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April 17, 2007


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OMG..you wasted a post on Wisconsin politicians?? I'm sure there was something more worthwhile to write about than this!

Sorry, I just think all Wisconsin politicians (GOP & Dem) on every level are worthless...and speaking about our senators, I found it funny that in the last 6 years the only thing Wisconsinites have heard from Mr. Kohl was to reelect him; I didn't even realize anyone was running against him until I looked on the web. I guess the other guy knew he didn't have a chance, or he knew nobody really cares in this state.

Mr. Kohl must sure have it tough lounging around in his cushy office doing nothing...but I guess that could be said of many government officials.

Anyways I've had the misfortune of living in this dumpy state for almost 20 years now, and I look forward to the day I get to finally leave and never return...I'll be singing "hallelujah" on that day!! ;)

Doug M.

> look forward to the day I get to finally leave

And there's your "deaf, dumb and blind kid", Carlos.

I'm going to take this opportunity to say that I Fear Giuliani. I know you don't, because you've had a close-up view of his scabrous id. But the rest of America hasn't.

William Manchester had a line in his Churchill biography about the rise of Hitler. In a campaign speech, Hitler suddenly stepped forward and said that if he were Chancellor, "kopfe rollen" -- heads would roll. Manchester wrote that Hitler positively /barked/ these words; and that, at that moment, all across Germany, "heads turned and knees grew weak".

I thought that was a bit pulpy at the time. Now I'm less sure.

Giuliani is attractive to everyone who wants a Scary Daddy who will Protect Us. This is almost exactly the same group that should be turned off by his cross-dressing and liberalism. Which urge will triumph? It makes me nervous, yes it does.

Doug M.


Mike from Manitowoc, no post is ever wasted. You might not realize this, but much of the rest of the world would love to have the quiet, largely decent, reasonably capable, slightly goofy politicians Wisconsin has. They don't oversee death camps filled with anyone who wears glasses, they don't whack the guy they played backgammon with for twenty years because his grandfather had a different religion, they don't have their bodyguards drive dumptrucks from the mass grave to the blast furnace to get rid of the evidence. (All fairly recent events mentioned on this blog.) And while I can't see into their souls, I'm pretty sure that this is bedrock character. Hard to break.

As for leaving Wisconsin, it's not a bad thing. I did, most of my friends did. But you're going to be surprised.

Doug, honestly and truly, people are sick of "Daddies" in this country. I despaired it would ever happen, but it did. So let the people with the fetishes battle it out. Maybe they'll surprise us all and pick a leather daddy. Gingrich in chaps, mm-hm.


@Doug: From your comment...unless I'm misreading that, I'm taking it as a dig at me. Well nice to see that your acting like an adult. I guess anybody who has a difference of an opinion or dislikes something you like, their stupid.

@Carlos: Well I didn't really mean the wasted comment...I just tried to open my post with a quirky comment that would sum up my personal view of Wisconsin. I realize that it's your blog and anything you wish to write about is important to you and other people (i.e. not a waste).

Well I must have missed those posts of the death camps, and so on...which is odd since I read your blog regularly. Perhaps you could point them out to me? And yes I can say I agree with your comment that WI politicians aren't guilty of any of those atrocities; I'd say I wouldn't agree so much with your comment that many people would want our politicians though. Say you put these politicians in a country where these atrocities and they acted just like they do here...essentially IMHO doing nothing. I would say they are just as bad as everyone else, sitting idly by doing nothing to stop the madness. Sadly though I really can't knock just WI politicians for that perceived shortcoming, unfortunately there are many countries and world leaders that pay lip service to places where these atrocities occur and do nothing to stop/fix them.

As for the comment about me being surprised about leaving Wisconsin, trust me I won't. I guess you assumed that I've never left this country or state. That's not the case though..I actually have had the rare opportunity to live in countries like Saudi Arabia for 6 years and South Korea. The former of which most people will never get to set foot in. Besides that being to Europe countless times..and being of course a EU citizen as well as US citizen. Had I just been a Wisconsinite who had never left, I would probably agree with what I perceive as your and Doug's view of me "just another dummy". Lord knows we have more than a fair share of "geniuses" in this State who never left WI and think they know everything there is to know about this world.

Oh..last but not least, was it really necessary to post the city where I live (actually it's not the town I live in currently but it's close). I don't mind you looking to verify that I'm not just some bloke from somewhere else spouting off about WI, but what's the purpose of posting my location??


o ghodz, this is funny. you know how sometimes, I'll forget all the fluttering my eyelashes & tossing my hair & even breathing because I am too busy strangulating with laughter at all yr jokes and so am helpless to keep you from eating the last three bites of the dessert we are ostensibly splitting? yes. it is always just exactly like this. ahahahaha. Nero is all, "what is going on over there?" and I'm all ahahahaha!!

hahaha. god, and I've been so homesick. this is a perfect balm. ahaha. xx


Mike, those people have all been mentioned by name on this blog. Their pasts might not have been mentioned in context, but Doug, I, and a good chunk of our readers know who they are and what they did.

And yeah, it was necessary, because when a first-time commenter posts something provocative and maybe borderline rude -- Doug clearly thought it was over the line, but he went to Yale -- they're usually a troll. We've got an itchy trigger finger here, because we often write about topics which generate a lot of crazy comments, and we've both had some very creepy Internet stalkers. (Me more than Doug for some reason.) So I'll post more information if I don't know who they are and their e-mail address looks deliberately anonymous.

(And it's not like you're the only Mike in Manitowoc. Jesus, I probably have six third cousins named Mike there myself.)

La Loca, what can I say. "Oh my people."


I understand, I was just hoping you would point out one or two posts (i.e. dates/or titles of the post) so I could go back and reread them. I'm sure I've seen them in the past..I just read so many of these expat blogs that I tend to forget a lot of the content.

Hmm rude?...on second thought I guess I could've put a smiley on the "wasted post comment" to point out I was saying it jokingly. I tried to make sure my post wasn't derogatory toward you (since I myself dislike those types of posters) but I guess if you guys took it that way I failed in that regard. The rest of my post was to just offer a differing view of Wisconsin politics.

And in regards to my happy to leave statement well that isn't just in reference to politics in Wisconsin. You have to be happy where you live and trust me I'm just not happy living here, nor ever have been.

Oh, and after rereading Doug's comment I guess he could have meant I was one of those types who'd never been anywhere and doesn't know how lucky I am living in WI. Well I know what freedoms we have in the US, and I know what it's like to live elsewhere. Anybody who takes for granted what we have in the US should try and live in certain middle eastern countries for awhile, they'd be shocked at what you can't do there. It's a lot different than what the news media makes of it.

Oh, and I was just curious as to your reasoning of posting my city, I thought that was a little odd...and possibly rude. touch ;P

Also I don't really know if my address is anymore anonymous looking then yours, so it looks as if I don't fit the whole criteria you put forth for city posting. hehe j/k j/k I'm just being a smart butt now! ;)



Mike, try this one. I don't know if you caught the recent Skunk Baxter/handshake post, but a lot of regulars here have had to work with some pretty skeevy people. Some of them still do. You know what I mean.

New York City is infinitely less stressful for me than Wisconsin. Long story. But... well, there's a long story in that too.

Bernard Guerrero

This is almost exactly the same group that should be turned off by his cross-dressing and liberalism. Which urge will triumph? It makes me nervous, yes it does.

Oh, puh-leaze, Doug. No, really.

Doug M.

Bernard, I'm not sure what you're on about here.

I think Giuliani would be a dreadful President; I also think he's probably the strongest candidate of the current GOP field. Are you disagreeing with those views, or just with how I'm expressing them here?

Doug M.

Bernard Guerrero


The first, but mostly the third. I don't personally think Rudy would be a bad President, myself, but I'm perfectly willing to debate the matter and I wouldn't expect your views to match my own.

But "Giuliani is attractive to everyone who wants a Scary Daddy who will Protect Us."? C'mon, Doug, be serious. I don't need a Dad, and I'm quite attached to my own rights, thank you very much. What happens to squeegee-men and/or the national equivalent is of less concern, of course, but that isn't a matter of giving up rights so much as asserting my own rights over the competing claims of others. Which is what politics is all about. ˇAvance!


Hm. You know, mainly because the GOP has spent the last fifteen years demonizing her, the Scary Daddy candidate is clearly Hillary Clinton. Can you imagine that campaign? Giuliani: "I'm a mean SOB, which is what America NEEDS! [whispers] but not as mean as Hillary, who could de-man you with her bare hands." Talk about your mixed signals.

Noel Maurer

Carlos, you are a bad man. But why would anyone want to vote Republican in 2008? The mind boggles.


That's a poor attitude to have...but IMO that's what politics has been reduced to in the country. It's no longer vote on issues but "I'm from this party and that's all I'll ever vote for!"

Bernard Guerrero

You know, mainly because the GOP has spent the last fifteen years demonizing her, the Scary Daddy candidate is clearly Hillary Clinton.

Too True. The whole thing may end up being the most monumental backfire since New Coke. :^)

Noel Maurer

Say, Mike, was your comment addressed to me? The short version of my response is that you, sir, are far more cynical about American politics than the situation merits. (That is, of course, the same point that Carlos was trying to make. FWIW, I was also far more cynical two years ago --- changing facts and changing opinions and all that.)

One shouldn't vote for Republicans in 2008 because Republicans have royally f--ked up. 2010 and 2012, a different story. Voting that way isn't "what politics has been reduced to," as you say; it's what democratic politics is supposed to be about.

In other news, I have to agree with you that Saudi Arabia is indeed one of the world's weirdest countries, from an American perspective. I have to say the biggest surprise I got there was the strength of tribal identity: you agree?

Doug M.

Bernard: "Giuliani is attractive to everyone who wants a Scary Daddy" != "Everyone who is attracted to Giuliani wants a Scary Daddy".

There's no candidate so horrible that some lovely, smart, likable people won't support him. But that doesn't make him any less horrible; it's just the long tail at work.

Doug M.

Will Baird

So, at this moment, at the risk of being told to go back to playing on my computers, who /are/ you folks rooting for so far in this presidential election mess?

I'm the same party as Bernard, but a rather different wing, I suspect. I had my allegiances wrt to candidates running, but my former favourite is NOT covering himself in glory at all.


Someone who could pass a junior high school civics class, especially the "separation of powers" and "checks and balances" unit.

That would eliminate H. Clinton and Giuliani, I'm afraid. Ferdinand Marcos was a unitary executive. That's pretty much all you need to know about that idea.

In fact, that's a pretty good rule of thumb for me. The closer a candidate is to being like Marcos, the worse I probably think they are.

Comparative political science is useful sometimes.

Noel Maurer

Less like Marcos, more like Zedillo, and as my long-ago comments about Tony Blair demonstrate, a good haircut helps.

So, it's obvious. But I'm not backing that candidate. I'm actually strongly in favor of Obama, because his positions are utterly non-objectionable, he seems to have good judgment, and --- to get to the bottom of it --- he looks the way my unborn children probably will.

It's hard for me to picture why anyone would back any likely Republican candidate, given the likely Democratic field ... with the caveat that I can completely understand why a rational social conservative would heart Huckabee.

I can also, of course, understand why anyone not sympathetic to Giuliani might fall into an anyone-but-Hillary camp and still be a rational person with consistent and morally admirable --- if not mine --- preferences.

Unless that anyone happens to be Will's formerly-preferred candidate, who also, in fact, would have been my preferred candidate seven years ago. Sadly, the last few years have left me debating between whether stupidity, senility, or cupidity explains his increasingly incomprehensible stance on the issues of the day.

Which means that I can kinda sorta understand somebody preferring Romney to Hillary, but not the other two GOP front-runners. Unless you believe in magic tax cuts, trying to win major wars without putting in effort, and the leader principle, in which case I can understand your vote, even if I can't understand your emotional state.

Man, I really don't like people who vote Republican these days. People who'd prefer to vote Republican, different story, of course.

Doug M.

Noel, you don't like ~45% of the country? That seems a bit extreme.

Color me as someone who'd like to vote Republican again one day. My father's family were moderate New England Republicans, a breed that's pretty much been hunted to extinction. That niche may never appear again, but there's gotta be something better than the current menu on offer.

As to the current Republican Party... well, Jim Henley had a good post a few weeks back. (If you're not reading Jim, he's a rare almost-sane libertarian.) Here we go:

"Change of party control of the White House and Congress is a necessary but not sufficient corrective to the last six years. Somehow there needs to be an explicit and formal repudiation of Practical Bushism: “preemptive” war, the “unitary executive” and the counterterror torture-state. This is a very big job for two reasons.

"First, because all that power is alluring, especially if it looks like your side might finally get to enjoy it... We’re hoping a critical mass of the political class - people who have made pursuing and wielding power the center of their lives - will reduce the legitimate scope of the power they can hope to attain.

"Second, because it means keeping the Republican Party out of power for a good long time. British Tories claim that Margaret Thatcher told associates in the 1980s that the Conservatives couldn’t hold power forever but needed to hang onto it until “Labor stopped being insane” - until Labor jettisoned what we might call “Scargillism.” Similarly, the US Republican Party has become a deeply corrupt institution top to bottom. It’s not just George Bush and his retinue. It’s not just the human shields of the Congressional GOP. It goes beyond the think-tank eunuchs and “conservative” media cheerleaders to the most pathetic marchers in what’s left of the right-wing blogosphere, down to the poorest spellers in their comment sections: the Republican Party has spent a half-dozen years distilling itself down to an apparatus for justifying massive executive power wielded by and for a self-designated elect of “real Americans,” and declaring everyone outside the elect to be fair game. We can disagree on how the Republican Party reduced itself to nothing but cheerleaders for the prerogatives of its own leaders against the rest of us - I have my theories like anyone else - but the rot goes all the way down.

"It will take a whole new cadre of Republicans to turn the party into something that deserves to be trusted with a meaningful share of American power. Those people don’t really exist yet. Put it this way: to the extent that they exist now, the “real Republicans” vituperate them and drive them off. You can see the dynamic whenever a formerly “reliable” blogger like John Cole or Der Commissar sets the Kool-Aid cup down and begins describing the jungle compound as it actually looks. You see it in the loathing for Chuck Hagel, who was all talk and no kissing until just this week. Behind George Bush is Alberto Gonzales. Behind Alberto Gonzales is John Yoo. Behind John Yoo are a dozen functionaries who think like him but whose names we don’t even know. In front of them all is a clown show of jesters and justifiers.

"It’s a rotten bunch, and it’s a rotten bunch that has found every soft spot in the structure of American Constitutionalism and poked it out. It is pleased to have done so [and] does not to this day question its rightness. What has to happen is thoroughly repudiating [of] them and their works. A notoriously fickle electorate has to keep them at bay. An obviously venal opposition has to rebuild the cage of laws around itself rather than running joyously rampant."

That's pretty much it. The modern Republican Party has evolved into something I find so loathsome that I think it will take years, and a serious transformation, before our paths cross again. I don't think it's impossible. I do think it might take a very long time.

Doug M.

Noel Maurer

Good point, Doug.

But ... I clearly do have a problem of some sort with 45 percent of the country. I just seem to have trouble finding the correct word to describe it.

My adverse reaction, Doug, to discovering that somebody voted for the GOP at the national level in '04 or '06 is stronger than you may realize. There are a few exceptions --- to give one example, I occasionally smoke cigars with the former personal aide of the current president --- but not a whole lot.

I'm not above getting into very ... ah ... heated discussions with perfect strangers in Southern bars about this topic.

So while "dislike" may be too strong, "disagree with" is also far too weak.


You want to shake them by the shoulders and yell "What were you THINKING?" over and over and over again in the hope that the right synapses might fire and they'll realize that fake drowning someone on a maxed credit card is an episode of Jackass and not a way to run a country?

Just a guess.

Noel Maurer

That sounds right, Carlos. My entire beef with Bernard, every last bit of it, is over my inability to resist the electronic equivalent of that urge.

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