Stories to Watch: 8/25/11
Making lasagna in a crockpot. You’d be amazed at how well this works. Now here’s the news…
Hey remember that case where one Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice was accused of choking another? Yeah, a special prosecutor says there won’t be any charges filed against anyone. Both David Prosser and Ann Walsh Bradley are in the clear. From what I’ve been reading, it seems that Sauk County district attorney Patricia Barrett (a Republican, BTW, but so far there’s no reason to doubt her) talked to all the witnesses and couldn’t really get anything sorted out — something you’d probably expect when the only witnesses were the state’s top lawyers. Neither side is backing away from their story and the prosecutor says that details of the investigation will be released, so we’ll see where it goes from there. Still, keep in mind that there aren’t any charges for anyone — meaning Bradley isn’t being accused of filing a false report. In other words, when Bradley said she believed she was being choked, the prosecutor doesn’t believe she was lying. At this point, the case seems destined to remain unresolved.
Eric Cantor is finding new hostages to take left and right.
John Huntsman continues to try to flank the rest of the GOP field on their left.
A new Pew poll finds voters unhappy with pretty much everyone.
Are we headed for a second market crash?
Hurricane Irene could be pretty dangerous. Stay safe, people.
Finally; that didn’t take long. The usual nuts say the east coast quake was a sign from God.
News Roundup for 6/27/11
Robertson, pictured suffering a brief bout of sanity
-Headline of the day-
“Robertson: God Will Destroy America For Marriage Equality.”
Now that the Empire State has fallen to the Homosexual Menace, professional lunatic Pat Robertson says America is doomed. Doomed!
“I think we need to remember the term sodomy came from a town known as Sodom and Sodom was destroyed by God Almighty and the thing that they practiced was homosexual activity and even they tried to rape angels who came down there, so that’s the kind of people they were,” he said — so you New Yorkers should probably lay off all that angel rape for a little bit.
“There isn’t one single civilization that has survived that openly embraced homosexuality,” he went on to say. “So you say, ‘what’s going to happen to America?’ Well if history is any guide, the same thing’s going to happen to us.” Seems like the Romans had a good thousand year run there and then they went all Christian and — poof! — they were gone.
But what do I know? I’m not a history expert like Pat. (Right Wing Watch, with video)
-Cartoon time with Mark Fiore-
Hey kids, it’s President Obama and he’s here to explain how a war can be something that’s not a war… Or how a something that is not a war but looks like one can be not a war… Or something. Anyway, here he is. Yay!
Click to read full post
Hope that clears everything up! (MarkFiore.com)
“Two Wisconsin Agencies Now Investigating Alleged Judge-on-Judge Assault.”
Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser is in hot water for allegedly trying to strangle another judge — which is pretty bad. Now the Dane County Sheriff and the state’s Judicial Commission are looking into the incident.
CNN however, is not. (ThinkProgress)
Despite Outcome of State Supreme Court Race, Democrats Definitely Have the Momentum in Wisconsin
The race for Wisconsin’s Supreme Court has finally ended and, after a recount, incumbent Justice David Prosser won over challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg, an assistant district attorney. In an editorial praising Kloppenburg for conceding, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel — which did not support the recount — had this to say:
In a normal year, Prosser, a judicial conservative, might not have faced much of a challenge for re-election. But Gov. Scott Walker’s efforts to curtail collective bargaining for most public employees bled over into the judicial campaign. While the race was nominally nonpartisan, conservatives tended to support Prosser; liberals tended to support Kloppenburg. A vote against Prosser became, unfairly in our view, a vote by proxy against Walker.
If this is the case, then Gov. Scott Walker lost. Kloppenburg’s supporters were outspent by 38% and in a four-way primary, the incumbent took 55% of the vote to Kloppenburg’s 25% second place. It was one helluva gap and JoAnne Kloppenburg closed it to less than one half of one percent. If this was a pro- and anti-Walker election, it’s not hard to see which side has the momentum. Had the primary results been even fractionally tighter, Kloppenburg would’ve won in a walk.
And there are still recall elections in the works. So far, the recall count is six Republicans, zero Democrats. While the pro-Democrat side relied on volunteers to get the job done, the pro-Republican folks decided to go with professional petitioners. This hurt them, as professional canvassers — being held to a quota — have reason to engage in fraud. Which, of course, they did. Presumably, the reason that no recall against Democrats has been certified yet is that signatures on GOP petitions are questionable.
Score one for the supremacy of the private sector, huh?
"We believe that when the facts are reviewed, the GAB will throw out thousands of flawed signatures because they were fraudulent or defective," said Senate Democratic Leader Mark Miller in a statement. “The vast depth of this misconduct calls into question the legitimacy of every signature collected by these circulators, and shows that the GOP effort failed to gather the valid signatures needed for recall elections.”
For their part, Republicans are doing what Republicans have come to do best — whine and play the victim card. The head of the Government Accountability Board, a non-partisan agency that oversees Wisconsin elections, is biased toward Democrats, they claim — despite the fact that he just certified a close race for Prosser, despite arguably having enough evidence to keep an investigation going. And they want his head. There are calls for the GAB’s Kevin Kennedy to resign.
"It is a big concern that the recall elections for the Democratic senators could be held after July 12," says Orville Seymer, director of field operations for the Milwaukee-based Citizens Responsible for Government — a pro-GOP group. "It all goes back to momentum."
That it does. Democrats have it, Republicans don’t. And that’s not likely to change any time soon.
Wisconsin Supreme Court Race Recount Update
From the Associated Press:
Justice David Prosser held a 7,316-vote lead over challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg before a statewide recount began April 27. The state Government Accountability Board is providing daily updates on the recount’s progress by precinct. Here’s a look at where the recount stood as of Friday afternoon:
_Precincts recounted and given a preliminary review by board staff: 3,455 of 3,602
_Prosser’s current total: 689,642
_Kloppenburg’s current total: 721,391
The good news: that represents 94% of the total vote.
The bad news: Waukesha County — home of the magically appearing Prosser lead — is still counting. Apparently, the gross incompetence of County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus left the county system in shambles and a judge extended their recount deadline by nearly three weeks.
Still, you do the math. Prosser was originally up by 7,316 and now he’s down by 31,749. Keeping my fingers crossed.
Stories to Watch: 5/7/11
Forecast for the upcoming week; rain. Then some rain. With rain on top. I comfort myself with the knowledge that any forecast more than 48 hours out is just guesswork. Now here’s the news…
Contrary to what all the rightwing sadists have been saying, the Bush administration’s reliance on torture almost certainly delayed bringing down Osama bin Laden.
President Obama says that green energy means jobs — mostly because everyone in the world is jumping on the bandwagon and the US is in danger of being left behind, hugging old, obsolete technology. “I don’t want other countries to win the competition…” he says. “I want American to win that competition.” Needless to say, this is the worst thing ever.
It’s going to be a pleasure to watch Rick Santorum lose almost as badly as he deserves to.
For the fourteen-bazillionth time: more drilling won’t lower gas prices. That is simply a fact. Whether you like that fact or not is irrelevant.
Remember that Kloppenburg/Prosser recount in Wisconsin? Yeah, Waukesha County continues to be a freakin’ mess, electorally. If those people reelect Kathy Nickolaus, they’re either rewarding corruption or rank incompetence.
Finally and still in Wisconsin news: although Gov. Walker and Republicans deny that they’re efforts are about busting unions, broken unions would undoubtedly be the result.
Are the GOP’s Recall Petitions a Bust or a Success?
By five o’clock central, we’ll know whether Wisconsin Supreme Court candidate JoAnne Kloppenburg will ask for a recount in her close race against incumbent David Prosser. The deadline is today. As it stands now, the nonpartisan Government Accountability Board took a look at the Waukesha County vote total — which put Prosser in the lead after the County Clerk found some 14,000 uncounted votes — and found “no major discrepancies" in the totals. If you’re wondering what a minor discrepancy is, join the club. The board didn’t elaborate.
Whichever way that election goes, it’s bad news for Governor Scott Walker and Republicans. Before Walker’s attempt at union-busting, the incumbent was set to win reelection in a walk. It wasn’t even going to be a contest. After only a few weeks of organizing time, pro-worker people narrowed the margin to a statistical dead heat — if Prosser wins, he’ll win by less than 0.5% as the numbers stand now. That’s down from a 30-point lead in the primary. If everything goes David Prosser’s way, Walker and Republicans will undoubtedly publicly claim they’ve been vindicated. But privately, they’ll be sweating bullets. The final vote tally, even if their guy wins, will not be a good omen for the future.
However, it probably tells us very little about how recalls will go. The Prosser-Kloppenburg race was a statewide contest, while recall elections will be fought at a more local level. In some districts, Prosser ruined Kloppenburg. In others, Kloppenburg had Prosser for lunch. Looking at the state Supreme Court race to divine the outcomes of recalls is almost certainly a fool’s errand.
As things stand now, Democrats have the signatures to file four recall petitions against Republicans. The GOP has so far filed none. According to Dave Weigel, this may be about to change.
How are the conservative activists doing? According to David VanderLeest, head of the campaign to recall Democratic Sen. Dave Hansen, activists have surpassed the 13,852 signature goal.
"I believe we’re going to go and drive the petitions down there to Madison by the end of the week," said VanderLeest. "We’ve surpassed the total by a couple of thousand. We’re just doing the administrative work now."
I’ve got calls out to other campaigns and will report how close they are. Don’t be surprised to hear about a rush of petitions to recall Democrats in the next seven days.
If this is true, you’ve got to wonder about the strategy here. At times, it’s seemed Democrats have been running to the press to announce every new signature, while Republicans have apparently been keeping their numbers under their hats. As a result, GOP voters have been watching Democrats set up target after target, while the Republican efforts have seemed to go nowhere. Right now, it really is four to zip, with Democrats leading. It has to be disheartening for voters on the right.
On the other hand, maybe they’re hoping to time their announcement with a “Prosser wins!” announcement, holding on to their news on the chance that Kloppenburg won’t ask for a recount today. Given the state of the race before Walker’s moves energized it, a Prosser victory would be embarrassingly slim, but a win is a win and the perception of momentum can sometimes become momentum. If this scenario is the case, expect to see a lot of “the tide is turning” talk, no matter how manufactured this turning of the tide may be.
If there’s one thing we can count on, it’s that the press will always allow Republicans to set the narrative — either nationally or at the state level. If they say, “the tide is turning in Wisconsin!” then the media will ask, “Is the tide turning in Wisconsin?”
Bet on it.
Stories to Watch: 4/15/11
How about that new Statue of Liberty stamp, huh? You’d think someone would’ve actually looked at the photo. Seems completely obvious to me. Now here’s the news…
House dems painted the GOP into a corner today, essentially forcing them to vote against what would’ve been a conservative wet dream. Hilarity ensued.
That was fun. But Paul Ryan’s marginally less insane budget proposal passed anyway.
President Obama is caught on a hot mic ripping on Republicans.
Tim Pawlenty seems to believe he can win the White House byembracing an alternate reality.
Incumbent Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser is one step closer to victory, but Kloppenburg’s close enough to get a free recount.
But not as alternate a reality as Tennessee state Rep. Frank Nicely, who seems to believe that Albert Einstein was a Christian fundamentalist.
Finally, DCCC Chairman Steve Israel says the vote to pass Ryan’s Medicare-scrapping budget will cost Republicans the House.