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Archive for July, 2012

Doing Tammy’s Job For Her

Joe, Darrin, and Chad ought to be proud of themselves.

While they’ve cased the landscape with nuclear mushroom clouds as far as ad-weary Wisconsin voters can see on their television sets and radios, all Tammy Baldwin’s had to do is run ads about her grandparents and how she seems completely inocculous, when in fact she’s one of the most liberal, socialist-leaning representatives this state has ever sent to Congress.

But hey…eyes on the prize, right guys?

With Republicans engaged in a bitter primary fight, Democratic Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin has a lead over all her potential GOP rivals in Wisconsin’s U.S. Senate race.

The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Wisconsin Voters shows Baldwin receiving 45% to 48% of the vote regardless of which Republican she is matched against. She leads by margins ranging from three to ten points.

The most competitive Republican at the moment is Eric Hovde, a wealthy political newcomer who has been advertising heavily in his primary battle. He trails Baldwin by just three points (45% to 42%). Former GOP Congressman Mark Neumann trails by six (48% to 42%), former Governor Tommy Thompson is seven points behind Baldwin (48% to 41%). The weakest showing comes from Wisconsin State Assembly Speaker Jeff Fitzgerald who is behind by double digits (47% to 37%).

This poll also takes away the one talking point Team Tommy had going for it apparently — the one they could trounce Tammy with ease — that’s a lot of damage inflicted, self or otherwise.

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Economic Growth Slows to 1.5 Percent

So when does the media officially say the economy sucks again?   Before or after November?

(Oh, who am I kidding on that one…)

The U.S. economy grew at an annual rate of just 1.5 percent from April through June, as Americans cut back sharply on spending. The slowdown in growth adds to worries that the economy could be stalling three years after the recession ended.

The Commerce Department also said Friday that the economy grew a little better than previously thought in the January-March quarter. It raised its estimate to a 2 percent rate, up from 1.9 percent.

Growth at or below 2 percent isn’t enough to lower the unemployment rate, which was 8.2 percent last month. And most economists don’t expect growth to pick up much in the second half of the year. Europe’s financial crisis and a looming budget crisis in the U.S. are expected to slow business investment further.

Stock futures rose slightly after the report was released. Some economists had thought the estimate would be lower.

It tells you something when most of the economists are expecting worse news.

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(H/T GayPatriot)

ASIDE — What blows my mind, and this might be an insight into the mentality of modern liberalism is how can Rahm Emanuel — who is Jewish — even want to be in the same room as an anti-Semite like Farrakhan in the first place?  Jonah Goldberg has a point about the complete inconsistencies of the two parties and ideologies.

Conservatives have been forced to answer for the antics of Pat Buchanan for decades — even pundits who were kids when Buchanan was last relevant in American politics.  Liberals?  Apparently Farrakhan still gets a seat at the head table when he’s in the room.

No wonder my flirtation with liberalism ended in college.  It made me feel both stupid and immoral.

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Penn State President to ESPN: What We Got, Was a Plea Bargin

Interesting if this is indeed what happened.

If Penn State had not accepted the package of NCAA sanctions announced Monday, the Nittany Lions faced a historic death penalty of four years, university president Rodney Erickson told “Outside the Lines” on Wednesday afternoon.

In a separate interview, NCAA president Mark Emmert confirmed that a core group of NCAA school presidents had agreed early last week that an appropriate punishment was no Penn State football for four years.

Emmert told Erickson in a phone conversation on July 17 that a majority of the NCAA’s leadership wanted to levy the four-year penalty because of Penn State’s leaders’ roles in covering up the child sexual abuse of former assistant coach Jerry Sandusky.

“Well, that’s a pretty tough number to swallow,” Erickson said he recalled thinking when told of the four-year possibility by Emmert. “It’s unprecedented. It’s a blow to the gut; there’s no doubt about that … I couldn’t agree to that at all.”

Almost immediately after that conversation, intensive discussions between Penn State and the NCAA began in earnest, Erickson said. Penn State lobbied for the NCAA to take the death penalty off the table, and the NCAA described a series of other sanctions, both “punitive and corrective” in nature.

The discussions were so secretive that most members of Penn State’s embattled Board of Trustees had no idea they were happening, several trustees said.

Indeed, the trustees had thought Erickson was officially responding to a Nov. 17 letter of questions from the NCAA. In the interview on Wednesday, Erickson said the letter was set aside last week as the discussions between Penn State and the NCAA intensified.

Erickson said if Penn State did not agree to the sanctions, a formal investigation would have begun and the university could have faced a multiyear death penalty, as well as “other sanctions,” including a financial penalty far greater than $60 million.

There is one thing no one doubts is that these punishments will cripple the Penn State football program for a decade or more.  The “Death Penalty” given to Southern Methodist in the 1980s was just for two years.  That program — after seeing the old Southwest Conference (Owen knows more about them than any of us) blown up because of SMU’s death penalty and having to settle in obscurity in Conference USA — is only now seeing both success and appearances in bowl games.

SMU joins the Big East next season.

Penn State might be a tad luckier because of the loyalty some parents and families have to the Nitany Lions.  SMU was an upstart when it got nailed.  It doesn’t have generations of parents and grandparents taking about the “Penn State Legacy” their young son or daughter would be by attending the school.

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$15K Painting Sold at Goodwill for $9.99

Proof that none of us know the true value of anything.  Be it great, or small.

When Beth Feeback bought two large paintings at $9.99 each from a Goodwill store in North Carolina, the artist intended to paint over them. It’s a good thing she didn’t.

One of the paintings turned out to be the work “Vertical Diamond” by notable 20th century artist Ilya Bolotowsky, and Sotheby’s, the world-famous auction house, has valued it at between $15,000 and $20,000.

Sotheby’s will auction the painting Sept. 21, Feeback said Monday.

Feeback, 45, described the series of events that led her to the painting. She and her husband had gone to display their own artwork April 28 at an art fair in Oak Ridge, N.C. The day was chilly and Feeback hadn’t dressed for the weather. She remembered having passed a Goodwill store on the way to the fair, so she asked her husband, Steve, to watch their things so she could go to the store to find a blanket or afghan to cover up.

She quickly found a throw and a pair of gloves. Then she spotted two large paintings done in red, white and blue.

“I thought they would be awesome canvases. They were $9.99 a piece and I just thought they would be great to just draw on them and paint over them because I didn’t like them as paintings. They were really ‘70s kind of looking, but not ‘70s in that fun, kitschy way, ‘70s in a different way that I don’t really enjoy, so I was like, ‘I’m going to paint big cat heads or whatever,’” Feeback, who specializes in pet portraits, said. “I was going to paint on them and so I bought them.”

The story goes on to uncover that the previous owners of the painting kept it in their basement, also unaware what they have.  Eventually, it is traced back to an exhibit at a nearby UNC campus in the 70s and 80s.

Why the university let it go and into the public’s hands has yet to be discovered.

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Cullen Bolts on Wisconsin Dem Senate Caucus

Good to see Mark Miller’s people skills are just a good as they’ve always been rumored to be.

State Sen. Tim Cullen, D-Janesville, said Tuesday he plans to leave the Democratic caucus and may become an independent.

Cullen made the comments in a press conference.

Democrats just gained control of the Senate 17-16 with Sen. John Lehman’s victory over Van Wanggaard in a recall.

It’s unclear immediately what the implications are of Cullen’s announcement.

Cullen, who was among the 14 Democratic senators who left the state during the historic protests at the Capitol in 2011 but had sought compromise with GOP governor Scott Walker on collective bargaining, said he was insulted by not being named chairman of any Senate committees after the Democrats regain control of that chamber.

You can read Cullen’s email announcing his decision here.

Implications are pretty moot at this point.   With Brookfield Republican state Senator Rich Zipperer going off to join the Walker Administration at the start of next month, the Democrats maintain an utterly pointless 16 – 15 – 1 Majority which is likely to flip in November.

But what it does show is just how ideologically-minded the new Democratic Senate Majority is.  For all the talk about “reaching across the aisle” after getting the majority last week, Miller shows in one swift action that he will punish those who do not bow to the party line he is keeping.

For better or worse, Cullen is to Democrats what Dale Schultz is to Republicans, the bridge-maker who annoys the party faithful, but is needed nonetheless.

Miller just threw his bridge-maker out.  For all the screaming and name-calling at Schultz, no one in the GOP caucus has ever considered doing that.

What does that say about the new Democratic Majority?  Volumes.


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