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Member since: Thu Apr 29, 2010, 02:31 PM
Number of posts: 53,475

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West Allis (Wisconsin) man sentenced for voting twice in 2012 presidential election


A 34-year-old West Allis man who blamed depression and anxiety for voting twice in the 2012 presidential election was sentenced Wednesday to 90 days in jail as a condition of 18 months probation. The sentence was less than a prosecutor recommended, but more than the fine recommended by Todd M. Murray's lawyer, who argued that Milwaukee County is harshly out of line with the rest of the state in resolving cases of double voting.

Circuit Judge Joseph Donald said it didn't matter that Murray's extra vote didn't affect any electoral outcomes. It's still a serious offense that affects everyone else who counts on the principle of one person, one vote. A sentence without jail time, Donald said, would depreciate the nature of the crime.


His attorney, Charles Blumenfield, commissioned an analysis of every double-voting case in Wisconsin since 1991. It showed only four cases of 19 resulted in jail time, and all were in Milwaukee County. Assistant District Attorney Bruce Landgraf pointed out that many of the outstate cases involved proof problems, had been reduced to misdemeanors or involved older or brain-injured defendants. He noted that no other county besides Milwaukee has ever had more than one double voting case.

Landgraf agreed that Murray came to court with positive social attributes, but also noted that the typical double-voting defendant in Milwaukee County had similar demographics — suburban male, educated, not politically active, with a good job and no criminal past.

Unregulated bout pits seasoned kickboxer vs. man with mental disabilities

This shit is just sick and needs to be regulated if not banned entirely.


Jesse Rowell had more than a decade of experience as a combat trainer and fighter — and four wrestling championships to his credit — when he stepped into the ring for a kickboxing match at a Harley-Davidson dealership in Milwaukee last month. His opponent in the final bout was hardly a challenge.

He fought Jessie Roach, 31, who suffers from mental illness and, according to his family, has the intellectual capacity of a young grade-schooler.

Roach receives federal disability payments, has great difficulty reading because of dyslexia and said he doesn't know what a waiver is, though he remembers signing something before the fight. He trained in a garage with a friend and was expecting to be in a wrestling match. He didn't find out he was kickboxing until hours earlier. It was his first such bout.

Rowell, 36, an established fight promoter and gym owner, knocked Roach out in 47 seconds with a kick to the head as hundreds of fans cheered at the Milwaukee Harley-Davidson dealership, where motorcycles were cleared out to make room for a ring.

Music and the Mind

In this edition of "Grey Matters," Aniruddh Patel, of the Neurosciences Institute, discusses what music can teach us about the brain, and what brain science, in turn, can reveal about music. Series: "Grey Matters"

In case you haven't seen it, here's the White House petition to prosecute the torturers


Become a co-sponsor of Sherrod Brown's "Strengthening Social Security Act"

from my email ....


We just received huge news out of Washington: Senator Sherrod Brown (D-OH) has announced that next month he will be re-introducing the Strengthening Social Security Act, keeping up the momentum to expand Social Security benefits.

"With even middle-income seniors relying on Social Security for at least two-thirds of their retirement income, it’s critical that we advance the Strengthening Social Security Act – expanding benefits, strengthening the program’s future, and making retirement more secure for all Americans," said Brown.

Now is the time to build support for Senator Brown’s bill and to ask every member of the U.S. Senate to sign-on as a co-sponsor.

We need a strong show of support to ensure that when Senator Brown introduces the bill in January, he has more co-sponsors than Senator Harkin's bill had last year.

Support Senator Brown’s new expansion bill today and ask every member of the U.S. Senate to become a co-sponsor of the Strengthening Social Security Act.

We'll be working with our partners at the Progressive Change Campaign Committee to make sure senators see this grassroots support as we ask them to co-sponsor Brown's Social Security expansion bill in January.

Expanding Social Security is not just a progressive or Democratic issue. Our polling shows that 79% of likely voters – Democrats, Republicans and Independents – support expanding Social Security benefits and paying for it by asking the very wealthy to pay their fair share. But, too many in Washington are afraid of taking a strong stance on critical issues. They would rather oppose cuts or oppose privatization than take a strong stance on expansion. And that is why Senator Brown needs our immediate help.

Before Senator Brown introduces his expansion bill next month, we must tell every U.S. Senator where we stand. We must urge them to stand with the American people and stand with Senator Brown.

Senator Brown is one of our strongest Social Security champions and he needs our help. Click here to rally his colleagues in support of his new expansion legislation.

We’re not waiting for the new Republican Congress to call for cuts to our earned benefits. We’re staying on offense and rallying around our Social Security champions.

Please, take action today and tell Congress where we stand: Expand, don’t cut Social Security!

Thank you,
Michael Phelan
Social Security Works

Some days I'm ashamed to be an American.


Wisconsin: The "Liberal Media" strikes again (and again).


U.S. Senator Ron Johnson and Mary Burke had similar resumes when they ran for statewide office: Both had business backgrounds, and both had the primary qualification of being wealthy enough to self-finance their own campaigns. Both also owe their business backgrounds to being hired by the family business, and both got their wealth the old fashioned way... they inherited it. Burke, through her father (bicycle magnate Richard Burke), and Johnson through his father-in-law (plastics magnate Howard Curler).

Yet, when you read about Mary Burke, nearly every article makes some mention of the fact that she got wealthy because of her father, while there is not a single article that even mentions, in any material way, that Ron Johnson owes 99% of his wealth and fortune to his father-in-law. In fact, Johnson even inferred (repeatedly) that it was he-- not his father-in-law-- who built his plastics business from the ground up by making subtle claims like, "I built it from the ground-up." And Johnson's surrogates at the NRSC even claimed that Johnson was a"self-made man."

The media's reaction? Crickets, baby. In fact, Roll Call's David Hawking recently wrote a long love letter column to "self-made multi-millionaires" like... Ron Johnson? According to Hawking, through Johnson's grit and determination, he, "made a killing in plastics." Humorously, the whole point of the article is that "self-made" rich guys like Ron Johnson have replaced the old guard of rich guys whose whose wealth was "principally because of their inheritance."

But Mary Burke? Ohhhhhh... with Burke, the media not only referenced her father in every single story, but also made her account for every month she worked for Trek, her exact position each month, and even went so far as to run a poorly-sourced smear story just days before the election saying she was fired from Trek (even though she continued to work there for nine years after her alleged firing).

I guess when he says he "built it from the ground up" Johnson really means "I married the daughter of a rich man who hired me." More in the article about Johnson's business "acumen".

Said on the TeeVee


A political action committee trying to raise money for a 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign is selling “Ready for Hillary” champagne glasses and Christmas ornaments. Because if one thing improves the holidays, it's drinking mixed with politics.


For the first time, a major league baseball umpire has announced he's gay. The umpire did this by pointing at himself and yelling, "OUT!"

Researchers: Police likely provoke protestors — not the other way around


New research from the University of California, Berkeley, shows that police are often the provocateurs of violence during demonstrations. The Deciding Force project, who has been studying clashes between law enforcement and protestors in 192 cities during Occupy demonstrations in 2011, said that attacks by police against protesters in Ferguson, Mo., are part of a disturbing trend of law enforcement playing the role of agitator.

“Everything starts to turn bad when you see a police officer come out of an SUV and he’s carrying an AR-15,” said Nick Adams, a sociologist and fellow at UC Berkeley’s Institute for Data Science who has been heading the research at the Deciding Force Project. “It just upsets the crowd.”


“We’re finding police have a lot of capacity to set a tone,” Adams said during a recent radio interview with Sacramento’s KFBK. “When police show up in riot gear you get a different kind of interaction than when they show up in their regular uniforms.”

In Ferguson, police in full tactical gear have shot tear gas at protestors, pelted them with rubber bullets, and utilized smoke bombs to clear crowds. Numerous arrests have been made, including more than a dozen journalists covering the demonstrations.

I don't think the number of clicks DU gets in a day is very important. What is important ...

... is the content.

Some discussion today about DU traffic volumes and comparisons with other sites. Seems like noise to me.

What is important, at least to me, is the quality of the posts and replies. Yes, there's click-bait, cat pictures and thinly-disguised right-wing memes to wade through. However, at least to this DU user there's still a wealth of excellent DU-original writings, and vetted links to other sources that I just don't seem to find anywhere else on the net.

There's also a minimum of vitriol, racism, sexism, name-calling and other bad behaviors. Thanks to the jury system and MIRT for this. Other sites I've tried are often unusable because of such crap.

I would think that traffic volumes will wax and wane over time. Unless we drop below some minimum participation I don't see this as an issue. If the original writings and other sharing of information were to dry up, I would consider that a major problem.

My two cents.
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