March 26, 2011

At the Wisconsin Capitol today, a rag-tag band plays and the assemblyman who's been avoiding Meade suddenly shows up.

Brett Hulsey was avoiding Meade yesterday, but he sought us out today, when we dropped by to see what was going on down at the Capitol. The encounter begins about 2 minutes in, and you see uncut footage of the whole conversation:

The band, which looks like this...


... plays "Solidarity Forever" and then "On, Wisconsin!" Meade sings along with "On, Wisconsin!" and, as he explained to me later, he's deliberately singing tunelessly as a critique of the band.

"'Tear Down This WALL'ker"/"Torture Fitzgerald"/Meade + Hulsey/Krampus.

At the Wisconsin Capitol today... a man in a Reagan mask had come up with a clever saying...


A woman with pinwheels didn't seem to be taking the subject of torture seriously enough...


Our assemblymanm Brett Hulsey — who'd been trying so hard to avoid Meade — found us and was amiable and talkative....


So... let the wild Krampus begin!


"Anarchists hijack the anti-cuts demo and go on rampage in central London."

Click through for vivid photos.

David Prosser and JoAnne Kloppenburg square off over judging (and running for judge) in Wisconsin.

We watched the whole debate last night, and those snippets give you the flavor of it. The ad Prosser asks Kloppenburg to ask her supporters to take down is the one we were discussing yesterday under the title "Mother Of All Negative Ads."

How can you write 3946 words on the topic "Why Is Bob Herbert Boring?"

Was that some kind of joke?

Geraldine Ferraro...


ADDED: Remember when she said Obama was sexist and the media was in the tank for him?

"Defecating dog sparks US shootout."

Why did BBC publish this story? It's not exactly big international news!
Two neighbours in the US state of Mississippi drew weapons and fired at each other as an argument over a defecating dog ran out of control.... injuries are not life-threatening... "Just meet me at the levee and I'll shoot you down."...
I think the BBC is into stoking anti-hillbilly bigotry. Bob Wright was doing that yesterday:

You can have any color you want as long as it's...

... not black.

Obama looks us in the eyes and explains Libya.


Madison's new tourism industry: the endless protest.

There's this:
Spend Sunday, April 10th, and the previous Saturday afternoon and evening, in Madison with hundreds if not thousands of other Wisconsinites as we convene the first in a series of meetings of the Wisconsin People’s Assembly. By participating in the Assembly, you will have the opportunity to meet, learn from, and build lasting personal connections with Wisconsinites coming from all trades, communities, and backgrounds.
I'm getting a tourism vibe. And it's not just the "wave" logo, suggesting a beach outing. It's the whole visit-Madison-for-the-excitement pitch.

Obama's Libya adventure does not fit the War Powers Resolution... and can only be supported by the most extreme view of presidential power.

Lawprof Bruce Ackerman explains:
After the Vietnam War, Congress passed the War Powers Resolution, which granted the president the power to act unilaterally for 60 days in response to a "national emergency created by attack upon the United States, its territories or possessions, or its armed forces." The law gave the chief executive an additional 30 days to disengage if he failed to gain congressional assent during the interim.  

But... these provisions have little to do with the constitutionality of the Libyan intervention, since Libya did not attack our "armed forces." The president failed to mention this fundamental point in giving Congress notice of his decision on Monday, in compliance with another provision of the resolution. Without an armed "attack," there is no compelling reason for the president to cut Congress out of a crucial decision on war and peace....

The War Powers Resolution doesn't authorize a single day of Libyan bombing. But it does provide an escape hatch, stating that it is not "intended to alter the constitutional authority of the Congress or of the President." So it's open for Obama to assert that his power as commander in chief allows him to wage war without Congress, despite the Constitution's insistence to the contrary....

Many modern presidents have made such claims, and Harry Truman acted upon this assertion in Korea. But it's surprising to find Obama on the verge of ratifying such precedents. He was elected in reaction to the unilateralist assertions of John Yoo and other apologists for George W. Bush-era illegalities. Yet he is now moving onto ground that even Bush did not occupy....
The War Powers Resolution cedes power to the President in the very place where the argument for independent presidential power is strong: When there is a national security emergency. If you don't fit the War Powers Resolution, because it's not an emergency, the argument for independent power is at its weakest.

Here's the part of my diavlog with Bob Wright where we talk about this issue. Note how, challenged, Bob comes up with a generic neocon argument about how more democracy in the world is good for national security. I press him about how there needs to be an emergency to justify not including Congress in the decisionmaking. (I've let this clip go on a bit, so it's a little long, but I purport to tell you the whole story of constitutional law, so it's actually super-concise.)

Bob Wright says that because the attack on Libya "is truly multilateral... it not only diffuses the literal cost ... but the blowback that you get from intervention inherently."

But it doesn't work, does it, for the United State to try to spread the responsibility around? It reminds me of getting stuck in a group project at school, when you're the GPA-protecting A+ student and everyone else knows it. In school, the A+ student knows this is a bad deal. He's not thinking: I love this diffused responsibility! He's thinking: These other students are dragging me down, and if this project gets a D, I'm getting a D, so I'll do everything I can to get the A for everybody. And all the other students are thinking about how they will take advantage of this arrangement. There's no diffusion illusion in school. Does it get any better in military maneuvers? Those other countries are already flaking out, and the United States will be exposed as having the full responsibility it always had. Was there ever any serious hope of diffusion of "blowback"? I doubt it. If there was, it was naive and, really, quite ugly. We'll go to war if we can hide behind France?!

"No more Althouse for you!"

When you've had too much Althouse, I'm cutting you off!

We're fighting for al Qaeda?

The Libyan disaster.

March 25, 2011

"Maybe Hulsey just thinks conversations with Meade should be safe, legal, and rare."


Wisconsin collective bargaining law is published despite the court order barring Secretary of State Doug La Follette from publishing it.

So... a loophole? It got published by someone other than La Follette?!
The governor and Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald, R-Juneau, said flatly Friday that the law will take effect on Saturday. But Reference Bureau Director Steve Miller said his department's publication of the act was only administrative. He said La Follette still needs to publish the act in the Wisconsin State Journal...

"Every attorney I have consulted said this will now be law," said Fitzgerald, who said he was aware this was going to happen. "It wasn't a secret. I think they left the door open for this."
The struggle continues, and I'm sure the Wisconsin people are exasperated... but who with?

"Rave On" — a new Bloggingheads with me and Bob Wright.

  • Ann’s family feud with liberals, Rob Farley, et al.
  • Bob defends Libyan intervention
  • Is there an Obama Doctrine?
  • Could the Supreme Court stop a war?
  • Creepy Wisconsin protester threatens Ann
  • Bob vs. Ann on the meaning of free speech

At the Planned Parenthood rally, Meade's conversation with Brett Hulsey is aborted.

This morning, Meade went down to the Capitol to meet with our state senator, Fred Risser, who's been a Wisconsin senator since 1962. (He's the longest serving state legislator in the United States.) It's been much harder to get to see our assemblyman, Brett Hulsey. You remember what happened yesterday. Today, after seeing Risser, Meade happened to run into Hulsey.

There was this Planned Parenthood rally. It looked like this:


That's Hulsey standing in front just behind the woman in the white jacket. (Enlargement here.) That's Risser in the red hat just below the speaker's upraised fist. Hulsey noticed Meade. Meade waved at him and he looked away. A bit later,  Hulsey was talking to some women who had come to the rally. And Meade was video-recording. Actually, this was a set-up photo-op, and Meade positioned himself so he had the ideal vantage point. Then, when Hulsey starts walking back toward the Capitol, Meade calls out in the hope of finally getting a few words....

Suffice it to say: The conversation is aborted.

"Mother Of All Negative Ads Dropped On WI Judicial Race."

"Progressives in Wisconsin are up with a TV ad that puts the negative in negative campaigning: sitting state Supreme Court Justice David Prosser defends child molesters instead of their victims, the groups say."

So is this the kind of negative ad that people say they're sick of but insinuates itself deep into the brain cells?

The Wisconsin Republican Party uses Open Records Law to get emails written by the Wisconsin professor William Cronon.

Cronon had an op-ed in the NYT — which I blogged about here — and he's also blogged about the role of the American Legislative Exchange Council in the Wisconsin budget repair bill. Now, his political antagonists are trying to get the UW to turn over all his "wisc" email messages "which reference any of the following terms: Republican, Scott Walker, recall, collective bargaining, AFSCME, WEAC, rally, union" and a lot of names of Wisconsin legislators.

Cronon thinks the Wisconsin Republican Party is hoping he's violated the Wisconsin email policies, which forbid use "to support the nomination of any person for political office or to influence a vote in any election or referendum." I've long worried about the ridiculous and chilling overbreadth of that provision. It's supposed to refer to running a political campaign using university resources, not interacting with people about political issues or even expressing opinions about candidates. In fact, the university has long promoted what it calls "The Wisconsin Idea," which is all about professors influencing legislation.

When does the Open Records Law apply to email? Is there a special rule protecting professors' email? Cronon says it shouldn't be used "to harass individual faculty members for asking awkward questions, researching unpopular topics, making uncomfortable arguments, or pursuing lines of inquiry that powerful people would prefer to suppress....  It is chilling indeed to think that the Republican Party of my state has asked to have access to the emails of a lone professor in the hope of finding messages they can use to attack and discredit that professor."

With hindsight, it's easy to see what a mistake it is to use your wisc email account for anything other than class email lists and responding to email that UW people sent to your wisc address. I've known for years and years that there is Open Records vulnerability here. I use gmail myself to keep my notes and personal interactions out of this potentially public realm. (I love the way "union" is one of the search terms that the Republican Party put in its request. That would could come up in all sorts of contexts, including the most minimal. )

ADDED: FIRE enters the fray:
Last year, the Supreme Court of Wisconsin held that "the contents of employees' personal e-mails are not a part of government business," and that "[p]ersonal e-mails are therefore not always records within the meaning of Wis. Stat. 19.32(2) simply because they are sent and received on government e-mail and computer systems." Schill v. Wisconsin Rapids School District, 327 Wis. 2d 572 (2010).

In Schill... the Supreme Court of Wisconsin determined that the emails had no connection to government business and were thus not records under the statute. Concluding, the court wrote:
If the content of the e-mail is solely personal, it is not a record under the Public Records Law and the e-mail cannot be released....
To the extent that a Wisconsin public university faculty member's emails are connected to a "government function," they may be covered under the state's Open Records law. But whether Cronon's emails meet this criterion is not presently clear. And even then, the court held in Schill that if the emails are in fact records, "then the court must undertake a balancing test to decide whether the statutory presumption favoring disclosure of public records is outweighed by any other public interest."
Cronon should win this. And by the way, thanks to all the left-wing assholes who think the best response to the intrusion on Cronon is to seek access to my emails. You've revealed a lot about what freedom means to you.

AND: UW Chancellor Chancellor Martin has issued a statement:
Compliance with public records requests involves a balancing test.... [W]e will need to consider whether disclosure would result in a chilling effect on the discourse between colleagues that is essential to our academic mission.
Academic freedom is one of the university’s greatest contributions to a democratic society. No other institution is charged specifically with protecting the pursuit of knowledge, wherever it may lead. Individual faculty, staff and students inevitably consider and advocate positions that will be at odds with one another’s views and the views of people outside of the university. It is the university’s responsibility both to comply with state law and to protect our community’s right to explore freely and freely express their points of view.

"Republicans are WMD's."

A woman with a sign at the Wisconsin Capitol, yesterday:


Krauthammer critiques "The Professor's War."


"God, Moammar, Libya: Enough!"

The pro-Gaddafi chant in Tripoli.

"I need NOW’s defense, like a fish needs a bicycle."

Sarah Palin's joke writers are better than Bill Maher's.

March 24, 2011

"A man should never wear shorts in the city.... Shorts should only be worn on the tennis court or on the beach."

Tom Ford is more hardcore about men in shorts than I am.

A conspiracy of...

... purple.


Is that word helping explain anything?

"Before becoming president, Mr. Obama had criticized the Bush administration for going outside traditional criminal procedures to deal with terror suspects..."

"... and for bypassing Congress in making rules to handle detainees after 9/11. He has since embraced many of the same policies while devising additional ones—to the disappointment of civil-liberties groups that championed his election. In recent weeks, the administration formalized procedures for indefinitely detaining some suspects at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, allowing for periodic reviews of those deemed too dangerous to set free."

Is it entertaining to watch 2 young men almost have nervous breakdowns on television?

Casey made the gargantuan effort not to throw up, which they would not have been able to bleep as they did his "Oh my fucking God." And James — who has 2 syndromes, Asperger's and Tourette's — got down on his knees and worshiped Hulk Hogan, then looked like he was going to soar into some unknown dimension of manic.

"She was single-handedly a living rebuke to postmodernism and post-structuralism, which maintain that gender is merely a social construct."

Camilia Paglia appropriates the dead body of Elizabeth Taylor to restate the point she's been making for 20 years.

At the Wisconsin Capitol, the civil disobedience people can't get themselves arrested.

This morning, I learned via Facebook that there was a civil disobedience event planned for the first floor of the Wisconsin Capitol, where some people holding signs were ticketed by police yesterday. Alerted that it was going to begin in 15 minutes, Meade, mid-pancake, shifted into action and got there in time to catch the action:

The video begins and ends with shots of school kids enjoying the Capitol in traditional style, standing and lying down in the center of the rotunda, gazing up into the magnificent dome. In between, we see Ben Masel — the iconic Madison activist — holding up a protest sign, which is supposedly now forbidden at the first floor level. He also reads the free-speech portion of the Wisconsin Constitution, which is right there, as one of the 4 first floor monuments. (You've seen Meade and me protecting the Veterans Monument.) But Ben and his small cadre of civil disobeyers don't manage to get themselves arrested, and we see them file out, past the monumental head of Robert La Follette.

By the way, I think if the protests are going to be confined to one area of the Capitol, it would be better to have them on the first floor, leaving the rotunda free for the kids to scamper about — without tripping on signs — and lie down where they can get the best view up into the dome. That's an aesthetic and child-loving opinion, not a legal opinion.

What if Prosser is right?

David Blaska asks:
About a year ago, State Supreme Court Justice Prosser lost his temper behind closed doors and called [Wisconsin Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson] a "bitch" and threatened to "destroy" her.

Problems got so bad that justices on both sides described the court as dysfunctional, and Prosser and others suggested bringing in a third party for help.... This is being used by hyper partisans to "prove" that Justice Prosser, after 13 years on the bench and 17 years in the State Legislature, is unfit for the court....
Read the whole thing.

And here's a 5th question: Are there any answered questions?

4 unanswered questions about Libya.

Something I said just before the Wisconsin protests started.

It's funny now:

That's from January 31, 2011.

Apple's repression of free speech: excluding an inPhone app that displays a disapproved-of opinion.

Forbes reports:
Supporters of gay rights are celebrating a successful effort to pressure Apple into removing from its store a controversial app created by a group that works to “free” gay people of their sexual orientation. After more than 140,000 people signed a petition at calling for the app, created by Exodus International, to be removed, Apple bowed to the wisdom of the crowd...

In other words, something is objectionable if enough people object to it. If that’s going to be the standard, Apple is going to be seeing a lot more petitions. You can be sure the religious conservatives who found themselves on the losing end of this culture-war skirmish have been taking notes, and are already at work drawing up a list of all the gay-themed apps in the app store that are offensive to their beliefs. What will Apple say the day it gets a petition with 140,001 signatures calling for banning Grindr, an app popular with gay men looking for a quick hit of romance?
As a speech gatekeeper, Apple should embrace free-speech values and go with viewpoint neutrality. It has made a terrible, embarrassing mistake, both because it is wrong to censor and because it will now have a hell of a time deciding which pressure groups to respond to and what counts as offensive enough to censor.

If your fingers are itching to type out the news that the constitutional right to free speech only protects you from government censorship, settle down. Free speech values extend beyond what you can get a court to enforce. I am arguing directly to Apple, as a matter of good policy and good values. Obviously, Apple cares about good values and responds, in its conception of good policy, when it is persuaded by arguments about good policy and good values: That's why it engaged in censorship! I'm arguing on the other side of the petition.

"We’re pivoting from a white-black-dominated American population to one that is multiracial and multicultural."

Looking at the 2000 census.

Zsa Zsa seeks entry into glamorous death triad.

Aware of the superstition that celebrity deaths come in threes, she said: "Oh, Jane Russell and Liz Taylor — I'm next."

Obama locked out of the White House.

Talk about photo ops. This is another occasion for my "Obama is like Bush" tag. Remember....

But Bush wasn't at his own house, and of course, Bush was endlessly derided for looking like an idiot.

"This Is a Test of the Emergency Free Speech System."

Meade iPhones a photo from the civil disobedience event on the first floor of the Wisconsin Capitol, where police ticketed people for holding signs yesterday.

"Can't I just eat my waffle?" said Meade, channeling Obama.

Actually, he was eating a pancake. (Meade makes pancakes nearly every morning. When he gave me mine this morning, he said "Here's your circle of grain for the morning," because the evening circle of grain, Meade-made, is pizza.)

I'd just said: "There's a big civil disobedience event at the Capitol in 15 minutes."

Did Meade continue to eat his pancake or did Meade stop mid-'cake to answer the new media call?

Civil disobedience event — at the Wisconsin Capitol, beginning in 10 minutes.

I received this Facebook invitation — "Take back Wisconsin's Constitution" — from Ben Masel, who writes:
Yesterday the police issued the first citations for holding signs on the first floor ring of the Capitol building, in contravention of the court order which directed the department of Administration to return speech options to January. individuals have been free to hold political signs in this area for at least 25 years.

It's particularly ironic thatbthe Departmet of Adminisration's sign announcing the ban on protest ias immediately adjacent to an originalcopy of our State's Constitution, open to the very section which guarantees our right to protest there.

It's tiome to reclain the public forum. Bring the largest copy of Article 1 sectionb 4 you can.
(Typos left uncorrected.)

The protest is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 12 noon on the first floor, next to the Wisconsin Constitution, which says: "The right of the people peaceably to assemble, to consult for the common good, and to petition the government, or any department thereof, shall never be abridged."

ADDED: Masel is a Madison icon. Read more here. He says: "Life's a movie. Don't be an extra, star in your own." (With a Flip camera, everybody is a star.)

UPDATE: A new post, with video of the civil disobeyers not getting arrested.

This is what democracy looks like — in Madison, Wisconsin — as Meade seeks access to our assemblyman, Brett Hulsey.

You remember Brett Hulsey. He's the member of the Wisconsin Assembly who represents our district, the 77th, and Meade has been trying to talk with him. Hulsey has been running away, as you saw in this video, recorded on Monday. There, you see that Meade was forced to make an appointment, even though Hulsey darted right out to intervene in support of a protester whom Meade had started to talk to, a woman who had been occupying the center of the rotunda, sitting with a big array of posters on the floor. In that video, we learned that Hulsey allows that protester to store her posters in his office. Hulsey's office later canceled the appointment.

Not having heard back from Hulsey's office about the promised rescheduling, Meade dropped in today to see what was going on. I edited his video to make it very short...

First, Meade encounters the papers-on-the-floor lady. She's no longer plunked down in the center of the rotunda, but relocated off to the side. Why? "There's a blogger...." She denies that anybody ever slipped on her posters, but the blogger — me — stated that somebody slipped on papers in the rotunda — not specifically her papers. And here's the video (at 0:37). It's a big old legislator man who took a fall... and Brett Hulsey was right there when it happened.

Next, Meade goes with the woman as she walks into Hulsey's office to store her things. She doesn't speak to the office assistant or ask permission. She just makes the place her own. Unlike Meade, she is not one of Hulsey's constituents. He's simply facilitating the protests, even as he avoids Meade, who would like to talk to him about things like that.

In the office, Meade briefly encounters Hulsey, who admits he has "a beef" with Meade. Meade is told again to schedule an appointment with the office assistant, but she won't do it.

Basically, our assemblyman has cut off access. The reason that's interesting is that the protesters — to whom he gives super-access — have made a big deal about how the Republicans aren't listening to them and how democracy requires legislators to listen to everyone, even those who are their vehement opponents, even when they are not from their district. But Hulsey is resisting a man who has sought politely to speak with him, who is in his district, and who even voted for him.


Why did Meade vote for him? He had a strong challenger to his left. We live in Madison.

AND: Here's the email Meade sent to Hulsey tonight. (I had no role in drafting this letter. It's 100% Meade.)

March 23, 2011

"Long-married couples develop a certain rhythm, gravity, and coloration to the annual cycle..."

"... and so those first twelve months of widowhood propose at every turn a terrible choice: between doing the same as last year, only this time by yourself, or deliberately not doing the same as last year, and thereby perhaps feeling even more by yourself. That first year contains many stations of the cross. For instance, learning to return to a silent, empty house...."

"I got on the subway and accidentally bumped his leg and it started. He called me a pussy..."

"He called me a pussy and I told him 'I am what I eat.' When a girl laughed he went ballistic."

The saga of Daniel and "Bloody Loco."

"The Times is clearly fascinated by talking about how rich countries' voracious (albeit healthy) appetite is hurting Bolivians."

"This skews the reporting. Oh, the Times does mention that we're also enriching Bolivians farmers by buying so much quinoa. But this point just gets a sentence or two; it isn't amplified with statistics or anecdotes or color photographs. The observation that rich countries are helping a poor country by buying its exports doesn't make for a fascinating New York Times article."

59% of Americans oppose Obamacare, 37% support.

Same opposition level as a year ago. Support down 2%.

Wisconsin protesters branch out into picketing M&I Bank... and some of them seem suspicious of Meade.

Yesterday, while I was in class, around 4 p.m., Meade went down to the Capitol Square to see what was going on. The main thing was this picket circle in front of M&I Bank. The protesters have some theory justifying dragging the bank into the protests, but I don't think you can figure it out from the signs. They're using the same chants they used against the government, notably "This is what democracy looks like." Democracy against a bank? But they are so passionate. Especially that one guy.

But what's really interesting here is the attention some of them give Meade. Watch for the lawyer with the Walker-as-Marie-Antoinette sign. Remember him from the graffiti-on-the-Civil-War-monument video? Watch for him to step out of the line and talk to some other guy, who then takes a picture of Meade. And then there are those 2 other guys who are suddenly up in Meade's face, who follow Meade as he leaves to go into the Capitol. Are they going to intimidate Meade?

This is edited video, and I've left out what happens when they get into the rotunda. Standing in the center of the rotunda, the 3 men converse/argue about freedom of speech. I've uploaded the 14-minute video separately and unedited. If you have the patience to watch that, it's funny to some extent, particularly because the young men are so fervent about their cause that they can't hear how bad some of the things they say are. They persist for a while, but they can't shake Meade and they can't answer the questions he asks. In the end, they walk away. And there's Meade standing alone in the center of the rotunda.

Mitt Romney: "If I were president, on Day One I would issue an executive order paving the way for Obamacare waivers to all 50 states."

"The executive order would direct the Secretary of Health and Human Services and all relevant federal officials to return the maximum possible authority to the states to innovate and design health-care solutions that work best for them. As I have stated time and again, a one-size-fits-all national plan that raises taxes is simply not the answer. Under our federalist system, the states are 'laboratories of democracy.'"

"In my own case, when I see my daughter in drop-dead gorgeous mode, I experience something akin to a thrill — especially since I myself am somewhat past the age to turn heads."

Writes Jennifer Moses in a the Wall Street Journal piece titled "Why Do We Let Them Dress Like That?" quoted by Rush Limbaugh in a rant titled "Feminazis Worry Their Daughters Will Dress for Sex Like They Did." The quote in the post title is, for Rush, the key: These women (whoever "we" represents for Moses) are "living vicariously through the daughter." He's promoting conservative sexual values, and it's interesting to him that that's what feminists do — some feminists — with their own daughters, even though, in the abstract, they've promoted sexual freedom.

Rush is a little incoherent here as he throws a whole lot of ideas around. I mean, Moses is speaking from experience, and she has regrets. She wishes she'd waited until marriage before having sex. And she's not just saving the secret, true conservative values for her own daughter. She's writing a big, conspicuous op-ed about it. She's promoting sexual conservatism now. And she's not really rejecting sexual freedom, is she? Part of freedom is the freedom not to do things you are free to do.

The trick is to realize when you're young that you can say no. But adults who've said yes, looking back and saying that they wish they'd said no, are somewhat unreliable pontificators. They've had their fun. They made their choices at the time. And now maybe they don't like seeing the young have the first surge of excitement doing those things.

Now that the NYT paywall is up...

... when I want to blog about a basic news story — e.g., Elizabeth Taylor has died — I go to the Washington Post site, or other standard new site. For the last 7 years of blogging, I nearly always went to the NYT, linking several times a day. That's over.

"He obviously is capable of maintaining contact with Washington and being constantly updated."

Says the press secretary about our wartime President who is gallivanting in South America. Stop this criticism. Look! He's canceled his Mayan ruins sightseeing plan and will instead hole up in the American Embassay and do "at least one conference call."

Why did Obama cancel his visit to the Mayan ruins?
So he could do phone calls about Libya.
Swanning around ancient ruins is about exactly the opposite of the photo-op it was supposed to be. free polls

"Voodoo priest linked to Flatbush blaze is one of many scammers, predators, say neighbors."

What a ridiculous headline from the Daily News! The man's link to the fire is that he was the source of a candle.
A voodoo priest whose ritual candles sparked a deadly fire in Brooklyn last month is just one of a cadre of supposed mystics who prey on women for money and sex.

The women - most of them African or Haitian - sought good fortune, fertility, love, employment and sometimes revenge....

"It is very discreet," said Father Jean-Miguel Auguste, who heads the St. Jerome Catholic Church about a block from the E. 29th St. fire. "No one really talks about it."

Auguste, who came to the parish in 2004, said he's counseled hundreds of women who were taken advantage of by the smooth-talking con artists.
So you have rival religions, and a representative of one portrays the other as preying on people. Why not portray the Catholic priests as "smooth-talking con artists"?
"In this community we have people who are desperate," said Auguste, 51, a Haitian immigrant. "When you are desperate, you will believe anything."
Ahem. Listen to yourself, man.

Elizabeth Taylor.

The goddess walked the earth for 79 years.

March 22, 2011

"This no-fly zone doesn’t mean anything to us because Gaddafi only had a few planes and they were doing nothing."

"We need a no-drive zone because it is tanks and snipers that are killing us."

Obama's aloofness/aloftness isn't working.

"Unions are almost dead."

"We cannot survive doing what we do but the simple fact of the matter is community organizations are almost dead also. And if you think about what we need to do it may give us some direction which is essentially what the folks that are in charge - the big banks and everything - what they want is stability. There are actually extraordinary things we could do right now to start to destabilize the folks that are in power and start to rebuild a movement."

"No wonder these people assumed the Tea Party movement had to be some kind of astroturf."

"They were just relying on their own experience."

72-hour wait between consultation and abortion...

... just enacted in South Dakota.
"I think everyone agrees with the goal of reducing abortion by encouraging consideration of other alternatives,” the Republican governor said the statement. “I hope that women who are considering an abortion will use this three-day period to make good choices.”
Lawsuit forthcoming. Under the case law, "the means chosen by the State to further the interest in potential life must be calculated to inform the woman's free choice, not hinder it." So you tell me, why 3 days?

A protester sits in the center of the Capitol rotunda floor, day after day, with posters spread all around, facilitated by Democratic Assemblyman Brett Hulsey.

The last few times we've gone to the Wisconsin Capitol, we've encountered a woman who sits on the floor, right in the center of the rotunda. You can see her in this picture from March 15th [and at 1:39 in the video here]. She spreads posters (and a display of buttons) right where visitors are most likely to want to stand to gaze up into the dome. Children love to lie down there for dome-gazing. But this woman has appropriated the spot — not just for sitting, but for a display of anti-Walker signs.

Now, there is a list of rules about what you can't do in the Capitol, and one thing is: post signs. This is perhaps a good law school exam question: Are signs arrayed on a horizontal surface posted? Meade — Flip camera in hand — started to interview the woman about that. No sooner does the questioning begin than WI Assemblyman Brett Hulsey shows up to ask the woman whether Meade "is behaving himself"....

The woman tells Hulsey Meade's question, and Meade amplifies the issue by asking "What's to stop you from getting, you know, 100 times this number of signs and spreading out into the whole rotunda and spreading out into all the hallways?" She says: "I don't think there's anything with that except I have to pick them up at the end of the night."

Hulsey answers: "Personal restraint." Meade says: "Is that it? Personal restraint?" We see that Hulsey has turned his back and is walking away (as Meade is in the middle of thanking him). Then, hilariously, the woman volunteers: "Brett is nice that he told me that when I bring these in, I don't have to take them with me at night. I can go store them in his office overnight."

The camera pans to Hulsey, who has turned back toward Meade. Hulsey has a sheepish frown-grin on his face. Meade says "Truly?!" The woman says "yes, yes" as Hulsey nods his head a few times. Hulsey says: "We believe in free speech."

Meade: "So, you're not only approving, but you're facilitating?"

The woman: "He's not facilitating. I only just asked him if I can, I said, I come here with signs. I just asked him if I could store the signs in his office overnight and he told me I could."

There's overtalking as Hulsey says "We believe in the First Amendment, freedom of speech" and Meade is asking her if she's in Hulsey's district and the woman says "I'm in Madison, but not his district. I have friends in his district."

Now, we are in Hulsey's district, and Hulsey knows it, because Meade has talked to him on several occasions. Meade goes after Hulsey, who is turning again to walk away, and asks him, "Do you have 5 minutes?"

Hulsey lets out a long "uuuuhhhhhh" then says: "Actually I... t-t-t-to discuss what?" Why should the subject matter affect whether our assemblyman has 5 minutes to talk to Meade? Especially if he's big on free speech, the subject shouldn't matter.

Meade: "I wanna ask you questions and, uh, get your thoughts and opinions..."

Hulsey interrupts to say that Meade should make an appointment with "Terry" — "because I'm on deadlines with a couple things." The deadlines didn't stop him from darting right out to protect the rotunda-sitting lady from Meade's questioning, and indeed, when Meade goes into the office to make the appointment, Hulsey's assistant says "This is a slow week."

So... deadlines... slow week... What's the deal?

UPDATE: So, in the video you see Hulsey's assistant scheduling his appointment for 2 days later. Today, Hulsey's office called to reschedule and canceled the existing appointment (without giving him a new one). Evasive? But he's was right there when papers-on-the-floor lady seemed to need help answering Meade's questions. And, he was also right there — in video Meade took — when another legislator fell flat on the floor of the rotunda after slipping on papers protesters had put there!

"7 Questions For Liberals About Obama's Libyan War."

Questions based on the overarching question: Did they really mean the criticisms they had against Bush or not?

At the Wisconsin Supreme Court candidates's debate, incumbent David Prosser goes after JoAnne Kloppenburg for what commenters have written on her Facebook page.

What can we attribute to the person with the power to delete comments?
While there was no explicit mention of a Dane County judge's decision to issue an emergency order to block the state's contentious new collective bargaining law, Prosser acknowledged the attacks against him on Klopperburg's Facebook page were from people hoping to elect someone to decide "cases that come out of the governor's budget bill."...

Prosser said Kloppenburg is responsible for the comments on her Facebook page and should take them down. He said the nature of the comments raises questions about whether she can impartially decide any cases that come before her with the budget bill. He mentioned one that read, "Stop the turd, vote Kloppenburg."

"Now am I the turd or is the governor the turd?" he said to laughs from the audience. "Either I am being sort of dissed or she is committing herself to vote in a particular way on a particular case. That's totally inappropriate."

Kloppenburg said the people who post the comments are responsible for the content and that the postings aren't untrue.

"They understand that it is so important to have an independent and impartial court," she said of the people posting on her Facebook site.
I have a very free comments policy myself, and this blog's comments thread is full of things I don't agree with, so I'm strongly disinclined to attribute comments to someone who maintains a comments section. Now, a political candidate might want to clean up the comments, but if she doesn't, what does it mean? It might mean nothing more than a failure to monitor the page — mere inattention or sloppiness. It might mean a commitment to free speech. But one might infer that a candidate would scrub comments that were damaging to her in the election and, perhaps, keep what was helpful.

The key question is whether Kloppenburg has "committ[ed] herself to vote in a particular way on a particular case." Clearly, many of her supporters are saying that she is much more likely than Prosser to give them the outcomes they want, and some of them have said that where she has the power to delete. But Prosser's campaign manager wrote in an official campaign news release that Prosser would "act as a common sense compliment to both the new administration and legislature." Now, that's not exactly a "commit[ment]... to vote in a particular way on a particular case," but it's a signal to people on the conservative side that Prosser to is more likely to give them the outcomes they want. Prosser has "disavowed the release and said he didn't see it before it went out," but what's worse? The Prosser campaign statement or the Kloppenburg Facebook comments?

The answer to that question isn't going to determine who votes for which candidate. Obviously. It's a shame if the judicial campaign has turned into a referendum on the Governor and the GOP legislature, but both candidates bear some responsibility for that. Normally, judicial candidates in this state try quite hard to look as though the race is all about judicial skill and temperament. I think Wisconsinites want that message, and, also, that they are more likely to conflate conservative politics with properly judicial skill and temperament. (That's how Gableman defeated Butler, in my view.)

But at this point in the Wisconsin craziness, some unknown large number of Wisconsinites — especially those who will take the trouble to vote on April 5th — see the election as a way to express an opinion about what the Republicans have been doing in Wisconsin. Presumably, there are some more who have opinions about the extent to which a court should check the legislative process — a more conventional view about judging. I think there are also plenty of Wisconsinites who have a general preference for conservative judges. (They worry that liberal judges will be too sympathetic to criminals and that sort of thing.) Lots of people just vote for the incumbent because they figure he's a solid guy who knows what he's doing.

Who will turn out on April 5th? My sense is that the people who have been protesting for the last month have a lot of pent-up energy to expend on getting their people to the polls, and they are saying vote Kloppenburg.

"Scott Walker is not Joe McCarthy. Their political convictions and the two moments in history are quite different."

Writes UW history prof William Cronon in a NYT op-ed:
But there is something about the style of the two men — their aggressiveness, their self-certainty, their seeming indifference to contrary views — that may help explain the extreme partisan reactions they triggered. McCarthy helped create the modern Democratic Party in Wisconsin by infuriating progressive Republicans, imagining that he could build a national platform by cultivating an image as a sternly uncompromising leader willing to attack anyone who stood in his way. Mr. Walker appears to be provoking some of the same ire from adversaries and from advocates of good government by acting with a similar contempt for those who disagree with him.

The turmoil in Wisconsin is not only about bargaining rights or the pension payments of public employees. It is about transparency and openness. It is about neighborliness, decency and mutual respect. Joe McCarthy forgot these lessons of good government, and so, I fear, has Mr. Walker. Wisconsin’s citizens have not.
A couple preliminary observations:

1. The protesters and the Democrats in the Wisconsin legislature are making a much bigger show of lacking "neighborliness, decency and mutual respect" than the Republicans, who won the election last fall and are attempting to solve a terrible economic problem. Legislators ran to another state and hid out to obstruct the majority, and the protesters have been chanting unneighborly chants and carrying outrageous signs — depicting Scott Walker as Hitler, etc. — for a month. They took over the Capitol, covering its marble walls with nasty signs, defiling its war monument, and breaking things. They mobbed a state senator. They made death threats! Not all of them. But how can you talk about neighborliness, decency and mutual respect and not acknowledge these things?

2. Cronon's the historian, and he points to Joe McCarthy. But couldn't one also point to Ronald Reagan? Yeah, I know: not from Wisconsin. But he was perceived as "a sternly uncompromising leader" when he was Governor of California. All the college kids — including me — thought he was a demon. Cronon says McCarthy "helped create the modern Democratic Party," but Reagan's role in creating the modern Republican Party is even more dramatic. Walker is much more like Reagan. In fact, Reagan's resemblance to McCarthy is greater than Walker's. Reagan got in front of the camera and said some pretty harsh things back in the late 60s. Walker always comes across as a nice person, making tough decisions and doing what he thinks needs to be done.

March 21, 2011

Somebody has written "Workers of the World Unite" on the monument to Civil War hero Hans Christian Heg.

And Meade is not happy with that. This evening at the Wisconsin Capitol:

2 protesters — a teacher and a lawyer — arrive on the scene, and a hilarious argument ensues. This might seem long, but don't miss the "teabagger" part.

"Saints may always tell the truth, but for mortals living means lying."

Said the judge:
"Phrases such as 'I'm working late tonight, hunny,' 'I got stuck in traffic' and 'I didn't inhale' could all be made into crimes," wrote Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, concurring with the federal appeals panel's denial of the government's request for an en banc hearing of the case. "Without the robust protections of the First Amendment, the white lies, exaggerations and deceptions that are an integral part of human intercourse would become targets of censorship, subject only to the rubber stamp known as 'rational basis review.'"
Faced with a criminal indictment, Xavier Alvarez pleaded guilty to violating the Stolen Valor Act by telling his colleagues on a water district board in Los Angeles that he had been in the Marines for 25 years and had been awarded the Medal of Honor in 1987.

"He was caressing my head in this sick way, this tender way, saying: 'You’re going to die tonight. You’re going to die tonight.'"

Lynsey Addario, one of 4 NYT journalists — the only female — who were captured by the Libyan government, describes her ordeal.

David Weigel smugly mouths a most despicable theory of presidential power.

His post is titled "Why Obama Doesn't Need to Ask Congress Before Attacking Libya." He posits:
It's simple: Most of Washington doesn't want him to. To coin a phrase: If they want the president to do it, that means it's legal.
The allusion is to the famous Nixon quote (which was distorted for effect in ads for the movie "Frost/Nixon"): "When the President does it, that means it is not illegal." Why would Weigel repurpose that quote? Is he criticizing Obama? Nixon asserted that "in war time, a president does have certain extraordinary powers which would make acts that would otherwise be unlawful, lawful if undertaken for the purpose of preserving the nation and the Constitution, which is essential for the rights we’re all talking about."

Does anyone argue that attacking Libya is needed to preserve the United States? But quite aside from that, Nixon was talking about the President stepping up and doing what he thinks is needed. That's entirely different from saying that a structural safeguard entrusted to Congress may be dispensed with whenever Congress doesn't feel like taking responsibility.

Now, possibly Weigel is thinking everyone knows Nixon was wrong — false, but let's assume it — and so presenting a theory in the Nixon format is a way of saying it's wrong. But I think that's way too subtle for Weigel to have intended. I think what he meant was to adopt a political pragmatism, which he imagines Nixon to have used. In that view, the President acquires power when Congress avoids its responsibility. Weigel continues in this vein [quoting Lindsey Graham, with apparent approbation]:
"I don't believe he needs to come to Congress. I'd gladly vote on what he did. I think it's inherent within the authority of the commander-in-chief to take such action."
Such action? What action? Helping out rebels in a foreign country where our national security is not at stake?
"We have been overly cautious, unnervingly indecisive. This thing melted down. I wish we would have acted sooner. I don't feel a need to bless this action before he took it. I'd be glad to vote on it afterwards."
BlessGlad? It's not about your feelings or Congress's avoidance of formal gestures. Either there is a serious constitutional safeguard here or there is not. If there is, it doesn't disappear because you are comfortable without it or because Congress holds back. If there is a constitutional safeguard, it is a permanent guarantee that goes to us, the people.

"Having taken a closer look at the text of Judge Sumi's decision in Ozanne v. Fitzgerald, I am quite frankly astonished."

"The court seems to have managed to enjoin publication of the statutory changes in the budget repair bill without addressing any of the difficult issues that the case presents."

Says Marquette lawprof Rick Esenburg.

AND: More here:
Setting aside the multiple jurisdictional issues that should have led the court to conclude that it did not have authority to hear the case at all, let’s focus on the heart of the defendants’ (and the unions) dispute: whether the conference committee meeting was properly noticed. It was....

"The concept that God longs for the likes of me is so unbelievably sweet."

Wrote lawprof William Stuntz, taking comfort, when he was dying of cancer, in a line from the Book of Job: "You will call and I will answer. You will long for the creature your hands have made."

"I hope we can now stop minimizing and trivializing the impacts that outdoor cats have on the environment and start addressing the serious problem of cat predation."

Pussy belongs inside.

"Those snaps are all you need to know."

"The working man's plight is boiled down to the struggle for money.  Ford uses his gospel training to make this fight seem almost as fight that Jesus himself would join to defeat the forces that make him 'another day older and deeper in debt'.  But because he lacks hope of escape, Ford's message here seems to subscribe to the 'take this job and shove it' school of country music as opposed to the aspirational.  The snaps, though; that's the heartbeat of America there."

#180 on List-a-Beefy's top 200 #1 songs of the last 55 years.

"On Justice Samuel Alito: Conservatives Can Have Empathy Too!"

The Wall Street Journal law blog acknowledges this Emily Bazelon piece.

This reminds me of what I wrote (in a NYT op-ed) when Bush first nominated Alito. Describing 2 cases in which he "displayed a sensitivity to the needs of adherents of minority religions" that was missing from the Supreme Court decision that, as a lower court judge, he had to apply, I went on to say:
Yes, chances are that a Justice Alito will please conservatives more often than liberals.... Still, [liberals] should give serious study to his record; they may discover that there are varieties of judicial conservatives, just as there are varieties of political conservatives, and that Samuel Alito is not Antonin Scalia.
Speaking of conservatives and empathy, Rush Limbaugh monologued about that last week:
By itself, what does sitting around caring about something accomplish? Now, if it motivates you to do something that's an entirely different thing. I find that most people, particularly people on the left, want plaudits, they want gold stars, they think of themselves as superior people just because they care....

I don't worry about things that I have no control over. I used to, big time. I can't tell you the shackles I had on myself worrying about all kinds of stuff. I was worrying about what might happen next year if I did this or did that. There was nothing more paralyzing in my life than to worry about stuff I had no control over. And in the process, I actually limited what I could control.

"There was simply no basis for the Ninth Circuit to reach the opposite conclusion, particularly in such a dismissive manner."

The Supreme Court, per curiam, grants a petition for certiorari and a motion for leave to proceed in forma pauperis, and delivers an immediate reversal, after the 9th Circuit blatantly disregards the standard imposed by the federal habeas statute.

The image of Wisconsin as a clenched fist.

Lots of Facebook folk actually use this in the spot where most people put a picture of their own faces, so it's not just that the state is turned into a fist. People are willingly replacing their own faces with a fist.

By the way, if Door County were included the fist would have an extended pinky. That would be more polite.

IN THE COMMENTS: Phil 3:14 says:
And appropriately Madison lies over the "capitate" bone.

(And stretching this a bit, and assuming Milwaukee is Democratic, they're "pissed" over the pisiform.)
Paul Zrimsek says:
Alternative caption: BEND OVER, ONTARIO.

Justices Alito, Scalia, Thomas and the Chief would like you to know that they do care about the privacy of your backyard.

But not when the decisions comes to them on review of a decision by a state intermediate appellate court. I mean, you've got your backyard privacy and they've got their Rule 10. The New Jersey Supreme Court didn't want to talk about it, so they don't want to talk about it.

Madison's other rotunda — the Wisconsin protest moves to campus.

A Facebook group:
As students, teachers, researchers, and workers at UW-Madison we ask you to gather with us tomorrow, Monday, March 21st at noon to show your solidarity against this massive attack on public eduction and labor in the state of Wisconsin. Our plan is to quietly congregate and publicly perform our role as teachers and employees of the university, so participate by bringing your grading or other work. We will meet in the rotunda at Bascom Hall in order to promote our status as graduate student workers committed to accessible public education and the fair employment practices guaranteed by collective bargaining rights. Bascom is the home to University Administration, Faculty Senate, and PROFS, and thus serves as a symbolic space where we can convey our persistent dedication to this struggle to KILL THE BILL.
Bring your lunch, bring your work, and wear your TAA shirt tomorrow. Help us keep labor visible, and remind the campus that the UNIVERSITY WORKS BECAUSE WE DO!
This looks like a job for New Media Meade.

UPDATE: At 12:04, per Meade: "Fewer than 12 people waiting for TA Godot." "Two are grading blue books."

UPDATE 2: At 12:15: 30 people now. Plus, an iPhone photo:


The sign says: "Productive Protesters/Grad Students Working for the Cause."

UPDATE 3: Earlier someone said, "I'm here for the pizza," and now Ian's Pizza has delivered. Text: "Meade eschewing communist pizza." Nobody has run him out of town yet.

UPDATE 4: "I believe this may be a trial occupation." Later: "If this is an occupation, it's lame. More like a study hall or 30 person study date." Also (with typical Meadhouse Dylan reference): "People walking through not in group must step over TAs sitting in doorways blocking up the halls/Hope no one stalls." I get it... Don't criticize what you can’t understand...
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one if you can’t lend your hand
Or a fist. Get outta town. You old geezers...

"Say, whatever happened to the antiwar movement?"

Asks Instapundit:
“It’s hard to escape the conclusion that antiwar activity in the United States and around the world was driven as much by antipathy to George W. Bush as by actual opposition to war and intervention.” Well, the corpse is twitching a bit today, but yeah.
Come to Madison, Wisconsin. There was a big antiwar rally here this weekend, and protesters confronted about about Obama made no excuses for him. Like this guy:

He always knew Obama was a corporate puppet.

"Just a couple of months ago, in the wake of Jared Loughner's shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, simple talk of 'targeting' a political opponent for defeat was treated as beyond the pale."

"But let's look at some more recent language -- and conduct -- that our bien-pensant punditry can't be bothered to notice, let alone condemn."

March 20, 2011

"[I]f Bush should have been impeached, Obama should be impeached."

Says Ralph Nader.

On the other hand, if you thought George Bush acted appropriately, then you should see that one benefit of the Obama presidency is that it has denied the Democrats the ability to stand at a distance and criticize, as if they were above that sort of thing. This was one of the reasons I voted for Obama: "When [the Democrats] can't whine and finger-point, what will they actually step up and do?"

Thanks to all the readers...

... who've spontaneously made donations to this blog via PayPal. I love the encouragement!

"I constantly hear Gregorian chants. That's the noise... I always think I'm in touch with God."

Says Rush Limbaugh.

"Clinton's two key statements: 'We did not lead this' and 'America has unique capabilities' are not consistent with each other."

"Because of America's unique capabilities, it is in fact leading the Libyan effort.... [Vice Admiral Bill] Gortney's briefing made clear that the United States is not only leading the Libya operation but is virtually the only force involved in the operation.... And few Americans would want U.S. forces to go into combat under anything other than U.S. command. But why would the Secretary of State step onto the world stage and announce, 'We did not lead this'?"

Byron York poses a question.

“We are not going after Qaddafi,” Vice Adm. William E. Gortney said at the Pentagon on Sunday afternoon, even as reports from Tripoli described a loud explosion and billowing smoke at the Qaddafi compound, suggesting that military units or a command post there might have been a target.

Meade encounters the "General Strike" guy with the wooden Scott-Walker-as-Pinocchio sign.


There wasn't much common ground.

Nasty email surfaces on the eve of the Wisconsin Supreme Court election.

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reports:
"In a fit of temper, you were screaming at the chief; calling her a 'bitch,' threatening her with '. . . I will destroy you'; and describing the means of destruction as a war against her 'and it won't be a ground war,'" [Justice Ann Walsh]Bradley wrote in a Feb. 18, 2010, e-mail to [incumbent Justice David] Prosser and others....

Three days later, Justice Patience Roggensack wrote to Bradley, criticizing her for copying judicial assistants on her e-mail.

"You were trying to make David look bad in the eyes of others, as a person who uses language that we all find offensive - and I include David in that 'we,' " Roggensack wrote. "Do you think that copying others on your e-mail increased the collegiality of the court or decreased it?

"You are a very active participant in the dysfunctional way we carry-on. (As am I.) You often goad other justices by pushing and pushing in conference in a way that is simply rude and completely nonproductive. ..."...

Said Prosser: "There is not the slightest doubt that Ann wrote that e-mail to hurt me in this campaign - and here it is surfacing three weeks before the campaign."...
Incredibly ugly.  It's hard to picture judges acting this way. I hope there's questioning about this in the debate between Prosser and his opponent JoAnne Kloppenburg, which takes place on March 28th.

What I think of the threat against me, blogging the protests, and how the recall elections can benefit the GOP.

My side of the conversation that I had on Ed Morissey's radio show yesterday — video-recorded and edited:

At the Hugs-and-Fists Café...


... you might enjoy the afternoon in Madison, Wisconsin.

IN THE COMMENTS: Chip Ahoy says;
Chip: Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned.

Father Nets: What'd you do this time?

Chip: I perverted a perfectly innocent photograph without permission and posted it here.

Father Nets: Well, say ten Hail Marys and kick yourself in the ass.

"We could perhaps dismiss the Shankmeister as a witless outlier if his screed did not so resemble the typical Havens Center paper..."

"... if there were not a long and growing list of intimidation, boycotts, death threats, and property damage."

Dave Blaska takes a sideswipe at the Havens Center — that's the funniest part. (Does that mean nothing to you? It's a UW Sociology Department thing.)

"‎The President does not have power under the Constitution to unilaterally authorize a military attack in a situation that does not involve stopping an actual or imminent threat to the nation."

Said Senator Barack Obama, Dec. 20, 2007.

Today, Meade walks into the Wisconsin Capitol rotunda to find he's the only one there.

But there are some folks standing at the balustrade on the first floor. They're hanging around, hoping to witness some protest action in the marble-floored place where action has — mostly — raged for the past month. They call out to Meade. Is Meade the one they've been waiting for? Come on, brother!

Candyass blogger move of all time: Lawyers, Guns & Money bans Meade!

The little professor Robert Farley couldn't face the challenge Meade made to his (truly lame) post "On Libya" (which I blogged about yesterday).

Imagine not wanting the brilliant, good-humored Meade as a commenter! Here's Farley's last ouch:
Bye, Meade. When the idiocy gets so thick I feel almost compelled to respond, it’s time for you to leave.
Ha. Meade wrote something that demanded a response, and Farley wasn't up to it. The professor had one last oomph of potency: He could oust Meade and delete all his old comments. Incredibly lame. Embarrassing. But apparently not as embarrassing as the inability to deal with a challenge to the scribblings you'd like to believe are so smart and so righteous.

UPDATE: Farley wrote a new post to say thanks for the link. I'm not going to link to it though, because I'm not going to link to them again. I hope they note all the traffic they are getting from here, because they're not getting any more. Of course, they will continue with their dumb attacks on me. But they've cut off the man who defends me from them, so I've got to cut them off too.

IN THE COMMENTS: Palladian said:
The little professor can delete all he wants, but Google remembers.... Just click the word "cached" under each result to read the Meadey goodness.
There's lots of good stuff in there. You can see what La Petite Farlette and his partner Scott "Kitty" Le Mew were afraid of.

ADDED: I don't link to them anymore, but I'll note that they are getting challenged about deleting all of Meade's old comments. They are trying to argue that all those comments were spam that needed to be removed. But the bloggers and commenters over there had interacted with Meade. You don't interact with spam. A step up from spam is "troll." But everyone knows not to feed the troll. Why did they go back and forth with Meade if he was a troll? Their interaction is the evidence that he was not a troll. Robert Farley simply became exasperated and embarrassed when Meade outwrote him, and he destroyed the material that made him look bad. He's like a scientist who destroys his data after his conclusions are questioned.  The obvious presumption in the case of destruction of evidence is that it hurt your case.  Of course, the evidence of their interaction with Meade is still there, and that evidence also, as I've just explained, is evidence against them. What colossal losers!

Netroots Nation invites Russ Feingold to deliver its convention keynote because, like, he's from Wisconsin, and, you know, Wisconsin.

MyD says:
Feingold's direct involvement in protests and push-back against Walker's 'budget' in Wisconsin position him well. Reaction to events in Wisconsin have helped to define a clear narrative for this year's [Netroots] conference on the vigourous [sic] (and organized) GOP attack on unions, mass progressive push-back, and linking it all back to increased coporate [sic] influence through Citizens United.
Huh? Ignore the misspellings and shorthand leftspeak and focus on the factual deficiency: When was Russ Feingold involved — directly or indirectly — in the Wisconsin protests? He's been notably absent. Feingold is an important politico, and he's from Wisconsin, but that's what raises a big question around here: Where has he been? I guess from a distance, it's all just Wisconsin!

Here's FireDogLake trying to connect Feingold to the Wisconsin protests:
With the events in Madison over the past month sparking a new mass movement on the progressive side, Feingold is a good choice. He has involved himself in the Wisconsin labor protests and marched with protesters at one point, and practically every rally in Madison has included some variant of a “Feingold for Governor” sign. 
Hmm. Meade and I have been going to the Capitol for the last month — Meade has skipped, at most, 2 days, possibly 0 days — and he says he's seen "probably 2" "Feingold for Governor" signs. He has seen a few signs with a "Where's Feingold?" theme. Feingold marched with the protesters? When? I didn't notice that. Googling, I see he walked through the Capitol with some firefighters back on February 18th. Has there been a peep out of him since then?

Sorry. To me, Feingold has been a conspicuous no-show. No show, and no talk. The same is true of President Obama, but he's not out of office and living in Wisconsin, so his no show, no talk is less conspicuous. Somehow, the Netroots see Feingold as an embodiment of Wisconsinosity and that looks good enough in their blurry, woozy vision.

Louis Farrakhan to Barack Obama: "Be careful, brother, how you handle this situation, because it is coming to America. It has already started. Look in Wisconsin. Look in Ohio."

Farrakhan is fulminating over the bombing of Libya and the disrespect for "a man that built a country over 42 years." He asks Obama "who the hell do you think you are" to tell Qaddafi to "step down and get out." Farrakhan insists that a lot of people "gonna ask you to step out of the White House 'cause they don't want no black face in the White House." There's already an uprising going on in this country, and he's looking right at our Wisconsin protests. See the quote in the post title. He continues:
Look at what's going on in your country and remember your words, because the American people are rising against their own government. It's not Muslims. It's not black people. It's white militia that are angry with their government. And they are well armed. Are you going to tell them: 'Put your arms down, and let's talk it over peacefully'? I hope so, but if not, America will be bathed in blood, not because Farrakhan said so but because dissatisfaction in American has reached the boiling point. Be careful how you manipulate the dissatisfaction in Libya and other parts of the Muslim world."
The overwhelmingly white Wisconsin protesters would be amazed to hear that they are the well-armed, white militia. Ha. I guess white people all look alike to Farrakhan. Our Wisconsin liberals and lefties think they're the furthest thing from the righties and tea partiers.

"If I don't make this flight, they'll send the backup pilot instead... That's Yura" — Yuri Gagarin — "and he'll die instead of me. We've got to take care of him."

It was 1967, and Vladimir Komarov knew — a month in advance — that he would almost surely die in the showy spaceship link-up Leonid Brezhnev had planned to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Communist revolution.

Gagarin had written a memo explaining the 203 serious structural problems with the spacecraft, but there was an even worse structural problem with the Soviet government: "Everyone who saw that memo... was demoted, fired or sent to diplomatic Siberia." The memo couldn't go up the chain of command.

Don't click on the link unless you want to see a photo of the open casket of Vladimir Komarov.

"Patrol officers responding to a different incident at the Justice Sonia Sotomayor Houses in Soundview caught a whiff of a foul odor..."

"'It's a river of blood coming from the bag...'"

There's one way to have your name in the news.

"Apparently, I’m supposed to have sex with Ann Althouse and Glenn Reynolds before I die."

"Or, perhaps, shoot them – which, wouldn’t that violate the New Civility Rules?"

3 protest guys.




Yesterday at the Capitol.

"Fight Walker NOT Muslims."

"The War is in MADISON/NOT Tripoli."


Yesterday at the Capitol.

"State of Despair."

Yesterday at the Capitol: