No Runny Eggs

The repository of one hard-boiled egg from the south suburbs of Milwaukee, Wisconsin (and the occassional guest-blogger). The ramblings within may or may not offend, shock and awe you, but they are what I (or my guest-bloggers) think.

Archive for August, 2007

August 31, 2007

Do they teach history in France?

by @ 23:55. Filed under History, Presstitute Follies.

(H/T – Allahpundit)

Agence France-Presse claims in a story about the Soviet Unio…er, Russia’s plans to have a manned Moon mission by 2025 that “(t)he only moon landing in history is NASA’s Apollo expedition in 1968.”

Really? Let’s review a short history of successful lunar landings (except for the first 2 items, crash-landings are not included), culled from NASA’s Lunar Exploration Timeline and John Walker’s Lunar Landing Sites page:

  • The Soviet Union’s Luna 2 – impacted the Moon September 13, 1959 (first object to touch the Moon)
  • America’s Ranger 4 – impacted the Moon April 26, 1962 (first American object to touch the moon)
  • The Soviet Union’s Luna 9 – landed on the Moon February 3, 1966 (first object to survive a landing through the use of airbags to absorb the impact of a 30+mph landing)
  • America’s Surveyor 1 – landed on the Moon June 2, 1966 (first object to land on the Moon at a safe-for-humans speed; 16.5 ft/sec)
  • The Soviet Union’s Luna 13 – landed on the Moon December 24, 1966
  • America’s Surveyor 3 – landed on the Moon April 20, 1967
  • America’s Surveyor 5 – landed on the Moon September 11, 1967
  • America’s Surveyor 6 – landed on the Moon November 10, 1967
  • America’s Surveyor 7 – landed on the Moon January 10, 1968 (of note, the only lunar landing in 1968)
  • America’s Apollo 11 – landed on the Moon July 20, 1969 (first manned landing and first mission to lift off from the Moon’s surface)
  • America’s Apollo 12 – landed on the Moon November 19, 1969
  • The Soviet Union’s Luna 16 – landed on the Moon September 20, 1970 (first unmanned mission to lift off from the Moon’s surface)
  • The Soviet Union’s Luna 17 – landed on the Moon November 17, 1970 (first rover – unmanned)
  • America’s Apollo 14 – landed on the Moon February 5, 1971
  • America’s Apollo 15 – landed on the Moon July 30, 1971 (first manned rover)
  • The Soviet Union’s Luna 20 – landed on the Moon February 21, 1972 (unmanned)
  • America’s Apollo 16 – landed on the Moon April 20, 1972
  • America’s Apollo 17 – landed on the Moon December 11, 1972 (last manned mission)
  • The Soviet Union’s Luna 21 – landed on the Moon January 15, 1973
  • The Soviet Union’s Luna 23 – landed on the Moon November 6, 1974 (note: a drill on the lander was damaged during landing, rendering its primary mission of returning soil to Earth undoable)
  • The Soviet Union’s Luna 24 – landed on the Moon August 18, 1976 (last mission that included a planned “survivable” landing)

There have been several missions in the last decade and a half where a spacecraft has been intentionally crashed into the Moon as the last act of the mission. Also, there were far more than 24 Soviet Luna missions; most of the spectacular failures were never acknowledged by the Soviets.

August 30, 2007

Fred’s entry – T-minus 1:58 7 days and counting

by @ 13:32. Filed under Politics - National.

Jeff Emanuel at RedState has the scoop. At 3:30 pm CDT, Fred Thompson will announce he’s entering the race for the Republican Presidential nomination.

Revisions/extensions (4:21 pm 8/30/2007) – The Fred announcement tour begins on Thursday, September 6, the day he will tell the Federal Election Commission that he is no longer just “testing the waters”.

Everything you need to know about the UN “inspection” process

by @ 13:04. Filed under War on Terror.

(H/T – Sister Toldjah)

11 years after the initial discovery of several vials of phosgene gas in Iraq, the re-discovery of said vials at a UN building in New York City touched off a kerfuffle. The statement from the UN is less than reassuring:

On Friday 24th August 2007 in archiving UNSCOM files, UNMOVI staff discovered two small plastic packages with metal and glass containers (ranging in size from small vials to tubes the length of a pen) with unknown liquid substances. The archives are located at the UNMOVIC headquarters, 866 East 48th Street, 3rd and 6th floors.

An initial investigation has revealed that these items were recovered from a former Iraqi chemical weapons facility, al Muthamma, by UNSCOM inspectors in 1996.

It was only on 29 August, however, that the inspection report containing an inventory of the items was recovered. The inventory shows that one of the items may contain phosgene (COCL2) suspended in oil — an old generation chemical warfare agent. The inventory also indicated that the other package contains Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) reference standards in sealed glass tubes. These standards are used to calibrate chemical analytical equipment.

UNMOVIC has confirmed that normally such items would have been transported directly to appropriately equipped laboratories for analysis and not sent to UNSCOM/ UNMOVIC headquarters in New York. In the past, UNSCOM chemical samples were sent via military transport directly to Edgewood labs.

And this is the agency we’re supposed to trust with certification of disarmament of WMDs?

Doyle to Grandma – Feel my pain so I can raise everybody’s taxes

by @ 12:51. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin, Taxes.

Despite the fact that there is no budget crisis because revenues and spending continues at the rates in the budget (thus automatically increasing the amount available for Medicaid, as well as increasing the amount collected by other various taxes), and the fact there won’t be a Medicaid funding “crisis” until 2009, Jim “Craps” Doyle (WEAC/Potawatomi-For Sale) has ordered a 20% reduction in Medicaid spending, with plans to spread the self-inflicted pain even further if he doesn’t get the doubling of taxes that he and the Legislative ‘Rats want. If I were healthier, I might have beat Dad29 to the proper analysis:

Which, of course, is the reality. It’s not a question of running short of funds. It’s a question of not getting his way.

So he stamps his foot and pouts.

That’s a helluva way to govern, Darth.

August 29, 2007

Sick as a dog

by @ 16:46. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Blogging will be light for a while. Head’s spinning and hurting, body’s as frigid as an ice road, and my eyes are bulging.

I didn’t know there were farms in Manhattan, NY

by @ 10:10. Filed under Politics - National.

(H/T – Slublog)

NRO’s The Cornerhas a very interesting map of those living in Manhattan, NY that are getting farm subsidies. Do note the 5 large dots; they’re people getting more than $250,000 per year in farm subsidies.

Under the House Dhimm farm bill, they’re likely to continue to receive those grants; those making up to $1,000,000 per year are eligible, with loopholes allowing even more-wealthy “farmers” to get in on the trough.

August 28, 2007

Let’s make it 100 for 100

by @ 19:53. Filed under Guns.

(H/T – Geoff at JunkYardBlog)

Michael at Innocent Bystanders picks up on a Reuters report that America has 90 guns per 100 citizens and suggests we all charge north. While I like the idea of no longer having to import my Kokanee and Labatt Maximum Ice, or pay non-citizen rates for a fishing license, I don’t like the prospect of having to supply my SocSecurity number to get that license.

While I have your attention, a late reminder from US Citizen at Traction Control that today is Buy Ammo Day. I am running a bit low on .40 S&W FMJ.

Revisions/extensions (7:59 pm 8/28/2007) – Elliot has the money quote from the AP version – “‘There’s no clear relationship between more guns and higher levels of violence,’ Krause said, pointing to low ownership and high crime rates in Latin America.”

Do you still think The Second Sentence or the DOMA amendment was unnecessary?

(H/T – Dad29)

Just to refresh your memory, here is Section 13 of Article XIII of the Wisconsin constitution:

Only a marriage between one man and one woman shall be valid or recognized as a marriage in this state. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized in this state.

The California Supreme Court is currently considering a consolidated set of cases where the city of San Francisco and assorted nuts want to force California to recognize gay “marriages”. Before I get to the truly-mind-blowing part of the post, here’s a short history cribbed from, an outfit seeking to enshrine marriage into California’s constitution:

– In 2000, voters approved Proposition 22, which became Family Code section 308.5, which read in entirety, “Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California.” Do note that, other than a grammatical anomaly and the substitution of “this state” for “California”, that is The First Sentence. Also, do note that the Family Code is part of California’s statutes, not its constitution.

– Between 2003 and 2005, the California Legislature systematically extended every right traditionally reserved for marriage to same-sex couples under the banner “domestic partnerships”, including forcing private entites who either have government contracts or provide insurance to provide full married benefits to same-sex couples.

– In 2004, San Francisco issued same-sex “marriage certificates” in violation of state law. While California’s Supreme Court voided it, it invited a challenge to Family Code 308.5 on “constitutional” grounds, which was promptly issued.

– In 2005, the California courts held those extensions “constitutional” by declaring that Prop 22/Family Code 308.5 only protected the name “marriage” and not any rights associated it, and then extended the force-feeding of same-sex benefits to all entities that provide public accomodations.

– In 2006, an appellate court ruled that Family Code 308.5 did prohibit same-sex “marriage”. That case is part of a consolidated set of marriage cases currently before the California Supreme Court.

Even before we get to the bombshell, we have “(a) legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage” created in California. Now, on to the bombshell.

On June 20, the California Supreme Court asked the interested parties in the consolidated marriage cases referenced above to answer four questions:

  1. What differences in legal rights or benefits and legal obligations or duties exist under current California law affecting those couples who are registered domestic partners as compared to those couples who are legally married spouses? Please list all of the current differences of which you are aware.
  2. What, if any, are the minimum, constitutionally-guaranteed substantive attributes or rights that are embodied within the fundamental constitutional “right
    to marry” that is referred to in cases such as Perez v. Sharp (1948) 32 Cal.2d 711, 713-714? In other words, what set of substantive rights and/or obligations, if any, does a married couple possess that, because of their constitutionally protected status under the state Constitution, may not (in the absence of a compelling interest) be eliminated or abrogated by the Legislature, or by the people through the initiative process, without amending the California Constitution?
  3. Do the terms “marriage” or “marry” themselves have constitutional significance under the California Constitution? Could the Legislature, consistent with the California Constitution, change the name of the legal relationship of “marriage” to some other name, assuming the legislation preserved all of the rights and obligations that are now associated with marriage?
  4. Should Family Code section 308.5 – which provides that “[o]nly marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California” – be interpreted to prohibit only the recognition in California of same-sex marriages that are entered into in another state or country or does the provision also apply to and prohibit same-sex marriages entered into within California? Under the Full Faith and Credit Clause and the Privileges and Immunities Clause of the federal Constitution (U.S. Const., art. IV, ?? 1, 2, cl.1), could California recognize same-sex marriages that are entered into within California but deny such recognition to same-sex marriages that are entered into in another state? Do these federal constitutional provisions affect how Family Code section 308.5 should be interpreted?

Both Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (RINO-Hollywood and Attorney General Jerry Brown (D-Moon) filed briefs that answered the first 3 questions essentially identically.

Answer #1 summary (identical in both briefs) – There Are No Differences Between the Legal Rights and Benefits or the Legal Obligations and Duties Provided to Married Couples and Those Provided to Registered Domestic Partners Under California Law. Mostly noted above, though Brown’s brief took the added step of noting that even if “marriage” were granted to same-sex couples, it would not be recognized under federal law or by other states.

To that, I say, “Only until the Ninth Circus gets a hold of it.”

Answer #2 summary (Brown’s brief) – Although a Compelling Justification Would Be Needed Before the State Could Forbid a Man and a Woman from Entering into the Essential Relationship We Know as Marriage, Married Couples Do Not Possess Any Substantive Right Or Obligation Under Californa Law That Could Not Be Eliminated by Legislative Action Supported by a Rational Basis. (Schwarzenegger’s brief summary begins after the comma) Of particular note is the last sentence of both briefs (Brown’s brief quoted; Schwarzenegger’s brief essentially identical) – “But the State submits that, except for this essential ability to choose and declare one’s life partner in a reciprocal and binding contractual committment of mutual support, any of the statutory rights and obligations that are afforded exclusively to married couples in California could be aborgated or eliminated by the Legislature or the electorate for any rational legislative purpose.”

In short, the only guaranteed right of marriage in California is to choose one’s “life partner” (the phrase is used in both briefs). Before I get to the item that makes even this moot in the eyes of the executive branch of California’s government, I will note that Schwarzenegger urges in his answer to the fourth question that Family Code section 308.5 be interpreted to mean that same-sex “marriages” not be recognized regardless of where they were entered into.

Answer #3 summary (identical in both briefs) – No Constitutional Provision Would Prohibit Changing the Name of the Marriage Relationship to Some Other Name. And thus “marriage” and Proposition 22/Family Code section 308.5 die. I will note that Schwarzenegger’s brief notes that the reference to “marriage” in Prop 22 might mean that any change in the name could require a vote of the people.

In short, without The Second Sentence, and without the protection of being part of Wisconsin’s constitution, The First Sentence would have been utterly meaningless, as it would neither have defended the institution of marriage nor the name of marriage itself.

August 27, 2007

And we’re supposed to trust them on “global warming”?

I don’t recall any of the early-morning forecasts mentioning any possibility of rain today. That’s funny; I saw rain and even heard some thunder about noon. At least I didn’t end up like the golfer killed under a pine tree in Madison when a driving thunderstorm rolled through there about 10 am.

This little piggie part 2; the schools

by @ 13:43. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin, Taxes.

Most of the attacks on revenue limits to the schools have been on the belt-tightening forced upon districts that are shrinking. A story in today’s Milwaukee Journal Sentinel launches a new front; they find that districts that are have increasing enrollment can’t unilaterally increase taxes and spending by an unlimited amount. They even trot out a line from one of the myriad of front groups for the teachers’ union and school districts, the Institute for Wisconsin’s Future – “One of its criticisms is that under the revenue caps, the amount of money a district may raise from year to year is based largely on enrollment, without regard to cost increases for the services that districts provide.”

Ignoring the fact that school districts can and often do bust the caps with voter approval, there is a basic lie in that statement; there is an automatic adjustment for cost increases in the cap. It may or may not be enough for the teat-suckers of WEAC, MEA and WEA Trust, but it is there.

This little piggie part 1; the municipalities

by @ 13:33. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin, Taxes.

Even though Wisconsin’s forefathers planned for the likelyhood of an unbreakable impasse in the adoption of a new biennial budget by decreeing that state taxing and spending continues at the levels of the previous budget in that event, the not-so-little piggies known as municipal politicans are whining that they don’t know whether they can bust open the tax-and-spend spigot. The editorial-passing-as-a-story money quote: “The general consensus, however, appears to be this: The earlier the resolution, the better. But only if the resolution is a good one.”

August 24, 2007

But, but, but I thought Apples were invulnerable part 2

by @ 18:36. Filed under Business. is reporting that there are no less than three working hacks of the Apple iPhone that fully-untether it from AT&T’s network. While it is legal, at least in the US, I won’t be supplying the links (mainly because I can’t afford an iPhone, but also because I strongly suspect that all the methods will void the warranty).

A word to the wise; if you do hack an iPhone for use in the US, you’re going to have to pay the $175 termination fee to AT&T and then pony up to T-Mobile’s network as Sprint and Verizon and US Cellular use an incompatible network format.

Revisions/extensions (7:08 pm 8/24/2007) – Added US Cellular to the list of incompatible networks. The iPhone operates on GSM networks only.

Fifth Column/Fourth Estate strikes again for the Islamokazis

by @ 13:20. Filed under Presstitute Follies, War on Terror.

(H/Ts – Allahpundit and Geoff/JunkYardBlog)

The AP decided to throw a lit Molotov cocktail into the complex and volatile US/Pakistan relations and internal Pakistani politics and make public a 3-year-old memo authorizing incursions into Pakistan under certain conditions (MSNBC version/USA Today version. As Geoff pointed out, this was an open secret that, as long as it stayed in the shadows, wouldn’t screw up relations too much.

Now that this is out in the open, we can’t exactly do that anymore while providing Pakistani President strongman Gen. Pervez Musharraf plausable deniability. Instead, we have three choices: make it a very official joint effort, with the certainty that the Islamokazis that have been targeting Musharraf will redouble their efforts to overthrow him; increase the likelyhood that we and the Pakistani Army exchange gunfire; or make the entirety of Pakistan a safe haven for Al Qaeda and the Taliban.

Replacement Deep Tunnel Awards

With Charlie taking the day off to celebrate the release of 50 Rules Kids Won’t Learn in School, and a bunch of crap floating around (both figuratively and literally), I just couldn’t let another week go by without some noting of it. I have a voice for blogging, so you won’t have the multimedia presentation that the Blogfather usually does every Friday right after the 11:35 traffic, but let’s roll with it anyway. It’s time for the weekly Deep Tunnel Awards, handed out every week Charlie’s on the air Friday plus this week to the person, politician or institution who, like MMSD’s somewhat-almost-not-quite-deep-enough tunnel, was the most full of it.

Third runner-up this week – The Chicago Tribune and various pantywaist envirowhackos, who are about to derail an expansion of BP’s refinery in northern Indiana over a miniscule increase in the amount of crap they would be allowed to dump into Lake Michigan, up to 5,000 pounds per day from 3,500 pounds per day. BP has now promised to not increase their dumpings, even if it means they won’t expand production. Because that BP facility is one of only two that produces our very special blend of Algore/Whitman Memorial RFG, I hope the envirowhackos choke on $5/gallon gas (after I move out of here, that is) while braying the $2/gallon increase for a lake that is 0.000014% cleaner is worth it. Oh, and remember that number; I’ll get back to it.

Second runner-up this week – Michael Vick, who is set to plead guilty to a charge stemming from dogfights he and others participated in. May you try to escape and get an up-close-and-personal visit from a police German Shepherd.

First runner-up this week, in second place – The idiot who rammed Milwaukee County Deputy Kevin Johnson’s squad car as Johnson was cleaning up an accident scene on US-45. Kevin’s younger brother, Tim, was nearly killed doing the same thing back in January. Thankfully, Kevin was still in his squad car and escaped injury. Message to motorists – if you see flashing lights, don’t aim for them.

But the winner this week – Chicago’s Metropolitan Water Reclamation District, which, instead of sending its 243,000 pounds of crap daily down to the Mississippi like it usually does, is sending something north of that into Lake Michigan. Meanwhile, MMSD claims it can dump an average of 11,000 pounds of crap a day. And yet the envirowhackos continue to ignore that and bitch about an additional 1,500 pounds in exchange for something that’s absolutely needed, and about someone who takes a whiz over the side of a fishing boat.

What a load of crappy-crap-crap.

August 23, 2007

Healthy (and Depopulated) Wisconsin HR meeting

Nick got this ball rolling, but he only touched on one possible case. Let’s review a few more cases:

School districts – Absolutely, positively nothing changes with regard to the employee, as the rest of the state picks up through H&DW the difference in cost between the Rolls-Royce plan and what the rest of us suckers get through that plan, and school districts all over the state take advantage of the public-employer-only ability to pay the 4% employee tax. As it would take the form of supplemental insurance, the total cost of insurance will likely be higher than the amount currently paid, even if WEA Trust is one of the providers selected by the H&DW to participate in the main plan.

Other public employers – In most governing districts, again absolutely nothing changes with regard to the employee as said governments raise taxes to pay the cost of the supplemental insurance required to bring the total insurance up to the Bentley plan currently offered and take advantage of the public-employer-only ability to pay the 4% employee tax.

Private union shops – Nothing until the current CBA expires, then it’s Katie-bar-the-door. A main sticking point for those places where the employee contributes less than 4% of pay to health care is the inability of private employers to pay the 4% employee tax.

As an aside, if I read the H&DW plan right, those still covered privately via CBAs do not pay the taxes.

Non-union private shops that offer health insurance where the employer contribution is at or beyond 10% of payroll -In most cases, a reduction in health coverage to the H&DW non-teacher standard as private employers refuse to buy supplemental insurance without an upward change in the rest of the compensation package. For those employers that buy supplemental insurance, a reduction in the rest of the compensation package will occur.

Non-union private shops that offer health insurance where the employer contribution is well below 10% of payrollSee Nick’s analysis.

Non-union private shops that currently don’t offer health insurance – Those that can’t survive losing another 10% of payroll to government will go under. That that can will reduce compensation.

Self-employed – By and large, they will disappear, with nearly all of the lower-net-income entrepeneurs (under $50K/year) seeking greener pastures outside of Wisconsin.

Revisions/extensions (3:55 pm 8/23/2007) – Corrected typos.

August 21, 2007

Prayers for those in the Yucatan Peninsula

by @ 4:05. Filed under Weather.

Hurricane Dean made landfall as an intensifying Category 5 hurricane approximately 3:45 am at the village of Majaual, Mexico, about 175 miles south of Cancun and 45 miles northeast of Chetumal, Mexico. Just before landfall, the Hurricane Hunters measured the pressure at 906 mb (the lowest measured in this hurricane), with estimated sustained winds of 165 mph (the highest of this hurricane). The last hurricane to make landfall as a Category 5 was Andrew in 1992. Dean was the third-most intense hurricane at landfall, behind only Hurricane Gilbert (1988) and the Labor Day Hurricane (1935).

Hopefully, everybody near there evacuated to higher ground.

“24” attempts to jump shark, gets digested

by @ 2:10. Filed under Miscellaneous.

If this exclusive from TV Guide is right, unfunny “commedianne” Janeane Garofalo will become a regular on the 7th season of “24”.

Between that, the Hiliary-stand-in President, the focus on being green and the aborted attempt to take the show to Africa, it’ll make the craptastic compilation season 6 look like Seasons 3 and 4. Please tell me that Jack at least gets to garrote Janeane

Punching in a link to bRight & Early’s First Cup/Overnight News Post to get the attention of B4B regular Jim.

Stupid headline of the day

by @ 0:23. Filed under Presstitute Follies, Weather.

The headline on this story from the Palm Beach Post may or may not be fixed by the time you read this, so I’ve got a screencap of it in its full glory. Don’t mind the remainder of my desktop; I wanted to get the time in there as well.

(Click for the full-sized pic)

August 20, 2007

SF Chronicle – We’re for Democraticy, not democracy

Thanks to the fine folks at Free Republic, I’ve expanded my search for stupid idiotorials. The San Francisco Chronicle obliged with a missive (mis)titled “In defense of 55 electoral votes”. How is this idiotorial wrong? Let’s count the ways…

AMERICANS DON’T like the Electoral College. It’s unwieldy, it seems anti-democratic and it has given rise to one of the more despicable facts of modern presidential campaigning: rather than addressing the concerns of the entire country, major-party candidates choose to do most of their post-primary campaigning in just a few battleground states – Ohio and Florida happen to be the most popular ones right now. So, in the face of a proposed California ballot measure that means to erode it, allow us to explain why the Electoral College system is worth defending – at least until someone comes up with a nonpartisan, effective means of abolishing it.

It’s meant to be unwieldy. Indeed, it’s meant to preserve, after a fashion, the last bit of rights the states have over the federal government. I’m sure that, especially now, Plastic Pelosi’s hometown paper would love the British system of the party that runs the legislative automatically running the executive. Oh, and if anything, that’s less-democratic (small “d”) than what we have now.

I’ll wait until a bit later to take a whack at their “defense”, but I will note right now that a ballot initiative is of questionable constitutionality. The US Constitution specifically gives the various state legislatures sole determination of how to allocate the electors. It could easily be argued that a change in the allocation via California’s ballot initiative, which does not involve the Legislature at all, would be explicitly unconstitutional.

The ballot measure, known right now only as No. 07-0032, was filed by Thomas W. Hiltachk, managing partner of Bell, McAndrews & Hiltachk. This is the law firm for the California Republican Party. The measure would do away with the custom of awarding all of California’s 55 electoral votes to the winner of the statewide popular vote. Instead, 2 electoral votes would be given to the statewide winner and the rest would be given to whoever won in each of 53 congressional districts. Because 19 of California’s 53 districts are represented by Republicans, and 22 districts voted for President Bush in 2004, this initiative would probably offer around 20 electoral votes to a Republican in the 2008 presidential election.

But, but, but I thought the Chronicle wanted democracy. Two states (Maine and Nebraska) already allocate their electors this way.

“What can be more fair than this?” said Kevin Eckery, spokesman for Californians for Equal Representation, which is the nominal entity sponsoring the initiative. “Everyone’s voice is going to be heard. It could even help third-party candidates, like the Green Party, in a place like San Francisco.”

It definitely would boost turnout in various portions of California. Of course, most of them would be Pubbies that would finally have a reason to vote, and the rest would be the Naderites.

Also, placing a good number of formerly-safe ‘Rat votes into the mix will get the candidates into California. Then again, that’s not the Chronicle’s goal; it is to get DhimmiRATs elected no matter what.

Please. This is nothing but dirty politics. Nor are snatch-and-grab initiatives just like this one the sole province of Republican interests. In 2004, Colorado voters rejected a similar initiative that would’ve benefited the Democratic presidential nominee, U.S. Sen. John Kerry. (President Bush beat Kerry 52 to 42 percent, but had the initiative passed, Kerry would’ve gotten 4 electoral votes to Bush’s 5.)…

STOP THE TAPE! Giving 100% of one state’s electoral vote to somebody who garners a plurality is the very definition of dirty politics. As an aside, the emphasis was in the original. Roll tape.

…Colorado voters, who initially supported the measure, realized a couple of things that Californians must come to recognize should No. 07-0032 make it onto our June 3 ballot:

— Splitting the number of electoral votes a candidate can win from any one state is highly unlikely to motivate them to spend more time here,…

STOP THE TAPE!!! When was the last time a Presidential candidate really invested time in California? The ‘Rats currently considers those 55 almost as safe as New York’s, while the wiser Pubbies have completely ignored California since 1988. The only thing that might change that calculus under the current system is if the Pubbie hails from California, and neither half of the ‘Rat ticket is from west of the Rockies. Put at least some of those votes in play, and attention will necessarily follow.


— Measures such as this are useless and, usually, highly partisan, unless the entire country adopts them.

Which explains why Nebraska and Maine do this already </sarcasm>.

That’s why any credible measure to reform the Electoral College – and there have been hundreds of them, nearly all as flawed as the existing system – must be launched on a national level, preferably by a disinterested party.

Acutally, it can’t, at least without Congressional approval. Those schemes would involve either interstate compacts or a Constitutional amendment, and both have to go through Congress.

For instance, the efforts of John Koza – a genetic programming professor at Stanford University – to circumvent the Electoral College in favor of having each state ensure its electoral votes to the winner of the national popular vote merit attention. This isn’t because his idea is perfect (it’s certainly not). But what’s worth noting are the facts that he spearheaded a national movement (his group, National Popular Vote, has found 364 sponsors for bills in 47 states) and that Koza has fought hard to appeal to both political parties. (He’s been a Democratic elector, but he’s enthusiastically sought out Republican bill sponsors.) Koza understands that democracy can only work if everyone agrees to play by the same rules – and at the same time.

I do believe I whacked this before.

Would that the sponsors of No. 07-0032 felt the same way. To qualify for the June 3 primary ballot – a ballot that is expected to have low turnout, now that the Legislature has moved the presidential primary portion to Feb. 5 – they must collect more than 400,000 valid signatures. (Eckery said that, to be safe, they’ll need to collect a figure in the range of 700,000.) If the California Republican Party jumps in with money and support, California voters must consider who this measure will truly benefit – we promise that it’s not them.

As a change via ballot initiative would inevitably be tied up in the courts and likely struck down, I agree. However, if the California Legislature were to adopt that plan, I would be in favor.

If it’s over 2 inches of rain…

by @ 9:14. Filed under MMSD - The Crap People.

…(but mostly under 4), it’s time for MMSD to spew crap out into the lake. A combined sewer dump from the just-over-half-full Deep Tunnel been going on since 5:13 am this morning. All three major rivers have been contaminated (again) through most of their run inside the city. There’s two dumpings directly into Lake Michigan at S. Lincoln Memorial and E. Bay, and at S. Lincoln Memorial and E. Russell (I do not know whether this is part of the Deep Tunnel dump).

Tell me again why we had to build the not-Deep-enough Tunnel instead of separating downtown Milwaukee’s sewers. Tell me again why we should put everything not handled directly by a municipality at the whim of an MMSD-style board dominated by the city of Milwaukee.

Bravo Zulu, Shark

by @ 9:05. Filed under Law and order.

I’ll admit, I didn’t follow the case of In re M.R.N.. I should have. Rick Esenberg, who was one of the attorneys that got a victory for life, has a good primer of what the issues were. To wit:

– M.R.N., who reportedly suffers from violent dementia, was placed under sedation.
– She did not leave an advance directive of whether or when to end basic life support (water and feeding tube).
– Her “guardian”, along with Milwaukee attorney Robin Shapiro, decided to try to end said support, with the preference that the proceding be closed (i.e. secret).
– Of particular note, they neither claimed that M.R.N. was in a persistive vegitative state nor claimed that anybody knew M.R.N.’s wishes. That is key because under the current state of Wisconsin law (including a 1997 State Supreme Court decision), barring either the ward being in a persistive vegitative state or the ward giving a clear expression of preference, life support cannot be withdrawn at the request of a guardian.

On Friday, Shapiro and the “guardian” withdrew their request without prejudice. Ignoring the fact that they can bring it back, it is a major victory. If those murderers had succeeded, it would have made euthanasia a simple two-step of knocking somebody out and then finding somebody to say, “Kill ’em.”

August 18, 2007

Perfect way to waste your early Saturday evening

by @ 8:09. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Radio4Bauer is having its second show tonight at 5:30 (not 4:30 CDT; if you’re smart enough to be here, you’re smart enough to figure out the conversion). I wonder if the rumor that Joel Surnow and company snagged Karl Rove and Tony Snow to make season 7 less craptacular than the compilation season 6 is true.

August 17, 2007

Post-vacation roll bloat

by @ 11:40. Filed under The Blog.

If it’s a new month, it’s time to add some more to that bloated roll on the right. Please welcome The (Somewhat) Daily RAG out of Pleasant Prairie.

Midwest to remain private…for now – UPDATE – link to the agreement

by @ 11:01. Filed under Business.

Good news/bad news – With a major assist from Northwors…er, Northwest, TPG Capital will be taking Midwest Airlines private (pending anti-trust approval). The good is is that much of the current management will be staying around rather than the entire function being moved south. The bad; Northwest is going to want their money back quickly, and the airline industry isn’t exactly a growth industry. That’ll mean cuts.

Congrats to the 4 people who said that they’d go to somebody other than AirTrans. Another person and I got close and said a deal would be done by Labor Day (though we said AirTrans would win). For your approval, here’s the results of that poll.

When will Midwest Airlines be sold to AirTran?

Up to 1 answer(s) was/were allowed

  • Between Labor Day, 2007 and the day before Thanksgiving, 2007 (27%, 4 Vote(s))
  • They won't be sold to AirTran, but will be sold to somebody else (27%, 4 Vote(s))
  • Prior to Labor Day, 2007 (13%, 2 Vote(s))
  • Between January 1, 2008 and June 30, 2008 (13%, 2 Vote(s))
  • They'll remain independent (13%, 2 Vote(s))
  • Between Thanksgiving Day, 2007 and December 31, 2007 (7%, 1 Vote(s))
  • A date after June 30, 2008 (0%, 0 Vote(s))

Total Voters: 15

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Revisions/extensions (11:32 am 8/17/2007) – The (Somewhat) Daily RAG found the merger agreement.

Helpful hint to the Dem Presidential candidates

To: Biden, Joseph; Clinton, Hillary; Dodd, Christopher; Edwards, John; Gravel, Mike; Kucinich, Dennis; Obama, Barack; Richardson, Bill
Cc: ABC News; CBS News; NBC News; CNN; New York Times; Washington Post; et al
Re: Your Republican opponent

With the abandonment of Tommy “The Other” Thompson’s long-shot campaign, there are currently no Republican candidates, either announced or likely, with any ties to the Bush Administration. Please make a note of it.

Emergency Blogging System
(What, you expected Steve to sign this one? He’s too busy laughing at your insistence on riding BDS with a Communistic backup plan to ruin, or that’s just a lack of sleep.)

P.S. With the Republican versions of Zero Personality and Human Gaffe Machine out of the race, you think you could get rid of the Gravel Road and Dennis the Menace?

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