Monday, January 31, 2011

Clueless In Racine

Fred Dooley, proprietor of the wildly misnamed "Real Debate Wisconsin" is already a top contender for the O. Henry Prize for Irony for 2011.

Dooley, over the weekend, published a post he titled "Why do liberals hate free speech?"  His whole premise for this ironic post was a story in which a speech to be given by Bristol Palin (about the importance of sexual abstinence, no doubt) was cancelled because some of the students protested her appearance.

First, what should be obvious to anyone not practicing selective outrage would be that this is an example of free speech at work.  The students didn't want their time or tuition money wasted on yet another Palin, and they expressed that feeling successfully and peacefully.  In the end, they won their day, and all is good.

Secondly, should Dooley, who makes a habit of deleting comments from those he doesn't like, if not blocking them entirely, should be criticizing anyone for being against free speech, even though his accusations are so ignorant?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

More Peaceful Talk From Right Wing Squawker

Michael Savage - Why we need to get armed:

I don't think he was reading from the Communist Manifesto either.

Friday, January 28, 2011

Sykes & Bellilng's phony 'gotcha'

Charlie Sykes and Mark Belling -- the guys whose tapes the FBI now plays to torture people in standoffs and get them to surrender -- are all a-twitter over comments someone taped of Chris Abele speaking to Milwaukee County Democrats, in which he describes himself as someone who supports "lefty" causes.

In an email, the county party lets a little air out of the gasbags: you'd expect, Sykes and Belling have been playing edited, out-of-context
comments from Mr. Abele on their radio shows.

The Beavis and Butthead of Milwaukee radio even went as far as saying they had a "secret" tape, and that Mr. Abele didn't know he was being recorded. Of course, the Milwaukee Dems very publicly had a video camera rolling, and we routinely live stream our meetings over the Internet. This was a totally fabricated "gotcha" moment.

Did Charlie Sykes Just Call Ron Johnson A Liberal?

Chris Abele has the Republicans terrified.

Abele is a left leaning candidate for Milwaukee County Executive, who also happens to be just a bit richer than the Vatican.

Despite the fact that Abele has been blundering his way through the early stages of the campaign, he has a good chance of surviving the primary on February 15th just due to the fact that he is rich enough that he can drown the airwaves with his commercials, in which he never really does say much to hang his hat on.

Abele is a bit of an enigma in the sense that no one really knows what he is about.  He is very elusive with giving straight answers to anything, instead only offering up populist rhetoric. The few things that he has made any sort of statement on has been on the right side of the issue, such as delaying the reconstruction park so that his fellow multimillionaire Michael Cudahy can throw out some wild idea of trying to cram an entire historical museum, a parking lot and a few businesses in that small area.  (Of course, Cudahy always to fail that his high end restaurant is located right there and having even more attractions would be a boon for him)

Anyway, the Republicans must have done a private poll and were terrified of the results.  As a result, they have their lead attack dog, Charlie "No Proof" Sykes come out with the "breaking news" that Abele is a liberal!  Of course, the fact that he has donated to liberal causes and liberal candidates for most of his life in Milwaukee is irrelevant, because it's much more melodramatic if Chucklehead calls it "breaking news," and an exposure of some deep down secret.

Of course, when High Priest Sykes squawks to the masses about a threat to their lord and savior, The Almighty Dollar, the chorus of the echo chamber sounded off in their usual unthinking parrot manner.

SIDE NOTE: Two goofs at Badger Blogger actually wrote two separate posts for the same thing (so much for independent thought!).  But you can't really blame them if they don't read their own site. No one else does either.

There are two things that are rather humorous about the right wingers' panic attack.

One is that Abele's campaign co-chair, who is coming in fresh off the campaign trail after working closely with Ron Johnson's campaign.  Just a wee bit of dissonance there, eh?

The other is when Sykes retweets one of Abele's tweets:

Well, let's see.  Jay, Zach and I had come out to show our support for our friend, Jason Haas, who is running to fill Chris Larson's old seat on the Milwaukee County Board, when Abele and one of his staffers came walking in the door to schmooze around for support.  I can't say it got him very far.

I don't think that Zach or Jason (who got listed twice in the tweet) have endorsed anyone for the executive race.  Jay "folkbum" Bullock has come out in support of Jim Sullivan.  As for who I support, well, it's not Holloway, Griffin, Stone or Abele.

But even funnier is that Abele's staffer who tweeted this, and Sykes who blindly followed along in his anxiousness to score a point, regardless of how lame, included a tweeter using the handle @capper.  Unless I moved across the Pacific Ocean and had an ethnic crossover, @capper is most definitely not me.

Two non committed people, two in favor of Jim Sullivan, and getting our names wrong....not exactly what I would label has "his peeps."

So what facts does Sykes have that we are Abele's "peeps?"

 In Sykes' own words: "My proof...Absolutely none."

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

So You Don't Have To

As the header of this site says, we are committed to monitoring of the local right-wing media and exposing their lies, hypocrisies and foibles, so you don't have to.

In that sense, here is what you will hear tomorrow, whether you listen to Charlie Sykes, Vicki McKenna, James T. Harris, Jeff Wagner, Jay Weber, Mark Belling, or any of the other squawkers:

On President Obama's State of the Union address:  He LIED! He's a socialist! His math is fuzzy! His numbers are wrong! He said it before and LIED then too!  He wants to spend more! He wants to tax you into the poor house!  He's a communist! He's not from this country!  He's so pompous! 

On Senator Paul Ryan's rebuttal:  Brilliant! Genius! He nailed it! A rising star!  He really gets it! A TRUE American! God Bless Paul Ryan! Right on!

On Representative Michele Bachmann's rebuttal:

So now, I just gave us all the day off from talk radio tomorrow.  Instead of listening to a Chicken Little squawking, go out and listen to a real bird singing.  


PS: If you do decide to put yourself through the torment of listening to them, remember the other part of our header:  Great moment in radio history--Charlie Sykes: "My evidence...Absolutely none!"

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hate-Mongering Beck Spurs Death Threats Against 78 Year Old Woman

Glenn Beck has been on a tirade against Frances Fox Priven, a 78 year old woman. Her sin, in Beck's eyes, was co-authoring an article with her late husband, Richard Cloward, in 1966.

The article was called "The weight of the Poor: A Strategy to End Poverty," and in it they warned of the dangers of allowing poverty to get out of control and the ramifications it could have on the country.

For this 45 year old article, Beck accused her of "economic sabotage" and termed her an enemy of the Constitution.

Now she is receiving death threats.

But you know, the right wing hate-mongering has nothing to do with violence. Just ask them, they'll tell you.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Harris Gets Beat Like By A Drum

It appears that James T. Harris doesn't have all that much popularity, as evidenced by this piece from The Milwaukee Drum:
However, I cannot respect the means by which he goes about his business. I’ve waited and waited for the jester to someday turn into the master of ceremony of Black Conservative Talk… but the clock turned to midnight and with it my Maybach turned back to my bus pass .

I peep his Facebook page every other week or so and you know what? It’s the same tired anti-Obama this, Obama hates America, the Obamas are socialists, Chocolate Jesus that, blah blah blah. His commentary (written/oral) is the stuff made of a high school debate team gone bad. What’s truly disappointing is that (I believe) he is a smart man and could be taken serious in the pundit game if he applied skill and savvy not sketch comedy.

If he REALLY HAD THE GOODS, JTH would be to Black Conservative Talk what John Coltrane was with a saxaphone… pure genius and a pide pieper leading people away from the sure death of ignorance and base political diatribe. Yet he settles for juvenile and elementary conversation in the shallow end of the pool. What will be his relevance when President Obama is no longer in the Oval Office? Will Fox News call the “Chocolate Henny Penny” then?
If nothing else, the picture they use is worth the click over.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Belling Starts Digging That Hole Deeper

Yesterday, we discussed how Mark "Bombastic Boy" Belling dug himself into a bit of a hole with what could easily be conceived as an anti-Semitic remark. He was kvetching about the proposed Marriott Hotel and the delays in getting the proposal approved.

Instead of clearing things up like an adult, Belling takes the advice of Ron Johnson who said that if you find yourself in a hole, "start digging."

Since then, it made the local paper when reporter Tom Daykin brought it up. The key part of his post was Mayor Tom Barrett's response to Belling's bigotry:
Belling, Barrett told Horne, was “way off-base with his offensive comments. I was offended. There is no reason to bring someone’s religion into this debate and I think he owes an apology."
Today, Tim Cuprisin of picked up on the story. According to Cuprisin's report, Belling was anything but apologetic. Belling's rant about the issue was incoherent in itself. But the telltale mark comes at the end of Cuprisin's article (emphasis ours):
Belling repeated that it "may be neither here nor there," saying "It's what I meant and what I believed."

"I don't care what it sounds like I'm saying," he said. "I don't give three rips what it might lead people to think."

James Rowen, who has been covering this since the beginning, is also putting his two cents in.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Belling: Anti-Semitic, Paranoid, Or Both?

Last week, Mark Belling went on the tirade de jour, which involved the question of whether to allow the Marriott Hotel to be built at the cost of some historic buildings.

During said tirade, Belling came out with a conspiracy theory that involved "a cabal" who are determined to prevent anything new to come to Milwaukee.

For good measure, he pointed out what he thought was a pertinent fact:
“The fact that the majority of them are Jewish may be neither here nor there.”
Michael Horne, reporting for Milwaukee News Buzz, had this to lead off his report on the matter:
The topic at hand was the proposed Marriott Hotel and Belling’s belief that there is a conspiracy among the Jews to keep it from being developed as planned. According to Belling, the group that controls things uses a network of “patsies” to do its bidding. These pliant Gentiles include Ald. Bob Bauman and architect David Uihlein.

Their overlords are “The Marcus family, Franklyn Gimbel, who runs the convention center board dominating the west side of the river.” They are “part of this cabal of people that just don’t want anything new to happen in Milwaukee,” Belling charged, “a handful of people who control things.”
It is difficult to determine whether Belling felt that he had to point out some sort of Jewish cabal masterminding all of the events in Milwaukee was just his natural bigotry bubbling through, the rantings of a paranoid half-wit, or a little bit of both. But whatever cause you wish to attribute to his rants, it does not have a place in civilized conversation, much less being broadcast over public airwaves.

But perhaps the slandered Franklyn Gimbel put it in the best and most succinct way:
Attorney Frank Gimbel, who has been head of the Milwaukee Convention Center District Board since he was appointed in 1994 by Governor Tommy Thompson, tells NewsBuzz, “Belling’s comments, as usual, are Bullsh-t.”
It should also be noted that James Rowen was on top of this story from the beginning, complete with updates.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Abnormal Is The New Normal?

After pointing out the irresponsible rhetoric that comes from talk radio and Faux News, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has been relentlessly attacked by the members of talk radio and their followers for pointing out this fact.

"Loughner was a liberal," some would claim, while others would just call him mentally ill. Apparently, defending their hate is easier than honest introspection.

OK, let's say we give them Loughner. There is always Jim David Adkisson who shot up the Unitarian Church in Tennessee after getting repeated doses of the vitriol and hate speech served up by Michael Savage and Bill O'Reilly.

If they think that is just one example, Blogging Blue posted, last summer, that Adkisson was just one in a string of crazies who lap at talk radio's and Faux News' hate juice.

Digby thinks that this denial of reality by the right and the populace in general is the new normal:
I've been following this story of the radical right very closely since Oklahoma City. But as I mentioned the other day, I didn't realize what a huge role it has come to play in their popular imagination. They believe they were wronged, and it's fed their militant paranoia ever since then.

It is worse. But perversely, because it is worse, people are less alarmed by it. It's fairly obvious to me that this has been normalized. And it's been normalized to the point where what people now find alarming is someonepointing it out
American voters say 52 - 41 percent that "heated political rhetoric drives unstable people to commit violence," the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Liberals rather than conservatives are more responsible for such rhetoric, voters say 36 - 32 percent.
No, that's not a joke. But I'm not surprised. I often get accused of being divisive when I write about right wing lunacy. It makes people feel uncomfortable.
I hope like hell it's not the new normal, especially after seeing this list linked to by Digby.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Jagler's Lateral Ends Up Incomplete

Dan Bice of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that State Representative Kelda Helen Roys overstepped herself when she issued a covenant regarding expected behaviors and wanted her fellow Democrats to sign it.

As if the state Democrats, who had their butts handed to them last November, needed any further embarrassment, right?

The right wingers were besides themselves, chortling over this obvious faux pas.

But what everyone appears to miss is the implications of John Jagler's quote:
John Jagler, the former Milwaukee radio voice who now is spokesman for Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald (R-Horicon), said his side of the aisle already knows what is expected of them. They don't need a written agreement, he said, instructing them to attend floor sessions on time, to prepare for meetings and to reach out to constituents.
Maybe the Assembly Democrats need to be told what to do, Jagler said. And since the covenant is still a draft, he said, Assembly Dems could go one step further by adding amendments reminding members to maintain their personal hygiene.

"We would appreciate it on full session days," he joked.
What Jagler just implied is that conformity is the rule of the land in Republican-land, and individuality is not approved of.

The other thing to note is that Jagler might have made a mistake by leaving WTMJ. With the personal adolescent insults and being a paid spokesman for the Republicans, Jagler could have been the next Charlie Sykes, but one with a personality.

And speaking of Sykes, would someone please make sure that he gets the memo that Jagler has left TMJ? Sykes still apparently considers him "one of their own."

Sunday, January 9, 2011

The Classless Glenn Beck

When former Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi warned of the dangers of the reckless, hate-filled rhetoric from the right and the teabaggers, Glenn Beck thought she was stupid.

It's too bad we had to have a tragedy like the one in Arizona to once again prove that Beck is the idiot, and a hypocritical one at that:

He really should be ashamed of himself. But a man without honor or values, that is asking too much from him.

Did Talk Radio and Fox News Play A Role In Arizona Nightmare?

A gunman, Jared Loughner, approached, and at point blank range, shot U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords in the head. Giffords, survived the immediate wounding, but is still in critical condition after having had surgery.

Unfortunately, the gunman proceed to shoot eighteen other people, killing six. Among the dead was U.S. District Judge John Roll and a nine year old girl.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik held a press conference and had this to say:
Mr. Dupnik called the shooting a "very sad day for Tucson" and a "horrendous, horrendous, senseless, unbelievable crime." And then he blamed the crime on the rhetoric -- presumably political rhetoric -- in the country.

"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government," he said. "The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on this country is getting to be outrageous and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

Mr. Dupnik said it is time for the country to "do a little soul searching."

He added: "The vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business ... This has not become the nice United States that most of us grew up in."

I'm sure that Charlie Sykes, Mark Belling, Patrick McIlheran and their supporters will deny this up and down until they are blue in the face (blue faces and red necks don't go as well together as you might expect).

But since Sykes has already been sued for libeling a Hispanic man and Belling has been suspended for using the term "wetback," they cannot deny that they love too stir up their audiences primal fear and hatred.

It's rather telling that right loves to act very much the tough guy, with their rantings about gods, gays and guns, but when it comes to owning up to the consequences of their behaviors, they mewl a different tune. So much for their argument for personal responsibility.

Friday, January 7, 2011

McIlheran Deals From The Bottom

Patrick McIlheran has a snide little post up, in which he cites the psuedo-news organization McIver Institute* who found that former Governor Doyle had slotted a handful of people into state jobs before leaving.

Even though every politician leaving office at any level has done this, apparently now it is a bad thing.

I guess that is because Scott Walker needed those spots for his cronies. So far, we know he's only found a spot for his former Director of Administrative (Lying) Services, Cindy Archer, as reported by his own newspaper.**

But that isn't even the most egregious part of his post.

McIlheran then has to go on lying about Russ Feingold, labeling him as being for infanticide. Gutter press, indeed.***

*Just how does that propagandist group keep their 501(c)(3) status?

** A quasi-news organization

***Factoid: McIlheran only buys Bibles with that pesky commandment about not bearing false witness redacted.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Cuprisin Wrong On Mercure

When it was announced that John Mercure would get the afternoon drive time slot on WTMJ-AM, we had our doubts about it.

Today, on Mercure's first day, Tim Cuprisin did an article on Mercure. In said article, Cuprisin wrote this:
What it won't be is a show with a political point of view, like the programs hosted by Charlie Sykes and Jeff Wagner on WTMJ, and Mercure's main competition, Mark Belling on WISN-AM (1130).

"It will not have a political ideology. I want everybody to listen, and I'm going to go after Republicans as hard as I go after Democrats. It will not have a bent one way or the other."
Well, I will admit I only caught the last ten minutes of the show, but what I heard was Mercure gushing over Scott Walker, just as much as Sykes ever has done.

Mercure must have had chills running up and down his leg as he described how frugal Walker is, both with his own money and the tax payers money.

I guess the crack reporter failed to bring up Walker's $2000+ per month SUV.

Yeah, I don't think I'll be listening to that show too much.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

McIlheran Hedges To Make A Sale

Patrick McIlheran is trying to convince his readers that Scott Walker's power grab isn't really a power grab, but is something totally benign. But one word in his verbose oversell of the power grab is what poker players and human lie detectors call "the tell."
The governor's power to veto is a big one. Wisconsin’s governor can rewrite budgets with the partial-veto power, and that power used to be even stronger. Conservatives liked it when Tommy Thompson did this and didn’t when Jim Doyle did, and perhaps it’s better if no governor could so edit law, but the point here is that Walker’s not seeking the power to rewrite laws or even regulations. We haven’t seen a bill, just the idea, but Walker appears to ask only for the ability to veto new regulations -- not edit new ones, not veto old ones. The result is one more opportunity to deny power to the state overall, a reasonably safe bet.
The use of the word "appears" would indicate that either McIlheran isn't sure of his facts (which is highly likely) or he knows that he is lying and is carefully choosing his words so he can't get called out for telling a flat-out lie (which is even more likely).

Either way, Walker shouldn't be given this kind of carte blanche. And before any conservatives would try to argue otherwise, think about this: How would you feel if Jim Doyle had that same kind of power?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

McIlheran's Unhealthy Approach To Health Care

Once again, McIlheran kvetches about health care reform, this time spurned on by the thought of allowing patients make informed choices as opposed to having Big Insurance make those choices for them.

First he mews about the supposed death panels that only he and Sarah Palin still believe in. Never mind that the private insurance companies provide enough death panels in their own right. Also don't mind that while governmental death panels do exist, they are only found in Republican-controlled states.

At the end of his post, we find what is his real driving factor:
The problem lies in the guarantee -- in thinking in terms of rights and of universality and equity. This doesn’t mean we must embrace some every-geezer-for-himself savagery; it suggests that some more rational approach that centers on the autonomy of the patient -- such as, for instance, the concepts behind Rep. Paul Ryan’s “roadmap” -- be central.

None of this precludes social generosity outside the realm of politics -- indeed, it calls for exactly the kind of charitable spirit implicit in every hospital name that includes the word “memorial.” Not that the government doesn’t have a role, but when we talk about health care chiefly in terms of rights asserted and claims made on strangers via the political process -- as Obamacare does -- then inevitably those strangers will balk at the cost, and they will do so through the mechanisms of the administrative state.
Keep in mind that Ryan's "road map" consists of basically taking Grandma out to the middle of nowhere and pushing her out the door, allowing her the "autonomy" of fending for herself: Life preserving medicine or life preserving food?

His solutions, let the hospitals give free treatment. They'll only turn around and stick it to the rest of us at a higher rate than a centralized system would cost, but it would allow the CEO's, board members and stake holders to profit nicely on our daily struggles for survival.

Gosh, what a humanitarian old Paddy is.

But He Likes Ronald Reagan

James T. Harris once again shows himself to be a classless boor by calling for the death of Dick Clark:
Tonight on ABC, I watched a very old, feeble American icon, mumble and stutter, through an already sparse script. It was shocking! It ruined my New year's party. My children were frightened. I can't believe ABC won't do the right thing and put Dick out of his misery.
Calling for a man's death for nothing except for being old, kind of shows who is really behind any death panels, doesn't it?

Now, imagine if someone said that about Ronald Reagan...