Greetings From Fitzwalkerstan: Wisconsin GOP Denies Legislative Democrats Voting Rights

There is something very wrong with Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker and  Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald.  Their latest move is as nefarious as local or national politics can get. 

The Nation – John Nichols

Not content to deny state, county and municipal employees and teachers a voice in the workplace—with legislation that takes away collective bargaining rights—Wisconsin Republicans have now moved to deny Democratic legislators the right to vote on legislation as it is being considered by state Senate committees.

For the better part of a month, fourteen Democratic state senators denied Republicans the quorum they sought to pass Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker’s anti-labor legislation—and, in so doing, provided the time for the development of a mass movement that last Saturday drew more than 100,000 union supporters to the Capitol. The Democratic senators have returned and the legislation has passed.

But Republican poll numbers have collapsed. And they are furious.

How furious?

Walker and his legislative consigliere, state Senator Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, have now moved to deny the dissenting Democrats the right to participate in the legislative process.     More…

UPDATE:  GOP to lift voting block on Dem senators


Palin Faces Conservative Backlash

I suppose it was just a matter of time before a whining, self-indulgent, perpetual “victim” like Sarah Palin would face disdain and ridicule from the conservative members of the GOP.

I recommend this article to everyone.  Politico’s JONATHAN MARTIN & JOHN F. HARRIS have written an extensive article on Palin and her apparent fall from grace with the conservative elites.


Sarah Palin has played the sexism card, accusing critics of chauvinism against a strong woman.
She has played the class card, dismissing the Bush family as “blue bloods” and complaining that she is the target of snobbery by people who dislike her simply because she is “not so hoity-toity.”

Most famously, she has played the victim card — never more vividly than when she invoked the loaded phrase “blood libel” against liberals and media commentators in the wake of the Gabrielle Giffords shooting.

Palin’s flamboyant rhetoric always has thrilled supporters, but lately it is coming at a new cost: a backlash, not from liberals but from some of the country’s most influential conservative commentators and intellectuals. (Related: Sarah Palin charges critics with ‘blood libel’)

Palin’s politics of grievance and group identity, according to these critics, is a betrayal of conservative principles. For decades, it was a standard line of the right that liberals cynically promoted victimhood to achieve their goals and that they practiced the politics of identity — race, sex and class—over ideas. (Related: Republicans learn cost of attacking Palin)

Among those taking aim at Palin in recent interviews with POLITICO are George F. Will, the elder statesman of conservative columnists; Peter Wehner, a top strategist in George W. Bush’s White House, and Heather Mac Donald, a leading voice with the right-leaning Manhattan Institute.

Read more:

Predicting Obama’s NCAA Predictions

I’m not a David Frum fan per se.  However, he is one of the few conservatives that I actually listen to when he appears on MSNBC or CNN. 

Here, predicts how President Obama will make his picks for the 2011 NCAA tournament next Tuesday. 

Frum puts a delightful political spin on the POTUS’ picks.  The thing is, he just may have hit on something.  Check it out…

Frum Forum

President Obama will be completing his NCAA men’s basketball tournament picks on Tuesday afternoon so they can be revealed on ESPN Wednesday.  The president takes his basketball seriously, but rest assured that his political team will make sure that Obama takes this opportunity to score a few bonus points with the voters (and fans) of the nation’s swing states.  Rather than dissect his decisions post hoc, below are a few predictions as to how the president will balance his inner basketball guru with his day job as the world’s leading political figure.

East: The president will have Ohio State beating North Carolina in the round of 8.  There are a lot of crazy Buckeye fans in Ohio that vote.

West: Michigan will get out of the first round despite being ripe for an upset.  The president will have Arizona knocking off Texas.  He will also have Penn State winning its first round game over Temple.  Ultimately, he picks Duke.  Sure, it’s an elite private school….but it is in North Carolina.

Southwest: Expect the president to pull a fast one on us and pick UNLV over the largest school in his home state, Illinois.  The people in Illinois like him.  The people of Nevada are, well, less sold on his virtues.

Obama will also shock us and pick Georgetown to fall in the first round, since there is nothing to be gained by supporting an elite private school located inside the beltway (also, Georgetown has looked awful without its star player Chris Wright and it is far from clear whether Wright is actually going to be healthy).  Ultimately, the president picks Notre Dame to emerge from the bracket.  Let’s not forget that the president spoke at the home of “Touchdown Jesus” and the school not only has clout in Indiana, it also has a huge nationwide fanbase.

Southeast: The president advances Michigan State over UCLA in the first round, leading him to have to pick between a Michigan school and the University of Florida.  Having already pleased Michigan State alums by picking them to upset UCLA, Obama will pick Florida to advance all the way to the Elite 8.  He’ll also have Wisconsin heading to the round of 16.  Eventually, the president will have Pitt and Florida clashing in the battle of chalk.  An unenviable decision to make for a man that needs to win both states, the president will opt for Pitt.

Thus, Obama will have a Final Four of: Ohio State, Duke, Pitt, Notre Dame.  In his national championship game, the President will have Pitt knocking off Ohio State.

Mayor of New Mexico Border Town Indicted for Gun Smuggling


Running easily purchased American guns to Mexican gangs is all the rage these days in the Great American Southwest, so you know it couldn’t be long until a border town’s mayor, sheriff, and city council got in on the fun.

Last week the feds arrested 11 people in New Mexico and charged them with trafficking hundreds of guns to Mexican drug gangs. Among them were Eddie Espinoza, the mayor of Columbus, N.M.; Angelo Vega, the town’s police chief; and Blas Gutierrez, who sits on Columbus’ village council. The indictment accuses Espinoza of acting as a straw purchaser for 22 pistols destined for Mexico and of renting an apartment in El Paso, Texas, to store weapons. Vega, the police chief, is accused of buying bullet-proof vests to smuggle to the cartels. All together, they stand accused of buying more than 200 guns in 14 months.

Columbus is directly across the border from Palomas, Mexico, and is described by the AP as suffering for years from “allegations of rampant drug and human smuggling, an economy awash in narcotics cash from Mexico, and a revolving-door department that had been led by six police chiefs in three years.” Sounds more like Old Mexico, amiright?

NPR Sting Video Edited Out Of Context

When will the mainstream media get it? 

Anything that comes from “Project Veritas” and James O’Keefe is manipulated, edited and contrived.

Huffington Post

Last week, a Project Veritas “sting” operation directed at National Public Radio cost some NPR executives their jobs. Beginning with Senior Vice President for Fundraising Ron Schiller, who was depicted on tape disparaging the Tea Party movement and suggesting that NPR should move away from federal funding (a position with arguable merit, but probably very unpopular at NPR), the fallout eventually cost NPR CEO Vivian Schiller her job as well.

That’s sort of the NPR way: when one of the humans under their employ gets in trouble for expressing their opinions, everyone starts panicking and people start getting fired. Further analysis of the original video, however, demonstrates the wisdom of the old maxim, “act in haste, repent in leisure.”

Glenn Beck-branded website The Blaze may seem an unlikely defender of NPR, but when the site’s editor, Scott Baker, and video production specialist, Pam Key, examined the raw footage, they found “questionable editing and tactics” and reported them all out. The observations they make in their analysis include the following:

— The video “does not explain how the NPR executives would have a basis to believe they were meeting with a Muslim Brotherhood front group,” and indeed “includes a longer section of description that seems to downplay connections of the MEAC group to the Muslim Brotherhood as popularly perceived.”

— The video is edited to make it appear that Ron Schiller “is aware and perhaps amused or approving of the MEAC[‘s]” advocacy for Sharia law, but Schiller’s “Really? That’s what they said?” remark is actually made in reference to “confusion” involving the “restaurant reservation.”

Crisis at Japan Nuclear Plant

The Daily Beast

Could the manmade disaster surpass the natural one? Experts are calling the Japanese nuclear crisis the worst since Chernobyl after a third explosion and a fire at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant Monday. Radiation levels near one reactor were 400 times the normal amount a human should experience in a year. Japan’s government has told people living within 20 miles of the plant to stay indoors, and the Tokyo metropolitan government has said it has detected radiation levels 20 times above normal over the city. So far, winds have blown most of the radiation out to sea.

The Fukushima Daiichi plant is 150 miles north of Tokyo. The latest blast, the third in four days, is the worst yet and raises the likelihood of a nuclear catastrophe to uncomfortable levels, according to worried industry experts. The explosion damaged the integrity of the reactor’s steel containment structure, spewing radioactive materials into the air. Most of the plant’s 800 workers were evacuated due to the threat of radiation—meaning that they will not be around to help avert the possible nuclear meltdown.

Indian Point director Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester: It could happen here
• Sharon Begley on the Japan nuke problem that no one’s talking about
• Robert Bryce on how nuclear energy has hit a dead end in America
• See our gallery of history’s 10 worst nuclear accidents
• Professors explain what a full nuclear meltdown is