Meet Deep Throat
Former FBI associate director W. Mark Felt emerges from his Santa Rosa, Calif., home today with daughter Joan Felt and grandson Nick Jones. (Reuters)
The Washington Post story.
State Sen. Scott (I bet no one calls HIM Scooter; maybe Gatsby?) Fitzgerald has an interesting theory.
This from Scot Lehigh, Boston Globe columnist, is worth a read:
Today's Capital Times editorial:"Gard's national embarrassment."
The Wisconsin State Journal's Pat Simms fills in some of the blanks on the Alliance Defense Fund, the wingnut law firm invited by Assembly Speaker SpongeJohn GardPants to intervene in a Wisconsin lawsuit on health benefits for domestic partners.
Does it bother you that Wisconsin taxpayers are shelling out $2.7-million a year to pay for health insurance for Wal-Mart workers, while the company makes $10.3-billion in profits?
The Coalition for America's Families, the hard-edged wingnuts who aired a television spot last week about Governor Doyle's budget proposal to allow undocumented immigrants to pay in-state university tuition, expose their hateful agenda further in a new radio spot this week.
Madison Alderman Austin King either has a great sense of humor or a bizarre view of how the political world works.
On Memorial Day from Vietnam veteran John Wheeler:
In case anyone missed it, a majority of respondents in a USA Today/CNN/Gallup poll say they are "very likely" or "somewhat likely" to vote for Hillary Clinton for President in 2008. That election is light years away, but she is riding the lead rocketship.
The House rejected on Thursday, 300-128, an amendment to the defense authorization bill to require the President to send Congress a plan for withdrawal from Iraq.
By MICHAEL HEDGES
It took a lot of arm-twisting by Republicans to get some members to switch their votes, and a rare tie-breaking vote by House Speaker Dennis Hastert, but the GOP majority managed to stop House Democrats from doing something to help veterans and their families on the eve of Memorial Day weekend.
I'm coming to this story belatedly; still catching up after several days out of town.
"I believe that the use of federal monies that end up destroying life is not -- is not positive, it's not good." -- President Bush, explaining why he opposes the expansion of research on embryonic stem cells (which could, of course, actually save many lives).
The Family Research Institute of Wisconsin "sets the record straight" on the Alliance Defense fund, the wingnut law firm retained by legislative Republicans to oppose any state benefits for domestic partners.
Weighing in late on this, but sometimes a day to think, while sitting on the deck looking at the light on the lake, gives a little perspective.
This does not exonerate Newsweek, and there is not always fire where there is smoke. But this story helps explain how Newsweek could have written its story about abuse of the Koran at Guatnanamo Bay.
Green Bay Republican Mark Green said in a statement that it was important to "support research that adheres to ethical standards that have overwhelming support - standards that do not result in the destruction of human life. -- Journal Sentinel.
As the House did the right and courageous thing on Tuesday, voting for expanded stem cell research even in the face of a threatened presidential veto, Wisconsin's delegation split right down the middle.
Here's an idea whose time has not come. State Rep. Terry Musser wants Wisconsin to move Memorial Day's observance back to its former May 30 date.
The New Republic's Michelle Cottle says the Newsweek case shows that journalists are lousy at defending themselves.
Been up here for a couple of days, where cellular towers and internet access are a little scarcer than we are accustomed to, so posting may be a little spotty the next day or so.
President Bush talks about his brown relatives and speaks some Spanish on the campaign trail. Nationally, Republicans reach out and make a huge effort to try to win over a greater share of the Latino vote.
Wisconsin, a pioneer in stem cell research, is in danger of being left in the dust as researchers head for states with a friendly political climate for their work.
Here's something for John Gard & Co. to shoot for. A New Jersey legislator, with a few well-chosen words, reduced an eighth-grade juvenile diabetes victim to tears.
While Republicans in the Wisconsin legislature move closer and closer to the edge of the world (which they know is flat), Republican governors in two other states have shown that there is another side to the GOP, at least in some states.
Madison Teachers Inc. shows that school taxes have gone down for critics of the school referendum. It is true that they went down after the state began picking up two-thirds of the cost, but they have declined nonetheless.
I don't know whether the state constitution is taught in Wisconsin schools. But it might be time for a little study hour in the legislature's Republican caucuses.
"The festival is not about over-consumption." -- John Boler, director of marketing for Summerfest, which announced plans for a new martini bar.
This from the Austin American-Statesman:
Former Badger Congressman Steve Gunderson has largely dropped out of sight in the news media, but an item in the Oshkosh Northwestern says he'll be in the state next week to talk about jobs and the changing economy.
Talk about not getting it. Republicans on the Joint Finance Committee have employed slash-and-burn, or maybe search-and-destroy, tactics to programs designed to help poor children and their families.
Wondering how you get picked to sit on stage with President Bush when he's visiting your city? Well, it isn't exactly random.
From Washington Post coverage of President's Milwaukee stop:
A bill to allow federal money to be used for embryonic stem cell research has attracted more than 200 House sponsors, is dividing House Republicans, and stands a good chance of passage next week. Those are all good things.
Scott Walker is beginning to feel the heat. A year and a half before the election, he is already starting to squeal.
""[Doyle] is someone who as a candidate said one thing and did something dramatically different when he came into office," Walker said.
Scott Walker, meet Scott Walker's record:
Walker said if people elected him county exec he would freeze or reduce the property tax levy. It has actually gone up since he was elected. He blames the county board. (Maybe when he was running he thought he could set the levy all by himself?)
Walker the candidate said he wouldn't raise fees. In his first two years in office, he raised dozens of fees. They went up 26% overall.
Walker said he would clean up the county pension scandal, and as part of that would make every person who was appointed by him sign waivers of the huge pension payouts. But he didn't do it for 62 of his appointees, including some who worked in his own office. When he was called on it during his re-election campaign last year, he bobbed and weaved, manipulated the open records law and misled the public about what he had done.
(Walker's camp will say that all of these issues were raised in last year's county executive race, which he won handily. True, but he was the incumbent and odds-on favorite and was not subjected to the kind of media scrutiny he will experience in a governor's race, in which he correctly describes himself as the underdog.)
There's more, but that's enough to see the pattern.
Walker presented himself as a reformer, a different kind of candidate, someone who would operate differently, clean up the mess, fix the county's financial crisis, and reduce taxes.
Instead, he has turned out to be just another typical politician -- one who will say anything to get elected, but feels no obligation to follow through once he's in office.
So that, in short, is why I bash Scott Walker. I'll share more specific reasons with you between now and the 2006 election.
Mark Green, the other GOP candidate for governor, will get his share, too. (In fact, he's been mentioned in 19 posts compared to Walker's 25.) It's just that Walker is right here in Milwaukee, under my nose, and just keeps on being so bashable.
Any further complaints?
This story in the Wall Street Journal should help energize Democrats for next year's Congressional elections:
From our friends at Grist, the environmentalists with a sense of humor:
What a volatile mixture. Put them all together, stir a little, and something noxious and toxic will result.
A post here on May 16 ("Ethics law needs change to open up records") pointed out that the State Ethics Board, planning to post financial disclosure of officials online, was required by law to collect information on people who want to see the files -- and turn that information over to the official whose forms are being inspected.
Great piece in NY Times today by David Halbfinger on how the new "Star Wars" movie is being used to make political arguments on both the right and left. Read it here.
And now a word against regional cooperation:
What's happening in Washington state, where last November's election for governor is still in dispute, gives an indication of where we could be headed in Wisconsin somewhere down the road.
Opponents of President Bush's plans for Social Security will be out to greet him when he makes a Milwaukee appearance Thursday at the Milwaukee Art Museum.
The Wisconsin State Journal (and I think no one else) reports:
Score a trifecta for Milwaukee County Exec Scott Walker.
OK, the revolution has come to The Xoff Files.
The Washington Times, no less, reports:
Points to ponder when the President of the United States, fondly known as POTUS, comes to Milwaukee on Thursday to talk about Social Security deform:
"A fight between centrist and conservative Republicans over a bill to expand federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research has intensified in the past week as the House moves closer to a promised vote," The Hill reports.
Who knew? I thought Peking (Beijing) Duck was something to eat.
So now Speaker John Gard wants the Legislature to intervene in the ACLU lawsuit which seeks to require the state to provide health benefits to domestic partners of state employees -- something many governments and private business do all across the country. (I know the city of Milwaukee does, for one, and I have to assume Madison does, for starters.)
This from the new, improved Wisconsin State Journal editorial page: "There's still scant evidence that forcing people to flash a government-issued ID card would have prevented any of the problems coming to light in Milwaukee. Rather than a knee-jerk reaction, the Legislature should give the prosecutors more time to sort out the remaining discrepancies.
State Rep. Scott (Scooter) Jensen trumpets "the largest Stewardship purchase in state history" in his weekly electronic newsletter.
Praise the lord. Texas lawmakers have decided to keep their hands off high school cheerleaders. A bill to outlaw "sexy" or suggestive cheers and body language, which actually passed one house, seems to be dead. Story.
Bonus Quote of the Day