Purging

I got another email from my friends from the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

David,

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know that Florida could make or break President Obama’s re-election.

That could be why the Florida GOP is in the process of purging up to 180,000 likely-Democrats from the voter rolls. The Department of Justice has demanded that the Florida GOP call off this illegal voter suppression, but they refuse to stop it.

Mark my words: This voter purge could tip the election in favor of Romney. And even worse, if we don’t stand up to these dirty tactics in Florida now, we will see the same devices played out in swing states like Virginia and Michigan. The stakes are way too high to sit this one out.

Click here to demand that the Florida GOP obey the Department of Justice and stop their illegal voter purge.

So, they are admitting they need the illegal alien, convicted felon, and deceased vote in order to win. I wish the Democrats would reconsider their position on this issue. Whatever temporary advantage they might get from voter fraud is not worth the damage that an erosion of popular legitimacy would do to the country. They are also hurting themselves by becoming the party that opposes any reasonable efforts to keep elections honest.

Anti Mormons

Now that Mitt Romney is the Republican nominee for President, he faces an uphill struggle to win the election. I know that this has not been a good week for President Obama, and he is likely to have more bad weeks in the immediate future. Still, it is hard to unseat an incumbent president. One of the difficulties Romney is likely to have is overcoming prejudice against his Mormon faith. It seems that evangelical Christians, in their usual close-minded, intolerant way, are reluctant to vote for him and are becoming even more anti-Mormon in their attitudes.

Oh, wait. I read that wrong. Evangelicals are just fine with Romney’s Mormonism. It is the open-minded, tolerant Liberals who won’t vote for him based on his faith.

Americans’ aversion to voting for Mormons has spiked since Mitt Romney’s first presidential bid in 2007 — and that the people most wary of Mormon candidates are not Evangelicals, but rather political liberals and non-religious voters, according to new research from a leading scholar of anti-Mormon attitudes.

The overall increase in anti-Mormon attitudes among liberals may be an unanticipated consequence of the “the continuing candidacy of Mitt Romney and Mormon activism against same-sex marriage,” the study suggests. And its findings may be alarming to the Romney campaign because among the study’s other findings is that voters’ perceptions of Mormonism are closely tied to whether they’ll vote for him.

According to American National Election Studies, nearly 35 percent of national respondents said in February they were “less likely” to vote for a Mormon. That’s up nine points from 2007, when Pew found 26 percent of voters expressing concern about pulling the lever for a Latter-day Saint.

The uptick in anti-Mormon voter attitudes may come as a surprise to those who predicted Romney’s candidacy would have a mainstreaming effect on his faith. But as University of Sydney scholar David Smith, the paper’s author, writes, just as President Obama’s successful candidacy didn’t put an end to tense race relations in America, Romney’s political assent hasn’t cured the country of anti-Mormonism. In fact, as the data shows, Romney’s rise may have lead to increased anxiety about his religion among his natural political opponents.

According to the paper, concern about Mormonism has remained relatively stable among Evangelicals, with 36 percent expressing aversion to an LDS candidate in 2007 and 33 percent doing so in 2012. But among non-religious voters, that number shot up 20 points in the past five years, from 21 percent in 2007 to 41 percent in February. There were also substantial increases in Mormon-averse voters among liberals — 28 percent in 2007 and 43 percent in 2012 — as well as moderates, who went from 22 percent in 2007 to 32 percent this year.

“Aversion to Mormons is still an important force in American public opinion, and one that seriously affects Romney’s chances even if he ultimately overcomes it,” Smith writes in his paper, available online here.

Smith is the author of a detailed analysis on anti-Mormonism in the 2008 election, which suggested that the belief that Mormons aren’t Christian was tightly linked to opposition to Romney among Christian conservatives.

I don’t have much use for Mormon theology, but the fact is, that Mormonism, like the more conservative Protestant sects and Catholicism, at least in theory, is a religion that makes demands on its adherents. That is to say, it teaches that some actions are right and others are wrong, regardless of what might be popular or expedient. Liberals, whether Christian, Jewish, or nonreligious have long ago given up the worship of God for the worship of the State and the idea that there should be any standards above that of the state or of the whims of the moment is simply hateful to them.

There are some Conservatives who are wary of voting for a Mormon.

Perhaps most potentially distressing to Romney’s campaign is the study’s finding that conservatives who said they were less likely to vote for a Mormon were much more likely to say they were undecided or would not vote at all in a contest between Obama and Romney. Pundits have been predicting for months that anti-Mormon Republicans would stay home in November; this study reaffirms that idea.

The paper comes with an important caveat: the survey data was collected in late February and early March — in the heat of the Republican primaries. At that point, Romney was the clear frontrunner, but far from the presumed nominee. Since his opponents dropped out, Romney has earned plaudits from Republican operatives and activists for uniting the right behind him with his combative campaign style.

I hope they will come around. As I said, I have little use for Mormon theology and don’t really consider them Christians. But, as Martin Luther is supposed to have said, “I would rather be ruled by a wise Turk than a foolish Christian”. Whatever you might think of Romney’s religion, he has to be a better ruler than that fool we have in the White House now.

Swedish Tweeter

In Sweden, they allow ordinary citizens to have control of the country’s official twitter account for a week at a time. I simply cannot imagine how that could be a good idea. According to this report in Yahoo News, it isn’t.

Sonja Abrahamsson, describing herself as a “low educated” single mother of two from Goteborg, in Sweden’s west, provocatively asked what makes a Jew a Jew, and used crude language.

“What’s the fuzz with Jews” she asked in one tweet on the @sweden account, suggesting it’s hard to tell them apart from other people and then went on to joke about Jewish circumcision.

In another, she said not even the Nazis could tell the difference: “In Nazi German(y) they even had to sew stars on their sleeves. If they didn’t, they could never (k)now who was a Jew and who was not a Jew.”

She also asked whether the Nazis sought to find the difference in the Jewish religion, or whether it was a “blood-thing” for them.

The reactions were immediate. One tweeter wrote “in one day @sweden went from global Twitter superstar to PR embarrassment.”

Another suggested the Swedish chef from the Muppet show might as well assume control over the account, while others defended Abrahamsson’s courage to raise her voice in such a frank way, politely answering her questions and sending her links to read more. One tweeter, who said she was Jewish, said she hadn’t been offended at all.

Later, Abrahamsson apologised if she had offended anyone, saying that was not her purpose. “I just don’t get why some people hate Jews so much,” she added.

Maria Ziv, marketing director at Visit Sweden – a Public Relations agency that set up the project – said the Twitter account would not be shut down just because some people had been provoked.

If Abrahamsson’s comments had been racist “we would have taken them down,” she added.

The project allows different citizens from various walks of life to curate the account each week. Tweeters have so far included both a female priest and a lesbian truck-driver.

The tweets are not pre-read or censored, but personal political opinions are to be followed with the hash-tag myownopinion.

Maybe they should let him handle their twitter account

In her defense, I suppose Ms. Abrahamsson’s statements did not seem particularly hateful, especially when you consider the very real anti-Jewish hatred in some portions of the population in Sweden. I suppose if she were a Muslim and had advocated burning down synagogues, no one would have said anything.

Still, Sweden is lucky in that it is a country with a small, homogeneous, mostly sensible population. Imagine what kind of nut cases would turn up if we tried something like that here in the US.

 

Shape Shifting Neutrinos

I’ll follow that last post with some real science. Last year ,the whole scientific community was excited over the possibility that neutrinos could possibly travel faster than light. Unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case. This was finally confirmed by studies by the OPERA team at CERN, as I read in this article in New Scientist.

The faster-than-light neutrino saga is officially over. Today, at the Neutrino 2012 conference in Kyoto, Japan, the OPERA collaboration announced that according to their latest measurements, neutrinos travel at almost exactly the speed of light.

“Although this result isn’t as exciting as some would have liked, it is what we all expected deep down,” said CERN research director Sergio Bertolucci in a statement.

Even though they do not travel faster than light, neutrinos are still interesting little particles. There are three different types, each associated with a lepton particle; electron neutrinos, muon neutrinos, and tau neutrinos. But the odd thing is that a neutrino can actually change its type or oscillates between the three types. Confirming this oscillation, is in fact, the real job of the OPERA team.

With the dust settling, OPERA is getting back to its real job: finding tau neutrinos. This week the team also announced that they have found the second-ever instance of a muon neutrino morphing into a tau neutrino, strengthening the case that neutrinos have mass.

But all of that was a sidebar to the experiment’s real goal: catching shape-shifting neutrinos in the act. Neutrinos come in three flavours: electron, muon and tau. Several experiments had seen evidence for neutrinos spontaneously switching, or oscillating, from one type to another. Those oscillations proved, to many physicists’ surprise, that the supposed massless particles must have some infinitesimal mass, and offered a route to explaining why there is more matter than anti-matter in the universe.

Before OPERA, all the evidence for neutrino oscillations came from disappearances: detectors would end up with less of a certain type of neutrino than they started with, suggesting some had morphed into other flavours. Then in 2010, OPERA found the first tau neutrino in a beam of billions of muon neutrinos streaming to the Gran Sasso detectors from CERN. The discovery was a big deal at the time, but the team said they needed more tau neutrinos to make it statistically significant.

Now, a second tau neutrino has shown up in the detectors, they report.

“This result shows that the collaboration is definitely and effectively back to its original goal of discovering neutrino oscillations in appearance mode,” De Lellis says.

OPERA will need at least six tau neutrinos to definitively claim they’re seeing the oscillation effect, so they’re not there yet. And when they do, they may find they’ve been scooped: in another experiment, the team behind the T2K detector in Japan announced this week that they have seen 10 muon neutrinos shifting into electron neutrinos.

The idea of neutrino oscillation is not a new one. Scientists first suspected this might be the case when only about one third the expected number of electron neutrinos were detected from the sun. It seemed as though something was badly wrong about our understanding of solar physics. But, if neutrinos have mass, they were believe to be massless at the time, and they could oscillate between the three types, than we would only detect about one third of the expected number from the sun. Detecting the oscillation would also confirm that neutrinos have mass and would be an important step in confirming the standard model of particle physics.

Islamic Science

There are many Islamophobes in the West who believe that the Muslims have not contributed anything significant to humanity’s scientific progress in the last few centuries. Sure, the Arabs invented algebra, and made spectacular contributions to the sciences of chemistry, optics and astronomy, but all of that was a thousand years ago. What have they done recently? Well, I am happy to report that scientists  in the Middle East have been engaged in the most cutting edge research.

There is Sultan Bashirudden Mahmood. He was a leading figure in the Pakistan Atomic Energy Commission and was the man most responsible for Pakistan’s development of atomic weapons. He also happened to be very supportive of the Taliban and al-Qaida, until he was arrested for meeting with Osama bin Laden. He has since devoted himself to exploring the connection between Islam and science and has proposed using the power of Jinn (that is genies) to resolve the energy crisis. No, I am not making that up.

It was in the 1980’s that Mr. Bashiruddin Mahmood emerged as a proponent of ”Islamic science,” espousing among other things that djinni could be tapped to solve the energy crisis. He published a book called ”The Mechanics of Doomsday and Life After Death.”

”I think that if we develop our souls, we can develop communication with them,” Mr. Bashiruddin Mahmood said about djinni in The Wall Street Journal in an interview in 1998. ”Every new idea has its opponents,” he added. ”But there is no reason for this controversy over Islam and science because there is no conflict between Islam and science.”

But what has really impressed me is this article I read in Jihadwatch. Evidently there is a Shi’ite cleric in London who has made an astonishing discovery on the origin of homosexuality

“London-Based Shiite Cleric Yasser Al-Habib in Anti-Sunni Rhetoric: The Caliph Omar Had an Anal Disease that Made Him Addicted to Homosexuality,” from MEMRI, May 24:

Following are excerpts from an address by London-based Kuwaiti Shiite cleric Yasser Habib, which aired on Fadak TV on May 24, 2012. Fadak TV is dominated by Sheik Habib, who fled Kuwait in 2004 following a one-year prison term for cursing the Caliphs Omar and Abu Bakr and Prophet Muhammad’s wife Aisha. He was then sentenced in absentia for 10 years in prison. In September 2010, Kuwait revoked his citizenship.Yasser Habib: Anyone who consents to being called “Emir of the Believers” is a passive homosexual. Omar Ibn Al-Khattab, for example, who willingly assumed this title, was, without a doubt, a passive homosexual. The same goes for the caliphs Othman Ibn Affan, Muawiyya, Yazid, and the rulers and sultans of the Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties, as well as some of the rulers and sultans of our day and age. For example, the king of Morocco bears this title, and he is referred to as “the Emir of the Believers” by the [Moroccan] media. This is how you know that he is a passive homosexual.

This is in addition to the evidence revealed by Western media, which showed that the current king of Morocco is indeed a passive homosexual who belongs to the homosexual community. This was leaked from his palace by his assistants, his servants, and his “boys,” whom he would penetrate and who would penetrate him. They fled to Europe, sought asylum, and exposed all this.

Another such example is the person who ruled Afghanistan for a short time – the so-called Mullah Omar.

[…]

It is told [in the hadith] that Omar Ibn Al-Khattab had an anal disease, which could be cured only by semen. One should know that this is a well-known medical condition, which is also mentioned in sacred texts. Someone who, God forbid, has been penetrated in the anus – a worm grows within him, due to the semen discharged in him… A disease develops in his anus, and as a result, he cannot calm down, unless… That’s right, it becomes like an addiction, and he cannot calm down unless he is penetrated again and again.

[…]

The Shiites are undoubtedly protected from this disease, and from committing this abominable and hideous act.

[…]

As for the Nasibis [who hate the Prophet Muhammad’s family], they are definitely afflicted with this homosexuality.

[…]

One of the devils is present at the birth of every human being. If Allah knows that the newborn is one of our Shiites, He fends off that devil, who cannot harm the newborn. But if the newborn is not one of our Shiites, the devil inserts his index finger into the anus of the newborn, who thus becomes a passive homosexual. If the newborn is not a Shiite, the devil inserts his index finger into this newborn’s anus, and when he grows up, he becomes a passive homosexual. If the newborn is a female, the devil inserts his index finger into her vagina, and she becomes a whore….

 

There you have it. If you are gay and prefer to be a “bottom“, than the Devil stuck his finger up your butt just after you were born. This also explains why, as President Ahmadinejad could be sure that there were no homosexuals in Iran. It makes perfect sense to me.

 

 

C. S.Lewis & Narnia for Dummies

I am not really a fan of the For Dummies books because I am not a dummy. Actually, I find the user-friendly features like the sidebars and the little icons to be a little distracting. I suppose I am old fashioned and am used to receiving my information in a more linear fashion.
Nevertheless, as a casual fan of C. S. Lewis, I was looking forward to reading Richard Wagner’s C. S. Lewis and Narnia for Dummies. I have to say that I was not disappointed. By a casual fan, I meant that I have read and enjoyed The Chronicles of Narnia, The Screwtape Letters, and Mere Christianity, and that I had a vague idea of the general outlines of Lewis’s life. Reading C. S. Lewis for Dummies made me appreciate Lewis’s life and works even more and made me determined to read some of his books that I was hardly aware of before.

Wagner begins the book with a general overview of C. S. Lewis, and devotes two more chapters to Lewis’s life and his literary friends, the Inklings. He moves on to Lewis’s fiction spending a lot of time,  about six chapters, on Narnia, giving a synopsis of the plots and characters of the Chronicles and exploring the deeper meaning of the themes of the series.  He spends perhaps too much time on the Chronicles of Narnia, to the detriment of Lewis’s other works. Still, with the movies coming out, perhaps that is the main reader interest.

 

Wagner goes on to explore Lewis’s other fictional works, with a chapter on The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, the Space Trilogy, A Pilgrim’s Regress, and Till We have Faces. He next moves on the Lewis’s non-fiction with a chapter on The Problem of Pain, Mere Christianity, The Abolition of Man, and other books. Wagner doesn’t spend as much time on Lewis’s nonfiction, which to me is unfortunate, since these are the books by Lewis with which I am least familiar. He has, however, written enough to interest me in reading them.

 

I think that C. S. Lewis and Narnia for Dummies has something for any reader of C. S. Lewis. Whether you are just starting to read one of his books, or a long time fan, you are sure to learn something new from Wager’s book and to finish it with a deeper appreciation and understanding of Lewis and his beliefs.

 

iPhone from Work

For most of the time that I have worked as a merchandiser for Pepsi, they have relied on the honesty of us merchandisers to report on the hours we have worked and that we have actually been in the stores we are supposed to have worked in. Obviously, this system lends itself to abuse, although I do not think we have had much of a problem in the Seymour area. Still, Pepsi has wanted to implement a more reliable system for some years now, the general idea being some sort of method in which we punch or scan ourselves in, at the various stores, etc. It wasn’t until last month that they finally got around to using such a system. They put up barcodes in each of the stores the merchandisers work in and we scan the codes when we enter or exit the store. The software they decided to use works on an Apple iPhone, and so they gave each of us an iPhone, with an unlimited data plan in order for the software to function correctly. Although these iPhones belong to Pepsi, we have been encouraged to treat them as our own, the only limit being that the plan they adopted only allows 300 minutes for phone calls, so we have been warned against making too many phone calls, and to text message whenever convenient. I suppose this generosity is to encourage us to actually use the phones to scan in and out, etc.

 

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

I would have to say that the iPhone is a really cool cell phone. It’s actually more like an electronic Swiss army knife than anything else I can think of. By that, I mean, that with the various applications, or app, you can actually use the iPhone for just about anything that involves information. There must be many thousands, perhaps millions, of app, a good many of them free. Among the apps that I have downloaded are an Amazon Kindle app that allows me to read all of the materials I have bought from Amazon, Olive Tree’s Bible Reader, WebMD, the Drudge Report app, WordPress (I can blog from the iPhone), some educational apps, and some fun apps.There are several apps that come with the iPhone, including YouTube,

I think that Pepsi has made a major mistake here. I now have the equivalent of a library and a home entertainment center in my pocket. I am not sure that such distractions are likely to improve my efficiency at work.

More on the Recall

I don’t want to dwell too much on the recall election last Tuesday, but reading through all the commentary, it occurs to me that the biggest mistake the Democrats made was having the recall at all. I imagine that even many voters who disapproved of Scott Walker nevertheless believe that the recall was expensive and unnecessary. They might have been wiser to wait until Walker was running for reelection in 2014 and made his fight with the  public-sector unions a major issue. They might also have made it an issue this November, which might have helped Obama’s reelection effort, and the Democrats in Wisconsin generally, or perhaps not. The public was clearly on Walker’s side in the recall, and there is no reason to believe that would have been any different this November. Still, at least they would not have wasted all of that money and effort.

Walter Russel Mead, as usual, has a good analysis of the implications of this election.

The American left as we have come to know it suffered a devastating blow in Wisconsin last night. The organized heart of the left gave everything it had to the fight against Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker: heart, shoe leather, wallet and soul. The left picked this fight, on the issue and in the place of its choice; it chose to recall Walker because it believed it could win a showcase victory. That judgement was fatally flawed; it is part of a larger failure to grasp the nature of American politics and the times in which we live.

The left gave this fight everything it had. It called all the troops it could find; it raised all the money it could; it summoned the passion of its grassroots supporters, all the moral weight and momentum remaining to the American labor movement and every ounce of its strength and its will.

And it failed.

The tribes of the left danced and rallied in the streets of Madison. They knocked on doors. They staffed phone banks. They passed fliers. They organized on social media. They picketed. They sang. They brought in the celebrities and the stars; they marched seven times around the city blowing the trumpets and beating the drums. They hurled invective; they booed; they cheered.

And they failed.

For labor, this was a key test of strength and clout. Scott Walker attacked the American labor movement where it lives: the public sector unions are the only bright spot in the dismal world of modern American unions. They have the growth, they have the money, they have — or they had — the hope.

In terms of his ideas about the Blue social model and its increasing inability to provide answers to the difficulties of our postindustrial information age economy and society, the public-sector unions must surely be the bluest of the blue.

In terms of the blue social model, they are the party of the bitter clingers: the power of public sector unions among Democrats is a power that inhibits Democrats from putting forward innovative, future-facing ideas (about schools, health care, and so on) and keeps them focused firmly on the defense of the past.

Mead provides a link to a delightful piece by Katrina vanden Heuvel in the Washington Post.

Indeed, we are witnessing the first major battle between astronomical numbers of people and astronomical amounts of money.

As I write this, Walker leads in the polls, and if progressive turnout is merely ordinary, he will likely win. On the other hand, if we see the same groundswell today as on the days that led to this one, Walker can be defeated. Yet, big as this election is, it is only the first test of the progressive response to an electoral landscape overrun with money from corporations and wealthy individuals.

By attacking labor unions, flooding Wisconsin with outside cash and trying to cleanse the electorate of people who don’t look, earn or think like him, Walker has taken aim at more than a single campaign cycle or a series of policies; his real targets are the pillars of American progressivism itself. With the Romney campaign gearing up, and super PACs taking to the national airwaves, we face an unprecedented, well-funded assault on our basic values.

But progressives aren’t backing down. They’re just getting started.

Just like the South was on the path to victory after the Battle of Gettysburg, or the Germans after Stalingrad, or the Japanese after Midway. Or maybe not. They all lost the war after those setbacks. We haven’t won the war yet, but this may be the turning point.

I haven’t read anything from the Left explaining their rout yet, but I suspect that most of the commentary will resemble vanden Heuvel’s. They were beaten by money from sinister corporations and out of state wealthy individuals. Most likely the Koch brothers and Karl Rove were behind the whole thing. It couldn’t possibly be because people actually agreed with the governor that in tough times, it is not asking too much to expect even people in the public sector to tighten their belts a little.

This, of course, is a variation of the arguments in Thomas Frank’s What’s the Matter with Kansas. Those bitter clingers in flyover country should vote for the Democrats who have their best interests in mind, but instead are bamboozled into voting for Republicans, against their own interests. For people who claim to be on the side of the little people, Liberals are remarkably condescending towards anyone who doesn’t see the world their way.

Victory in Wisconsin

Very good news from Wisconsin last night. Scott walker not only won the recall vote, he won by a large enough margin so that the unions and Democrats couldn’t steal the election. Walker won 53% of the vote against his opponent Tom Barrett‘s 46%. This, despite all of the money and all of the attention they gave this race.

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker (R) survived a furious campaign seeking his recall on Tuesday, emerging as the victor in a bitter fight over state budgets and collective bargaining rights.

Walker prevailed over Democratic challenger Tom Barrett, the mayor of Milwaukee, in the closely-watched campaign that stemmed from a fight in early 2011, when Walker drove a controversial bill stripping public employee unions of their collective bargaining rights through Wisconsin’s legislature. Walker won with 53 percent of the vote while Barrett received 46 percent, a slightly larger margin than when the two ran against one another in 2010.

Walker told a raucous crowd at his election night party that his survival was an affirmation of political “courage.”

“Tonight, we tell Wisconsin, we tell our country and we tell people all across the globe that voters really do want leaders who stand up and make the tough decisions,” he said.

Walker’s win served as a symbolic victory for a generation of reform-minded conservatives; the crowd at Walker’s Waukesha election night party let out a large cheer when a local NBC affiliate showed the projection of Walker’s victory.

Conversely, the outcome in Wisconsin was a galling disappointments to Democrats and labor groups that had vowed to seek the Republican governor’s ouster over the collective bargaining law. Tens of millions of dollars flowed into the state both in support and opposition of Walker, reflecting the high stakes in the race.

Well, maybe it won’t be a day long remembered, but this recall election does have considerable significance outside the state of Wisconsin. Walker’s victory will embolden other governors top take on the public sector unions and this will be good for the Republican Party, by cutting off a major source of funding and  support for the Democrat. It will also be good for the country as a whole as governors will be able to enact badly needed fiscal reforms for their state.

I don’t know what this portends for the election in November and it would be imprudent to make any predictions at this point, but I don’t imagine that they are too happy about this in the White House. This is a major defeat for the Liberals’ agenda and they know it.

 

Liberals are such drama queens, aren’t they? No, democracy isn’t dead. This was a fair election and your side lost. I didn’t cry when Obama won.

I am sure that the unions and the Democrats will not be sore losers about this and certainly not resort to threats of violence like those awful racist teabaggers, right?

Well no. Actually they have been flooding twitter with death threats against Governor Walker, which is all of a piece with the lawless and occasionally violent manner in which they have been acting all along. If these thugs had been successful with their intimidation tactics and mobs, I wouldn’t say democracy is dead, but it might be on life support. But the good guys won this one, so I’ll be celebrating.

 

By the way, I can’t wait to read what the Democrat’s fund-raising emails say about this. We wasted millions of dollars in an ill-advised campaign to unseat Scott Walker. Please give more.