percent of the nation’s $193 billion set aside for highway construction and maintenance was generated through user fees — down from 10 years earlier when user fees made up 61 percent of total spending on roads. The rest came from other sources, including revenue generated by income, sales and property taxes, as well as bond issues.” Forty-years ago, they noted, user-fees generated 71 percent of highway revenues.
Of the 18.4 cent federal gasoline tax, 2.86 cents – about 15 percent – is directed toward mass transit projects, and an additional 0.1 cent toward environmental clean-up, according to the report. That leaves more than 80 percent strictly for highways. Even if we spent 100 percent of gas tax revenues on highways, only 65 percent of their total cost would be covered. There would still be a need for significant outside revenue – in other words, subsidies. Does that mean highways are “government waste?” Or are transportation dollars an investment to provide access to jobs and movement of goods?
One reason for the decline of the user-fee’s contribution is that the gas tax has not kept pace with inflation. Today, there is limited political appetite for a gas tax increase. Americans are also driving cleaner cars than they used to, due in large part of federal action on fuel economy. Less gas purchased means lower gas tax revenues.
So, to the critics who seem to be against all subsidies — unless they’re going to cover highway projects: let’s drop the claim that highways “pay for themselves” and have a debate rooted in fact rather than myth.
Thursday, November 11, 2010
Wednesday, November 10, 2010
He ended his diatribe with this paragraph (emphasis mine):
It would be unfortunate if Walker breaks his number one campaign promise and fails or reverses his decision to stop the train, but somehow I don't think Walker needs to worry about making an excuse if he does. After all, McIlheran will likely figure out a way to justify it on behalf of the Governor-elect.Russell absolutely nails it, since McIlheran is kind enough to be such a predictable apologist for Walker's foolishness.
Although, to be fair, it was also reported on Faux News, so there's no telling who is really to blame, although the smart money is on both.
Tuesday, November 2, 2010
But the truth is a bit different:
"Operating costs are projected at $7.5 million a year, not counting the part covered by fares. But Renlund said the state is already using federal funds to cover 90% of the Hiawatha's $5.2 million annual operating cost - leaving $520,000 a year for state taxpayers to pick up - and hopes to do the same with the new line. That would mean state taxpayers would be paying $750,000 a year for the service to Madison."Don't you hate it when wingers get hit by reality like a fast speed train?
So Wisconsin would get the train line construction fully-paid by stimulus funds, with an annual state tab for some operating expenses amounting to less than one-tenth of 1% of the construction cost.
And less than 8% of the size of the operating cost that GOP candidate Scott Walker has been claiming all campaign season.
The same is true of talk radio, which will be quick to take credit for any electoral success on Tuesday, with Ron Johnson the first to say that's how he won (if he wins). He kissed Charlie Sykes's ring (and who knows what else) before deciding to run, to make sure he's have his blessing.
Sykes was the emcee at a Johnson weekend rally in Oshkosh, and will play the same role at Scott Walker's closing rally in Wauwatosa.
But here's the thing: Most Wisconsinites don't listen to or pay attention to talk radio, either. Sykes's audience is about 2 per cent of the adult households in the Milwaukee metro area, perhaps 20,000 people on average. Mark Belling has similar numbers in the afternoon. It's a very limited listenership, and most of them are already convinced; they are not undecideds tuning in to be persuaded.
As much as we like to demonize them, their role is limited. They have more clout with conservative activists and Republicans who hang on their every word -- and with the editors and publishers at their sister publication, the Journal Sentinel. But the impact on the general public is miniscule, and Dems and progressives do ourselves a disservice by blaming Sykes, Belling & Co. for the ills of the world. They simply aren't that important, and we should not elevate them by acting like they are.They may be riding the runaway Tea Party train and hanging on for dear life, but they are not steering.
If you don't know where you're supposed to vote, you can find out here.
Monday, November 1, 2010
Just like our local hosts of hate radio, the Alaskan squawker, Dan Fagan, spent most of his time bashing the liberal candidate, in this case, U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski, and singing paeans to his preferred candidate. But then he got carried away:
Given that at least Charlie Sykes was using his Journal Broadcast sponsored show to do fund raising for Ron Johnson and Leah Vukmir, couldn't that be considered a violation of election laws? (Yeah, we already know it's unethical, but since when have the squawkers worried about ethics unless they could use it against a political rival of their buddies?)
About halfway through Fagan's show Thursday afternoon a caller phoned in to say he had just registered as a write-in candidate in the Senate race, which includes Miller, Murkowski, and Democrat Scott McAdams. The caller's provocation -- and the reason Fagan liked the idea -- was the Division of Elections' decision to provide voters who ask with a list of the write-in candidates. The Alaska Supreme Court is currently looking at the legality of that decision. Flooding that list with 150 names ranging from Michael Ames to Kathy Jo Zurek, Fagan figured, would mean fewer votes for Murkowski.
Fagan gave the addresses of the Anchorage and Wasilla offices of the Division of Elections and urged his listeners to drive over and register as write-in candidates.
Branch Haymans, an Anchorage financial advisor, was angered by Fagan's show Thursday afternoon. Haymans is a close friend of Murkowski's and has volunteered for her campaign, but is not part of her paid campaign staff.
On Friday morning, Haymans called KFQD and spoke with Joe Campbell, KFQD's program director. Haymans said he told Campbell that he thought Fagan's on-air behavior bordered on election tampering, but didn't threaten legal action or ask for Fagan to be taken off the air.
Campbell did not return a message requesting comment for this story.
"To send people with no legitimate reason other than to create confusion and chaos in an election seemed, to me, to be over the line," Haymans said. "He was no longer a talk show host. He was just a mouthpiece for Joe Miller."
H/T Las Vegas Badger
Sunday, October 31, 2010
Only thing is, it's not true.
Eugene Kane does what McIlheran only wishes he could do, which is practice actual journalism. Kane actually spoke to Hines to see what's up. He learned this:
It was reassuring to learn Hines isn't planning to announce a new campaign just as most voters are suffering fatigue from the latest round of political warfare. But the fact Hines plans to run for mayor of Milwaukee - whether Barrett wins Tuesday or not - is probably the worst-kept secret in political circles in Milwaukee.In true conservative fashion, McIlheran deleted his post, without as much as a mea culpa or an "Oopsie, I screwed up again."
Perhaps if the powers that be at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel weren't so busy trying to help run Scott Walker's campaign, they could get around to replacing McIlheran with a real journalist, or at least offer Kane a bonus to tutor the poor man on how to be what he claims to be.
Tip of the crown to James Rowen.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Zach at Blogging Blue picked up on the first one when he noted that Fred Dooley of Real Dimwits of Wisconsin said that a woman deserved to have her head stomped on for exercising her First Amendment right:
I’m not exactly sure what Lauren Valle did that merited being pushed to the ground and having her head stomped on by several men, but it’s curious to me that Fred Dooley is defending the actions of a bunch of overzealous thugs who resorted to physical violence against a woman because she dared to exercise her First Amendment right to freedom of speech.Likewise, Peter DiGuadio doesn't disappoint in the ignorance department. Peter's first points out a story of a man who was sexually molested as a child by a priest and had snapped and attacked the priest decades later. Peter is correct in the sense that the man had no excuse to physically attack his molester this much later in time. However, Peter couldn't leave well enough alone. First he blames the left, especially Bill Maher.
Then, after a short rant about his favorite boogeyman, the Muslims, Peter shows how deranged he can be (emphasis mine):
I hope the guy who did this gets the max. And yes, to be equitable, he should be charged with a hate crime, since he targeted his victim based on his religion. Oh yeah, that’s right. Whites, males, Christians (especially Catholics) don’t count. Now if the victim had been a Moooslim …Is DiGuadio really saying the sexual molestation of children is part of the Catholic philosophy? Sure seems like it to me.
Rounding off the trifecta of twits is James T. Harris. Harris is apparently upset about a story that broke, in which Republican Secretary of State candidate Apostle David King is the defendant in a lawsuit claiming that a woman was raped and impregnated by King:
Charlette Harris, 31, said King hired her to work at BuySeasons Inc., a New Berlin firm. During a lunch with him in August, her suit contends, he bought her several mixed drinks and later took her to his apartment. She says she passed out but in September learned she was pregnant. She says she is a lesbian and has not been with any other men.So how does Harris handle the situation? He calls the rape victim a "crack ho":
If these idiots are like this now, can you imagine what things would be like if the Republicans win in the upcoming election?
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
In the article, he discusses the affect of opinions of new reporters on how they report the news.
He also hits on some old news facts, but in a way making it worth the read:
And talk radio hosts at WTMJ-AM and WISN-AM evidently suffer from no limitations. Last week, Charlie Sykes was heard openly plumping for a fundraiser for Leah Vukmir in her state Senate bid.
Of course, Sykes et al and their bosses will readily disavow the "journalist" label, at least when it becomes inconvenient, and hold themselves out as "entertainers" or "commentators." But are such distinctions really that clear to the public who views TMJ as the Journal Sentinel's radio station?
And then there's the constant refrain that the media are collectively biased anyway - to the left, if you're conservative, and to the corporate/conservative interests if you're liberal. In the aftermath of the Williams firing, Chris Wallace at Fox trotted out a series of instances that suggested other NPR employees had expressed strong opinions in other contexts.
There's no question that journalists have opinions, and that to some degree, those opinions are going to frame not only what stories they cover, but also how they cover them.
But I have a hunch that sometimes, maybe even often, journalists, aware of their opinions - and perhaps a bit defensive about them - either pull punches on stories that go after people or institutions of which they're actually critical - or pump up negative stories about people or institutions they actually agree with.
It appears that Fox bit off more than could chew this time:
The sad news is now Faux News will do what they usually do, and just go ahead and make stuff up.
Sunday, October 24, 2010
He proudly crows about the paper's endorsement of Scott Walker. I've already pointed out that what they consider to be Walker's strengths are actually failures.
Also, Paddy touts his buddy's, Rick Esenberg's, opinion piece on why RoJo would make a better choice. Paddy selects this phrase "a gem":
“It is the peculiar conceit of the chattering classes (of which I am certainly a member) that an unintelligent person can build a successful business. That sounds wrong, and it is. Johnson's development of his family business reflects a capacity for astute analysis, an ability to assess and react to changing circumstances and a capability for wise judgment."Obviously, all that astute analysis, ability to assess and wise judgment was finding the right girl whose family could give him first a job, and then the whole company.
The erudite James Rowen explains how Sykes, Belling and company will spin this into a way that looks rational to the irrational mind of your average talk radio adherent.
Saturday, October 23, 2010
That is a rather bold move given that Sykes has broken at least two of the ten commandments: The one about not committing adultery and the one about not bearing false witness.
In fact, I don't think he's made it a day without breaking the commandment to not bear false witness. I don't really want to know how long he can make it without breaking the other.
Friday, October 22, 2010
Charlie Sykes spent an untold amount of time whining about this video today. The funny thing is he kept saying that it should how much the left hates his listeners. Odd thing is, the video never said one peep about hate. In fact, the only hate was coming from the right. They just hate the left (probably for being correct all the time) and they hate that us lower class of folks have the right to vote as well.
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
But the question is: What right does he have to judge, given that he gives so much free air time to Republican candidates, especially Scott Walker, during work hours? Nor has Chuckles ever once condemned Walker for his political bike ride on tax payers money. Or for Darlene Wink. Or for Tim Russell.
There is a word for people like Sykes when he does that. Actually, there are several words. The polite one is hypocrite.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
But the Wisconsin electorate he faces seems to have lost its progressive streak and become more like other Midwestern states. Several polls have shown that the number of likely voters who consider themselves conservative has risen from a quarter of the electorate to nearly half. The misinformation and simplistic solutions propounded by talk radio and the Republican Party are having an effect even in a state that preferred Mr. Obama by 14 points two years ago.Of course, along with the misinformation being spread out like so much bovine excrement is whether RoJo is really leading by a comfortable margin.
Not all the polls agree on that. And given his recent total flop at doing a money bomb, I don't see his support being as great or as strong as squawk radio would have us believe.
Tuesday, October 12, 2010
Monday, October 11, 2010
Fifteen years after militia-movement-inspired bombers killed 168 people in the Oklahoma City federal building, right-wing domestic terror plots are a fact of life in America. Since 2008, violent extremists -- many of whom subscribe to the hate speech and conspiratorial fantasies of the conservative media -- have murdered churchgoers in Knoxville, police officers in Pittsburgh, and an abortion provider in Wichita.
Conspiracy theory-fueled extremism has long been a reaction to progressive government in the United States. Half a century ago, historian Richard Hofstadter wrote that right-wing thought had come to be dominated by the belief that Communist agents had infiltrated all levels of American government and society. The right, he explained, had identified a "sustained conspiracy, running over more than a generation, and reaching its climax in Roosevelt's New Deal, to undermine free capitalism, to bring the economy under the direction of the federal government, and to pave the way for socialism or communism."n a 2009 report, the Southern Poverty Law Center found that the anti-government militia movement -- which had risen to prominence during the Clinton administration and faded away during the Bush years -- has returned. According to the SPLC, the anti-government resurgence has been buttressed by paranoid rhetoric from public officials like Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann and media figures like Fox News' Glenn Beck.
Just last month, Gregory Giusti pleaded guilty to repeatedly threatening House Speaker Nancy Pelosi -- including threatening to destroy her California home -- because he was "upset with her passing the health care law." His mother told a local news station that he "frequently gets in with a group of people that have really radical ideas," adding, "I'd say Fox News or all of those that are really radical, and he -- that's where he comes from."
After the 2008 election, Fox News personalities filled the airwaves with increasingly violent rhetoric and apocalyptic language. On his Fox News show, Beck talked about "put[ting] poison" in Pelosi's wine.
Observers of this most recent act were mystified by one of Byron Williams' reported targets: the Tides Foundation, a low-profile charitable organization known for funding environmentalists, community groups, and other organizations.
Beck, it turned out, had attacked Tides 29 times on his Fox News show in the year-and-a-half leading up to the shooting.
Now, in exclusive interviews and written correspondence with journalist John Hamilton, Williams speaks for himself. He asks Hamilton to be his "media advocate" and repeatedly instructs him to watch specific broadcasts of Beck's show for information on the conspiracy theory that drove him over the edge: an intricate plot involving Barack Obama, philanthropist George Soros, a Brazilian oil company, and the BP disaster.
Williams also points to other media figures -- right-wing propagandist David Horowitz, and Internet conspiracist and repeated Fox News guest Alex Jones -- as key sources of information to inspire his "revolution."
In a separate exchange with Examiner.com's Ed Walsh, Williams sought to defend Beck from "Obama and the liberals," whom he said are afraid of Beck "because he often exposes things that are simply forbidden in news." Williams said that Beck advocates non-violence and that he had already researched the conspiracy theories that informed his alleged plot -- before seeing them "confirm[ed]" on Beck's show.
Similarly, Williams tells Hamilton that "Beck would never say anything about a conspiracy, would never advocate violence. He'll never do anything ... of this nature. But he'll give you every ounce of evidence that you could possibly need."
From the Santa Rita Jail, Williams opens up about the websites he frequented, the broadcasts he listened to, and the "evidence" of "sabotage" he "uncovered" that eventually led him to target Tides.
Makes one wonder about people like Dad29 who is always saying to "get more ammo" and listens to the likes like Sykes and Belling or Mr. Congeniality, aka J. Rawson Schaller, from Badger Blogger.
Sunday, October 10, 2010
Wherever shall I go for my weekly dose of regurgitated WDN lunacy?
Where will I be able to find the really cutting-edge conspiracy theories?
Who got custody of buck?
This leaves more questions than when White Shadow got cancelled and left us with no closure. With tatertotmike dormant and the northshoreexponent abandoned, who speaks for the poor downtrodden right-wing culture warriors?
Friday, October 1, 2010
The first runner up was Graeme Zielinski, the top communication guru for the Wisconsin Democratic Party. Zielinski's sin, according to Sykes, was calling Rebecca Kleefisch a lunatic when she just announced that she just had life saving cancer surgery.
What Sykes really did was a fine act of faux and selective outrage.
Zielinski did describe Kleefisch as being a lunatic in this tweet:
We're going to have to get treatment for the poor staffer who has had to listen to and watch the lunatic Rebecca Kleefisch speeches.Said offensive tweet occurred on Tuesday, September 28th at 10:49 in the morning.
However, the Kleefisch story didn't come out until the next day, on the 29th. Heck, Sykes didn't even put up anything about it until the day after that, on the 30th.
But since Sykes has such a crush on Kleefisch, maybe he could explain to his listeners why Scott Walker's campaign has clamped down on her and won't even allow her to do a debate with Tom Nelson.
But if you were looking for Belling to be classy about it, you are in for a severe disappointment:
Feingold has spent so many years inventing his phony image of being a “maverick” while
actually voting in tandem with the Harry Reid crowd to tax and spend that he now looks
like a fake even in person. How else to explain the manufactured unnatural look in the ad
with the reality that it was indeed the actual Feingold at his house? Russ has been such a
fake for 20 years that he looks like a fake when he’s not really faking. It sure fooled me.
Russ, my deepest apologies.
But being the nice people we are, we at Whallah! would like to bring in an expert translator to say it for Belling:
But something tells me that Belling won't appreciate our help for some reason..
Thursday, September 30, 2010
The article does have a couple of key lines that gives an amazingly harsh and honest look inside squawk radio:
We asked Belling for his evidence.
"I have none," he said in an e-mail to PolitiFact Wisconsin. "It’s an accusation. They can deny it and if they're right, I'll admit it.
"But it's very fishy."
"I have no proof,’’ Belling said. "I'm making an accusation that it's faked, and they can confirm or deny it."
As for Belling’s accusation, the veteran talk show host tried to turn Feingold’s own ad against him, to suggest he’s so out of touch with state voters that he was even out of state when the ad was filmed. He said he based his assertion on his own review of the photography and on one unnamed source, who had no knowledge of how the shoot was conducted but who thought it looked fishy. As for Belling’s proof, we’ll use his own words to describe it: "I have none."
And we’ll add three words of our own: Pants on Fire.
It should be pointed out that, at least locally, Zach Wisniewski was the first to point out the allegation was false, a full week before Belling decided to come out with "his" findings.
Monday, September 27, 2010
McIlheran manages to blame everyone and everything shy of sunspots for Walker's failure:
In other words, it's the fault of African Americans, people wanting to make a wage that would support a family, environmentalists, the County Board and Milwaukeeans that Walker couldn't get that land sold in eight years. At least in McIlheran's world.
Barrett's real point was the geography. The former freeway is county land. When former Mayor John Norquist ordered the freeway destroyed, he and others predicted that development would flock there. It hasn't, and Barrett said this was Walker's fault.
It must be someone's fault, since such great things were predicted. So sure was the Milwaukee County Board of the site's appeal that it added some conditions. Anyone buying Park East land from the county had to pay union-scale construction wages, had to hit certain racial hiring quotas, had to prefer city contractors, had to meet certain "green" building standards.
These rules add significant costs. Builders warned the board of this. The board scoffed. Walker vetoed the conditions as job-killing social engineering. The board overrode him. The land was "so valuable that, in my mind, we will get what we want," said the plan's sponsor, Willie Johnson Jr.
What we got was gravel. Walker, it turns out, was right. The land lay unbought through boom years as developers took their capital to less costly, less bossy places. This was the predictable result of harnessing economic development to an urge to re-engineer society.
At this point, I should note that Barrett, when running for mayor, supported a package of such requirements for that land.
Unfortunately for McIlheran, his world and reality don't often sync up together.
If these conditions were so abhorrent, why has Tom Barrett and the City of Milwaukee, who face much the same conditions as the County, able to excel at economic development? In fact, Barrett and the city have such a good track record that Walker had once proposed that the County give the City the land for them to work on the development.
What McIlheran doesn't mention is the fact that instead of competent people, Walker had a revolving door for his appointments to that position until he put in campaign staffers like Bob Dennick and Tim Russell to lead the economic development efforts. Their success was somewhat less than spectacular, often leading up to massive deficits. Then in 2009, Walker totally abolished the Economic Division, only to ask for it to be reinstated this year. Even then, it took him until last month to fill the position.
I'm no expert in economic development, but I would suspect it would make things easier for companies who wanted to come to Milwaukee County to have someone to contact rather than get lost in a bureaucratic shuffle. Likewise, things would probably be greatly expedited by having some actually actively trying to sell the land than hoping a passerby might see the lot full of gravel and think this would be a great place to build his business.
Even if McIlheran was correct that the prevailing wage laws or the expectations of the building to be tinted even the slightest bit of green might have made things a little more difficult, Scott Walker never allowed it to get that far to find out by sabotaging the process well before it got that far.
See also: James Rowen vs. the Mr. Teflon