Wisconsin GOP Abuses Open Records Act to Intimidate UW-Madison Professor

The dirtiest kind of politics
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In a thuggish attempt at intimidation, the Wisconsin Republican Party has launched a legal effort to gain access to all of the emails written by UW-Madison history professor William Cronon, after he wrote a blog post titled “Who’s Really Behind Recent Republican Legislation in Wisconsin and Elsewhere?” and an op-ed for the New York Times.

Cronon has a detailed and passionate response to the Wisconsin GOP’s attempt to silence him: Abusing Open Records to Attack Academic Freedom.

This isn’t the first time Republicans have abused their power in order to bully and intimidate academics or scientists; similar tactics have been used against climate scientist Michael Mann, to try to discredit his work on climate change.

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132 comments
1 Kragar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 11:49:23am

The next course of action would be to launch a legal effort to gain access to the Wisconsin GOP’s email records.

2 Gus  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 11:49:35am

Republicans.

3 Kronocide  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 11:52:09am

Great post. I hope he sings vociferously about this since the light of day should be shown on this to reveal the real motivation behind it. You are right in that they are doing exactly what they did to Michael Mann.

What they are doing is scandalous, but since it’s not illegal they’ll keep doing it. Makes me wonder if a legislative solution is practical, like what Hawaii did with birthers.

4 Charles Johnson  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 11:52:39am

Joe McCarthy was a Senator from Wisconsin. Looks like his legacy is alive and well.

5 researchok  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 11:56:08am

Political dirty tricks are not new.

Still, going after academics does lower the bar. A lot.

6 elizajane  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 11:59:27am

As per my previous page: Not just any history professor, but the president of the American Historical Association, a really outstanding, world famous historian. The kind of scholar a public university is lucky to have on its faculty.

He starts a new blog, “The Scholar as Citizen.” His very first post is entitled, “Who’s Really Behind Recent Republican Legislation in Wisconsin and Elsewhere?” And within two days, a lawyer from the Republican party writes to his employer to request all his e-mails. The obvious intent — to not merely intimidate, but potentially to force him out of his University position, if they can prove that he used his work account for political e-mails. After which he goes to Harvard, and students at Wisconsin lose a truly great scholar.

I mean, are we in China here? It’s somehow OK for the Republicans to attack scholars, be they climate scientists or historians, who come up with questions (or answers) that don’t agree with their agenda? Where the heck is the outrage about this, including outrage from the right?

This is the kind of thing, like the “gotcha journalism” that nailed Scot Walker as well as Planned Parenthood, that ought to be decried by thinking people regardless of their political party. It warps public discourse. It hobbles real research. It substitutes gossip for fact. It punishes people for speaking out against powerful interests. It’s a complete travesty.

7 Romantic Heretic  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 11:59:36am

Sigh. Race for the bottom indeed.

Losers.

8 Fozzie Bear  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:00:51pm

If you believe pointy-headed intellectuals are actively trying to destroy America, convert your children to Islam, and make all the little boys gay, this kind of thing makes perfect sense.

Nothing the GOP does is surprising if you try to look at the world the way they do.

9 Lidane  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:01:34pm

re: #8 Fozzie Bear

Nothing the GOP does is surprising if you try to look at the world the way they do.

It’s also a really pathetic way to go through life. Looking for conspiracy and evil intent in everything is depressing as all hell.

10 moderatelyradicalliberal  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:01:44pm

The Wisconsin GOP thinks David Weigel is trying to intimidate them for asking why they are seeking the emails.

[Link: www.slate.com…]

The most amazing thing about these people is how they play the victim. They are bullies who constantly complain that they are bullied. Isn’t that one of the characteristics of narcissistic personality disorder?

11 moderatelyradicalliberal  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:03:14pm

re: #9 Lidane

It’s also a really pathetic way to go through life. Looking for conspiracy and evil intent in everything is depressing as all hell.

I don’t see how they leave there houses. The far right seems to be afraid of everything. I’m beginning to understand their obsession with guns. They really are scared little rabbits.

12 Killgore Trout  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:04:58pm

re: #4 Charles

Joe McCarthy was a Senator from Wisconsin. Looks like his legacy is alive and well.

I’m still waiting to see if the resurrect the hearing on UnAmerican activities.

13 Fozzie Bear  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:05:41pm

re: #12 Killgore Trout

I’m still waiting to see if the resurrect the hearing on UnAmerican activities.

Rep. King came awfully close.

14 Lidane  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:06:20pm

re: #12 Killgore Trout

I’m still waiting to see if the resurrect the hearing on UnAmerican activities.

Peter King’s schedule is a bit busy these days. Give him a few weeks. He’ll get to it.

15 aagcobb  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:06:23pm

re: #12 Killgore Trout

They already have, only now they are targeting muslims.

16 Fozzie Bear  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:06:39pm

re: #13 Fozzie Bear

(of couhe didn’t start with the naming of names, and blacklisting, so it wasn’t that bad, but still. That whole escapade put a chill down my spine, because it clearly was a witch hunt.)

17 Kragar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:07:08pm

re: #15 aagcobb

They already have, only now they are targeting muslims first.

fixed.

18 thecommodore  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:08:33pm

re: #8 Fozzie Bear

If you believe pointy-headed intellectuals are actively trying to destroy America, convert your children to Islam, and make all the little boys gay, this kind of thing makes perfect sense.

Nothing the GOP does is surprising if you try to look at the world the way they do.

Remember, these were the people who won 63 seats in the House in November, and came close to taking the Senate.

19 Randall Gross  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:08:58pm

Remember when we thought that this was an imperial Walker?

20 aagcobb  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:09:43pm

re: #16 Fozzie Bear

Its just a matter of time before someone claims to have a list of known muslim radicals in the federal government.

21 moderatelyradicalliberal  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:10:47pm

re: #8 Fozzie Bear

If you believe pointy-headed intellectuals are actively trying to destroy America, convert your children to Islam, and make all the little boys gay, this kind of thing makes perfect sense.

Nothing the GOP does is surprising if you try to look at the world the way they do.

You forgot impregnate their daughters with little brown babies. Like the president’s mother.

22 Kragar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:10:48pm

Apparently King’s latest concern is that by attacking Libya, we’re now in danger of reprisal from Libyan terrorists.

King Warns Gadhafi May Strike Against US

The United States is running the risk of suffering a major terrorist attack at the hands of Libyan proxies because of its military intervention in Libya to overthrown dictator Moammar Gadhafi, according to Rep Peter King, the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee.

King told The Hill that he backs the multinational campaign to enforce a no-fly zone over Libya, but he warns of retribution from Gadhafi, who has a long history of terrorist activity.

“In the long term, it is [in U.S. national security interests], but we also have to be concerned about terrorist attacks by Libya, either in the United States or more likely in Europe,” King told The Hill. “We have to realize that the risk of attack from Libya is certainly greater now than it was two weeks ago.”

The chairwoman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-Fla.), also noted Gadhafi’s history of terrorism. “In assessing U.S. security interests and objectives, the president must also keep in mind Gadhafi’s attacks on Western targets resulting in the deaths of Americans in the 1980s,” she said in a statement Sunday.

24 Lidane  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:11:19pm

re: #20 aagcobb

Its just a matter of time before someone claims to have a list of known muslim radicals in the federal government.

Frank Gaffney is already doing that.

25 Randall Gross  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:11:23pm

re: #4 Charles

Joe McCarthy was a Senator from Wisconsin. Looks like his legacy is alive and well.

In this bizarre remake the actors have been replaced with academics…

26 allegro  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:12:31pm

Ooo, sounds like the good professor drew blood with his articles, nicking a major artery even. The over the top response adds to his credibility significantly, don’t it.

27 aagcobb  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:13:36pm

re: #24 Lidane

Are you now, or have you ever been, a jihadist?

28 wrenchwench  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:13:54pm

re: #25 Thanos

In this bizarre remake the actors have been replaced with academics…

All the way down to kindergarten teachers, if unionized…

29 Kragar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:14:44pm

re: #19 Thanos

Remember when we thought that this was an imperial Walker?

That is really an impractical design when you think about it.

30 Ming  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:14:45pm

This is really scary. Apparently some on the far right view anyone who doesn’t agree with them as “the enemy”. Our founding fathers WANTED people to have healthy debates. We can already see the chilling effect of this partisanship, in the run-up to the intervention in Libya. Whether you’re for or against the intervention, it’s striking that there was not much of a civilized, public debate about it, before it happened. Even now, there’s plenty of partisan sniping about Libya, when we need rational debate and discussion.

31 darthstar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:15:27pm

45 years ago they just would have sent a couple of good ole boys over to the professor’s house with baseball bats to reason with him.

Majority Power. It’s the new club of choice for thugs.

32 SanFranciscoZionist  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:15:51pm

re: #24 Lidane

Frank Gaffney is already doing that.

Yes, but when your list of known Muslim radicals starts with “Grover Norquist”, it’s hard to get people to stop laughing long enough to read the rest of the list.

33 Kragar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:16:14pm

re: #25 Thanos

In this bizarre remake the actors have been replaced with academics…

They’ve been sneaking peeks into Pol Pot’s playbook.

“Reading glasses, eh? What so important that you need to be able to read?”

34 Gus  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:17:22pm

re: #31 darthstar

45 years ago they just would have sent a couple of good ole boys over to the professor’s house with baseball bats to reason with him.

Majority Power. It’s the new club of choice for thugs.

I was just thinking about Latin American dictatorships. The former Soviet union. These tactics are typical in dictatorships. But, we are talking about a political party that was friends with Latin American dictators.

35 aagcobb  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:18:03pm

re: #28 wrenchwench

All the way down to kindergarten teachers, if unionized…

Speaking of which, in countries which are excelling in education, they actually try to support and enchance the status of teachers, rather than leveling them down to ditch-diggers.

36 Killgore Trout  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:18:09pm

Your daily dose of racism from Fox News readers…
American Hispanic Population Skyrockets

They are breeding like crazy south of the border and are pouring into the US from Mexico and Central and South America. An invasion of “leeches”.

…I just like being surrounded by white.

All good things eventually come to an end, I guess.

i hate to say it, well not really bc it is true, but they dont have one or 2 like most families, they have LITTERS….

They didn’t mention that States welfare rolls, healthcare cost, schools, food stamps..etc…have also ballooned to unsustainable levels. We will soon be a third world cra phole like they came from.

37 darthstar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:18:39pm

re: #22 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Apparently King’s latest concern is that by attacking Libya, we’re now in danger of reprisal from Libyan terrorists.

King Warns Gadhafi May Strike Against US

Peter King also thinks gay marriage is going to destroy America. For someone who claims to be a patriot, he sure fantasizes a lot about our destruction.

38 Amory Blaine  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:19:07pm

re: #4 Charles

Joe McCarthy was a Senator from Wisconsin. Looks like his legacy is alive and well.

Wisconsin is packed to the rafters with wingnuts.

39 Funky_Gibbon  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:20:09pm

Wow. Cronon clearly hit a nerve with his focus on this ALEC organisation and his reminder that some Republicans used to stand up for the little people.

Very funny to see the reaction to Weigel’s simple question as well.

40 aagcobb  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:20:26pm

re: #38 Amory Blaine

And I always thought it was a fairly progressive state, like Minnesota. But then again, Minnesota gave us Michele Bachmann.

41 aagcobb  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:21:12pm

re: #37 darthstar

Peter King also thinks gay marriage is going to destroy America. For someone who claims to be a patriot, he sure fantasizes a lot about our destruction.

I bet he fantasizes a lot about gay marriage.

42 Kragar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:22:33pm

re: #41 aagcobb

I bet he fantasizes a lot about gay marriage.

“To the Eastern European porn archive for research!”

43 Gus  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:23:51pm

OT/Incoming

Huckabee Has Slight Edge, Palin Down, in GOP ‘12 Preferences
Romney, Palin would tie if Huckabee does not run

by Jeffrey M. Jones

PRINCETON, NJ — Mike Huckabee tops a large list of potential GOP presidential candidates in current support for the party’s 2012 nomination, with 19% of Republicans saying they are most likely to back him. This gives Huckabee a slight edge over Mitt Romney (15%). Sarah Palin is now at 12% after receiving 16% support in three prior Gallup polls. Newt Gingrich is the only other potential candidate who registers double-digit support. Sixteen percent of Republicans currently have no preference…

44 Lidane  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:25:06pm

re: #36 Killgore Trout

Your daily dose of racism from Fox News readers…
American Hispanic Population Skyrockets

And the GOP has an image problem with Hispanics? Can’t imagine why.

45 Gus  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:25:39pm

re: #36 Killgore Trout

Leftist plants!!11ty

/

46 aagcobb  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:26:49pm

re: #44 Lidane

I like having hispanics around. We didn’t have any decent Mexican restaurants in my town until they opened some.

47 Sol Berdinowitz  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:27:04pm

re: #36 Killgore Trout

well, at least they are not getting abortions…

48 Idle Drifter  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:27:05pm

One of the best articles on political movements I’ve read. The Conservative networking, organizational discipline, and focused agendas are something to be admired as the results show they have been quite able to follow through on their intended goals despite public discourse. Though they did tip their cards in pulling this stunt by going after a centrist history professor for pointing out that it’s not one or two people controlling the sweeping legislation. By attacking a public figure and opposing political groups such as the public workers union they expose their organizations to more public scrutiny.

49 Fozzie Bear  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:27:25pm

Fox makes Pravda of the early 80’s seem like the paragon of truth.

50 Shiplord Kirel  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:27:36pm

re: #4 Charles

Joe McCarthy was a Senator from Wisconsin. Looks like his legacy is alive and well.

I’m not sure that even McCarthy ever went so far as to subpoena personal correspondence, though I think HUAC did.

Btw, it might be a good idea to point out once again that the HUAC/Hollywood hearings and McCarthy’s various activities were entirely separate events and happened several years apart. As the name suggests, HUAC (House Un-American Activities Committee) was a committee of the House of Representatives.
McCarthy was a member of the US Senate and chairman of its Permanent SubCommittee on Investigations. His various witch-hunts and so-called hearings were conducted under those auspices. He was eventually censured, while no member of HUAC was. The Subcommittee on Investigations still exists, while HUAC changed its name to “House Committee on Internal Security” in 1968. This, in turn, was abolished in 1975 and its functions taken over by the Judiciary Committee.

51 Lidane  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:28:22pm

re: #46 aagcobb

I like having hispanics around. We didn’t have any decent Mexican restaurants in my town until they opened some.

That’s because Taco Bell and Taco Cabana don’t count as Mexican restaurants. Hehe. ;)

52 Sol Berdinowitz  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:28:27pm

re: #49 Fozzie Bear

Fox makes Pravda of the early 80’s seem like the paragon of truth.


I watch Fox for the same reason I used to read “Pravda”: not for news content but to find out the party line on any particular issue

53 Sol Berdinowitz  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:30:00pm

re: #46 aagcobb

I like having hispanics around. We didn’t have any decent Mexican restaurants in my town until they opened some.


Back in Payson Arizona in the 1960’s, when it was still too small for either a whole Mexican or Chinese, they had Pedro Wong’s Mexican/Chinese drive-in. No fooling.

54 Killgore Trout  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:31:22pm

brown-skinned anti-war socialist
Image: dPMpJ.jpg

55 aagcobb  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:31:27pm

re: #53 ralphieboy

That must have been awesome!

56 Fozzie Bear  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:31:48pm

re: #51 Lidane

That’s because Taco Bell and Taco Cabana don’t count as Mexican restaurants. Hehe. ;)

If they ever deport the guy who runs the taco stand across the street, I will flip my shit. Everybody in the neighborhood knows he’s illegal, but everybody loves the guy, and his family is delightful. It doesn’t hurt that his food is incredibly delicious, and cheap. Plus he’s a super nice guy. I imagine his days here are numbered, though, because at some point, some asshole is going to get pissed off and call INS, and it’s all over for him. So sad.

57 Idle Drifter  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:32:01pm

re: #53 ralphieboy

Back in Payson Arizona in the 1960’s, when it was still too small for either a whole Mexican or Chinese, they had Pedro Wong’s Mexican/Chinese drive-in. No fooling.

That is awesome in so many ways. Now I feel hungry.

58 Gus  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:32:42pm

re: #54 Killgore Trout

brown-skinned anti-war socialist
Image: dPMpJ.jpg

Que?

59 Charleston Chew  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:32:47pm

re: #36 Killgore Trout

Your daily dose of racism from Fox News readers…
American Hispanic Population Skyrockets

They are breeding like crazy south of the border and are pouring into the US from Mexico and Central and South America. An invasion of “leeches”.

…I just like being surrounded by white.

All good things eventually come to an end, I guess.

i hate to say it, well not really bc it is true, but they dont have one or 2 like most families, they have LITTERS…

They didn’t mention that States welfare rolls, healthcare cost, schools, food stamps..etc…have also ballooned to unsustainable levels. We will soon be a third world cra phole like they came from.

As sick as these comments are, I take some comfort in thinking of the increasing Hispanic population as a statistical revenge being served very cold. The older white dudes (I’m guessing) can rant and rile me up, but thankfully the very people they hate have already won the future.

60 Slap  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:33:40pm

re: #45 Gus 802

Leftist plants!!11ty

/

lol…..of course, I read that as “leftist PANTS”….

61 moderatelyradicalliberal  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:33:50pm

re: #36 Killgore Trout

Your daily dose of racism from Fox News readers…
American Hispanic Population Skyrockets

They are breeding like crazy south of the border and are pouring into the US from Mexico and Central and South America. An invasion of “leeches”.

…I just like being surrounded by white.

All good things eventually come to an end, I guess.

i hate to say it, well not really bc it is true, but they dont have one or 2 like most families, they have LITTERS…

They didn’t mention that States welfare rolls, healthcare cost, schools, food stamps..etc…have also ballooned to unsustainable levels. We will soon be a third world cra phole like they came from.

Here’s another:

The b l a c k s are now less in number than hispanics…must be because of the abortions the democrats care so much about. The b l a c k s are persuaded to k i l l their children while allowing the hispanics to come here illegally and birth theirs!!

Boy these people get hold to a talking point and never let go. 30 years ago black women had too many children, now we need to have more to counteract all of the Hispanic babies.

62 Gus  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:34:45pm

re: #60 Slap

lol…of course, I read that as “leftist PANTS”…

Drink more coffee. When I woke up this morning I saw “Israel” and read “Island”. Fortunately that only lasted 3 seconds. Whew.

63 dragonfire1981  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:34:51pm

The pillars of freedom are burning right now. If we are not careful, they will collapse before too long.

This whole situation just blows my mind. Here we have a guy who writes an excellent opinion piece and almost immediately after he gets caught up in a bizarre witch hunt.

One of the greatest freedoms of a free society is the freedom to question the actions of individuals and groups WITHOUT fear of reprisal. Someone should never be afraid to offer a dissenting point of view, especially when said point of view is backed up by ACTUAL verifiable facts. This is isn’t some nut with a blog here, this is a well spoken University Professor who understands the important of providing facts and details to make an effective argument.

You know what bothers me about this most? Is that the current Right has absolutely no problem with saying the most terrible, racist, bigoted, awful things about Barack Obama, George Soros, Nancy Pelosi, Van Jones, the Democratic Party, Planned Parenthood and so on but the MERE second you throw a little of their own medicine back at them they not only cry foul, but use potentially illegal tactics to do so.

Are these the same Republicans who spend so much energy trying to warn us about how Obama and his radicals are going use strongarm tactics to intimidate us?

Beyond that, it’s not like this was a harshly worded attack on Republicans everywhere, it was actually a well thought argument as to what the true motivations of the Wisonin GOP are. Beyond that it should be obvious to anyone with half a brain that what’s going on in Wisconsin (and other states) has NOTHING to do with cost cutting measures and EVERYTHING to do with destroying unions. It’s not like Walker and his cronies are making much of an effort to hide their intentions.

We can at least take solace in the fact that William Cronin will NOT be silenced. Even if he loses his job in Wisconsin, I’m sure another university in another state will be more than happy to take him on. Or he can start a blog on his own time and continue his work there. He’ll be just fine.

How has America gotten like this in only THREE years? Do you realize how quickly this has happened? It’s rather scary, actually. Sometimes, you’d swear that politically the whole damned country has lost its mind.

This is not freedom. This is not America. This is NOT right.

The pillars of freedom are burning…We had better hope there are more William Cronins out there to help douse the flames.

64 Idle Drifter  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:35:18pm

re: #60 Slap

lol…of course, I read that as “leftist PANTS”…

Sounds like a new type of Pokemon.

66 William Barnett-Lewis  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:36:52pm

re: #40 aagcobb

And I always thought it was a fairly progressive state, like Minnesota. But then again, Minnesota gave us Michele Bachmann.

The Fox River valley got infested with reverse carpet baggers after the Civil War and we’ve been getting damaged by them ever since.

67 aagcobb  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:37:08pm

re: #63 dragonfire1981

I still have faith that the sensible center of the American electorate will deliver a healthy smack down to the crazies next year.

68 Killgore Trout  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:38:00pm

re: #59 Charleston Chew

As sick as these comments are, I take some comfort in thinking of the increasing Hispanic population as a statistical revenge being served very cold. The older white dudes (I’m guessing) can rant and rile me up, but thankfully the very people they hate have already won the future.

It will be interesting. I wonder if they wingnuts will wake up as Arizona, New Mexico and Texas start to turn blue.

69 darthstar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:38:02pm

re: #65 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Mississippi Gov. Barbour had hand in early release of convicted killer

He and Huckabee got a thing going on?

70 aagcobb  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:38:46pm

re: #69 darthstar

Its the revenge of Mike Dukakis!

71 moderatelyradicalliberal  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:38:47pm

New Rule: Anything Republicans accuse other people of being, they are themselves. Anything Republicans accuse other people of doing they are doing themselves.

If a Republican tells you that someone stole your wallet, check the Republican’s pockets.

72 recusancy  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:39:25pm

re: #67 aagcobb

I still have faith that the sensible center of the American electorate will deliver a healthy smack down to the crazies next year.

We need to get out and campaign though.

73 darthstar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:39:47pm

re: #70 aagcobb

Its the revenge of Mike Dukakis!

Dukakis only gave out weekend furloughs. He didn’t agree to early release just because some asshole said he found Jesus.

74 allegro  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:39:50pm

re: #63 dragonfire1981

How has America gotten like this in only THREE years? Do you realize how quickly this has happened? It’s rather scary, actually. Sometimes, you’d swear that politically the whole damned country has lost its mind.

Excellent post. However, this has been going on for about 3 DECADES and more now, as evidenced in the professor’s article. I’ve been aware of it since the 1980s and Reagan when the religious right started to be romanced by the GOP and the writing was appearing on the wall. It wasn’t a secret even then - the head of the Republican party in Houston, Stephen Hotze, was even then openly advocating the replacement of the Constitution with biblical law.

75 Romantic Heretic  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:39:50pm

re: #29 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

That is really an impractical design when you think about it.

I prefer the Timber Wolf, myself.

76 moderatelyradicalliberal  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:40:26pm

re: #68 Killgore Trout

It will be interesting. I wonder if they wingnuts will wake up as Arizona, New Mexico and Texas start to turn blue.

Not until the electoral defeats start happening in those states. For now they are focused on disenfranchisement and it will probably another 10 years before Latinos start voting with the full force of their numbers.

77 Kragar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:40:45pm

re: #69 darthstar

He and Huckabee got a thing going on?

You know, you do something silly like kill someone and its like your life is supposed to be put on hold for 25+ years? How is that fair? Huck and Barb are just letting those poor guys get on with their lives.

///

78 darthstar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:40:47pm

re: #72 recusancy

We need to get out and campaign though.

If we do that, then who will blog and tweet about how we need to get out and campaign?

79 Kragar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:43:40pm

re: #75 Romantic Heretic

I prefer the Timber Wolf, myself.

[Video]

Well yeah, thats an assault vehicle with actual mobility. The Walker is supposed to be an infantry transport, but its weapons are stuck facing a tiny forward arc, its got a huge blindspot underneath it, and the troop compartment is like 50’ up.

80 kirkspencer  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:43:51pm

re: #53 ralphieboy

Back in Payson Arizona in the 1960’s, when it was still too small for either a whole Mexican or Chinese, they had Pedro Wong’s Mexican/Chinese drive-in. No fooling.

Goodland, Kansas, in the late 1960s. The Burlington Cafe suddenly added a chinese menu. The story as told to me was that a chef had decided to work his way across America in five year steps. He’d work in a place for five years training the staff how to make a basic set of recipes, then move on. All I knew at the age of under-10 to early teens was that I was getting this Great but Different kind of food every week (we’d go once a week). The nostalgia means I can’t honestly say it was REALLY good, just that’s how my memory paints it. (FWIW, when I moved back to Colorado Springs for my mid-teens, none of the restaurants we tried seemed as good.)

81 abbyadams  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:44:07pm

re: #53 ralphieboy

We’ll do you one better…try the Conflict Cafe.

The place does mash-ups of meals between two countries in conflict. :-)

82 Idle Drifter  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:44:34pm

re: #67 aagcobb

I still have faith that the sensible center of the American electorate will deliver a healthy smack down to the crazies next year.


I have to agree. Most people are too busy with their personal lives to care about politics until politics starts making too many inroads into their personal lives. These idiots trying push their ideal morality on others are going to find out that the intrusion, hubris, and hypocrisy of their movements are not welcomed and that rejection will show in the poles.

83 abbyadams  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:45:15pm

re: #81 abbyadams

Actually, I’m sorry - it’s some country the U.S. is arguing with.

84 Lidane  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:46:50pm

re: #74 allegro

Excellent post. However, this has been going on for about 3 DECADES and more now, as evidenced in the professor’s article. I’ve been aware of it since the 1980s and Reagan when the religious right started to be romanced by the GOP and the writing was appearing on the wall. It wasn’t a secret even then - the head of the Republican party in Houston, Stephen Hotze, was even then openly advocating the replacement of the Constitution with biblical law.

Exactly.

None of what we’re seeing now from the GOP is new. It’s just more blatant now since the black guy with the African name beat the old white guy to become POTUS. Also, the religious nutjobs finally got tired of being strung along by GOP and they decided to take over the party.

85 wrenchwench  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:47:03pm

I’m really glad Bill Cronon wrote that post about ALEC. I only heard of ALEC last year, in connection with Arizona’s SB1070, and they’ve been around since 1973. I think he hit a nerve by drawing attention to it.

86 Fozzie Bear  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:47:31pm

re: #74 allegro

Excellent post. However, this has been going on for about 3 DECADES and more now, as evidenced in the professor’s article. I’ve been aware of it since the 1980s and Reagan when the religious right started to be romanced by the GOP and the writing was appearing on the wall. It wasn’t a secret even then - the head of the Republican party in Houston, Stephen Hotze, was even then openly advocating the replacement of the Constitution with biblical law.

It goes back even further than that. Nixon was the father of the southern strategy. Reagan just dusted off Nixon’s playbook and ran with it.

87 Sol Berdinowitz  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:48:27pm

re: #62 Gus 802

Drink more coffee. When I woke up this morning I saw “Israel” and read “Island”. Fortunately that only lasted 3 seconds. Whew.

I remember reading Newt’s quote about Obama’s “Kenyan world view” and saying, “well, he is kind of Kenysian in his approach”. Then I wondered with John Maynard Keynes had to do with the Mau-Maus…

88 Shiplord Kirel  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:48:38pm

We need a Wingnut to American political translator:

“Return Gawd to the classroom”= Replace science with superstition.
“Encourage private enterprise”= Abolish the minimum wage.
“Protect family values”= Persecute gays.
“Modernize our social services”= Penalize single moms.
“Streamline government operations”= Lucrative privatization contracts.
“School vouchers”= Public funds for the home-schooling industry.
“Strengthen our defenses” =Higher profits for military contractors.
“Honor our veterans” =More medals, fewer benefits.

89 darthstar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:49:19pm

re: #83 abbyadams

Actually, I’m sorry - it’s some country the U.S. is arguing with.

We should invade France for the rillette

90 Sol Berdinowitz  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:49:42pm

re: #88 Shiplord Kirel


“Get government off people’s backs”=and legislate what they do in their own bedrooms

91 aagcobb  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:50:26pm

re: #88 Shiplord Kirel

“Fight racism”= defund Planned Parenthood

92 Ojoe  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:50:37pm

Need new moderate center party in this country.

BBL.

93 Kragar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:51:22pm

Haley Barbour teary-eyed for unborn in Iowa

Fighting back tears as he talked up his home state’s abortion laws, Haley Barbour vowed Friday that he will not adhere to any social-issues “truce” if he runs for president.

Speaking to a gathering of conservatives hosted by the Iowa Renewal Project here, Barbour grew emotional when he touted Mississippi’s top rating from Americans United for Life and spotlighted a law enacted early in his first term as governor that required doctors to do everything possible to save a fetus that survives an unsuccessful abortion.
Continue Reading

A bit choked up, Barbour said he never would have predicted at the time how important the law would be to a future White House campaign.

“Barack Obama fought such a law, and defeated such a law, in Illinois,” Barbour said.

“After an abortion in Chicago,” he said, pausing to collect himself, “the medical personnel are not able to save the life of a child. To me that’s inexplicable. And we changed the law in Mississippi so that could never happen in our state.”

The anecdote, and emotion, scored major points with the audience of conservative religious leaders.

94 darthstar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:51:43pm

I want GE’s accountant.

The company reported worldwide profits of $14.2 billion, and said $5.1 billion of the total came from its operations in the United States.

Its American tax bill? None. In fact, G.E. claimed a tax benefit of $3.2 billion.

Give me a $3.2 billion dollar tax benefit and I’ll complain about high taxes all day!

95 darthstar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:52:39pm

re: #93 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Haley Barbour teary-eyed for unborn in Iowa

Haley Barbour only wants to see fetuses come to term and be born so he can incarcerate them.

96 Semper Fi  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:52:47pm

re: #71 moderatelyradicalliberal

New Rule: Anything Republicans accuse other people of being, they are themselves. Anything Republicans accuse other people of doing they are doing themselves.

If a Republican tells you that someone stole your wallet, check the Republican’s pockets.

WOW! I can’t seem to get past your comment without admitting that if you would replace Republican with Democrat it would exactly describe how I felt “before” the last presidential election and was one of the factors causing me to make the mistake of voting for McCain, the so called maverick, which I truly regret.

Afternoon everyone.

97 moderatelyradicalliberal  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:53:41pm

re: #74 allegro

Excellent post. However, this has been going on for about 3 DECADES and more now, as evidenced in the professor’s article. I’ve been aware of it since the 1980s and Reagan when the religious right started to be romanced by the GOP and the writing was appearing on the wall. It wasn’t a secret even then - the head of the Republican party in Houston, Stephen Hotze, was even then openly advocating the replacement of the Constitution with biblical law.

I think the big difference over the last 3 years is that for the first time they really think they are losing. Remember this is tribal as much as ideological. The TP movement is about the people who have made up the dominant tribe in America reasserting their dominance. They want to go back to a time in which people like them were the center of American political, economic and cultural life. They want to merely be a part of the American mosaic, they want to dominate it. That dominance is being challenged more and more every day. In 2008, a coalition of the marginalized tribes (a majority of ethnic minorities, gays, white progressives and center left moderates) won big and it freaked them out like nothing has since the Civil Rights Movement. They were probably all hoping they would be dead before a non-white, liberal person could be elected president. The birther stuff isn’t just about bigotry, it’s about disbelief. They can’t wrap their minds around what happened being possible. This is a last stand of sorts. There more dire predictions of race wars and reverse discrimination are not going to happen, but for them the lose of numerical dominant tribe status is as horrible as anything else.

98 darthstar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:55:10pm

re: #93 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

The anecdote, and emotion, scored major points with the audience of conservative religious leaders.

Are these people intentionally this gullible?
“Wow…Haley really looked like he actually cared.”
“I was almost convinced.”
“We should see if he’s interested in running for President…this kind of spontaneous sincerity is getting harder to find these days…”
“If he could shed a tear while calling for off-shore drilling, he’d be great!”

99 aagcobb  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:56:39pm

re: #98 darthstar

Once you can fake sincerity, you’ve got it licked.

100 moderatelyradicalliberal  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 12:57:33pm

re: #98 darthstar

Are these people intentionally this gullible?
“Wow…Haley really looked like he actually cared.”
“I was almost convinced.”
“We should see if he’s interested in running for President…this kind of spontaneous sincerity is getting harder to find these days…”
“If he could shed a tear while calling for off-shore drilling, he’d be great!”

They don’t call them rubes for nothing.

101 Randall Gross  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:00:48pm

re: #68 Killgore Trout

It will be interesting. I wonder if they wingnuts will wake up as Arizona, New Mexico and Texas start to turn blue.

There are two dynamics working against them — the pluralistic people of the SW are growing in number, while the white retiree hardcore GOP types are dying out, going to happen within two to three election cycles would be my guess.

102 darthstar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:00:56pm

Speaking of rubes…

Sarah Palin calls Abraham Lincoln a woman.

We must always remember the big picture. The media has always been biased. Conservatives – and especially conservative women – have always been held to a different standard and attacked. This is nothing new. Lincoln was mocked and ridiculed.

Published, of course, on that highly respected journal: Facebook.

103 Fozzie Bear  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:01:41pm

re: #92 Ojoe

Need new moderate center party in this country.

BBL.

We already have that. What we don’t have is a party representing the left.

104 Our Precious Bodily Fluids  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:03:14pm

re: #68 Killgore Trout

It will be interesting. I wonder if they wingnuts will wake up as Arizona, New Mexico and Texas start to turn blue.

If nothing else, Texas may turn blue from holding its breath waiting for Rick Perry to go away.

105 Lidane  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:03:33pm

re: #103 Fozzie Bear

We already have that. What we don’t have is a party representing the left.

Yeah, this.

The GOP is right to far-right. The Dems are center-left to center-right. There isn’t actually a liberal party in this country, unless you count the Greens, and they’re far too full of moonbat fail to be taken seriously.

106 darthstar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:03:58pm

This will make people who value accurate US history happy: Virginia finally banned those textbooks that claimed blacks volunteered to defend the South in the Civil War.

[Link: www.washingtontimes.com…]

107 Kragar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:05:02pm

For those who saw the trailer and wondered,

Review of Sucker Punch


Sometimes a movie gets bad reviews. And sometimes it gets such bad reviews that the articles themselves become a source of entertainment.

Zack Snyder’s “Sucker Punch” is shaping up as a prime example of the latter.

108 Fozzie Bear  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:05:39pm

re: #107 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

For those who saw the trailer and wondered,

Review of Sucker Punch

Skyline was also so bad the reviews were awesome.

109 darthstar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:07:14pm

I-80 has been closed all day from Colfax to the Nevada state line due to snow slides…not expected to reopen for a few more hours. I’m so glad I’m waiting until tomorrow to drive up. I hate those 14 hour drives.

110 Randy W. Weeks  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:08:45pm

re: #107 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

For those who saw the trailer and wondered,

Review of Sucker Punch

Oh, no. I love “Watchmen” and “300” and have been gently hinting to my wife that I’d love to see it at the theater.

Guess I’ll be Netflixing it.

111 aagcobb  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:10:52pm

re: #106 darthstar

I would have thought that the headline in the Washington Times would have been “Virginia censors history of African-Americans’ fight for freedom from Northern tyranny.”

112 Shiplord Kirel  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:12:19pm

How did I get to be a liberal?

I worked for Goldwater in 1964 and still admire him in many ways.
I served 30 years in the US Army and retired as a field-grade officer.
I have never grown a beard.
I own a successful business.
I despise communists.
I went to Iraq as a contractor.
I support the Second Amendment and own 8 guns.
I support the State of Israel.
I could shoot Osama bin Laden or any number of other terrorists at point-blank range and never bat an eye.

Here are the only ones that count anymore though:
I am agnostic and support the separation of church and state.
I do not believe the free market is an automatic cure-all.
(A new addition) I support the right of workers to organize and engage in collective bargaining.

113 darthstar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:12:42pm

re: #111 aagcobb

I would have thought that the headline in the Washington Times would have been “Virginia censors history of African-Americans’ fight for freedom from Northern tyranny.”

Holy crap…that was the moonie times I linked? I didn’t realize that.

114 Kragar  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:13:35pm

re: #110 LoneStarSpur

Oh, no. I love “Watchmen” and “300” and have been gently hinting to my wife that I’d love to see it at the theater.

Guess I’ll be Netflixing it.

One review calls it “An amazing spectacle of bullshit”

115 wrenchwench  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:14:13pm

re: #112 Shiplord Kirel

Might as well quit shaving….

116 Shiplord Kirel  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:16:11pm

re: #115 wrenchwench

Might as well quit shaving…

I might at that. It would be solid white though.

117 Fozzie Bear  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:16:16pm

re: #112 Shiplord Kirel

How did I get to be a liberal?

I worked for Goldwater in 1964 and still admire him in many ways.
I served 30 years in the US Army and retired as a field-grade officer.
I have never grown a beard.
I own a successful business.
I despise communists.
I went to Iraq as a contractor.
I support the Second Amendment and own 8 guns.
I support the State of Israel.
I could shoot Osama bin Laden or any number of other terrorists at point-blank range and never bat an eye.

Here are the only ones that count anymore though:
I am agnostic and support the separation of church and state.
I do not believe the free market is an automatic cure-all.
(A new addition) I support the right of workers to organize and engage in collective bargaining.

Exactly. We have a far-far-far-right party, and a centrist party. We don’t have a party for the left. As an actual fucking liberal, imagine how the political landscape looks to me right now. It seems really barren and uninviting.

118 wrenchwench  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:16:42pm

Do I need to read the IPT response on my Emerson Page? It’s verrry long…

119 thecommodore  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:18:13pm

re: #22 Kragar (Proud to be Kafir)

Apparently King’s latest concern is that by attacking Libya, we’re now in danger of reprisal from Libyan terrorists.

King Warns Gadhafi May Strike Against US

Remember how “libs” were called traitors when they suggested this might happen as a result of attacking Afghanistan and Iraq?

120 aagcobb  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:19:44pm

re: #117 Fozzie Bear

Give Obama and the Democrats some credit. They got near universal healthcare passed which had been a major liberal goal for decades. Next year when you are looking at the ballot and you have a choice between Obama or Bachmann, I bet you will be able to summon some enthusiasm, or at least some terror at the alternative.

121 Fozzie Bear  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:19:51pm

re: #119 thecommodore

Remember how “libs” were called traitors when they suggested this might happen as a result of attacking Afghanistan and Iraq?

Remember, they hate us because they hate freedom. /

122 Fozzie Bear  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:22:07pm

re: #120 aagcobb

Give Obama and the Democrats some credit. They got near universal healthcare passed which had been a major liberal goal for decades. Next year when you are looking at the ballot and you have a choice between Obama or Bachmann, I bet you will be able to summon some enthusiasm, or at least some terror at the alternative.

Terror will likely motivate more more than enthusiasm, but to be sure, Obama is getting my vote again. However, i’d be more concerned about him getting flanked from the left than anything. To say the left isn’t exactly enthusiastic about Obama is to make a massive understatement.

123 Stan the Demanded Plan  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:23:22pm

re: #118 wrenchwench

Do I need to read the IPT response on my Emerson Page? It’s verrry long…

I didn’t!!

124 aagcobb  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:24:49pm

re: #122 Fozzie Bear

As I said, they should give him more credit. With all the Blue Dogs who were in the House, Obama got the best he could. And if the Left votes for someone like Nader again after that helped give us 8 years of George Bush, they are certifiable.

125 Fozzie Bear  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:27:41pm

re: #124 aagcobb

As I said, they should give him more credit. With all the Blue Dogs who were in the House, Obama got the best he could. And if the Left votes for someone like Nader again after that helped give us 8 years of George Bush, they are certifiable.

About 20% of Obama’s ‘base’ is certifiable. There are millions of liberals who will vote for who they want to win, consequences be damned. Don’t underestimate the fragility of the bonds that hold the left together.

126 Shiplord Kirel  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:30:27pm

re: #117 Fozzie Bear

Exactly. We have a far-far-far-right party, and a centrist party. We don’t have a party for the left. As an actual fucking liberal, imagine how the political landscape looks to me right now. It seems really barren and uninviting.

We can’t even communicate with the GOP any more, they are working from an entirely different set of facts, or presumed facts.
For example, Obama is really center-right by global standards. Yet, leading Republicans seem to out-do each other trying to tar him as a socialist or Marxist if not an outright communist. They would probably call him a Bolshevik if more of them knew the word.
We know from their own words that the Founding Fathers were far more influenced by the secular principles of the Enlightenment than by any religious doctrine, though they did respect the religious conventions of the time. Yet Republicans increasingly try to portray them as fundamentalist theocrats. This attempt to re-write history is Orwellian in its audacity.
They just don’t live in the same world with the rest of us.

127 Fozzie Bear  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:34:37pm

re: #126 Shiplord Kirel

They just don’t live in the same world with the rest of us.

If only that were literally true, it wouldn’t matter so much.

128 SanFranciscoZionist  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:54:05pm

re: #81 abbyadams

We’ll do you one better…try the Conflict Cafe.

The place does mash-ups of meals between two countries in conflict. :-)

Too twee for me.

129 SanFranciscoZionist  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:58:18pm

re: #102 darthstar

Speaking of rubes…

Sarah Palin calls Abraham Lincoln a woman.

Published, of course, on that highly respected journal: Facebook.

I don’t think she actually meant…oh, I give up. She needs an editor.

130 SanFranciscoZionist  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 1:59:38pm

re: #105 Lidane

Yeah, this.

The GOP is right to far-right. The Dems are center-left to center-right. There isn’t actually a liberal party in this country, unless you count the Greens, and they’re far too full of moonbat fail to be taken seriously.

I have to say that any left-wing party in this country probably would be full of moonbat fail. The Greens have potential, but they’re just too vulnerable to becoming a toy for no-hope issues campaigners.

131 SanFranciscoZionist  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 2:01:00pm

re: #112 Shiplord Kirel

How did I get to be a liberal?

I worked for Goldwater in 1964 and still admire him in many ways.
I served 30 years in the US Army and retired as a field-grade officer.
I have never grown a beard.
I own a successful business.
I despise communists.
I went to Iraq as a contractor.
I support the Second Amendment and own 8 guns.
I support the State of Israel.
I could shoot Osama bin Laden or any number of other terrorists at point-blank range and never bat an eye.

Here are the only ones that count anymore though:
I am agnostic and support the separation of church and state.
I do not believe the free market is an automatic cure-all.
(A new addition) I support the right of workers to organize and engage in collective bargaining.

Overton Window?

132 hugh59  Fri, Mar 25, 2011 6:09:55pm

Meanwhile, the controversial Wisconsin Collective Bargaining bill was published today. It goes into effect on Saturday the 26th. Apparently, the TRO to stop publication was only in effect against the Secretary of State, not the Legislative Reference Bureau which published it.

Here are some links to the story:

[Link: abcnews.go.com…]

[Link: www.jsonline.com…]

[Link: www.daily-news-trends.com…]

[Link: www.dailykos.com…]

A very interesting turn of events.


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