March 18, 2006
A federal appeals court Friday allowed Tennessee to offer anti-abortion license plates bearing the message "Choose Life.""Unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination"? I'm sorry, were pro-abortion groups banned from petitioning the state for their own license plates? Were they forced to use these license plates?
A three-judge panel of the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati overturned a lower-court ruling that said the tag illegally promoted only one side of the abortion debate.
"Although this exercise of government one-sidedness with respect to a very contentious political issue may be ill-advised, we are unable to conclude that the Tennessee statute contravenes the First Amendment," Judge John M. Rogers said in a 2-1 ruling.
An anti-abortion group, Tennessee Right to Life, declared victory.
"It's a validation of our position all along that the Legislature had the authority to authorize a plate that favors normal childbirth over the practice of abortion," said Brian Harris, the group's president.
In a dissenting opinion, Judge Boyce F. Martin Jr. said the plates should be banned because they amount to unconstitutional viewpoint discrimination.
The left must realize that the First Amendment, specifically the right to free speech, does not entail the right to hear your brand of speech, or acceptable speech to certain groups, or non-offensive speech (not that these plates are offensive).
Free speech is free speech, whether you support or oppose the abortion of the lives of small children.
A 30 second search revealed the following checkered past.
- Carrying a Concealed Weapon
- Multiple Operating a vehcile after suspension/revocations
- Bail Jumping
- Disorderly Conduct - Violent
- Multiple Resisting Arrests
- Multiple drug posession charges
- Drugs with intent to deliver.
- Obstruction of Justice.
Why does no one at the Journal Times do this sort of research?
This is a drug deal gone bad, and anyone with 1 ounce of common sense could see that.
OK OK OK, I am back on vacation.
March 17, 2006
Dane County Executive Kathleen Falk finally spilled the beans this week, confirming what everybody pretty much knew: The state's top Democrat, Gov. Jim Doyle, privately pushed Falk to get into the attorney general's race against Doyle's nemesis, incumbent Dem Peg Lautenschlager.
Gee, you'd think Doyle, the state's former top cop, and AG wannabe Falk should have known better. Doesn't every cop, lawyer or criminal know what Rule No. 1 is? Keep your stories straight.
Falk's candid comment, made during a Sheboygan County Bar Association forum on Tuesday, forced the other candidates for attorney general to sit up and take notice.
This wouldn't be an issue if the two hadn't so vehemently denied it before:
But when pressed about his role in seeking a primary opponent for Lautenschlager, Doyle and his staff demurred. Yes, he had talked to Falk about the race, Doyle has conceded. But the guv consistently maintained that he had not given her any advice and would not be making an endorsement in the primary.
"Kathleen will make her own decisions," Doyle told The Capital Times on Nov. 3. "After all, she even decided to run against me for governor (in 2002)."
At her announcement, Falk was asked about her covert conversations with Doyle and other Democrats on the subject of an AG's bid. She asserted that she made up her own mind. "Nobody can tell me what to do - remember, I'm a pretty independent person," she said, according to the political Web site Wispolitics.com. "If I recall, I was the one who ran against (Doyle)."
This is yet another issue in the continuing saga of the Democratic Party in Wisconsin, which can't keep members in line, stories straight, or politicos happy. And that spells trouble for them in November.
Why in the ^%!@&*)!!*_ does your spell checker not recognize the following words?
Someone had to bring this to the public eye.
This is the kind biting, insightful public good work we do for you, the loyal reader of RDW.
I'm exhausted. We'll see all you good folks on Monday.
Jenna and Belle are now in charge. (I hope they do not put up pink drapes)
The main reason for my silence, I CAN'T GO!
I wish I could, really I do, but scheduling conflicts will simply not allow it.
This is a great idea but in some ways it is a lit powderkeg.
When was the last time in Wisconsin that so many polar opposites gathered in the same place at the same time to discuss politics, culture and the media? Possibly never.
Ed Garvey and Charlie Sykes at the same table? It boggles the mind.
Jay Bullock says on his website that Owen Robinson is his mortal enemy for cryin out loud and WisPolitics in an act of genius puts them together?!? (Speaking of Owen, man is he everywhere lately? When I grow up I want to be Owen)
This is good stuff.
I am somewhat puzzled by Ann Althouse delivering the keynote though. She is fabulous but not really a Wisconsin blogger, she is a blogger from Wisconsin.
I would of preferred to see a Wisconsin Blog advocate deliver the keynote. Spivak and Bice maybe?
On second thought, YOU GO ANN!
March 15, 2006
While it is true the podcast is cool, his site is still sorely lacking in my opinion.
He refuses to embrace this alternative media while proclaiming his own status in it.
I must say I was encouraged to hear he updated his site. Frankly, it looks like crap.
Keep at it Mark.
I'll be incommunicado this Friday through sunday.
Belle as always will be lurking in the shadows to represent some leftie love.
I have asked Jenna to fill in for me this weekend. If debate worthy material comes up she will represent the rightie love.
Ladies, play nice. Oh, and Jenna, don't have any wild parties while I am gone. That means do not loan Aaron the keys to the Vette.
I get Zogby-fied now and again. Here are some of the questions asked. (BTW, they always want to know if I am a NASCAR fan, shop at Wal-Mart or Born-Again Christian)
Are you proud or ashamed to have George W. Bush as President of the United States?
Overall, do you think the U.S. is headed in the right direction or are things off on the wrong track?
Do you agree or disagree that a woman's right to choose to have an abortion is guaranteed by the US Constitution?
Do you agree or disagree that the confirmation of a nominee for the U.S. Supreme Court should be filibustered on the Senate floor because of the nominee's opinion on abortion?
Do you agree or disagree that nominees to the U.S. Supreme Court should be confirmed only if their position on abortion is pro-choice?
Do you agree or disagree that states should pass laws to require parental notification in order for a girl under the age of 18 to have an abortion?
Do you agree or disagree that states should pass laws to require parental notification in order for a girl under the age of 16 to have an abortion?
The United States prohibits foreign aid money being used for abortions in countries where the abortion is done because of the sex of the fetus. Do you agree or disagree with this prohibition?
Do you agree or disagree that it should be illegal in the US to have an abortion because of the sex of the fetus?
Do you agree or disagree that abortion ends a human life?
In some states, if a pregnant woman is murdered, the person committing the murder is guilty of two murders, the woman and her child. Do you agree or disagree with this law?
Do you agree or disagree that federal or state governments should finance abortions for poor women?
Do you agree or disagree that private insurance plans should be required to finance abortions in cases where the woman's life is not endangered?
Which of the following best describes when you think life begins?
Which of the following two statements comes closer to your own view - A or B?Statement A. Parents are responsible for the welfare and health of their children. A parent should be notified if their minor daughter is seeking to have an abortion.Statement B. There are lots of reasons why a minor might not want to tell her parents that she is seeking an abortion. There should be no mandatory parental notification for a minor seeking an abortion.
Two federal judges struck down a law prohibiting partial-birth abortion, which was passed overwhelmingly in Congress and was signed into law by President Bush, because the health of the mother was not included as an exception. Do you agree or disagree that Congress should pass another Partial-Birth Abortion law to make the procedure illegal?
Do you agree or disagree that a federal law or state laws be passed similar to the one already in place in four states, that would restrict the coverage of abortion in private insurance plans only to cases in which the woman's life is in danger if the pregnancy is carried to term?
Do you agree or disagree that a federal law or state laws should be enacted mandating that women be given counseling prior to an abortion that includes information on at least one of the following: the purported link between abortion and breast cancer, the ability of a fetus to feel pain, long-term mental health consequences for the woman and/or the availability of services and funding should the woman decide to carry the pregnancy to term?
Do you agree or disagree that a federal law or state laws should be enacted to require a woman seeking an abortion to wait 24 hours from when she goes for the abortion to when the procedure is performed so that she receives counseling?
Do you agree or disagree that more state laws should be passed, similar to the recent law passed in Missouri, which allows civil lawsuits to be filed against anyone who helps a teen obtain an abortion without parental consent?
Abortion rights groups are backing lawsuits against pharmacies who refuse to sell the "morning-after pill." Do you agree or disagree that pharmacies and pharmacists be protected against such lawsuits?
Do you think that the "morning-after" abortion pill, commercially known as Plan B, should be available over the counter or should it be available only by prescription?
More than 80 percent of Americans believe that gambling is a question of personal choice that should not be interfered with by the government. Do you agree or disagree that the federal government should stop adult Americans from gambling with licensed and regulated online sportsbooks and casinos based in other countries?
Do you own an American flag?
Do you think government agencies should be required or should not be required to provide items such as drivers' license exams and passport forms in other languages besides English?
March 14, 2006
Associated Press Writer Tue Mar 14, 9:08 PM ET
VERACRUZ, Mexico -
President Vicente Fox climbed aboard a drilling platform in the Gulf of Mexico on Tuesday to formally announce a new deep-water oil discovery he said could eventually yield 10 billion barrels of crude oil.
An exploratory well dubbed Noxal 1 was drilled at a depth of 3,070 feet below the water, and is seeking a depth of 13,125 feet.
"With Noxal we will begin a new era of oil exploration in our country," Fox said aboard the "Ocean Worker 6 Britania" platform.
Government estimates say the find could exceed reserves at the giant offshore field Cantarell, Mexico's largest oil field, which has seen its production decline but is still expected to yield 1.9 million barrels a day this year.
Hmm, I wonder if Fox will now build a fence on his side of the border to keep us out?!?
Do you think Voces de la Frontera will help me get a valid Mexican Driver's License?
I say that in 100% jest.
I've had some issues with a couple of stories the Journal Times presented, and a couple of stories they did not cover.
We talked them over, but I agreed to keep the specifics of our conversation "off the record". Rob is a professional and a class act. He is also a fan of bloggers in general and admitted he likes it when I hold the Journal Times accountable.
Like what they report or not, you have to give the Journal Times credit for their web forums. They really give the public an opportunity to sound off on the issues. I credit them for that, and it is a lesson The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel could learn. Rob did confide in me the Journal Times web trafic has exploded since they started their open blogs on a variety of subjects. In fact, I think he was a little embarrased by the growth and did not share exact numbers as it could been seen as bragging.
This is the way people should iron out their differences, face to face and with respect.
I'm glad we met.
Let me precursor my following comments about the Jensen trial with this: I didn't really follow the trial except for reading about it occasionally in blogs and from skimming through scripts at work. So, if I get something wrong, don't burn me at the stake.
The one constant I see in all conservative posts about the Jensen trial is this: Everyone was doing it, so why should Jensen pay the price?
Well, let's do a role-reversal. (Consider all facts equal besides the name/political affiliation). If it was a democrat who was charged and convicted of the same crimes as Jensen, would there be such a conservative uproar? Doubtful.
Let's also take into consideration this:
Jensen is the only legislator charged who remains in office. Four other legislators were charged in 2002: Senate Majority Leader Chuck Chvala (D-Madison), Sen. Brian Burke (D-Milwaukee), Assembly Majority Leader Steven Foti (R-Oconomowoc) and Rep. Bonnie Ladwig (R-Racine).
The others pleaded guilty starting last fall under deals with prosecutors. Chvala, convicted of two felonies, is serving a nine-month jail sentence with work release. Burke, convicted of one felony and one misdemeanor, is serving a six-month sentence of home confinement. Burke's law license was suspended, and the suspension of Chvala's license is before the state Supreme Court.
Foti and Ladwig each pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor. Under their plea deals, they agreed to testify against Jensen, but only Foti was called to the stand - much to chagrin of longtime friend Jensen. Foti and Ladwig will be sentenced March 24.
Have we all seemed to forget that there were four other legislators charged with similar crimes -- two of which are democrats?!
And finally, coming back to the "everyone else was doing it" or "this is like everyone speeding for 20 years and then all of the sudden, some republicans are pulled over and ticketed for speeding" argument, please consider this senario:
What if there were a bunch of legislators in Madison who were molesting children? Let's say that there really wasn't a law, per se, banning this behavior, but everyone knew it was wrong. Now, what if, some 20 years plus after this all began, a Republican legislator was charged and convicted of child molestation. Would that make it any less wrong???
[cross-posted at Leaning Blue]
March 13, 2006
Although this has I am sure been overplayed by now, I thought I should put a thread out on Feingold's call for censure.
Russ Feingold has apparently appointed himself Judge, Jury & Executioner on this issue.
I stopped talking about NSA wiretaps as I was beating my head against the wall. This story is still fluid, but to some even though investigation is still going on they have made up their minds.
In reality this much we know. The President has claimed they are listening in on conversations including known terrorists. He also claims the Congressional authority given to fight the war on terror gave him the right to listen into those conversations.
Beyond that things break down among peoples particular perceptions on the issue. The question is going to come down to authority and will involve the courts. Congress can conduct all the investigations they want, they can posture on this all day every day but in the end all they are trying to do is sling mud going into November 2006.
It may work for them, it may not. But Feingold's timing on this is odd. Democrats made real advances on defense perception in the wake of the Dubai Ports World deal, and one week later here comes ole Russ throwing back this issue.
Something many of you probably do not know, but that poll last week that every newsie in the world was touting... You remember the one that said the President's popularity numbers were at an all time low... That same poll said a majority of Americans approve of the domestic spying program. Of course the newsies did not rush to press with that.
Perish the thought.
I do find it odd that Russ Feingold who limited free speech with his campaign finance reform is now claiming to be the champion of it. Russ is doing nothing but pandering to the Deaniacs of the left. Feingold has his moments, but you would think he would of learned from Howard Dean. Being on the fringe is no way to win.
Like him or not, Russ Feingold is on the far left fringe of the left.
A position that will serve him well with the press, but not with the voters.