On the Fourth of July, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported Governor Jim Doyle and his staff failed to properly account for 145 travel expenses over two years, including a $5,200 business-class flight to Ireland and a $654-a-night stay in a London hotel. What's more, the MJS reported that nearly three-fourths of the time in 2007 and 2008, Doyle and his staff didn't supply receipts as required under state travel policy. Lieutenant Governor Barbara Lawton and her staff weren't much better, failing to provide receipts one-third of the time during the same period. When the story first broke, I refrained from writing about it - not because it wasn't newsworthy, and not because Jim Doyle is a Democrat - but because I wanted more time to really digest the story. Having had a few weeks to ponder the charges leveled against Gov. Doyle, his staff, and Lt. Gov. Lawton and her staff, I can now say I'm mad as hell (pardon the language) about this situation, and I'll tell you why.
Last week, I wrote about Rep. Paul Ryan's so-called budget "solution," a "solution" that was really nothing more than the same old tired Republican policies of the last 20-odd years coupled with a healthy dose of smoke and mirrors. Thankfully, Rep. Ryan's colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives saw his plan for what it is and voted it down last night:
"It's Herbert Hoover time"
That was the message Vice President Dick Cheney brought to a closed-door Senate GOP lunch Wednesday, reportedly warning it would be "Herbert Hoover" time if aid to the struggling U.S. auto industry was rejected.
Now you'll have to pardon my language, but I'm glad to see the Democratic Party has finally gotten a set of balls. My biggest complaint during the 2004 election was Sen. John Kerry's unwillingness (or inability) to fight back against the attacks he came under from the Republican ticket and their associated 527 groups. Sure, he fought back a little after the Swiftboat ads starting airing, but by that time it was too little too late, and in my opinion, the Kerry campaign's inability to do a little attacking of their own is what cost them the election.
Having said that, I'm glad to see the Obama/Biden ticket punching back against the Republicans, and this video clip is a perfect example of why I think Senator Joe Biden was the perfect choice as Barack Obama's running mate:
Yet more "good news" about the nation's economy, as a report released today by the U.S. Labor Department showed a sharp jump in inflation:
Now maybe I'm wrong, but weren't Republicans supposed to be the so-called "party of fiscal responsibility?" Aren't Republicans the same folks who blast "tax and spend liberals" who if elected will raise taxes and ruin our economy?
John McCain has had a bad week.
And when I say John McCain has had a bad week, I mean he's had a really bad week.
First of all, a tip of the hat to Michael Leon for his post on recent comments by presumptive Republican Presidential nominee John McCain blasting Social Security as a "disgrace," despite the fact that the Social Security system has served as financial bedrock of retirement security in this country for nearly a century. Here's a little video of Josh Marshall ripping John McCain apart:
What is patriotism?
How do you define it?
Is patriotism defined by which politician wears a flag pin on his lapel more consistently, or is patriotism defined as a blind obedience to one's country and its leaders, no matter the circumstances?
I've spent a little bit of time on the blogosphere talking about Senator John McCain's numerous flip-flops throughout his Presidential campaign. First there was the flip-flop on negotiating with terrorists, then there was the flip-flop on how soon he'd bring troops home from Iraq, just to name a couple of the many issues on which John McCain has changed his position. Courtesy of YouTube and Caffeinated Politics comes this "mix tape" of John McCain's best flip-flops:
Seriously, this guy's like the gift that keeps on giving. Now you might be wondering, "Who exactly is Charlie Black, and why's he like the gift that keeps giving?" That's a fair question, and here's one answer:
It seems to be a common talking point among some folks in the conservative blogosphere that drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR) will solve all our nation's energy woes, thus lowering the price of a gallon of gas.
However, this myth that some on the right would have the rest of us believe is just that - a myth. Despite their best attempts to paint drilling in places like ANWR as a panacea to all our nation's energy woes, the reality of the situation is much different, according to energy forecasters within the federal government (emphasis mine):
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