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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">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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AD Job at UT?">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">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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