taxed enough already….Old School!

The “tea” parties were an annual event that with enough money from with enough money from the Koch Brothers, and an aggressive free PR campaign from Fox \”news\”, and it seems like these collections of loons are popping up everywhere like dandelions in the spring. We even had The rodeo clown glen beck, draw a fairly large crowd with his latest keep giving me money rally.

The “tea baggers” have wanted their country back for a long time now. As I have stated numerous times here, while there is some traces of a grass roots movement with the “tea partiers” and real anger towards government, I have also pointed out that it is hard to take them seriously because of their complete lack of understanding of the issues they are so upset about.

USA Today just pointed out that the “Taxed Enough Already crowd must want to bring their country back to 1950 because that is the last time they paid such a low rate of taxes.

Amid complaints about high taxes and calls for a smaller government, Americans paid their lowest level of taxes last year since Harry Truman‘s presidency, a USA TODAY analysis of federal data found.

As they break down very well at Crooks and Liars,  the next time the \’tea partiers\” bring up President Obama it should be to thank him!

Scott Walker TV ad scandal!!!!

Since folks on both sides of the political spectrum have taken it upon themselves to tear apart the ads being run by the statewide candidates in order to find something to make into an election issue, I figured I’d take a look at a recent ad being run by the Republican Governors Association on behalf of Republican gubernatorial candidate Scott Walker. The ad, which is a takeoff of the “tastes great…less filling” Miller Lite ads from the 1980’s, attacks Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett, but as the Barrett campaign pointed out earlier today, there’s just one problem with the ad: it wasn’t filmed in Wisconsin!

To prove the point that the ad wasn’t filmed in Wisconsin, here’s a screenshot from the ad, with one of the beer tappers highlighted:

Image courtesy Barrett for Wisconsin campaign

As was noted by Ryan Alexander of the Barrett campaign, Blue Point is a small microbrewery in Long Island, NY that is only distributed to 500 locations in Maryland, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, and New York. What, couldn’t Scott Walker and the Republican Governors Association find a real bar here in Wisconsin in which to film their attack ad?

No doubt the Right Wing Outrage Brigade™ will be all atwitter now that it’s been revealed that this ad wasn’t filmed in Wisconsin and presumably didn’t use real Wisconsinites, after their attempts to may hay out of the fact that a recent ad run by Sen. Russ Feingold’s campaign included the name of a fictional individual. Ultimately, despite the tongue-in-cheek title of this post I don’t see this as being a big scandal, just like I don’t believe the attacks on Sen. Feingold’s ads by the Right Wing Outrage Brigade™ were worth wasting much time on. Political ads are marketing; nothing more and nothing less, and the fact that at times they play fast and loose with the facts shouldn’t surprise anyone.

However, here’s a tip for Scott Walker and the RGA….if you’re going to put out an ad purporting to be set in a bar in Wisconsin, at least try to pick some of Wisconsin’s great beers as the tappers.

A couple of technical notes

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Is “These people could be in charge” the winning message for Democrats?

This promises to be a tough electoral year for Democrats, given the anti-incumbent mood that seems to be prevalent across the nation, and on a national level, Democrats have been searching for an effective argument to bolster their case that Republicans shouldn’t be allowed back in control of Congress. Democrats have used the terms “Bush Republicans” and “BP Republicans” to attack members of the GOP, but neither attack really seemed to gain any traction. Late last week, the DNC rolled out a new message to attack Republicans, and the DNC’s message isn’t very subtle: Republicans aren’t just wrong – they’re actually kind of crazy.

Last week Democrats unveiled a video, titled “These People Could be in Charge,” which highlights a variety of high-profile GOP candidates, all of whom appear to be, to varying degrees, stark raving mad.

The point isn’t subtle — voters are supposed to start connecting “Republican” and “crazy.” This is a party that doesn’t just want to turn back the clock to the Bush/Cheney era; this is a party that wants to scrap New Deal-era pillars of American society, repeal constitutional amendments, eliminate cabinet agencies, purge the GOP of moderates, etc.

That this effort is being launched the day before right-wing, anti-government zealots gather at the Lincoln Memorial is not, I suspect, a coincidence.

What’s more, the larger significance is very likely intended to push back against the very nature of the cycle. For months, the Republican plan has been to make the elections a referendum — if you don’t like the status quo, vote for the GOP. The Democrats’ task has been to present the midterms as a choice — you can choose to move forward with Dems, or you can go backwards with a radicalized Republican Party.

It’s a direct response to the best scenario Democrats could have hoped for. The GOP brand is still deeply unpopular, but presented with a key opportunity for massive gains, the party has nominated some real nutjobs. Voters who may have been inclined to vote Republican this year may think twice when they consider the weirdo whose name is on the ballot.

Here’s the video the DNC put out in conjunction with their new strategy:

As I noted earlier, there’s no denying 2010 is going to be a rough year for Democrats. With an economy that’s still struggling to recover from a nasty recession, folks are looking for someone to blame, and while there’s plenty of blame to be had by both parties, Democrats will bear the brunt of the frustration and anger that many across the nation are feeling (frustration and anger that no doubt have been fanned by Tea Party movement).

Given the difficult political climate Democrats are facing, their best bet might be the very strategy they’ve employed. Tying Republicans to the most far-right fringe elements of their party will only serve to remind the electorate just how far the Republican Party has veered away from the center in its journey to the far-right fringe of the political spectrum.

Urban gardening taking root in post-Katrina NOLA

This is just a great story…

When the levee along the Industrial Canal failed back in 2005 and the wall of water drowned much of New Orleans’ Lower Nine, the area north of Claiborne Avenue – the poorest section of the neighborhood – was hardest hit. Not surprisingly, the stretch has been slowest to recover. Five years after the devastating hurricane, the area still does not have a supermarket or store that sells fresh produce. Today, where houses once stood, jungle-like growths have consumed the lands. Other homes, still abandoned, are slanted and Burtonesque.

But just as strange is another thing in the neighborhood, right on Benton Street between North Roman and North Debigny. “We call it ‘The Volcano’,” says Brennan Dougherty. “We just started the compost pile back in April, and it’s already almost 15 feet tall and 40 feet long.” Then like a proud parent she adds, “It produces the most beautiful soil you’ve ever seen.” Dougherty is the manager of a farm in the Lower Nine where organic vegetables are grown and goats raised where drug deals used to take place. (See pictures of the surreal remains of Six Flags New Orleans.)

At five each morning, Dougherty hops into a pick-up truck and drives 8.9 miles to the Whole Foods on Magazine Street. The store donates its vegetable waste to the farm, which helps explain the Volcano’s growth spurt and rich content. Dougherty’s farm is connected to an independent community school, Our School at Blair Grocery, and serves as a hands-on, outdoor classroom where students and neighborhood teens learn they have the power to control their health and lives. The local youth care for the animals and help grow okra, collard greens, beets, dill and garlic.

As someone who’s just starting to reap the benefits of my own little urban garden, I can’t say enough good things about growing your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs, and if you’d like to know more about what’s going on here in the Milwaukee area to promote urban gardening, check out the Victory Garden Initiative.

David Clarke the DINOSAUR**

Last week I asked why Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke won’t debate his opponent in the Democratic primary for the office currently held by Clarke, and while I don’t know all the reasons why Clarke is avoiding debating Chris Moews, I’m betting it might be because Clarke, a “Democrat,” has been really really busy talking to groups like the Conservative Young Professionals of Milwaukee:

Image courtesy of Cognitive Dissidence

Curiously, a quick look at the community events page of Clarke’s reelection website shows Clarke isn’t attending a single event associated with Democrats or liberals, which seems odd considering Clarke keeps running for reelection as a Democrat.

** DINOSAUR: Democrat In Name Only, Secretly An Undercover Republican (credit to capper for that)

capper has his own take on this.