If Ron Johnson's against the war, he'll never tell

Ron Johnson, in the Journal Sentinel:

Johnson’s most pointed comments were directed at Feingold, saying that when he and other senators “come out and start demanding a U.S. pullout and that kind of thing in public, it just undermines what our troops are trying to do.”

Said Johnson: “That’s not saying if you have real grave concerns as a member of Congress you should not be talking to the administration. It’s just extremely harmful to our nation when it’s all done in public.”

Asked whether he was saying it’s improper for Feingold or other senators to be speaking out publicly against the war, Johnson said: “I guess what I really object to is how quick and early he has been throughout his career (to criticize military action) . . . he has been carping about this from the sidelines forever.”

Johnson then repeated his suggestion that when there are troops in the field, lawmakers opposed to U.S. policy should be expressing their opposition in private rather than in public.

“There’s an appropriate way of opposing a policy and an inappropriate way,” he said. “The appropriate way if I’m a U.S. senator is going to be not public.

Heads should roll, and Walker should be ashamed

A Journal Sentinel editorial:

Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker should fire John Chianelli immediately as part of the effort to eradicate problems at the county's Mental Health Complex.

But Walker should not stop there. He should insist that any Mental Health Complex employees who knowingly falsified documents or otherwise failed to do their jobs be shown the door. Their failures allowed a known predator, Omowale Atkins, to viciously sexually assault patients and impregnate one of them.

Even though the Journal Sentinel Watchdog team has shown a pattern of neglect and mismanagement at the complex, it appears very little discipline has been meted out. Heads need to roll, and that should begin with Chianelli, administrator of the Milwaukee County Behavioral Health Division. He is in charge of the Mental Health Complex.

But it should not stop there, either. Walker, who points fingers in every direction but his own whenever there is a problem in county government, owns this one.

He needs to take some responsiblity himself for allowing this to happen. It did not happen overnight, but after an extended period of neglect on Walker's watch.  And he has defended the decision-makers.

The idea that he is running for governor on his record as county executive should make people laugh -- or perhaps cry.

His record on how he treats some of society's most vulnerable speaks volumes about his priorities and his character.

Shame on Scott Walker.

Help identify these miscreants

There's a little game of trivial pursuit being played by the right wing, trying to identify people who appear in a Feingold for Senate television commercial.

In the same spirit of good, clean fun we offer our own collection of ne'er-do-wells to see if anyone can attach a name.

 Hint: He was involved in a campaign law violation that resulted in the biggest fines and most severe punishment in memory, if not in Wisconsin history.

This bozo was caught testifying against child abuse victims trying to sue their abusers.

And this guy was convicted of three felonies for abusing the public trust and his elected office, but remains at large while cutting a deal with a political ally to get off virtually Scott (that's a hint) free.

No pr

Keeping it real despite GOP thuggery

Not long ago, right-wingers were all atwitter about a Feingold for Senate commercial which used the nameplate with the name Elizabeth Ackland to represent someone getting a job because of the federal stimulus program.

She's not a real person, they declared, as if there was something wrong with using symbolism in a television commercial.  Since Republicans often use actors instead of real people, -- and lie about it -- they had a hard time selling their phony outrage.

At the time, we were reminded that one reason not to use real people in commercials is that they are stalked by people like Michelle Malkin, who's likely to show up, interview their neighbors, poke through their garbage, and try to make their lives a living hell.

Now the state Republican Party is complaining that Joanne Ricca, who lobbies for the state AFL-CIO, is one of the real people in a Feingold spot that's currently on the air, criticizing Ron Johnson for wanting to end unemployment comp

Incredible! Johnson backs off sunspot claim

Ron Johnson spends half of his time expounding on issues he is clueless about, and the other half denying he ever said what he did.  This time it's a twofer, with Johnson backing off his claims that sunspots are responsible for global warming, and his willingness to horse trade on tax deductions for home mortgages.  WXOW-TV reports:

Republican candidate for U.S. Senate Ron Johnson distanced himself on Saturday from his earlier claims that sunspots were a likely cause of global warming.

In "Fact Check" press release posted on his Web site, Johnson's campaign suggested that his remarks had been taken out of context and did not reflect the "true intent" of his answer.

In a 27 News interview at his Oshkosh plastics factory, Johnson said the rise in Earth's temperature was more likely caused by solar activity than man-made carbon dioxide emissions, and that shifting climate patterns were part of an ongoing natural cycle.

"There's a reason Greenland was called Greenland," he said.

Another Day, Another Gaffe: Johnson Thinks NYC Mosque Could Be Stopped Through Zoning Laws

The latest from Ron Johnson:

"Those folks are trying to poke a stick in our eye," Johnson said. "I just hope the zoning officials and the city, the state revisit that, rezone that piece of property."

That's a great idea, Ron.
I'm glad you have such a tight grasp on that law-making thingy, since you're trying to get a job as a U.S. Senator-- the highest lawmaker in the land.

And how exactly would that zoning ordinance look like, Ron? 

Even the nuttiest of right wing cuckoo birds aren't calling for bizarro special legislation to prevent the building of the Mosque.  Why?  Because everyone knows that such legislation would be obviously unconstitutional.

The mere suggestion is ridiculous.

This is yet another example of the unbelievable shallowness of Johnson's basic understanding of the constitution and how our country works.

In Charles Krauthammer's recent column he says:

No one disputes the right to build; the whole debate is about the propriety, the decency of doing so.

Don't be so quick to say "no one," Chuck. 

Walker -- Still Making It Up As He Goes Along

Scott Walker's latest ad is perhaps his strangest piece of work yet.  Taking totally unrelated clips of Obama and mixing them in with his own set of "facts" he tries to make it appear that he is somehow debating with Obama over the high-speed trail link between Milwaukee and Chicago.  I'm not sure why trains are currently the whipping boy of the Republican party, but I'll let WISC's investigative report on this ad speak for itself. 

On Homeland Security, Or, We Visit A Terrorist Gathering Place

They better not build that mosque down by Ground Zero, we’re being told, not just because it’s insensitive, but because we have no idea what they’ll be up to down there.

I mean, where did the money come from?

Who does this Imam hang out with, anyway?

And, at a time when our Nation faces more threats than ever, why would we let these Muslim madmen situate their “terror command posts” anywhere?

Well, I don’t know about all of that...but I do know a place where lots of these Islamic terrorists go to obtain the equipment and supplies they need to support their particular craft, and I decided to make a bit of an undercover visit to the spot, so that I might “observe and report” on what goes on at this specific location.

So put on your dark glasses...and let’s go see what we can find out.

Outsider can't wait to start horse trading your deductions

Ron Johnson, Mr. Outsider, can't wait to get to Washington so he can start horse trading, just like those insiders, he tells Madison's WKOW-TV from his bunkier, a conference room at his Oshkosh business.

And what does he want to trade away: Maybe your tax deduction for mortagage interest payments:

"I have never lobbied for some special treatment or a government payment," Johnson said, speaking from his Oshkosh plastics factory conference room. "When you subsidize things, it doesn't work through the free market system very well."

We asked if that applied to home mortgage interest deductions, and whether that popular program should be eliminated. Johnson said his goal is to lower taxes and simplify the tax code, and, as part of that, he wouldn't rule out doing away with the interest deduction."

"If that means horse trading with reductions of certain deductions I'm willing to take a look at all of the options," Johnson said.

Bet he doesn't have a mortgage.


Paddy Mac, opposition researcher

If there be any lingering doubt that Patrick McIlheran and the Journal Sentinel have become the conduit to carry the Republican message in Wisconsin, today's paper should erase it.

Paddy Mac, in a column in the paper, followed by another blog item online, trashes a Democratic candidate for the State Assembly in Taylor County.

Paddy probably doesn't even know where Medford is, but he and his Milwaukee-based paper devote a lot of space to an obscure race in the hinterlands.

Think this is an example of great investigative journalism by McIlheran? Or that the Republicans found an outlet to dump their opposition research?

I know which one I'd put my money on.

In the distant past, when Paddy first started to write his daily right-wing drivel, I complained to Ricardo Pimentel, the editorial page editor, who assured me that there would soon be some balance, and I would be pleasantly surprised by the announcement -- which never came. It's been a couple of years now, the JS has greatly reduced its staff, not added any columnists, but still has found room for Paddy.

Will he now work his way through each of the competitive legislative races, doing the Republicans' dirty work for them?

In the past, I'd have been surprised.


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