My debating partner Ed Garvey is miffed that his Fighting BobFest next Saturday don't get no love from the lamestream news media.
We need your input and for Glenn Beck's sake, don't tell the Wisconsin State Journal or the Milwaukee-Journal Sentinel! Let this be our little secret!
Ed's playbill is like the cast of Reds, that Warren Beatty movie: Thom Hartmann, Jim Hightower, Greg Palast, Matt Rothschild, John Nichols, Stan Gruszynski, Dave Obey, Tammy Baldwin, Dave Couper, John Bonofaz, Gwen Moore and Ta Da! The Rev his ownself: Jesse Jackson.
Wait a minute, I'm getting Robert Gibbs in the filling in my top left molar.
"I hear these people saying he [Barack Obama] is like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug-tested. They will be satisfied when we have Canadian health care and we've eliminated the Pentagon. That's not reality … They wouldn't be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president."
Thanks, Bob. You're right, Dennis the bankrupter of Cleveland Kucinich has been a featured player in the Fighting BobFest tent show in the past. So has U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold.
Hey! (Snap fingers.) I've got it, Ed. A way to get more publicity than Lindsay Lohan on Judge Judy! Add Feingold to the cast of characters. What? You say you invited him but he sent his regrets? I don't care. Rope and dope him if you have to but get him to the church on time.
And where's Tom Barrett, Democratic candidate for governor?
Can you dig it? Tom Barrett and Russ Feingold -- arm in arm with BobFest headliner Jesse Jackson! The Jackson Trio. That picture would go up on paid TV in 48 hours. Ron Johnson and Scott Walker would see to it! There's your publicity, Ed!
Double down and bring in Dennis Kucinich. That will put a scare into the White House. I can hear the BobFesters chanting now. Kucinich for president! Kucinich for president!
In all seriousness, Ed claims attendance of 10,000 at BobFest. That seems a stretch from what I personally witnessed four years ago but then the weather that year was unseasonably cold and Ed is an honorable man so let's take him at his word. An audience of 10,000 citizens of voting age, all in one place, ready to listen to speechifying, less than two months before a general election. That should attract politicians like flies to the honey wagon. Especially since, four years ago, Ed's Chavistas were touting Feingold as their candidate for el presidente.
Bad enough Russ missed Obama in Milwaukee on Labor Day, yesterday. Could it be that the campaigning U.S. Senator, who is in a statistical dead heat with presumptive Republican nominee Ron Johnson, fears that any applause line he might commit in Baraboo next Saturday might be picked up statewide?
Sharing a stage with Jesse Jackson not exactly in keeping with an election eve lurch to the center? Maybe Russ is going all mavericky on us again. You just never know where he'll show up next.
Come to think of it: have you ever seen Russ Feingold and Dennis Kucinich in the same room together? Me thinks not. Politico says:
"At the start of the year, few observers thought the Senate was up for grabs in part because it seemed implausible that Washington's Patty Murray, California's Barbara Boxer and Wisconsin's Russ Feingold were in any serious danger. ... Senior Democrats, however, are increasingly worried about the trio and especially Murray and Feingold."
"He doesn't yet seem to get the environment he's operating in this time," fretted a top Democratic official of Feingold.
Beg to differ. He's keeping his distance from Fighting BobFest, isn't he?
Kucinich for president!
BTW: Could not help but notice that Fighting BobFest lands on 9/11. Much was made of Glenn Beck's Washington rally falling on the same day as Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech. What about BobFest? Will there be any memorial to the 3,000 killed on that day in 2001? Killed in the horrific attack on a peaceful citizenry in the name of Islam? I don't see anything on the agenda. Not even a moment of silence.
Hyper-sensitive, perhaps, of seeming Islamophobic? Kucinich for president! Build the mosque now!
How much are they paying this guy?
Eugene Robinson in the Washington Post: "The American people are acting like a bunch of spoiled brats."
Now, there is political analysis that makes the typical sputtering Isthmus Foron look like de Toqueville with a quill pen.
What's got Robinson chewing his tie is the apparent tsunami of Republican support in the coming November election. A new Gallup poll released Monday shows Republicans with a record 10-point edge over Democrats on the "generic ballot" test - the question of whether voters prefer a Democratic or Republican congressional candidate, never mind the identity of the candidate.
Political prognosticator Larry Sabato projects Republicans to pick up 47 seats in the House (39 takes control), 8-9 seats in the Senate (short of the 10 needed for GOP control) and 8 governorships.
Kucinich for president!
They don't always pay these guys
Ald. Thuy Pham Remmele's taxicab driver protection measure comes up for a vote tonight at Common Council. It's the one that lets cabbies require payment up front only in a highly specific set of circumstances -- none of them due to skin tone. Let's see how many alderoids take the Equal Opportunities Commission line that the drivers are presumed racists. It's Item #99. See my discussion previously.
RTA democracy update
Democracy keeps breaking out despite the best efforts of the downtown Madison elites to tamp it down. The RTA commuter rail referendum is now on the ballot in 20 Dane County communities. This very evening, Tuesday, September 7, seven more municipalities will consider doing the same. They are: Middleton, DeForest, Marshall and Oregon and the Towns of Cottage Grove, Vienna, and Pleasant Springs. Mt. Horeb is Wednesday. McFarland is September 13 and Monona is September 20.
In all, 15 communities are considering joining the 20 that have already committed to a November 2, general election ballot referendum. The holes in the donut? Madison and Fitchburg.
Let freedom ring!
Lookin' like a fool
With your pants on the ground! Wearing saggy, baggy pants is a crime of indecent exposure punishable by a fine up to $200 in Dublin, Georgia, a town of 16,000. The municipality prohibits the wearing of pants or skirts "more than three inches below the top of the hips exposing the skin or undergarments," CNN reports.
Flint, Michigan also recently passed a ban against sagging pants. Remember, kids, the words of Billy Crystal/Fernando Lamas. It is better to look good than to feel good.
Gang members claim victimhood
At a news conference organized by self-identified gang members Thursday morning, several speakers complained that police and city officials do not respect them, and that the only way to curb violence is to provide jobs and improve their community.
The men who spoke out Thursday morning blamed poverty, drugs and a lack of jobs for the problems in the streets. They also said that Chicago Police Supt. Jody Weis' meeting with so-called gang leaders was a waste of time.
But when asked what could be done right now to stop the daily barrage of bullets on Chicago streets, they didn't have an answer. [Big Government: Chicago gang holds press conference]
I get it! The gang bangers are actually victims! Reminds me of Madame Brenda on the Access: City Hall program we taped with Stu The Man Levitan. Madame Brenda playing the victim (I'm paraphrasing, O.K., Stu?):
I was marginalized. The mayor wouldn't share. I was the only woman in the room. Old boys club. I was mischaracterized. My words were twisted. IZ would have worked but there were too many compromises. The media doesn't report ... Whaa, whaa whaa.
What a crybaby. Kucinich for president!