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Sic Semper Tyrannis

Tuesday, September 30, 2008


First debate drew 52.4 million viewers

That seems like a lot, although this article points out it’s over 10 million fewer than the first Bush-Kerry debate (which took place exactly four years ago today).

But then, the first Bush-Kerry debate took place on a Thursday night, not a Friday night. Surely that had something to do with it.

On the other hand, neither of those debates made the top ten biggest audiences for a presidential debate ever. See that list here. At #1: Reagan-Carter in 1980, with over 80 million viewers. That beats the #2 debate – Bush-Clinton-Perot in 1992 - by almost 11 million viewers.

Here’s a screenshot (please note the copyright):

Notice that the second Bush-Cliinton-Perot debate, on October 19, 1992, is the last debate, calendar-wise, on that top ten list. The first Bush-Kerry in 2004 missed the cutoff by 200,000 viewers.

If anything, I’d have expected more recent debates to have drawn more viewers. We do have more TVs now, after all. Of course, we have a lot more TV channels, too.

The top ten debates in terms of Nielsen ratings is a whole different story:

The Nixon-Kennedy debates in 1960 dominate the list. That must be because there were so few TVs, comparatively, in 1960.

I wonder how the Palin-Biden debate will stack up.

Hey Jib, how much have we got in the budget for new staff?

Y’know, just in case somebody qualified comes along. Somebody between jobs.

Hugh Hefner to sack Playboy bunnies amid financial crisis.

I know I’ve gotta go someday, but please, God, not this way:

P.J. O’Rourke:

I have, of all the inglorious things, a malignant hemorrhoid. What color bracelet does one wear for that? And where does one wear it? And what slogan is apropos? Perhaps that slogan can be sewn in needlepoint around the ruffle on a cover for my embarrassing little doughnut buttocks pillow.
A malignant hemorrhoid. It’s like colon cancer, but lower.

Please, Lord, I know I’m going to die someday. I’m okay with that, really. But: not like that. Some other way. I beg.

Fortunately, O’Rourke’s outlook isn't grim.

I'm told I have a 95% chance of survival. Come to think of it -- as a drinking, smoking, saturated-fat hound -- my chance of survival has been improved by cancer.
Read the whole thing. I may have to start a “top ten columns of the year” post, just so I can include this.

This is just creepy

Please note that the "details" don't include any clothes:

Despite their political differences, Elliott admits to a bit of a crush on the Alaska governor. He began painting her smile and trademark glasses, he said, before filling in the details: a gun, red high heels, polar bear rug, rugged Alaska landscape and a scared moose.
That's right: he painted a nude likeness of Gov. Sarah Palin. That's bad enough - you wonder whether the Palins can't do something about that - but get a load of the next sentence:

His daughter, who looks a little like Palin and does a great impression of her, served as model for the governor's body.
Here's a quick poll for all the married men out there:

If you suggested using your own daughter as a nude model to help you pursue a weird sexual fetish, you would end up sleeping:
In your bed
On the couch
Mostly submerged in a pile of trash in some cold back-alley somewhere free polls

The "artist's" wife owns a tavern on Chicago’s north side. He hung the painting there. You can see a partly covered picture of it here.

I fully expect an eyewitness report from Marathon Pundit soon.

Hat tip Backyard Conservative

Monday, September 29, 2008

So the bailout vote failed.

Democrats voted yes by 140-95; Republicans voted yes by 65-133. Rep. Paul Ryan was among the yeses (yesses?); Rep. James Sensenbrenner was among the noes.

Malkin has the full vote.

What's next? We dunno. The markets didn't like it, though. The Dow Jones fell by 778 (-7%), the NASDAQ by nearly 200 (-9.14%).

On the up side, though, oil fell by over ten bucks a barrell, settling at $96.36. I guess traders figure we won't be able to afford gas for very much longer.

UPDATE - Here's Rep. Ryan's statement following the vote:

“It is with deep disappointment and a heavy heart to have witnessed Congress’ failure to address the grave financial challenges we face as a nation. With an election looming, my colleagues in Congress thought first and foremost of their own jobs at the expense of the jobs of those they serve. I could not and did not accept last week’s proposal by the Bush Administration – an Administration that totally mishandled this situation. But instead of pointing fingers and standing idly by – as would have been the politically expedient thing to do – I worked to secure concrete protections for the taxpayer.

“Today’s vote was about stopping the Wall Street crisis from creating a banking crisis in our communities. The Bush Administration’s proposal was unacceptable, and the American people demanded an alternative solution be brought to the table. I joined my colleagues in putting forth an alternative economic rescue proposal and secured these taxpayer-protections in the final bipartisan agreement. I fought to make sure that once these troubled institutions start making profits, the taxpayers benefit first and foremost. I fought to make sure Wall Street executives don’t profit personally as a result of their irresponsible decisions. I wrote the provision that ensures that Wall Street shares in the cost of their own recovery.

“I supported this bill in order to stabilize our economy and to preserve American jobs. It is about Main Street – that Wall Street’s crisis doesn’t become Main Street’s crisis. It is about protecting working families’ access to credit – so students can secure college loans, farmers can buy feed, seniors can secure their retirement, and businesses can pay their employees.

“I am outraged that we find ourselves in this situation, and I have grave concerns for the state of our economy. In light of the political expediency of my colleagues and the horrendous failures of the Bush Administration, we will have to roll up our sleeves and go back to the drawing board to enact a meaningful solution to our financial crisis.”
And here's the Journal Sentinel story on Ryan's work on alternatives to the bailout plan.

Who would you rather hang out with?

Statement of U.S. Senator Russ Feingold On the Milwaukee Brewers Reaching the Playoffs:

“Congratulations to the Milwaukee Brewers on reaching the playoffs for the first time in 26 years. All season long, and right down to the wire, the Brewers have delivered thrilling performances and moments fans will remember for years to come. I join all fans in wishing the Brewers the best of luck as they continue on into October.”
Statement of the Blogosphere’o’cheese On the Milwaukee Brewers Reaching the Playoffs:

Whooooo! Whoooo-hooooo! (Pop, fizz, clink clink as the bottle top hits the floor).
Of course, that wasn't an official statement.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Brewers win!

They take two out of three from the Cubbies and go up half a game on the Mets!

The Mets, whose game would be over by now except for a rain delay. How's that game going?

Whoa, they're down 4-2 in the 9th!

Hang on...

UPDATE: Mets lose! The Brewers are in the playoffs!

Um...when's the last time that happened? I remember they came pretty close in 1992.

(Note: Google says it was 1982. Twenty-six years. I remember staying up to watch Game 7 of the World Series that year - it was delayed part-way through due to rain.)

I was watching the end of the Mets game on Yahoo's Gamechannel. The last batter was some guy named Church, and I couldn't help wondering what it's like being up with two outs in the bottom of the 9th, and if you don't get on base, your season is over. The last at-bat of the season. That has to sting a little bit.

If not for the opportunistic big plays, this game wouldn't have been as close as it was.

Buccaneers 30, Packers 21.


Outside the first drive, our offense was just limp. Couldn't get anything going at all. And...say, Ryan Grant? You held out for a while in the offseason, right? Maybe you could prove you weren't just being a prima donna, there?

Defensive secondary played well, I thought. Defensive line hung in there, although it sure seemed like the Bucs could get five yards just about any time they wanted. Kinda like the Cowboys last week.

Meanwhile, Brett Favre had how many touchdown passes? Six?

He isn't making much progress on that fumbles record, though.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Re: Brewers

To hell with the Packers? Geez, Jib, Brewers or no...what are we going to hear out of you next?

"You know what this beer needs? More fruit!"

Pull yourself together, man.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Brewers' Magic Number is Two

To hell with the Packers, this is a Brewers weekend in Wisconsin!

Williams to start in Harris' place

Tramon Williams, a third-year player out of Louisiana Tech who walked on in college and was an undrafted free agent coming into the NFL, will line up opposite Charles Woodson in the Packers' secondary on Sunday.

It's been a quick rise from obscurity for the 25-year-old Williams. He walked on at Louisiana Tech and then was cut by the Houston Texans as an undrafted free agent in 2006. It took until Nov. 29 of that year for the Packers to sign him to their practice squad. But once Williams took the field for training camp last year, buried deep down the depth chart, he made an almost immediate impact.
The Packers have confidence. Or, at least, they're saying they have confidence.

"Tramon has been a great surprise for us," McCarthy said. "Just the way he developed from Year 1 to Year 2 in the off-season, he's a true testament to hard work, the off-season program. He had a good year last year, and we feel very comfortable letting him step in there and play. I'm excited for him, and we won't even blink with him in there."

It's good the Packers have confidence in Williams, because even he knows the odds are high that Bucs coach Jon Gruden and his 67-pass attempt offense that beat the Chicago Bears on Sunday will be seeking out No. 38.

"(I'm) the new guy. You've got Charles Woodson on the other side. Why not?" Williams said. "But, you know, we'll see what's going to happen."
I know we're all a little freaked out about having our Pro-Bowl capable cornerback duo broken up, but it was gonna happen sometime. Sooner or later, some young kid was going to have to step in.

Go Tramon!

The Debate is On

John McCain will drop work on the nation's recent financial unpleasantness - or, rather, work on making sure the unpleasantness doesn't continue being unpleasant - to attend tonight's presidential debate in Mississippi.

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) ended three days of suspense on Friday morning and announced that he will leave bailout negotiations in Washington and fly to Oxford, Miss., for tonight's opening presidential debate.

McCain had previously said that he would suspend his campaign — and so would not attend the debate — until an agreement was reached on the administration's $700 billion mortgage proposal.
Methinks Obama was hoping to stage a debate against an empty podium.

My predictions: there'll be a lot of talking. The talking will be followed by spinning. The spinning will be followed by counter-spinning, which will lose steam quickly (it is Friday night, after all, during football season) and, by Monday, will be carrying on only in the most dedicated corners of the political blogosphere.

I may not have a chance to watch, so I'll tune in for those last fleeting moments next week.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Obama Aide Meets With I'm A Nutjob

We have a good look at what President Obama's foreign policy will look like. And yes, I said President Obama because there's just no way He loses after this past week. No way. Mark it down. Book it. It's a slam-dunk.

From Amanda Carpenter at comes the revelation that one of Barack Hussein Obama's top fundraisers, a Code Pinko co-founder,met with Iran's Mahmoud Ahmadinejad (pronounced "I'm A Nutjob).

Jodi Evans, a founder of the radical anti-war group Code Pink and "bundler" for Barack Obama’s presidential campaign, met with Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad Wednesday.

“It’s rare for a head of state to take time during an official U.N. visit to meet with the peace community, especially in a situation where the host government—represented by the Bush administration—is so hostile,” Evans said in a statement. “The fact that the meeting took place and was so positive is, in itself, a major step forward.”

During the Democratic primary Obama came under fire from both his Democratic and Republican foes for promising to meet with Ahmadinejad “without preconditions” if he became president.

Evans signed on to become a “bundler” for Obama’s presidential campaign last June. As a bundler, she has pledged to raise at least $50,000 for his campaign.

Just a reminder of what Our Savior said during the primary campaign: that He'd meet with I'm A Nutjob without any preconditions.

A real insight to what the Blame America First crowd will do in dealing with our enemies. We're the bad guys and we have to find out why they don't like us.

Bringing the elementary school approach of conflict resolution to international politics. This type of naivete is going to get tens of thousands if not more Americans killed.

It reminds me of the unpopular kid in school that no one likes who thinks if he could just sit down with the people who don't like him and talk to them he could make them like and accept him. Probably had the imaginary conversation in his head as to what he'd say, what they'd say, etc. Then when he tries, the other kids laugh at him and continue to mistreat him.

And he wonders why no one respects him.

Fact is, no one respects weakness. And no matter who tries to ask the question "What harm does it do to talk?" it's an easy answer. Talking to jihadists is a sign of weakness. I'm A Nutjob is a Holocaust denier who has threatened to wipe Israel off the map then come for America. He's made pacts with America's primary enemy in this hemisphere, Venezuelan strongman Hugo Chavez.

You don't talk to these people. Period. You defeat them by any means necessary.

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Longer Lines = Voter Suppression

Writing at, a local village clerk says making people prove they are who they say they are just isn’t right:

As a municipal clerk I feel that I will do everything I can to keep fraud away from my polling place.

But fraud has nothing to do with a perfect match of someone's name or information on his voter registration vs. his drivers' license. Unless the law has changed, in the State of Wisconsin I can call myself anything I want to, as long as I am not trying to commit fraud. So if I am Donna H. Richards, D.H. Richards, Donna Horowitz Richards, Donna Horowitz-Richards or Donna Richards, I should be able to vote. I would hope my clerk will do her job, by discerning my intent, and making sure I can vote.
I’m sure her clerk has magical mind powers, enabling her to know in advance whether she’s “trying to commit fraud” or not.

If only we could require county and municipal clerks to have that ability! Or, wait, that would probably run afoul of discrimination laws. Yeah. Back to the paper trail, then.

But, no, Ms. Richards sees evil afoot there:

Any delay, any question, any removing of names from the voting list on this basis under Wisconsin law would be voter suppression. And any lines that form because of the Attorney General should reflect on him. Voter suppression from the top cop of the state. That is just awful.
Longer lines = voter suppression. Got that?

Now let's hear from a more rational part of the state:

(Sauk County Clerk Beverly) Mielke said the computerized system can pick up inconsequential differences between a person's name on a voting list and the same person's record in the state motorist or Social Security databases. It can make it appear the voting record is wrong even if the difference is not relevant to the person's voting status.

"That is what is going to be creating the bulk of the issues that will come up in these matches," she said, "even as much as a dash or a space between an 'Mc.' Some people leave a space in the name, some run it as one word."
Bev has, I think, accurately portrayed the problem: minor differences in the databases can flag a voter, even though that voter is legal and eligible. So. What happens then?

If they find a problem during the cross-check, Mielke or a village or city clerk must notify the voter so they can set the record straight and insure they will be able to vote without hindrance on Nov. 4.

"If worst comes to worst, all they would have to do is re-register at the polls on election day," she said. "But because this is a big election, that could cause some wait time."
Just re-register at the polls. It’s like we’re turning into communist Russia or something.

Naturally, that won’t satisfy Ms. Richards, since re-registering at the polls will mean a longer wait for that voter, and a longer wait is exactly the same as voter suppression.

Exactly the same thing.


That's Skye, who blogs at Midnight Blue. Go over there and tell her she's cool.

Oh go on. One little white lie isn't going to kill you.

By the way, Skye is from Philly, and I'm pretty sure she was responsible for this.

This small bit of common sense so painfully obvious we shouldn't even have to say it brought to you by the Nathan Russell for Assembly Campaign:

Every now and then, you come across a sentence that smacks you right in the face.

In this case, it smacks you even harder because it's so obvious that it shouldn't have to be said.

Here it is:

Ultimately, no matter what system we create, the people who will pay for our health care is us.
Are you thinking: well, duh? Yeah, me too. So how come we have to say it?

Because, as hard as this is to believe, some people don't get that.

Nathan Russell is the Republican candidate for the Assembly's 51st District (southern half of Sauk County, plus parts of some other counties). He wrote the line as part of a column for the Monroe Times yesterday. I've got longer comments over at my place, or you can just go read the whole thing.

Or, better, first read the whole thing, then go over to my place to see if you agree with me. Yeah. Do that.

Living Large while Living Green

This amuses me: an article poking fun at people who like to crow about “living green” while living wasteful lifestyles.

An Army of Al Gores, as Glenn Reynolds might put it.

But as much fun as that is, I’ve got to wonder about the researchers who did the study:

Stewart Barr, of Exeter University, who led the research, said: "Green living is largely something of a myth. There is this middle class environmentalism where being green is part of the desired image. But another part of the desired image is to fly off skiing twice a year. And the carbon savings they make by not driving their kids to school will be obliterated by the pollution from their flights."
I’d like to be part of that “middle class” that can “fly off skiing twice a year.”

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

99 Years & One Day

Ago one of the pinnacles of Western cultural achievement was reached. September 23, 1909 on Ivanovka near Tambov Russia. I believe I heard this back in my broadband days, but now I am in a hotel with high-speed I am working on a windoze computer.

Anyway, here is a recording of Sergei Rachmaninov playing his Third Piano Concerto (IIRC it is the first movement):

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Re: Did anybody else know that Marcus Aurelius’ last name isn’t really Aurelius?

Nope, it is not!

Anyway Lance when you said you didn't know who it was that sent you with that e-mail with a request to call I was surprised you did. Thanks!

I recall when my home phone was published and I would write letters to the Appleton Post Croissant, I would get calls for days afterwards and I would cringe picking up the phone. Now its just people trying to sell us aluminum siding, annoying yes but a lot less stressful than taking a call from a guy trying to tell you what an idiot you are.

Anyway, when you are up in the Fox Valley campaigning give that number a call and most likely we can room & board you.


Those wacky Iranians. Such a bunch of cut-ups.

Oh...y'know, that probably wasn't the best turn of phrase, all things considered:

Tehran, 23 Sept. (AKI) - Iranian Christian convert Ramtin Soudmand faces the death penalty after being jailed for the crime of 'ertedad' or abandoning the Muslim faith.

Ramtin's father Hossein Soudmand, a Protestant pastor, was executed almost 20 years ago for converting to Christianity and refusing to deny his new faith.

Married with two children, Soudmand was detained by security officials in Mashad about a month ago.

"The authorities have not yet charged my brother with any crime, but we fear that his charges will be formalised after the execution of the sentence, like what happened with my father," said Ramtin's sister, Rashin in an interview with Adnkronos International (AKI).

The Iranian Parliament is currently considering a law to make apostasy or the renunciation of the Muslim faith a crime. It is expected to be passed soon.
Hat tip Backyard Conservative.

All Bailout, All the Time

Will the federal government move to limit CEO salaries, at least for those whose companies are in line to be bailed out? Looks like they just might:

Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said he was agreeing to demands from critics in both parties to limit the pay packages of Wall Street executives whose companies would benefit from the proposed bailout.
Normally, I oppose that kind of government interference, but when you ask the fox to come stop your chickens from escaping, he's gonna eat a few. When you ask the government to get involved, they're going to take their pound of flesh.

Not to mix my metaphors or anything, but there it is.

I stand by my earlier stance, which is to say that I simply don't have the knowledge, experience, and education to have a stance. However, I did read a lot of interesting stuff today, including this list of links explaining the whole financial mess, and this Heritage Foundation list of principles that should guide any potential bailout. My favorite: keep actions temporary!

Those and many other pages of explanation and opinion on the mess and the proposed bailout at Conservative Grapevine today.

Did anybody else know that Marcus Aurelius’ last name isn’t really Aurelius?

Because I just found that out today.

Drill, baby, drill!

Democrats to let offshore drilling ban expire

WASHINGTON - Democrats have decided to allow a quarter-century ban on drilling for oil off the Atlantic and Pacific coasts to expire next week, conceding defeat in a months-long battle with the White House and Republicans set off by $4 a gallon gasoline prices this summer.

House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey, D-Wis., told reporters Tuesday that a provision continuing the moratorium will be dropped this year from a stopgap spending bill to keep the government running after Congress recesses for the election.
Yay! Now all we have to do is find a way to interpret “offshore” to include Alaska. Hey, that's “off the West Coast,” right? Which is really just another way of saying "off the Pacific coast." Right?

Hat tip Owen.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

All Bailout, All the Time

Let me say up front: I hate this issue. The financial mess, the multi-billion (or, let's be honest: trillion) dollar bailouts.

I hate it, because it feels like something really important, and I don't understand it well enough to have a real opinion. It's like I'm trying to run through knee-deep mud across a football field in time to catch the falling baby, except I think maybe it's just a doll.

And yet, I soldier on.

There's all kinds of stuff in The Hill today about the Fed’s $700 billion bailout plan. For example: Barack Obama has some demands:

Specifically, Obama says that in order to get his support, the measure “must include protections to ensure that taxpayer dollars are not used to further reward the bad behavior of irresponsible CEOs on Wall Street.”

In addition, Obama stated that “the power to spend $700 billion of taxpayer money cannot be left to the discretion of one man, no matter who he is or which party he is from."

“I have great respect for Secretary Paulson, but he cannot act alone,” he added.

The Democratic nominee also argued that, “if taxpayers are being asked to underwrite hundreds of billions of dollars to solve this crisis, they must be treated like investors” and “should share in the upside as Wall Street recovers.”

Lastly, Obama stated that “the final plan must provide help to families who are struggling to stay in their homes.”
The first point is standard boilerplate. The second sounds like Pat Buchanan. The third…well, considering the number of Americans who are also investors, that’s already going to happen. The fourth: whether that means it’ll cost more than $700 billion, I dunno.

Although I should point out that I have no idea where they came up with $700 billion in the first place. They might as well have thrown a dart.

Also from the Obama camp:

Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama on Tuesday acknowledged that the nation’s financial crisis may force him to "phase in" some of the programs he has vowed on the campaign trail to put in place.
Why would that be, do you suppose? Does he think his plans might be hard on the economy somehow?

Meanwhile, Newt Gingrich thinks incumbents who vote for the plan will lose their jobs:

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich said Tuesday that any lawmaker who votes for the Bush administration's $700 billion bailout package, which he called a “dead loser,” will face defeat in November.

…The former Speaker, talking to reporters at a lunch, added that he expects Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.) to back the plan. He predicted that, if Republican presidential candidate Sen. John McCain (Ariz.) ends up opposing the administration proposal, there will be an overnight “emergence of a McCain/reform wing of the Republican Party.”

Gingrich said that occurrence would turn the election on its head, with Republicans running ads that feature Obama with President Bush on the same team in pushing for a “nightmare” bailout plan.
That would be fun. This, on the other hand, I find hard to believe:

The former Speaker said that by November, the flaws in the plan will be apparent, and voters will “break against anyone who votes for it.”
But I guess we’ll see.

Meanwhile, the Republican Study Committee is set to unveil an alternate plan:

The House Republican Study Committee is set Tuesday to officially unveil its proposal to address the financial crisis through a “market-based” approach.

The conservative group, which has strong objections to a federal bailout that would cost hundreds of billions of dollars, is touting its plan as a “true alternative” to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson’s plan to rescue the financial markets.

The RSC plan, which will be unveiled at noon, calls for a two-year suspension of the capital gains tax.
I like the sound of that, although considering the makeup of Congress today, it might as well be the sound of a cat falling into a vat of burning pitch, for all the chance it's got.

Comments are allowed, you know

Sometimes I want to remind readers that, yes, we do allow commenting on posts here at BBA. We don't charge a fee or anything, and I don't care what Jib says about that. Comment away!

But then I look at sites like Ann Althouse and Rachel Lucas, and I see the dozens - sometimes hundreds - of comments they get, and I think: I'm not reading all of those. That'd be too much like work.

Harris out for the season...maybe

He tore his spleen Sunday night.

The Green Bay Packers probably will have to finish the season without a key component of their defense.

Starting cornerback Al Harris sustained a torn spleen Sunday night against Dallas and in the best case will be out at least several weeks but more likely could miss the rest of the season.
I guess it's kinda hard to rub some dirt on something like that.

At least it wasn’t a Cowboy who did it:

He suffered the injury in the first quarter of the Packers’ game Monday night against Dallas when he collided with linebacker A.J. Hawk in pass coverage. Harris came out of the game briefly, went back in and 12 plays later tackled Cowboys running back Marion Barber with a hard hit. Harris’ hand cramped at that point, and he tasted blood, so he took himself out of the game.
That’s right – we hurt our own guys inadvertently more than the other team does on purpose!

So. Feeling bad for Al is a given, but are we more frightened of what this’ll mean for the defense, or are we more excited to see one of the younger guys getting his chance?

Monday, September 22, 2008

Congressional Democrats Quietly Trying to Stop Oil Exploration

Via The Corner, this is what Rep. Paul Ryan told us last week was going to happen:
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), Chairman of the House Republican Study Committee, today issued the following statement after House Democrats released a discussion draft of a continuing resolution that included a provision to actively and permanently prevent exploration of nearly 90 percent of the Outer Continental Shelf and block energy production in the Inter-Mountain West:

“On October 1, the bans on offshore drilling and oil shale recovery will expire, enabling us to develop more American energy. Unfortunately, Speaker Pelosi and Democrats in the House have made clear that they will continue to actively prevent exploration from occurring.
Note, of course, that it hasn't happened yet, but they'd clearly like to make it happen.

Geez, what kind of crowds is McCain drawing?

I'm betting they're nothing like this:

THE VILLAGES -- Republican vice presidential nominee Sarah Palin told wildly cheering, flag-waving, chanting supporters that John McCain is "the only great man in this race" and promised Sunday he will fix the nation's economy if voters give the GOP four more years in the White House.

…"Sa-Rah! Sa-Rah!" they chanted at every mention of her name, applauding loudly and waiving tiny American flags that were distributed -- along with free water bottles -- by local volunteers. The fire chief estimated the crowd at 60,000.
Whatever else you want to say about Palin, you can't deny the excitement and energy she's brought to the race. Republicans haven't been this fired up for at least three years.

On a related note: does it seem to anyone else that McCain has stepped aside a little, and allowed Palin to take center stage? It seems so to me. That's a sign of mature leadership: somebody who doesn't care who's getting credit, as long as the job's getting done.

Now: try to imagine the Democrat ticket doing the same thing. Biden drawing ginormous crowds, and Obama quietly stepping aside to let the energy flow.


Well that's a funny thing to say:

The Sauk Prairie Eagle has a story today about Dane County denying rural business owners the right to allow an otherwise-legal activity on their property.

If you were able to follow the above sentence's lengthy syntax, you've probably guessed it's an expansion of the smoking ban.

Anyway, the reason I'm posting is this quote, near the end:
Sup. Dave de Felice of Madison noted that automakers wouldn't have put seatbelts in cars if government didn't mandate it. "If you don't like regulation, move to China," he said.
Excuse me, but…huh?

The Game

Every year, there's a game or two that haunts you. The game your team should have won, but didn't. The game that might keep you out of the playoffs, or deny you home field advantage, or a first-round bye, because you lost when you should have won.

This was not one of those games.

Dallas was clearly the better team on the field. Yeah, saying that sentence is going to haunt me, too, but this was not a game the Packers should have won but didn't. Dallas's offensive line was simply better. Their defense was simply better. Their running game was great. They're a better team than the Packers are right now.

That much grudgingly admitted through clenched teeth, we had a great time watching our first-ever Packers game at Lambeau anyway.

Wanna see some pictures? Thought so. Click them for bigger versions.

Heading in:

Like that sign:

Me and the wife (she's the short one):


The field looks a lot bigger on TV than it does in real life. I think that's the "camera adds 15 pounds" rule.

Great big cheers whenever another group of Packers came out for warmups:

The theme song from "Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood" came blaring over the sound system as warmups got started. Made me wonder whether Aaron Rodgers notices it, and what he thinks. Me, my eyes would be rolling so far back into my head they'd fall out my butt.

Here's another wide shot:

Note the Cowboys fan in the foreground. There were lots of them. I'd estimate at least 10% of the crowd. More than I expected. I wonder if it's because it was a Milwaukee season ticket game.

They were better than Cubs fans. I'll give them that much.

I never did find out what this guy's sign said:

Elvis was in attendance. He didn't look well:

Throwback jersey:

I myself was wearing a Ray Nitschke jersey. There were several Hornungs in attendance. Also one Seth Joyner and one Jan Stenerud. I didn't even know they made a Stenerud jersey.

He's gotta pay his way in like everybody else now:

This guy was actually calling somebody else's hat "stupid:"

Lining up:

Incomplete pass, field goal. Story of the game.

One guy way up front would hold up a McCain sign during pauses:

Somebody else took the sign away from him later and ripped it up. I saw some cops talking to people after that, but don't know if anything came of it.

In one way, it's better to watch a football game in your own living room. You get a much closer look at everything.

But there are advantages to being there in person, too. For example, I could clearly see when the safety was too far inside to offer any help covering Jennings, especially late in the game. You can't see that on TV.

Of course, the Packers never got to take advantage of that, so maybe I'd be better off in my living room, sparing myself the frustration.

Another thing: that crap unsportsmanlike penalty they almost called on the Packers in the first half? Yeah, they picked up that flag because me and the guy in front of me both yelled "Pick it up!" You're welcome.

Ditto that first intentional grounding penalty on the Cowboys. The crowd was going nuts, so they threw the flag. It was either that, or the umps conferencing long enough to get a good look at the replay screen.

Last but not least, we go for more traffic with a cheerleader photo:

It was the wife's idea, I swear.

Do You Think She'll Vote For Obama?

Which side of the political spectrum do you suppose this wisdom comes from?


Well, that bit.

The game, that is. Bit pretty hard, too.

Pictures later. We dragged in about 3 a.m. this morning, so I'm off to a slow start.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Say, what are those?

Those wouldn't to this Sunday's Packer game, would they?

Holy crap, they are!

My first ever game at Lambeau Field. In fact, the first NFL game I'll see in person. And the Cowboys are in town.

The Cowboys, who rank only slightly higher than the Bears, Vikings, and maggots in my bratwurst on the loathe-o-meter. This is gonna be sweet.

I'll apologize in advance to the Cowboys for the rough treatment. We usually treat our guests better than that here. Hope you brought plenty of ice.

Small Government Liberals?

Or just opportunistic partisans?

Grumps linked to this DailyKos entry, regarding the illegal and immoral hacking into Sarah Palin's private email:

At least one Republican personally knows how it feels to have someone look into her private communications without proper cause or approval. It would be nice if that spurred a renewed conservative embrace of privacy issues and support for those key Constitutional principles designed to protect us from the tyranny of government.

But I won't hold my breath.
So: we agree, now, that government is tyrannical - or at least has the potential to be? Does that mean we agree that a government handed more and more power is more and more likely to become tyrannical?

Do the "key Constitutional principles" include the First and Second Amendments?

Can we start talking about small-government liberals now? Or is this just an opportunistic chance to take a partisan shot?

A Series of Excellent Choices...

...ending with the last one. Via Instapundit:

I'm a 23 year old law student and my mom got me that LEGO mindstorm package for Christmas. I didn't quite know what to think about it... then I spent the entire Christmas break drinking beer and making a robot that would patrol my kitchen and chase the dog. The programming software for it is rather easy (done with pictures and a little bit of logic), and you can do a whole lot with the sensors it gives you. My robot could drive around the kitchen, and when it hit something turn around and find another way. Then every 30 seconds it would stop, scan the distance in front of it, then rescan... if the number changed (something moves in front of it), the robot would make a horrible noise and go full blast forward until it hit something. I called him Lance.
We're everywhere!

Re: California Court Says: No Resident Tuition for Illegals...

Can't quite put my finger on it, but this stands out:
tens of thousands of undocumented California college students

I'm confused. Is it a paradox to be an undocumented college student, an oxymoron, or a synthesis the likes of which only certain places on the planet tend to be prone to?

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Messiah As Jimmy Carter: The Sequel

Do they even know what the law says?

So I’ve been perusing various liberal blogs, reading what they say about the recent voter registration flap – y’know, the one where the Attorney General thinks we should abide by the law and make sure those registrations are legit – and I’m noticing something.

Every liberal blog I’ve read (here, here, here, here, here, and here, just for example) insists that checking by-mail registrations will “disenfranchise” voters.

None of them – not one – describes what a voter has to do if his/her registration is flagged. Not one of them explains that those voters can still vote. Not one explains that all a voter has to do is verify their registration – the same way they would if they registered at the polls on Election Day – and their votes will be counted. None of them mention that at worst, a voter would have to take a trip to the local clerk’s office.

Not. One. It's all just disenfranchisement and voter suppression. It’s child-like screeching when Mom says no, you can’t have a cookie. It’s like they don’t even know what the law says.

UPDATE - this column by the president of Wisconsin's League of Women Voters does go into the process, but she also described Van Hollen's action as:

"...seeking to overturn a recent decision of the Government Accountability Board and change election procedures -- just before a presidential election. He wishes to impose an emergency rule dealing with matching the statewide voter registration list with the Department of Transportation database."
That's very, very wrong. I repeat: it’s like they don’t even know what the law says.

Gas prices in Madison

Yesterday afternoon, gas was still $3.99 a gallon.

This morning, it was $3.69 – the same price it was before Ike hit the Gulf.

Sure am glad I waited until today to gas up.

Trying to read Paul Soglin’s essay on the recent financial unpleasantness is like trying to sleep with a brick on your head

So I’ll break it down for you. According to Soglin, the whole Fannie-Freddie-Lehman-AIG mess is the direct result of legislation which: Rep. Jim Leach, chairman of Republicans for Obama, authored; President Clinton signed; and John McCain didn’t – did not – vote for.

Therefore, it’s all John McCain’s fault.

Now you don’t have to read it. You are welcome.

Paul Ryan conference call

I took part in a blogger conference call with Rep. Paul Ryan earlier today, and let me say to my fellow bloggers: I sure hope I didn't screw anybody out of asking a question.

Turned out Ryan only had about 25 minutes, and since I asked a question and two follow-ups, I probably took more than my share of time. Sorry about that.

Anyway: the good news is I now know that, yes, a "snow machine" is the same as a snowmobile. I'd been wondering that.

Highlights: McCain/Palin better on energy (Ryan called it an "all of the above" policy); better on the economy (lower taxes, protect us from the Alternative Minimum Tax, reduce dependence on foreign oil); and Sarah Palin might as well have been mayor of Wausau, rather than Wasilla, because she comes off as a native Wisconsinite.

Except she hunts moose instead of whitetails, and calls them "snow machines" instead of snowmobiles. That's what he said.

I asked him about the "energy bill" "passed" by House Democrats. He called it "the biggest hoax I've seen in a long time here...and that's really saying something."

He said this because the bill puts over 80% of our offshore reserves off-limits to drilling. It doesn't allow for revenue-sharing with coastal states, and it doesn't allow for new refining capability.

He said there's other poison pills in it, too, so even if the Senate was going to take it up (they're not), President Bush would be sure to veto it.

But at least they got their issue, right? Congressional Democrats can go home and say they voted YES on drilling!

Except...Ryan also said that Congress will soon vote on a continuing budget resolution. Word in the halls of power is, he says, that Dems will try to extend the drilling moratorium in that resolution - the moratorium that's set to expire on September 30.

I can't help but think that that would be dumb. So I hope they do it.

Cindy from Fairly Conservative was also on the call. Phil Klein, from the American Spectator, asked about the financial bailouts. His report is here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

California Court Says: No Resident Tuition for Illegals...

...unless all the legals get resident tuition, too.

Hat tip to Michelle Malkin for the story, which stems from the San Fransisco Chronicle. And, yeah, the lede is what you’d expect:

A state appellate court has put a financial cloud over the future of tens of thousands of undocumented California college students, saying a state law that grants them the same heavily subsidized tuition rate that is given to resident students is in conflict with federal law.
Translation: the court says California can’t give tuition breaks to illegal immigrants when they don’t give the same breaks to actual U.S. citizens who don’t happen to live in California.

Later in the story:

On Monday, three justices of the Third District Court of Appeal in Sacramento said that a 2001 state law, AB540, conflicts with federal law. The state law provides the benefit of in-state tuition to undocumented students while the federal law says an illegal immigrant cannot receive that benefit unless the same benefit is extended to all U.S. citizens without regard to California residency.
According to Eugene Volokh, the federal law is “title 8 of the United States Code (U.S.C.) section 1623.” The pertinent paragraph:

“Notwithstanding any other provision of law, an alien who is not lawfully present in the United States shall not be eligible on the basis of residence within a State (or a political subdivision) for any postsecondary education benefit unless a citizen or national of the United States is eligible for such a benefit (in no less an amount, duration, and scope) without regard to whether the citizen or national is such a resident.”
Translation: you can’t give it to illegals unless you’re giving it to legals. All of them.

I wasn't aware of that law before. Now I am. And so are you.

Okay, so I didn’t win…

…RightWingNews’ anti-socialized medicine post contest. The winner was Alecthemand (if that is his real name), who blogs at Easily Amused. He had a first-hand description of life under Britain’s NHS. Kinda hard to top that.

But at least I got an honorable mention and a link. Thanks John!

And by the way: they're still having one more contest. Entries due Sunday.

Democrats Want Court to Sign Off on Ignoring the Law

The Democratic Party of Wisconsin wants in on J.B. Van Hollen’s lawsuit against the state agency that's supposed to be verifying mailed-in voter registration forms, but isn't.

MADISON, Wis. (AP) -- The state Democratic Party wants to get in on Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen's lawsuit demanding state election officials confirm the identity of thousands of voters before Election Day.

The party filed a motion in Dane County Circuit Court Tuesday asking Judge Maryann Sumi to allow it to join the lawsuit. The party's attorney, Robert Friebert, argues such checks could leave a significant number of Democratic voters ineligible and prevent the party from achieving its goals.
Huh. Why would that be? Do more Democrats than Republicans register through the mail? How do they know, and why would that be?

Also: a bad registration form doesn’t invalidate anybody’s vote: it simply means the voter has to confirm his or her identity before the vote can be counted. If you can legally vote in Wisconsin, a bad registration form won't stop you.

And that means that if the checks "leave a significant number of Democratic voters ineligible," they weren't eligible to vote in the first place.

Finally, the Dem lawyer worries that this will “prevent the party from achieving its goals.” Well, yeah, if they’re relying on fraudulent voter registrations to achieve those goals, it will.


When people use the phrase “class act,” this is what they mean:

Once he finished packing, Ned Yost figured he'd begin the long drive back home to Georgia. He might even tune in a ballgame.

"I've got XM Radio, so I'll be able to listen to the Brewers pitch-by-pitch and be rooting Dale on in his first win," Yost said.

A day after being abruptly fired as Milwaukee's manager and replaced by third-base coach Dale Sveum, Yost insisted Tuesday he had no hard feelings toward the team that let him go with 12 games left while tied for the NL wild-card spot.

"If anybody thinks that I've got sour grapes or I don't want this club to succeed, they're crazy. I'll be rooting them on every inch of the way and I hope they can win that wild card and go deep, deep into the playoffs and win the World Series," he said.
About the new interim manager, Dale Sveum, Yost said:

"Dale is a real calming influence. He's a very steady guy, he's a very smart baseball guy," Yost said. "I honestly don't think they could have picked a better person to finish out these last 12 days."
I know there's a lot of anti-Yost animosity out there, but give him some props for knowing how to make a class exit.

UW-La Crosse Republicans and University Officials "At Odds"

Here's the story:

College Republicans and University of Wisconsin-La Crosse officials are at odds over a 3,000-flag campus memorial to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks in which some flags are arranged in the shape of a cross.
Now: let’s not go getting our undies all in a bunch. The College Republicans weren’t ordered to take it down; nobody vandalized it; nobody’s losing their official club status over it.

The university's just doing that annoying tsk tsking thing.

One university official called it a “teachable moment.” And, indeed, I agree that it is. A couple sample quotes:

“We try to find a balance between freedom of speech and creating an atmosphere where everyone feels comfortable and welcome and safe on campus,” said (Michael) Slevin, (UW-L student service coordinator).

“The challenge is that people sometimes forget that they are passionate about their particular religion, but there are others with other faiths who are equally passionate about those,” said (UW-L Chancellor Joe) Gow. “We want our university to be inclusive of all faiths and traditions.”

“I think it is a teachable moment where we would like students to realize there is more than one point of view,” (Larry Ringgenberg, UW-L director of university centers) said.
I’d like to use this teachable moment to point out: the whole idea of free speech is to let people express their viewpoints. Others, then, can use their own free speech to express another viewpoint, and so on, and so on, and so on.

When Chinese students hold a vigil to draw attention to Falun Gong, they aren’t taking away from other oppressed groups in other places. They’re expressing their views about what’s most important to them.

If you’re going to try and “balance” free speech with “other viewpoints,” then you’re not “balancing” free speech at all: you’re negating free speech.

Man. You'd think high-level university types would understand that.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kevin Barrett’s wife files abuse charges

Yes, that Kevin Barrett:

A Libertarian Party candidate for Congress who charges the World Trade Towers were destroyed by government explosives, not hijacked planes, faces disorderly conduct charges after a domestic incident last week.

His wife has asked for domestic and child abuse restraining orders against him because she fears she is in danger of physical harm and their children are at risk of physical and emotional harm.

Kevin J. Barrett, 49, of rural Spring Green appeared in Sauk County Circuit Court on Friday on a misdemeanor count of disorderly conduct.
I’m not going to comment on the story itself, because we've only got the wife's side of the story right now and..c'mon, you don't really think this could lessen Barrett's chances of winning the election, do you?

So if I'm not going to comment on it, why am I posting about it? Because I find something hard to believe:

Somebody married that guy?

When’s this commercial coming out?

Via Backyard Conservative, Senator Barack Obama's got an embarrassing link to disgraced financial firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac:

Barack Obama is the second biggest recipient of political money from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in the last ten years. And he’s only been in Washington for four.
I can't wait for the commercial! They can throw Joe Biden’s credit company conflict of interest and Charles Rangel’s tax problems in there, too.

The baritone voice-over: is this the leadership today's economy needs?

The Sarah Palin Baby Name Generator

I’m Strangle Thicket Palin.

Link. Hat tip to Ann Althouse.

From the “no way” files:

Headline: “Democrats accuse state GOP of hypocrisy”

No. Really? That’s gotta be the very first time.

The funniest part: the story doesn’t even include an example of hypocrisy.

Democratic Party Chairman Joe Wineke said Monday it was hypocritical for Republicans to defend mistakes in their mailing databases while pursuing a lawsuit over the state's flawed voter registration system.

Republican Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen last week sued the state Government Accountability Board, which oversees elections, saying it has failed to comply with a federal law requiring states to check voter registrations with other state records for accuracy.

Also last week, mailings surfaced from GOP presidential candidate John McCain, the Arizona senator, to Democrats and other Wisconsin voters that included absentee ballot applications. But some of the applications were printed with incorrect addresses of local clerks for processing.

"The hypocrisy on this is just astounding," Wineke said at a news conference.
That’s not hypocrisy, Mr. Wineke. If anything, it proves the GOP’s point: we’ve got to have more scrutiny – not less – to make sure mistakes like that don’t happen. And, by the way, while we’re making sure those mistakes don’t happen, we’ll also happen to notice any falsified registration forms that might have been sent in on purpose.

Everybody wins!

Oh, and: some of us consider the voter rolls to be somewhat more important than a political mailing. You, apparently, don't.

So I had the Dallas-Philly game on the radio last night…

…yes, I listen on the radio – ESPN isn’t part of our cable package.

Anyway, Michael Irvin – former Cowboys wide receiver and off-the-field distraction – was the commentator.

And he was really good. He handled things just the way a commentator should: he gave us extra details about the play that just happened; he concentrated on the play that just happened instead of second-guessing every little thing; his comments were on-topic and interesting.

Contrast that with your typical TV commentator (no more annoying form of life on Earth, if you ask me), who constantly second-guesses decisions, ignores interesting things that just happened on the field, and obsesses well into the second half over things that happened in the first quarter.

It makes me wonder whether there's something about being on TV that makes people idiots. If, for example, Larry McCarren moved from radio to TV, would he suddenly become a slightly more mature Boomer Esiason?

Monday, September 15, 2008

In my inbox:

Steve Sanetti, writing in the Washington Post about America's real conservationists:

Today, every state has thriving game populations in habitats that sustain hunted as well as non-hunted species. It's a richness of life that many Americans enjoy regardless of their environmental persuasion. Yet most also take it for granted, unaware of the mechanisms that sustain this public resource. They see more wildlife every year but are oblivious to why that's so.
That paragraph appears about mid-way. I want so bad to post the ending, because it's just that good, but that would give away who the real conservationists are.

That is, if you haven't already guessed.

Anyway. Whether you've guessed or not, do yourself a favor and read the whole thing.

By the way, this was forwarded to me by my friend Luke, who, if life were fair, would be writing his own blog on politics, outdoor sports, and the finer points of offensive line play. But he doesn't, which leads me to conclude that life's not fair.

But then, you'd already guessed that, too.


Holy crap did Wall Street take a beating today. And I know just what BBA readers are thinking: that means there's bargains out there!

But that's not the subject of this post. Oil is:

NEW YORK (AP) -- Oil prices closed below $100 a barrel for the first time in six months Monday, tumbling in another dramatic sell-off as the demise of Lehman Brothers and the sale of Merrill Lynch deepened worries about the U.S. economy.

Crude prices shed more than $5 a barrel and have now given up virtually all their gains for the year, extending a steep, two-month slide from record levels above $147 a barrel.

Oil's pullback also came as early signs suggested that Hurricane Ike delivered less damage than feared to the Gulf Coast energy oil and gas infrastructure.

...pump prices jumped above $4 a gallon in parts of the country as a precautionary shutdown of Gulf refineries caused gasoline shortages.
Yeah, gas hopped up to four bucks in Madison today. Hopefully, that won't last long: if Ike was really as non-devastating as the story says, supply ought to be back up pretty quickly.

Regardless, today's drop means crude futures have fallen about 35% since July. Does that sound like a bubble popping?

What's the matter with Obama?

Could the Obama campaign's recent floundering be due to a lack of experience in close, tough, hard-fought campaigning?

This New York Post op-ed suggests maybe yes:

Obama has lived a lot of places, but his adult life has been overwhelming "anti-Palin country" - urban and/or elite: here in New York as a Columbia undergrad, and later with NYPIRG; Cambridge, Mass., for Harvard; Chicago.

You start to see why he couldn't name a single right-wing friend when Bill O'Reilly asked. And how he unleashed that idiotic comment about how small-town people "cling to guns or religion."

A race against a serious Republican might have awakened him to this weakness - but he's never been in one before. In Illinois, he was the surprise winner of the 2004 primary for the Senate, in part because two white candidates split the vote.

In the general, he basically had it won once a Chicago paper took down the GOP nominee by getting a court to unseal unseemly divorce papers, and the local Republicans then tapped Alan Keyes - a carpet-bagging right-wing performance artist - as their standard-bearer.

So it's not such a mystery that the mean machine of the Democratic primaries, which stole the nomination away from Sen. Hillary Clinton, is sputtering so badly now.
Actually, Obama "basically had it won" as soon as he was nominated, but that just makes the point all the better.

I found that via blogger Robert Stacy McCain, who writes:

What Obama doesn't seem to understand is this: Middle-class voters don't trust Democrats on taxes, period. Obama would do best to avoid the subject of taxes entirely, but instead repeats Clinton's lying 1992 promise of "middle-class tax cuts," while claiming he'll only raise taxes on "the rich."
Point being: having never run outside a heavily liberal, Democrat area; having never faced actual Republican opposition; and having never had to convince vast numbers of non-urban liberals to vote for him, Obama's inexperience might be showing.

I call this the "McCallum Effect," after former Wisconsin Governor Scott McCallum.

Back when McCallum’s governorship (and re-election campaign) were flailing, I speculated: McCallum hadn’t really been on the front lines for a long time. Serving as lieutenant governor for 14 years, basically riding Tommy Thompson’s coattails, McCallum hadn’t had to keep his political edge sharp.

Thus, when the time finally came, he was trying to slice cheese with a wooden spoon.

You’d think the talent available to a presidential campaign would make up for a similar weakness, and of course Obama has been on the front lines for the last two years (the front lines in a Democrat battle, though – not a general election).

Still, a liberal politician hailing from a place where liberal Democrats sail to victory doesn’t seem to suggest a very sharp edge. Could be the McCallum Effect at work.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Woo Hoo!

Photo by Benny Sieu, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Question: what's the proper way to respond to falling one point behind with 7 minutes left to play after you've been in a commanding lead for almost the entire game? Answer: score 24 points in 3 minutes and 10 seconds of game time. I've been saying that for years.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Guess they must have liked it

Conservative Grapevine linked to my Thursday column on socialized medicine (thanks for tipping me off, Steve).

On another note, this is my first ever post using Scribe Fire.  Jury still out.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Woman Steals Daughter's Identity

Folks, we can't make this stuff up.

A Green Bay woman is in jail facing felony identity theft charges for stealing her daughter's identity, enrolling in an area high school and attempting to join the cheerleading squad.

GREEN BAY, Wis. (AP) -- A 33-year-old woman is charged with stealing her daughter's identity to attend high school and join the cheerleading team. Wendy Brown, of Green Bay, faces a felony identity theft charge after enrolling in Ashwaubenon High School as her 15-year-old daughter, who lives in Nevada with Brown's mother.

"The defendant stated she wanted to get her high school degree and be a cheerleader because she had no childhood and was trying to regain a part of her life she missed," according to the complaint.

She allegedly attended cheerleading practices before school started, received a cheerleader's locker and went to a pool party at the cheerleading coach's house.

A high school employee, Kim Demeny, told authorities that the woman, posing at the teen, seemed very timid, told her she was not good in math and even cried when she talked about moving from Pahrump Valley High School in Pahrump, Nev. Demeny said she looked older than a student, but he believed her demeanor was consistent with that of a high school girl.

A school liaison officer started investigating Monday after Brown only showed up for the first day of classes last week, the complaint said.

Assistant Principal Dirk Ribbins later learned Brown's daughter was enrolled at Pahrump Valley High School. Ribbins also spoke with Brown's mother who told him she had custody of the girl. She also said Brown has a history of identity theft crimes, the complaint said.

That's in addition to this story out of Arizona where a child sex offender passed himself off as a 12 year old boy and enrolled in several schools before getting caught. The booby prize? 70½ years in the Crowbar Hotel.

These two would make a perfect pair. A perfect pair of what, I don't know.

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Light, sweet crude dips under $100

Futures down, wholesale prices up.

First, the good news:

Crude oil on the futures market, however, briefly sank below the psychologically important $100-a-barrel mark for the first time since April 2...

...light, sweet crude for October delivery fell 6 cents to settle at $100.18 a barrel in afternoon trading, after briefly sinking to $99.99.
Investors think the bad economy is going to keep driving demand down.


Wholesale gasoline prices on the Gulf Coast moved further into uncharted territory Friday, as refineries anticipated that Ike would lead to at least a significant pause in their operations, and at worst damage to their facilities. On Thursday, the Gulf Coast wholesale price of gasoline last traded at around $4.75 a gallon, according to OPIS, up substantially from about $3.25 Wednesday and less than $3 Tuesday.

The fact that U.S. fuel demand is so weak right now might mean the recent surge in the wholesale price of gasoline...might not be passed along to consumers unless Ike's impact is severe and long-lasting.
The retail price nationwide moved up a little less than a penny today.

Now that's funny.

Swiped from commenter hM over at Rachel Lucas’ place.

Rachel, if you see this, please note the appropriate use of the apostrophe above.

So I was doing my usual casual blogosphere click-through…

…and on Conservative Grapevine I found a link to this: an Anti-Socialized Medicine Blog Post Contest.

Huh. I write about that quite a bit. So I clicked over, figuring maybe I’d enter.

Or maybe not, too. I mean, I’m not going to write a post just to enter a contest. I like to write about things that are happening. You know, keep it timely.

But anyway. It’s a weekly contest, and the link had other links to last week’s winners. So I clicked one of them. And then I clicked to the original newspaper item that spurred the blog post. And I read about how British doctors aren’t telling cancer patients about the latest treatments, because of the oppressive bureaucracy looming over their every decision.

And I thought, geez, that hardly sounds “universal.” And I thought of all the other examples of such things I’ve read in the last year.

And all of a sudden: bam. I was up to 800 words.

Don’t worry: I culled it down some.

Oh, if you want to enter the contest, I think you've got until Sunday.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Attacking Palin, In Haiku

She kept her baby?
One time, her husband drove drunk.
Lipstick on a pig!

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Madison on 9/11:

A few pictures:

This 9/11 tribute was displayed on Bascom Hill:

The flag on Bascom Hall (directly in the background, for all you non-UW types) is at half-staff. You can't really make that out in the picture.

I also found this small group of 9/11 Truthers near the Capitol:

Yeah. Republicans planned, executed, and covered up the whole thing, but still couldn't manage to plant any stocks of WMD in the Iraqi desert for us to find.

Ah, well. At least their signs are all spelled correctly.

They handed me a DVD (a home job) entitled "Zero 9/11," which reminded me: somebody in Minneapolis had handed me a copy of "Obsession: Radical Islam's War Against the West." An award-winner, that one. Here's the website.

Huh. "Zero 9/11" has a website, too. But this is a store-bought CD, marked with a black Sharpie. Wonder if it's pirated.

I should watch them back to back and do a compare and contrast.

Crackpot Professor Wins Primary

It might have been “the first ever third-party primary for a congressional race.” Sauk County’s Ben Olson III running against Kevin Barrett, the one-time UW lecturer (now of La Crosse) most famous for his 9/11 conspiracy theories – to wit, he thinks the gummint done it.

So. Who won?

Kevin Barrett beat Ben Olson III in the primary vote Tuesday to become the Libertarian candidate in Wisconsin’s 3rd District Congressional race.

With all 624 precincts reporting, Barrett had 332 votes, or 60 percent, and Olson, of Wisconsin Dells, had 226 votes, or 40 percent.
That’s a little less than one vote per precinct.

Barrett, of Lone Rock, believes the U.S. government, not al-Qaida, orchestrated the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks.

The Libertarian nominee will take on 45-year-old Democratic incumbent Ron Kind of La Crosse, who is seeking a seventh term, and Republican Paul Stark, who owns a home building company in Eau Claire, in November.
Just for old times' sake, here's Barrett's appearance on Hannity and Colmes:

Small-l libertarianism is a respectable political viewpoint, shared (or at least sympathized with) to one extent or another by a whole lot of people.

Big-L Libertarians are never going to take that viewpoint and turn it into a viable third party if they can’t prevent a wingnut – or, at least, someone who is widely perceived on both sides of the political chasm as a wingnut – from becoming a Libertarian standard-bearer.

UPDATE - here's our own Jenna Pryor's appearance on Bill O'Reilly:

Jenna's currently increasing the state of Texas' average I.Q. O'Reilly spent too much time talking with the other woman, if you ask me.

Well that's a new one.

Crude oil on the futures market...sank below $101 a barrel to its lowest settlement price since late March -- a sign that investors are still worried about waning global demand.

The wholesale price of gasoline ranged from $4 to nearly $5 a gallon in the U.S. Gulf Coast throughout the day on Thursday...

That was up significantly from about $3 to $3.30 a gallon on Wednesday...
Futures prices down, wholesale prices way up, because of Hurricane Ike.

Which means:

"You might see an extraordinary thing -- you may see crude oil less than $100 and retail gasoline more than $4 a gallon."

A little bipartisan 9/11 back-slapping

Illusory Tenant writes today:

Every once in awhile we need to be reminded that there are thoughtful and even scholarly conservative Republicans, as opposed to the contingent of reactionary dimwits that populates the blogosphere and wake up every morning to go and genuflect before what Michelle Malkin commands them to be outraged about today.
I was thinking something very similar not too long ago. Except, of course, I was thinking “liberals and Democrats” instead of “conservative Republicans,” and “MSNBC and Michael Moore” instead of “Michelle Malkin.”

Say, when did Malkin become the ubercommandant? I thought we were still taking orders from Limbaugh.

Democrats Should Join Republicans to Pass Energy Solutions

In Remembrance

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Re: Okay, so I can’t resist the “lipstick on a pig” thing

My quick dialup limited comment on the latest problems OHno is having.

I am sympathetic to the idea OHno was not referring to either McCain or Palin but what goes around comes around. Pull out your electron scanning microscopes and you can see me playing a pity song on the world's smallest violin for OHno.

Van Hollen files suit against GAB

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen is suing the state's Government Accountability Board (GAB), because they've refused to comply with state and federal law regarding mailed-in voter registration forms.

From the press release:

In 2002, the United States Congress enacted the Help America Vote Act (HAVA)...Although Wisconsin was required to have its system in place no later than January 1, 2006, the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board did not have a functioning system until August of this year.

Had Wisconsin complied with the HAVA deadline, new voters who registered by mail since January 1, 2006 would have been subject to a “HAVA check” to ensure that the information they provided to election officials matched the information in other public databases...

In the legal action I filed today, I outline my concern that the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board...has refused to run HAVA checks on voter registrations received prior to August 6, 2008. This means that the statewide computerized voter registration list required by HAVA includes thousands, if not tens of thousands, of names whose information has not been verified through the HAVA checks mandated by Congress and required by state law.

Unless action is taken by the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board, these names will remain on the list during the November 4, 2008 presidential election and there is a significant risk, if not a certainty, that unlawful votes will be cast and counted.

Make no mistake, HAVA disenfranchises no one and protects the right to vote. Law contains numerous safeguards to ensure that every qualified voter may cast a ballot on Election Day. HAVA checks are an important safeguard – one mandated by Congress and state law – to help make sure those lawful votes are not diluted by unlawful votes.
Here's the whole release.

It seems unlikely that this could move through the courts fast enough to beat the November election, unless the court and the GAB really put their backs into it and both sides agreed not to appeal.

Thus, expect the other side to call this a pre-emptive attempt to erode public faith in the outcome. To delegitimize the pending Obama victory in Wisconsin.

Of course, finding out after the fact that ballots were cast illegally is even more likely to delegitimize it, but as long as Democrats get their guy sworn in, they don't really care where the votes came from.

GAB did begin checking mailed registrations on August 6 of this year. A few weeks later, those checks showed that 22% of nearly 20,000 registration forms didn't match driver's license and social security records.

Now, those could have been (and probably were) clerical errors or some such, but unless we're checking, we can never really know. We can know that this is an easily-exploitable hole in state elections law.

Good for JB.

Okay, so I can’t resist the “lipstick on a pig” thing

Here’s the story from ABC’s Jake Tapper (via HotAir, via Charlie):

"You know, you can put lipstick on a pig," Obama said, "but it's still a pig."

The crowd rose and applauded, some of them no doubt thinking he may have been alluding to Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin's ad lib during her vice presidential nomination acceptance speech last week, "What's the difference between a hockey mom and a pit bull? Lipstick."
The McCain campaign called it a smear, and the blogosphere is in full uproar mode.

At least, the few small corners I’ve been to today are.

Anyway. Ann Althouse says it’s nothing (although she parses it further). Sean Hackbarth also says it’s nothing.

I’m perfectly willing to go along with that, simply because the obsessive/compulsive political drive to pick at every little thing; every statement; every action; every word and syllable, both said and not said, drives me NUTS.

So: fine. The great orator didn’t mean to reference the Republican V.P. candidate when he invoked the subject noun from one of the best-remembered, most oft-repeated phrases from her convention speech. It just totally happened by accident, man. Went right over his head.


Then he’s got to tell N.Y. Governor David Paterson to shut up (via Bruce at Badger Blogger):

“There are overtones of potential racial coding in the campaign,” Paterson said at an event in New York City.

Paterson said that while Republican candidates John McCain and Sarah Palin haven’t directly talked about race, it’s strongly implied in comments Alaska Gov. Palin and others have made about Obama. McCain’s camp said Paterson’s claim is false.

“The Republican party is too smart to call Barack Obama ‘black’ in a sense that it would be a negative,” Paterson said. “But you can take something about his life, which I noticed they did at the Republican convention. A ‘community organizer,’ they kept saying it, they kept laughing, like what does this mean?”
You don’t want us digging for “code,” then you don’t do it, either.

And one more thing: timely as always, Ed Garvey repeated the entirely debunked smear that Sarah Palin made a list of books to be banned from the Wasilla, Alaska library.

The internet moves fast, Ed. A word of advice: Snopes.