October 31, 2008
Ya just never know
Elizabeth Dole, yes, wife of the former presidential nominee, put a TV spot on the air that rivals the dirty tricks of Judge Gableman in his campaign to unseat Justice Butler. Not race-based, but an accusation that her opponent is an atheist! Tough stuff in North Carolina. Too bad we can't add "game misconduct" to our political system. Some of this crap should disqualify the candidate, First Amendment notwithstanding.
Polls remain steady for Obama. Tracking 50-43; in Colorado, 53 to 45; Pennsylvania 53-42; Virginia 53-44; Ohio 51-47.
Unless something dramatic happens...
Hooray for EXXON and a hearty congratulations from a grateful nation. The oil giant broke all records with a third quarter profit of $14.83 Billion! When your heating bills climb this winter, drop a thank you note to EXXON.
You hear the darnedest things in Madison. Last night I herd that Kohl and Feingold are soon going to endorse Obama. And Jim Doyle is back. He is mad as hell about Van Hollen sending DCI agents and lawyers to polling places without authority to do so and absent any plan of action to "stop fraud." Doyle said, "The Van Hollen plan [if he has one] is another part of the Republican strategy that is directed to trying to raise questions about the vote."
My question: Will voters be "warned" that cops will be at the polls to catch people with unpaid traffic tickets or some other matter? It is painfully obvious that Van Hollen paid no attention to the decision by Judge Sumi. His attitude seems to be, Attorney General over all of us. Dave Zweifel hit the nail on the head in the Cap Times.
October 30, 2008
Speaking of rogues
McCain insiders have labeled Governor Palin "a rogue" because she is looking out for Palin not McCain. (They like labels. Let me see. Obama is a socialist or a Marxist who pals around with '60's terrorists. Good Lord, could we vote early?)
Well, Wisconsin, we have a rogue Attorney General. Yup, right here in Madison we have an AG who is out to make a name for himself by holding down voter turnout in Wisconsin and damn the consequences. Normally we think of the AG as the constitutional officer who protects the franchise. Van Hollen. "People's Lawyer"? Nope.
Just a week ago, JB worked with the Republican Party in a desperate effort to use so-called HAVA mismatches to deny the right of 20% of Badgers to have their vote counted. He lost. Had he succeeded, Wisconsin might be a "toss up" today. The Republican Party lost. And, the Ohio GOP lost at the Supreme Court level on the same issue.
JB never appeared in court. (He is like the guy who got drunk and then challenged a fellow drinker to a duel the next morning. He woke, splashed water in his face, and decided he was not ready to die. So, he sent a note--"I'm running late. Start without me." JB hasn't appealed the decision of Judge Sumi. Instead, he secretly moved forward with Plan B. And, the envelope please! He quietly "trained" DCI agents and some of his Assistant Attorneys General "on election law fraud" and will send 50 of them to look for fraud.
Unable to uncover fraud in Wisconsin after searching for two years, unable to use typos to challenge voters, JB is apparently convinced that his "fraud-finders" can't find fraud, they will protect the rule of law by scaring people. The DCI should look into fraud in the Attorney General's office before catching the bus to Milwaukee.
Five more days. Five.
October 29, 2008
J.B. to Alaska?
Few in the courtroom in Madison last Friday could accept the idea that the Attorney General, J.B. Van Hollen, could remain co-chair of the Wisconsin McCain-Palin campaign, while bringing suit against his client, the GAB, that could well have disqualified 20 percent of Wisconsin voters. Not just any 20 percent. Those living in Mequon, Oconomowoc, and Brookfield had nothing to fear. The Judge knew who was at risk as she recalled the turmoil that preceded the Voting Rights Act of 1965.
One of Van Hollen's lawyers, from the GOP's favorite law firm, tried his best to scold the defendants. He said they should stop saying that the Van Hollen decision to sue was driven by partisan politics. Imagine that? "There's gambling at Leroy's Café."
Voilà! Van Hollen has an opportunity to prove that he is non-partisan. That he really cares who is allowed to vote. As you know, Senator Ted Stevens was convicted of seven felonies. Alaska denies voting rights to people convicted of felonies involving "moral turpitude." Now, could it be that the McCain campaign will file a motion to disqualify Senator Stevens from voting? I think Van Hollen should go to Alaska and bring suit to stop Stevens from voting. J.B. was afraid to go to St. Paul for the Republican National Convention, so Alaska might traumatize him. But if he pulls himself together...he could show that even wealthy felons should not vote. Ah, consistency has its virtues.
Mad as hell! Can you believe it? Paulson and the Congress did not insist that the banks actually use the bailout money for loans? The NYT reports that JP Morgan would use the money to buy other banks or, as a backstop in case the recession turns into a depression.
Solutions requested. Why not have the bankers sent to Gitmo until they start lending money? As for Paulson? Just get him out of there.
World Series. What in the hell is going on? I suspect McCain is in charge.
October 28, 2008
One week from today a record number of Badgers will vote. While it looks like a lock for one of the two, no one seems to be making predictions. "Why jinx it," asked one friend. Others, in a voice just above a whisper ask, "You think it is OK don't you?" One more week.
Ted Stevens found guilty: I guess no one will be reaching across the isle to shake hands with the longest-serving Republican bully, Alaska's own Ted Stevens. What else could go wrong for McCain? He is behind, needs good news, lots of news, and the gods are not cooperating. Colin Powell, Palin's wardrobe,
McCain's inner-circle calling her a "diva" and a "rogue" while Elizabeth Hasselbeck thinks she is just fine. And then Ted Stevens takes the stand in his own defense asking the jury to believe that he thought his wife, not a lobbyist, was paying for doubling the size of their "cottage." As my friend Dan Jiggetts used to say, "I was born at night but not last night." Neither was the jury.
Where is Russ? Recall McCain-Feingold? Two Senators worked the Senate for campaign reform albeit mild reform. But Russ has given a pass to Obama for not taking public funding, and he has remained silent as McCain has made Atwater and Rove look like guys committed to fair play. And Herb Kohl?
Words you thought you would never hear. Alan Greenspan said his "world view" was "wrong." Not much solace to thousands who have lost their homes because he believed that unregulated banks would work toward social good, but music nevertheless. Egad! Nationalized banks. Greenspan admits he was wrong. Capitalists need supervision/regulation. What's next? Cheney giving back the Halliburton profits made on no-bid contracts? W. saying Gitmo was a bad idea?
Justice Gableman to face the music for his false TV spot. His campaign consultant (who is paying his fee?) Darrin Schmitz, claims the First Amendment protects Gableman. Steven Gillers of NYU law school countered, "There's no First Amendment right to lie to voters in a contested election." (Recall Lassa and Rongstad?)
Yes, there will be plenty to do after November 4.
October 27, 2008
Buckle your seat belt
It seems like it cannot get nastier, but just wait.
Start with a question to Joe Biden in Florida: "Is Obama a Marxist?" Biden, appropriately, laughed and asked her if that was a real question. Whoa Nelly! A Marxist? C'mon. Does he beat his wife?
Second item of note. Elizabeth Hasselbeck says comments about Palin's clothing bill--$150,000--are sexist. I suppose. Doesn't everyone spend a couple hundred grand every month on clothes? Men just don't understand.
Ohio a distraction? If McCain wins Ohio and Pennsylvania, he has a chance, unless Barack carries Florida or Virginia, yada yada.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel has endorsed Obama. The Green Bay Press Gazette urged voters to keep focusing on the Packers, but if they feel compelled to vote to go for McCain/Favre.
October 26, 2008
She's gone rogue on us!
You know things are not going well on a campaign when staff members and consultants lash out at one another, but that is what is happening in McCainville. The latest blast accuses Palin of "Going Rogue" on McCain. Surprise, surprise--Palin is looking to her future and not McCain's. We all thought that McCain might go postal, but for his VP candidate, plucked from nowhere, given staff and a wardrobe that boggles the mind, and instant fame, to bite the hand that feeds her is more than a tad annoying to the McCain loyalists.
You know it is not going well when a Web site linked to Al Qaeda, supports McCain because he will make recruiting easier for them. You know it ain't going well when SNL turns a campaign on its ear by having Tina Fey look more "presidential" than the Republican nominee.
Back to Van Hollen: The idea of the Wisconsin attorney general acting as campaign co-chair of the McCain campaign in Wisconsin is disturbing on it's own, but to lob fat into the HAVA fire from the office of the attorney general shocks all of us.
I didn't know Bob Warren, a Republican elected attorney general, but I feel safe in asserting he would not have done it. I knew Don Hanaway, another Republican AG, I worked for Bronson La Follette, supported Jim Doyle and Peg Lautenslager. I can say with confidence none of them would have done what Van Hollen did in working with the Republican Party to eliminate thousands of voters on November 4 with no evidence of substantial fraud, no supporting state statute, no support from HAVA. Judge Sumi, quoting Justice Crooks, "It is evident, noting Wisconsin's proud history of protecting the right to vote, that this court has consistently placed a premium on giving effect to the will of the voter." Amen.
Place yourself in the courtroom. At one table--the law firm representing the Republican Party, working with the Assistant Attorneys General in hushed tones. At the other table, the GAB, the Democratic Party, Madison and AFT teachers. Where would you sit?
Think about it. Van Hollen stayed far from the courthouse, leaving his employees to take the hit. But he did send a letter to Mark Pocan and Mark Miller justifying this dangerous lawsuit. "Your accusation that this suit appears to be motivated by partisan political purposes" but it is not. I'm not making this up, he adds, "It is my job to enforce the law as it is written, not calculate what political party might benefit from having the law followed in Wisconsin." Whoa Nelly! If true, why did your lawyers meet with the Republican Party lawyers before the suit was filed? C'mon.
Special kudos to the lawyers who put in a tremendous amount of work to protect Wisconsin's tradition of honoring the franchise. For the GAB, Lester Pines and Tamara Packard, a superb job of lawyering. For Madison Teachers, Firefighters and AFT-Wisconsin, a terrific job by Christa Westerberg and Dave Bender. And the NAACP and Milwaukee Teachers played an important role through attorney Richard Saks. Matt O'Neill did a superb job as well for the Democratic Party.
It was fun to watch the lawyers on the side of the voters coordinate their efforts. Well done, well done!
October 24, 2008
Cheers for the voters!
In a crowded court room in Madison yesterday, union officials, lawyers, professors, Madison teachers, members of NAACP, firefighters, activists, voters, and reporters waited anxiously to hear the decision of Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi in the Van Hollen case. It was a thrill just to be in the courtroom. This was an important day in Wisconsin's progressive history.
Leading up to this day, Florida in 2000, taught the nation that it is not only important to vote, it is vitally important to know who counts the votes. And in the Supreme Court decision in Bush v. Gore, we all learned that the courts play an incredibly important role.
Ohio four years ago disgraced the state and the nation when a partisan Secretary of State, the chair of the Bush-Cheney campaign, made voting for minorities a nightmare. Many believe that he delivered Ohio to Bush-Cheney. Thousands of uncounted votes remain in Ohio.
Would Wisconsin become the Florida or Ohio in 2008? Would a partisan effort to limit voting in certain areas deliver the state's electoral votes to John McCain or would all votes be counted? Would the co-chair of the McCain-Palin campaign, Wisconsin's Attorney General, be the Ken Blackwell this election?
Got to give them A for effort. The Wisconsin GOP pushed for photo-ID and the pushed to force all voters have an error-free record of address, spelling of their names, etc. They called it the HAVA check. Had they prevailed yesterday tens of thousands of voters would have been challenged by the Republican operatives, and forced to cast a "provisional" ballot that would most likely not be counted. All challenged voters would be "flagged on election day."
(We have posted the transcript of Judge Sumi's decision and her order on our Documents page. Take some time and read it. See if you, like one of the lawyers in court, feel a tear or two.)
As you know, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled last week that the Ohio Republican Party could not challenge voters under HAVA. (Read that as well in Documents.)
The Wisconsin GOP, coordinating with Van Hollen's team, took the Supreme Court decision in stride--In its brief, the GOP of Wisconsin, suggested that at least Judge Sumi permit challenges "where there is knowledge that criminal activity has taken place." Guess where they were going with that bogus nonsense. Yes indeed--right to the minority community in Milwaukee. ("Have you no sense of shame, sir" comes to mind.)
I will do another blog on the attorneys and defendants who made us proud yesterday. Meanwhile, go to Documents and do your homework.
October 23, 2008
Polls and more polls
I wrote a cautionary note about polls not too long ago and several political science folks jumped down my throat. Well, yesterday was proof that caution is called for as we move at snail-pace toward Election Day. A breathless friend called: "It is a tie; a new poll has Obama and McCain 1 percent apart." Cognitive dissonance. All the polls are in the other direction, so if Johnny is not marching to the tune the others hear it might be Johnny's fault. If no other polls see what AP sees...draw your own conclusion.
AP explained a surge for McCain based on his strong performance in the third debate. I'm not kidding. You know, the one the pollsters told us was won hands down by Barack.
Who knows? So, I got up an hour early to check the CNN tracking poll, the McClatchy poll, The Pew Center, Washington Post, yada, yada.
All of them show a substantial and growing lead for Obama nationally and also in the battleground states. Check this AP: Pew 52-38; CNN 51-42; ABC 54-43 in 16 battleground states. Why is his lead growing? Palin is now at 49 percent unfavorable and 41 percent doubt McCain's judgment--many because of his selection of Palin.
And 31 percent say they will vote early compared with 19 percent in 2004. Of those who have voted early, 58 percent say they are for Obama, and 34 percent for McCain.
So, we can't ignore polls but caution is required. The good news is that name-calling seems to be backfiring. What will campaign consultants do if they are forced to be positive?
Gableman: Look for a new panel to hear misconduct charges for his TV spot aimed at Justice Butler. It was reported that one of the appointees to the three-judge panel sat on a State Bar Committee that found the ad "offensive and misleading." No doubt about it. A new panel will be named. Voters will be watching carefully.
October 22, 2008
As if Sarah Palin's irresponsible rhetoric were not enough to pull down the ticket, calling Obama a Socialist, now we learn that she charged Alaska for her daughters to travel with her. I'm not making this up. Alaska pays for family members if they are attending a function for the official family. It is reported today that the gov, after McCain selected her, revised her travel reports to justify $21,000 in expenses by claiming after the fact that her 7 year-old and the two other daughters were attending official events.
No point in commenting on her Dan Quayle moment--you saw that!
Hearing on Van Hollen's lawsuit tomorrow at 8:30 in Room 7 A in the Dane County Courthouse.
Obama seems to gain strength every time McCain or loopy Congressmen attack him. He is an Arab, a Muslim, a Socialist, communist, and an inexperienced liar who will raise your taxes. Still up by 10 in the polls? Keep slinging John!
October 21, 2008
Yes, but do they like her?
Sarah Palin, understudy for SNL's Tina Fey, and McCain's impetuous pick for VP, is not helping John McCain. A CBS/NYT poll today tells us 41 percent have an unfavorable view of her. (For comparative purposes, 33 percent have unfavorable view of Barack Obama; McCain is at 45 percent; and Biden is 50 percent favorable and only 14 percent unfavorable.) The debates helped Obama; McCain, not so much--not even Joe the Plumber could pull him up.
Doyle, WMC and EPA: WMC asked the governor to do it and he did. Governor Doyle told EPA that the six counties are in compliance with new standards, but they are not. Explanation--they will be in the future. WMC is happy, Sierra Club not happy--"The governor is playing a guessing game with the health of Wisconsin residents," Sierra Club said. As for WMC: "We are very grateful." I'll bet.
October 20, 2008
The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, L.A. Times and yes, Wisconsin State Journal have endorsed Barack Obama. Does it matter? Yes, indeed. An endorsement may not deliver votes, but it impacts the morale of the candidates and their staffs. (Even if you know you can't get the endorsement from a paper, you try.)
Then there is the Colin Powell endorsement. He kicked McCain in the rear-end for his shameful effort to paint Obama as a terrorist. That, in my view, is why he opted to endorse a Democrat. Was it important? You bet it was, and today McCain must be asking himself how in the world he chose Palin. Stupid!
Obama could do worse than just buying time to show the Powell endorsement again and again. He hit a grand-slam, bottom of the 8th home run. Powell addressed the Supreme Court, the right-wing control of his party, and Obama as a bright, thoughtful Commander-in-Chief. Wow!
More endorsements will be announced, some very important ones, but none more important or impactful than General Powell's.
October 19, 2008
The editorial in today's Journal-Sentinel is called, "Ahem. It's called lying." The Gableman ad, attacking Louis Butler "was was a lie. And a race-baiting lie, at that." Should all be forgiven? No and hell no. "At the very least Gableman will deserve a suspension without pay."
Tom Bradley? The cable guys, ignoring the victories by Obama in primary after primary, keep assuring us that white racists will defeat Obama. "The Bradley effect." I have a different feeling. I think there will be a huge reverse effect among white voters. OK, some could never vote for a black man. But in 1961, when I attended my first SNCC meeting, no one would have believed a black man could ever vote in Mississippi let alone put together the best campaign for president in history.
Blacks vote and hold office all over this country--this is too easy. Forget Tom Bradley--this is Barack Obama. I sense a desire to turn the page.
Nader: Like most everyone else, we at FightingBob.com have focused on Obama and McCain. Ralph spoke at Bob Fest, and Friday night at the Barrymore in Madison Amy Goodman and Jeremy Scahill articulated why his candidacy helps all of us.
October 18, 2008
We grimaced when the Ohio Secretary of State appealed to the U.S. Supreme Court, but guess what. The Court had little trouble reversing the bizarre 6th Circuit decision that would have set up Ohio for a repeat of 2004. At least 200,000 Ohio voters would have been challenged and forced to vote a provisional ballot that would never be counted. But the Court did the right thing and gave hope to all of us that this election "might" be conducted fairly. Meanwhile, the Ohio GOP has now taken the fight to the Ohio Supreme Court. Briefs due next Friday.
More good news--this time from Wisconsin's Government Accountabililty Board (GAB). "In the opinion of the GAB is the fact of a HAVA mismatch sufficient grounds to disqualify an elector...the Board's answer is an unqualified no." And, it gets better. "A mismatch is not sufficient grounds for a challenge." Sigh of relief.
Don't drink the good stuff yet because the Van Hollen case is still pending. But the weekend will be more fun.
October 17, 2008
The privatizers in Milwaukee, led by Foley & Lardner, were hell-bent on taking over the great public museum of natural history on their way to privatizing the zoo, Mitchell Field, the highways and, one imagines, the sidewalks. The Milwaukee County Board was assured that (I'm not making this up) wealthy contributors would give more to a privatized museum than they would to the "public" museum. Evidence? Who needs it.
You know the rest of the story--the County Board gave them permission and they put the museum on the edge of destruction. The private museum went through the reserve funds like a hot knife through butter; the board fell asleep, they canned valuable staff; it barely survived. Imagine what would happen to Mitchell Airport!
Why bring up this sorry deal? Well, the museum, still inappropriately called The Public Museum, has an appropriate exhibit that will remind all of us about this sorry episode. Yes, "The Titanic" is on exhibit.
Campaign: The end is in sight. Apparently, Wisconsin and Maine are no longer potential McCain states. The RNC pulled out of both states. Obama's lead is "comfortable" in Iowa, New Mexico, Michigan, and Virginia. If so, lookout McCain!
Ominous signs however--the GOP is still trying to disenfranchise thousands of voters in Wisconsin and Ohio. And the GOP chair in Michigan is hoping for "some kind of outside game-changer." Whoa Nelly. Seen Cheney lately? Bomb, bomb, bomb...
Supreme Court shenanigans? Don't go to sleep now.
October 16, 2008
Joe the what?
Where and when did we lose "Joe Six-Pack"? Of all the consultant-driven ideas, this was the whopper. McCain, stung by Obama's assertion that in debates one and two he never mentioned the middle-class, reached for the plunger last night and it didn't work. No one could follow the bouncing ball over middle-class Joe from Ohio's insurance needs. And poor "John the politician" couldn't figure out why he introduced us to his plumber, and proved with his nutty ending, "You are wealthy Joe!" Good Lord, on a day when our pensions all but disappeared with a 733 drop in the Dow, and John the pol and Cindy are trying to identify with Joe...Yikes!
Who won? Silly question. John the tightly-wound politician looked like he might blow at any moment. He went into the debate with more advice than prep time or ideas and emerged as a guy you almost feel sorry for. His performance was a flop. The talking heads did their best immediately after the debate ended to assure us that "this was John's best debate," but they looked crestfallen when the CNN poll results were announced and Obama was the clear "winner."
Obama went in with an almost unbelievable lead and McCain was told he had to "kick his rear-end" as reported in the media, to get back in the game. Bottom of the ninth, two out, behind 8-1, and someone yells, "We are gonna kick your butts." Yah, sure, Ole. (The crowd left Camp Randall early when Penn State had cinched the deal. McCain knows how the Badgers felt.)
The word is that the Republican National Committee is pulling TV spots in Wisconsin to fight for the "red states" of North Carolina, Indiana, and...well just about all of them outside the solid South.
Worst moment of the debate? John the politician condemning John Lewis. John, you know what Palin was saying and doing. It was dangerous and should not be tolerated. Lewis doesn't need a lecture from you.
It ain't over, but you can bet McCain won't be asking for more debates.
October 15, 2008
I was really worried. No, not about Sarah Palin or Tina Fey. Not about the upcoming debate or the so-called Bradley effect. Not even upset that the National Review fired Chris Buckley, the son of the founder, after he announced he would vote for Obama.
I was worried about the bankers who worked so hard to get us out of the mess they created. My heart goes out to these guys. There is good news. "Banks' Bailout Unlikely To Crimp Executive Pay" was the headline in the NYT Business section.
"No heads will roll and no banking executives are likely to go hungry," thank God. Whew! Yet it is not all good news because there are restrictions on pay and golden parachutes.
Here is that socialist Paulson's notion of fair play. If one of the top five bank officers gets more than $500,000 per year, the bank will be forced by that nasty federal government to pay higher taxes. C'mon! Half a million doesn't even get you into John McCain's middle class. Stop the discrimination now. Seems to me an easier way is to demand that the top pay cannot exceed the teller's pay by more than five to one.
If you believe that Barack is 17 or 18 points ahead in Wisconsin, I have some Florida real estate to sell you sight unseen. No one carries the state of Sensenbrenner, Ryan and Petri by 17 percent, so buckle your seatbelt for the next poll that will begin, "McCain narrowed the gap dramatically following the debate and is now within reach of Obama."
The best news? It appears that the vicious attacks on Obama have back-fired. Could we be entering the land of civility?
Out of five million Badgers, three (3) are accused of voter fraud! Call out the National Guard? Perhaps. But a better thought is out there somewhere.
October 14, 2008
Why don't we drink the good stuff?
On our trip back to Madison, the CNN screen in the Detroit airport had a giddy Wolf Blitzer yelling the news that the Dow was up 935 points. Good news for millions of Americans, but we did not pour the champagne. Sorry to say it, but McCain was off-track when he said "the fundamentals are good."
Oh yeah? Tell it to the GM workers who got their Christmas gift from GM that the last day for the plant, built in 1918, will be Christmas Eve Eve: 12-23-08. Remember the great party GM had for Roger Smith (Roger and Me) on our tab. As I recall Wisconsin's, Tommy Thompson gave GM $9 million in cash to keep Janesville open, and they turned around and had a $9 million retirement party for Smith. Whoa Nelly!
No, one good day, or even a good month, won't be enough to get the plant reopened.
GM knew the closing date. GM's lobbyist knew; the Governor and his staff knew; Congressman Ryan knew; but they all decided the workers should be the last to know. Almost everyone agreed, but Herb Kohl's office let the cat out of the bag and issued a news release. Here is what blows my cork: Everyone is mad at Herb for telling the workers, and the rest of us, a few days early. How about those who drove GM into the ditch and may end up in bankruptcy? Any thoughts about getting our money back?
Eyes on the prize, folks. The workers should have been told first. The workers should be involved with the governor in extending a hand. Don't get mad at Herb, for god's sake. Go rent Roger and Me and get angry at GM.
Weather forecast calls for nasty conditions as Election Day approaches, but the prize goes to the GOP chair in Virginia. He hollered to campaign volunteers something that might make Karl Rove blush. The NYT reports he linked Barack Obama and Osama bin Laden..I am not making this up. He said, "Both have friends that bombed the Pentagon. That's scary." Indeed it is! A spokesperson explained he was merely "quoting Rush Limbaugh."
October 8, 2008
Where did he go?
The debate was finished, Barack Obama and Michelle were shaking hands with the audience and enjoying the moment. Three people were missing on stage--John and Cindy McCain fled the scene. Their decision to cut and run immediately after the debate said about all one needed to determine the victor in last night's debate.
But there is more. "Pit bull Palin" was also nowhere to be seen or heard. After spreading poison during the day, questioning Obama's patriotism, she wisely decided that the most dangerous place in America was Nashville, where hundreds of reporters might ask her to back up her nonsense.
CNN poll: 54-30 for Obama; 40-26 Obama among uncommitted. And 100 percent of the talking heads said McCain failed to change the game--no knockout. He showed he is not as tough as Sarah.
Everything seems to be moving toward Barack, but a lot could change in 28 days. No one is claiming victory.
GABLEMAN: We have all heard that "justice delayed is justice denied," but it is still justice. Yesterday the judicial Commission gave a large dollop of delayed justice. Justice Gableman, WMC's candidate, "engaged in judicial misconduct" when he aired the TV spot, deeply rooted in racial demagoguery, suggesting that Justice Butler got a child molester out of prison and that he did it again! Problem: it didn't happen. "Gableman reviewed the ad before it ran." He intentionally ran a false accusation to bolster the unfair "loophole Louie moniker."
Gableman should resign but won't.
October 7, 2008
Go to your room!
Just about every kid has heard and heeded those words from a parent. And every parent has issued the ukase. Call it a "time out" or just a warning that the word uttered again might have serious consequences, but it was taken seriously. When I was a child it was, "Just wait until your father comes home!"
Someone needs to tell Sarah Palin to go to her room. Now that a majority of Americans say she is unqualified to be president, she has become the pit bull for Mr. Congeniality. CNN's poll reports Obama up by 8 (53-45)--poll of polls up by 7 (50-43). So the McCain campaign is out to destroy Obama. Will they succeed? Who knows-they got to Kerry and Dukakis.
The latest Palin attack? "Barack pals around with terrorists." Whoa Nelly! How does she know? She read it in the New York Times, and if you believe that I'll sell you some real estate in Ward 9 in New Orleans.
Will McCain attack Barack tonight "up close and personal"? Tune in and send us your score card.
Van Hollen vs. GAB: Briefs by Madison teachers and Firefighters; Democratic Party; GAB; and Friends of the court will be posted here today. Makes for good reading. What is at stake? Just the right to vote and have it counted. A minor matter.
Sunday, WSJ Editor Ellen Foley wrote good-byes to five WSJ reporters and Monday she said good-bye on her own. What's going on?
MJS: Journal Sentinel has not reported on how much it was paid to distribute the anti-Muslim hate piece "Obsession." St. Louis Post Dispatch refused to distribute it. Good for them.
October 6, 2008
A month of hate?
Karl Rove, the evil one, predicted yesterday that if the election were held today Barack would win by a handful of votes. Is Rove giving up? Is he ready for prison? I don't think so. He is, rather, moving to the Swift boat phase of the campaign. McCain's spokesman said that "this is not a campaign of issues."
If not a campaign of issues, what is it? Slurs, guilt by association, and hate? I'm afraid so. Sarah Palin found her voice the other day--she attacked Obama for things that happened when he was 8! Whoa Nelly! (Doncha wonder, Sarah, what he did at Scout camp?)
Then there is the distribution of a DVD, "Obsession" to 28 million homes in Sunday's newspapers. Cost? About 25-50 million dollars. Who arranged this? It is a classic hate piece: "Radical Islam's War Against the West." Who is a Muslim? Well, the below-the-radar claim is that Obama is not a Christian--he is a Muslim! How much did the JS and WSJ make by distributing this awful DVD?
With Obama moving ahead in key states--Florida, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Ohio--it is time for General Rove to move into the pilot's seat. Look out! Remember Swift boat paid for by Mr. "Alternative fuels" T. Boone Pickens? Get ready for another one or two or three.
Rove is simply reminding the base that they stole it in 2000 and 2004, why not 2008? Buck up boys! Send your money.
Think about the Van Hollen suit against his client the GAB. Could he disenfranchise 100,000 people in targeted areas and deliver Wisconsin to McCain? Worth a try, apparently. (He is the co-chair of the McCain campaign and the only editorial board I know about calling him out on this conflict, is not the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel or the Wisconsin State Journal, no, only the La Crosse Tribune.)
Does Van Hollen's conflict pass the smell test?Apparently the prestigious Brennan Center for Justice is suspicious. The Brennan Center will ask Judge Sumi for permission to file a friend of the court brief in opposition to Van Hollen's suit. Welcome aboard!
So, a month of hate will dominate the campaign. Does anyone remember when this was a democracy?
October 5, 2008
Tina Fey 3 Palin 0
SNL did it again. Tina Fey is so good playing Palin I suspect the McCain campaign may put her on the ticket. Great job showing how Ms. Congeniality won the beauty contest but lost the spelling bee. The difference is Fey seems bright and Palin doesn't know she is part of a spoof.
Palin has been given a new role. She has been given the Joe McCarthy, Lee Atwater, Karl Rove "guilt by association" mantle. Heavy, but to an old moose dresser it is tolerable.
She is on the Ayers kick that has gone nowhere for good reason. Sun-Times, New Yorker, New Republic, and Washington Post all say the association with Ayers when Barack was eight is nuts. As for adult contact, must we all search our memory bank to make sure everyone we marched with has a flag lapel pin?
A GOP operative told CNN, "There's no question that we must change the subject." From? The economy, Afghanistan, Mr. Cranky, the economy, Michigan, the economy, Palin's inadequacy, the economy, and the cost of the occupation of Iraq. Did I mention the economy?
McCain losing in New Hampshire, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida. Change the subject indeed.
Cubs: Sorry Cubs fans. Come cheer for the Brewers today.
October 4, 2008
What were you thinking when you were 8?
Now we know! Barack Obama was already a threat to the established order at the tender age of eight!
That year, Bill Ayers, founder of a radical anti-war organization, must have recognized Obama's potential. (I can't figure out the role of an 8-year-old in his plot, but Karl Rove, Rush, and Charlie Sykes will fill in the blanks. Just you wait or, as Sarah would say, you betcha! (Read the NYT story.)
Some cynics might think that the relationship between Ayers and Obama is a hot topic today because Mccain has ceded Michigan, is behind in Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Florida. Desperate times for grumpy McCain, so pull out the smears.
But this story is something. Mayor Daley, yes the son of The Boss, says, "He's done a lot of good in this city and nationally." But Ayers did help raise money from Dick Nixon's pal, Walter Annenberg. Obama was chair of the six-member board that made sure the money was spent responsibly. Do we think Barack was involved in Watergate as well?
And, OMG, Obama got to know the president of the Joyce Foundation in Chicago. Imagine that!
Like many anti-war students, Ayers was a child of comfort. His father was CEO of Commonwealth Edison in Chicago. He has become a respected expert on education. But the facts won't interfere with the McCain campaign's smear. Get ready.
Four more weeks.
October 3, 2008
Woke up, read my initial take on the debate, and opted to start over. I was angry last night, but should have just scratched my head and gone to bed. Brewers lost, Cubs lost, Biden won, our political system lost.
The idea that a person with no understanding of our political system could be on stage and could become our president is scary. A CBS poll of uncommitted voters who watched, broke as follows: 46 percent Biden the victor over 21 percent for Palin. I guess that proves that meaningless chatter, with winks and nods, is not the winning ticket. I doubt if the debate changed anything. Back to McCain and Obama.
Her only new idea? Expand the role of the vice-president in the Senate! Yikes, her model is Dick Cheney. (Time for John Nichols to re-issue his book on Dick.)
With the news that McCain is conceding Michigan, and that Barack has a solid 5-9 point lead nationally, it is possible we could have a clean election!
Off to Joy Cardin's Week in Review.
J.B. Van Hollen: The Brennan Center for Justice, The Campaign Legal Center, Fair Elections Wisconsin, and the Lawyer's Committee for Civil Rights Under Law intend "to file a motion on Monday to ask permission to participate" as a friend of the court (amici Curiae) in the Van hollen v. GAB suit.
October 2, 2008
Why am I so angry?
Biden did just fine. He looks like a president and sounds like one, and he won the debate. She should not be on the stage at all, but certainly not winking, parading around with her Down syndrome child and sporting a smile bordering on a derisive laugh as she pulled out the "white flag" nonsense. We worried that Biden would not show respect toward her, but she was the one showing no respect to Biden and to us.
Our country faces enormous challenges and we get a happy puppet. Jaysus. Howard Cosell used to say, "You deserve whatever you get." I disagree: We don't deserve Sarah Palin.
The only way the talking heads on CNN and MSNBC will give Biden a passing grade after the debate tonight is to play dumb as a rock so no one accuses Joe of bullying the most ridiculous choice for Vice President in our history. (And my parents worried that Harry Truman wasn't ready!)
She reads whatever newspaper or magazine is in front of her (Mother Jones perhaps); can't think of a Supreme Court decision other than--you know which one; said, "thanks but no thanks to the bridge to nowhere" but, of course didn't really say that; brags about a pipeline that will never be constructed. This debate is, in a word, silly. Memo to Biden: Yes, be respectful, but when the ball comes over the plate hit the damned thing out of the park.
Her support among women is down to 30 percent--Bush territory.
WSJ excited: Madison's morning paper is all a twitter. Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, came to town and he agrees with WSJ that state Supreme Court justices should be appointed rather than elected. (He would have an "independent committee" appoint. Relax: no riff-raff need apply. Serious and wealthy lawyers and captains of industry will do the selecting. A WSJ editor perhaps. How would they do? Check out Wall Street and the U.S. Supreme Court for guidance.) Thanks, Bob. Got any advice while WSJ tinkers with the Constitution? Our Chief Justice is next on the WMC (Captains of Industry) list.
Dane County Circuit Judge Sumi will hear from Milwaukee Teachers and NAACP this morning. The question: Should they be permitted to intervene in the Van Hollen suit? (Update--Good news: motions granted so Milwaukee Teachers and Milwaukee NAACP join MTI, Madison Firefighters, and AFT-Wisconsin as party defendants.)
I'm on Joy Cardin's show tomorrow at 8:00 a.m., and might not even mention Fighting Bob Fest. On the other hand...
Joe Lieberman and Herb Kohl voted yea to the bailout. Bernie Sanders and Russ voted no.
October 1, 2008
Our attorney general
J.B. Van Hollen keeps reminding us that he should not be the People's Lawyer because, well, he isn't. He wanted to go to the Republican National Convention but he paid no attention to FDR's lecture that "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself." J.B. thought it would be risky to go to crime-ravaged St. Paul, Minnesota, without DCI agents at his side. (I'll bet he can't field dress a moose.)
Someone blew the whistle and J.B. looked like the 98-pound weakling in the old comic books. With everyone watching, he opted to go without DCI and apparently let his staff know that tattling on the boss is not a good idea. He demoted the whistle-blower and there is probable cause to believe her demotion was the direct result of letting the taxpayers in on his little secret. Shame on you, J.B. Shame on you.
J.B. continues as co-chair of the McCain-Palin Wisconsin campaign despite evidence of shenanigans in sending out absentee ballots to voters with the wrong address. Did he know about this dirty trick? Does he now? His legal team met with the GOP's favorite law firm, Michael, Best, and then filed his lawsuit. Not good.
Cheer for Yovani Gallardo today. GO BREWERS!