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, 2012

April 26, 2012

Whither the Pro Bowl?

by @ 10:37. Filed under Sports.

The NFL has become so big that even Draft Day, er, Night has become an event, and not just for New York Jets fans. However, one tradition appears to have had its last trip out of the tunnel. From ESPN:

The next Pro Bowl is scheduled the week before the Super Bowl in New Orleans on Feb. 3, but a game site has not been listed because of its precarious status, sources added.

Sources say that NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, who has previously voiced his displeasure with the lack of competitiveness in recent Pro Bowl games, is strongly considering suspending this year’s game, sources say.

Beyond 2013, another league source believes the Pro Bowl is “DOA (dead on arrival).”

One could argue what has caused the lack of fire in the players who show up (and indeed the decades-long tradition of some of the top players using the usual wear and tear from an NFL season as a reason to not play one more game). One could point to the end-of-the-season date (until recently, after even the Super Bowl), the week-long vacation in Hawaii, the basic fact that a week just isn’t long enough to put together more than a basic game plan, or the unique-to-the-Pro-Bowl anti-defense rules (a base 4-3 defense, no blitzing outside of short-yardage situations, and no bump-and-run coverage outside the shadow of the defense’s end zone), and one would probably be right. Then again, the NBA All-Star Game has been nothing more than a “Can you top this” offensive contest for years, and NBA Commissioner David Stern isn’t considering axing it.

The ratings don’t appear to be much an issue; even though the Pro Bowl typically draws fewer viewers than a “national” regular-season game, it outdraws other sports’ all-star games. Money, or at least the money paid out to the players, isn’t exactly a factor either – if memory serves, the winners get less than $60,000 and the losers half that. In fact, ESPN is reporting that the NFL would be directing teams to keep negotiating Pro Bowl clauses into player contracts as the NFL would be doing everything but travel to Hawaii.

April 25, 2012

Crush your enemies, EPA edition

by @ 19:01. Filed under Envirowhackos, Politics - National.

(H/T – Sean Hackbarth at the US Chamber of Commerce)

EPA Region VI Administrator Al Armendariz was made “famous” today when a quote from his appearance at the May 10, 2010 Dish, TX town meeting was brought up by Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-OK) on the Senate floor today. The money quote:

I was in a meeting once and I gave an analogy to my staff about my philosophy of enforcement. “It’s kind of like how the Romans used to conquer little villages in the Mediterranean: they’d go into little Turkish towns somewhere, they’d find the first five guys they’d run into, and they’d crucify them and then, you know, that town was really easy to manage over the next few years.

Do remember that the Romans didn’t give a damn whether the first 5 guys they ran into were part of that city’s military, political structure, or civilian population. They killed them using the most publicly-brutal method they had.

Sen. Inhofe tied that into the EPA’s war on fracking, specifically fracking on private lands they otherwise could not lock up and ban drilling upon:

Not long after Administrator Armendariz made these comments in 2010, EPA targeted US natural gas producers in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming. In all three of these cases, EPA initially made headline-grabbing statements either insinuating or proclaiming outright that the use of hydraulic fracturing by American energy producers was the cause of water contamination, but in each case their comments were premature at best – and despite their most valiant efforts, they have been unable to find any sound scientific evidence to make this link.

It’s as good an excuse as any to play the full “best in life” scene from “Conan the Barbarian”, in which the environmentally-friendly answer was rejected in favor of the pure power grab and abuse:

April 21, 2012

GAB to directly receive election-night results from some Waukesha County municipalities

by @ 10:42. Filed under Elections, Politics - Wisconsin.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is reporting that the roughly-half of Waukesha County’s municipalities that can send their eleciton results directly to the Government Accountability Board will do so on future election nights. The reason, quoting from the MJS, is:

The move is being made so results get reported online more quickly and people have more immediate access to the vote totals through the GAB website, said Shawn Lundie, a spokesman for Waukesha County Executive Dan Vrakas.

Wait a minute. Neither the GAB nor the former State Elections Board has ever reported election-night numbers. The closest they have come is tracking the Prosser-Kloppenburg recount at the end of each business day.

I do have an inquiry into GAB spokesman Reid Magney to clear up a few questions. I will update this post when he gets back to me.

Revisions/extensions (4:40 pm 4/24/2012) – The GAB released a statement earlier today that provides some background procedural information. To wit, all of the Waukesha County municipal clerks (a change from the previously-reported half) will use the optional municipal-level features in the state-built Canvass Reporting System to enter the municipal-level results and electronically transmit them to the Waukesha County Clerk’s office, versus hand-delivering the results as was the case in prior elections. The county clerk’s staff, headed by Deputy Clerk Kelly Yaeger, will then use the CRS to publish the results in multiple formats.

It does not appear that the GAB will be independently reporting election-night results from Waukesha County. Indeed, the various methods used by county clerks to collect election-night results tends to prevent the GAB from collating that information in real-time.

April 16, 2012

GAB staff recommends all protest candidates appear on the ballot, Walker up 5-12 points in PPP/DKos poll

by @ 17:45. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin.

The Government Accountability Board will meet at 9 am tomorrow to set the ballot for all six recall elections (for governor, lieutenant governor and four state Senate seats). The staff has recommended that the Board reject the Democrat Party of Wisconsin’s attempt to toss the 6 “protest candidates” the Republican Party of Wisconsin recruited to run as “Democrats” to ensure all 6 recall elections have a May 8 primary and a June 5 general election. From the GAB staff’s analysis (notably completed before the GAB received the RPW response):

Based upon the public statements of the RPW and the protest candidates, as well as literature they have distributed, there is no material dispute regarding the facts related to the challenges, or that the intent of the RPW and the protest candidates is to require all recall elections to take place on June 5, 2012, presumably to benefit the campaigns of the Republican incumbents. The legal dispute is whether Wisconsin Statutes prohibit or penalize such tactics by disqualifying those candidates from having their names included on the election ballot.

In general, Wisconsin election laws do not require an individual to be a member of a political party to seek that party’s nomination in a primary election. The law also does not permit the Board to inquire into the motivations for an individual’s candidacy for office, an exercise which would inevitably lead to the Board, as a government agency, making subjective judements regarding the legitimacy of political candidacies, which would implicate the most protected forms of First Amendments rights of freedom of speech and association. Depending upon one’s political perspective, the statements and actions of the protest candidates may be viewed as justified, clever, micshievous, or misleading. But Board staff cannot determine that they are illegal. They are products of political calculation and decision-making, and as such they can be rewarded or rejected during the course of the campaigns and elections. The purpose of elections is for voters to pass judgement on the ideas and positions of the candidates as they are debated in the crucible of the campaign.

As further outlined below, Board staff concludes that Wisconsin law does not permit the Board to deny ballot access to the protest candidates.

The Board staff went on to explain that neither the existence of an entry line for a political party on the Campaign Registration Statement form nor the existence of same on the Declaration of Candidacy form is required by state statute. Indeed, the staff concluded that portion of the memo thusly:

As stated above, nominees who claim to represent a political party are determined by the candidates and their supporters, not by party officials or government filing officers. Candidates seeking to participate in a primary of one of the parties are not required to prove that they are members of that party or that they have the support of party members or leadership. A candidate may certainly, without interference from the government, be nominated and campaign as a candidate of a party while disavowing any of hte official or stated positions of the party, or may change their stated positions between the time of circulating nomination papers and the election, or even after their election. For these reasons, Board staff believes that the protest candidates have substantially complied with the requirement to complete and file a declaration of candidacy, and the Board does not have the authority to look beyond the document to judge the political motivation or strategy of a candidacy.

Further, the staff held that the nomination papers do not include any requirement that the candidate claim to “have or demonstrate any formal tie to or membership in the political party” listed on the paper, that neither the circulators nor the signers are required to agree with the positions or principles of the named political party, and that no evidence was presented of any individual signer of the nomination papers were “misled” into signing the nomination papers of the protest candidates, much less a sufficient number to knock any of them off the ballot.

Related to that, semi-pro union protestor Arthur Kohl-Riggs will (likely) appear on the Republican governor primary ballot against Scott Walker as he gathered enough nomination signatures. In a normal partisan primary election, participating in the Republican governor primary would prohibit one from voting for Democrats elsewhere on the primary ballot. While that is still true in the governor recall primary cycle (e.g., one cannot vote for both Scott Walker and Kathleen Falk), GAB spokesman Reid Magney has confirmed that since these recall elections are separate entities, one can vote in the Republican governor recall primary and in the Democratic lieutenant governor recall primary and (if in one of the 4 Senate districts where there is a recall), that Democratic recall primary.

One more item of note – a Public Policy Polling poll for DailyKos has Walker up by between 5 percentage points (against Milwaukee mayor Tom Barrett), 7 points (against former Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk) and 12 points (against state Senator Kathleen Vinehout) among likely voters, reaching at least 50% against all 4 Democrats. In the same poll, Lieutenant Governor Rebecca Kleefisch is up 46%-40% on Professional Fire Fighters of Wisconsin president Mahlon Mitchell. The partisan split of that poll was 37% independent, 32% Republican and 31% Democrat, which roughly mirrors recent Rasmussen Reports likely-voter partisan splits in Wisconsin.

April 8, 2012

He Is Risen!

by @ 5:30. Filed under Miscellaneous.

Luke 24:1-12 (NIV84):

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.

April 6, 2012

Wisconsin Tax Day Rally – April 14

by @ 11:18. Filed under Politics - Wisconsin, Taxes.

The Wisconsin chapter of Americans for Prosperity is hosting the 2012 Tax Day Rally at the King Street entrance of the Capitol on April 14th at 11:30 am. To help amplify the voices for smaller government, lower taxes and increased economic freedom, they’re bringing in James T. Harris, who moved out to Arizona to live the daily talk show dream, PJTV’s Stephen Kruiser, Dana Loesch and Jim Hoft to join Vicki McKenna and us.

AFP will be providing bus transportation from all over the state, but I recommend signing up very quickly as the bus from Waukesha has already been filled.

April 2, 2012

Going with Santorum

by @ 11:30. Filed under 2012 Presidential Contest.

The first of a whole host of partisan elections is happening tomorrow, with the Republican Presidential primary. For the first time in my adult lifetime, it has at least the appearance of mattering, even though the word from both the national and local commentariat is that the only meaning should be to endorse the decades-long Next-In-Line™ concept. Indeed, Sen. Ron Johnson endorsed Mitt Romney yesterday, which is a bigger “get” for Romney than Rep. Paul Ryan’s endorsement on Friday.

While I have always acknowledged that Romney won the 2012 nomination back on SuperDuperTuesday 2008, and indeed all of the recent polls have Romney comfortably up in the primary, I’m not a slave to the inevitable, especially when it has not yet become official. Let’s ask President John McCain how securing the 2008 Republican nomination months before Barack Obama finally won the Thunderdome of a Democrat nomination process worked out…oops, I guess we have to ask Sen. John McCain that because he lost in fall.

Some people I respect, such as Charlie Sykes, have said that Romney is “good enough”. If we were guaranteed not only a Republican Congress, but a conservative one, I would agree because Romney would almost certainly sign what comes out of a conservative Republican Congress. However, I look at the other possibilities (and frankly, the ones that are more likely than one that results in a conservative Republican as Senate majority leader), and find the prospect of a Romney Presidency versus one of much the rest of the Presidential field a bit lacking. Given the two most-likely scenarios of, in order, Harry Reid effectively controlling the Senate while Mitch McConnell takes all the heat as the titular “majority” “leader”, and Reid remaining Majority Leader, Romney’s propensity to sign anything that came out of the Massachusetts Legislature, especially PlaceboCare and a more-expansive-than-the-state-courts-required subsidy for abortion, is problematic.

On a related note, there will likely be at least two members of the Supreme Court, and countless other federal judges, that will need to be nominated in the next Presidential term. Romney’s record in Massachusetts was quite poor on that, and the defense that he had to rely on a third-party commission for names is less than satisfying.

That brings me to the Not-Mitts. Ron Paul’s economic platform, outside the siren call of gold, actually is pretty good. Unfortunately, the office for which he and the others are running is not Treasury Secretary, so his historically-naive take on foreign policy becomes a disqualifying stumbling block.

Newt Gingrich does have an impressive record and a bulldog political ethic. The bad news is his conservative core is not exactly dominant, as appearances on a couch with Nancy Pelosi touting global warming and his rant against Ryan’s budget as “right-wing social engineering” last year demonstrate. The biggest problem Gingrich has is, outside of Georgia and South Carolina, his sometimes-abrasive (yes, it’s only abrasive sometimes) personality put him consistently third or worse. Since it is as late as it is in the primary season, I do have to take that into account.

That brings me to Rick Santorum. I would be lying if I said he was perfect, or even particularly good. His vote for Medicare Part D and No Child Left Behind are at a minimum troubling. His support for Arlen Specter over Pat Toomey in 2004, while a payment of personal debt, would in the face of better competition be a knockout blow. His voting record on judicial nominations is not quite 100% judicial conservatives. However, his instincts are conservative, though more on the social side than on the fiscal or governmental side. That is more than I can say for Romney.

Did I mention that Santorum got former Sen. Russ Feingold (off-topic; I’ll never get tired of including the “former”) so flustered over what happens if a partial-birth abortion attempt turns into a live birth that Feingold had to go back and alter the record? That was priceless.

Yes, we will have to mold either Romney or Santorum to be a truly broad-based conservative. However, it is easier when part of the poltiical personality already fits the mold. That person is Rick Santorum.

April 1, 2012

Meme, Meme, Meeeeeme!

It somehow seemed fitting that as it reached it’s “terrible twos,” Placebocare reached the Supreme Court. After three days of arguments, whether Placebocare, in whole or part, gets to see it’s “terrific threes” is now left to nine people who regularly wear black robes to the work place.

I’m not an attorney, nor do I play one on TV. However, it seems that the preponderance of opinion on both the Left and Right is that the Administration did a horrible job of making its case. Many, again on both sides, believe the individual mandate is in serious trouble. Beyond that, there is growing concern that whether the Justices believe the mandate to be severable or not may be moot. The whole of Placebocare could go down not over a severability argument but because the law is so complex and so intertwined on so many levels that the Justices may well feel that it is not within their ability to judge what stays or goes and instead give Congress a “do over” on the whole law.

Typically in a Supreme Court case, once the case is argued there may be a few days of public speculation as to the outcome if the case was unique or particularly important, like the Kelo decision. I don’t think that pattern will hold with Placebocare.

In a sign that the Left is both worried and is positioning for fall elections, we are seeing and will continue to see articles like this one from Slate.

Let’s skip past the “if you believe Placebocare is unconstitutional you must be a redneck from Kentucky” comment like:

The smart money before the argument was on an 8-1 upholding of Obamacare.

and head straight for what we will hear from now until the day the Supreme’s announce their decision…and if the Left loses, what we will hear as Obama’s campaign standard:

If it overturns Obamacare, the Supreme Court will have revealed its radical nature.

You see to the Left, the Supreme Court is only “Supreme” when it agrees with their agenda. When it doesn’t agree, it is there to be politicized like a group of nine “Joe the Plumbers.” President Obama showed us clearly how this works with his 2010 State of the Union Speech. During the speech, in reference to the Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission decision, President Obama openly criticized the Supremes. He claimed that they “reversed a century of law.” It was President Obama’s way of saying “they’re radical.”

Between now and the end of June when the Supreme Court is expected to release it’s decision, the MSM and other left media outlets will be attempting to taunt the Supreme Court to see things their way. Taunts like “radical,” “legitimacy” and “ideologues” will be included in numerous recounts of the arguments and the possible ramifications of the outcome. If the decision goes against the Administration, you can bank on Obama using these same taunts in an effort to galvanize his slipping support in an effort to make the Supreme Court the reason for his reelection. In fact, if, as I suspect, Sotomayer leaks the decision to the Administration, you can expect to see Obama cranking this rhetoric as a preemptive strike on what will be a harmful decision.

It’s going to be a long spring folks. Politics will not be leaving stage front and center for another several months, maybe a year. In the meantime, expect to hear a lot of taunting of the Supreme Court. Like the kids of our youth I can already hear the left yelling, “Meme, Meme, Meeeeeme!”

Update 4/2 10:38 AM didn’t know Allen West was a reader of NRE. Welcome aboard Allen!

update 2 4/2 3:01 PM No I’m not clairvoyant I just understand how the Left “thinks.” Expect to see a lot more of this in the coming weeks. In fact, the more you see of it the better as it will be a confirmation that Placebocare will be struck down

Update 3: 4/2 3:55 PM Oh, my gosh, my sides hurt I’m laughing so hard! I’m almost ready to declare Placebocare is going down in total…almost but not yet!

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