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Archive for February, 2010

Quote of the Day

From a great col­umn by Mark Steyn on the slow decent into fis­cal hell Amer­ica is work­ing its way towards; while at the same time, being given a sneak peak of things to come in places like Greece, and states like Cal­i­for­nia and New York.

Is that likely to hap­pen? At such moments, I like to mod­ify Ger­ald Ford. When seek­ing to ingra­ti­ate him­self with con­ser­v­a­tive audi­ences, Pres­i­dent Ford liked to say: “A gov­ern­ment big enough to give you every­thing you want is big enough to take away every­thing you have.” Which is true enough. But there’s an inter­me­di­ate stage: A gov­ern­ment big enough to give you every­thing you want isn’t big enough to get you to give any of it back. That’s the point Greece is at. Its social­ist gov­ern­ment has been forced into sup­port­ing a pack­age of aus­ter­ity mea­sures. The Greek people’s response is: Nuts to that. Public-sector work­ers have suc­ceeded in redefin­ing time itself: Every year, they receive 14 monthly pay­ments. You do the math. And for about seven months’ work: For many of them, the work day ends at 2:30 p.m. And, when they retire, they get 14 monthly pen­sion pay­ments. In other words: Eco­nomic real­ity is not my prob­lem. I want my ben­e­fits. And, if it bank­rupts the entire state a gen­er­a­tion from now, who cares as long as they keep the checks com­ing until I croak?

Greece sounds like an AFSCME wet dream.

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Pelosi to House Dems: “Be Prepared to Lose Your Jobs Over Health Care”

Funny, I know one in Apple­ton who looks more than will­ing to sac­ri­fice for the cause.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi urged her col­leagues to back a major over­haul of U.S. health care even if it threat­ens their polit­i­cal careers, a call to arms that under­scores the issue’s mas­sive role in this elec­tion year.

Law­mak­ers some­times must enact poli­cies that, even if unpop­u­lar at the moment, will help the pub­lic, Pelosi said in an inter­view being broad­cast Sun­day the ABC News pro­gram “This Week.“
“We’re not here just to self-perpetuate our ser­vice in Con­gress,” she said. “We’re here to do the job for the Amer­i­can people.”

It took courage for Con­gress to pass Social Secu­rity and Medicare, which even­tu­ally became highly pop­u­lar, she said, “and many of the same forces that were at work decades ago are at work again against this bill.”

It’s unclear whether Pelosi’s remarks will embolden or chill dozens of mod­er­ate House Democ­rats who face with­er­ing crit­i­cisms of the health care pro­posal in vis­its with con­stituents and in national polls. Repub­li­can law­maker unan­i­mously oppose the health care pro­pos­als, and many GOP strate­gists believe vot­ers will turn against Democ­rats in the Novem­ber elections.

I’ve been told there’s already an ad from the “League of Amer­cian Vot­ers” run­ning against Kagen on Green Bay tele­vi­sion sta­tions ask­ing peo­ple to call regard­ing the health care, urg­ing them to tell him to vote “No.”

Kagen, of course, has indi­cated he won’t give a damn about what they say to him.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Random Thoughts

Some­thing to Think About

The statewide left is hav­ing a field day (or more or less “The Lie Broth­ers” of Lieb­mann & Lieben­thal, DPW, and the flail­ing Neu­mann Cam­paign) with the Walker Campaign’s goal of hav­ing 250,000 new jobs in Wis­con­sin over five years.  The same time, none of them seem to have been keyed into the stan­dard Demo­c­ra­tic talk­ing point in which pas­sage of health care reform will cre­ate 400,000 almost imme­di­ately.

Here’s the video of Pelosi push­ing it at the Health Care Sum­mit from Thursday.

Other than the Cen­ter for Amer­i­can Progress; where the mad sci­en­tists who really run the Obama Admin­is­tra­tion are, I have yet to find one sin­gle think tank out in Wash­ing­ton, DC which endorses the Pelosi talk­ing point (Even the union-backed ones are silent on it).  Mind you, if we want to talk about made-up num­bers, I seri­ously think we should start there.

I mean, with 400,000 jobs “almost imme­di­ately,” you’d think we’d have an easy thing to gauge there.  Don’t you think?

Kagen’s Back With Health Care Transparency

Good to see the Doctor’s as obsessed with that as he is with tall-tales in a White House bath­room.  Mind you, it’s an idea that’s been around, both sides agree with, and was pushed by the Bush Admin­is­tra­tion long before Kagen showed up on the polit­i­cal scene.

Now…how about Kagen insist­ing his brother do it on the Kagen Allergy Clinic web­site first?

Of course, it would be nice if there was a Kagen Allergy Clinic web­site again.  That “Site­Ground Default Server Page” isn’t very pretty.

Kohl Needs a Hobby to High­light His Hypocrisy

Remem­ber the dis­as­ter which was the Olympics Triple­cast in 1992?

Yes, appar­ently to high­light his impor­tance as a Judi­ciary sub­com­mit­tee chair­man, Herb Kohl (D-Milwaukee Bucks) wants to haul NBC before his com­mit­tee to ask them why they don’t offer an online ver­sion of it today, as well as a bunch of ques­tions about how NBC han­dles the broad­cast rights for the Olympics they paid bil­lions for from the Inter­na­tional Olympic Committee.

Won­der if Jeff Zucker will ask Kohl about the exclu­sive rights he sells to Fox Sports-Wisconsin and what­ever local Mil­wau­kee sta­tion airs Bucks games?

No word if Kohl will then work out a deal to put the Bucks on NBC as well.

Well, They Would Know

Jason Wilde of ESPN Mil­wau­kee reports that at the NFL Scout­ing Com­bine, Green Bay Pack­ers Gen­eral Man­ager Ted Thomp­son and Head Coach Mike McCarthy were tracked down by a Min­nesota Vikings beat writer for the St. Paul Pioneer-Press to ask the pair about what Vikings fans (and thus, the orga­ni­za­tion) should be doing regard­ing the annual “Will He / Won’t He” dance with Brett Favre.

When asked by the St. Paul Pio­neer Press’ Rick Alonzo if he thought Favre would be back in 2010, Thomp­son chuck­led and said sim­ply, “That’s an inter­est­ing ques­tion.” When Alonzo fol­lowed up by ask­ing if it’s dif­fi­cult for a team to wait for Favre to make his deci­sion, Thomp­son smiled and replied, “Really, I mean, I’m sure there are peo­ple that would give you an opin­ion on that. I’m not the one to ask on that.”

Actu­ally, he was pre­cisely the one to ask about that, he just (under­stand­ably) wasn’t going there.

McCarthy got a vari­a­tion on the ques­tion when he was asked how the dynam­ics in the NFC North would change if Favre called it quits.

I don’t know how it will change the dynam­ics of the divi­sion. Min­nesota won the divi­sion and they’ll carry that tar­get with them as we go into the sea­son regard­less of who their quar­ter­back is,” McCarthy replied. “Really, our focus will be on self-improvement like it is every year in March, April, May, whether that is with our play­ers com­ing back and spend­ing the extra time with the coaches in the off­sea­son pro­gram, whether it’s through sign­ing our free agents back and the draft process. We really stay focused on us, but as far as the divi­sion, we’ll watch what goes on and we’ll do our off­sea­son study of our divi­sion oppo­nents and we’ll be ready to go.”

McCarthy’s answer could be trans­lated to a sim­pler: “He’s not on my team any­more, he’s Chilly’s prob­lem.  Go ask him.”

Enter “The Cof­fee Party”

Inter­est­ing human inter­est story in the Wash­ing­ton Post about a series of pro­gres­sives fed up about what they call “anti-Obama Tea Par­ties” and started their own “Cof­fee Party” in which they vent their frus­tra­tions on social media web­sites like YouTube and Facebook.

Clearly the irony of the “Latte Lib­eral” nick­name is lost on them.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Because Batman Always Wins

At least this time; unlike some­times in the comics, he didn’t have to cheat.

(That we know of…)

Three days after Action Comics #1, the first appear­ance of Super­man, sold for a cool $1 mil­lion at auc­tion, word comes that Detec­tive Comics #27, the first appear­ance of Bat­man, sold for $1,075,500 at auction.

A rare, high-quality copy of Detec­tive Comics #27, which marked the first appear­ance of Bat­man in 1939, sold for $1,075,500 on Thurs­day. Her­itage Auc­tions of Dal­las sold the comic book to an unnamed bid­der on behalf of an anony­mous collector.

Seven bid­ders from three coun­tries par­tic­i­pated in the com­bi­na­tion live and online auc­tion, tak­ing about eight min­utes to decide on a final price — an “eter­nity” in auc­tion time, said Her­itage Auc­tions pres­i­dent Greg Rohan.

On Mon­day, Comic­Connect claimed to sell a rare copy of Action Comics #1 to an anony­mous col­lec­tor for $1 million.

Action Comics #1, which debuted in 1938, marked the first appear­ance of Super­man. A lesser-quality copy set the pre­vi­ous comic book record, rack­ing up $317,000 at auc­tion last year.

Vin­cent Zur­zolo, who co-owns ComicConnect.com with founder Stephen Fish­ler, said while his Super­man sale only held the record for three days, he was very happy to see two comic books sell­ing for more than $1 million.

Records are meant to be bro­ken,” and this week will for­ever go down in comic book his­tory, he said.

Both Detec­tive Comics #27 and Action Comics #1 were orig­i­nally pub­lished by National Allied Pub­li­ca­tions, a com­pany that later became Detec­tive Comics and then DC Comics.

Comics from the 30s con­tinue to be a rare com­mod­ity which will also sell very well at auc­tion, mostly because of two fac­tors: 1) There are few that sur­vived World War II paper dri­ves which elim­i­nated their num­bers, 2) Those few that have sur­vived (rumors are the Action Comic #1 has less than 100 copies left) are in var­i­ous states, which has made “grad­ing” them very dif­fi­cult and “Mint” issues even rarer.

Makes you won­der how much a graded copy of Timely’s Mar­vel Comics #1 from 1939 (First appear­ance of Ka-Zar, Namor — The Sub­mariner, The Human Torch) would bring in on the auc­tion block.  That one sold at mar­ket for a half-million a decade ago.

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2009 National Journal Ratings Out

Hot off the presses, and all the talk in DC.

Your Wis­con­sin House Del­e­ga­tion Scores.

Most Lib­eral

  • Tammy Bald­win — #25
  • Steve Kagen — #106
  • Ron Kind — #157
  • Gwen Moore — #1
  • David Obey — #70
  • Tom Petri — #286
  • Paul Ryan — #342
  • James Sensen­bren­ner — #370

Most Con­ser­v­a­tive

  • James Sensen­bren­ner — #58
  • Paul Ryan — #89
  • Tom Petri — #145
  • David Obey — #359
  • Gwen Moore — #423
  • Ron Kind — #274
  • Steve Kagen — #323
  • Tammy Bald­win — #403

Your Wis­con­sin Sen­ate Del­e­ga­tion Scores

Most Lib­eral

  • Russ Fein­gold — #55
  • Herb Kohl — #32

Most Con­ser­v­a­tive

  • Russ Fein­gold — #44
  • Herb Kohl — #66

Mind you this is the rat­ings for votes for only the just com­pleted 2009 cal­en­dar year and all votes con­nected to them.  You can look at the 2008 Rat­ings here, the 2007 Rat­ing here, the 2006 Rat­ings here, and so on.

Why National Jour­nal doesn’t do “Life­time Rat­ings” is a mys­tery to me.

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The Ego Must Now Cut Checks

Saw this over Twit­ter this morn­ing.  Seems the cus­tody fight between Levi John­ston and Bris­tol Palin is over.  TMZ reports (Yes, the only place which seem to be report­ing the news, since it’s good news for a Palin) reports that John­ston — last seen pos­ing for Play­girl online and want­ing to start an “act­ing career” as “Ricky Hol­ly­wood” — will have to pay over $18,000 in back child sup­port for his child.

The pay­ments date back to the birth of Trapp, his son, on Decem­ber 27, 2008.

Levi John­ston has been ordered to pay nearly $18,000 in back child sup­port … TMZ has learned.

Remain­ing issues may be who gets full cus­tody of their son.

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Cartoon of the Day

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House Ethics Committee Comes Down on Rangel

Since I know for a fact that most of the WI-08 GOP Cam­paigns read my blog, bonus points to the first cam­paign which does the smart thing.  By my quick inves­ti­ga­tion, the PAC con­tri­bu­tions alone total $15,000, another $6,000 from the man himself.

Enjoy writ­ing the press releases.

Char­lie Rangel’s been a bad boy…and his trou­bles may only just be beginning.

The House ethics panel has found that Ways and Means Com­mit­tee Chair­man Charles Rangel (D-N.Y.) broke ethics rules, accord­ing to the Asso­ci­ated Press.

The AP reported that Rangel know­ingly accepted Caribbean trips in vio­la­tion of House rules for­bid­ding hid­den financ­ing by corporations.

Rangel said he had done noth­ing wrong and expected the report to show he was not guilty of anything.

All I know is, the ethics com­mit­tee autho­rized the trip and there is no way in the world that there could be any report out there that says I was not autho­rized to travel,” Rangel said. He added: “When you read the report, you will see that I am not guilty of anything.”

The House ethics com­mit­tee has been review­ing a trip Rangel and sev­eral other mem­bers took to the Caribbean island of St. Maarten last year.

Rangel was seen Thurs­day evening approach­ing the chair­woman and rank­ing Repub­li­can on the Ethics com­mit­tee — Reps. Zoe Lof­gren (D-Calif.) and Jo Bon­ner (R-Ala.) — on the House floor, angrily address­ing the two mem­bers and wav­ing a fin­ger in Lofrgen’s face.

The con­fronta­tion was seen to last about 10 minutes.

Rangel has been under fire for more than a year over sev­eral dif­fer­ent issues. He was expected to make a state­ment to the press at 8 p.m.

The long­time law­maker from New York requested that the ethics panel inves­ti­gate him when he acknowl­edged he failed to dis­close to the IRS or on his finan­cial dis­clo­sure forms $75,000 in rental income for a beach villa in the Domini­can Republic.

Since then, Rangel also has come under fire for claim­ing three pri­mary res­i­dences; for main­tain­ing four rent-controlled apart­ments; and for using con­gres­sional let­ter­head to solicit dona­tions for an edu­ca­tion cen­ter bear­ing his name at City Col­lege of New York, which could vio­late House rules.

Word is Rangel will explain “his side” of events tomor­row at a press con­fer­ence (Bring Pop­corn.).  In the mean­time, he’s placed blame com­pletely on a low-level mem­ber of his Con­gres­sional staff; who has now been sacked.

He remains under investigation.

Oh, and one last thing.  Renee Craw­ford, you’re STILL an idiot.  (That last one’s never gonna get old for me…)

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