Conservatives take the rotunda. Solidarity singers sing outside. A good time was had by all.

Warning: no assaults or claims of choking are to be found in this story of dueling singers.

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After a visit from gun right activists last Tuesday, a Solidarity Sing Along singer wound up with a chipped tooth. So I didn’t welcome news of a conservative group coming to sing yesterday at the Capitol. I wondered if we’d see another act of violence.  In the end, there was no conflict to speak of.

When I asked Blaska why he was  inspired to organize his  own conservative singing day at the Capitol he replied, “Dave Zien” and added “There’s some frustration with the fact that  these people have taken over the rotunda every day and I think there’s a good reason for a permit, simply so you allow everybody to get a chance.”

Retired senator Zien’s frustration was expressed by yelling and careening counter-clockwise around the Capitol rotunda floor last Tuesday aiming his wheelchair at the feet of singers. I’m glad Blaska has selected a more civil form of expression.

While there may be frustration, I doubt it can be entirely pinned on nobody else getting a chance to be in the Capitol since the singers go outside to sing on Monday and Friday every week. Also, group co-leader Steve Burns told me yesterday that whenever a group has a permit and communicates with the singers about their needs, they have moved out of the building “We often move outside the Capitol – for a school group or anything like that.” I’ll add that the  singers only sing from noon to 1PM on weekdays  when many workers and politicians leave the Capitol building for lunch.

About 40 conservatives convened to sing with Isthmus blogger Dave Blaska. To me they looked a little older on average than the Solidarity Singers – maybe 50 years old was “young” for the group. The oddest things they did were sing some TV theme songs – The FlintstonesGilligan’s Island andGreen Acres – and bring in some different flags. In the photo below you’ll see somebody holding the “don’t tread on me” flag and the flag of Arizona. I wish I’d asked this person directly what this meant to them, because now it haunts me. I can’t make sense of it.

When I put the question to this blog’s facebook fans, I got this response:”..I think AZ is aspirational for WI Tea Baggers. They see Jan Brewer, John McCain & the Minutemen as beacons of hope.”

By the time I dropped in to listen, the singers had switched to songs like the Marine Hymnn, the Battle Hymn of the Republic, and the Star Spangled Banner. Their group included some good singers capable of harmonizing.

While they sang, about 3 people held signs on the main floor from the solidarity singers group, and perhaps 5 people, including Jeremy Ryan, held a banner on the upper floor that compared the GOP to ALEC.

Relations between group leaders remained amicable.  “When other groups are using the rotunda we move outside, as well, to make sure they have use of the space. It is consistent with what we’ve done for every other group … it’s their house as well as ours; it is everybody’s house.” – Chris Reeder a leader for Solidarity Sing Along, cited in WRN

Blaska told me he did discuss sharing songs with the Solidarity Singers but that logistics didn’t allow for it.  I’m guessing that the two group’s taste in songs wouldn’t mesh anyway, given that one group sings about coming after “Scotty” and the conservative group is, well, supportive of Scott Walker.

To affirm everybody’s right to peacefully assemble and speak, Chris Reeder took a break from singing and led roughly 200 in reading Article 1 Section 4 of the Wisconsin constitution [what you see in the opening of the video below].

When I asked the Solidarity Sing Along founder Steve Burns what his opinion is of seeking a permit to sing in the rotunda, he replied:

“I think my opinion about freedom of speech is probably what the other side’s opinion is about being able to carry a gun which is that we shouldn’t have to ask the government for permission. So just as some of them might say well I can walk around the streets with a gun without having to get a permit we feel like people should be able to come into the Capitol and express their views in a group without having to ask the government for a permission slip.”

Here’s a 3 minute video I did on the event.

WNPJ sponsors the daily Solidarity Sing Along project.

Warning: Blaska Sex Flu and assorted Kinky kookiness ahead–Lillian McEwen & Clarence Thomas

First up, are you a Leftie who has a little too much sex drive? I have just the verbal cold shower for you: Conservative blogger Dave Blaska’s cleavage gazing. In his account of the Scott Walker inauguration, “Maybe half the guys were in tuxes. The ladies, of course, were much more creatively attired. Your faithful blogger appreciated his fair share of well presented cleavage, as is his right under the Constitution.”

I’m afraid that a Progressive person’s constitution can’t take it. Doctors say that Left of Centerness combined with exposure to Dave’s right wing dorkness results in no sex drive for 7 days and puking a little.  It’s being called “Blaska Sex Flu”. Conspiracy theorists link Dave’s cleavage gazing with 1,000’s of birds falling out of the sky in Arkansas, but I think that’s just too hilarious to be true. Hat tip to Dane101 but before they gave me the warning on that, I had already read Dave’s cringe-inspiring post.

Anita Hill is somewhere smiling for the first time in 19 years. I know *I* find this immensely satisfying.

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas’s ex-girlfriend Lilian McEwen is writing a book to be published by Green Bay publisher Title Town Publishing which is “sexually driven”.  Lilian McEwen has some details in the book regarding Thomas’ inappropriate comments and porn obsession.

Well, that’s a coincidence.Thomas’s former employee, Anita Hill, alleged [here’s your link to Arlen Spector grilling her] that Clarence Thomas made inappropriate comments and had a porn obsession in testimony delivered back in 1991. “He spoke about acts that he had seen in pornographic films involving such matters as women having sex with animals and films showing group sex or rape scenes”

A woman owns and operates publisher Title Town. As for that Senate body that heard Anita Hill’s testimony back in the day and dismissed it and allowed Clarence Thomas on the bench — not one female was on it.  Just sayin’.   Green Bay Press Gazette Anita Hill’s Opening Speech from 1991 Testimony.

Kinky Time

Lastly, The Kinks with a song that somehow sounds really fun even though its lyrics are about over-population, nuclear war, and pollution. Come on. Try it. I promise you big 70’s hair, a huge pink bow tie, and a dancing gorilla will all be yours for the viewing.

I think I’m sophisticated
‘Cos I’m living my life like a good homosapien
But all around me everybody’s multiplying
Till they’re walking round like flies man
So I’m no better than the animals sitting in their cages
in the zoo man
‘Cos compared to the flowers and the birds and the trees
I am an ape man
I think I’m so educated and I’m so civilized
‘Cos I’m a strict vegetarian
But with the over-population and inflation and starvation
And the crazy politicians
I don’t feel safe in this world no more
I don’t want to die in a nuclear war
I want to sail away to a distant shore and make like an ape man
I’m an ape man, I’m an ape ape man
I’m an ape man I’m a King Kong man I’m ape ape man
I’m an ape man
‘Cos compared to the sun that sits in the sky
compared to the clouds as they roll by
Compared to the bugs and the spiders and flies
I am an ape man
In man’s evolution he has created the cities and
the motor traffic rumble, but give me half a chance
and I’d be taking off my clothes and living in the jungle
‘Cos the only time that I feel at ease
Is swinging up and down in a coconut tree
Oh what a life of luxury to be like an ape man
I’m an ape, I’m an ape ape man, I’m an ape man
I’m a King Kong man, I’m a voo-doo man
I’m an ape man
I look out my window, but I can’t see the sky
‘Cos the air pollution is fogging up my eyes
I want to get out of this city alive
And make like an ape man
Come and love me, be my ape man girl
And we will be so happy in my ape man world
I’m an ape man, I’m an ape ape man, I’m an ape man
I’m a King Kong man, I’m a voo-doo man
I’m an ape man
I’ll be your Tarzan, you’ll be my Jane
I’ll keep you warm and you’ll keep me sane
and we’ll sit in the trees and eat bananas all day
Just like an ape man
I’m an ape man, I’m an ape ape man, I’m an ape man
I’m a King Kong man, I’m a voo-doo man
I’m an ape man.
I don’t feel safe in this world no more
I don’t want to die in a nuclear war
I want to sail away to a distant shore
And make like an ape man.

Grab bag of blogging, Dec 1: High-speed rail | Republican recipes | NYTimes studies Palin | Die already, DADT | Melee at Isthmus

What’s up with Wisconsin’s rail?: This haunts me. Madison’s Mayor and Common Council President Mark Clear have told the city’s Economic Development Committee to keep its mouth shut and let the mayor diplomatically broach the subject of high-speed rail with Gov-Elect Scott Walker.  And by “diplomatically broach” I mean wait around for Scott Walker to meet with him. I agree with Julie Stone who says: “I think we’re losing a battle of publicity, not politics.”

And what are those Republicans cooking up?: Jack Craver of Isthmus lists 8 actions Wisconsin Republicans will likely implement with their total control. None of which looks capable of creating 250,000 jobs. Representative Jon Richards of Milwaukee went on Public Radio and pledged to keep Republicans to their knitting: ““It’s been a little troubling to hear that one of the first things they’re doing is trying to derail the high speed train project that’s expected to create 5,000 jobs in Wisconsin. That also should be part of the agenda to make sure that project is on track so we keep those jobs in Wisconsin.

Repubs are surely coming in demanding photo I.D. voter registration requirements. I fear eventually they will turn their attentions to the Pro-Life Wisconsin agenda:  opposing abortion even in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk, halting embryonic stem cell research, and opposing any artificial birth control.

Palin still here?: New York Times figured out Palin just won’t die or go away, so they did an exhaustive 7 pager on her. We learn that Palin is too secretive and controlling for her own good, she’s an organism hated as much by the Republicans as by me, and she’s rented office space in Iowa — prepping for primary action in 2012.

Cut the DADT crap already: President Obama calls on Senate to act ASAP and repeal “Don’t ask don’t tell” so he can sign it into law. From the study: “We have a gay guy. He’s big, he’s mean and he kills lots of bad guys. No one cared that he was gay,”-quoted member of special operations force.

Gentlemen, start your melee!: Bill Leuders, Dave Blaska, and Jack Craver had a spirited discussion at David Blaska is not telling the truth. I see even Emily Mills popped in! Afterward, I hope they had a beer together.