Tea Party growing, now as popular as Socialism

Newspaper stories and headlines in Eau Claire, Madison, Milwaukee and Green Bay this week uniformly reported that "hundreds" of people had turned out for rallies in conjunction with a Tea Party bus tour.

Hundreds?  We often draw hundreds for progressive (OK, left wing) events with nary a word in the news media.  Fighting Bob Fest, held off the beaten track in Baraboo, drew something like 8,000 to 10,000 last year to hear a lineup of fiery progressive speakers. But few to none of those thousands in attendance were reporters.

Much of the Tea Party phenomenon we're being subjected to these days is media driven.

Which brings us to a recent observation by Think Progress, which notes that Gallup poll results tell us that the Tea Party and Socialism, which it loathes and uses as a foil to whip its partiers into a frenzy, are equally popular with the American people:

The percentage of Americans viewing “The Tea Party movement” favorably: 37 percent. The percentage of Americans with a positive image of “socialism”: 36 percent.

 Maybe it's time for a Socialist bus tour.  All aboard!

Leinenkugel campaign trips at starting line

Dick Leinenkugel's soon-to-be US Senate campaign got off to a rocky start.

We'll let the Democratic Party of Wisconsin chortle about it in this press release:

 

Leinenkugel Using State Phone
As Campaign Contact

MADISON – According to a media report this morning, Democratic Commerce Secretary Dick Leinenkugel has launched his Republican primary campaign for U.S. Senate by registering a website with his “state phone” as the contact for his campaign.

On Making Coal Mining Safer, Or, "It's The Fines, Stupid!"

By now more or less everyone is aware that there has been a disastrous mining accident in West Virginia this week.

There are many people dead, and at the time this is written it is still possible that survivors might be found.

We don’t know much about why these disasters happen, for the most part, and we don’t really understand how to make things better.

Operation Beat Southworth kicks off Friday.

By now you're likely aware of Juneau County District Attorney Scott Southworth's controversial letter to area school districts, obliquely threatening to prosecute teachers for sex education including instruction on how to use condoms.

I'll be heading up to Mauston Friday to distribute condoms and educational fliers from the public sidewalk nearest Mauston High School, "authorised and paid for by Ben Masel for US Senate 2012."

This will be my official campaign expenditure.

If I'm REALLY LUCKY, Southworth will find a police agency foolish enough to arrest me.

Juneau County DA warns districts on sex ed law

 

Scratch that Supreme Court race

So much for Xoff's punditry.

A funny thing happened to Waukesha County Circuit Judge Linda Van De Water Tuesday on her way up the judicial ladder. She lost her appeals court race to Paul Reilly, the guy she attacked as a softy, a squishy conservative who was against law and order -- or at least not as pro- law and order and she is.

Happy to be wrong about her likelihood of winning, although it gives me pause that the only other person publicly exposing her foibles was my fellow traveler Charlie Sykes. Will he be labeled a RINO now?

POSTSCRIPT: Scott Walker and Tommy Thompson had both endorsed Vandy, and she trumpeted their support, once again proving that endorsements mean little or nothing unless they are bi-partisan. Reilly had most of the sheriffs and DAs from both parties.

Election fraud: Calling Tuesday's event an election

The system finally made a non-voter out of me yesterday.

I've probably voted in 98% of the elections I could participate in since I turned 21 (voting age back in those dark ages).

But in the city of Milwaukee yesterday my choices on the ballot would have been a half dozen circuit court judges, all incumbents running unopposed. I would have had more choices, or at least as many, in the old Soviet Union.

I could have skipped over some to express my displeasure, while giving my favorites an extra vote they didn't need. Or I could have written in myself, Mickey Mouse, Groucho, Karl or one of the other Marx brothers.

But it wasn't worth the walk across the park in the rain to go to the polling place and wake up the napping election workers.

Whatever the city of Milwaukee spent on Tuesday's farce was a true waste of money.

Why not move these local elections to the fall, when voter participation might be in double digits?

If Leinenkugel's in, Tommy's out of Senate race

Dick Leinenkugel just resigned as Wisconsin's commerce secretary because he plans to run for the Senate as a Republican against Russ Feingold, WisPolitics reports.

If that's true, Tommy Thompson is out of the race, and Leinenkugel knows it. (His sister Kate is married to Mark Bugher, a Thompson confidant and booster.)

So the Republican primary would be a three-way affair, with Leinenkugel the RINO (Repub in Name Only) in the race against conservatives Terrence Wall and Dave Westlake, who have not gotten much traction.

How will the Tea Partiers in the GOP like a guy who's been in Jim Doyle's cabinet, oversaw the stimulus money, and champions Doyle's climate change bill?

More at 11 -- or whenever we get around to it.

2nd Amendment Foundation And Black Community Agree To Joint Gun March, Rally

New York (FNS)—In an effort to help dispel concerns of racism, Terri Stocke, President of the Second Amendment March, agreed to coordinate with members of the Reverend Al Sharpton’s National Action Network and the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s Rainbow/Push Coalition in an effort to encourage more members of the Black community to bear arms and to carry them publicly.

In return, members of the Black community have agreed to flood the 2nd Amendment March, scheduled for April 19, 2010, in Washington, DC, with hundreds of thousands of heavily armed residents of Chicago’s South Side and New York City’s Harlem and Bedford-Stuyvesant neighborhoods.

“We hope that the Black community understands that 2nd Amendment rights apply to all Americans” Ms. Stocke told the crowd outside Mr. Sharpton’s offices.

St. Norbert-WPR poll predicts 99% voter turnout in November -- and flying pigs

There's a big Republican surge in Wisconsin, if you believe the St. Norbert-Wisconsin Public Radio poll. I don't.

The poll's serious problems are not limited to the US Senate numbers, which got our attention previously.

The numbers for the governor's race are even crazier. Asking 400 Wisconsin residents -- not voters or likely voters, just anyone who answered the telephone -- the survey finds Scott Walker and Mark Neumann in a dead heat in the Republican primary, and either Neumann or Walker killing Democrat Tom Barrett in the general election matchup.

Here's one quick measure of how unreliable those numbers are: According to the poll, 93 per cent of the people interviewed plan to vote in the Republican primary for governor, and all but 1% of them plan to vote in the general election.

Remember, these are not people on a voter list they called; just random Wisconsin citizens. And 99% of them plan to vote in November.

Remarkable, since the highest turnout race in memory was the 2008 presidental, when 70% of Wisconsinites voted.

Non-candidate Thompson might win -- if you count non-voters

The latest in a long series of meaningless political poll coverage by the Wisconsin media, courtesy of the Associated Press:

MADISON, Wis. (AP) — A new poll suggests that if Republican Tommy Thompson decides to get into the U.S. Senate race, he would defeat Democratic incumbent Russ Feingold.

The St. Norbert College Survey Center Poll released Tuesday shows Thompson with 45 percent support compared with 33 percent for Feingold.

...Terrence Wall and Dave Westlake are running as Republicans but Thompson has flirted with getting into the race.

The telephone poll of 400 Wisconsin residents was done between March 23 and March 31 and has a margin of error of plus of minus 5 percentage points. It was sponsored by Wisconsin Public Radio.

A new technique -- interviewing non-voters about a non-candidate. (UPDATE: They didn't even ask about the two GOP candidates who actually are running, David Westlake and Terrence Wall.)

A recent poll by Daily Kos/Research 2000 had Feingold beating Thompson.

What's the difference?

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