All I know is what I read in the papers

The first two paragraphs of a story by Marie Rohde in the Daily Reporter:

A Milwaukee alderman wants answers from the sewerage district after a $6.1 million pump station failed to prevent backups in a north side neighborhood after the July 22 storm.

James Fratrick, a watershed specialist with the Department of Natural Resource’s Milwaukee office, said the pump station spewed 45 million gallons of water and sewage from the lift station over 13 hours as a result of the July 22 storm.

And the sixth paragraph:

Representatives from the sewerage district, the mayor’s office and the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources did not immediately return calls Monday.

Maybe he didn't "immediately" return a call, but it seems as if someone names James Fratrick from the DNR must have called back.

Rhode was part of the team that regularly misrepresented and savaged MMSD when she covered the district as a Journal Sentinel reporter (and I was a commission member). Looks like she has found a new outlet for her consistently negative take.

On Saving Us From The Immoral, Or "Ready, Fire...Aim!"

It was about a week ago that we saw the ruling throwing out California’s Prop 8; that decision has now been appealed, and we will see, at some point in the future, how the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals handles the matter.

A couple of days later, I had a story up that walked through the ruling, describing the tactics used by the Prop 8 proponents, which, in the opinion of the Judge who looked at the evidence, were basically to try to scare Californians into thinking that gay people, once they’re able to get gay married, will somehow now be free to evangelize your kids and make them gay, too.

In the course of answering comments on the several sites where the story is up, I noticed that there were those who felt the Bible should be guiding our thinking here...that if it did, we would be better off than where we are today, with all those immoral gay people running around free to do all those immoral gay things.

This led me to an obvious question: are those who have been using the Bible as a sort of “divining rod” to figure out who is immoral and who is not...actually any good at it?

Feingold caught Kinnickinnicing

I am happy to confirm that Sen. Russ Feingold really is campaigning on the street and talking to real voters.

At least, that's what he was doing when we crossed paths at the Bay View public library this afternoon -- Main Streeting in Bay View (or Kinnickinnicing, as it were, since that is our main drag.)

You're never safe.  My son was once on a ferry from Seattle to Bainbridge Island, wearing a Wisconsin sweatshirt, when this guy asked him if he was from Wisconsin, then introduced himself as Russ Feingold.

So be careful out there.


Ron Johnson Said He "Started" Business From the "Ground-Up"

Nearly everyone, including myself, thought that when Ron Johnson said he "started" his business from the "ground-up," that what he meant was... that he "started" his business from the "ground-up."

But, once again, the parameters of the English language don't apply to Ron Johnson.

On Monday he responded to the charges that he told people that he "started" his business from the "ground-up" were not accurate, telling the Wisconsin State Journal:

Johnson said that he has never tried to paint himself as a "self-made" man. He said he has always acknowledged that he had help along the way.

This is simply not true. 

In fact, Johnson has done the exact opposite:  He has intentionally tried to paint himself as a "self-made" man and he has never acknowledged that his billionaire father-in-law, plastics titan Howard Curler, was the foundation of his business success.

Walker can't stop Barrett TV spots

Hard to believe this is the lead item this morning in the report from ..

Scott Walker’s guv campaign is demanding Wisconsin TV stations take down an ad from Dem rival Tom Barrett, saying it falsely attributed a negative spot to the county exec

Of course Walker wants Barrett to take down his commercial. And Barrett would like Walker to take down his misleading commercials. And Russ Feingold would like Ron Johnson to take down his. Ditto Johnson re: Feingold's spots. Et cetera ad infinitum.

Not gonna happen.

As the Walker campaign well knows -- and as WisPolitics should know, if it doesn't -- is that political commercials, paid for by campaigns, cannot be censored by the stations. The stations are required to run them, as is.

When Walker's spots lie about his record as Milwaukee County executive, the commercials runs the way his campaign produces them. If his opponents don't like it, they can complain to the news media, which they often do, or run their own commercials to counter it.

That's the way it works.

RoJo: No press access, but room for Paddy Mac

Patrick McIlheran, the Journal Sentinel right-wing columnist in residence, tags along with Senate candidate Ron Johnson, and -- wow! -- he turns out just to be a regular guy, not a politician!

He's just learning the ropes, Paddy says, so you'll just to excuse him if he doesn't know shit from Shinola when it comes to issues.

The real news of the column, however, is this: While RoJo's handlers hide him from the news media as much as possible, except when he needs to walk back the latest of his daily gaffes, Paddy Mac is invited to tag along.

When is the last time an actual reporter from the Journal Sentinel, or anywhere else for that matter, was invited to spend time observing RoJo on the campaign trail?

This is just a guess, but if you say never you won't be far off. And the media just let it happpen. In the case of the JS, it not only lets in happen but prints McIlheran's drivel to boot. Embarrassing.

Will Walker, Neumann turn down high-speed Internet money?

This sounds suspiciously like the federal stimulus money for high speed rail, which Scott Walker and Mark Neumann have both pledged to stop:

The University of Wisconsin System will receive more than $32 million in federal stimulus money to expand high-speed Internet access, U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl said Wednesday.

Will Walker and Neumann insist it be spent on highways instead? Or maybe on fax machines?

Hide and watch. This could be fun.


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