President Nixon’s Grand Jury Transcripts To Be Unsealed

Richard Nixon keeps on giving.  I trust these materials are open for pubic viewing soon.  There will be nothing earthshaking in this testimony, but it will be one more slice of the story concerning Watergate that will be unfolded for all to see.

A federal judge has ordered the government to unseal grand jury transcripts of testimony by former President Richard Nixon about the Watergate scandal.

Ruling in a lawsuit brought by a historian and several historical associations, Chief U.S. District Judge Royce C. Lamberth ordered the transcripts to be unsealed.

The testimony was taken near Nixon’s California home in 1975 – after he had resigned in the wake of the scandal.

The Watergate scandal, which began with a June 1972 burglary in Washington, eventually led to the President’s resignation after investigations linked the burglars to top White House operatives.

“The special circumstances presented here – namely, undisputed historical interest in the requested records – far outweigh the need to maintain the secrecy of the records,” Lamberth wrote. “The Court is confident that disclosure will greatly benefit the public and its understanding of Watergate without compromising the tradition and objectives of grand jury secrecy.”

The government is entitled to appeal the ruling.

Lack Of Bi-Partisanship In Wisconsin By The Numbers

For all the chatter about how the Republicans just want to work with Democrats to make Wisconsin a better place for job creation, while improving the lives of state residents, come the numbers to suggest bi-partisanship is not a priority for the GOP.

Before the protest, Democrats and Republicans voted in favor of several jobs-related bills introduced by the governor. After the protest, members of both parties stayed on their sides of the fence.

For example, Assembly Democrats have offered 376 amendments to Republican bills this session. Only one of them passed: an amendment that allowed families to participate in Milwaukee’s school voucher program, even if their income exceeded a cap.

Democrats also introduced 49 of their own bills, of which 42 have yet to even be heard in committee. None has passed the Assembly.

In the previous session, when Democrats controlled both houses and Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle was in office, 107 Assembly Republican bills were heard in committee, and 50 were passed by the Assembly.

“Bipartisanship isn’t just when we do what the Republicans want,” said Assembly Minority Leader Peter Barca, D-Kenosha. “This session, they have acted like we have nothing to offer.”

Speaker Boehner And ‘The Poison Pill’ Will Mean Tea Party Loses Budget Battle

Later tonight, if we are to believe the whips in the House, the final vote will take place on the concoction arranged by Speaker Boehner to garner just enough votes to pass his debt limit budget plan.  Voting is planned for after 7 Pm Eastern Time. 

One almost has to feel sorry for Boehner as he lowers himself to such idiotic moves that are designed as much to pass just anything at this point to move the debt limit process to the Senate, as it is to save his position.

The truth is that there is not a snowball’s chance in hell that what is being stirred together in the House will have any chance to see daylight. 

Nor should it.

The conservatives’ main demand is a requirement that a balanced-budget amendment pass both the House and the Senate before the next debt-ceiling increase.   Who do these conservative think they are dealing with?  This is the ‘poison pill’ that will never fly for a second in the Senate.   This is all a bid to woo conservative support from within Boehner’s own caucus to get the bill passed–but the change moves the bill even further from possible compromise.

This only marginalizes teabaggers even more than they are now.  This is where having some political know-how would pay off for the newbies.  But they shun such stuff….

So where are we headed from here?

The House will likely pass something tonight.  Then most think the scenario, as printed this morning in the Wall Street Journal will start to play out.  The losers are those same newly elected  House Republicans who are most likely still trying to find the restrooms.

Senate leaders retorted that Mr. Boehner’s bill would be dead on arrival in the Senate even if it did pass the House, shelved by a procedural measure that required only 51 votes. They planned to hold an initial vote Saturday on an alternative plan by Mr. Reid. But it, too, faced the challenge of winning the 60 votes it would need to pass the Senate.

While both sides issued ultimatums, they also continued back-channel efforts toward a compromise. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R., Ky.) was talking with Vice President Joe Biden about ways out of the stalemate, Democratic aides said. Mr. McConnell’s office downplayed the conversations.

The White House isn’t sure whether the two sides will agree by Tuesday and is betting the House Republicans will compromise in the end, according to Democratic officials familiar with the matter.

The Obama administration believes Senate Republicans, particularly Mr. McConnell, will be crucial to persuading House Republicans to a final deal.

In the end the House will then pass what the Senate and White House works out, with moderate Republicans joining the Democrats, while the Tea Party members are still seeking the restrooms.

Lets watch….

House Tarnished, Senate Is The Power Broker In Debt Talks

Last night was nuts.

“Longtime observers of Congress have never seen a more embarrassing setback. The real fall guys are Cantor and McCarthy, whose job it is to count votes and whose claim to fame is understanding the tea party. Apparently they can do neither. Even if the House passes something, it will be so tarnished with this failure and the dark-of-night changes to make it less bipartisan that it is now an even more pointless exercise. It’s really all about the Senate now, and what reasonable compromise they can work out with the White House. And Boehner will have to swallow a bill that has spending cuts and extends the ceiling into 2013, which half his caucus will abandon him on. The irony is that is the exact same deal he could have [taken] this weekend, and saved himself this embarrassment.”

Gay Couples Make Census News In Wisconsin

Top story above the fold in today’s Wisconsin State Journal was not really news at all.  Everyone knows that society has changed views on gay Americans, and gay relationships.  As such the closet has been replaced with an open porch attitude.

As it should be.

With this acceptance it is only a matter of time…within the decade…that gay marriage will be a reality nationwide.

“I think social acceptance has moved beyond the coasts and urban areas and into more suburban and rural areas,” said Gary Gates, demographer for the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law at UCLA.

Among the 29 states for which the census has released data so far, every one showed an increase in same-sex couples, with a total overall jump of 49 percent. At the top of the list were Montana, which saw an 88 percent increase, and West Virginia, at 80 percent. Wisconsin ranks 11th among the 29 states in rate of increase. Big jumps in some states probably can be attributed to a growing willingness to report.

“There does seem to be a notion that more conservative places previously had bigger closets,” Gates said. New York, California, Vermont and Connecticut, by contrast, saw only modest increases.

Dane County had the highest rate of same-sex couples in the state — nearly 12 out of every 1,000 households — and Madison topped all other cities by a wide margin, with nearly 16 of every 1,000 households. Fitchburg had the third highest rate in the state, with about 11 same-sex couples per 1,000 households.

Pictures: F-16 Damaged At EAA Show In Oshkosh

An F-16 fighter jet was damaged when it overshot a runway at the Experimental Aircraft Association’s AirVenture in Oshkosh, Wis on Thursday.  No one injured.   The plane’s landing gear collapsed and the nose cone was damaged.