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Archive for March, 2014

Cartoon of the Day

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Happy Enrollment “Deadline” Day.

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Noel Sheppard, R.I.P

Noel Sheppard, who for years has been “The Guy” at the predominant blog, “NewsBusters” run by the DC-based Media Research Center, has passed away.  He was diagnosed in January with lung cancer, and lost that fight yesterday.  He was just 53.

Here’s the statement of his passing from MRC founder, L. Brent Bozell.

Our Noel Sheppard passed away yesterday (Friday) morning at about 5:00 AM. Say a prayer for the soul of a man we’ll all miss professionally, and many, many of us will miss personally as well. Noel was not just a force of nature, he was a very good man.

How quickly this all happened. Just two months ago, Noel wrote about suddenly getting cancer at 53 called “Cancer’s Ray of Hope.” Nine days ago, he wrote us and said he was interested in writing about his “progress” — and he put “progress” in quotes. We were all wishing for better news, and really couldn’t imagine this was a battle that would end this way.

Noel joined us and was introduced to us by Matt Sheffield at the founding of NewsBusters in 2005, and he became our Associate Editor. It must be said that no blogger here was more prolific and more popular. We’ll have more to say in the coming days.

Requiescat in pace.

Trying to remember if I ever met Noel during my times out in DC.  The only thing that comes to mind is that if I ever did, it was briefly during a tour of the Media Research Center offices during 2012 when I was out there for the annual CPAC Conference.

Tim Graham, a fellow Wisconsinite and Director of Media Analysis of the MRC, gave me a tour of the place and it might have been just a quick “Hello and a handshake” between us.

He was an amazing writer and from what I’ve been told by friends, a great guy.  He will be missed.

Rest in Peace.

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GM Halts All Sales on Most Popular Kind of Chevy Cruze

That ignition problem is not going away for Government Motors anytime soon.  Real question is going to be how long did they know about it, and was it passed along to the “Car Czar” during the period had the controlling interest over the car company.

General Motors has halted the sale of about a third of the Chevrolet Cruzes now on dealer lots. The Cruze is GM’s best selling car model in the United States, and is also widely distributed internationally.

Spokesman Alan Adler confirmed that the automaker has ordered a halt to sales of models with the 1.4-liter turbo engine, the most popular version of the compact car.

Adler did not know the reason for the halt, and said there has not been a recall issued on cars already sold. The order applies to about 20,000 Cruzes in total.

The news comes as GM contends with a damaging recall of 1.6 million small cars worldwide due to an ignition switch flaw that has been linked to at least 12 deaths. This stop order is minor in comparison to that recall, but comes at a bad time, as Congress and federal prosecutors probe why GM did not recall the cars for a decade after it discovered the problem. GM CEO Mary Barra, who has apologized repeatedly for the delays in the recall, is due to testify before Congress on Tuesday and Wednesday next week.

The Cruze has been in the Chevrolet fleet since about 2008 or so.  It replaced Chevy’s previous compact car, the Cobalt.

The model has sold nearly 2 million worldwide since it was introduced.

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Burke: I Won’t Self-Finance My Campaign

Except for that $400,000 starter loan naturally…

This has got to be a blow to the Democratic state establishment.  Part of what they were said to be pushing about Burke as a candidate was she was a “business-minded woman who was rich.”  All code words for “She can cut checks to overcome Walker’s fundraising.

Now, it appears that avenue is being closed.

Democrat Mary Burke says she won’t be able to self-fund her campaign for governor, saying she does not have that kind of wealth.

When Burke first floated the idea of running for governor, her personal wealth made her an appealing candidate to some Democrats and made others think twice about entering the race. The former Trek executive, whose father founded the company, has not disclosed her net worth, though she did donate more than $400,000 to her campaign in just its first few months.

But Burke says people should not expect her to spend as much as some of Wisconsin’s most famous self-funded candidates.

“I will put into this race what I can, but I can’t self-fund it,” said Burke. “I’m not a Ron Johnson or a Herb Kohl. I don’t have that type of wealth.”

Johnson contributed nearly $9 million to his successful U.S. Senate campaign in 2010. Former U.S. Senator Herb Kohl gave his campaigns more than $19 million over the course of his political career.

Burke says she’ll be relying on traditional fundraising to get her message out.

Her “traditional fundraising” hasn’t been going so well.  While she raised $1.3 million $1.79 million for the second half of 2013, remove the $400,000 loan and it was only around $900,000 $1.4 million in just six month.  Not the kind of numbers that tend to help you in a political fight these days.

(Corrected from earlier comment.)

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Vatican Doesn’t Give Obama the Glowing Review He Wanted

The official statement from the Vatican on the visitation of President Barack Obama and Sec. of State John Kerry.

This morning, 27 March 2014, the Hon. Barack H. Obama, President of the United States of America, was received in audience by His Holiness Pope Francis, after which he met with His Eminence Cardinal Pietro Parolin, Secretary of State, and Archbishop Dominique Mamberti, Secretary for Relations with States.

During the cordial meetings, views were exchanged on some current international themes and it was hoped that, in areas of conflict, there would be respect for humanitarian and international law and a negotiated solution between the parties involved.

In the context of bilateral relations and cooperation between Church and State, there was a discussion on questions of particular relevance for the Church in that country, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection, as well as the issue of immigration reform. Finally, the common commitment to the eradication of trafficking of human persons in the world was stated.

Popes have been lecturing the President of the United States since likely the country was founded. The press gave high points to Pope John Paul II when he reportedly ripped former President George W. Bush over the Iraq War.  I can’t recall if anything was said when Clinton welcomed JP2 for World Youth Day in Denver  (you know, he just had Gennifer Flowers and overturned the Mexico City Policy) back in 1993.

Few presidents have overall good relationships with popes, with Reagan being the likeliest exception, since the two worked with Margaret Thatcher to end Soviet communism.

That being said, let’s breakdown the Vatican statement, shall we?

In the context of bilateral relations and cooperation between Church and State, there was a discussion on questions of particular relevance for the Church in that country, such as the exercise of the rights to religious freedom, life and conscientious objection, as well as the issue of immigration reform. Finally, the common commitment to the eradication of trafficking of human persons in the world was stated.

“the exercise of the rights of religious freedom” — Uh oh, that’s the ObamaCare birth control and abortion mandate clause.

“life” — Obama got the “Abortion is mass murder” speech.

“conscientious objection” — Remember when the Left was all for conscientious objection?  Fighting in ‘Nam or Iraq?  Become a conscientious objector young man.  Have issues with abortion-inducing drugs, preforming abortion, or baking a cake for a gay wedding?  It’s like they’ve never heard the term before.

But at least they agreed on immigration reform and human trafficking.  Two out of five ain’t bad.

And in a true “Image of the Day,” here’s a picture of the two together I took from a friend’s Facebook page.  As you can see, someone doesn’t look too excited to be with the other person.

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Walker Partially Vetoes Early Voting Reform Bill

Honestly, these are changes I can live with.

Gov. Scott Walker has quietly signed into law a bill that limits in-person absentee voting to no later than 7 p.m. during the week and no weekend hours.

Walker vetoed a portion of the bill Thursday that limited the hours of early voting to no more than 45 in each of the two weeks prior to an election. He kept the prohibition on weekend voting.

Democrats strongly opposed the measure, saying it was targeted at tamping down turnout in the heavily Democratic cities of Milwaukee and Madison which held extended hours during the 2012 presidential election.

Walker also vetoed a portion of the bill that would have reimbursed local governments for costs associated with early voting.

The bill was one of more than two dozen that Walker acted on Thursday.

Haven’t seen the exact partial veto, but my take on this is that Walker has added 1o hours to the operational week of early voting in Wisconsin.  The original wording was that clerks offices could allow early voting hours between 8 AM to 7 PM, Monday through Friday, but not surpassing 45 hours. In essence it gave clerks the liberty to determine which hours between 8 AM and 7 PM they would conduct early voting — averaging nine hours a day for five working days.

(9 times 5 is 45 last time I checked…)

So, by eliminating the 45-Hour cap, this pretty much gives you 11 hours (8 AM to 7 PM) where you can early vote, Monday through Friday, two more hours each day, for a total of 55 hours a week.

You’d think the Left would applaud getting 10 more hours, of course, they’re going to sue to kill this law nonetheless.

 

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