John Doe Didn’t Exonerate Scott Walker

Since the announcement by retired Appeals Court Judge Neal Nettesheim that the John Doe investigation around members of Governor Scott Walker’s former County Executive staff was closed, we saw exaggerated weeping and gnashing of teeth on the left and gloating on right…well nothing in the statement from Judge Nettesheim would indicate that either party is correct. Here is a quote of District Attorney John Chisholm about the reason for closing the John Doe:

“After a review of the John Doe evidence, I am satisfied that all charges that are supported by proof beyond a reasonable doubt have now been brought and concluded,” Chisholm said in a statement. “As a consequence, last week my office petitioned for, and Judge Nettesheim has granted, the closure of the John Doe investigation.”

“I am satisfied that all charges that are supported by proof beyond a reasonable doubt have now been brought and concluded.” This doesn’t say that there were no other areas that were investigated and found lacking in proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Doesn’t mean that there may have been other person(s) of interest that weren’t charged within the boundaries of this investigation. And it doesn’t specifically say that ANYONE was exonerated of any crime or criminal activity.

So this little jig and chant from Assembly Speaker Robin Vos is just an assumption on his part:

“Gov. Walker once again has done nothing wrong,” said state Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Rochester). “It’s important to know that this is a complete vindication of what he did and once again a reaffirmation of how he did things right.”

Governor Walker has stated that he was not the target of the investigation…and he may not have been…and he wasn’t charged with anything at all…not even bad judgement in hiring staff…but you always have to wonder when there’s smoke…who’s holding the match?

The US State Department and the Keystone XL Pipeline

Earlier this week the US State Department released their environmental impact study of the Keystone XL Pipeline. Essentially they found no environmental risks that were unmanageable and made no decisions on whether building the pipeline would be beneficial to the economy and energy needs of the United States.

They made a number of obvious statements…like building the pipeline would have no effect on US demand for crude oil…and that failure to complete the pipeline would not prevent continued exploitation of the Canadian oil sands. They did note that developing and refining oil sands crude does create more green house emissions than other crude oil sources. None of this is particularly surprising.

But one paragraph caught my eye and it seems to be self contradictory:

The president faces equally strong pressure from industry (to complete the pipeline ~ ed.), the Canadian government, most Republicans and some Democrats in Congress, local officials and union leaders, who say the project will create thousands of jobs and provide a secure source of oil that will replace crude from Venezuela, Saudi Arabia and other potentially hostile suppliers.

If the oil sands will be developed without Keystone XL, why the pressure on the president to build it? Obviously other options aren’t going to be equally profitable despite having to build a 1,700 mile pipeline.

And it will replace crude oil from potentially hostile suppliers? Then why pipe it half way across the continent? Why end the pipeline on the gulf coast if your intention is to use the oil domestically. Wouldn’t it be better to refine the oil in place and ship the refined products directly to their end users?

Or if it’s about jobs, build a new state of the art refinery in the upper Great Plains or upper Midwest that is specifically designed to refine tar sands crude? We get construction jobs in building the shortened pipeline and a new refinery. We get new refinery jobs in middle America. We get refined petroleum products in the mid-west far from the majority of our other sources of crude oil. That could reduce the risk of leaks in our existing petroleum pipeline infrastructure.

And we don’t have to buy rights of way across the country, threaten aquifers anywhere, and we can build a refinery where we need it most.

That seems like a win win…

So why does the oil need to get to refineries on the gulf? Because petroleum is a world market commodity. Prices are set in the world market. And it’s much easier to ship petroleum products from a port refinery that from say…South Dakota!

Building housing Sweet Water “Organics” up for lease

As reported by Katherine Keller of the Bay View Compass, the building that currently houses troubled aquaponics operation Sweet Water “Organics” is up for lease.

Commercial Realty Advisors, LLC has listed the space occupied by Sweet Water Organics, 2151 S. Robinson Avenue for lease.  Described as ideal for light distribution, industrial service, or manufacturing the listing includes 9,000 square feet of office and warehouse space. It is listed at $3.50 per SF NNN. The property is owned by Steven Lindner, whose Milwaukee rental-property company, Big Whale, LLC filed Chapter 11 in 2011.

When queried about whether or not Sweet Water will continue to operate in a different location or close down their sprouts, compost, and fish production operation District 14 Zielinski said, “The only thing I can say right now is that we’re looking at the options. The city is working on a number of different options. One would be to have Sweet Water Foundation operate at the same location,” he said.”

This news certainly can’t bode well for the continued viability of Sweet Water.

When will David Clarke apologize to Milwaukee County’s residents?

So when is Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke going to apologize to Milwaukee County’s residents for being such a moron?

In a letter to a Republican member of the U.S. Senate, Clarke has issued an apology “on behalf of my constituents” for Flynn’s blunt Capitol Hill testimony last week in support of an assault-weapons ban.

The sheriff accuses Flynn of being “embarrassing” and “rude,” and hostile to gun rights in the letter, sent to South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham, a member of the judiciary committee that heard Flynn’s testimony.

“Please do not see (Flynn’s) arrogance as exemplary of the people of Milwaukee County,” Clarke writes.