Friday, July 31, 2009

Franken like Kagen?

Franken's going to raise a stink and make the local paper for his childish behavior, just newly sworn in?

Sounds like Franken. Pretty classy, that guy.
Sen. Al Franken managed to make time for the lunch – but then let Pickens have it afterward.

According to a source, the wealthy oil and gas magnate and author of “The First Billion is the Hardest” stepped up to introduce himself to Franken in a room just off the Senate Floor after the lunch ended

Franken, who was seated talking to someone else, did not stand when Pickens said hello. Instead, Franken began to berate him about the billionaire’s financing of the Swift Boat ads in 2004.

According to a source, the confrontation grew heated.

Said Franken spokeswoman Jess McIntosh: “It was a lively conversation.”
I will say one thing for Minnesota's constituents: At least he didn't throw the old man up against a bathroom wall and nickname himself after a pretend superloser "Dr. Millionaire."

Red-faced DFL

One of the many reasons I love YouTube.
Uh, never mind. Also: Sorry about that.

That essentially was the DFL's red-faced response Thursday when it sent out an electronic news release blasting Gov. Tim Pawlenty that had a profanity-laced video attached to it.

The release was designed to respond to Pawlenty's speech before national Republicans in San Diego, attacking his record on job creation, health care and the state budget deficit.

One small problem: The link that was supposed to direct reporters to a state economic development report actually sent them to a YouTube video titled "Chinese Grandma Learns English." For four minutes, an elderly Chinese woman repeats obscenities, oblivious to their meaning.
Hey, it could happen to anyone. Right.
DFL Executive Director Andrew O'Leary said the link came from an outside researcher who had not checked it and the party did not double-check the link before sending the release. The party "obviously made a mistake," O'Leary said.
So much for proofreading!

Final thoughts on Favre

I have not posted much on Brett Favre, partly because my feelings waffled on the issue daily and I couldn't stand to irritate my readers with such ninny behavior.

However, I can now dance around in my pink breast cancer awareness #4 jersey once again, pretending the past months of selling Favre merchandise on Ebay, leaving the #4 towel from a past game on the floor and encouraging the kitten to pee on it, and coloring my cheesehead purple with a sharpie marker never happened!

But would the editors of the Minneapolis Star Tribune opinion page please refrain from posting letters like this:
Cheers to Brett Favre! He finally did the best thing for all of us. Unfortunately, he didn't do it in consideration of anyone but himself, which is typical Favre. Now the Vikings should get back to contending and leave Favre in the dust. I can once again cheer for the team!
And to Barb? Shut up.

You clearly lack the class of a Packer fan anyway, and belong in the purple and yellow. Yes, yellow. Pansy colors for a pansy team. You'd be lucky to have a QB like Favre in your hall of fame...but what's that? OH NO!

And that's all I have to say about that.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Obama on Healthcare

Why does the President sound like Charlie Brown's teacher?

Monday, July 20, 2009

Scary (veiled) numbers

Late last week, Obama vowed anew that "health insurance reform cannot add to our deficit over the next decade and I mean it."

The White House is being forced to acknowledge the wide gap between its once-upbeat predictions about the economy and today's bleak landscape.

The administration's annual midsummer budget update is sure to show higher deficits and unemployment and slower growth than projected in President Barack Obama's budget in February and update in May, and that could complicate his efforts to get his signature health care and global-warming proposals through Congress.

The release of the update - usually scheduled for mid-July - has been put off until the middle of next month, giving rise to speculation the White House is delaying the bad news at least until Congress leaves town on its August 7 summer recess.

The administration is pressing for votes before then on its $1 trillion health care initiative, which lawmakers are arguing over how to finance.

40 years on the moon

Buzz Aldren on Fox News.
WALLACE: Let's go back to 40 years ago tomorrow. What has stayed with you? What do you remember most about your 21.5 hours on the moon?

ALDRIN: What I want to remember most is the glance between Neil and myself, with the engine shut off, just those seconds after we touched down, because we had just completed the most critical door opening for exploration in — in all of humanity.

We came along at just the right time, the three of us, all born in 1930, to be given such a marvelous opportunity. And for me to accompany one of the best test pilots that's ever come along and demonstrated the X-15, and — I couldn't ask for a better commander.
Read the rest.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Total Eclipse of the Heart: Literal Video Version

I can't

Walker gets techie

Just as I received a teletown hall call last night...
Around 11 on a recent morning, Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker got online and did what his gubernatorial campaign manager has asked him to do several times a day. He reached out to his political supporters with a message that was simultaneously posted on his Twitter and Facebook accounts, two of today's more popular social networking websites.

By day's end, Walker had sent out six messages; enough to maintain his online presence without overpowering his followers. Peppered between more personal comments on the Milwaukee Brewers were a few cyber shots at the man whose office he is aspiring to assume. "Doyle: In or Out? Doesn't matter. Only focused on Nov. 2, 2010 + getting state working again," wrote Walker. The update, including a link to a newspaper article, was instantly sent to some 7,000 people who choose to follow him on Twitter or are friends with him on Facebook.

"What we're doing is very calculated," says Keith Gilkes, Walker's campaign manager. "It is our intent to have the most savvy social media campaign of this race."

Those running for Wisconsin's highest office have taken a page from the playbook of Barack Obama. While running for president, Obama took social media to new heights by amassing a powerful grassroots base that could be reached for financial contributions and mobilized instantly.
I wonder if Howard Dean is scratching his head at this whole "Obama's king of the internet campaign" stuff. Wasn't he supposed to be the guy that led the way with internet fundraising and campaigning?

Too bad Twitter wasn't really hoppin' then. Or twoppin.

We'll see if it works for Walker.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Paul Ryan: Washington spending is "slow, wasteful and ineffective"

Supreme Court deadlocked

I would prefer spirited debate and 3-3 deadlocks over 7-0 rulings...wouldn't you?
MADISON, Wis. (AP) - Some lawyers say they are disappointed the Wisconsin Supreme Court has refused to issue rulings in a number of recent cases after reviewing them for months.

In one case, the justices deadlocked 3-3 after a member recused herself. In three others since March, they said they shouldn't have taken the cases at all.

The non-decisions have disappointed lawyers looking for legal guidance on issues ranging from the open meetings law to corporate governance, as well as clients who had hoped for resolutions.

Former Justice Janine Geske, a law professor at Marquette University, says that in each case the court had "technical, legal reasons" for declining to rule. But she says the number of such cases is unusual this year for reasons that are unclear.
To me it shows the importance of these issues, and the necessary discussion and consideration that goes into these decisions.

Truth commission

Here is one time I think Obama has his head on straight, and needs to continue to LEAD.
President Barack Obama has been reluctant to probe Bush-era torture and anti-terrorism policies, but his Democratic allies aren't likely to let the matters rest.

"I've always preferred my idea of a commission of inquiry to look at all these issues," Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., said Sunday.

Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., head of the intelligence committee, suggested that the George W. Bush administration broke the law by concealing a CIA counterterrorism program from Congress.

The Wall Street Journal, anonymously citing former intelligence officials, reported Monday the secret program was a plan to kill or capture al-Qaida operatives.

The Journal's sources said the plan, which was halted by CIA Director Leon Panetta, was an attempt to carry out a presidential finding authorized in 2001 by President George W. Bush.

The Journal said the agency spent money on planning and maybe some training, but it never became fully operational. The plan was highly classified and the CIA has refused to comment on it.

The assertion that Vice President Dick Cheney ordered the program kept secret from Congress came amid word that Attorney General Eric Holder is contemplating opening a criminal probe of possible CIA torture.

A move to appoint a criminal prosecutor is certain to stir partisan bickering that could prove a distraction to Obama's efforts to push ambitious health care and energy reform.

Obama has resisted an effort by congressional Democrats to establish a "truth commission," saying the nation should be "looking forward and not backwards."
Wow, Dems. Wow. Even your most liberal member- our President- is saying "get over it, let's move forward."

To point the finger at years past and a plan that never came to fruition? Members of Congress, you have so many MORE IMPORTANT things to worry about.


Sunday, July 12, 2009

Kim Jong- ILL

Pancreatic cancer, it appears.
North Korea’s supreme leader, Kim Jong Il, is suffering from cancer of the pancreas and is in danger of dying of the disease, South Korean television reported this morning, the latest and most specific in a series of reports on the dictator’s health...

Thee are no obvious signs are that Kim Jong Il is in anything less than complete control, but close examination of recent internal developments leads many Pyongyang-watchers to the conclusion that he is leaning towards military hardliners, and away from the more reform-oriented advisers whom he favoured in the middle of the present decade.
I don't wish that disease on anyone...but I do wonder if his son will be as freakin' crazy.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

The Killers - Mr. Brightside (original version)



This song graced a late-night episode of Sex and the City and I can't get it out of my head...

Friday, July 10, 2009

Kagen v. 3

Finally, the GOP got the message: The 8th CD needs some help!
A 53-year-old Kaukauna roofing contractor with no experience in politics is the third Republican to announce his candidacy for the 8th Congressional District.

Reid Ribble says he filed nomination papers this week because he thinks the ballooning federal debt in the trillions of dollars is crippling the economy.

Other Republicans who announced earlier are Door County Supervisor Marc Savard and Brown County Supervisor Andy Williams.
Let's hope 2010 reverses the damage of the past 4 years...

Help us, Feds, Help us!

What else can we ask the Federal Government for?
Rain: MADISON — The state is seeking disaster assistance for victims of flooding last month in Kenosha and Racine counties.

Thunderstorms that moved through June 18 and 19 dumped more than 5 inches of rain in parts of southeastern Wisconsin.

Buses: Kenosha will receive $2.5 million in federal stimulus funds for transit improvements, federal Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood has announced.

The funds will partially be used to purchase five buses.
Everytime I hear about stimulus funds and grants, I cringe.

We're becoming a state of dependency...

"I want an A"

This is disappointing to read.
And yet, over the past two years Thoma has observed a surprising uptick in the number of students who e-mail her at the end of the semester, asking if she'd reconsider the grade she awarded them "because they worked so hard."

Thoma estimates she received 20 such e-mails this spring out of some 850 students. "They'll typically say, 'I know you said there won't be any grade adjustments, but I worked really hard and I don't feel that the grade reflects the effort I put into the class,'" says Thoma, who stresses most students work hard in class and understand the ground rules. "And so I have a new standard reply: 'I can't quantitate your effort.'"

UW-Madison engineering physics professor Greg Moses is all too familiar with this scenario, and is frustrated by how some students feel they are practically entitled to better grades.

"The point is that we are in the business of higher education, not mediocre education," Moses wrote in an e-mail while traveling in Europe. "This sounds elitist but the challenge of global competition to the U.S. way of life does not call for trying hard, it calls for performance. Students tell me they spend hours on the homework and therefore deserve better grades, even when my exams are mostly made up of homework questions, often verbatim, and they cannot do them."
Is this a peer-made cultural response?

Is it a parental issue?

I, personally, was not raised to believe I was entitled to anything - except the paycheck I worked hard for at the end of the week. And even then, I refused an allowance because, let's face it, my participation in chores was less than adequate.

The grade you get is clearly the grade you earn, and I would make no exceptions as a TA or professor - UNLESS that student was clearly in my office every week trying to improve and despite their best efforts, sucking.

If you're the kind of kid who emails after the semester is out to try to get a better grade, I can tell you that kind of laziness won't get you far in the real world.

Milwaukee Mayor's sweet ride

How did I miss this?
The gold Cadillac SRX wasn't Mayor Tom Barrett's style.

He'd prefer a Buick, but he has spent the past few weeks being driven around by his security detail in the 2006 Cadillac SUV.

A tipster asked Public Investigator to look into the mayor's swanky car choice, especially during a time when the city budget is crunched and workers are being ordered to take furloughs to save the city money.

As it turns out, taxpayers didn't spend a dime on the high-end vehicle.

It was seized in a drug raid and was turned over to the Milwaukee Police Department, which provides vehicles for the mayor's security detail.

Patrick Curley, the mayor's chief of staff, said the Cadillac was a temporary fix while fleet services figured out what to do with a 1998 Chevy Tahoe that is now in the shop but had previously been part of the mayor's security detail.

The Cadillac was returned to the Police Department on Thursday, the day after Public Investigator started asking questions.

"The mayor would be more comfortable in another vehicle," said Patrick Curley, the mayor's chief of staff.
I'm sure he would be more comfortable.

We wouldn't want Mayor Barrett looking like a pimp or a dealer, now would we.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

States' use of stimulus

Cash-strapped states have used federal stimulus dollars to close short-term budget gaps and avert major tax increases but generally have not directed the money toward long-term expansion, according to a new report.

The report released Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office, Congress' investigative arm, found that the $787 billion stimulus package is being used to "cushion" state budgets, prevent teacher layoffs, make more Medicaid payments and head off other fiscal problems.

The Congressional Budget Office estimates that only 10 percent of the Recovery Act funds have been released so far, with about half of the money expected to be spent by October 2010. That dispersed money is being used to prioritize short-term projects and needs over more ambitious goals, the GAO report states.
Oh please. What did they expect?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Go Sean Go!

Gotta say, I'm loving Sean Duffy's website!


I just watched the movie, "W." I do think the actor selections were decent, though I felt Brolin's performance was a bit over the top.

Oliver Stone did his best to include little jabs at the President - a few "dumb" moments if you will, and exagerating some of his character traits.

I also SEVERELY question whether George W. Bush EVER told VP Cheney to "put a lid on it," as he was the "decision maker." That made me sick, and honestly, the movie could have done without.

It's also very thin. Because of the montage-style, the vignettes fall short of having enough emotional depth. His relationship with his mother and father are hard to grasp as truth, from what I have read and seen in the modern media...but who knows what is true.

So alas, two hours of my life I can't get back. Oh well.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


Brett Favre, Minneapolis, MN

I think we're all just throwing up in our mouths now...
Brett Favre might soon have a new mailing address.

The St. Paul Pioneer Press columnist Charley Walters reported Monday that the former Green Bay Packers quarterback and his wife, Deanna, placed a $30,000 deposit last week on a condominium in Edina, Minn., adding to the belief that he will play for the Minnesota Vikings this season.

Walters predicted that Favre will sign with the Vikings by July 20, when the team makes single-game tickets available for sale. He also reported that Minnesota plans to require fans who want tickets to the Oct. 5 game at the Metrodome against the Packers to also purchase a ticket to the Aug. 21 exhibition game against Kansas City.
I understand that this is likely NOT Favre flipping the bird to the fans...but simply to Ted Thompson. I'd love to know what McCarthy has to say about all this - even Holmgren.

Part of me, as loyal as I've always been to #4, is moving out of the anger and disappointment and regarding him as any other player from another team. He's doing what he thinks he has to do. Michael Jordan. Lance Armstrong. Roger Clemens (who is still playing!!).

Then again, I am looking forward to releasing our D-line to pound him like never before.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Palin headlines

"Sarah Palin Called GOP Leaders Before Quitting"...because she's running for President.

"Palin Confidante Cites Distraction of Investigations"...because she's running for president.

"Why Palin's Bailin'"...because she's running for PResident...(and wants to spend time with her family, yeah yeah).

But who cares? I like Kristol's take.

MJ scalpers sure trying hard

Among those was a listing posted by a man who identified himself only as Peetey, 29, of Venice Beach, California. He was asking $8,000 for a single ticket; the winning bidder would accompany his girlfriend to the service, he said.

The ad was removed within 15 minutes, he said, but that was enough time for five people to call with interest.

When contacted by CNN, Peetey said he sees nothing wrong with selling a free ticket to a memorial service.

"We live in a capitalist society where money is what really speaks," he said. "I'm not trying to make a huge profit. I'm not trying to take advantage of anybody."

Peetey, who did not want his last name used for fear of backlash from Jackson fans, said he would go to the memorial service if he can't get at least $5,000 for the ticket. His girlfriend won the lottery-issued tickets, he said, and will attend the event.

"I want to go, and I have a large desire to go, but if I can get a lot of money, especially in this economic climate, it doesn't seem wise for me to sit there for two hours if I can get $10,000 for the ticket," he said.

Daniel Moreno, 33, of Murrieta, California, said people trying to sell the tickets are disgracing Jackson by trying to capitalizing on his death.

"That kind of sucks, you know. The guy's dead," said Moreno, who posted a statement on Craigslist vowing to flag any listings selling Jackson memorial tickets.
Would anyone, as big an MJ fan as one could be, actually pay $10,000??

In the risk of appearing more eloquent than Daniel Moreno, it is a tad disappointing to see. The man's memorial is a tribute to a pop star who contributed a great deal to music over the course of many years. It should not be an opportunity to "make a buck," and blame the economy.

I'm sure enough fans have already paid their dues for concert tickets in decades past.

Happy Birthday President Bush!

I totally stole this photo...and he's 63 this year...but it's still cool!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

The Onion

I love The Onion. And panclocks.
SIOUX FALLS, SD—Managers of an area International House of Pancakes discovered 95 comment cards nailed to its front door Sunday, which were later identified as the work of local resident Ronald Lyman, a 53-year-old contractor and onetime regular customer who is calling for wide-scale reform of the venerable chain.

The self-styled pancake reformer decries IHOP indulgences such as whipped toppings.
"IHOP has grown weak on powdered sugar and fruity garnishes, forsaking the righteousness of its original rib-sticking mission," said Lyman, who nailed his 95 comments to the door shortly before the morning brunch rush, when they would receive maximum exposure. "This house is no longer a house of pancakes—it is a house of lies."

Lyman's 95 cards assail IHOP for what he perceives to be an "unholy alliance" of the sweet and the savory, a dangerously narrowing blueberry-to-batter ratio, hard-to-open butter packets, and an increasingly tall short stack. Fifteen cards alone attack the excessive breadth of syrup selection.

"IHOP is about pancakes, not syrups," card 41 reads. "No pancake can exist drowned in a pool of lingonberry. No man who comes hungry can leave happy on artificial orange-flavored goo."