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 April, 2011

April 30, 2011

Weekend Hot Read – John McCormack’s “How Paul Ryan Won the Recess”

by @ 13:43. Filed under Politics - National.

The Weekly Standard’s John McCormack spent the last week in southeast Wisconsin covering the second half of the series of town halls Rep. Paul Ryan had. His write-up of them is a must-read. I’ll give you two tastes of the write-up; an illustration of just how much of a failure the Democrat trackers were, and the answer to the Presidential portion of the “2012 question”:

Despite having a Democratic party tracker and Center for American Progress Action Fund blogger covering Ryan’s town halls, all they have out of 19 hours of footage are a few clips of Ryan getting booed. They have a video of a constituent yelling “liar!” at Ryan. What they do not have is video of Ryan actually lying or getting stumped by a question. Liberals might not agree with him, but Ryan had a persuasive answer, filled with facts and figures, to every question he was asked.

Take, for example, the video clip that showed Ryan getting booed for saying “we do tax the top.” He typically goes on to argue that a 35% corporate tax hurts small businesses who have to compete with foreign competitors with much lower tax rates, while some big corporations like GE pay no taxes at all because of loopholes, tax shelters, and deductions. The solution, Ryan says, is clean out “the junk” in the tax code, and then “lower tax rates for everybody” while keeping tax revenues where they are today. A similar idea was endorsed by President Obama’s fiscal commission, and the Ways and Means committee will hammer out the details of which deductions they want to nix or reduce this summer….

If Ryan can defend the Ryan plan better than anyone else, shouldn’t he be the one to debate the president about it in 2012? Shouldn’t he consider running for president if no viable candidate emerges to champion real Medicare reform?

“I’m not even going there,” Ryan told me on Wednesday. “I’m not even going there with my mind or my discussions.… I have no doubt somebody who’s running for president sees the true nature of our fiscal condition, they’ll come to the similar conclusions about how best to fix it, if they’re a conservative.”

Whether you managed to make one of Ryan’s town halls or not, I recommend you read it.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Recount – Day 3

by @ 10:21. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

I’ll start this overdue update with the unofficial recounted numbers released at 6 pm last night from the Government Accountability Board. There are a pair of one-vote discrepancies in the current GAB spreadsheet where the hand-entered total number of votes is one higher than both the sum of the votes cast for the candidates and “scattering” (i.e. write-in) and the number of ballots reported as cast, likely entry errors because every number is hand-entered on the GAB spreadsheet, so I did not include those two reporting units in my tracking spreadsheet. Not including those two reporting units, David Prosser’s lead over JoAnne Kloppenburg in the 523 “cleanly” reported units (14.52% of all reporting units, representing 176,646 votes) increased by 32, to an unofficial 7,348-vote lead.

A quick housekeeping note on my tracking spreadsheet; except for Wednesday’s scrapped numbers, it will include the archived daily totals from the GAB on individual worksheets (date/time-stamp based on when the GAB uploaded their source spreadsheet both in the header and in the worksheet tab), and the most-current worksheet will be on the tab furthest to the left (it should also be the one that opens when one opens the spreadsheet).

The GAB also reported yesterday that 20 of the 72 counties have completed the recount as of 8:19 pm. They (and I) stress that not all of those counties have been entered in the running-total spreadsheet yet. Indeed, WEAU-TV reported that Eau Claire County completed its recount, with a net change of 9 additional votes for Prosser and 14 additional votes for Kloppenburg. The pre-recount margin in Eau Claire County was 15,919 for Kloppenburg and 11,416 for Prosser. Notably, Eau Claire County was forced to recount every vote by hand because the optical machines used by every municipality was the Optech Eagle.

The Prosser campaign launched a website that, among other things, is tracking results that combine what the GAB is reporting and what representatives of their recount team have observed. I cannot stress enough that these are both unofficial numbers and from a source that has a vested interest in what is reported, namely one of the campaigns. As of early this morning, according to the Prosser campaign, with 31.75% of the wards and 398,395 votes (26.61%) recounted, Prosser’s lead has grown by 52 votes from the pre-recount 7,316-vote lead.

Meanwhile, the big story of yesterday (or, at least what would have been the big story had it happened in Waukesha County instead of Dane County) was the separation of 97 ballots from a ballot bag in the city of Verona. Summarizing The CapTimes’ story, the discrepancy came about when the Dane County canvassing board discovered, while recounting ballots cast in the city of Verona, there were over 90 fewer ballots present than the number that had been run through the voting machines on Election Day. A search ensued, and the ballots, rubber-banded together, turned up in the office of the Verona city clerk. Despite the loss of the chain of custody on the ballots, precinct stamps and initials established their legitimacy and they were recounted. The once-missing ballots favored Prosser by 30 votes, even though Kloppenburg carried the city of Verona by a pre-recount 2,380-1,204 margin. That irregularity also, according to the CapTimes did not change that pre-recount margin.

The weekend will be at least a one-day period of work for most of the canvassing boards that have not completed the recount process. While state statutes state that, while recounting, canvassing boards cannot take more than one consecutive day off, the GAB will allow those boards who are “confident” they will complete their work by Friday, May 6 (three days before the statutory deadline) to take the entire weekend off. As for the GAB, they will post at least one updated set of vote totals today, but they will not post any tomorrow.

April 29, 2011

Recall Mania to be July 12*

by @ 13:08. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

WisPolitics reports that Dane County judge John Markson has approved a plan put forth by the Government Accountability Board that will allow it to schedule recall elections for the first eight state Senators (Republicans Dan Kapanke, Randy Hopper, Luther Olsen, Shelia Harsdorf and Alberta Darling, and Democrats Dave Hansen, Jim Holperin and Robert Wirch) on what is anticipated to be July 12 by allowing an extension of the 31-day deadlines for the GAB to issue a certificate of sufficiency (or insufficiency) on the various recalls to a date, between May 31 and June 3, that would potentially allow the GAB to schedule the elections on a single day. I do have to note that if the GAB delayed the issuance of a certificate of sufficiency beyond May 31, that election date would be pushed to July 19.

Further, while the recall effort against Republican Senator Robert Cowles was not part of the court petition, the by-the-statutes timeline would also put his recall election on July 12. However, GAB director Kevin Kennedy said that the GAB would likely also seek an extension of the timeline for that case.

Had the judge not approved the GAB plan, the recall elections would have been scattered across the calendar. Kapanke’s election would have been on June 14, Hopper’s on June 21, Darling’s, Hansen’s, Harsdorf’s, Holperin’s, Olsen’s and Wirch’s on July 5, and Cowles’ on July 12. That would have allowed the Democrats to concentrate all their resources on single districts three different times, while it would also have put the bulk of the elections, and all of the elections against the Democrats, on a holiday week, specifically the day after Independence Day.

So much for the DPW “rolling recall” plan.

April 28, 2011

The 3 G’s

If you started grade school around or before, the time that I did, or, if you are a student of history, you are familiar with the 3 R’s.  Readin’, Ritin’ and Rithmetic.  The 3 R’s were the core, the foundation of a public education.  Nearly everything we were taught in grade school was, or was tied to the 3 R’s. 

When I went to school, if you wanted to know if a teacher was a good or poor teacher it was simple process.  If a parent looked at their child and their child knew the 3 R’s, the teacher was good.  If the parent’s child didn’t know the 3 R’s, the teacher wasn’t good.  It wasn’t a very complicated process of evaluation, nuance didn’t play a role.  Parents knew who was responsible for the 3 R’s and they knew if their child was accomplished in them.

GallupObama approval hits 5 month low
New Hampshire Obama approval rating below “break even” point
PennsylvaniaObama approval rating at all time low

Renewed combativeness (some would say snippiness), a new spokesperson and even dropping drone bombs in Libya have not helped President Obama’s approval ratings.  In fact, regardless of what he attempts to use to distract his audience, nothing seems to change the trend of his approval polls.

President Obama talks and behaves as if all those who disagree with him and his policies were included in what he calls “the far right fringe.”  In his mind, “the fringe,” is made up of all the people who doubted that he satisfied the Constitutional requirement for being a natural born citizen.  In other words, President Obama believes, or at least communicates, that all those who disagree with him are “birthers.”  I have no doubt that at whatever fundraiser he is attending this evening, he is perplexed by the fact that his approval rating continues to drop even though he has released his birth certificate.

As it was with the link of the 3 R’s with the approval of teachers throughout my education, there is an alphabetical link to explain the falling approval rating for President Obama; the 3 G’s.

Gas, Groceries and GDP are the only items you need to watch to determine whether President Obama’s approval ratings are moving up or down.

Gas and Groceries are fairly obvious.  The average price of gas is now $1.02 more than it was a year ago.  More importantly, those who follow the prices are suggesting that the price may well go over $4.50 before peaking.  At the current price, a family with two cars averaging 15,000 miles a year each, is paying over $125/month more for gas than a year ago.  If it peaks at $4.50/gallon, the average increase will be over $200 per month.

Grocery costs are getting nasty.  Just this week the USDA announced that US food inflation will run 4 to 5.5 times the rate it did just last year. With those averages, and some items like Beef (up 12.2% in a year), Pork (up 11.2% in a year) and Citrus fruits (up 8.5% in a year) running far higher than the average, it’s not hard to see how a family of four will face food cost increases of over $100 per month.

If you don’t think everyday food and gas costs are catching up with the average consumer, guess again. Today, Walmart, the largest food retailer in the US, said that they are seeing spending patterns that suggest that many of their customers are expending their budgets before getting to the end of the month.

Wal-Mart’s core shoppers are running out of money much faster than a year ago due to rising gasoline prices, and the retail giant is worried, CEO Mike Duke said Wednesday.

“We’re seeing core consumers under a lot of pressure,” Duke said at an event in New York. “There’s no doubt that rising fuel prices are having an impact.” Wal-Mart shoppers, many of whom live paycheck to paycheck, typically shop in bulk at the beginning of the month when their paychecks come in.

Lately, they’re “running out of money” at a faster clip, he said.

“Purchases are really dropping off by the end of the month even more than last year,” Duke said. “This end-of-month [purchases] cycle is growing to be a concern.

So, core costs are increasing but how does GDP impact Obama’s approval ratings?

There is a strong correlation between GDP and real wage growth. GDP has slowed to an annual rate of 1.8%. At the same time, inflation is running at 3.8%. This means that the real incomes are likely not keeping up with the rate of inflation.

Everyday costs are going up but incomes aren’t. That’s a recipe for a very unhappy employee base let alone electorate.

Keep an eye on the 3 G’s. As the 3 G’s get worse, so will Obama’s approval ratings. If they improve, so will the ratings. I believe the relationship between the 3 G’s and Obama’s approval is so strong that I would wager the following: If the 3 G’s do not improve from where they are today, and I don’t think they will, Obama will lose his reelection bid.

As a country, we’re failing the 3 G’s.  I don’t think it’s difficult for most people to figure out who’s in charge of the class.

Wisconsin Supreme Court Recount – Day 2 (and some recall news)

There actually is a dearth of stories from Wisconsin media today on the recount in the Supreme Court race. A quick scan of various state media sites turned up only stories filed about yesterday’s start to the recount, and those were almost completely without exception general “the recount has started slowly but surely” pieces.

That is not to say that there wasn’t any news today. The first bit of news came when the Government Accountability Board took down the running-total spreadsheet this morning, with very little explanation and a promise to have a revised one up by noon. Noon came and went without an update, but a fuller explanation came just after 5 pm – they made some data entry errors yesterday.

I’ll cut them just a bit of slack; this is the first election where either the GAB or its predecessor State Elections Board has reported any election results other than the official and certified numbers. However, this is also not the first time this election they had to pull back reported unofficial numbers; while the counties were reporting their canvassed totals, GAB pulled back numbers reported for two different counties for unspecified reasons, then put up revised numbers before the last county reported just before the deadline. In those two cases, a total of six reported votes were affected.

As of 6:05 pm, they released an updated spreadsheet, with 52 reporting units “reviewed by G.A.B. staff”. Consequently, I have updated my tracking spreadsheet with the numbers from (and only from) those 52 reporting units. I almost don’t want to report the change from such a small number of the 3,602 reporting units, mostly because there are a significant number of counties that have reported results from reporting units to the GAB but have not had numbers entered into GAB’s spreadsheet, but Prosser did gain a net 10 votes on his pre-recount 7,316-vote lead.

The other item comes out of Waukesha County, from a friend who was at the recount, Kyle Maichle (note; the vote totals Kyle mentions were not included above):

Day 2 of the recount in Waukesha County resulted in all of the wards in the Town of Brookfield and the Town of Delafield fully counted. Waukesha County Spokeswoman Ellen Nowak, told me that there is no change on Prosser’s lead in Waukesha County. The only thing has had change was the votes that Prosser gained yesterday in the Town of Brookfield.

After recount activity resumed after the lunch break, there was a very contentious moment when ballot bags for the Town of Delafield were about to be opened. A Kloppenburg campaign attorney challenged one of the bags due to no inspector statement written on the bag. After both campaigns huddled with the presiding judge to go over the ballot bag issue, the Clerk for the Town of Delafield was asked to testify to campaign representatives and the canvassers to determine if the ballots should be allowed. The Board of Canvassers unanimously rejected the Kloppenburg Campaign’s challenge and allowed the ballots to be counted.

There were two other ballot issues today involving the Town of Brookfield. In wards 9 and 10, one ballot was never assigned a voter number and canvassers had to examine if the ballot was valid. In wards 5 and 7, a hand recount of Prosser absentee ballots were ordered after one of their attorneys successfully challenged the canvassing board on grounds that two folded absentee ballots issued on election day were put in the wrong pile.

Do note the “unanimously” above. That means Ramona Kitzinger, the Democrat on the canvassing board, voted to reject Kloppenburg’s challenge of the bag of ballots in question. Side question – what is the over/under on Kitzinger recanting that decision in the same vein of her recantation of her declaration the canvas was on the up-and-up?

Meanwhile, Wisconsin political news was dominated by the recalls (first 2 items courtesy the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, the third courtesy WisPolitics):

  • The Democrats turned in recall petitions against the 6th of their targeted 8 Senate Repbulicans, Robert Cowles (R-Green Bay). There’s going to be more elections than I anticipated, but I still am not moving off my early prediction of a 2-2 split of flips or a 3-2 Republican advantage.
  • The local-based group that fell just short of enough signatures to force a recall of Senate Minority Leader Mark Miller (D-Monona) said that it will not consolidate its efforts with those of the Utah-based American Patriot Recall Coalition.
  • The GAB has gone to court to seek an extension of the 31-day signature review period of the recall petitions against Sens. Dan Kapanke (R-La Crosse) and Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) so that the first 8 recall elections (or at least primaries; if more than one Democrat, one Republican or one Constitution Party candidate files to run, the first election would be a partisan primary with the general recall election 4 weeks later) could all be held on the same day, July 12. In response, the Democrat Party of Wisconsin wants to force at least three separate recall election dates – one for Kapanke and Hopper, one for Sens. Jim Holperin (D-Conover), Bob Wirch (D-Burlington), Dave Hansen (D-Green Bay), Luther Olsen (R-Ripon), Sheila Harsdorf (R-River Falls) and Alberta Darling (R-River Hills), and a third for Cowles.

Revisions/extensions (7:42 am 4/29/2011) – For those of you who think Kloppenburg will go quietly into the good night once the recount affirms Prosser’s win, WisPolitics has a dose of cold water for you – Kloppenburg campaign says ‘anomalies’ warrant more review. Therefore, I’ve once again dusted off a classic category I had hoped was permanently retired.

R&E part 2 (10:55 am 4/29/2011) – WISC-TV’s Jessica Arp is live-tweeting the court proceedings in the “recall election consolidation” case. Running through the by-the-book timeline (31 days after the petitions are received to review, GAB needs to determine whether the petitions are sufficient for filing, then 6 weeks plus the days to the following Tuesday if the 6 weeks doesn’t end on a Tuesday before the election), the recall election of Cowles would also be on July 12, which would, if GAB is successful, put all 9 recall elections (or primaries as the case may be) on the same day.

April 27, 2011

Expanding my horizons

by @ 21:25. Filed under The Blog.

Partly because Ed and Allah Pundit seem to have taken a bit of a liking to some of my posts (mostly the Social Security and Wisconsin Supreme Court ones), and partly because Ed’s going on vacation (though I suspect more the latter), I somehow got a key to Hot Air’s Green Room. It truly is humbling to be blogging in the same place as luminaries like Jazz Shaw, Jimmie Bise, Patrick Ishmael, McQ, MadisonConservative, Sarjex,…(the list goes on and on).

Don’t worry; I’ve still got a bunch of material that will be here (especially ones where the occassion…er, not-so-infrequent vulgarity might slip, which just wouldn’t work at HA). Some of my more-serious stuff will end up over there (and depending on content here, may well be exclusive to the Green Room).

Wisconsin Supreme Court Recount – Day 1

by @ 20:41. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

Before I get to the meat of the matter in the recount of Wisconsin’s Supreme Court election, I do feel the need to restate the record going into today, with a bit of help from the Government Accountability Board (GAB), Wisconsin’s state election authority, which offers a plethora of links, including unofficial recount results reported to it updated twice daily:

  • Justice David Prosser entered the recount with a county-canvassed 7,316-vote lead over challenger JoAnne Kloppenburg. As the margin was just under 0.5 percentage points (0.4881), Kloppenburg was entitled to ask for, and indeed did ask for, a statewide recount paid for by the state and the counties that do the actual recount.
  • In Wisconsin, a typical recount consists of a machine recount of ballots cast on an optical-scan machine using the same type of machine used in the election programmed to count just the race being recounted, and a hand recount of ballots cast on a Direct Recording Electronic machine and paper ballots that were not cast on an optical-scan machine. Because the Sequoia Optech III-P Eagle optical-scan machine used by muncipalities in at least parts of 31 counties, by far the most-popular optical-scan machine used in Wisconsin, must have a blank memory cartridge to allow for the reprogramming, the memory cartridges used in the April 5 election must be preserved as-is under state law until after the recount process was completed, and there are no longer enough spare memory cartridges to allow for the preservation of the April 5 election data, both campaigns asked for and received a court order for the hand counting of ballots cast on the Eagle optical-scan machines.
  • The recount, which was ordered to begin today at 9 am, is supposed to be done by 5 pm 5/9/2011 by state law. Once the recount is done, either candidate will have 5 business days to file a judicial appeal, which will first be heard by a reserve (retired/defeated for re-election) judge appointed by Supreme Court Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson, with any appeal going to the Madison-based 4th District Court of Appeals. If neither candidate appeals, the GAB, after a canvass of the results, will declare a winner.

With the background out of the way, on to the news of the day:

  • The day didn’t begin in two counties – Chippewa (pre-recount totals had Kloppenburg leading 7,221-6,856) and Menominee (pre-recount totals had Kloppenburg leading 241-141). In Chippewa County, the canvassing board had just received spare memory cartridges so they could conduct machine recounts for their optically-scanned ballots, while in Menominee County, the canvassing board had not retrieved the election materials from the school board. Both are expected to begin tomorrow.
  • As Ed Morrissey pointed out, Waukesha County, where a retired judge has replaced County Clerk Kathy Nickoulas on the canvassing board, had a few problems. The first ballot bag from the Town of Brookfield (not to be confused with the City of Brookfield, whose results were not reported by Nickoulas to the media on election night but were reported during the county canvass) had a mismatched number on a ballot bag seal, while a “remade” absentee ballot (one of five redone because the voter used pen instead of pencil and thus the ballot could not be read by the machine) and the “R’s” from an alphabetized collection of absentee ballots applications (three total) from the town were missing. While the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel story did not mention the fate of the missing “remade” ballot, they reported the missing applications were found at the town hall and brought to the recount site. Of note, neither campaign filed any objections today.
  • Meanwhile, in Milwaukee County, the MacIver News Service had a video report of “anomalies” in the Milwaukee County recount:
  • At the end of the day, the GAB reported all of the issues raised by both campaigns were addressed by the various county canvassing boards and posted the results that they had received.

Since those results aren’t quite as user-friendly as one would hope, I took the liberty of creating a spreadsheet that helps one determine how many votes changed in each reporting unit. With 8.94% of the reporting units in Wisconsin reporting, Prosser’s lead dropped by 129 to 7,187.

Revisions/extensions (7:41 am 4/28/2011) – I cannot stress enough that the recounted numbers at this point are both incomplete and uncanvassed. Looking through my spreadsheet, there are several “anomalies” which, at this point, I ascribe to one of two factors – partial reporting of results from a particular reporting unit (outside of the city of Kenosha, this involves reporting units containing multiple wards) and likely transcription errors.

An extreme example of the last appears to be up in Bayfield County. The pre-recount canvassed numbers in the Town of Delta had the results from that town as Kloppenburg 61 votes, Prosser 49 votes; however, the reported (as of yesterday) recounted numbers had the results as Prosser 49 votes, Kloppenburg 11 votes.

If I wanted to fly off the handle like some of those on Wisconsin’s left did after Waukesha County discovered its clerk-induced error during the canvass, I could accuse Bayfield County’s clerk of intentionally holding back votes. After all, the pre-recount results had Kloppenburg more than doubling up on Prosser in that county. However, another reporting unit in that county, the city of Washburn Wards 1-4 (i.e. the entire city) had a gain of 60 votes for Kloppenburg compared to a 0-vote change for Prosser.

A version of this will be went up at Hot Air’s Green Room about 9 pm.

White House obtains, releases Obama’s original Certificate of Live Birth, Birthers’ heads explode

by @ 8:22. Filed under Politics - National.

President Obama requested and received an exception to Hawaii’s standard procedure to issue a computer-generated, somewhat-limited modern form of Certificate of Live Birth, and received a copy of his original Certificate of Live Birth, filed with Hawaii’s Department of Health on August 8, 1961. Of note, unlike the computer-generated version, the original lists the actual location of Obama’s birth, Kapiolani Maternity and Gynecology Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii, and the signature of a doctor at the hospital who witnessed his birth (likely the one who delivered Obama, though the line on which he signed is labeled “attendant”).

In case you were wondering what it takes to get a copy of the original Certificate of Live Birth out of Hawaii, the White House provided the correspondence between Obama, his private lawyer, and Hawaii Director of Health Loretta J. Fuddy.

April 26, 2011

Obama “solution” to gas prices – tax hikes, continued high prices

by @ 19:17. Filed under Energy, Politics - National.

The lede of this Associated Press article on Obama’s renewed call for the end to tax “breaks” to “Big Oil” tells one everything one needs to know about Democrats and gas prices:

Amid rising gasoline prices at the pump, President Barack Obama urged congressional leaders Tuesday to take steps to repeal oil industry tax breaks, reiterating a call he made in his 2012 budget proposal earlier this year. The White House conceded his plan would do nothing in the short term to lower gas prices.

Allow me to translate – As long as government gets the “excess profits”, Obama is perfectly fine with $4 $5 $6 $10/gallon gas, your Memorial Day vacation plans be damned.

Related – National Review’s editors saw this coming just this morning.

DPW falsifying Caller ID info to harass those who want to recall ‘Rat Senators

by @ 15:28. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

The Republican Party of Wisconsin brought forth evidence of the Democrat Party of Wisconsin (or people representing them) usurping the good name of Green Bay’s Aurora BayCare Medical Center to phone in intimidation attempts to those who signed recall petitions against Democrat state senator Dave Hansen. Quoting from RPW Executive Director Mark Jefferson:

It’s disgusting that the Dems would use a fake call from a hospital to trick people into answering their phones – only so they could harass and intimidate them into saying they did not sign a recall petition. People who received that call may have feared the worst – an unexpected call from a hospital can bring terrible news about a loved one. The Democrats’ intent was obviously to confuse and upset people, hoping they would be disoriented and easily tricked into saying they had not signed a recall petition. Dave Hansen’s political career may be coming to an end because he fled to Illinois, but that doesn’t excuse this cruel, desperate tactic.

Once again, the DPW proves itself unworthy of any future majority.

Revisions/extensions (4:40 pm 4/26/2011) – WTAQ reports (H/T – Michelle Malkin) that the DPW claims that the falsified Caller ID was an error, but that they will continue to harass Recall Dave Hansen supporters.

R&E part 2 (5:29 pm 4/26/2011) – I would be remiss if I didn’t thank Michelle and Jeff Dunetz for linking here. The funny thing is, while I did tip Michelle, I sent her the link to the RPW release, not to this post.

R&E part 3 (6:20 pm 4/26/2011) – And Hot Air links. Thanks AP.

RE part 4 (6:32 pm 4/26/2011) – And Memeorandum

R&E part 5 (6:43 pm 4/26/2011) – Flashback (H/T – Jim Hoft, who is also all over this) – Recall Hansen offices broken into hours after the group announced it had enough signatures to force a recall election. Among those items taken was a computer, as well as petitions with an estimated 150 signatures (not enough to stop the group from turning in the petitions last week).

Given those petitions, while now a public record, don’t contain phone numbers, I wouldn’t be surprised if the DPW got the phone numbers off that stolen computer.

R&E part 6 (7:28 pm 4/26/2011) – I highly recommend reading Kevin Binversie’s take. He remembered a slimy robocall campaign DPW chair Mike Tate ran in 2006 when he was with a group trying to keep the door to gay marriage open in Wisconsin.

R&E part 7 (8:54 pm 4/26/2011) – More linkage from The PJ Tattler.

April 25, 2011

Roll bloat – Tracking the conservative social network edition

by @ 6:25. Filed under The Blog.

John Hawkins and Doug Ross have launched a new project that tracks the social networks for the hottest conservative news – Trending Right. Hit it early, hit it often for what’s trending.

April 24, 2011

He Is Risen Indeed!

by @ 6:00. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Luke 24:1-12 (NIV):

On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, the women took the spices they had prepared and went to the tomb. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb, but when they entered, they did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were wondering about this, suddenly two men in clothes that gleamed like lightning stood beside them. In their fright the women bowed down with their faces to the ground, but the men said to them, “Why do you look for the living among the dead? He is not here; he has risen!” Remember how he told you, while he was still with you in Galilee: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, be crucified and on the third day be raised again.’” Then they remembered his words.

When they came back from the tomb, they told all these things to the Eleven and all the others. It was Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the others with them who told this to the apostles. But they did not believe the women, because their words seemed to them like nonsense. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. Bending over, he saw the strips of linen lying by themselves, and he went away, wondering to himself what had happened.

Have a blessed Easter

He is Risen!

by @ 5:18. Filed under Miscellaneous.

April 23, 2011

Directive 10-289

This week, the NLRB filed a complaint against Boeing in an attempt to prevent them from opening an new manufacturing facility in South Carolina.

Boeing is opening the new facility for two reasons.  First, it wants the ability to manufacture its new airliner in a redundant facility giving it greater capacity.  Second, after several contentious years with the Union at it’s Washington State facility, Boeing was looking to find a location to mitigate the Union’s impact on production.  Enter South Carolina.

South Carolina is a right to work state.  Right to work means many things for employees and employers.  Amongst them is that an employee can not be required to join a union and pay union dues as a condition of employment at a particular business i.e. “closed shop.”  The benefits for Boeing are obvious.  The benefits for Boeing are those that any prudent business would seek given the troubled labor history of Boeing’s Washington State facilities.

In what can only be the missing chapter from Atlas Shrugged, the NLRB’s complaint is based solely on Boeing’s desire to mitigate it’s labor challenges:

The NLRB said its investigation found that the company violated two sections of the National Labor Relations Act in 2009 when it picked Charleston International Airport as the site of its second 787 assembly plant rather than expanding its existing factory in Everett.

Specifically, Boeing officials made “coercive statements” to its unionized employees starting in 2009 that the company would shift or had shifted production work away from the Puget Sound area because of labor walkouts, the agency said.

Wow! “coercive statements,” including their desire to move away from labor disputes are the basis for the NLRB complaint! Can anyone possibly imagine that there may have been some “coercive statements” from the union that may have included threats to shut Boeing plants down which the have done on numerous occasions?

With his desire to “spread the wealth around” and now his NLRB agents attempting to dictate business decisions as basic as where they will do business, I’m beginning to believe that Obama doesn’t view “Atlas Shrugged” as fiction but rather as a road map for full implemention of his socialistic desires. Does anyone really believe Obama would not implement an “Equalization of Opportunity” plan or Directive 10-289?

April 22, 2011

Sloth makes waste, electoral edition

(H/T – Lisa Sink)

Over at Shorewood Patch, Marie Rohde explains why those municipalities still using Optech Eagle opitical-scan machines and seeking to upgrade to the current version of the software are going to go through a hand recount of those ballots – the software update that would allow the storage of both the election-day run of ballots and a recount of that election on the same memory cartridge took close to three years to be approved by the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (in fact, it was approved only earlier this year) and has yet to be approved by the Government Accountability Board, a process which will likely take another several months.

Thanks to that, the recount will cost just Miwlaukee County an additional $500,000 over the cost of doing the recount by-the-book (optical-scan ballots are run through the machines, the DRE/touch-screen ballots are hand-counted). That is expected to drive up the cost of the recount to close to $1,000,000.

I wonder how many modern optical-scan machines could be bought with that money. I know Oak Creek has a few of those, as not all the wards here will need a full hand recount, but unfortunately, none of them were at my polling place on April 5.

Revisions/extensions (5:57 pm 4/25/2011) – The story gets curiouser and curiouser. Even though the Government Accountability Board lists ES&S as the vendor of the majority of the Eagle systems in use in Wisconsin (the link lists all the voting systems by municipality), it’s actually a Sequoia Voting Systems (since acquired by Dominion Voting Systems) machine. Moreover, not only is no system from Dominion currently certified by the Election Assistance Commission, it appears that the version that includes the Optech line that is still under testing (WinEDS 4.0) does not include the Eagle as part of the test.

R&E part 2 (6:43 pm 4/28/2011) – Things are quite a bit clearer after representatives from Dominion contacted me. To wit, Dominion Voting Systems says that WinEDS 4.0 does work with the Optech Eagle optical-scan machine, and once the underlying system is approved by the EAC, the GAB will test the software with the Eagle.

Introducing the Government Motors Chevy Cruzeless

by @ 8:36. Filed under Miscellaneous.

(H/T – Little Miss Atilla)

Yes, I’m a little late to this party, but somebody put up a page touting the 2011 Chevy Cruzeless. My favorite part is the “More Performance” section –

Steering is for sissies. You want performance and Cruzeless delivers. With the fuel economy of a compact car and the amenities of a mid-size, the Cruzeless is the ideal driving machine for really, really wide open spaces like the Bonneville Salt Flats.

Recount a waste of time and money says…the Racine Journal Times?

by @ 8:26. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

In an editorial that has more of a RDW feel, The Racine Journal Times editorial board skewered the decision by JoAnne Kloppenburg to seek a recount. The open which I’ll tease you with is worth it on its own, but it’s hardly the only broadside they launched:

By this time we would have known if election clerks had somehow missed counting the votes from Kloppenburgville (pop. 7,317) somewhere in western Dane County.

But that’s not happened, and we don’t expect it to.

April 21, 2011

Let the (mostly-)hand recounts begin

by @ 17:26. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

I’m actually more-or-less ambivalent toward the news that there will be a hand recount of optical-scan ballots in at least portions of 31 counties, jointly agreed to by the Prosser and Kloppenburg campaigns, but only because I am confident that not even a hand recount in those 31 counties (list of counties, though not municipalities other than the city of Milwaukee, courtesy WISC-TV’s Jessica Arp) will result in a net change-of-margin of over 500 votes.

For those of you wondering, in a typical recount, optical-scan ballots would be fed right back through the machine, while both paper ballots that were not optically-scanned and ballots cast on direct recording electronic machines are both hand-counted (DRE hand recounts are from the permanent paper record generated by the machine). However, the Government Accountability Board found an otherwise-irreconcilable problem with the Optech Eagle optical-scan machines used in at least parts of 31 counties and filed a suit to allow a court to reconcile it.

The Optech Eagle, which is no longer made, requires removable memory cartridges, which also are no longer made, to record the vote totals. In order to perform a machine recount, each memory cartridge used in each machine must be clear of all prior data and reprogrammed to perform the recording of the count. There is a claimed insufficient number of spare memory cartridges available nationwide to allow for a recount without erasing at least some of the memory cartridges used on April 5. However, since there is a recount pending, the memory cartridges cannot be erased under state law.

The GAB, through the Department of Justice, had asked for a declaratory judgement to allow a sufficient number of memory cartridges used on April 5 to be erased and used in the recount, while acknowledging that either or both campaigns may request a hand recount.

In other news, water is wet…news/entertainment source edition

by @ 12:39. Filed under Miscellaneous, Politics, Press, Sports.

Craig Gilbert over at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel pretty much confirmed the stereotypes on the linkage between one’s news and TV watching patterns and one’s politics. According to data from National Media, we in the Milwaukee area are, for the most part, very divided in what occupies both our source of information and their entertainment options. I’ll make you go read Gilbert’s analysis for the full story, but I’ll give you a taste of the TV sports split:

– Packer fans, and football fans in general, tend to be somewhat Republican, though Badger football fans are split down the middle.
– While Brewer fans are pretty much split down the middle, those who care enough to watch the World Series are even more more Republican than football fans.
– Bucks fans, and basketball fans in general, tend to be Democratic. Two oddities on that front: Badger basketball fans were slightly Republican (and indeed more so than Badger football fans), and while NBA playoff viewers were quite Democratic, NBA finals viewers were only somewhat Democratic.

One more thing – the partisan skew between those who depend most on newspapers for news (the most-Democratic among 7 Midwest media markets reviewed by National Media) and those who depend most on radio for news (the 2nd-most-Republican among the same 7 Midwest media markets) is striking.

Thursday Hot Read – Recount unnecessary, says…MJS editorial board and Folkbum?

by @ 8:20. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

It’s actually a compilation of three items, with at least one of them a complete surprise out of left field. First up, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel editorial board member Ernst-Ulrich Franzen:

But we still think Kloppenburg’s request is a mistake. What happened in Waukesha County was a serious error, but it appears to have been just an error, and one that has now been rectified. The recount is costly and will only serve to further exacerbate Wisconsin’s political divisions. It will leave a bad taste; that’s a sad legacy for Kloppenburg. The difference in the balloting is 7,316 votes. Although that’s less than 0.5% of the 1.5 million votes cast, it’s still a big margin to overcome. Odds are that a recount won’t change a thing. Kloppenburg should take the high road in this case and concede the election.

That was followed by the full editorial board (or at least a majority therof) dumping on the idea of a statewide recount:

We understand the motivation. The final county-by-county canvassing of the state Supreme Court election revealed that Justice David Prosser won a narrow victory, a reflection of how polarizing the new governor and his policies have become. The heat generated by the controversy over those policies most likely spurred the significant turnout for a spring nonpartisan election and a 7,316-vote win for Prosser – less than 0.5% of the 1.5 million votes cast.

That’s slim, but it’s not likely that a statewide recount will change the outcome. Were it a margin in the hundreds of votes, perhaps, but Kloppenburg has to recognize that it’s not.

Finally, Jay Bullock had a moment of clarity:

I supported JoAnne Kloppenburg’s campaign. I do not support the recount, mostly because I do not believe the votes are there and it’s going to be a waste of time and money–taxpayers’ and donors’.

Kevin Binversie found, and Charlie Sykes publicized a chart put together by Politico of statewide recounts over the last 31 years. Some of the races were a bear to track down, but there are two important items to note:

  • In terms of percentage, the largest margin of change was 0.1522 percentage points (313 votes) in the 1980 Vermont Senate election. That election involved just under 206,000 votes, less than 14% of the votes at stake in Wisconsin now, and did not change the result.
  • In elections that were of similar size to the Wisconsin Supreme Court election or larger, the largest percentage margin of change was 0.0730 percentage points (1,121 votes) in the 2000 Colorado Board of Education election. That election, which involved just over 1.5 million votes (compared to just under 1.5 million votes in Wisconsin now), was also just barely the second-largest vote change, with the 2000 Florida Presidential election seeing a 1,247-vote change on just under 6 million votes cast.

In short, the numbers aren’t there.

April 20, 2011

New NRE Poll – When will Prosser’s win be official?

by @ 17:42. Filed under Grand Theft Courts, NRE Polls.

Since JoAnne Kloppenburg has asked for a recount, and strongly hinted that she would pursue a post-recount judicial appeal if she doesn’t somehow overcome a 7,316-vote deficit, it’s time to fire up the NRE Polls once again. If you’re wondering why the answers are presented in the order I presented them, they are, in my humble opinion, in decreasing lprobability.

When will the Prosser victory over Kloppenburg be made official?

Up to 1 answer(s) was/were allowed

  • By hook and by crook, Kloppenburg will be declared the winner (34%, 37 Vote(s))
  • When Kloppenburg accepts her recount-affirmed defeat (25%, 28 Vote(s))
  • When the federal 7th Circuit Court of Appeals smacks down the state-level kangaroo court and SCOTUS upholds (15%, 16 Vote(s))
  • When the Abrahamson-appointed judge shocks the world and upholds the recount-verified victory, and the 4th District Courtn of Appeals upholds (11%, 12 Vote(s))
  • When SCOTUS smacks down the state-level kangaroo court (8%, 9 Vote(s))
  • When a federal district court smacks down the state-level kangaroo court and the higher federal courts uphold (4%, 4 Vote(s))
  • When the state 4th District Court of Appeals smacks down the state-level kangaroo court (4%, 4 Vote(s))

Total Voters: 110

Loading ... Loading ...

Revisions/extensions (6:32 pm 4/20/2011) – If you’re wondering why I don’t have the Wisconsin Supreme Court included in the poll, while the state-level appeal would eventually end up there, it would be before a 3-3 divided court due to either Prosser recusing himself as he would be a party to the suit or Prosser’s seat being vacant after July 31. If you doubt that the result would be a 3-3 split, just look at the liberals’ attempt to toss Justice Michael Gabelman after he ousted “Loophole” Louis Butler (who, ironically, is likely going to be the reserve judge Lawgiver-In-Black chosen by Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson to all-but-certainly deliver the outcome Abrahamson and her former clerk Kloppenburg have a vested interest in).

Behold the return of Grand Theft Courts

by @ 16:11. Filed under Grand Theft Courts.

It is still a bit early to officially bring the “Grand Theft Courts” category out of retirement, but in her press conference today announcing her decision to seek a full statewide recount, JoAnne Kloppenburg tipped her hand on what will happen after the recount affirms her loss to Justice David Prosser. She strongly hinted that her post-recount judicial appeal will seek to have the results from the entirety of Waukesha County, and not just the city of Brookfield, declared null and void.

Damn if I didn’t predict that.

Revisions/extensions (4:23 pm 4/20/2011) – Kloppenburg claimed that the Government “Accountability” Board will join her in court tomorrow to ask for a full hand recount of at least several counties, and she asked for a special investigator into the actions of Waukesha County clerk Kathy Nickoulas (the basis for my analysis of what will happen after Prosser wins the recount by somewhere between 6,816 votes and 7,816 votes, and likely closer to the 7,316 votes that it is now). I guess it isn’t too early to bring “Grand Theft Courts” out of retirement. Now if I could remember what I did with that graphic,….

April 19, 2011

And how are those union boycotts against Scott Walker supporters panning out?

by @ 20:12. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Not so well.

Investigative journalist Richard Moore offers keen analysis.

It’s working, Governor!

by @ 20:11. Filed under Miscellaneous.


Of all places, the Capital Times reports:

State on pace to hit Walker jobs target

Earth to the Pulitzer Prize winning MJS: The above is NEWS!

Government Motors flaming out – both figuratively and literally

by @ 18:52. Tags:
Filed under Business, Politics - National.

Item #1 (H/Ts – Kevin and Fausta) – The same Chevrolet Volt involved in a garage fire last week burst into flames a second time Monday.

Item #2 – The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Treasury is looking to dump the remainder of its holdings in Government Motors (500,065,254 shares) over the summer. At the current trading price of $29.51, that would mean we the taxpayers lost over $14 billion on just the auto-manufacturing part of the GM bailout while (assuming GM makes it to the end of 2014 and the UAW fully cashes out), the entity that was most-responsible for the collapse of Old GM, the UAW, would make $12.55 billion on the deal.

That led Warner Todd Huston to unveil the last car from the current version of GM – the Government Motors WeeKan.

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