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Archive for December, 2009

Favorite Picture I Took This Year

Sign Says it All

Originally uploaded by kevinbinversie

Took this in May during my time at the Heritage Foundation when they helped with a number of local DC parents, families, and children who were in the DC Opportunity Scholarship Program. Sadly, thanks to Democrats in Congress and the demands of the National Education Association, that program will lose its funding at the end of the 09-10 school year.

No one knows if the 3,300 kids currently in the program will be allowed to finish their education at the school of their parents’ choosing, or if they will be forced to return to the DC Public School system which has been called the deadliest, costliest, and most failing school system in the nation.

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That’s “Sir” Captain Picard

Admittedly, Mel Brooks first made him a King (Robin Hood: Men in Tights), but this is quite the honor nonetheless.

He has played kings, princes, captains and professors on stage and screen, but now actor Patrick Stewart will have a new title all his own: “Sir.”

The 69-year-old Yorkshire, England, native tops the list of those receiving New Year’s honors from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, the Cabinet Office announced Thursday.

Stewart, well-known for playing Capt. Jean-Luc Picard on “Star Trek: The Next Generation,” will receive a knighthood. It means he will now be known in Britain as “Sir Patrick.”

Others earning the honor of being made an Officer of the Order of the British Empire include an Formula-1 driver/owner and a couple which owns an Italian cafe in London.

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Cartoon of the Day

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He’s Back!

James “Beam Me Up” Traficant,” who last we heard was expelled from the House of Representatives and was serving time in a Federal Prison for taking bribes and having his aides do things at his farm in Ohio.  He was released in September, and has since then held a press conference or two, and now may try to run for Congress again.

Get the DVR ready if the people of Ohio send him back.

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio — Former U.S. Rep. James A. Traficant Jr. revved himself up in typical fashion, then eased off as he spoke for 30 minutes before quietly telling a new business networking group last night that he will indeed make a bid for Congress in 2010.

“I’m going to run,” Traficant declared before some 35 members of The Biz Society assembled at the Rosetta Stone restaurant downtown to launch the group’s Youngstown chapter.

Traficant said he still isn’t sure which district he’ll throw his hat in, but he has nominating petitions circulating in three congressional districts –the 17th, the 6th and the 16th. And, the former congressman noted he hasn’t decided on whether to run as a Democrat, a Republican, an independent, or perhaps on another party ticket.

“I’m going to run for Congress somewhere,” he said.

All three districts (6th, 16th, and 17th) are currently held by Democrats.  I don’t see any way in which Traficant runs as a Republican; if he’s running, he’s going to be some sort of third-party independent.

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Today’s Sign the End is Nigh

“Ed Gein: The Musical.”

(Yes, you read that right.)

APPLETON – The man who influenced characters in the movies Psycho and Silence of the Lambs is now going to be shown in musical form.

More than 50 years after Ed Gein brought the spotlight to Plainfield in Waushara County, a Fox Valley group is bringing back his story, with “Ed Gein, The Musical.” In addition to being convicted of murder, Gein was known for robbing graves and turned body parts into furniture, ornaments and clothing. Now, after eight months of production and a budget of nine thousand dollars, the movie is about to hit the big screen this Saturday.

“Everyone in Wisconsin seems to have an Ed Gein connection whether or not they’re true, often times they’re not,” said Steve Russell, the director of the film. “But he’s part of the folklore that is Wisconsin.”

Many opposed to the film want Gein’s story wiped from that folklore. Producers Dan Davies and Steve Russell received hate mail and death threats about the film. One woman wrote, “Why bring this trash back to the daily living of all of us? It was terrible when it occurred and it’s twice as bad now.”

“It’s polarizing, we either have people that say wow, this is really great or wow, we want you gone, dead,” said Davies, who also plays Ed Gein.

It’s a musical that will even include parodies of famous songs, which has some outraged.

“You know, it’s like people who laugh at a funeral,” said Will Keizer, who wrote much of the music. “Why do they do that? That seems so inappropriate. But sometimes we have to laugh at dark things to be able to understand them.”

The idea started as a short YouTube clip and evolved into a full feature film. Davies says he didn’t want to make fun of the lives that were lost but rather show how Gein was raised to be a monster.

The movie/musical makes its world premiere at a small theater in UW-Fox Valley just south of Appleton in Menasha.

One wonders if there’s a song about lamp or purse-making.

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The TV Ad Writes Itself

If Chris Dodd is still a Senator by next November, frankly I’m going to be surprised.  Rumblings all over the political tip sheets are that even Democrats in Connecticut are looking for someone to primary him or “Pull a Torch” so he can just be replaced on the ballot by someone less controversial.

Most of Dodd’s problems stem from his countless connects to the financial industry (He is Chairman of the Senate Banking Committee), his sweetheart loans from CountryWide Mortgage and other issues.

May well be time to add another problem.

Back in July, Senator Chris Dodd, D-Conn., proposed an amendment reducing aviation security appropriations by $4.5 million in favor of firefighter grants — a notoriously inneffective program. In fact, the money was specifically “for screening operations and the amount for explosives detection systems.” The amendment was also sponsored by Sen. Lieberman, D-Conn., and Sen. Carper, D-Del., but Dodd deserves to be singled out here because the firefighters union is a pet constituency of his.

I have a couple of friends working on different GOP Senatorial campaigns in the Nutmeg State.  They both must now be drooling to return to work when that little tidbit became news yesterday.

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Charlie Sheen’s Wife: “He Put a Knife to my Throat”

Hey, I’ve long thought the Sheens were crazy for sometime.

I still can’t think what possessed Martin Sheen to do “Spawn.” But it appears the crazy didn’t fall far from the tree.

DENVER — Charlie Sheen‘s wife told police the actor pinned her on a bed, put a knife to her throat and threatened to kill her in a Christmas Day fight in Aspen that began when she said she wanted a divorce.

An arrest warrant affidavit released yesterday quotes Brooke Mueller Sheen as saying that the actor straddled her on the bed with one hand grasping her neck and the other holding the knife. She said Sheen told her, “You better be in fear. If you tell anybody, I’ll kill you.”

He also warned, “Your mother’s money means nothing. I have ex-police I can hire who know how to get the job done and they won’t leave any trace,” according to the affidavit.

Sheen, 44, who was arrested for suspicion of menacing, assault and criminal mischief charges, denied threatening his wife with a knife or choking her.

Also yesterday, police released the 911 recordings of the woman identifying herself as Brooke. At one point she says, “I thought I was gonna die for one hour.”

TMZ has reported that Sheen’s wife has recanted much of her story and is no longer cooperating with the investigation.

This is the audio of the 911 call, it’s not making Sheen look at all like a good guy.

This is not Sheen’s first incident of violence with a woman.  In the early 90s he reported shot Kelly Preston by accident while the two were dating.  A year after that, she was married to John Travolta.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Coming Soon to a TV in Wisconsin Near You

(Via Politico)

Seems a liberal group believes they can convince Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold to either change the Senate Health Care Bill — the very one he just voted to pass — to include a public option in the Conference committee.

Wishful thinking is so nice when it’s liberals wasting money from TV ads on pipe dreams.

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Butler Nomination Returned to the White House

One of the boys at “Blogging Blue” is right upset about this, but often this stuff happens.  Not that it looks well for Louis Butler; he does after all have his position at the University of Wisconsin’s Law School.

No formal vote was taken, but the six nominees who were “returned to the White House” for reconsideration and possible renomination “ran into opposition,” said Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader  Harry Reid (D-Nev.).


The nominees rejected by the Senate were:

Dawn E. Johnsen: Assistant Attorney General for Office of Legal Counsel

Mary L. Smith: Assistant Attorney General for Tax Division

Christopher H. Schroeder: Assistant Attorney General for Legal Policy

Craig Becker: National Labor Relations Board board member

Edward Chen and Louis Butler, U.S. District Court nominees for California and Wisconsin, respectively, were also returned to the White House.

I personal love how the “Blogging Blue” guy is complaining about how Butler is being treated given the 12-7 partisan vote which cleared him in the Judiciary Committee.  Hate to say this, but just because someone clears a hurdle in the Senate — at any level — doesn’t mean jack.  Holds can happen for any reason (Just ask former Congressman Mark Green before he began his Ambassadorship,) and if that wasn’t going to happen on Loophole Louie, it’s likely Butler may have actually gone down in a full confirmation vote.

After all, if Louis Butler was rejected TWICE by the voters of Wisconsin, who’s the say the entire Senate wouldn’t have had due cause to reject him as well?

Now, it’s up to the Obama White House to decide what to do with the Louis Butler.  There are other fine, capable judges in Wisconsin, maybe they will be selected for the judgeship, or maybe Obama will renominated Butler.  Time will tell, until then we have another judge selection farce to watch in Wisconsin.

I hope to have more on that in coming days…

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