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Archive for June, 2011

Toshiba Saves the World from Zombies

Clever, and hard to forget.

(How did we become so zombie-obsessed?)



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MSNBC Suspends Mark Halperin for “Obama’s a Dick” Comment

Talk about an over-reaction.

Mark Halperin has already apologized at least 4 times for calling President Obama a dick this morning, but that’s not enough for MSNBC, who has suspended the TIME editor as an analyst.

The statement:

Mark Halperin’s comments this morning were completely inappropriate and unacceptable. We apologize to the President, The White House and all of our viewers. We strive for a high level of discourse and comments like these have no place on our air. Therefore, Mark will be suspended indefinitely from his role as an analyst.

One could understand MSNBC’s concern if the FCC might rain down fines on them for one word, but this seems like a news network which has sold its broadcasting soul and objectivity to an Administration for access in exchange for favorable coverage to the White House.

Frankly, it’s sad.

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Will Heath Shuler Bail on Congress for AD Job at UT?

Well, it’s one way to avoid losing your seat in a potential redistricting fight. Plus, it proves there are cooler and more powerful jobs than “Congressman” still out there.

Rep. Heath Shuler (D-N.C.) is not shooting down a local news report that he’s considering an end to his congressional career.

Shuler, a Blue Dog Democrat in his third term, is eying the open athletic director position at the University of Tennessee, where he was a star quarterback for their powerhouse football program, Tony Basilio, a radio host with Knoxville-based WLVZ, reported this week.

Basilio said Shuler has approached several former UT football coaches – including Phillip Fulmer and Johnny Majors – about the athletic director position, which opened up this month following the exit of Mike Hamilton.

“Yes, Shuler is in play,” Basilio wrote on his blog Tuesday. “Yes he did call Phillip Fulmer and Johnny Majors to get their thoughts on this potential opportunity but he hasn’t been offered the job. In fact, Tennessee hasn’t ‘offered’ the job to anybody as of yet.”

Basilio said Shuler “has expressed the desire for a couple of concessions if he were to leave the US Congress to do this” – including “a long-term contract” of at least seven years.

If Shuler were to take the UT job, it might be the first and only time in his life he got the chance to leave Washington, DC on his own terms.

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Packers Blog Quote of the Week

Because there are still some holdouts about Brett Favre out there who need a reality check not related to a Super Bowl victory.

Best coach-GM tandem, Mike McCarthy and Ted Thompson: All successful NFL men have some level of ego about them, but the important factor in the Green Bay Packers‘ leadership is that neither McCarthy nor Thompson appears to have ambitions for the other’s job. Thompson stocks the team and McCarthy runs it as he sees fit. The best example of their ability to work together: McCarthy has never, ever expressed any public dissatisfaction with Thompson’s reluctance to participate in veteran free agency. Many coaches would be outraged. Thompson, meanwhile, doesn’t appear interested in questioning McCarthy’s strategic decisions or inserting himself into daily operations of the locker room in any way.

That is actually one of the most amazing things about the current Packers set-up at GM and head coach.  If this were the Wolf – Holmgren era, Holmgren would be trying to usher out Wolf the door as soon as the Lombardi Trophy got back from the engravers at Tiffany’s.

Here’s hoping neither of these men decide to break what isn’t broken.

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MySpace Reportedly Sold for $35 Million

Worst News Corp. purchase since the L.A. Dodgers.

(Too many one-liners are born through that one sentence…)

The day that the web has been buzzing about has finally come: It seems that MySpace has been sold to an advertising network called Specific Media for a mere $35 million.

News Corp. declared it was ready to sell MySpace in an earnings call in February. The media company was reportedly hoping to get $100 million out of the sale.

News Corp. bought the site for $580 million from its original owners, but MySpace’s traffic has plummeted in recent years.

All Things Digital reports that the deal will close Wednesday but has not yet been signed. News Corp. will reportedly hold a 5% to 10% stake in the company.

Other reports this week indicated that close to 50% of the site’s staff could be cut after the sale, and it’s likely that any further iterations will focus on music.

Seriously, who’s still on MySpace?  The only folks I can think of are struggling artists and musicians, a bunch of Europeans, and those trapped in 2004.

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When It’s For Their Causes, Liberals Love Free-Spending Contributors

Interesting insight from this editorial in the Wall Street Journal.

Self-congratulation is rampant in New York after last week’s adoption of the state’s gay marriage statute. Among those who are the new toast of the town is the “group of super-rich Republican donors” (in the words of a certain Manhattan broadsheet) without whose financial backing the bill might not have passed.

It turns out that hedge fund operator Paul Singer, a prominent supporter of conservative causes, lent his checkbook and prestige to the gay marriage battle. He was joined by financiers Daniel Loeb and Cliff Asness. They underwrote a campaign that cost over $1 million to persuade four GOP state Senators to assure passage. A similar bill failed in 2009.

This news led our wry friends at the New York Sun to suggest a “thought experiment”: “How would the liberals have felt had there been a law in place requiring the taxpayers of New York to underwrite a campaign against the same-gender marriage law?” The question is rhetorical.

The Sun’s point is that the political left has spent years—no, decades—trying to impose limits on political campaign donations by the wealthy. Liberals prefer taxpayer financing of political campaigns. The left has been raging in particular against the Supreme Court for ruling last year in the Citizens United case that corporations and unions could donate to independent expenditure campaigns. There was more liberal outrage Monday as the Court struck down an Arizona law that provided matching funds to publicly financed candidates if their privately financed opponents exceeded a fund-raising limit.

Yet in New York, liberals are celebrating the huge independent political expenditures of Wall Street financiers because they support one of their favorite causes. Somehow in this case, the left has concluded that these big donors are contributing to democracy, not “hijacking” it. We welcome these liberals to the view that unlimited donations are a form of political free speech.

Russ Feingold must be unavailable for comment on this predicament.

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Mahoney Steps Aside

Smart move.

And a twisted signs as to how incestuous Dane Co. politics are.

Dane County Sheriff David Mahoney says he has turned the state supreme court investigation over to the Chief Deputy.

In a statement Tuesday afternoon, Sheriff Mahoney says, “Although as Sheriff, I honored the request of the Capitol Police to conduct an investigation into the Supreme Court incident on June 13, 2011, I turned the case over to the Chief Deputy.”

Mahoney says the Chief Deputy then assigned the case to the Captain of Field Services, who in turn assigned a team of detectives and supervisors to investigate the case and oversee the investigation.

“As the Sheriff I have no role in the assignment of detectives and supervisors or overseeing the investigation.”

On Monday, the Capitol Police Department turned over the criminal investigation into state supreme court justice David Prosser’s alleged choking of fellow justice Ann Walsh Bradley.

As been talked about since this morning on talk radio and conservative blogs in the state, Mahoney endorsed JoAnne Kloppenburg over Prosser in this spring’s Supreme Court election, and both endorsed and appears in a commercial in 2008 for Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson; who would be a witness in any potential case if it got to that level.


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Hell, I Could Have Written this Brief

From the archives:

Oh, where to begin here…

Collective Bargaining is a Right – No. It’s not.

It was granted by an act of the legislature in 1959 and signed into law by then-Governor Gaylord Nelson.  What the legislature giveth, the legislature can taketh away.  (See: Prohibition, Repeals of an number of past laws, and other related area.)

Now, some in Wisconsin might see Gaylord Nelson as some sort of God; when in reality he was a mere mortal.  And the acts of man are not forever.

From the Journal Sentinel‘s report on the state answering the union’s filing into federal court:

Lawyers for the state also argue that the suit is flawed. “Plaintiffs continually refer to the ‘right’ of state and municipal employees to collectively bargain. Despite this effort to frame the issues in a more favorable light, it is quite clear that collective bargaining by state and municipal employees is not a fundamental right. Rather, it is a privilege granted by the state in its sole discretion and at its convenience,” the response states.

If only it weren’t for the student loans and the worst job market for law school graduates EVAH!

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Packers Fans Hit Facebook to Push for Pardon for Fuzzy

Well, Obama would definitely have a leg-up in Wisconsin if he did pardon the Lombardi-era great. Heck, even I would consider to stop calling him “Bears-Fan-in-Chief.”

(For a few days at least.)

Green Bay Packers fans are attempting to get Fuzzy Thurston’s Super Bowl II ring returned to him by making a plea to the country’s most powerful man.

A Facebook page titled “Save Fuzzy Thurston” was created by Packers fan Tony Fonder of Green Bay after the Green Bay Press-Gazette reported last week that Thurston’s ring will be auctioned this summer to help recover some of the $1.7 million the government claims Thurston owes in back taxes.

Thurston’s tax problems stem from a chain of restaurants he opened with business partners in the mid-1970s.

Fonder is asking fans to email President Barack Obama and request a pardon for Thurston to get his ring back. More than 225 people joined the page in the first three days, many of whom have already sent an email to the White House.

Most experts say a the chances of an actual pardon for Thurston is very small.  Pardons are traditionally given when there’s been settlement and years between the crime and the penalty phase.  Fuzzy’s has been an open tax file since 1983.

Thurston’s tax problems are the result of failure to properly pay the withholding tax on his “Left Guard” restaurants’ employees.  His three business partners settled their business with the IRS years ago, Thurston has been fighting it ever since in one form or another.   Since that time, what was a small six-figure amount has ballooned to $1.7 million with interest and penalties.

The Press-Gazette reported last week Thurston’s assets had mostly been seized and his Super Bowl II ring would be sold at auction to help deal with the tax debt.  In recent years, most of Thurston’s business assets — including “Fuzzy’s” bar in Green Bay — have been in the name of his family members.

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“Whitey” Bulger Quite the Traveler on the Lam

Did the FBI just get lazy with this guy?

BOSTON—Alleged mob boss James “Whitey” Bulger told authorities transporting him back to Boston after his arrest that he had been a whirlwind traveler as a fugitive, visiting Las Vegas numerous times to play the slots, dashing over to Mexico to buy medicine, and even traveling in disguise to Boston while “armed to the teeth” to “take care of some unfinished business,” according to a new federal court filing.

In the filing, prosecutors argued that the 81-year-old Mr. Bulger, arrested in Santa Monica, Calif., last week after 16 years on the lam, may have access to enough money to pay for his own lawyer.

Carmen Ortiz, the U.S. attorney in Boston said Mr. Bulger had financed a “relatively comfortable lifestyle” for himself and his girlfriend, Catherine Greig, frequently traveling to Vegas to gamble and winning more than losing.


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