Wisconsin U.S. Reps Should Sign the Kucinich Letter Hitting Gaza Flotilla Massacre

Who in Congress will join Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH)?


Congressman Dennis Kucinich (D-OH) is today beginning to circulate to colleagues the following letter concerning the commando raid by Israel upon a Turkish ship in international waters:
The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
The White House
Washington, DC 20500
Dear Mr. President,
Israeli commandos, acting at the direction of the State of Israel, attacked and seized a Turkish ship in international waters, in the Mediterranean Sea.
At least nine were killed in the incident aboard the Mavi Marmara. Hundreds of civilians were taken into custody and goods were confiscated.

Pledging Allegiance to the Great Lakes Basin

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

Officially and legally I am a resident of the State of Wisconsin as well as a loyal citizen of the United States. But for all practical, spiritual and ecological purposes I prefer to be a member of the Great Lakes Basin, a 95,000 square mile drainage area that connects at least part of eight states (Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and New York) and two nations. All five Great Lakes are found in the Basin which contains 9,000 miles of shoreline and 5,000 miles of rivers and streams: it's a pretty watery, forested, borderless world.

The Milwaukee area is located within the Basin's "Upper Midwest Forest-Savanna Transition" ecoregion which carves out a good chunk of eastern and northeastern Wisconsin, including Lake Winnebago and the Door Peninsula. A small piece of Lower Michigan, the northwestern part, also belongs to the UMFST.

While the entire State of Michigan lies within the Basin, only a relative sliver of southeastern Wisconsin does so, famously dividing the cities of Milwaukee and Waukesha in terms of water use as well as politics.

Neumann takes fight right to Walker's doorstep

Well, well, well.

The party's starting to get a little rough for the Republican candidates for governor.

Mark Neumann showed up today outside Scott Walker's door to point out that Walker's been fibbing about his fiscal record as Milwaukee County exec.

Groups like One Wisconsin Now (OWN) have been making that point for some time, but now Neumann himself, complete with charts, says county spending under Walker has increased faster than state spending under Gov. Jim Doyle, the guy conservatives love to portray as a big spender.

Walker's weak response about how he always proposes no tax increase budgets just won't get it. The proof is in the pudding, and there's 35% more pudding being purchased than when Walker was elected in 2002.

Here's WISN-TV's report.

UPDATE: The AP report says:

Neumann's attack is a direct assault on the heart of Walker's campaign, which is built around his conservative credentials and promise to reign in government spending and lower taxes.

Impoverished maverick enters Senate race

Russ Feingold, a candidate with almost no personal wealth and a tendency to want to discuss real issues, announced in Manitowoc that he will run for the US Senate as a Democrat this fall.

Pundits give his unusual campaign little hope of victory. "The mainstream media will no doubt ignore him, but maybe he'll get mentioned on a blog here and there and get some name recognition," one Capitol insider said.

Feingold starts out at a big disadvantage because a multi-millionaire -- maybe his name will come to mind in a moment -- has already been running for two weeks and has almost universal name recognition among state voters, according to a Rasmussen "poll."

Some say it is impossible for an incumbent to be reelected this year, but Feingold said he had rejected advice from consultants who urged him to resign his Senate seat and run as an outsider.

Gotta give Feingold credit for trying, anyway.

Well, almost everyone

Journal Sentinel headline today: Everyone wants to be lieutenant governor.

Well, maybe not everyone. WisPolitics.com reports to subscribers this afternoon that State Sen. Judy Robson (D-Beloit) has decided not to run. Her spokesperson said Robson believes there is an "ample, well-qualified field of candidates."

Others, who put gender first and think there should be a woman in the Democratic field, are reportedly still looking.

Scott Jensen jury selection hits a snag

Jury selection began today in the retrial of former Assembly Speaker Scott Jensen, a mere eight years after he was charged with felony misconduct in office, and four years after he was convicted of three felonies and sentenced to 15 months in prison, of which he has not served a day.*

The case could be delayed further, however, by difficulties finding a jury of 12 of Jensen's peers to serve on the panel.

"We were thinking we could empanel a jury of Chuck Chvala, Brian Burke, Steve Foti,and some other former legislators who were convicted of similar crimes, but Jensen's lawyers objected because those people actually paid some penalties, including fines and jail time, for what they did," a Waukesha prosecutor said. "It's going to be hard to find 12 people who did the kinds of things Jensen did and got off scot free."

Ron Johnson and the POG

(Johnson's correct first name is Ron, not Rob. The typo has been corrected.)


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


According to a fawning column by Washington Post columnist George Will, Wisconsin Republican Senate candidate Ron Johnson, president of plastics manufacturer Pacur of Oshkosh, WI, is a student of writer Ayn Rand's novel, Atlas Shrugged, a book that has become a "Tea Party" manifesto of sorts.

You could, if you'd like, read all thousand or so pages of Rand's novel, but the moral of the story can be summed up as follows: unregulated capitalism is the most rational, moral way of life.

Rand's brand of morality does not allow for any merciful, religious feeling toward your fellow man or fellow creature; in fact, I think it fair to describe her philosophy as anti-Christian if by "Christian" we mean acting upon the love of one's neighbor, or as Christ puts it in the Sermon on the Mount: "Give to him that asketh thee, and from him that would borrow of thee turn not thou away."

1,000 US dead in Afghanistan; How many more?

Just in time for Memorial Day, the official US fatality toll in the Afghanistan war hits 1,000.

Veterans for Peace reminds us that the military casualty count, in Afghanistan or any other war, is miniscule in comparison to civilian casualties. The VFP message:

Official Veterans For Peace Memorial Day Statement by Board President, Mike Ferner.

This Memorial Day as we pause to remember the U.S. service members who have died during the nation's wars, we need to think for another moment of the astounding number of civilians who have perished in those wars as well.

Here are the numbers, available on a commemorative 2010 Memorial Day Bookmark VFP has issued to help remind us of the true costs of war.



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