"0ne of those pathetic bloggers who tries to make a living out of attacking other bloggers and media folk in an effort to illicit a reaction and draw traffic to his site." -- Owen Robinson of Boots and Sabers
It's not enough he tries to whip up morale among his addled listeners by saying maybe all the pollsters are blowing it and missing the rising wave of support for John McCain.
He's now trying to persuade his fans that it's really Democrats that are worried about tomorrow...linking to acolumnist who says the Auntie Zeituni story and the wack Investors Business Daily poll has Dems deeply worried.
That would be interesting if it were true ... but it's not! The next Obama supporter I hear fretting over the IBD poll will be the first.
The funniest thing for the Brawler is ... Charlie Sykes most likely doesn't believe this either. But he pimps it anyway!
Hilarious. MGIC CEO Curt Culver trembles at the prospect of shelling out more money for sick days should the sick day referendum pass on Tuesday:
Some employers argue that the referendum would add expenses that they'd have difficulty recovering through customers, especially in a shaky economy.
In a letter to Mayor Tom Barrett, Curt Culver, chairman and chief executive of MGIC Investment Corp., estimated that the ordinance would cost his company another $1.8 million in addition to the $562,000 it already spends on sick leave pay for its Milwaukee employees.
Please remember the $1.8 million is almost surely an unrealistic doomsday scenario in which every eligible employee takes off the maximum number of sick days. That just doesn't happen in the real world. (The Brawler believes that because that's how businesses always frame these things.)
But losing $2 billion as a result of his decision to dive into insuring subpremium mortgages and other risky loans? He'd do it all over again!
The chief executive of MGIC Investment Corp., the nation's biggest private mortgage insurance company, offers no apologies for his company's decision to insure billions of dollars worth of subprime mortgages and other high-risk loans during the past decade, a decision that in retrospect seems to have been one of many contributors to the subprime mortgage crisis.
"We should have done more," he said in a recent interview. "It was a money-making machine for the company."
But when that machine broke down, it left MGIC awash in red ink, with a loss of nearly $1.7 billion in 2007 - virtually wiping out its combined profits from the three previous years. It has lost $245.6 million so far in 2008.
MGIC is worth $6 billion less today than it was at the end of 2004, as the company's shares plummeted from the $70s to $3.88 at the close of trading Friday. Its market value has fallen from $6.6 billion to $485 million.
And how has MGIC punished Culver for destroying billions in shareholder value? By paying him $3.45 million in 2007. That's equal to almost two years worth of sick time for all employees under his doomsday scenario.
The Brawler recalls that during the spring elections, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reporters were out and about at polling stations and posting blog reports on peoples' thoughts on the races.
A good use of feet on the street and an effective use of technology. The Brawler suspects that they'll be out there again on Tuesday. This time the Brawler suggests they pay attention to GOP efforts to intimidate, confuse or misdirect voters -- a gambit that's transparently in the works given the RPW's requests for burly guys to be stationed at "inner city" locations and Van Hollen's antics (called out by Senator Feingold).
What should the Journal Sentinel be looking out for? As a refresher, here's a rundown of some stunts they pulled off in 200 (from 10/24/05 congressinal testimony by Matt O'Neill, a lawyer for the Kerry-Edward 2004 campaign:
I also successfully defended a last-minute attempt to remove 5,600 names from the City of Milwaukee registration list based upon unreliable computer analysis. Less than a week before the election, a Republican-led effort was filed with the City Elections Conunission to invalidate 5,600 names on the Milwaukee poll list based upon a computer analysis purporting to show that the addresses did not exist in the City. At the hearing, the Republican witnesses acknowledged that they had not personally verified 99% of the addresses on the list, did not know how many may have been the result of clerical errors, and that the gentleman who signed the verified complaint had learned of the entire matter the day before the hearing. The alleged computer expert acknowledged that he personally checked three of the addresses on the list, and found that one of the three addresses in fact did exist. The City denied the complaint.
The Republican Party had hundreds of attorneys deployed to targeted wards whose primary function appeared to be the intimidation and suppression of minority voters under the guise of monitoring for "fraud." In addition, the GOP paid hundreds of non-lawyers to "observe" at targeted polls while wearing orange T- shirts emblazoned with "HAVA Volunteer" on the front. Our volunteers also encountered law enforcement officials visiting various polls and challenging the propriety of efforts by the Voter Protection attorneys and Election Protection coalition volunteers to assist voters at the polls.
The primary aspects of the carefully planned GOP suppression effort included:
--Placing at least one person behind the election inspectors in targeted wards with a handheld electronic device (primarily Palm Pilots or Blackberries) to stare at each voter while entering their name and address in the device as they identified themselves to the pollworkers and received a ballot.
--Paying individuals $160 to wear orange "HAVA Volunteer" T- shirts and patrol polling places. In large part these individuals (who were not volunteers) knew nothing about the Help America Vote Act, and several wrongly suggested that HAVA required an alreadyregistered voter to produce identification in order to vote.
--Impersonating authorities at the polling places. The Reports reflect instances of orange-shirted observers stating that they were authorities, and instances of persons claiming to be "election officials" and giving out incorrect information about the registration process.
-- Walking up and down voting lines with printed lists in hand and suggesting that persons "not on the list" were not allowed to vote.
--Using attorneys to lodge challenges to voters pursuant to S 6.925, Wis. Stats. In many cases Republican attorneys would lodge a challenge, disrupt the voting process, and then abandon the challenge, after forcing a voter to answer questions under oath, by refusing to execute sworn statements supporting the claimed challenges.
-- Challenging the authority of election inspectors during every step of the election day process, including: (a) challenging the use of special deputy registrars for same day registration (despite an October 27, 2004 City of Milwaukee Elections Commission resolution authorizing the process); (b) challenging inspectors' attempts to continue to process votes during machine breakdowns; (e) asking an inspector to sign a form stating that a machine was not inspected; and (d) challenging the use of volunteers to help process same day registration cards.
-- Using law enforcement agents to harass Election Protection volunteers attempting to assist voters standing in line. For example, at about 5:30 p.m. at Holton School, four men, one with visible handcuffs, walked through the polling place and told Election Protection volunteers not to assist voters attempting to locate the correct polling place.
Threatening to "call the authorities" if election inspectors did not act as instructed by Republican attorneys.
--Challenging any absentee ballot that did not have a Wisconsin- return address in the certificate, despite the fact that an out- of--state return address is legal and appropriate for out-of- state absentee voters.
-- Challenging valid student registration with photo IDs matched to student directories, and thereafter challenging any student who corroborated another student's residence.
In addition to these generalized efforts, the Republican Party attempted to potentially disenfranchise thousands of City of Milwaukee voters through an eleventh-hour challenge (filed literally minutes before the deadline for filing any such challenge) to a list of 5,619 addresses that the Republican; Party contended did not exist. As demonstrated during an October 28, 2004 hearing, the Republican Party did not bother to check the validity of 99% of the names and addresses on the list, many of which were the result of clerical errors that occurred when City employees entered information on the computer system. After that effort failed, just days before the election the GOP publicly threatened to challenge an additional 30,000 registered voters based upon unverified assertions that "apartment numbers" did not match up.
Some of these actions could have and should have led to jail time for the thugs involved (and it's just scratching the surface; a Brawler buddy who was monitoring a polling place recalls how some RPW stooges were standing outside a polling place telling people, falsely,it was the wrong location). Shockingly, the Bush DOJ never investigated. Disgracefully, the MJS was more committed to pursuing the will-o-wisp of "voter fraud" rather than the obvious efforts by the RPW to suppress the vote. They shouldn't get a pass again.
Toward the end of Sykes' radio show, Charlie read from an email he received from a police officer -- a ranking police officer -- complaining about how he received a pro-Obama post card made by a 4th grader at a Milwaukee grade school. Brainwashing! the ranking cop fears.
The Brawler found himself wondering, Why is a ranking police officer reaching out to Sykes to express his concerns? Then he found himself wondering, Is this hypersensitive cop involved in leaking the sensationalized MPD "voter fraud" report? And finally he wondered, will this cop -- who clearly has a partisan axe to grind -- be involved in investigating "voter fraud" this time around?
Dan Bice -- you're going to report who leaked that report any day now, right?
Charlie Sykes loves to prattle on about how the mainstream elite media is in the tank for Barack Obama.
An example: The way they failed to cover the Jeremiah Wright controversy. Which is a surprise for anyone who remembers 24/7 coverage on CNN. But apparently anything less than 24/7/365 coverage smacks of bias toward Obama.
That’s why the Brawler had to laugh at a comment Charlie made yesterday. A caller pointed out that Obama distanced himself from Wright. Charlie’s response: “He threw him under the bus after a lot of media pressure.”
But if the elite mainstream media failed to adequately cover the Jeremiah Wright controversy …
When the Brawler was coming up, they didn't count Democratic votes in Washington Heights. They weighed them.* Indeed, the Brawler was shocked when he visited a friend's house and saw a Reagan magnet on the refrigerator. Republicans lived on the other side of 60th Street, not in Milwaukee!
The Brawler clan on Saturday descended upon the Heights' annual trick-or-treating blowout. And the Brawler's happy to say that the Heights' Dem bonafides are, if anything, stronger than ever. He was particularly surprised by the number of yard signs calling for sick days. (The Brawler understands Tom Barrett was at the party, but he didn't have a challenge him on his opposition to the proposal.) And if the profusion of Obama yard signs was an indicator (in some cases more than four, perhaps more, on a single block), The Chosen One is going to win Wisconsin in a walk.
And this wasn't the house that terrified small children:
* Plagiarized from the first page of John O'Farrell's "Things Can Only Get Better: Eighteen Miserable Years in the Life of a Labour Supporter."
"Obama would be the first president since Hoover to raise taxes during a recession!" Charlie Sykes bellows endlessly to his herd.
No one's accused Sykes of intellectual honesty before. But this lie is particularly sweet since none other than Ronald Reagan actually raised taxes during a recession. In 1982 in fact. Faced with spiraling deficits, the Reagan administration rolled back many of the cuts it pushed through a year earlier.
Indeed, the increase was greater than that which Clinton pushed through in 1993 -- an increase that Sykes et al have hailed as the biggst tax increase in history (another lie).
As Nobel laureate Paul Krugman noted in June 2004:
The first Reagan tax increase came in 1982. By then it was clear that the budget projections used to justify the 1981 tax cut were wildly optimistic. In response, Mr. Reagan agreed to a sharp rollback of corporate tax cuts, and a smaller rollback of individual income tax cuts. Over all, the 1982 tax increase undid about a third of the 1981 cut; as a share of G.D.P., the increase was substantially larger than Mr. Clinton’s 1993 tax increase.
Reagan, for good measure, stuck it to the middle class the next year with the Social Security Reform Act of 1983.
One of the more amusing aspects of the right, in Milwaukee and beyond, is how their veneration of Reagan seems whollydetached from what he actually, you know, did. Some don't know any better. Others do. But the fact is that if Obama should raise taxes to fix the damage wrought by more than a decade of Republican damage, he'll be following in the footsteps of St. Ronnie.
via Daily Kos, a GOP "death list" identifying endangered Republican and Democratic congressmen. From a Republican perspective, the abundance of endangered R's on the list -- many from ostensibly safe districts -- and the dearth of D's is appalling.
Steve Kagen makes the list. However, he's rated as a 2 -- "leans Democrat" (1 represents outside shot of an R win, a 5 means it'd be likely to go R).
The Brawler would say he's happy to see Gard join the private sector, but given the tough job market and his personality... it could be tough.
That said, the Brawler is quite sad to see that Paul Ryan is nowhere to be seen on the list. The Brawler understands why. But given his extreme positions -- no on health care for kids! no on increasing the minimum wage! yes to bailing out big banks! -- and the fact one of his district's biggest employers will be closing in time for Christmas, he really shouldn't be safe in his job.