Your love and respect for our troops is REAL!
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.
President Obama addresses the nation tonight about the war in Iraq.
I strongly suspect he will not use the word “victory.” He will not admit he was wrong about the surge he adamantly opposed with other leading Democrats. He will not give credit to President Bush.
Our arrogant, egotistical Commander-in-Chief has already begun touting his successes. From his weekly radio address Saturday:
“As a candidate for this office, I pledged I would end this war. As President, that is what I am doing. We have brought home more than 90,000 troops since I took office. We have closed or turned over to Iraq hundreds of bases. In many parts of the country, Iraqis have already taken the lead for security.
In the months ahead, our troops will continue to support and train Iraqi forces, partner with Iraqis in counterterrorism missions, and protect our civilian and military efforts. But the bottom line is this: the war is ending. Like any sovereign, independent nation, Iraq is free to chart its own course. And by the end of next year, all of our troops will be home.”
Earlier this month in Atlanta, the president told disabled veterans he was keeping a campaign promise to end the war “on schedule.” The problem is, the timetable for ending the war was scheduled long before he took office. It occurred on President Bush’s watch. CNS News reports:
“The timetable for withdrawing U.S. troops in Iraq was decided during the Bush administration with the signing of the Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA) by U.S. and Iraq officials on Nov. 16, 2008. The Iraqi parliament signed SOFA on Nov. 27, 2008.
The agreement, which had been in negotiations since 2007, set a timetable calling for most U.S. troops to leave Iraqi towns and cities by June 30, 2009, with about 50,000 troops left in place until the final withdrawal of all U.S. military forces by Dec. 31, 2011.”
Stephen Hadley writes in today’s Wall Street Journal:
“The U.S. effort in Iraq is not over. Some 50,000 U.S. troops, together with a robust diplomatic presence, continue to train and assist Iraq’s security forces and support its democratic progress. The American people, our coalition allies and especially the Iraqi people have paid an enormous price. It is important to remember why.
For over two decades, the regime of Saddam Hussein had threatened the national security of the United States, its key allies and the stability of the Middle East. It had invaded some of its neighbors (Iran and Kuwait) and threatened others (including Saudi Arabia and Israel). It had produced weapons of mass destruction, used them on its own people and the people of Iran, and threatened to use them against others.
Perhaps the most critical moment was President Bush’s decision in January 2007 to add over 20,000 American combat troops and change the military strategy. He was actively opposed by a majority of the Congress and a commentariat that argued for everything from withdrawing immediately to partitioning the country.
Following Mr. Bush’s decision, U.S. military forces and diplomats forged an unprecedented partnership to implement the new strategy and break the back of an insurgency that threatened to tear the country apart. Their success permitted the United States to begin withdrawing its troops in December 2007. By December 2008, Mr. Bush and Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki could sign agreements providing both a long-term U.S.-Iraqi partnership and the withdrawal of all American troops by the end of 2011.”
President Obama deserves no credit for the current developments in Iraq. He opposed the war, and until recently, has shown little regard for our troops. Don’t be fooled by anything he pontificates tonight.
I see the federal government has rejected Wisconsin’s request for a one-time exemption from the new-for-2010 45-day window for sending out federal absentee ballots to overseas and military voters while I was away. Since Wisconsin’s primary election is 49 days before the general election, on September 14, it would be logistically impossible to comply with the requirement that absentee ballots be available to overseas and military voters by September 18, 45 days before the general election.
Before I get to the “Who the hell screwed up and how?” question, I first must clarify what the new requirement is. From page 133 of the National Defense Authorization
Act for Fiscal Year 2010’’, which is amending the states’ requirements under the Uniformed and Overseas Absentee Voting Act:
(a) IN GENERAL.—Section 102 of the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act (42 U.S.C. 1973ff–1(a)(1)), as amended by sections 577 and 578, is amended—
(1) in subsection (a)—
(A) in paragraph (6), by striking ‘‘and’’ at the end; (B) in paragraph (7), by striking the period at the end and inserting a semicolon; and
(C) by adding at the end the following new paragraph:
‘‘(8) transmit a validly requested absentee ballot to an absent uniformed services voter or overseas voter—
‘‘(A) except as provided in subsection (g), in the case in which the request is received at least 45 days before an election for Federal office, not later than 45 days before the election; and
‘‘(B) in the case in which the request is received less than 45 days before an election for Federal office—
‘‘(i) in accordance with State law; and
‘‘(ii) if practicable and as determined appropriate by the State, in a manner that expedites the transmission of such absentee ballot.’’;
The first part is going to be blown because Wisconsin takes 19 days to certify the primary results and get the ballots printed. However, the second part won’t be a problem becuase Wisconsin already allows military/overseas absentee ballots to be sent out if the request comes in 30 days prior to the election, and as the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel pointed out, somewhere less than 4% of the military/overseas ballots were rejected in the 2008 general election for all reasons, not just for being late.
So, what is the consequence of not having the absentee ballots out 45 days prior to the election? That is covered by 42 USC § 1973ff–4, which gives the US Attorney General the power to seek federal judicial relief. The Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, which handles those lawsuits, says in their FAQ on the Uniformed and Overseas Citizens Absentee Voting Act:
If a county is late in mailing absentee ballots to soldiers, what can the Department of Justice do?
Under Section 105 of UOCAVA, the Attorney General is authorized to bring civil actions to enforce UOCAVA requirements. When states have failed to make sure that ballots are sent to qualified servicemembers in a timely manner, the Department of Justice has successfully obtained court orders and consent decrees. Many of these have required states to extend their deadlines for receiving these ballots and to count the late-mailed ballots, even when they arrived after Election Day. In some cases, the states were required to make permanent changes to their laws or procedures to make sure the problems are not repeated in future elections. Through these cases brought to enforce the federal law, the Department has ensured that qualified servicemembers were able to cast their ballots, and know that they were counted.
In short, we may not know who won the Senate race on 11/3 (the day after the election), or even on 11/11, when military ballots postmarked by the day of the election can arrive and still be counted under current state law.
Now, for who screwed up. As much as I dislike the Government Accountability Board, the date of the election and the timing of certification is really out of their hands. That is all set by state statute, with the final state certification due on the third Wednesday after the primary. Indeed, because state law (under the direction of federal law) requires military ballots postmarked by the day of the primary to be counted if they arrive up to 7 days after the primary, they cannot certify a federal election in the 4 days between September 14 and September 18.
The ball falls squarely on the Legislature and Gov. Jim Doyle. The MOVE Act became law on 10/29/2009. While the Legislature was in session at the time, I’ll give them a pass for not dealing with it in that particular floorperiod because that ended on 11/5/2009. However, they had three more floorperiods to deal with it – 1/19/2010-1/28/2010, 2/16/2010-3/4/2010, and 4/13/2010-4/22/2010. The Legislature didn’t even attempt to deal with any part of complying with the MOVE Act until the last session possible, and then rolled a very-partial attempt into the “Driver/Voter” bill that would have automatically registered everybody who receives a driver’s license, given the information to ACORN’s successors, and in general would have made vote fraud even easier to accomplish. Notably, they didn’t even attempt to change the date of the primary in that bill. From the Legislative Reference Bureau’s summary of the version that went the farthest along the legislative process (AB895, Assembly Substitute Amendment 1):
Under current federal law, states are required to transmit absentee ballots to military and overseas electors no later than 45 days before each federal election at which the electors are entitled to vote, if the electors have requested their ballots by that time. However, a state may request a hardship waiver from the federal government, for a single election only, if the state’s primary election date does not permit compliance with this requirement and the state takes other actions to ensure expeditious delivery of absentee ballots to military and overseas electors. This substitute amendment directs GAB to report to the appropriate standing committees of the legislature no later than January 1, 2011, concerning GAB’s recommended method for compliance with the federal timeline for the absentee voting process. To achieve compliance, this state will likely need to advance the date of the September primary, beginning in 2012.
Even after the last day of the general floorperiod of the Legislature passed without so much as a token effort to comply with just a part of the MOVE Act passing the Legislature, Doyle could have called the Legislature back into session to ensure compliance with something their fellow Democrats in DC wrote. I guess that lack of desire to do anything without further encouraging vote fraud by the Wisconsin Democrats trumps all else.
Every Sunday morning on my blog at FranklinNOW.com, I post a list of highly recommended columns from the previous week. Here is this week’s compilation that should keep you busy:
“(Scott) Walker is running for governor hoping to galvanize what he calls a ‘Brown Bag Movement.’ He visits workplaces around the state during lunch hour and after a short speech takes questions from the workers who show up to hear him. Every seat has a brown paper lunch bag with a short saying. ‘I have to brown bag it so I can pay Wisconsin’s taxes’ or ‘I’d be eating out if government wasn’t gobbling up all of my money’ or ‘Wisconsin is Tax Hell!’
It’s cheesy, but, like the salary ad, it seems to be working. When I mentioned to a Washington-based political reporter that I was headed to Wisconsin to profile Walker, he said: ‘Oh, the Brown Bag guy’.”
“Who is this guy? It would be no surprise if he turned out to be a wealthy financier who had taken up budget policy as a retirement hobby (like Peter G. Peterson) or a professional forecaster whose views on consumer spending are bearish (like Gary Shilling). The surprise is that Ryan is an elected official. He’s running for election to a seventh term in Congress, representing a district with a razor-thin Republican edge south of Milwaukee.
Mess with Social Security? Are voters ready for this? Maybe they are. Those trillion-dollar deficits can’t go on much longer.”
“Wonder why voters will hand the GOP a crushing victory in November? It’s the trust, stupid.”
“If you vote for Tom Barrett because you think Scott Walker gleefully employs racists at the highest levels of his campaign, you’re stupid, and shouldn’t be voting. If you vote for Russ Feingold because you think Ron Johnson will make it even slightly harder for you to kill animals and people with barely regulated deadly weapons, you’re stupid.”
“Now we know why the country has become ‘ungovernable,’ last year’s excuse for the Democrats’ failure of governance: Who can possibly govern a nation of racist, nativist, homophobic Islamophobes?
Note what connects these issues. In every one, liberals have lost the argument in the court of public opinion. Majorities — often lopsided majorities — oppose President Obama’s social-democratic agenda (e.g., the stimulus, Obamacare), support the Arizona law, oppose gay marriage and reject a mosque near Ground Zero.
What’s a liberal to do? Pull out the bigotry charge, the trump that preempts debate and gives no credit to the seriousness and substance of the contrary argument. The most venerable of these trumps is, of course, the race card.”
“I hereby present—with full chromosomal immunity—a rundown of things women have been doing to totally screw themselves since winning the right to vote.”
“The problem today is that the economy is not being left alone. Instead, it is haunted by uncertainty on a hundred fronts. When rules are unintelligible and unpredictable, when new workers are potential threats because of Labor Department regulations, businesses have little confidence to hire. President Obama’s vaunted legislative record not only left entrepreneurs with the burden of bigger government, it also makes it impossible for them to accurately estimate the new burden.
In at least three big areas—health insurance, financial regulation, and taxes—no one can know what will happen.”
“Few Californians in the private sector have $1 million in savings, but that’s effectively the retirement account they guarantee to public employees who opt to retire at age 55 and are entitled to a monthly, inflation-protected check of $3,000 for the rest of their lives.”
Pols clueless on Ground Zero mosque
“The angry national debate over Imam Feisal Abdul Rauf’s intention to build a mosque two blocks north of the horror of 9/11 at Ground Zero has been further fueled by supporter Nancy Pelosi declaring, ‘I join those who have called for looking into how … this opposition to the mosque is being funded.’ If one of her sleuths knocks on my door, this opponent will readily state that I need no outside funding as a reporter who is deeply investigating the motivation of Imam Rauf’s choice of this site of mass murder for the mosque.”
“The hypocrites. Leftists say outrageous things on the radio routinely, things they truly mean, too, and those remarks never see the light of day on ABC, CBS and NBC. Talking about the N-word is wrong but wishing death on political enemies is OK when the rhetorical bombs are dropped on conservatives. The
Media has a new report chronicling who the real radio hatemongers are. Research Center
Start with …”
Every day, I thank God I’m not an America, military hating Democrat. The Democrats wouldn’t back our U.S. troops. Thanks to our soldiers for their winning efforts in Iraq.
I’m starting a bit late and have missed most of AFP President Tim Philips’ opening remarks. Oh well; time to fire up CoverItLive…
First, the Senate race, where the top line continues to be a Ron Johnson lead of 47%-46% over Russ Feingold. On the “undercard”, Dave Westlake is now within 7 points, down 47%-40%. That is as close as he’s been since the end of June.
The favorables are also rather interesting. There was little change in Johnson’s favorables (53% favorable/36% unfavorable/Approval Index of +6). Westlake’s favorables improved to 38% favorable/33% unfavorable/Approval Index of -5, mostly on the strength of an improvement of the strongly-favor to 7%.
The big move was Feingold; people either like him or really hate him. While his favorables are 53% favorable/44% unfavorable, his Approval Index is -1 and just 12% have a “somewhat unfavorable” view of him.
I briefly spoke with Westlake at the Stop Spending stop in Waukesha on Wednesday. He said he was quite happy with some internal polling his campaign had done on the primary race, but he didn’t go into any specifics on that.
On the gubernatorial side, Mark Neumann actually had the better head-to-head matchup against Tom Barrett. He was up 48%-44%, his biggest lead since the end of June. Scott Walker’s lead over Barrett shrunk to 47%-44%, his lowest lead since April.
The favorables don’t explain Walker’s slide in the head-to-head matchup. Walker’s favorables improved to 55% favorable/36% unfavorable/Approval Index of +8 (roughly equal to July, when he had a 50%-43% lead on Barrett), while Barrett’s slipped slightly to 45% favorable/47% unfavorable/Approval Index of -5 (signifcantly worse than July).
The big news on the favorability front is Neumann’s continued improvement as a result of focusing on his ideas rather than attacking Walker. His ratings improved to 54% favorable/34% unfavorable/Approval Index of +3. The last is the first positive number in qute a while. The bad news is Neumann went back on the attack the other day.
I guess it’s time for Rasmussen to do primary polling to see where things really are in the primaries.
I’m on a bonzai run to DC, so it’s time to bring back Open Thread Thursday. To kick it off, some classic blues that’s strangely appropriate considering Teh Won is the 5th FDR term…
I’ll be back tomorrow live from the Defending the American Dream summit.
Charlie Sykes posted a press release from Rep. Brett Davis (“R”-Oregon) revealing that we the taxpayers are now on the hook for the full cost of drivers’ licenses and ID cards for inmates:
Madison) – Lieutenant Governor candidate and State Representative Brett Davis has learned that the Wisconsin Department of Corrections is now using state dollars to pay for driver’s licenses and state-issued identification cards for prison inmates. Davis learned the policy change went into effect on July 1 of this year. Previously, inmates were charged for the licenses and ID Cards.
“As families across Wisconsin struggle to make ends meet, it makes no sense for the taxpayers to pick up the tab for driver’s licenses for inmates,” said Davis. “Governor Doyle should immediately end this ill-advised program. We shouldn’t be giving special privileges to prisoners.”
Obtaining a new driver’s license cost $43 including costs associated with the driving skills test, which, under the new policy, the state will also pay.
“Rather than giving an inmate a $43 break, why not help out a law abiding taxpayer, or use the money to balance the budget,” asked Davis. “These absurd spending programs continue to show Governor Doyle to be hopelessly tone deaf to the will of the people of Wisconsin.”
Davis also expressed concerns about the immigration implications of issuing State ID cards to prisoners.
“As the Doyle Administration not only issues but pays for ID cards for prisoners, I hope they are at least ensuring they are not giving a state ID card to a criminal immigrant who should not be allowed to stay in our state once they’ve shown they are unwilling to follow our laws,” said Davis.
Remember when Republicans, as part of their push for a requirement for picture ID at the polls, wanted to give those who couldn’t afford the then-$10 fee for a state ID card one for free, and the Democrats refused? Now, we get to pay $28 for a felon’s ID card/renewal driver’s licsense and $43 for a felon who needs to take a road test.
Revisions/extensions (10:38 pm 8/25/2010) – Commenter WestSideGuy over at Sykes’ place pointed out that the seeds of this were planted in the 2007 DemoBudget that Davis voted for. Let’s review Wis. Statute. Sec. 301.286, which was created by said DemoBudget (see page 1279):
Before an individual is released from prison upon completion of his or her sentence or to parole or extended supervision, the department shall determine if the individual has an operator’s license or a state identification card under ch. 343. If the individual has neither, the department shall assist the individual in applying for a state identification card under s. 343.50. The department shall determine if the individual is able to pay all or a portion of the fee under s. 343.50 (5) from the individual’s general fund account. The department shall pay any portion of the fee the individual is unable to pay from the individual’s general fund account.
Give Craps an inch by putting the taxpayers on the hook for the portion of a never-before-issued ID card cost that prison job pay doesn’t cover, he’ll take the mile of putting the taxpayers on the hook for fresh drivers’ licenses.
Quick, see if you can find the link between these two stories:
The RFK complex follows on the heels of two other LA schools among the nation’s costliest — the $377 million Edward R. Roybal Learning Center, which opened in 2008, and the $232 million Visual and Performing Arts High School that debuted in 2009.
Los Angeles is not alone, however, in building big. Some of the most expensive schools are found in low-performing districts — New York City has a $235 million campus; New Brunswick, N.J., opened a $185 million high school in January.
EBay, Adobe Leave California for Utah
If you guessed: Ebay, Adobe and others like them, hate children, you are correct!
Disclaimer: I received no consideration or payola of any kind for this message. My name is Shoebox and I approve this message!
Revisions/extensions (12:38 pm 8/25/2010, steveegg) – I was going to put this in the comments, but upon reflection, I decided it needed to be part of the main post. Those prices almost makes the $50 million (roughly $23 million from private sources, including $20 million from the Pettits) spent building Milwaukee Public Schools’ Bradley Tech High School back in 2002 seem quaint. Of course, money spent on shiny new facilities are no guarantee of success – Bradley Tech is one of the 12 worst-performing high schools in all of Wisconsin.
Jimmie laid the smackdown on Jonathan Strong’s candy ass after Strong attempted to smear the Rightosphere with the “payola” charge. Let’s review the heart of the carnage (emphasis in the original):
Did you see that “many” right there? Strong never does support that assertion. He doesn’t even cite “many” bloggers in his article — I roughly counted five or six that he mentioned or quoted and only one more he tried ineffectively to finger paint with the blogola charge. So where are these “many bloggers” who are sucking down the GOP-geld. Mr. Strong does not say. Heck, he doesn’t even try to say.
I will tell you folks this right now. Jonathan Strong’s anonymous sources are full of crapola. I have been blogging for over six years. I know several people who have worked, and still work, for Republican candidates, prominent members of both the House and Senate, and the Republican party itself. None of them have ever offered me so much as a penny for any coverage, whether pro-GOP or anti-Democrat. It has never happened. Now, I admit I don’t have traffic numbers that make people drool, but I’ve been around. I have a pretty healthy network. If there was some filthy, filthy partisan cash floating around, I would have been touched by at least a little bit of it. But no, it is not at all “standard operating procedure”.
But let’s look at the second anonymous catapult-load of slime that Strong passes off as good info. His source says that half the right-wing bloggers are getting paid under the table by unknown Republicans campaigns and operatives. Really? Half? Tens of thousands of right-leaning bloggers out there and Strong seriously thinks that half of them “at least” are on the take?
The closest I’ve been to being offered something of value by either a campaign or a party as a result of this almost-5-year
volcano venture is getting media credentials to the last three Republican Party of Wisconsin state conventions, and I didn’t just slouch around during any of them.
I’ll let Tony Montana handle the remainder of my response:
Once again I’ve let the Feed Reader of Doom™ overgrow everything. Let’s see what’s inside:
If this were morning, it would be a Scramble. However, I had to sneak these past the egg inspectors.
Eddiebear unloads on the oh-so-“compasionate” left that wants to fuck over his daughter’s future. Needless to say, the post is most certainly NSFW as it has 32 f-bombs in the post and pleny more from us Morons in the comments. Instead of excerpting it, I give you the short version of “Casino”.
I wish I could remember the name of the outfit because it was a very-clean poll (no pushing, very short), but the Democrat Party of Wisconsin is doing polling in the 21st Assembly District. The questions (in order):
The DPW won’t be too happy with my answers, but other than putting their guy first in the order of candidates listed, it was very professionally done. The gentleman doing the poll did mention his firm twice, once at the start of the poll, and again when I asked at the end of the poll, which is when he mentioned the firm he was working for was doing it for the DPW. It will be interesting to see just how much of the poll the DPW will eventually release; if they do release it.
BREAKING: FDA Egg recall widened to include all NoRunnyEggs blog posts by Steve Eggleston. #tems @steveegg u gotta break eggs 2 make a blog
That explains my near-absence this week.
Seriously, there is a 380-million-egg recall going on now, and it does have a Wisconsin tie – one of those sickened at Baker Street Restaurant and Pub is suing the Wright County Egg Company, the target of said recall.
Hey, hey, ho, ho, Shoebox should be free to go!
Yes, I’m traveling again. Actually, it’s the first time in an airport since the Shoe family relocated to Kentucky. This morning finds me enjoying the hospitality of the TSA at Kansas City International (MCI).
For those who haven’t had the pleasure of passing through MCI, let me set the scene. MCI was built long before anyone ever worried about members of the “religion of piece” flying airplanes where they shouldn’t be flown. MCI has 3 separate half moon shaped terminals which were great in their day. However, since the addition of security walls, checkpoints etc., it now resembles a human version of a habitrail!
I got to the airport well in advance of my flight and was greeted with my first experience with a backscatter X-ray. Yes, this is the X-ray that is all the rage. Yes, this is the X-ray that takes images that shows more than just metal in your pocket! Yes, this is the X-ray that TSA claimed they do not keep the images of pseudo naked people. Yes, this is the X-ray that TSA has been forced to admit that they do keep images of pseudo naked people.
As I’ve said before, I have no personal issue with the backscatter technology and the images the TSA does or doesn’t keep. This is likely a guy thing but I figure if you can see my genitals while my clothes are on, that’s OK!
So, I head through security and towards the backscatter X-ray. As I get to the stainless steel tables where I normally take all the metal out of my pockets, remove my shoes, liquids and electronics, I am greeted by a TSA employee who informs us that they are now using a “new security system.” He goes on to inform us that this new fangled security system that is costing gross millions of dollars to deploy, is no longer satisfied with just having shoes, metal, liquids and electronics removed. Nope, this new fangled thing is so advanced that you now have to empty every last item out of your pockets; paper, vitamin pills etc…and your belt! If you don’t, I was informed, you will be patted down!
Yup, that’s right; the newest the TSA has to offer for security, the backscatter, a technology that can take a photo of my genitals without a microscope, can’t tell the difference between a piece of paper and something that could be used to threaten aircraft saftey!
Nice job TSA! You’ve taken a process that was inconvenient at best, and made it dehumanizing. You’ve inserted new “better security” and once again in the process, managed to make it further impacting on the public you serve while arguably not making a lick of difference in air security. Nice job TSA!
As an aside…do you know what you call 100,000 government employees at the bottom of the ocean?
A: A good start!
Alfred E. Neuman was and is smarter than Joe Biden!
Initial claims for state unemployment benefits increased 12,000 to a seasonally adjusted 500,000 in the week ended August 14, the highest since mid-November, the Labor Department said on Thursday.
I have to admit that I thought we were all being set up when at the end of April, Vice President Biden said:
Well, I’m here to tell you, some time in the next couple of months, we’re going to be creating between 250,000 jobs a month and 500,000 jobs a month.
I thought for sure that Biden was just giving us another chorus of happy talk from the administration. I didn’t see anyway, at least by looking out my economic window, that the economy was about to do anything regarding jobs, that would be at a level of nearly 500,000!
I was wrong! Vice President Biden was right!
Today, in another unexpected surprise, the Labor Department announced that new claims for unemployment insurance rose to 479,000! Admittedly, that’s not 500,000. However, I have to give VP Biden kudos for having the foresight to predict a number that appeared incredibly outlandish to us rubes on the sidelines. 500,000 would have been great but 479,000 is nothing to sneeze at! Great job Vice President Biden! It surely is “Recovery Summer!”
Uh, what?…He predicted 500,000 new jobs but we have nearly 500,000 new people collecting unemployment? Um….that’s not good!
I doubt Obama’s unpopularity will be improving anytime soon. In the event that any of the Libs are still wondering why the American people have become so “stupid” as to turn against the rainbows and unicorns in every pot…..It’s the economy, stupid!
The Wall Street Journal editorial board did something that the local presstitutes didn’t do, and looked into the subject of the non-political “justification” for the first day of Obama’s campaign tour so his campaign, Tom Barrett’s campaign, and the DPW didn’t have to pay for the trip, 30-employee ZBB Energy. They’re not-exactly financially viable:
We wonder who in government looked at ZBB’s filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Since going public in June of 2007, ZBB has been hemorrhaging money. The firm lost $4.9 million in fiscal 2008 and $5.5 million in fiscal 2009. In its most recent filing, in May, it said it had lost $6.9 million for the first nine months of its current fiscal year. It explained it had a “cumulative deficit” of $44.1 million and informed shareholders that it “anticipates incurring continuing losses.” It acknowledged that its ability to continue as a “going concern” was predicated on its ability to drum up additional funds.
In March the company engaged in various stock transactions—including a private placement to the company’s directors—to raise some $1.9 million. It obtained a $1.3 million loan from the federal stimulus program and borrowed $1.5 million more from Investors Bank. In June it announced a debt agreement, which would allow it to tap a further $10 million….
The company also acknowledged in its May filing that the 72,000 square foot manufacturing facility it bought in 2006 is “currently producing at less than 10% of its expected capacity.” That means it can’t currently access the $14 million in federal tax credits, which were supposed to help with equipment for a new facility. Meanwhile, private investors have soured on some energy-storage companies. ZBB’s initial public offering was priced at $6 a share in 2007, and it closed yesterday at 70 cents. (Note – it closed today at 66 cents)
ZBB’s chief financial officer, Scott Scampini, acknowledges the losses and tells us that one problem was that the old management thought “people would just jump and buy this stuff.” New management, he says, now has a “real business plan” to become cash-flow positive in “short order”—by becoming cheap enough to be “competitive with fossil fuels.”
I hate to break the bad news, but the two methods of producing energy that are dependent on batteries aren’t going to be competitive on a cost basis anytime soon (at least unless all the conventional methods of producing energy are made prohibitively-expensive) – solar is at least twice as costly as conventional power, and at least in Wisconsin, wind farms is going to become even more expensive than the 50% premium as the Public Service Commission is expected to require compensation to nearby landowners.
WISN-AM’s Mark Belling spent much of the first hour of today’s show on this, including taking a rather testy phone call from ZBB CEO Eric Apfelbach (starting at about the 5:40 mark in Hour 1 Part 2 of today’s podcast). Belling got Apfelbach to admit the Porkulus loan (of which $490,000 was already tapped) didn’t create a single new job despite the anticipation that it would create 175 jobs, and that he is a Crony “Capitalist” who is more than happy to suckle off the teat of government.
Shortly after Rand Paul won the Kentucky Senate primary in May, he found it necessary to revisit the Civil Rights Act of 1964. In particular, he questioned whether the part of the law dealing with racial discrimination by private businesses that are deemed “public accommodations” might be a violation of private property rights. This is clearly a legitimate question to entertain in a law school constitutional law class. During a political race, not so much.
Last week President Obama found it necessary to weigh in on the mosque near Ground Zero controversy. Professor Obama schooled us all on the First Amendment as seen by the Founding Fathers. And according to Obama, the mosque would have been a “go” for James Madison and the boys. He might be correct as a constitutional matter. But as a political matter, not so much.
Just like Paul appeared to be giving intellectual cover to racially motivated actions, Obama appeared to be giving intellectual cover to those who want to build an ostentatious structure honoring Allah within a stones throw of the site where nearly 3,000 Americans were incinerated by followers of Allah, in the name of Allah.
Earth to the President. I have a constitutional right to put my toilet in the living room instead of the bathroom and use it while entertaining guests. Guess what? I don’t.
Every rational person knows that the decision to construct a mega-mosque near Ground Zero is a political statement. The President is America’s politician-in-chief. His failure to understand the impact of his words on the people of New York (and all of America) is yet another example of Obama’s academic, above-the-fray view of the world. His Party is going to pay dearly in November.
Baseball Crank took full advantage of Baseball-Reference.com putting every box score since 1920 and every play since 1950 into a database, and he found and sorted the 188 pitchers who gave their teams a real chance to win with no more than ordinary offensive/bullpen support at least 100 times since the end of the dead-ball era.
First, I should explain that the official “quality start” (6 or more innings pitched, 3 or less earned runs) isn’t a real measure. You’re depending on 3 innings of pen work night after night, and your defense could easily cost the team any chance of winning because runs scored as a result of an error aren’t “earned”. Crank upped it to a 7-inning minimum and a 2-run (earned or otherwise) maximum, and renamed it “High Quality Start” to get things to at most the setup/closer and keep things close enough for the offensive half of the Earl Weaver Maxim to win it.
Some of the names on the list shouldn’t surprise Milwaukee fans – Warren Spahn (who has the highest number of wins off of HQS), Lew Burdette, Don Sutton (who has the most HQS), Jim Slaton and CC Sabathia. What is somewhat surprising is that Slaton is the only player who spent significant time with the Brewers; in fact, Slaton got 80 of his 100 HQS in Brewer Blue to lead the team.
A couple more Brewers’ notes: How special was the half-season Sabathia spent here in 2008? 10 of his 112 HQS came in the last part of 2008. Meanwhile, Yovanni Gallardo has 20 HQS in his 74 games started. While that ratio will get him onto the 100 HQS list eventually, he won’t get onto the rarified 200 HQS list unless he picks it up.
Actually, things did get worse for the Democrats, despite Rasmussen Reports finding a continued lesser dislike for President Obama in Wisconsin as of 8/10 (49% approve/50% disapprove/Approval Index of -11) than nationally (45% approve/54% disapprove/Approval Index of -20). Even that was a worsening of things, as Obama was actually in positive overall territory in Wisconsin at the end of last month (51% approve/48% disapprove/Approval Index of -13).
Similarly, soon-to-be-ex-governor Jim Doyle had a slight drop in approval, going from 38% approve/60% disapprove/Approval Index of -28 to 38% approve/60% disapprove/Approval Index of -29.
First up, the Senate race. Both the Cook Report (via John McCormack at The Weekly Standard) and the Rothenberg Political Report moved the race to a pure toss-up while I was gone.
Meanwhile, Rasmussen released a fresh poll showing essentially no change over the last 2 weeks. While Ron Johnson’s lead over Russ Feingold dropped from a rounded 48%-46% to a rounded 47%-46% (with no rounded change in either “other” or “not sure”), Feingold’s favorables moved from 52% favorable/44% unfavorable/”Passion” Index of 0 to 50% favorable/47% unfavorable/”Passion” Index of +3. Indeed, Feingold’s attacks on Johnson are backfiring, as Johnson’s favorables improved from 51% favorable/36% unfavorable/”Passion” Index of +6 to 51% favorable/33% unfavorable/”Passion” Index of +8.
On the gubernatorial side, all the news has come from Rasmussen. In the freshest poll Scott Walker maintained a healthy lead over Tom Barrett (49%-41% versus 50%-43% at the end of July), while Mark Neumann has his first lead over Barrett (45%-43%) since the end of June, mostly on the strength of a renewed focus on what he would do as governor. Based on that, they have joined Real Clear Politics in placing Wisconsin as a “Leans Republican” state.
Walker continues to be the most-popular of the candidates, maintaining favorables of 49% favorable/38% unfavorable/”Passion” Index of +6. While that is down from late-July’s 55% favorable/36% unfavorable/”Passion” Index of +9, he has the support of 90% of Republicans and over 50% of independents against Barrett. In fact, the Walker campaign just sent over a press release saying Walker is up 8 points on Barrett among independents, and 7 points better than Neumann among conservatives against Barrett.
Neumann’s focus on what he would do as governor also paid dividends beyond the lead against Barrett. His favorables improved from 47% favorable/44% unfavorable/”Passion” Index of -7 to 50% favorable/35% unfavorable/”Passion” Index of -3, and he has the support of 81% of Republicans and over 50% of independents against Barrett.
There is a bit of an oddity among the 38% plurality that strongly oppose (49% overall) the PlaceboCare insurance mandate. Despite Neumann’s early laser-like focus on opposing PlaceboCare, Walker has greater support among those that strongly oppose the insurance mandate in the matchups against Barrett, getting the support of 85% versus Neumann’s 75% support.
Meanwhile, Barrett’s favorabilities have begun to slide much like Obama’s and Doyle’s approval. It’s down from 50% favorable/43% unfavorable/”Passion” Index of -4 to 46% favorable/44% unfavorable/”Passion” Index of -5.
It is incredibly uproarious to watch unfold. Democrats, who historically eat their own, with critical elections coming in the fall, are beating each other up.
Seems a fair a number of liberal bloggers, you know, oh, let’s just pick one to give you a clear picture………..
Yes, I’m talking about the ones who generally hide behind cowardly anonymous monikers and can’t argue their way through a wet paper bag and resort to sophomoric attacks generally laced with profanities….yeh, that’s the bunch…..have been moaning and groaning and whining and crying that the great Obamessiah, the almighty who was going to turn us into the USSR overnight has just been too slow in ramming socialism and uber-liberalism down our throats. It’s bad enough how he’s damaged the country. These ignoramuses want him to do more and they want it NOW!
Out behind the curtain, stepping up to the podium is the Commander- in -chief’s #1 butt kisser, Robert Gibbs!!!
Obama’s top spokesman angered the Rhoades scholars by saying they need to be drug-tested.
Bravo, Mr. Gibbs! The first thing you got right since you took the job!
Again, does November sound or seem like anything important to the donkey party?
There’s a fight over here!
There goes Gibbs!
And there goes one knuckle-dragging liberal blogger after another!
This is an honest to God real hoot! Some yahoos propped behind their computers attacking, not right-wingers, but their own leader and the guy who speaks for their own leader!
And my goodness. Shouldn’t Gibbs just be ignoring this sorry lot of nobodies?
The warm and fuzzy party, giving each other bolo punches and brass knuckles!
Here’s what I’m talking about. For conservatives, this will mean a million laughs.
John Hawkins at Right Wing News (what candor, huh?) has compiled a list of numerous liberal bloggers and their angst over Robert Gibbs suggesting they’re high on dope. Here is just one example:
“Joe and I are upset with Obama, and we, for example, raised nearly $43,000 for the man, According to the White House, our money now doesn’t count. Great, would they like to give it back? I for one, would love the $1000 back that I personally donated to the Obama campaign. Joe gave even more. I suspect a lot of our readers wouldn’t mind their contributions back too, since apparently they’re not appreciated.
Then there’s all that work we did for the campaign, all the dirty work they asked us to do – and we did it, gladly, and quietly – none of that counted either, apparently.”
John Aravosis, AmericaBlog
Liberal Democrats, especially the dimwit liberal bloggers, have taken their eyes OFF the prize.
Maybe they think the prize is a lost cause this year.
Conservatives, you want some laughs? Click HERE.
Libs? Only do it if you’re really brave and tough, and you know you’re not.
Just go write a nasty gram to Robert Gibbs at…..
Is the White House frustrated? Yeh, they’re frustrated.
Anyone doubting that the Democrats are feeling a lot of pressure, isn’t paying much attention. The gaffes are coming so fast and furious that even Joe Biden has to be wincing once in a while! The “latest” (and I use that term VERY loosely at the rate they are coming)gaffe is from Harry Reid.
Apparently, Harry and President Obama have now completely separated their strategies. While President Obama has been running as the racial healer (cough, cough) Harry is now running as the ratial slash and burn candidate:
Yup, Harry is now determing how you will vote based upon your ethinc heritage!
Well Harry, if we’re going to start throwing down the racist gauntlet, let’s throw it down!
If Charlie Rangel were a white Republican, no one would bother to investigate him!
Ditto for Maxine Waters!
Finally, I want an investigation of the 2008 election. There is no possible way that Barack Obama received the number of votes that were tabulated for him because we all know that it is categorically impossible for any sane, white individual to vote for a black President.
Cmon Harry, your turn to say more stupid stuff!
I don’t typically post things circulating the internet but this was too good to let pass:
Information about Gonorrhea Lectim: The Center for Disease Control has issued a warning about a new virulent strain of this old disease. The disease is called Gonorrhea Lectim. It is pronounced “Gonna re-elect ’em,” and it is a terrible obamanation. The disease is contracted through dangerous and high risk behavior involving putting your cranium up your rectum. Many victims contracted it in 2008…but now most people, after having been infected for the past two years, are starting to realize how destructive this sickness is. Gonorrhea Lectim is easily cured with a new drug just coming on the market called Votemout (vote-’em-out). You take the first dose in 2010 and the second dose in 2012, and simply don’t engage in such behavior again; otherwise, it could become permanent and eventually wipe out all life, as we know it. Several states are already on top of this, like Virginia and New Jersey, and apparently now Massachusetts; with many more seeing the need.
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