Expert says Johnson tearing down sign was a positive

Where do they find these experts? Fox11 News in Green Bay:

Political Science expert Sara Rinfrets from UWGB viewed the video; she believes it could have been intended to discredit Johnson. But Rinfrets says the Democrats might have inadvertently helped Johnson's campaign which kicked off just weeks ago.

"It might actually provide some name recognition to him, so yeah he's the guy tearing down the sign, the opponent's sign, but it might actually force voters to search or seek more information about him," said Rinfrets. Rinfrets says voters have come to expect such political tactics and in the coming months undoubtedly there will be more.

So does she think Johnson's time is better spent tearing down signs than shaking hands, meeting voters, or knocking on doors?

I clearly know nothing about modern campaigns; it's good to hear from an expert.

What's-his-name tied with Feingold? Get real!

Great news for Ron Johnson: No one's ever heard of him, he has only been a candidate for about a week, he hasn't spent a nickel on TV, and he's tied with Russ Feingold in the US Senate race.

If you believe that, see me about a deal on some hot Gulf Coast real estate.

Yes, our friends at Rasmussen Reports are back with another Republican-slanted poll. [UPDATE: The governor's race numbers are good for Republican Scott Walker, too.  Who would have expected it?  From Rasmussen, everyone.]

We've noted several times in the past how Republicans always seem to fare better in Rasmusssen's polls than in others -- quite a coincidence since they are a Republican firm that doesn't say who's paying for the frequent polls they keep releasing.

Their latest poll says Ron Johnson, a guy who's never been in politics or in the public eye, has 67% name recognition after campaigning for one week, without ever buying any television time.

Sen. Feingold and other Congressmen Trying to End "Operation Enduring War"

Speaking of a proper Democratic response to corporate greed and war,  NY Times columnist Paul Krugman puts it well in his latest column, the best part of which is the finale:

"So where does that leave the president and his party? Mr. Obama wanted to transcend partisanship. Instead, however, he finds himself very much in the position Franklin Roosevelt described in a famous 1936 speech, struggling with 'the old enemies of peace — business and financial monopoly, speculation, reckless banking, class antagonism, sectionalism, war profiteering.'

And that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Roosevelt turned corporate opposition into a badge of honor: 'I welcome their hatred,' he declared. It’s time for President Obama to find his inner F.D.R., and do the same."

Quote, unquote


“The smokers will be upset at first, and they might stay out of the bars for a while, but I think they’ll get tired of drinking a beer in their garage and they’ll come back.” -- Ron Fox, owner of The Flame Lounge in Menomonie, on state smoking ban to take effect July 5.


Wis. GOP ad targets Tea Partiers

Think the Republican Party of Wisconsin isn't worried about whether the Tea Party will support the GOP-endorsed Scott Walker in the primary for governor against Mark Neumann, who is cast in the anti-politician role this year?

The new cable television buy just laid down by the state GOP started Tuesday, and is running statewide for two weeks -- on Fox News only.

View the spot here and compare with One Wisconsin Now's fact check here.

Great GOP minds think alike

Several Republican candidates for Congress in Wisconsin, including fair-haired boy Sean Duffy, have nearly identical language on their campaign websites about where they stand on issues. Asked about the "coincidence" by the Journal Sentinel one candidate apologized and took down the language.

Duffy and the others say they wrote it themselves.

If you had 1,000 GOP candidates with 1,000 typewriters and infinite amounts of time, would all of them produce a Shakespeare play, or just one? Or would they all produce the same play?

Just asking.

Where There's Smoke, There's Pollution

(Cross-posted from my blog, Kaufman's Gull)

If you want to find out about coal pollution in Central Wisconsin,  a good source is The San Francisco Examiner and the Associated Press.

It seems that a big, new coal-fired power plant near Wausau was belching a thick, dark smoke which is usually a sure sign of pollution, particularly particulates. (The Wisconsin DNR was looking the other way. Heck, it's just some smoke.)

When the Sierra Club pointed this smokestack pollution out, Wisconsin Public Service Corp. said the smoke was not as it appeared, that the apparent pollution was just an illusion, for the alleged pollution was being controlled. (This is the same fine corporation that was fined in 2006 for withholding  pollution-control information from state regulators.)

The 4th District Court of Appeals ruled that they, too, could see the dirty smoke and that the DNR and the power utility should also be able to see it if they looked closely enough at the stack and the Clean Air Act.

What the judges couldn't see (most people can't) is the nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide that the Sierra Club wanted tougher controls on, too.

Pollution? What pollution?

If we can't see it, it isn't there.

Michigan's Governor and State DNRE Say "No" to New Coal Plant

Cross-posted from my blog, Kaufman's Gull at


Back in 2003 when WE Energies proposed building two new units of coal-fired power in Oak Creek, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin called for a "vigorous debate" but also said "We do not have the luxury of just saying no to new transmission and new power plants." End of debate, at least at the State Capitol.

In January of 2004 the Wisconsin DNR approved an air pollution permit for the plants, essentially abdicating its role as the primary protector of Wisconsin's natural resources. Abundant electricity became a resource more important than clean air and clean water.

Today we in Southeastern Wisconsin have dirty air (the NWS issued an air quality watch for today and encourages all of us to "practice energy conservation"), too much electric power, and higher electric bills because we have to help pay for the building of the coal plants.


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