All I know is what I read in the papers

Johnson, an Oshkosh business owner, supported a "full steam" ahead approach to developing nuclear power plants.
That "full steam" quote was my favorite from a three-paragraph Journal Sentinel online story reporting on a GOP Senate candidate forum on Monday. But it never made it to the article that actually appeared in Tuesday's paper.

 Instead, we got this:

Ron Johnson also said more nuclear power plants could safely help limit U.S. dependence on foreign oil.

In fact, a lot of things either didn't make it or were reported in somewhat watered-down fashion, and editors gave it a headline little better than "Meeting held," which probably didn't attract many readers.

Would-be Senators Ron Johnson and Dave Westlake took some amazing positions on energy policy, with Westlake echoing Texas Rep. Joe Barton in calling BP's $20-billion Gulf damages fund a shakedown, and Johnson agreeing that President Obama had gone too far.

Johnson invests $750,000, gets no return

I don't trust Rasmussen Reports polling numbers, as I've made clear many times.

But there's a new one, and let's suspend disbelief just for a moment and consider what it would tell us if they were right.

A poll taken on Monday has Russ Feingold leading Ron Johnson 46-45, RR says.  Last time they released numbers, on May 27, Feingold led by two points, 46-44.

What's happened in between?  Johnson, who's on TV roughly as much as McDonalds, has spent something like $750,000 on TV commercials -- and maybe gained one per cent.  I say maybe because he could actually have lost 5 points, when you factor in the margin of error.

Maybe it's not a big deal when you have money to burn. But that lack of return on investment must drive a business tycoon crazy.

Johnson is reportedly willing to spend $10-million to $15-million of his own money on the race,

At this rate, he will need every penny.

On Taming The Financial Beast, Or, Sausage Gets Made, You Get To Watch

While we’ve all been busy watching the “oil spill live cam”, a similar uncontrolled discharge has been taking place in Washington, DC

In this case, however, it’s lobbyists that are spilling all over the landscape as the House and Senate attempt to merge their two visions of financial reform.

They’re trying desperately to influence the outcome of the conference in which House and Senate negotiators have been engaged; this to craft the exact language of the reconciled legislation.

There’s an additional element of drama hovering over the events as eight House members, including one of the most vocal of the Republican negotiators, face ethics questions related to this very bill.

The best part: if you’re enough of a political geek, you can actually watch the events unfold, unedited and unfiltered, from the comfort of your very own computer.

So far, it’s been amazing political theater, and if you follow along I’ll tell you how you can get in on the fun, too.

Ron Johnson: Nuke, baby, nuke

Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson outlines his energy policy for Wisconsin:

Drill, baby, drill, and nuke, baby, nuke.

That's remarkably consistent.  He's for drilling under the Great Lakes and building more nuclear reactors while high-level radioactive waste continues to pile up on the shores of Lake Michigan. 

The Journal Sentinel, on a forum with Johnson and primary opponent David Westlake:

Johnson, an Oshkosh business owner, supported a "full steam" ahead approach to developing nuclear power plants.

Obviously, the disaster in the Gulf gives Johnson no pause about the likelihood of an even bigger catastrophe that is almost certain, sooner or later, to occur at a nuclear reactor if we keep building them.

His hometown paper on Ron Johnson

James Fitzhenry, managing editor of the Oshkosh Northwestern, avoids boosterism for his hometown Senate candidate, Ron Johnson, in his opinion column.

The column is linked to the video of Johnson's disastrous interview with a Tea Party group that drove him back into hiding. Says Fitzhenry of the interview: provides a fascinating snapshot of the state of American politics in 2010: the anger, distrust, contradictions, conspiracies and, dare I say, hope for something different...

There were echoes of the strident rhetoric that has dogged [Kentucky Senate candidate Rand] Paul when Johnson answered a question about liberals taking over government. Johnson's tone was more ominous than simply a political party with a different philosophy temporarily having the upper hand in Congress and the White House.

"What the liberals did, is they were very successful at taking over the levers of power, really. Within the universities they took over the schools of journalism, education and law.

Suspicions confirmed: Walker has no deficit plan

Finally, a reporter has asked Scott Walker how he intends to pay for the $2-billion in tax breaks he's proposed for corporations and wealthy individuals, as One Wisconsin Now has been asking for months.

Scott Bauer of The Associated Press asked the question, and -- surprise! -- Walker didn't have much of an answer.

He back-pedaled pretty quickly. It turns out he doesn't have a tax plan, the AP learned:

One Bad Day Away

“I never thought I’d be disabled,” the man at the parade told me. “I was a diesel truck driver. But a split second accident and 37 surgeries later here I am.”

An axle crushed his leg.

Last week I met a fellow whose foot had been run over by a cement truck. Like me, he was hobbling around the dairy breakfast on crutches. “You never know when accidents are going to happen.” he said.

At an event in Eau Claire a woman stopped me to ask about budget cuts for the disabled. She had many stories to tell me about the effects of budget cuts on her disabled clients.

Unless you have a disabled friend or family member it is easy to think of the challenges they face as “someone else’s problem.” But, in truth, we are all one bad day away from facing the world with a disability.  We are all one bad accident away from needing the services provided by the state’s Medicaid program.

At Black Tie Ceremony, Feith Passes Torch To Barton

Honestly, I am absolutely sick of commercial air travel these days. Just dealing with security is bad enough, but then there’s the airlines, and...hey, all you really need to know here is that there has to be a pretty good reason for me to fly cross-country.

Well, I had one Saturday night, which is how I came to be in the Colonnade Room of the Fairmount Hotel, Washington DC with about 250 of my closest friends, in a classic shawl-collar tuxedo, attending one of the most exclusive “passing of the torch” ceremonies in recent Washington memory.

And when it was all over, Douglas Feith was a happy man.

Respect to your great place!

On Slicing Pies, Or, Mystery Fees Cause Retirement "Money Spill"

It’s part two of our “Netroots Nation Goes To Vegas Piano Bar Extravaganza”, and in keeping with tradition that means we are again taking a story request.

This time we won’t be talking about energy security or “climate security”; instead, we’ll discuss retirement security, keeping your money for yourself instead of paying it out in “mystery fees”, and how one of the “usual suspects” is at it again.

And if all that wasn’t enough...we also have pie.

Sensenbrenner hobby vs. Moore's net worth

Jim Sensenbrenner's stock portfolio has gotten a little ink lately, what with all of his shares in BP not presenting a conflict, in his mind, to him sitting on a panel investigating BP's mess in the Gulf.

There's also the annual Journal Sentinel story about the finances of the Wisconsin Congressional delegation, which says Sensenbrenner, who's worth $9.9-million but has disposed of all of his inherited stock in Kimberly Clark, his grandaddy's company.

Missing was the annual measure that's always been the most intriguing one: Is Sensenbrenner's stamp collection worth more than Rep. Gwen Moore's total net worth? Two years ago they were equal at about $110,000 each.

The stamp collection's value keeps going up 10 grand a year, to $130,000 now. Moore's net worth may surpass $130,000 now, but it's not clear. She reported assets worth somewhere between $19,000 and $110,000, plus a house valued at $95,000.


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