Filtered news 4/13

Vonnegut's Voice

I really wonder what gives us the right to wreck this poor planet of ours.

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

Human beings are chimpanzees who get crazy drunk on power. By saying that our leaders are power-drunk chimpanzees, am I in danger of wrecking the morale of our soldiers fighting and dying in the Middle East? Their morale, like so many bodies, is already shot to pieces. They are being treated, as I never was, like toys a rich kid got for Christmas.

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

There is a tragic flaw in our precious Constitution, and I don't know what can be done to fix it. This is it: Only nut cases want to be president.

Those who believe in telekinetics, raise my hand.

And my favorite:

I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don't let anybody tell you different.

More here and here.

The Email Kerfuffle

Once in a blue moon I get to talk about an issue that I know something about. In this case, it's email. I've been an email administrator for a long time now in one capacity or another. So I find some of this discussion re: the RNC and White House email kind of interesting.

So it sounds like Karl Rove et al have been trying to make an end run around the White House email system by funneling a lot of mail through the RNC mail system instead. Okay, this may be illegal, and it certainly violates the government policies if it has happened. Spokes-folks are saying that the rules are just too complicated (I've read 'em, they sound pretty straightforward to me - what part of "thou shalt not" do Republicans seem to find so hard to comprehend?) and it certainly is sounding to me like this was an intentional attempt to hide communications that might be frowned upon by - er --- well, the public, the law, the voters, and just about everyone else.

Poking holes in Tommy: from '95 to '07 not much has changed

Last time Tommy Thompson ran for president, I wrote an op-ed for the Wisconsin State Journal detailing why he could never be president. Looking back, there's not much I'd change about that critique. I would have to add a chapter on his utter failure as Dubya's HHS secretary, and there's always details you're forced to leave out due to space considerations, but the piece translates pretty well from 1995 to 2007. Enjoy....

May 1, 1995, Wisconsin State Journal

President Thompson? Dream on

Although our state media fantasize aloud about the White House every time Gov. Tommy Thompson touches a tarmac outside Wisconsin, Thompson has several seemingly insurmountable barriers to gaining the GOP presidential nomination.

First, he’s never experienced the scrutiny the national media will give him. Even people who think Thompson deserves the Oval Office say that the national news media would subject his personal life to uncomfortable examination. Is America ready for a president who shakes his wife’s hand in a campaign ad? His political appointments and government contracts would undergo similar inquiry. Certainly, the Elroy factory story would resurface, as would some of his appointee’s pasts.

Wisconsin "Voter Fraud" on the front page of the New York Times

This morning's New York Times carries an article on its front page discussing the bogus "widespread voter fraud prosecution" throughout the country, and features Wisconsin. Makes you proud, eh?

In Wisconsin, where prosecutors have lost almost twice as many cases
as they won, charges were brought against voters who filled out more
than one registration form and felons seemingly unaware that they were
barred from voting.

One ex-convict was so unfamiliar with the
rules that he provided his prison-issued identification card, stamped
“Offender,” when he registered just before voting.

If only it were just Wisconsin. It's a story that isn't going to die any time soon.

SEWRPC Director Offers Odd Racial Explanation For All-White Planning Committees

Despite Its All-White Committees, SEWPRC Says Getting White Folks Involved Has Been Tough, Too

I have written frequently about the dearth of minority representation on the advisory committees that make recommendations on transportation, housing and other important issues managed at the Southeastern Wisconsin Regional Planning Commission.

Biskupic prosecutes ham sandwiches, but only Democratic sandwiches

I had never heard of Kimberly Prude before, or didn’t remember if I had, but the Milwaukee woman is featured in a New York Times front page story on voter fraud today, along with a photo of her granddaughter holding up a family picture. Grandma – Kimberly Prude – has been in jail for a year for voting illegally.

She is one of the few “success” stories for Bush-appointed federal prosecutors who have gone after voter fraud cases, real, perceived, and imagined.

US Atty Biskupic the Machiavellian

From Mal Contends Blog

Salon’s Sidney Blumenthal casts the Biskupic/Thompson prosecution as a component of the Bush “Mayberry Machiavellis”—cut-throat, provincial, amoral ignoramuses who would not endure a classical liberal democracy to save their lives.

In Biskupic’s case, he saw the writing of the walls of Mayberry, threw away 16 years of service as a prosecutor, resulting in, as Thompson’s attorney, Stephen Hurley, told me, “The great irony of the case … having been wrongfully prosecuted for doing her job for allegedly political reasons, now the question is being asked whether (Biskupic) engaged in this same behavior.”

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