Friday, October 20, 2006

Twenty-five Years of Weird Al

Weird Al Yankovic is a god. I have been in awe of him since I was a kid. There is a great article over at Slate by Sam Johnson, celebrating 25 years of Weird Al-ness. Here is one of my favorites: Amish Paradise. Have a great weekend everyone and try not to shoot anyone.

In Support of Freedom of Speech

If State Sen. Tom Reynolds and the doufus twins, J.J. Blonien and Bob Dohnal think they can win by intimidation, they really don’t have a clue. Gretchen Schuldt, who is the author of the blog Milwaukee Rising, is being threatened with a lawsuit by the above-named trio. Her crime: Asking legitimate questions regarding Mr. Reynolds spending of campaign funds.

Since Reynolds has already shown that he shrinks from the glare of public scrutiny, threatening to sue a former journalist who knows the rules of slander and libel seems a funny thing to do.

Consequently, like Xoff has already done, lets add to the fun and support Gretchen, who seems unfazed by their Gestapo-like tactics . Below are the postings in question regarding Reynolds. He may have started something he did not intend.

Saturday, September 23, 2006
Questions about Tom Reynolds' utility bills

It's one thing to have your campaign headquarters in your house, as State Sen. Tom Reynolds (R- Loony Land) does.

It's another thing when you charge utility costs for your "campaign headquarters" to your campaign fund, as Tom Reynolds does. Even when there's not an election looming.

Let's go back to February, 2004, when Reynolds was very comfortably in the middle of his first term. Some people recognized him for the half-baked clown he is, but there was certainly no election threat on the immediate horizon. No reason to be burning the midnight light bulbs cooking up campaign strategies.

Yet Reynolds charged $57.79 for "gas and electric" for his "campaign headquarters" (his house) to his campaign fund. Hope none of that went to keep his kiddies warm at night. That would be a lot like converting campaign funds to personal use, which would be a distinct no-no.

State statute makes that clear:

No person, committee or group may make or authorize a disbursement or the incurrence of an obligation from moneys solicited for political purposes for a purpose which is other thanpolitical, except as specifically authorized by law.

Maybe Reynolds was in campaign mode in those election off years. In March, 2004, his campaign picked up two payments -- $58.43 on the 13th and $45.20 on the 29th; in May of that year, it was another two payments -- one for $29.44 and one for $35.81, both paid on May 28.

(In June he spent $197.28 at Half Nuts, which seems so appropriate, if somewhat understated.)

Reynolds, in fact, has been charging utility costs to his campaign fund since before he was elected in 2002. That year, a $40.17 electric bill was picked up by the campaign fund on Sept. 16, a week later, on Sept. 24, another $239.85 electric bill was paid by the same source, according to Reynolds' campaign finance report.

Reynolds' house /campaign headquarters isn't all that big -- 1,408 square feet, according to the West Allis city assessor's office. Utility costs should be relatively modest.

On and on it went, with utility costs sloughed off to the campaing fund more frequently:

November 2002, $140.98
November 2002, $76.18
March 2003, $79.91
Sept. 2003, $68.33
November 2003, $32.94
December 2003, $61.06
February 2004, $57.79
March 2004, $58.43
March , 2004, $45.20
May, 2004, $29.44
May, 2004, $35.81
July 2004, $25.94
July 2004, $23.42
September, 2004 $35.52
September, 2004 $26.32
November, 2004 $32.99
December, 2004 $33.83
December, 2004 $58.12
Feb. 2005, $103.98
March 2005, $64.12
April 2005, $75.63
April 2005, $28.55
June 2005, $29.14
July 2005, $28.59
July 2005, $27.95
September 2005, $30.26
October 2005, $26.42
November 2005, $29.47
December 2005, $28.78
December 2005, $101.26
February 2006, $95.02
March 2006, $85.95
April 2006, $97.30
May 2006, $74.77
June 2006, $50.94
June 2006, $69.84
August 2006, $200.30
August 2006, $113.83

It could very well be that Reynolds is not charging the full cost of his utilities to his campaign, but he needs to explain how he separates his family's utility bills from his campaign headquarters' utility bills. A guy who literally poses for holy pictures can't be keeping his family warm with campaign funds.

Oh, yeah. Not a dime from Reynolds' campaign fund went to JJ Blonien, Reynolds' campaign "consultant" who also is on Reynolds' senate payroll as a staffer. Wonder how they keep those two roles nicely separate.

Sunday, October 15, 2006
Reynolds camp can't get its story straight on utility charges

Tom Reynolds used his campaign funds to pay utility bills for the "campaign headquarters" in his home, according to Reynolds' own campaign finance filings.

Bob Dohnal, Reynolds disciple and publisher of The Conservative Digest, said the bills were for Reynolds' print shop, not for his home, despite what Reynolds said in his campaign filing (and I don't think you are supposed to fib on those).

The State Democratic Campaign Committee sent out letters to Reynolds' supporters telling them of Reynolds' creative use of their money to heat his home. Reynolds then issued a statement suggesting that the utility payments were for his home, but just for the campaign headquarters part of it:

The State Senate Democratic Campaign Committee comprised of: Chairperson, Judy Robson, Treasurer, Mark Miller and Executive Director, Matt Swentkowfske published the attached letter. The letter, with actual knowledge of the falsity of the statement, by the authors accuse me of violating state statute by using campaign funds for paying my private utility bills. The letter acknowledges that the authors know of my use of my residential property for my campaign headquarters. However, the authors go on to say that I pay my home utility bill from my campaign account which is a violation of State law. The letter also informs the Reynolds supporters that I am using the hard earned money of supporters and contributors to my campaign illegally to pad Tom Reynolds own pocket.

Reynolds demanded an immediate retraction and apology. You're going to be waiting a while for that one, Tom.


All bloggers should be dismayed and outraged by this attack upon their rights to free speech ... regardless of your side of the political spectrum.

Guns People Play II

It's really all about intimidation. At least he didn't pull the trigger. Those eight-year olds can be dangerous in their feral state.

The former Williamson County Commissioner accused of pointing a gun at a trick-or-treater won't spend any time in jail.

On Monday, 77-year-old Charles Eades pleaded guilty to reckless endangerment with a deadly weapon.

Eades pointed a rifle at an eight-year-old trick-or-treater last Halloween.

Thursday, October 19, 2006

We Must Stop Those Aliens

I was visiting the Brawler’s site early this morning, just before driving off at light speed to take my kiddies to school, and I saw his finely scripted piece on Jessica McBride’s latest screed about illegal aliens, Republican bashing, pages every conservative likes to turn, etc. So, I bopped over to her place, courtesy of the link the Brawler provided. I began to read, though it was hard to keep from chuckling. I had to leave and was about to get out of the chair and dash off when I saw this:

Why not? Because it doesn't seem odd to them. See, the point is, THEY don't emphasize illegal immigration, unless it's to bash Republicans for their stand on it or humanize illegal aliens. Their editorial pages bash Republicans for supposedly magnifying the issue and being racists. In other words, they want the issue to go away. I am referring to the media in general here. (emphasis mine)

Those darn general media types. How dare they humanize illegal aliens!

You know, I wonder if Jessica has ever seen an alien. They’re everywhere according to her and we have a serious problem containing them, she muses (musing is what conservatives do, you know).

Or, maybe she is on to something. My gosh, the Bush administration might have been right all along. The aliens are communicating with each other and to terrorist cells across the ocean. Maybe even into outer space. They're after our satellites, you know.

Wait, reality check. Jessica wouldn't know an illegal alien if it stepped right in front of her (don't you just love the sub-conscious, though).

This might explain Jessica's issues with humanizing them ... even though they probably clean her house twice a week, do her landscaping, collect the garbage, and will put up the sheetrock when the Bucher’s decide to add that sunroom in the back. Why humanize that which cannot be seen .. which is not real?

Like Muslims and black people, illegal aliens don’t exist as people to Jessica except as reasons to slur liberals, or as excuses for Jessica to provide us with more examples of bad writing (the copy editors must have been very busy during her tenure as fearless crime reporter).

Well, I'm off now to go see some illegal alien dancing, because you know, aliens like to dance ... and they like watermelon and tacos. Right, Jessica?

Oh ... Pat Nixon was a very good person. What's your excuse?

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Wednesday Thoughts

The second floor addition to the house is nearly completed (approx. two months ahead of time). The mother and baby saga continues ... now into week 30 with a due date of January 9, 2007. Doctor visit today revealed that baby Quin is active and growing just fine. Mom is feeling a little burdened.

No opinions on anything else. I can hear two distinct responses to that:

Thank god ... and, well ... finally, some peace and quiet.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Guns People Play I

Bad judgment indeed!

INDUS, Minn. - A school principal has resigned and could face felony firearm charges after he shot and killed two orphaned kittens on school property last month.

Wade Pilloud, who resigned as principal of the K-12 Indus school, 40 miles west of International Falls, said he shot the kittens to spare them from starving to death after their mother was killed in an animal trap.

Guns on school property is such a great idea ... not! And who's to say that someone else won't use bad judgment in another, more close to home way, such as in the heat of an argument. The Other Side of my Mouth will document these incidents as they occur, because there are certain people, like those who drink beer while wielding firearms (you know who you are), who should just not be allowed to carry.