August 27, 2011

At the Canna Café...

... you cannot say the wrong thing.

IN THE COMMENTS: Clyde said:
If it was in Leadville, it would have been the Canna Bistro...
He's talking about the 5th picture here.

The Capitol Pedaler.

A familiar sight around the Capitol Square here in Madison. You'll know it's Madison from the outburst at 0:40.

Capitol cloudscape.

"Power could be shut off in Lower Manhattan, hitting Wall Street, a precaution against storm surges as Hurricane Irene strikes..."

Reports the Wall Street Journal.
"The most important thing is to make sure their facilities aren't damaged, which would take a long time to repair. If saltwater gets into the underground cables and those cables are carrying electricity, there is a real chance of damage to those lines," [said Mayor Michael Bloomberg.] "There is a lot less chance of damage to the lines if those power cables are not carrying power."

"What a coincidence! CEO of Gibson Guitar a Republican Donor."

"And their Democratic-donating competitor, Martin, uses the same wood but wasn’t raided. Well, when you’ve got a President who jokes about tax audits as revenge for a personal slight, it’s hard not to be suspicious, isn’t it?"

Justice Bradley's speech to the Wisconsin Supreme Court Justices and the nuances of identifying the workplace bully.

Here's the original document, the typed-up speech that Justice Ann Walsh Bradley gave to the assembled Justices 2 days after the so-called "chokehold" incident. As we know from the memos in the police investigation file, page 19, Justice Bradley said "she had typed these notes and rehearsed them like a speech because she wanted to tell the other justices how she was feeling."

In the original document, Bradley identifies "a right to go to my workplace without fear of verbal abuse or physical abuse." This is the workplace bully problem, and it's important, but the question I have is: Who gets to identify the bully?

We know from the investigation file that Bradley suddenly rushed up to Justice Prosser and got in his face. The interviews vary a bit in their emphasis on the speed with which she entered his personal space, but everyone agrees that the physical movement began with Bradley, and Prosser's physical act was a reaction to what she did. Bradley also acted first in identifying the bully, the one who needs to be controlled by the rights that others have to a "workplace without fear." But what if Prosser had acted first and characterized Bradley as the aggressor for rushing at him (with, according to some of the interviews, fists raised)? Then Bradley would have found herself on the receiving end, as the violator of the right she deems important. A right like that, if we are not careful, would empower the most aggressive person in the workplace!

Who gets to frame the story of the workplace bully? A person who fears accusation as the aggressor might opt for a preemptive strike, and that could have been the case here. During the incident, Justice Roggensack pulled Bradley away from Prosser and said, more than once, "This is not like you." Bradley describes herself becoming very emotional. Perhaps she was shocked by her own behavior and self-defensively saw it as in her interest to portray Prosser as the aggressor. From the memo on the Bradley interview, page 34:
Justice Bradley said as she was approaching Justice Prosser on June 13, "I was in control, I knew exactly what I was doing." Justice Bradley said when she approached Justice Prosser, she said to him, "Buddy, get out of my office." Justice Bradley said she remembers specifically saying the word "buddy" to him as she was telling him to leave her office. Justice Bradley recalled this because as she was talking to her daughter about this incident after the fact, her daughter had mentioned how the only other time she heard her use the term "buddy" was three years ago when her daughter and her were in Bangkok, Thailand, in a taxicab. Justice Bradley said the taxicab driver was not taking them where they needed to go so she felt she needed to take control and she remembers saying, "Buddy, you take us back where you picked us up." Justice Bradley said that was the only other time she could remember using the term "buddy". Justice Bradley said, "Buddy puts me in control and them in the diminutive."    Justice Bradley again said she knew exactly what she was doing and saying to Justice Prosser on the evening of June 13, and added, "I intended to do it just the way I did it." Justice Bradley repeated several different times during our conversation with her that she was in control on June 13, 2011 and she knew exactly what she was doing the whole time.

Justice Bradley then said, "This aggressiveness they are trying to spin is not true."
Isn't it interesting that she denied her own aggressiveness right after describing herself as a woman in control and deliberately exercising domination? What if Justice Prosser had felt and acted in a similar way? He would have made a speech focusing on Bradley as the aggressor. He would have said, as Bradley said at the July 15th meeting:
I have a right... to enter my workplace without any fear of verbal abuse or physical abuse...

If I cannot get any assurance from you, the court, that this problem is going to be addressed, then I will go to the outside and take other means. 
Go to the outside and take other means?! Is that a victim seeking the shelter of the protections of the law, or is it the bully trying to instill fear? It's not too clear! But we know that Bradley, in the original incident, deliberately sought control. And in the the June 15th meeting, she also sought control. She had her prepared speech. It was studded with legalisms and warnings. She demanded submission, or else. You don't need to look past her own words to see that.

Is there a video camera that you don't turn off in exactly the same way you turn it on?

Meade and I have failed to record so many things that we thought we were catching because of this limitation. There's a button that you push to begin recording, but it's the same button you push to end a recording. If you lose track or if you fail to push it hard enough at some point, you may be turning it off when you think you are turning it on or turning it on when you think you are turning it off.

For example, yesterday, Meade went down to the Capitol Square to see what the singalong was like this week (the day after the special prosecutor announced that no one would be charged in the Wisconsin Supreme Court "chokehold" incident). He came home with a lot of video in the Flip camera, but he was especially interested in one clip.

An angry man, recognizing Meade, rushed up and demanded "What are you doing here?" He called Meade a "son of a bitch." He told Meade he didn't belong there and he should leave. Meade asked "Isn't this a public space? Doesn't it belong to all of us?" and the man answered "Yes, it belongs to us."  Another man, seeing Meade, yelled at him and called him "a fucking tea bagger." He also called out: "Death to Republicans!"

But — wouldn't you know? — that is the clip that didn't record!

Now, by paying enough attention to the LED screen on the back of the camera, you can ensure that you are really recording. But when you're shooting a lot of video and things are happening quickly — especially out of doors when it's hardest to see the screen and especially when you need to be looking out for attackers and camera snatchers — you can't check accurately every time.

There's a mysterious drop in malaria-carrying mosquitoes in some parts of Africa, and some say maybe it's because of climate change.

Oh, no! Global warming is bad bad bad! Maybe it's causing Hurricane Irene!
“Irene’s got a middle name, and it’s Global Warming,” environmental activist Bill McKibben wrote Thursday night in The Daily Beast. He argued that this year’s hot Atlantic Ocean temperatures and active spree of hurricanes — coupled with droughts, floods and melting sea ice elsewhere on the globe — are “what climate change looks like in its early stages.”
But what if it's doing something fabulously good?
Patterns of rainfall in these years were more chaotic in these regions of Tanzania and often fell outside the rainy season. The scientists say this may have disturbed the natural cycle of mosquito development.

But the lead author of the study, Professor Dan Meyrowitsch from the University of Copenhagen, says that he is not convinced that it is just the changing climate.

"It could be partly due to this chaotic rainfall, but personally I don't think it can explain such a dramatic decline in mosquitoes, to the extent we can say that the malaria mosquitoes are almost eradicated in these communities."
Global warming — or, as they say, "climate change" (for maximum coverage of any possible condition) — is probably not the cause of the hurricane or the big mosquito drop-off, but those who like to wring their hands about the connection between global warming climate change and anything bad that happens must apply the same kind of reasoning to anything good that happens. Otherwise they won't be able to maintain the pretense that they're all about the science.

3 big Obama fund-raisers in the Hamptons are threatened by Hurricane Irene.

Will this beleaguered man's troubles never end? It's as if all of nature is aligned against him! Where is the mercy? Irene! Hit North Carolina, scatter the sands of the Jersey Shore, but for God's sake, leave the Hamptons alone!

The schoolgirls have "meltdowns" when mom packs the lunch in ziploc bags.

Because the girls "don't want to be shamed" at school.

Because enviromentalism is the religion taught in public schools, and it's the kind of religion done with shaming young people.

But also:

1. Some people wash and reuse ziploc bags. So don't presume you know that the ziploc-user is an enviro-sinner.

2. Kiddies, if you are old enough to understand environmentalism and to pressure your mother with it, you are old enough to pack your own lunch. And if you're so hot on being saintly, start helping your mother, not making her life any harder.

August 26, 2011

At the Blue Door Café...

P1010892 2

... come on in, and don't be sad!

United States of America v. Ebony Wood in Various Forms.

The Fish and Wildlife Service agents come after the manufacturer of electric guitars.

And why you don't want to travel outside of the country with a vintage guitar... or maybe any wooden guitar.

I've finally waded through the "chokehold" investigation file.

Maybe you didn't notice all the summary and quotation I produced in the form of updates to the post titled "There never was a "chokehold" in the Wisconsin Supreme Court — so who put that word out there and why?" It was quite a task, so I'm going to reprint all that material here. I would also draw some conclusions or at least make some pithy observations, but it's late. I'm going to sleep on it and see how it strikes me when I read this in the morning. For now, click on "Read more," read more, and tell me what you think. I'll take that into account too.

"Where does David Prosser go to get his reputation back?"

Asks David Blaska.
There are some people who need to apologize to Mr. Justice David Prosser now that he has been cleared and soon. They took a shallowly researched and preposterous allegation -- that Prosser held fellow justice Ann Walsh Bradley in a chokehold -- and ran to the guillotine with it.
Yes, let's look back on the public demonstrations. Let's remember that protesters had a big ugly balloon effigy of Justice Prosser, which they tied by the neck to a lamppost. Look at their signs. Let's remember how these protesters strung together "allegations about Justice Prosser choking Justice Bradley [with] much more general issues about abortion and violence against women." As I said at the time:
I heard no acknowledgements of the uncertainties about what we know about what happened and no sensitivity about fairness and due process. I heard: 1. declarations about the importance of women's issues and 2. a demonization of Justice Prosser.
This is the level of left-wing activism we witnessed here in Madison. A justice is despised because his decisions do not please liberals, and so, without thought, they forgot about things liberals like to love themselves for caring about, such as fairness and due process. These are the same people who have been chanting the chant "shame, shame, shame" for months up at the Capitol.

How are they not oppressed by their own shame? Seriously, for the purposes of writing the previous paragraph, I channeled the feeling of shame that I would feel if I had done that, and now I am literally nauseated. If I had said what the people in the video at the last link said, I would be weeping now and begging forgiveness. But I am not them, so I will simply ask that they stage a rally in support of Justice Prosser and they publicly retract their earlier statements and commit themselves to the core principles of liberalism: fairness and due process.

Blaska demands apologies from people who should be "ashamed of their lynch mob mentality." He names the "practitioners of the dark arts of 'by any means necessary.'" Check out his list (which unfortunately includes the name of a UW law student). I'll highlight this:
Ms. Emily Mills owes an apology for blogging that UW law professor and bloggress Ann Althouse "has gone to great and terrible lengths to excuse the alleged behavior, attack the credibility of only the anonymous sources with whom she disagrees, suggest that no arrests (yet) mean no wrongdoing, impugn the honor of Justice Bradley, and cast doubt on the very justice system of this state." Looks like it is the other way around, Ms. Emily.
(Here's my contemporaneous pushback of Mills.)  Blaska ends his column with a request for more names. I have one: Bill Wineke. Like Mills, he owes me an apology.

ADDED: My analysis of the investigative report that was released today is in the previous post.

There never was a "chokehold" in the Wisconsin Supreme Court — so who put that word out there and why?

[NOTE: See the updates to this post, which originally relied on the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel report. The updates summarize the actual investigation file, which contains many reference to a "chokehold."]

This morning, the Dane County Sheriff's Department released 117 pages of records from the Wisconsin Supreme Court "chokehold" investigation. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel summarized this way:
In interviews with a detective on July 8, [Justice David] Prosser said that during an informal argument between two groups of justices Bradley "charged" him and he put up his hands to defend himself.

"Did my hands touch her neck, yes, I admit that. Did I try to touch her neck, no, absolutely not, it was a total reflex," Prosser said.

Bradley said during the argument she wanted Prosser to leave the suite of offices that serve her and her staff and confronted him to tell him to leave because she felt he was being disrespectful to Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson.

"You get out of my office," Bradley said she told Prosser during an interview with a detective on June 28. While saying that, she said she was "standing face to face to confront him."
So... she was "standing face to face to confront him." How did she get to the point where she was standing there? Did she "charge" him? It's not so much a discrepancy in the testimony as a time gap in the Bradley version.
Later, Bradley said, she could recall the contact of Prosser's hands on her neck but no pain or pressure that affected her breathing. She did, however, say that she had become emotional after the incident.
So Bradley concedes that Prosser's hands merely made contact with her neck, after she got into the position of being in his face.  This seems like a plain statement that there was no chokehold. But we have heard that Bradley called it "a chokehold."

On June 25, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported through an unnamed source:
Bradley felt Prosser "was attacking the chief justice," the source said. Before leaving, Prosser "put his hands around her neck in what (Bradley) described as a chokehold," the source said.
[ADDED: That story begins with a direct quote from Bradley, giving directly to the newspaper: "The facts are that I was demanding that he get out of my office and he put his hands around my neck in anger in a chokehold."]

Reading that story, I wrote:
I want to know not only what really happened at the time of the physical contact (if any) between the 2 justices, but also who gave the original story to the press. If Prosser really tried to choke a nonviolent Bradley, he should resign. But if the original account is a trumped-up charge intended to destroy Prosser and obstruct the democratic processes of government in Wisconsin, then whoever sent the report out in that form should be held responsible for what should be recognized as a truly evil attack.
So what I want to know is who put out the story that Bradley said she was choked and did Bradley herself ever claim to have been choked? It sounds as though she never said that to the investigators (or it would be in the report and the MJS summary today). Did she say it to anyone else?

Let's remember that it was Bill Lueders at the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism who originally broke the story of the incident. On June 25, he wrote:
"Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser allegedly grabbed fellow Justice Ann Walsh Bradley around the neck in an argument in her chambers earlier this month."
Reading that, at the time, I questioned this approach to journalism:
I agreed with [Ian Millhiser at the lefty blog Think Progress] that "if it's true Prosser reached a breaking point and started strangling Bradley, he should go." But I wanted to know the whole story. It seemed to me that Lueders had given us "just the snapshot of one hard-to-comprehend instant within the longer event." I was skeptical about the version of the story Lueders had put out, because there had been no arrest and because I found it hard to picture an elderly, dignified man suddenly grabbing a (somewhat less elderly) woman by the neck.
I quoted myself saying "whoever sent the report out in that form should be held responsible for what should be recognized as a truly evil attack" and said:
When I wrote that, it did not cross my mind that the "truly evil" person might be Lueders himself.
Lueders has not yet responded to the special prosecutor's decision not to bring charges. The spotlight belongs on him right now. I want to know who put the word "chokehold" out there and why.

UPDATE: I'm now looking at the investigative file, here.  I'll note the references to choking as I encounter them.

Should Obama leave his Martha's Vineyard vacation early...

... just because everyone else on the island is mobilizing in advance of Hurricane Irene?
Vineyard hotel managers urged guests to plan their exits as soon as possible, and emergency officials told locals to stock up on four days of food and water....
Of course, the little people — even rich little people — have to make their escape early, when they are dependent on commercial operations that will be overtaxed as everyone tries to leave at once. But the President has his own transport. He can leave at the precise moment he chooses, as long as the storm is not so close it's grounding the planes.

The only issue is optics. Should he be "enjoy[ing] a low-key day amid the white sands and tall waves of the private Pohogonot beach" when the commoners are scurrying for their lives/safety? As you answer that, please consider all the many disasters that have befallen our young President, making a wreck of the years of his presidency, years once envisioned as Camelot.

Ah.. sorry... it is so sad. This loss. Of the hopes. The dreams. Of the fleeting wisp of glory.

Now, let our king rest for a few brief shining moments on that beach in... <dramatic whisper> Camelot.

George Will said it!

It's been said before, and was said over and over, months ago, but now George Will is saying it.

"The good news is that [a hurricane] would have to make something of a bank shot, as Hurricane Agnes did in 1972, in order to pass directly over New York City."

"It is intrinsically fairly hard for a storm to make landfall upon New York City itself rather than somewhere else along the Atlantic," explains Nate Silver.
A considerably more likely scenario is that a hurricane-strength storm would come ashore on central Long Island. That would still be extremely bad: a weak Category 2 storm with an eye that passed about 50 miles from Manhattan would result in about $10 billion in damage, according to the model.

Although highly unlikely to be experienced in the case of Hurricane Irene, it is theoretically possible that an even stronger storm might hit the city at some point in the future. A Category 3 hurricane, one with wind speeds of 111 miles per hour or higher, could plausibly produce an economic impact in excess of $100 billion if its eye were to pass directly over Manhattan, according to the model. A stronger Category 3 storm, passing immediately over Manhattan, could rival or exceed the roughly $235 billion in economic damage estimated to have been caused by the Japanese earthquake and tsunami.
And more than a Category 3? Directly hitting NYC? It's never happened. "[I]in recorded history, no storm has made landfall in the Northeastern United States while stronger than a Category 3." But if it did — and Silver says maybe with global warming it might — the economic impact would hit the trillions.
Keep in mind that New York’s annual gross domestic product is estimated to be about $1.4 trillion — about one-tenth of the nation’s gross domestic product — so if much of the city were to become dysfunctional for months or more, the damage to the global and domestic economies would be almost incalculable. The property value of New York City real estate, meanwhile, is estimated to be about $800 billion, and property damage represents only a portion of the overall economic loss that might be incurred from a catastrophic hurricane.
Where would the people go? What would happen to them?

August 25, 2011

At the Poodle Café...

... we're having a delightful time!

ADDED: These photos are all by Meade.

The recurrence of "Build Me Up Buttercup"... coincidence? I think not!

Deja vu: "Several hundred chanting, cheering protesters entered the Capitol rotunda Thursday around the 6 p.m. closing time. "An hour later, Capitol police carried 13 of them away."

Sorry, I wasn't there to photograph the scene:
The first wave of protesters entered the statehouse carrying banners, shouting and banging on drums and cowbells....

"Whose house? Our house!" the protesters shouted. Then they broke into a chorus of the labor song "Solidarity Forever!"

Later, the group of 13 mostly young protesters sat on the floor of the Capitol and clutched an American flag and heart-shaped balloons as the sounds of floor cleaners echoed through the mostly empty building. Capitol police and a few State Patrol troopers started carrying them out shortly before 7 p.m. after giving them a chance to leave on their own.

The protesters - many of them the veterans of past protests and arrests - chatted and sang popular songs like the Foundations' "Build Me Up Buttercup"...
"Build Me Up Buttercup"! What the hell? Had they been reading the Althouse blog this morning? At 10:28 a.m., I wrote:
Songs Meade is driving me crazy playing on YouTube this morning.

"Young Girl," "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes," "Everlasting Love," "Lady Willpower," "Build Me Up Buttercup," that "Star Trek" hippies song, "Count Me In," "This Magic Moment"...
Wow, I'm sorry I missed them. But the question is: Did they miss me? Seems like they were ready for their YouTube magic moment. I don't have it. I was off photographing poodles.

ADDED: Here's 9 minutes of video somebody else made at today's incident.

Are you in a "hurricane evacuation zone" in New York City?

Have you noticed how weird and unrealistic it is?
What does it mean for me to live in a "zone"? If the city issues a "hurricane evacuation order," the government will order me to leave my home "immediately" and either (a) stay in an area that's not in a "zone" (which, again, could be as close as 3 blocks away) or (b) go to a "hurricane center." Where's the closest "hurricane center"? Oh, between 192nd and 193rd St. In order to get there, I'd need to travel almost the whole length of Manhattan....

What's really going on here is that the government is trying to signal that it is taking the hurricane very, very seriously — so seriously that it has a plan for evacuating a large portion of the city. The truth is, that's impossible. So the government makes up some arbitrary rules, as if the hurricane is going to carefully observe these neat distinctions between the various streets of Greenwich Village.

Matt Yglesias is pointlessly pigheaded about his misstatement of what Ron Paul has proposed to do about abortion.

Yglesias responds to a post of mine:
Ann Althouse chooses for some reason to dispute that Ron “respecting the God-given right to life—for those born and unborn” Paul wants to ban abortion. 
No. I dispute that he has "loudly trumpet[ed a] plan to impose criminal penalties" on women who have abortions. Those are your words, Matt, and it is quite dishonest to change the language as you embark on your attempt to discredit me.
Since she’s apparently incapable of reading between the lines of such proposals as “Defining life as beginning at conception by passing a Sanctity of Life Act’” she might be interesting [sic] in some other quotations from Congressman Paul such as....
Well, the fact is, Matt, I really am interesting. I'm so interesting that you ought to pay attention to the precise words that I use in disputing you. Pay attention to the text before you embark on your flights of interpretation that you gratuitously insult me for supposedly lacking the capacity to perform. Pay attention to my text and to your own text (which needs editing). You ought to learn to read and be honest about what you have read.

Yglesias goes on to quote something Ron Paul said about the fetus being a person. I'm well aware, as my post clearly shows, that Paul believes the fetus is a person who deserves rights. The issue, however is whether he has "loudly trumpet[ed a] plan to impose criminal penalties" on women who have abortions. He has not done that.

Ron Paul's proposals are about diverting the matter to the state courts, as I clearly describe in my post. Now, if you want to say that voters who care about preserving abortion rights should not trust Ron Paul, then I agree with you. But you should agree with me that he most certainly did not "loudly trumpet[ a] plan to impose criminal penalties." Why can't you just fix your misstatement? Why this pointless pigheadedness? You're doing yourself no favors, Matt, and insulting my intelligence — "she’s apparently incapable of reading between the lines" — is — as they say — incivil.

A baseball first: a team hits 3 grand slams in one game.

Nice work by the New York Yankees!

Found at the Qaddafi compound: an album filled with photos of Condoleezza Rice.

It's not surprising, considering his past expressions of fondness for the ex-Secretary of State:
"I support my darling black African woman," he said [in 2007]. "I admire and am very proud of the way she leans back and gives orders to the Arab leaders. ... Leezza, Leezza, Leezza. ... I love her very much. I admire her, and I'm proud of her, because she's a black woman of African origin."

The following year, Gadhafi and Rice had an opportunity to meet when the secretary of state paid a historic visit to Libya — one that made steps toward normalizing relations after the United States went decades without an ambassador in Tripoli. ...

During the visit, he presented Rice with a diamond ring, a lute, a locket with an engraved likeness of himself inside and an inscribed edition of "The Green Book," a personal political manifesto that explains his "Third Universal Theory for a new democratic society."

Wisconsin Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson says she "will propose... that the presumption will be that court conferences are open to the public."

Is that seriously something to be hoped for? The public streaming into judicial conferences as if they were legislative hearings? Abrahamson ties the proposal to the notion that "Each justice owes the others and the people of the state civility and personal control in our language, demeanor, and temperament in the conference room and on and off the bench."
"My initial reaction is ... 'Wow,'" retired appellate court judge Neal Nettesheim said of Abrahamson's plan. "That is truly revolutionary."

But Nettesheim and former state Supreme Court Justice Janine Geske said such a move — akin to allowing the public into the jury room — could have a chilling effect on deliberations by justices, who often change their minds before a decision is final.
Could have a chilling effect? Obviously, it would transform the conferences into some kind of public show and not conferences at all.

How would it be fair to the parties for the justices to deliberate in public? How could it be consistent with deciding cases according to the legal texts and precedents to have these preliminary discussions go out to the public? The proposal seems inherently premised on the idea that judges are the equivalent of legislators, voting according to policy preferences and political orientation.

But since it's also obvious that a majority of justices won't go along with this, Abrahamson's proposal is more of an expression, a way of stating: If only the public could see this...

No criminal charges against Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser or Justice Anne Walsh Bradley in the so-called "chokehold" incident.

Special Prosecutor Patricia Barrett said today:  "The totality of the facts and the circumstances and all of the evidence that I reviewed did not support my filing criminal charges."
In a statement, Prosser praised the prosecutor and slammed Bradley.

"Justice Anne Walsh Bradley made the decision to sensationalize an incident that occurred at the Supreme Court . . . ," Prosser said in a statement. "I was confident the truth would come out and it did. I am gratified that the prosecutor found these scurrilous charges were without merit.

"I have always maintained that once the facts of this incident were examined I would be cleared. I look forward to the details becoming public record."

In her own statement, Bradley said the case "is and remains an issue of workplace safety."

"My focus from the outset has not been one of criminal prosecution, but rather addressing workplace safety. I contacted law enforcement the very night the incident happened but did not request criminal prosecution. Rather I sought law enforcement's assistance to try to have the entire court address informally this workplace safety issue that has progressed over the years," Bradley said in the statement. "To that end, chief of (Capitol Police Charles) Tubbs promptly met with the entire court, but the efforts to address workplace safety concerns were rebuffed. Law enforcement then referred the matter for a formal investigation and I cooperated fully with the investigation."
If the issue really was "workplace safety," as Bradley says, why did she "sensationalize" it — to use Prosser's word — by taking it public in a way that was, I think, quite unfair to Prosser?

Click on the "Wisconsin Supreme Court" tag to see how this issue played out over the summer, with protests sliming Justice Prosser. I will write more about this later, but I want to get the post up to let you discuss things.

"Leaving aside the insane notion that there should be anything more to 'manliness' than..."

"... either a) being able to produce human-ovum-fertilizing substances or else b) deciding that your genitals either are or ought to be male, what is there, exactly, that makes Rick Perry more 'manly' than Bruce Springsteen, or Conan O’Brien, or the late Fred Rogers, or for that matter the female-bodied but impeccably masculine Sinclair Sexsmith?"

A question has been posed!

Songs Meade is driving me crazy playing on YouTube this morning.

"Young Girl," "Love Grows Where My Rosemary Goes," "Everlasting Love," "Lady Willpower," "Build Me Up Buttercup," that "Star Trek" hippies song, "Count Me In," "This Magic Moment"...

It all started with "Everlasting Love" yesterday, which he's found endless versions of...

"You should go into Pandora and make an "Everlasting Love" channel..."

"Midnight Confession," "Temptation Eyes," "Hitchin' a Ride," "Come and Get It," "Ferry 'Cross the Mersey," "I Know I'll Never Find Another You"...


ADDED: Confluence: The UW Marching Band is practicing. We've got the windows open. It's 68° and sunny and the sound, from 1 mile away, becomes part of the Meadehouse musicscape.

"There exists a visceral John Wayne kinship between Israelis and Texans, and Rick Perry gets it."

"As a Jewish cowboy (or 'Juusshh,' as we say in Texas)" Kinky Friedman says "Hell, yes!" he'd vote for Rick Perry.
[Rick Perry has] visited Israel on many more occasions than Obama, who’s been there exactly zero times as president. If I were Obama I wouldn’t go either. His favorability rating in Israel once clocked in at 4 percent. Say what you will about the Israelis, but they are not slow out of the chute. They know who their friends are. On the topic of the Holy Land, there remains the little matter of God. God talks to televangelists, football coaches, and people in mental hospitals. Why shouldn’t he talk to Rick Perry? In the spirit of Joseph Heller, I have a covenant with God. I leave him alone and he leaves me alone. If, however, I have a big problem, I ask God for the answer. He tells Rick Perry. And Rick tells me.
(Via Instapundit.)

What's the Joseph Heller quote he's channeling?

1. "'And don't tell me God works in mysterious ways,' Yossarian continued, hurtling on over her objection. 'There's nothing so mysterious about it. He's not working at all. He's playing. Or else, He's forgotten all about us. That's the kind of God you people talk about - a country bumpkin, a clumsy, bungling, brainless, conceited, uncouth hayseed. Good God, how much reverence can you have for a supreme being who finds it necessary to include such phenomena as phlegm and tooth decay in His divine system of creation? What in the world was running through that warped, evil, scatological mind of His when he robbed old people of their power to control their bowel movements? Why in the world did He ever create pain?'"

2. "God does have this self-serving habit of putting all blame for His own mistakes on other people, doesn't He? He picks someone arbitrarily, unbidden, right out of the blue so to speak, and levies upon them tasks of monumental difficulty for which we don't always measure up in every particular, then charges US for HIS error in selecting imperfectly. He tends to forget that we are no more infallible than He is."

3. "Now THERE'S a hollow state to be in, isn't it — to believe in God and get no sign that He's there."

Help me out here.

Or maybe thisis a better place to look.

Q: "What do you make of dance pop being more popular than guitar rock among most American youth these days?"

A: "America has been trading in her gold for turds for a number of years now, so this is simply another manifestation of embarrassing cultural deprivation. I believe soulful music will return to the fore when America wakes up from her soulless slumber of apathy."

Sayeth Ted Nugent, interviewed in — of all places — Isthmus. Since it is Isthmus (Madison's "alternative" newspaper), we get this bonus political interplay:
On the topic of politics, this year Wisconsin substantially limited the collective bargaining rights of public employees. There were intense protests against this at the state Capitol in February and March. Do you think public employees should have the right to collectively bargain, or do you see unions as too powerful a force in the public sector?

Overall, unions in America have brought this great country to its knees. The NEA has seen to it that American kids are the dumbest kids ever, the auto industry was raped, and government employees are rip-off artists that demand more than they produce. What's not to despise?

Wisconsin also just passed a law to allow concealed carry of handguns in the state. Do you think concealed carry makes communities safer or less safe?

It doesn't matter what I think. Every study ever conducted concluded that violent crime is reduced and neighborhoods are safest when gun-free zones are eliminated. Who doesn't know this?

Madison has a reputation as a liberal town. Given your own politics, what's your take on Madison? Do you like the city, or is too lefty for your tastes?

I have been rocking and hunting the great state of Wisconsin for over 45 years and connect with the good people of the Badger State. There are great Americans all across Wisconsin, including Madison, and I get along just wonderfully with all of them. People that hate America hate Ted Nugent, and I couldn't be more proud.

Sorry to do a post about Ted, after beginning the day — purely by chance — with 3 posts about George. I thought of making this a theme day, on the George theme, but Ted leaped out at me (like some wild animal that needed hunting). So... possibly a George and Ted day. But the purity is gone. Alas!

Martin Scorsese's George Harrison movie.

"He was trying to find a way to simplicity, a way to live truthfully and compassionately. It was never a straight line, but that's not the point. I think he found an understanding: that there's no such thing as 'success' - there's just the path."

Sayeth Scorsese.

"May the father of all mercies scatter light and not darkness in our paths..."

"... and make us all in our several vocations useful here, and in his own due time and way everlastingly happy."

Cheney's book.

The NYT obtained a copy.
The book opens with an account of Mr. Cheney’s experiences during the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, when he essentially commanded the government’s response from a bunker beneath the White House while Mr. Bush — who was away from Washington and hampered by communications breakdowns — played a peripheral role. But Mr. Cheney wrote that he did not want to make any formal statement to the nation that day.

“My past government experience,” he wrote, “had prepared me to manage the crisis during those first few hours on 9/11, but I knew that if I went out and spoke to the press, it would undermine the president, and that would be bad for him and for the country.

“We were at war. Our commander in chief needed to be seen as in charge, strong, and resolute — as George W. Bush was.”
Well said.

Support the Althouse blog by buying your copy of "In My Time" at this link.

August 24, 2011

The Leadville mural.

P1010918 2

Meade points out that the artist included a nipple, and I zoom in to snap it:

P1010919 2

ADDED: Commenters request more [ba]zoom.

Can you believe there's a fuss about a Norman Rockwell painting?

And it's not that Norman Rockwell is too sentimental/bland/cliché to take seriously?

"Perry Zooms to Front of Pack for 2012 GOP Nomination."

New Gallup poll (from Aug. 17-21).

"[Ron] Paul’s experience in science and medicine only reinforced his belief that life begins at conception..."

"... and he believes it would be inconsistent for him to champion personal liberty and a free society if he didn’t also advocate respecting the God-given right to life—for those born and unborn. After being forced to witness an abortion being performed during his time in medical school, he knew from that moment on that his practice would focus on protecting life.  And during his years in medicine, never once did he find an abortion necessary to save the life of a pregnant woman."

From a page on Ron Paul's website that I got to from a link in a Matthew Yglesias post titled "Ron Paul's Strange Freedom." Yglesias says:
[I]f it weren’t for his loud fanbase of self-proclaimed libertarians you wouldn’t really think [Ron Paul is] a libertarian. He’s loudly trumpeting his plan to impose criminal penalties on women who terminate their pregnancies...
Would Ron Paul punish women who get abortions as criminals? His website says he "will continue to fight for the same pro-life solutions he has upheld in Congress, including..."
* Immediately saving lives by effectively repealing Roe v. Wade and preventing activist judges from interfering with state decisions on life by removing abortion from federal court jurisdiction through legislation modeled after his “We the People Act.”

* Defining life as beginning at conception by passing a “Sanctity of Life Act.”
Does either of those proposals represent a plan — "loudly trumpet[ed]" or not — to prosecute women who have abortions? It seems to me that both of these bills are about cutting federal jurisdiction, which would leave the matter of abortion to state courts. Those courts would still be bound by Supreme Court precedent, by the way, although they'd be left to their own devices about following that precedent.

Yglesias makes some good points about the less-than-fully-libertarian quality of Ron Paul's libertarianism. He shouldn't shoot his credibility to hell with statements like "He’s loudly trumpeting his plan to impose criminal penalties on women who terminate their pregnancies."

UPDATE: Yglesias responds to this post:
Ann Althouse chooses for some reason to dispute that Ron “respecting the God-given right to life—for those born and unborn” Paul wants to ban abortion. 
No. I dispute that he has "loudly trumpet[ed a] plan to impose criminal penalties" on women who have abortions. Those are your words, Matt, and it is quite dishonest to change the language as you embark on your attempt to discredit me.
Since she’s apparently incapable of reading between the lines of such proposals as “Defining life as beginning at conception by passing a Sanctity of Life Act’” she might be interesting [sic] in some other quotations from Congressman Paul such as....
Well, the fact is, Matt, I really am interesting. I'm so interesting that you ought to pay attention to the precise words that I use in disputing you. Pay attention to the text before you embark on your flights of interpretation that you gratuitously insult me for supposedly lacking the capacity to perform. Pay attention to my text and to your own text (which needs editing). You ought to learn to read and be honest about what you have read.

Yglesias goes on to quote something Ron Paul said about the fetus being a person. I'm well aware, as my post clearly shows, that Paul believes the fetus is a person who deserves rights. The issue, however is whether he has "loudly trumpet[ed a] plan to impose criminal penalties" on women who have abortions. He has not done that.

Ron Paul's proposals are about diverting the matter to the state courts, as I clearly describe in my post. Now, if you want to say that voters who care about preserving abortion rights should not trust Ron Paul, then I agree with you. But you should agree with me that he most certainly did not "loudly trumpet[ a] plan to impose criminal penalties." Why can't you just fix your misstatement? Why this pointless pigheadedness? You're doing yourself no favors, Matt, and insulting my intelligence — "she’s apparently incapable of reading between the lines" — is — as they say — incivil.

Man not in shorts.

And still he is criticized!

"If making graphic novels felt like a staid long-term relationship, then doing gag comics is like playing the field."

"One day I could draw a fortuneteller; the next, an astronaut. I went from sultans to superheroes, robots to rabbits. I felt liberated. I refused to get bogged down or fuss over the drawings. I spent no more than an hour with any one cartoon, and many took far less time than that. For the first two weeks I was feeling my oats. I already had a half-dozen keepers and was confident there were plenty more winners on the way. It was at this point that I started dreaming of actually selling a cartoon to The New Yorker..."

A great little article — with lots of cartoons — from James Sturm.

(Here, buy some of his books.)


Out on the Capital City Trail yesterday, we saw a guy riding one of these Elliptigo things. It was like an elliptical machine had busted out of a health club. I said "cool" when he passed me, but I don't know. Maybe it's dorky. It reminded me of something I'd seen before, something more childish that I'd seen on campus years ago, and I finally realized it was this.

But really, what is the point of eliminating the seat of a bike? Why deprive us of the option of sitting? You can always get up off the seat of a normal bike and pedal in a standing position... unless you get a recumbent trike.

(I see a lot of those "recliner bikes" — as I call them — around Madison. I do not get the charm. It looks dangerous, down there, leading with your feet, and your head doesn't seem properly supported.)

"He’s not Jimmy Carter. He’s Tiger Woods — a natural who’s lost his swing."

"He has so many different swing thoughts in his head, so many people whispering in his ear about what the polls say and how he needs to position himself to get re-elected, that he has lost all his natural instincts for the game."

Racist or just fatuous?

Racist or fatuous?
Neither. free polls 

"A naked Christian Falero, 23 (not pictured), was arrested Tuesday after going on a stabbing rampage that left one person dead."

Photo caption of the day.

"In the search for completely implausible, unelectable Republican presidential candidates, why stop at George Pataki?"

David Weigel has an amusing list, the basic joke of which is — I think — to bury — in amongst John Engler, Alan Simpson, Colin Powell, Tan Parker, and Jennifer Carroll — the name Sarah Palin:
Sarah Palin (as seen in The Undefeated), 47

Last-held office: Governor of Alaska.

Pros: Once upon a time there was a brave and brilliant reporter and mom who out-hustled corrupt politicians and got elected mayor of a small town, then governor of Alaska. She had the highest approval rating of any state executive. She pushed through a reform of the state's oil-tax laws, past the party's establishment and past the best efforts of the mighty industry. All of this was done to a booming soundtrack and lots of file footage of protests and things exploding. She was on track to win the vice presidency before the economic crisis hit and the media treated her so unfairly.

Cons: Not many people saw the movie; most other people have soured on the real-world Palin.
Hilarious... right?

Pat Summitt on her dementia: "It's not going to keep me from coaching. If anything it's going to inspire me more."

And her son, asked to comment, says: "It's hard to fight an invisible opponent, and now... we know what we're up against."

Have you thought about how you would respond if you got a diagnosis of dementia? Now that you've heard from Pat Summitt, will you think about it differently?

The earthquake knocked the crosses off the National Cathedral.

Is God telling us something about the need for the separation of church and state?

IN THE COMMENTS: Jerub-Baal said:
Except for the fact that the finials are not crosses, but a variation of the ballflower. In fact, the ones on the National Cathedral are even less like crosses than a typical French cathedral, where one could possibly be forgiven for thinking they are such
He links to some photographs, proving his point. I said:
The WSJ article says "The earthquake knocked off the cross-shaped finial stones on three of the four pinnacles that jut out from the top of the tower."

A cross is only a shape. If something is cross-shaped, it's a cross.

So... the WSJ is wrong, based on the photos, and the message from God is, once again, obscure.

Harvard econprof Robert J. Barro looks for evidence that Keynesian economics work.

"There are two ways to view Keynesian stimulus through transfer programs. It's either a divine miracle—where one gets back more than one puts in—or else it's the macroeconomic equivalent of bloodletting. Obviously, I lean toward the latter position, but I am still hoping for more empirical evidence."

Does Vice President Biden believe China's "one child" policy is "repugnant"?

Here's what he said (to a Chinese audience):

Here's the spin provided by his press secretary:
“The Obama Administration strongly opposes all aspects of China’s coercive birth limitation policies, including forced abortion and sterilization. The Vice President believes such practices are repugnant. He also pointed out, in China, that the policy is, as a practical matter, unsustainable. He was arguing against the One Child Policy to a Chinese audience.”
Guy Benson, who extracted that response from the press secretary, is pleased to hear that condemnation of the policy, but says:
I still fail to see how publicly and proactively declining to "second guess" a policy that one finds "repugnant" amounts to "arguing against" it. If the Vice President's conviction is that China's policy is morally abhorrent, he should have said so when he raised the issue on Chinese soil.
It's a carefully framed statement. He was "arguing against the One Child Policy to a Chinese audience," but not on the moral ground. He "believes such practices are repugnant," but that's not what he chose to say to the Chinese. The argument against the policy that he made was an economic one: It's not sustainable to have so many older people supported by a too-small number of younger workers.

Benson, presenting the clip, says "Do you detect any revulsion here?" The answer is no. But why is it no? Is it because he, in fact, does not have a moral problem with the "one child" policy? I think he made a decision to set that issue aside to isolate the economic point he wanted to make. He could realistically have thought that there was nothing to be gained with this audience by expressing revulsion toward the policy. He may very well have thought that it would be a distraction and it would undercut his credibility with respect to the economic argument that he believed was the common ground.

Now, clearly, the more strongly you are opposed to abortion (and birth control), the more horrifying forced abortion and forced birth control seem. Perhaps we should all feel that it is wholly unacceptable that the Vice President should refer to that policy without making it clear that he condemns it. When can you mention an evil, then set it aside to talk about something closely related? Here's an analogy: If someone were pointing a gun at your head, you might go straight for the argument that the shooter will be caught and go to prison. That doesn't mean you don't really, really believe that murder is evil.

IN THE COMMENTS: Tim gives the clearest example of the type of comment I anticipated:
So then, Biden's argument against the Holocaust: "The diversion of critical resources from the war to identify, round up, transport, house and then exterminate as many as 20 million would severely handicap Germany's ability to win its war against the Allies."

Should a teacher be fired because he was — in the past — a porn star?

Does it make any difference if it was gay porn?

Does it matter that he used an alias in the movies? That he won awards for his film performances?
[Shawn] Loftis was suspended from his substitute teaching position in the Miami-Dade County Public Schools in January; his teacher's certification was revoked in April, despite his insistence that his porn days were over.

Loftis' porn shtick was to film in exotic locations around the world and slide sight-seeing and history segments into the dirty flicks. He took a similar travel-focused approach to his citizen-reporting gig with CNN.
Loftis is a popular CNN "citizen reporter." Here's one of his clips:

He'd left porn to go into teaching. Now, kicked out of teaching, he's back to porn.

Would you fire a teacher because he used to be a porn actor?
Yes. No matter how good a teacher he was.
Yes, but only if there were some other problems.
No. But this could be a factor if there were serious other problems.
No. This should not be a factor at all.
No. It's to his credit that he had a successful porn career and left it to teach. free polls 

ADDED: This may be a remnant of an old belief that teachers of young children shouldn't be sexually active at all. My maternal grandmother was a teacher at a time when female teachers were required to remain single. She hid her marriage to retain her job.

IN THE COMMENTS: Zachary Paul Sire notes that there are questions about whether Loftis had quit porn.

August 23, 2011

"In the 16th century... a microscopic stowaway somehow made its way to the caves and monasteries of Bavaria."

"The stowaway, yeast that may have been transported from a distant shore on a piece of wood or in the stomach of a fruit fly, was destined for great things. The newfound yeast fused with a distant relative, Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which was used for millennia to make leavened bread and fermented wine and ale. The resulting hybrid, representing a marriage of species as evolutionarily separated as humans and chickens, would give us lager, the clear, cold-fermented beer first brewed by 16th century Bavarians."

Scientists have finally identified the wild yeast, Saccharomyces eubayanus, and solved the age-old mystery of lager beer.

"The swastika is illegal here, as is the Hitler salute."

"Germans have learned after decades of fighting their expression that the ideas behind them cannot be outlawed. But the question facing German officials today is whether pushing those ideas underground makes them more radical in the short term, and maybe even more attractive in the long run, precisely because they are forbidden."

Some men who claim to be bisexual... actually are.

According to 2 new studies that offsets an old study that outraged some men who claim to be bisexual.

Psychology professor Lisa Diamond says: “I’ve interviewed a lot of individuals about how invalidating it is when their own family members think they’re confused or going through a stage or in denial... These converging lines of evidence, using different methods and stimuli, give us the scientific confidence to say this is something real.”

"How T-Plush and Two Wallbanging MVP Candidates Are Mixing a Strange Brew in Milwaukee."

The Milwaukee Brewers get a Sports Illustrated cover story (for the first time since 1987). Excerpts:
  • "He has brought silliness back to baseball." (general manager Doug Melvin on [Nyjer] Morgan)
  • "In a sport populated by cardboard personalities, Morgan carries on conversations with fans both supportive and hostile, often between pitches (Fan: 'You're horses---.' Morgan: 'Thank you for supporting your local hero.')"
  • "All teams have customized handshakes. . . but the Brewers have customized handshakes with their security guards."
  • "The Brewers irritate some traditionalists - or as Morgan calls them 'plain-Jane wonderbreads.' "
  • "Still (LaTroy) Hawkins reminds Morgan to read tweets three times before sending them. (Ron) Roenicke meets with him regularly to clarify rules. The team does have rules."

"The KINDEST Dispensary in the High Country."

A storefront in Leadville, Colorado. The high country.

"Schools provide food, medical care, counseling and taxi service if needed. Stu­dent health care is free..."

"Besides Finnish, math and science, the first graders take music, art, sports, religion and textile handcrafts. English begins in third grade, Swedish in fourth. By fifth grade the children have added biology, geography, history, physics and chemistry."

At the Avalanche Café...


... just be alert is all we're saying.

"People ask me, why not bike instead of walk for your exercise?"

Notes Crack Skull Bob, who answers:
Fuck you, leave me alone! I don’t even know you! But that wouldn’t be an appropriate thing to say on a blog, so I won’t. What I would say to this obnoxious, intrusive person is: I can walk to the 7-11 in about an hour or so, and bonus! I come back with an armload of tasty Hostess products! To use up the same energy on a bike, I’d have to pedal to Petersburg and back. Plus I’d have to wear one of those hats that make me look like an extra in a bad SyFy series. And then there’s the screaming berserk SUV drivers who are bent on converting all bikers into little impromptu shrines by the side of the road. That isn’t about biking, of course. It’s a class war. Sure, bikers can be arrogant assholes, but come on, they’re a bunch of skinny little guys wobbling around on bikes, and you’re grinding around in a big-ass smoke-belching SUV. Around these parts, when someone makes you feel guilty, you don’t rethink your priorities, you wipe out the guilt-causer. It’s the same for climate change, it’s the same for Food, Inc., it’s the same for the widening income gap, it’s the same for the homeless. It’s what we do. It’s the American way.
He's just saying he needs some coffee, and he's got a drawing of just that. 


In D.C.
Reports are coming in that an earthquake just hit Washington, New York, Philadelphia, Boston and Cleveland. The U.S. Geological Survey said an earthquake of a 5.8 magnitude hit Virginia near the town of Mineral...
Lots of Tweeting.

And last night:
The largest natural earthquake in Colorado in more than a century struck Monday night ... with a preliminary magnitude of 5.3...

Obama approval sinks to 38%.

Gallup Daily.

"Sorry We're Closed!"


Something about that exclamation point makes me feel that they're not sorry at all.

Enlarge to read:
No Pets
Shoes, Shirt
Well, then! Let's go in topless and barefoot. If and when they're open.

Just another sign in Leadville, Colorado. Photographed on August 4th.

You can talk about anything you damn well like in the comments.

When you think about Rick Perry, The New Yorker would like you to think about squeezed testicles.

From From "comment" in The New Yorker by Lawrence Wright:
Perry is the first graduate of Texas A & M to govern Texas. When he was a freshman, in 1968, the student body looked much like him: white, male, determinedly rural....  At A & M, Perry ran the winning campaign of his friend John Sharp for student-body president. In response, Sharp got his friend elected one of the campus’s five “yell leaders”—male cheerleaders. Perry considered being a yeller the higher office. A typical yell is: “Squads left! Squads right! / Farmers, farmers, we’re all right! / Load, ready, aim, fire, boom!” During tense moments in a football game, yellers grab their balls and shout, “Squeeze, Aggies!”
I was inclined to disbelieve that ball-squeezing thing. But I Googled it. There are some strange American folk traditions, apparently. But... why is this in an article about Rick Perry? Why merge that image with him? There's some psychological manipulation going on here!

Note that there is an ongoing effort among the media elite to create an aversion to Rick Perry by making him seem hyper-masculine in a disgusting or inappropriate way. I'll be keeping an eye on this. If you see evidence of this phenomenon, let me know — in the comments here or by email.

ADDED: A reader emails:
Squeezing is only figurative, and the yell leaders do it when the football team is attempting to kick a field goal.  Before the ball is snapped, they run down to the end zone and kneel down on one knee, abreast of one another with one hand over their crotch, waiting expectantly for the kick.  The "squeeze" is a figurative gesture, nobody really squeezes.  It's all done in good fun--a bombastic notion that self-induced pain would affect an outcome on the field.  People in the stands do it also, even girls. 

"To be survived by sculpture in bronze — what a responsibility!"

"Bronze is so very indestructible," said Edgar Degas, whose "Little Dancer" is the subject of questionable casting.
One idea being bandied about among the Degas scholars and those collectors who have spent millions of dollars on Maibaum’s sculptures is to convene a symposium that will allow all sides of the debate to air their views in a “litigation-free zone,” if you will. “I’ve encouraged people to get over their litigation hang-ups,” Beale, one of the Degas experts, told me recently. “The concern for litigation is beyond the pale.”
Discussion in a litigation-free zone... what a concept! As if, in some later lawsuit, a judge would exclude evidence of these statements under some new "litigation-free zone" privilege.

These people are tied up in knots because some art is a reproduction of the original that the artist worked on directly. For commerce purposes, there needs to be hierarchy within the reproductions. The indestructibility of bronze may have bothered Degas, but these buyers and sellers today are tormented by the endless reproducibility of the thing that is not bronze. (It's wax!)

"President Barack Obama is likely to propose a new public works program in a post-Labor Day speech."

Say the Bloomberg editors.
... It makes economic sense. The president should think big -- upward of $100 billion a year for at least two years...

Unfortunately, a major public works program doesn’t make political sense right now. Republicans have served notice that they intend to stand pat against new federal spending...
The editors recommend a deal:
Obama should temporarily suspend Davis-Bacon, then ask Congress to repeal the act and let the market decide wage rates, as it does for every other industry....

Such a deal would stretch federal money, resulting in more jobs, especially for less-skilled workers who have been out of work for more than six months. And it would finally allow Obama to have a Works Progress Administration-style program that’s been missing from his recovery plans.
I can't picture the Republicans accepting this. And does the public actually want a Works Progress Administration-style program?

"[T]he center fielder felt a rumble at the end of the fourth. It arrived suddenly, and with great force."

"After Evans walked, and no batter appeared, home plate umpire Mike DiMuro strolled toward the bench. The crowd began to boo. The public address announcer waited. Where was Pagan?"

It's so embarrassing when you have to go to the bathroom and everyone's waiting for you...


Compare this to this.

"Can you believe this? I’m the President of the whole fucking United States!"

A real quote, by a real President, shortly after election. Which one?

ADDED: This quote got me thinking of the poet's lines:
I chant the chant of dilation or pride,
We have had ducking and deprecating about enough,
I show that size is only development.

Have you outstript the rest? are you the President?
It is a trifle, they will more than arrive there every one, and still pass on.


6-word tweets reacting to the new monument.

Today's Drudgetapostion: Qaddafi looking up, Obama looking down (and Irene coming up).

I love the kinetic energy here:

Qaddafi's unbowed head aims up and to the right, in the position associated with optimism and progress. Obama's head points in the opposite direction, down and to the left. Qaddafi is wrapped up in his own thoughts in this image, and Obama is all about ice cream. Meanwhile, as we read from right to left and top to bottom, the next image is the path of Hurricane Irene and the lines sweep us back up to the image of Qaddafi.

No one who has laughed at the Michele Bachmann corndog photo can deny that the ice cream functions as a phallic symbol. In this light, one notes that the ice cream is soft-serve. See the swirls? The ice cream swirls harmonize with the swirling pattern of a hurricane and the swirling thoughts in the mind of the Libyan monster.

Does Obama care? — the brilliant Matt Drudge subliminally prods us to ask. Is he childishly preoccupied with a swirly dessert (as he vacations and vacations and vacations)? Look up, Mr. President! Qaddafi is still standing! The hurricane is coming!

The headlines under Obama increase our feelings that he is allowing everything to collapse:

Obama sets record: $4,247,000,000,000 debt in just 945 days...
(Both links go to the same story.) Above him, we see "Man busted near Nat'l Mall with fireworks-packed car 'fitted with turret, multiple tubes'..." (Scary! But it wasn't — go to the link — a terrorist.) (Addition phallic imagery implied by these explosive tubes.)

And speaking of the "Nat'l Mall," glance down and to the left a notch, and you'll see the image of the Martin Luther King Jr. memorial, newly unveiled on the National Mall. Martin Luther King marched on Washington, and now he's there permanently. We sent Barack Obama to Washington and — the Drudge images say — he won't stay there, he keeps leaving, and he's not paying attention to the business of Washington. Meanwhile, in Tripoli, Qaddafi is intent on staying put, a strong man 'til the end. Obama is the soft center to a ice-cream manwich, with the hard men on either side — Qaddafi and King... and the violently disruptive woman Irene coming up behind him.

This has been another edition in the ongoing Althouse opus: The Art and Genius of Matt Drudge.

ADDED: Some art theory about lines and directions, from the artist Georges Seurat:

Jon Huntsman has an "anti-GOP" approach, crafted by his chief strategist, John Weaver.

According to Paul Gigot.
Mr. Weaver has long been at war with the GOP mainstream, and his candidates typically end up running against some element of the Republican base. That was his strategy in 2000 with John McCain, who won New Hampshire but lost in South Carolina after attacking fellow Republicans....

The trouble with the strategy is that while it draws huzzahs from the media, attacking Republicans rarely appeals to enough . . . Republicans. This year in particular it's hard to see much room for Mr. Huntsman running to the left of Mr. Romney. The GOP as "anti-science" was a main Democratic theme in the past decade but also isn't likely to move many Republicans now. Perhaps Mr. Huntsman thinks this will carve out ideological space to be the "moderate" choice as vice president, which on present course is his only chance of getting on the ticket.
The trouble with the strategy is that... it draws huzzahs from the media! The media lures Republicans into embracing the most liberal candidate, but they will turn on him as soon as he gets the nomination. That's what happened with John McCain, who, once nominated, wasn't liberal enough for liberals or conservative enough for conservatives. There's some idea that the moderates are left to throng to this liberalish Republican. (I just typo'd "Republicant" and before deleting the "t," considered, as an alternative, inserting an apostrophe.)

I don't know if I'm the typical moderate, but I am a moderate, and I specifically had a problem with McCain's lack of conservatism. This was written on October 8, 2008, the morning after a debate, the day I abandoned my "cruel neutrality" perspective on the election and decided to vote against McCain:
McCain offered no defense of his party, only assertions that he had tried to get [financial] regulations passed. So, there he was, embedded in failure. He didn't stand by the principles of conservatism...

Look at how McCain failed to promote conservatism. McCain brought up Ronald Reagan 3 times: once to say he opposed him about sending troops to Lebanon and the other 2 times to say it was wonderful the way he worked with the liberal Tip O'Neill.

McCain never presented the conservative alternative to Obama. He never even called himself a conservative last night. He was wandering all over that red carpet, microphone in hand, and I have the feeling, in retrospect, that he was truly bewildered, mouthing old phrases, trying to slip by. But one old phrase that was missing was "I'm a proud conservative." Remember when he used to say that?
In the end, summing up my 4 reasons for rejecting McCain, I said "He never defined himself as a principled conservative."

So, speaking as a moderate, I'd like to say that I want the Republican candidate to define himself in conservative terms and defend that conservative vision. That doesn't mean I want everything that ordinarily gets packaged as "conservative." I don't. But I want someone who makes sense as the leader of the Republican Party, not a... maverick who's about looking like he doesn't buy into their ideology.

August 22, 2011

At the Chocolate Chip Café...

P1010900 2

... sit down and hang out.

ADDED: I should have called this the Levitating Muffin Café. (Lem: "Is it me, or does the muffin appear to float?" It's not just you!) This cafe, in case you are wondering, is in Leadville, Colorado. That's 10,000 feet above sea level, and I know high altitude affects baking, but who knew the stuff would come out this light.

"The prosecutors have basically adopted the defense arguments."

"They appear to bend over backwards to try to excuse their decision to run away from this case."

The lawyer for Nafissatou Diallo, who accused Dominque Strauss-Kahn of sexual assault, complains about the prosecutor's "hatchet job on Ms. Diallo’s credibility," as Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance, Jr. moves to dismiss the case.

"An ocean divides us, but we are joined in the basic human longing for freedom, for justice and for dignity."

"Your revolution is your own, and your sacrifices have been extraordinary.  Now, the Libya that you deserve is within your reach."

We ♥ Leadville.

Leadville, Colorado, August 4th. We loved all the tiny houses:


And the Western Hardware Building, built in 1881, and in the distance, the snow — in August — on the mountains:


I love the charming modesty of the Chamber of Commerce:


Next to the Chamber of Commerce, is "The Old Church" — which is what people in Leadville call their Presbyterian Church:


We're mesmerized by the marijuana dispensary, Nature's Spirit (and that's the Grand Hotel in the background):


"We ♥ Leadville"...

... we really do!

"Should Professor Campos’s authorship of Inside the Law School Scam come as a surprise?"

"In hindsight, perhaps not. The universe of law professors writing negatively about the legal academy is not huge. For a law prof, saying that the status quo in legal education has problems constitutes a declaration against interest."

Says David Lat. Me, I've been hearing professors saying negative things about legal education since the day I started work in the legal academy (in 1984). But then I stepped right into the hotbed of Critical Legal Studies. Back then, everyone was reading "Legal Education and the Reproduction of Hierarchy: A Polemic Against the System," by Duncan Kennedy. Campos's criticisms are mild compared with that! Has everyone forgotten that 1983 book? The so-called "little red book" barely even has a Wikipedia entry. From the Preface:
The general thesis is that law schools are intensely political places, in spite of the fact that they seem intellectually unpretentious, barren of theoretical ambition or practical vision of what social life might be. The trade school mentality, the endless attention to trees at the expense of forests, the alternating grimness and chumminess of focus on the limited task at hand, all these are only a part of what is going on. The other part is ideological training for willing service in the hierarchies of the corporate welfare state.

To say that law school is ideological is to say that what teachers teach along with basic skills is wrong, is nonsense about what law is and how it works. It is to say that the message about the nature of legal competence, and its distribution among students, is wrong, is nonsense. It is to say that the ideas about the possibilities of life as a lawyer that students pick up from legal education are wrong, are nonsense. But all this is nonsense with a tilt, it is biased and motivated rather than random error. What it says is that it is natural, efficient and fair for law firms, the bar as a whole, and the society the bar services to be organized in their actual patterns of hierarchy and domination.

Because most students believe what they are told, explicitly and implicitly, about the world they are entering, they behave in ways that fulfill the prophecies the system makes about them and about that world. This is the link-back that completes the system: students do more than accept the way things are, and ideology does more than damp opposition. Students act affirmatively within the channels cut for them, cutting them deeper, giving the whole a patina of consent, and weaving complicity into everyone’s life story.

Now, that's not really a declaration against interest for Kennedy, and Campos's book isn't a declaration against interest either. Both men were/are promoting their own work from a safe position of tenure.

"Skincare company Nivea... ad shows a black man in the act of throwing out a full-face mask which has a beard and an afro."

"The image is juxtaposed with the slogan 'Re-Civilize Yourself.'"

Of course, people cried "racism," and predictably, Nivea withdrew the ad. By why was Nivea dumb enough not to predict the outcry? Was it because they also had a white man ad? As if people seeing one ad would know about the other and appreciate the balance?

Meade and I bike through the darkest tunnel in Wisconsin.

Don't ask how Meade shot that video under those conditions. He wants — doesn't have — one of these.

"Yeah, anytime you spend four hours with the president, either with a spoon in your hand or a golf club in your hand or nothing in your hand — you learn something."

"If he invites you to lunch — anytime you get a chance to talk to the president, in any context, I find incredibly beneficial."

When he's around the President, please keep an eye on what Thomas Friedman has in his hand.

"I believe that she will run... I can’t see her sitting this election out... She is going to make a major, major speech."

The buzz about Sarah.

Do you want Sarah Palin to run?
Yes, because I want her to win.
Yes, because it will make the Republican field more interesting and better generally.
Yes, because I want to see the Republicans hurt.
No, because she will hurt the Republican cause.
No, because she will help the Republican cause.
No, because she would not make a good President. free polls 

"Suddenly," voters in Anthony Weiner's district "are faced with the most brilliant, dynamic, charismatic, Scott Brownesque candidate."

"Or... people are so angry with the president 'that they can put up some tired old guy with no political experience and he could actually win.'"

Bob Turner cracks an interesting joke.

"When one orders an organic field greens salad in Madison..."

"... one does not expect it to arrive in a basket woven of fried shoestring potatoes topped with tiny white mushrooms and yuzu foam."

"What if Obama simply decided not to run for a second term as President?"

Writes Ed Morrissey in a post that's getting a lot of attention.

But you read it first here on Althouse, on April 3, 2011: "The reason why Obama should not want to run for a second term in 2012." I wrote (based on a conversation I'd just had with Meade, who proposed the idea first):
If he is reelected, then that will be the end of running for President. He'll be 54 years old, and what will he do? Move to Hawaii and play golf? But he could move to Hawaii and play golf in January 2013, if that's an enticing prospect. And, if he does, he won't have maxed out his eligibility for being President. He can tantalize us, year after year, with the possibility that he would run for another term — a fascinatingly out-of-sequence term. The thing he's best at is running for President. Why let that game expire? He could toy with it in 2016, when he's 58, and in 2020, when he's a clear-visioned 62, and in 2024, when he's a well-seasoned 66, and in 2028, when he's a beneficent elder, offering his services once again, because his country longs for the golden days of 2011. It will never end, as long as the icon of hope and change... walks the face of the earth... unless he serves that second term.
Morrissey emphasizes Obama's low poll numbers, the difficulty of reelection, the problem of dragging down some key Senate races, and the possibly exciting prospect of a Hillary Clinton candidacy:

"If you think balanced-budget amendments are the stuff of madmen or dreamers, you were in for a surprise this month."

Writes Bloomberg columnist/Harvard lawprof Noah Feldman.
No, not the requirement of the U.S. debt-ceiling agreement that Congress vote up or down on such an amendment -- everyone knows that proposal will be dead on arrival. Rather, it was the joint recommendation of German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Nicolas Sarkozy that all 17 euro-area members adopt constitutional amendments by next summer that would require balanced budgets by specific target dates.

In the context of the world’s current economic troubles, how could responsible, economically sophisticated leaders think it is a good idea to impose an inflexible constitutional debt ceiling? Merkel and Sarkozy are, after all, a far cry from Rick Perry.
Read the whole thing. Proposing an amendment — even passing it — doesn't make anything actually happen, Feldman informs us. "Constitutional commitments are only convincing when they credibly correspond to elite interests over the long haul."