Who is really responsible for the recount circus?

For all the complaining my fellow conservatives have been doing about the "waste of taxpayer money" and the Supreme Court recount, I really can't understand what the big deal is.

The only reason we are in this situation is because of the incompetence of a county clerk in the most conservative county in Wisconsin. Because of that monumentally stupid fubar, Kloppenburg held the unofficial lead the morning after. Now, I agree that she was a fool to declare victory, but having done so she had to find some way to save face and satisfy her supporters. Asking for a recount gives her that chance. Is it a waste of time? I'm not so sure. Given the problem with reporting the Brookfield vote, I would think that conservatives would welcome the chance to prove that Kathy Nickolaus is merely incompetent and did not engage in anything fraudulent.

Talking about under-vote or over-vote in Madison is pointless and silly. Of course there was a huge vote for the court race. It was the only competitive one in the county with a conservative and a liberal, so it is going to attract a lot of people who normally may not vote in spring elections. Rather than focusing on perceived "irregularities," maybe it would be better off to focus on the fact that even with a huge turnout in Dane and Milwaukee counties, David Prosser still won.

Let the recount go forward without any snide comments or remarks. Let the recount show that nothing went wrong. If Kloppenburg tries to litigate and toss out votes, fight her on it in court, but otherwise sit down and be quiet. The idea among some conservatives that this is all some giant plot to prevent Prosser from taking his seat by dragging this out in court is ludicrous. There is no way anyone can win that type of a recount battle and I don't believe for a second that the Kloppenburg campaign is that stupid. It also makes conservatives look like tin-foil hat wearing nuts - kind of like liberals with the whole Koch brothers nonsense.

The people doing the recounts around the state are good, professional people. Let them do their job and put to rest the liberal lunacy that this election was stolen. If conservatives want to blame anyone for this, blame the Waukesha County Clerk. Her screw-up is the reason we're spending the money to do this.

There is such a thing as a stupid question -- and it doesn't seem to be going away

One of the most disingenuous questions of the modern political era finally got an answer -- but like any good conspiracy, don't expect the questions to stop:
He said that even if the document is real, it raises questions about Obama’s eligibility to be president. Farah contended that, because Obama’s father was from Africa, the president may have had "dual citizenship" and therefore may not meet the definition of a "natural-born" citizen, the eligibility requirement in the Constitution. He suggested that it is necessary to revisit the intentions of the Framers.

He added: "This has never been an issue exclusively about where Barack Obama was born."
In fact, it just gets more disingenuous:
"We’re borrowing four and half billion dollars a day and this president is more worried about birth certificates, Oprah Winfrey and fundraisers at the Waldorf Astoria," Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Preibus said on "CNN Newsroom," referring to Obama’s decision to release his long-form birth certificate before flying to Chicago for an interview with Winfrey and later to New York for a fundraiser. "It’s maddening and I just wish the president would engage in the real issues that are affecting America."
Of course, the other most disingenuous political question of our day also keeps getting asked, despite all the evidence. I love the smell of cheap political opportunism in the morning...


Real Hope

Check out this article. Its goal is proposing a broad stance the country should take adopt for the new century.

What is says is that we've completely over-reacted to terrorism--we're still applying the strategy of containment from the cold war. "It is time to move beyond a strategy of containment to a strategy of sustainment (sustainability); from an emphasis on power and control to an emphasis on strength and influence." In another point they write that we need to embrace competition to rise to the occasion setting a good example that others around the world will want to follow.

The article also talks about how our power comes from having a strong economy and not the other way around. The authors also write that the future economic growth of the country comes from educating the kids of today.

The two people who wrote it are staffers of the Joint Chiefs. In the bigger picture, it's interesting how even the hammer says we hammer too much.

I've looked around and there doesn't seem to be much in the media about the article yet, outside of CNN.

Programming Note

This post has been percolating for quite a while now -- indeed, it's a couple of days overdue -- but I haven't quite been able pull the trigger on it, as it were.

In June of 2005, Brad V was just coming on board here as a contributor at Letters in Bottles -- the first in a great run of contributors and guest-bloggers. Since that time, we've been here to cover everything from campus happenings to world events, from protests and gigs and would-be revolutions to life in any number of fascinating corners of the world. We may have been pioneers of the multi-simul-blog technique -- we were at least great fans of the method.

This blog, too, has seen a good run of the history of the student blog community -- and the wider Wisconsin Cheddarsphere. We were privileged to meet many of the fine folks who would contribute meaningfully to a campus and state political dialogue. We were there at the beginning, and, I like to think, helped usher in a great period of activity.

But all things must go -- and, as our sidebar bears witness, many good things have already gone. One June 1st, we too will go -- again, and I think this time for good.

It's been a fantastic ride, and I'd like to thank all of those who have contributed over the years: official blog members, guest posters, commenters, and those who have tossed links our way from time to time. You've all helped make Letters in Bottles the place it became. It wouldn't have been the same without all of you.

So stick around -- we aim to go out in fighting trim, and should have some good bits for you in the next month. And then, my friends, adieu, and many happy returns.


How do you miss the entire city of Brookfield?

I've resisted saying anything on the election results for one simple reason: it was just too darn close to say anything until the official totals were in.

Now, it appears that the Waukesha County Clerk - who has come under fire repeatedly for her mismanagement - completely missed the entire city of Brookfield. The error gives Justice Prosser a substantial lead of around 7,000 votes. It also explains what appeared to be unusually low turnout in Waukesha County on election night.

Contrary to what some on the left are saying right now, this is not a case of votes being "found" as if they were in reserve just in case they were needed. This is a case of incompetence by a County Clerk. The votes were cast legally and correctly, they just weren't counted. This is by no means the end of the story, but it looks like Justice Prosser just might have survived.

By the way, what does a Prosser win do to all the talk of the election being a "referendum on Walker?" Any bets on if Emily Mills will agree that Wisconsin elected Justice Prosser, not Waukesha County? Just a thought...


With respect to Speaker Boehner; "Pass the damn bill!"

I'll make this brief. I have become extremely annoyed with the ongoing drama over the budget repair bill. I think Judge Sumi's restraining order is activism at it's worst. The Senate's rules clearly state that no notice is required during special session, and whatever the final outcome, it does not appear that she can void the entire bill. I think Cindy Kilkenny has been excellent on all of this and she says it all perfectly.

I don't think that there were any laws violated here, and I certainly don't want to give the Democrats or the unions a win of any kind at this point, but sometimes discretion is the better part of valor. We cannot continue to leave local governments in limbo. They need to know what tools they will have at their disposal and they need it now. It looks like this will drag out in the courts for a couple of months, if not longer.

To avoid this the legislature should reconvene and pass the full, orginal bill. Pass it, follow every possible rule, dot every I and cross every T. We have the next budget looming, we need this done and out of the way before we move on.

Pass the damn thing and let's move on.