Friday, April 08, 2011

And all of us are fat! (Friday's Sunday's Poem, 78)


by: Lewis Carroll

The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might;
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright--
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.

The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done--
"It's very rude of him," she said,
"To come and spoil the fun!"

The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky;
No birds were flying overhead--
There were no birds to fly.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand--
"If this were only cleared away,"
They said, "it would be grand!"

"If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year,
Do you suppose," the Walrus said,
"That they could get it clear?"
"I doubt it," said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.

"O Oysters, come and walk with us!"
The Walrus did beseech.
"A Pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach;
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each."

The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said;
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head--
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.

But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat;
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat--
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn't any feet.

Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more--
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.

The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low--
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.

"The time has come," the Walrus said,
"To talk of many things:
Of shoes -- and ships -- and sealing-wax --
Of cabbages -- and kings --
And why the sea is boiling hot--
And whether pigs have wings."

"But wait a bit," the Oysters cried,
"Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!"
"No hurry!" said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.

"A loaf of bread," the Walrus said,
"Is what we chiefly need;
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed--
Now, if you're ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed."

"But not on us!" the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
"After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!"
"The night is fine," the Walrus said.
"Do you admire the view?"

"It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!"
The Carpenter said nothing but,
"Cut us another slice.
I wish you were not quite so deaf--
I've had to ask you twice!"

"It seems a shame," the Walrus said,
"To play them such a trick.
After we've brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!"
The Carpenter said nothing but,
"The butter's spread too thick!"

"I weep for you," the Walrus said;
"I deeply sympathize."
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.

"O Oysters," said the Carpenter,
"You've had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?"
But answer came there none--
And this was scarcely odd, because
They'd eaten every one.


About the poem: I'm tired today. I lost the trial over my speeding ticket because, as it turns out, I'm too credible as a witness, and admitting to setting the cruise control at 32 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone will get you found guilty of driving 0-10 miles over the speed limit...

... which, shouldn't that be 1-10 miles over the speed limit? If the charge is 0-10 miles per hour over the limit, you can be convicted of speeding driving the speed limit...

... and now you know the basis for my appeal, which I'll take all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court...

...and I was just looking for a little frivolity, and a poem that rhymes for a change, so I turned to Lewis Carroll, and for about 99% of that poem, he had me: I liked the rhythm, I liked the image of the four little fat oysters walking hand in hand with the Walrus and Carpenter, and then, and then, he goes and kills them off.

Plus, because it's a walrus and a carpenter I can't shake the feeling that this poem is supposed to be symbolic of something or other and now I'm doubly bugged by the sad tragic ending and the feeling that I was duped into symbolism.

About the Hot Actress: Claire Danes sprung to mind because for some reason people reported that My So Called Life is going to be shown on some channel or other, which I found odd because rerunning TV shows that aren't Herman's Head is not really news, is it? So I put her on here, even though I'm pretty sure that Sweetie once told me something about her that made her a horrible person, so I shouldn't have put her on here. But I can't remember what that was and I'm, like I said, tired. So she's here.

Update: David Prosser should demand that voter registrations lists be released and contacted. (Publicus Proventus)

Down below, I noted that it was incumbent (pun intended) on Maybe-Justice-Again David Prosser to demand that public and private phone records and emails be released, immediately, to prove that there was no tampering with vote totals -- documenting the communications (or lack thereof) between his campaign, the Walker administration, the Walker campaign, and Waukesha officials.

Certainly, the press can and should do that, but Prosser must: if he believes that his election was genuine, and he wants the Supreme Court of Wisconsin to have the confidence of the people of Wisconsin, he has to bend over backwards to show that there was no fraud in this election.

Another step Prosser must, and the press should, take is this: Request the list of voters who checked in to vote, and then contact those people to find out if they did in fact vote.

Simply recounting won't solve the problem: while it would be difficult to fake 15,000 ballots, it would not be impossible over the course of a night for one or a few people to do so. So counting the ballots (which likely exist) will not prove the election was (or was not) a sham.

But in Wisconsin, all voters are required to provide a name and address at the time they go vote, and the election officials enter that on a prepared list. Which means that to fake 15,000 votes, the officials either created 15,000 ballots without checking off 15,000 names (in which case there will be a major discrepancy between the number of voters listed on the rolls and the number of ballots cast) or the officials had to check off 15,000 names.

Assuming, then, that the officials checked off 15,000 names of voters while creating 15,000 ballots (I'm not saying they did; I'm just arguing hypothetically), then demanding the voter check-in list will allow reporters (or Kloppenburg workers, or someone) to contact those people and say, simply "Did you vote? The records show you voted. Did you vote?"

Find enough people who say (and can prove) that they didn't vote but someone checked their name, and you've shown a stolen election.

Simple. Time-consuming, but simple, and it should be done, immediately -- and it should be done by David Prosser and his workers, who have every reason to want to prove that his election was not a sham.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

"Mr. Prosser's neighborhood in Waukesha County pulled a fast one last night." -- WTDY Newscaster (Publicus Proventus)

David Prosser, if he wants to be a Supreme Court Justice, must insist on full disclosure of public and private records... or his victory -- and I'm assuming it will be -- will be hollow and will further undermine confidence in the Supreme Court of Wisconsin, and that confidence is already at an all-time low.

Updated information on the "additional" votes that GOP county clerks are "finding" after Tuesday's election:

GOP "alternate" and Winnebago County Clerk Sue Ertmer explained the extra 244 votes for Prosser-- a number that originally would have had him winning by 40 before Waukesha "found" it's votes -- explained that she, like the Waukesha clerk, "found" the votes:

Clerk Sue Ertmer said Winnebago County is still working on its canvass, but she has discovered several voting machines that didn't report numbers initially. That resulted in a net gain of 244 votes for Justice David Prosser.

Ertmer said four voting machines in the program indicated they had already turned in results. But it was discovered yesterday morning they had not been reported. That resulted in the county website showing Election Night that 100 percent of the vote was in.

(Source.) That paled in comparison to Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, who ran for that post around the time she was being granted immunity into the criminal investigation involving the Republican Caucus: Nickolaus said that she failed to properly "save" the data in a program called "Access."

The Daily Kos at that same post has a poster who says that with 15 years' experience in that program, he can't imagine Nickolaus' explanation being accurate.

(Nickolaus also blamed typos.)

Meanwhile, the updated canvasses continue to show that in most counties, Prosser lost votes in the official canvas; in Winnebago and Waukesha -- both clerked by GOP operatives -- he gained substantially. In 7 counties, Kloppenburg gained. Prosser's only non-Waukesha/Winnebago gain was in Douglas County... where he got 1 extra vote.

Those "missing" Waukesha votes came -- supposedly-- from Brookfield. But this site says that Brookfield results were reported in the media on Tuesday night (although the link the site provides is dated April 6, not April 5, so it's not clear when they were reported at all.)

What has to happen is this does have to be treated like a full-scale investigation -- and the Walker administration has set the stage for broadening out public records requests by requesting emails from UW professors.

So I'm saying the Democrats, and Kloppenburg, need to immediately file public records requests for all personal and public emails, and incoming and outgoing phone calls (on public and private phones) received by any Waukesha County election worker (or their relatives) from any person who works in any government agency or for any political or judicial campaign -- and then lay public records requests all over the Walker administration for the same, as well as requesting all that from Possibly Justice Again Prosser's staff and campaign -- both to and from Waukesha election officials and their relatives and to and from government workers and Walker campaign staffers.

More importantly, I think Prosser's campaign should insist that those things be released. Prosser called on Kloppenburg to denounce an ad he felt was unfair; he should now live by his own purported ethics, and demand that all those communications be released to prove that he won this election fairly.

If he did.

We used to have elections we could trust. (Publicus Proventus)

I was going to write up something about Paul Ryan being a hypocrite who wants to allow the rich to take from the poor, but then something else caught my eye and I couldn't help but talk about it.

The thing that caught my eye is the suspicion that there might be massive voter fraud... in Waukesha County, in favor of Still-Justice-Maybe David Prosser.

This is verbatim from the One Wisconsin Now website:

Election Returns: What Went On in Waukesha?
After Hours of Silence, Embattled Clerk Reports Wildly-High Turnout in Prosser’s Top County

Madison -- As counties statewide move to certify Tuesday’s shocking upset victory by JoAnne Kloppenburg over heavily-favored David Prosser, unanswered questions remain about returns from Tuesday night in Waukesha County -- the top-performing county in the state for Scott Walker’s self-proclaimed “complement” on the Supreme Court.

“Wisconsin deserves elections that are fair, clean and transparent,” said Scot Ross, One Wisconsin Now Executive Director. “There is a history of secrecy and partisanship surrounding the Waukesha County Clerk and there remain unanswered questions.”

Waukesha County Clerk Kathy Nickolaus, a former staffer for the Assembly Republican Caucus, has been sharply criticized in recent months for her handling of recent elections. Even the archly-conservative Waukesha County Board has sharply condemned Nickolaus after past elections, demanding an immediate audit of her practices following ominous red-flags that emerged regarding her lack of oversight, failure to create backup files and her stubborn insistence to “keep everything secret.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/18/10; 1/17/11]

The County auditors said it was eminently possible -- including historical precedent -- for Nickolaus or a rogue employee to tamper with data. Why? Nickolaus insists on controlling password access and has unilaterally decided to move sensitive files, like election results, onto her personal computer.

Nickolaus has actually scoffed at complying with impartial audits, thumbing her nose at critics. A move that drew a sharp reaction at the time from the County Board Chair:

“There really is nothing funny about this, Kathy,” said Waukesha County Board Chairman Jim Dwyer when Nickolaus willfully ignored complying with the earlier impartial audit. “Don’t sit there and grin when I'm explaining what this is about.” [Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 8/18/10; 1/17/11]

On Tuesday, shockingly-large turnout suddenly emerged from Waukesha County, which did not comport with either the results of previous spring elections, or even internal estimates from city officials mid-day. In fact, a Waukesha City Deputy Clerk said at 1:18pm that turnout was very typical, predicting somewhere between 20 to 25 percent. As Tuesday night wore on, reporting in Waukesha County stopped altogether for hours, leaving observers to wonder what was going on. Then suddenly, results suggesting massive turnout started to pour in rapidly with Prosser adding dramatically to his total by a 73-27 percent margin.

One Wisconsin Now estimates put overall turnout near 38 percent, a wild outlier to historical data and the earlier mid-day estimation of Waukesha’s own officials. In April 2009, turnout was 20 percent; April 2008, turnout was 22 percent and in April 2007, turnout was 24 percent. All of these elections had hotly-contested Supreme Court races as well.

I was all set to dismiss that as exaggeration and/or hyperbole, but then I saw that another county had suddenly come up with pro-Prosser numbers that might change the outcome of the election:

The Associated Press verified unofficial Winnebago County election returns on Wednesday morning, but the county updated its numbers at 2:27 that afternoon to show incumbent Justice David Prosser with 710 more votes and assistant attorney general JoAnne Kloppenburg with 466 more.

(Source.) Winnebago County ran low on paper ballots in some locations, according to this report. Sue Ertmer is the Winnebago County Clerk, and is listed as an "alternate" on the Winnebago County GOP contact list. (That's the picture of the site to the right.)

And then I saw that Waukesha County reported late yesterday having "found" 500-600 votes for Prosser: A Fox contributor and Young Republican sent in a report that the county had found some "lost" ballots to explain a discrepancy between votes cast in a school board race versus votes cast in the Supreme Court election.

What's interesting is that other than Winnebago and Waukesha Counties, the official canvass shows Kloppenburg netting more votes - -pulling further ahead -- in each county. Six other counties' official canvass showed that Kloppenburg was actually pulling ahead. It's just those two heavily-Republican, Republican-clerked counties that found votes.

Not that I'm pointing fingers. I can't -- I'm too busy crossing them hoping that the election won't actually be tampered with.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

The Greatest Thing In The World, EVER! (2)

I wanted to see it live on Friday night but there's no way I can stay up until 11:30 after a hard day of leaving work early, so I'm glad I got it on DVR and even gladder there's an Internet to preserve these things forever at my fingertips. It's Stephen Colbert's cover of Friday:

It just makes me smile, and I very much want to download that song.

Also, don't you think he should duet with Rebecca Black on that version? I think he owes it to her.

Click here for the as-yet-relatively-small list of all the Greatest Things In The World, EVER