Christian Schneider Proved Gerrymandering Exists in Wisconsin.

Ironically GOP shill and right wing apologist, JSOnline’s Opinion blogger Christian Schneider recently set out to damn the federal court ruling on WI redistricting and prove gerrymandering didn’t exist. When in fact he proved that it does.

In typical Mr. Schneider style book meanderings he starts off with something that has absolutely nothing to do with the topic at hand. And as most of us know, statewide elections whether it be for president or senator or governor hasn’t a thing to do with voting districts. But he digresses with:

It goes without saying that Donald Trump’s victory in Wisconsin nearly two weeks ago was unexpected. But according to a three-judge federal panel who just declared Wisconsin’s legislative maps unconstitutional, Trump’s stunning victory would have been all but impossible.

When you guys figure out what that has to do with the price of corn in Iowa county, let me know.

After throwing out chaff to put everyone off the scent, he got off track and proved the fact he was intent on disproving. And after talking about how assembly districts couldn’t have possibly have been designed to favor republicans, he goes exactly here:
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A good number of Democrats win large victories without a Republican challenger, which artificially inflates their share of the statewide vote.

Now the last half is meant to deflate the rational that Democrats get the majority vote in the state but don’t hold the majority assembly seats…but in those districts without a Republican challenger there aren’t ANY Republican votes. Yes, that is all kinda round and roundy logic and you can see it from either perspective you want.

And the big BUT is “A good number of Democrats win large victories without a Republican challenger…”. Why do you suppose that is? No Republican challenger? Because the GOP leaders in Madison did in fact gerrymander all of those pesky Democrat voters into their own little safe blue districts. Far far away from the red districts just so they couldn’t muck up the Republican incumbents.

So yes, the WI redistricting was in fact gerrymandering…and this helps support that…if the other clues in the mass media weren’t already proof enough!

TV station rejects pro-Johnson ‘cow manure’ ad

OK! Now we are starting to have some fun!

The pro-Ron Johnson super PAC Let America Work said Monday that a Milwaukee television station has refused to air an ad that includes an image of a steaming pile of cow manure and use of the word crap.

Let America Work senior adviser Graham Shafer called the decision by WISN-TV (Channel 12) “political censorship at its worst. It’s also comical hypocrisy.”

A notation of “copy unacceptable” was written in the ad file by a station employee.

I don’t have a whole lot of problems with the word crap and I hear it in public quite often…but I don’t think it is that common on very many over the air public media outlets. So I understand WISN-TVs reticence to air the ads. Clearly not doing so will cost them some money.

But here is where the real fun starts:

Shafer said: “When compared to the off-color language and indecent images that appear on WISN every single night, our ad is very tame.

He forgot to mention that most of the off-color language and indecent images are coming from their republican candidate for president…

They aren’t migrants!

For those of you who haven’t seen the news lately…or haven’t visited news sites that carry such news…the French government is tearing down a refugee camp in Calais and moving its residents to other facilities in France. Many of the residents are upset because they would like to reach Great Britain and feel that being moved from Calais will make that move more difficult. This despite the fact that the camp is described as a squalid jungle. So there has been some rioting and violence.

I don’t know what we can do about it directly but there is something about they way it is being reported in much of the America press the really bothers me. As we’ve seen in this campaign, words matter. And NPR and other outlets have repeatedly called the residents of these camps: migrants.

They aren’t migrants. Migrants follow the crops and harvest them. Migrants move from their home to a new home to find work. Migrants came to America to find a better life. Migrants settled the west and the plains by moving from the east. Migrants moved from the rural south to the north and Midwest to find factory jobs. Migrants abandoned the dust bowl and moved to California in the depression. Those are migrants.

The people in France are refugees. They have been violently driven from their homes by war. I think it is important that we don’t lose sight of that. They have left behind everything they knew for the unknown to literally keep from being killed.

This is an important distinction and I don’t know why the media is trying to soft pedal this by using the term migrant. As I said NPR has used the term migrant the past two days. Good Morning America got it right in a title: “France Begins Removing Thousands From Squalid ‘Jungle’ Refugee Camp“, but used migrant in the story a time or two. And the Associated Press uses migrants: “France moving more than 6,000 migrants, destroying huge camp” (an article reprinted in the October 26, 2016 print edition of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel where the subheading read: “Thousands of migrants still await relocation”).

I won’t go on with other examples…but it is really important that we use refugees…it denotes their existence and their presence resulting from violence, an involuntary movement from their former homes. The label migrant makes it sound voluntary and implies less urgency for their situation.

Let’s call refugees…refugees.

An Open Letter To The Online Media

This is totally a non-political rant…but I am mad as hell and I am not going to take it anymore…well maybe I am. [for now]

But to all of the online arms of the print and broadcast media: You are making your websites unusable.

Now I understand that you need ad revenues to keep publishing and broadcasting but you already have a third of your web page covered with ads…or worse those insidious click bait pieces of junk along the bottom row (you’d be wise to reconsider some of those as well). All of your new intrusive games are making your sites unreadable. What do I mean?

Well first, lets start with one of the more recent intrusions. I select an article from your site and while I am about half way through the first paragraph you insert a video ad just below the second graph and it resizes the page…and then when it stops…it closes and…resizes the page. It’s annoying to have to scroll up or down or re-scroll again as the ad opens/closes. Just insert the damn thing when the page loads and leave it there. I can deal with the black rectangle when it’s over…trust me on that.

And if I open an article and I scroll down past the video you have at the top because I would rather read the text…that doesn’t mean I want you to run the video anyway in that little two inch square window you opened at the bottom right hand corner of my browser. I don’t want to see the video, I don’t want to hear the audio, and I don’t enjoy you using up my bandwidth (and it makes your page slow and uneven in its response) while forcing it on me. And if I click on the ‘x’ to close it…that shouldn’t mean you take me back to the top of the page and continue to run the video.

And goodness no, I DON’T want to read ‘your circular’ before I can enter the website.

And a special note to USA Today and their captive subsidiaries (including the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel’s JSOnline): Launching the article and then magically sliding it down off the browser screen so you can display a full page ad…sucks. It sucks big time.

No I know advertising pays the bills. But you are killing the goose that lays the golden eggs here. Stop letting the advertising department run the website…hire a bona fide user interface designer!

It is getting to the point where I am starting to avoid certain sites over others as the annoyance level continues to grow.

Ted Cruz Asks a Pertinent Question

Why now?

Although as with everything around Senator Cruz, the story is convoluted, he definitely has a valid point:

Sen. Ted Cruz on Sunday appeared to accuse NBC of intentionally withholding tapes containing material far worse than newly revealed lewd comments Donald Trump made in 2005 boasting about forcing himself on women.

Cruz asked in a tweet why NBC hadn’t released behind-the-scenes videos of the Republican presidential nominee on “The Apprentice,” a reality show that he starred in for over a decade.

Following Friday’s release of audio in which Trump bragged about kissing and grabbing women without their permission, Bill Pruitt, a former producer on the show, said that there are “far worse” comments Trump made on tape.

“NBC had tape 11 yrs. Apprentice producer says they have more & worse. So why not release in 2015? In March? Why wait till October? #MSMBias” Cruz tweeted, referencing supposed bias towards Trump in the mainstream media.

Now in NBC’s defense the video isn’t theirs to release…but it doesn’t negate the point…why are we hearing about this now?

Following Friday’s release of the audio, the network claimed that it did not have the tapes of “The Apprentice,” and that the tapes are instead owned by Mark Burnett, who produced the show and is friendly with Trump.

Tea Party Radio Squawker Goes Over The Edge

Jay Weber of WISN AM radio got just a little out there recently when taking about the prescription pain killer problem at the Tomah VA hospital and Wisconsin Senator Tammy Baldwin and the slow reaction by anyone to solve the issue:

…every once in a while, one of the Milwaukee-area talkers crosses the line with something clearly objectionable.

Jay Weber of WISN-AM (1130) did just that a few weeks ago when discussing U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat.

“Maybe if those dead vets had been gay or lesbian, she would have acted — and they’d still be alive today,” Weber said.

I am not going to go into the obvious issues with Mr. Weber’s statement, but I do have one question for him:

How do you know that there aren’t any gay and lesbian vets at the Tomah hospital?

Did Trump Break One of the Few Remaining Campaign Laws?

There’s a grand article or two running all around the internet and social media about Stephanie Cegielski who supposedly was a key advisor to Donald Trump who finally wised up and jumped from the campaign. In an open letter to Trump supporters, Ms. Cegielski opens with this:

Even Trump’s most trusted advisors didn’t expect him to fare this well.

Almost a year ago, recruited for my public relations and public policy expertise, I sat in Trump Tower being told that the goal was to get The Donald to poll in double digits and come in second in delegate count. That was it.

The Trump camp would have been satisfied to see him polling at 12% and taking second place to a candidate who might hold 50%. His candidacy was a protest candidacy.

And I am now taking full responsibility for helping create this monster — and reaching out directly to those voters who, like me, wanted Trump to be the real deal.

Well needless to say the left is having a field day with this…a Trump insider leaving the campaign and spilling the beans on the campaign and the person.

But I got to wonder about something. In the above quotes she said she was recruited for her PR expertise and met with apparently his campaign staff. But her actual job was with a super PAC. So was this illegal co-ordination?

Last summer, I signed on as the Communications Director of the Make America Great Again Super PAC.

That remains a legitimate question despite the Trump campaign’s denial of Ms. Cegielski and the apparent inflation of her role by Ms. Cegielski herself…from Snopes:

Complicating things, the headline appeared to contradict the body of the article. xoJane identified Cegielski as Trump’s “top strategist” in their title, but Cegielski identified herself as the “Communications Director of the ‘Make America Great Again’ Super PAC” in her open letter to Trump supporters:

Cegielski was identified as a “spokeswoman” for the super PAC in an August 2015 article published in Politico, and Cegielski called herself a “consultant” on her LinkedIn profile.

While Cegielski’s official title may be unclear, it’s certain that labeling Cegielski “Trump’s top campaign strategist” is incorrect. Cegielski worked for a super PAC (which, despite the name, is not legally recognized as a political action committee and by law cannot contribute directly to or coordinate with a political campaign, although they can use raised funds to campaign independently) and not for Donald Trump’s presidential campaign. [emphasis mine]

And the denial from the Trump campaign via Snopes:

Hope Hicks, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, told Yahoo News that Cegielski was never employed by Donald Trump’s presidential campaign:

Evidently she worked for a Super PAC which Mr. Trump disavowed and requested the closure of via the FEC.

The “Make America Great Again” super PAC went dark as of October 2015 amid ongoing scrutiny of where the money was coming from and going to, and whether the committee had direct ties to the Trump campaign.

Given the nature of the Trump campaign it is hard to determine what can and what can’t be believed…but looking into funding for this super PAC and any cross pollination with the Trump campaign should get a cursory look see by the FEC or DOJ.

To the print media on the web: knock off the pop in video ads

I understand that the print media is a dead issue if they can’t make a successful transition to the web and monetize their offering. And I have been putting up with ad crammed pages for what already feels like forever and pages that take minutes to load before you can read an article and search engines that don’t find what you are looking for even when you know the author or a direct quote…sheesh.

But the newer trend of having TV type ads pop up in the middle of the actual articles has got to stop. They resize the page causing the text I am reading to scroll up and out of sight or down and out of sight while I am trying to read it…and then when they close the reverse happens…it makes your site unreadable! That’s not what you want…trust me!

IF you feel the need to run those ads…put them at the top…I’ll notice them…I can ignore them if I choose…and then don’t close them when they complete so the page stays the same size while I am reading. Annoying people isn’t going to improve your revenues…even you have to know that.

Media Downplays Urgency in the Syrian Diaspora via Migrants

From the New York Times to Yahoo News to local media outlets, the millions of Syrians fleeing their homeland are typically referred to as ‘migrants’. The word migrant has a fairly neutral connotation and usually refers to voluntary immigrants who move to a new nation for work or education or family reasons. The key here is voluntary.

The people fleeing Syria aren’t doing so for any of the fairly tame reasons attributed to migrants. They are literally fleeing for their lives from the armies of President Assad, the terrorism of ISIS and the bombing attacks from the US and our allies. They are truly for all intents and purposes, refugees.

And refugees present a whole different picture in the minds of the rest of the world. It contains the awareness of terror, desperation and foreboding that is the lot of those fleeing Syria.

Why has the media across the board chosen migrants over refugees? It totally saps the emergency status from the situation and increases the risks and desperation involved for these displaced peoples.

appendix:

diaspora: the movement, migration, or scattering of a people away from an established or ancestral homeland

migrant: a person who goes from one place to another especially to find work

refugee: someone who has been forced to leave a country because of war or for religious or political reasons

Stay classy, Meghan Dwyer (VIDEO)

While accepting a Midwest Emmy award on November 1, WITI FOX 6 reporter Meghan Dwyer was booed off the stage when she declared “Public schools suck!” during her acceptance speech.

Here’s Dwyer’s acceptance speech, complete with her rant about public schools.

And in a bizarre turn, in a post-show interview Dwyer claimed claimed she didn’t remember what she had said on stage during her acceptance speech. Here’s that video (her claim that she didn’t remember what she said is about 54 seconds into the video).

Despite how unprofessional her anti-public school rant appeared, Meghan Dwyer no doubt has a bright future ahead of her at the Fox News home office.