Tommy Thompson Campaign Hits New Low With Racial Comment About President Obama

There really is no low point that the Republicans will not fall to when trying to win a political race.

The latest example of gutter politics took place when Jason Thompson, the son of former Governor and Wisconsin Senate candidate Tommy Thompson, spoke at a brunch in Kenosha County that was attended by RNC Chairman Reince Priebus.  With Tommy Thompson in attendance the following took place.

“…we have the opportunity to send President Obama back to Chicago — or Kenya.”

Is this really where we want to be in 2012 when it comes to electing a United States Senator from Wisconsin?

This video is more Mississippi or Alabama than Wisconsin, and as such Tommy Thompson needs to apologize to the voters of this state.

An apology to the President Of The United States would be a nice gesture too!

Wisconsin State Journal Columnist Chris Rickert Is So Very Wrong About Political Parties Having Same Goals

The ending to the latest column by Chris Rickert in the Sunday edition of the Wisconsin State Journal demands a reply.

For most of the column one can basically agree with what Rickert writes, but then comes this rather ridiculous ending.

In politics, somebody’s always got to  lose.

It will be a lot better for democracy — not to mention one’s mental health — if the winners at least realize the  losers share the same species.

And, for the most part, the same goals, even if they have different ideas about how to reach them.

Now let me be quite clear here for those of you who are not laughing yourselves silly.

The fact is it just is not true to say the two parties this year have shared goals.  It is not true to say that about the two candidates running for president, and is not true in regards to the two main political parties in this nation.

There is not a sharing of the same goals.

Republicans want to dissemble government, dismantle it, break the bonds between the government and the people, and remove the process whereby we solve our collective concerns in a democratic way.

To pretend that there is not a wide chasm between the two parties, or that this election is not a critical one in terms of how government is viewed, or how the relationship between government and the governed will be treated is to have missed the entire national dialogue over the past year.

I read Rickert all the time so know that he has not been on a sabbatical, but having said that I wonder how he can be so out of touch on his view of the election, or the differences between the parties.

The Republican Party, as it is constructed now with Tea Party wing-nuts having the louder voice, never misses a chance to denounce government for having a role in eduction, urging for the repeal of regulations on business and the safety standards for the environment, undermining civil rights for gay people, going backwards on contraception and women’s health care, and the urging of privatization on virtually everything.

Let us not forget the massive applause lines from conservatives for the ideas that the federal government has no business telling states how to educate our children, or whenever someone expressed contempt for the very government they seek to either lead or be a part of if elected.

The GOP convention platform passed this year states that all federal spending should be reviewed to ensure powers reserved for the states are not given to the federal government.  That is more than coded language for dismantling the federal government.

No Mr. Rickert, these are not shared goals between the two main parties.

But the differences between the parties goes beyond just the stated policy goals.  There also needs to be a reminder of the type of people who now seek to ‘lead’ the nation from the GOP side of the aisle.

I am 50 years old, and can recall a time not so long ago when someone was admired and sought out for having a long tenure in government, thereby underscoring experience and institutional memory.

Now the Republican Party jettisons the serious ones, such as Senator Dick Lugar who was ousted in a dreadful and short-sighted primary, so the red-meat teabagger crowd with a disdain for science and facts can rhetorically drive themselves to elected office to undo government.

Shared goals between the parties?

Are you kidding me?

How I Miss Tim Russert On “Meet The Press”

Not for the first time did I sit on a Sunday morning missing Tim Russert while watching Meet The Press.

Not for the first time did the bulk of the show feature pundits of various stripes analyzing the political landscape and offering spin for the various parties as opposed to a main guest who was grilled for answers.

When Tim Russert was alive and in charge of the must-see Sunday show it was filled with substance, and was known as the toughest interview on national television.

During the political season, such as the one we are now witnessing, Russert would have the candidates from the heavy-hitting senate races for interviews, and even debates.  There was heft for his show, and always the Monday paper would have a comment from one of those interviewed with a snippet that made for a larger-themed news article.

Can anyone image that being the case from the roundtable type appearance that made for this morning’s broadcast?

I understand that things never stay the same, and broadcasters and journalists come and go.

But why do the changes always seems to ratchet downwards instead of upwards?

God, I miss Tim Russert.

Was Dr. H.H. Holmes And ‘Jack The Ripper’ The Same Person?

The Devil In The White City By Erik Larson is a top-notch book, one that I strongly recommend.  If you have read my praise for the author, you will understand why I love his books that are richly detailed and marvelously written.

This book deals not only with the creation of the World Fair in Chicago which was unlike anything built before, but the story also deals with the dark side of society taking place at the same time in the area as the international event.

Dr. H.H. Holmes was a deranged doctor living a secret life in the Englewood neighborhood mansion he had built. Its interior contained torture chambers where he murdered his 200 victims. He was America’s first known serial killer.

With masterful precision Larson allows the readers to understand why at this point in our nation so many young single women were moving to cities, and how the fair was a magnet for the hopes of so many.  Larson follows the story to the end of Holmes’ life.

This past week another radio talk show on this matter caught my attention about the research and writing concerning if Holmes may very well have been the same person as ‘Jack The Ripper’ who terrorized Britain.

I grabbed this older story off the internet, and offer it as background into the mystery.  I am still not totally convinced, but with more digging by historians and researchers we may one day know the answer.

Now the mystery may be solved, proven by both direct scientific evidence and thorough investigations made by Jeff Mudgett, the great, great grandson of infamous serial killer H.H. Holmes and author of Bloodstains. Newly released forensic evidence shows that the handwriting of the famous Ripper letters were a match with Holmes’ handwriting on his letters from prison. The obvious similarity of the two specimens is remarkable, even to the untrained eye.

Herman Webster Mudgett, better known under the alias of Dr. H.H. Holmes, was the first documented American serial killer in the modern sense of the term. In approximately 1892, Chicago, just in time for The World’s Fair, Holmes opened a hotel (later dubbed Murder Castle) which he had designed and built for himself specifically with murder in mind. While he confessed to 27 murders, his actual body count was probably much higher than 200.

While researching Holmes’ story, Mudgett became increasingly aware of the possibility that Holmes could be Jack the Ripper. He was also aware how difficult it would be to prove, considering the lack of evidence, amidst the constant barrage of Jack the Ripper hoaxes. After Bloodstains was published in 2011, Mudgett was visited by one of his readers who had also contented that the men were one in the same. The reader’s forensic evidence, though largely circumstantial, was astounding. He had submitted handwriting evidence to the renowned British Library, who after their own review, recommended Ms. Margaret Webb for a professional expert opinion in order to determine if the two works had been done by the same hand. This past July, Ms. Webb returned her conclusion that both were absolutely from the same hand, and that Holmes was the author of the Ripper letters. However, when her opinion was released to the world, as well as another expert’s similar opinion, Ms. Webb’s conclusion was lambasted, largely because she was also a graphologist and not solely a “handwriting expert,” despite the British Library’s respect and admiration. In researching the difference between the two occupations, Jeff Mudgett, an attorney by trade, came across the United States Supreme Court’s Daubert decision which ruled expert testimony concerning handwriting would no longer be admissible unless it rested on a reliable foundation and was generated from scientific knowledge.

Because of this landmark decision, the U.S. Post Office and Department of Justice hired a mathematic and scientific firm at the University of Buffalo to create a computer program to differentiate the millions of styles of handwriting. Led by Dr. Sargur Srihari and Dr. Venu Govindaraju, the Cedar-Fox program was created. When activated, the new program, if given substantial documents, was getting it right 96% of the time, an unheard of number (and 80% right when comparing mere words). ABC News ran segments about this new breakthrough in forensic science and trial evidence.

Mudgett contacted these experts, scientists at the University of Buffalo, who agreed to donate their services in the interests of history after learning the cause. The conclusion reached by these scientists was that the classifier performance number, (97.95%) “can be taken to indicate the JTR and Mudgett classes are similar in style.” To understand this number, consider that if two of your own documents were compared, the number would not reach 100%. The scientists further discussed difficulties with the historical (age) and cursive rather than character nature of the documents and requested more samples to enable them to give a more firm, confident conclusion. In non-scientific terms, this means, ‘there is no doubt, we just need more testing before sticking our necks out to the entire world and history.’ More samples were sent immediately. Additional data is forthcoming. Scotland Yard has also been notified of the results.

Therefore, by scientific evidence, as required by the U.S. Supreme Court, Holmes was the author of the Ripper letters, and in the author’s legal opinion, Jack the Ripper.

Political Campaigns Mine Personal Data

National Public Radio’s On The Media had a fascinating story this weekend about the mining of personal information for the use in political campaigns.

The above the fold story in The New York Times on the same topic today delves further into this matter that, as NPR commented, needs to be further reported on by the media.

Since there is ample coverage this weekend I would like readers to consider the following report.

“[C]onsultants to both campaigns said they had bought demographic data from companies that study details like voters’ shopping histories, gambling tendencies, interest in get-rich-quick schemes, dating preferences and financial problems. The campaigns themselves, according to campaign employees, have examined voters’ online exchanges and social networks to see what they care about and whom they know. They have also authorized tests to see if, say, a phone call from a distant cousin or a new friend would be more likely to prompt the urge to cast a ballot. The campaigns have planted software known as cookies on voters’ computers to see if they frequent evangelical or erotic Web sites for clues to their moral perspectives. Voters who visit religious Web sites might be greeted with religion-friendly messages when they return to mittromney.com or barackobama.com.

 

 

Would Mitt Romney Act In White House Like He Did As Governor?

Those damn facts keep getting in the way of the Mitt Romney campaign.

During Mr. Romney’s four-year term as governor of Massachusetts, he cumulatively spent more than a year — part or all of 417 days — out of the state, according to a review of his schedule and other records. More than 70 percent of that time was spent on personal or political trips unrelated to his job, a New York Times analysis found.       

Mr. Romney, now the Republican presidential nominee, took lengthy vacations and weekend getaways. But much of his travel was to lay the groundwork for the presidential ambitions he would pursue in the 2008 election, two years after leaving office.

During his last year as governor, he was largely an absentee chief executive. In October 2006, for example, he was out of the state all or part of 25 days. His public schedules said he was spending “personal time in Utah” or “attending political events” in California, Colorado, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, Texas and Wisconsin. He went to a fund-raiser on Oct. 6 in Georgia for the Republican candidate for lieutenant governor, stumped on Oct. 12 for a candidate for governor in Pennsylvania and appeared on Oct. 31 in Idaho on behalf of another candidate. In December, his last month in office, he took a swing through Asia before vacationing in Utah.