Tuesday, February 28, 2006
Is it uncharitable to suggest that they are walking away from the needs of the state just so John Gard can go see where his district is while he runs as Washington's candidate for Senate?
Why do we have to pay more than 100 per diems if the Lege is only in Madison for 90 days?
...we're never gonna be able to control them. So the only solution to this is to
hand over everything to the Iraqis as fast as humanly possible.
I'm thinking that means he's supporting CUUE in this one.
When you add that to Wm. F Buckley's harsh words and it looks as if the base is shifting under GW's feet. Buckley said:
"Mr. Bush has a very difficult internal problem here because to make the
kind of concession that is strategically appropriate requires a mitigation of
policies he has several times affirmed in high-flown pronouncements," Buckley
wrote. "His challenge is to persuade himself that he can submit to a historical
reality without forswearing basic commitments in foreign policy. He will
certainly face the current development as military leaders are expected to do:
They are called upon to acknowledge a tactical setback, but to insist on the
survival of strategic policies. Yes, but within their own counsels, different
plans have to be made. And the kernel here is the acknowledgment of
Monday, February 27, 2006
It was "about 1800 hours on Wednesday, 6 July, 2005" that a detachment of
Strathclyde police constables, in "Level 2 public order dress [anti-riot gear],"
formed a protective line at the gate at the hotel's rear entrance...
"[At] about 1800 hours the President approached the junction at speed on the
bicycle. The road was damp at the time. As the President passed the junction at
speed he raised his left arm from the handlebars to wave to the police officers
present while shouting 'thanks, you guys, for coming'.
"As he did this he
lost control of the cycle, falling to the ground, causing both himself and his
bicycle to strike [the officer] on the lower legs. [The officer] fell to the
ground, striking his head. The President continued along the ground for
approximately five metres, causing himself a number of abrasions.
We were told that the accident was a minor oopsie, that no harm was done. In fact, the officer missed three and a half months of work. There is no record of the injured officer's apology for being run into.
The Scots are not amused.
John Scott, a human rights lawyer, said: "There's certainly enough in this
account for a charge of careless driving. Anyone else would have been warned for
"I have had clients who have been charged with assaulting
a police officer for less than this.
In related news, the Vice President of the United States has gone 15 days without shooting anyone in the face.
Saturday, February 25, 2006
Should being in favor of honest government run according to the standards that
have traditionally applied in Wisconsin disqualify someone from judging whether
a legislator violated the law?
John Nichols asks that question in an opinion piece about the Scott Jensen trial and then goes on to say that Jensen's attorney asked questions to disqualify supporters of clean government in order to make sure Scooter got a jury of his peers.
More quotes from the piece:
It is certainly true that, compared to current Assembly Speaker John Gard,
former Speaker Scott Jensen looks like a paragon of virtue, a model of integrity
and, above all, an intellectual giant. But that is only because, as the old
Irish saying goes, "In the kingdom of the legless, the one-legged man is king."
When he is not being compared to Gard, R-Peshtigo, Jensen looks like what he has
always been: a lazy whiner who got into politics to live large and make money
and who has abused positions of public trust in every way imaginable from
dispatching state employees and pages to get him cans of soda to creating a
"campaign machine" operated by public employees and paid for with public tax
Check out the full piece by rolling over the headline.
Lord, I can deal with my enemies. Please protect me from my friends.
Friday, February 24, 2006
Fri, 24 Mar 2006 15:05:53 -0800 (PST)
A personal letter from James M. Wigderson
Friday, March 24, 2006
This is an unusual appeal, in an unusual situation.
People are gathering signatures across Waukesha County
in an effort to place on the ballot in November for
referendum a reduction in the size of the Waukesha
County Board. This issue cuts across the political
spectrum, across the different regions and interest of
Starting this Monday, the Waukesha County Board will
be considering ways of stopping this petition and
referendum drive. One serious possibility is that the
members of the board, unable to cut loose 24, 16 or
even 10 of their fellow board members, will decide to
cut the board by a token 2 or 3 members.
Part of me sympathizes with them. It’s difficult for
any group to imagine drastic change, especially change
that affects so many of their colleagues.
On the other hand, this isn’t personal, and they
shouldn’t treat it as a personal issue. They were
elected (many without opposition) to serve the best
interests of Waukesha County. The members of the
board were given a tool to do just that: the ability
to streamline county government. If they fail in this
responsibility, then the responsibility falls to the
people of Waukesha County whom they serve.
I’m asking all of you, regardless of ideology,
affiliations or political loyalties, to join in this
effort. You can download the petition at the Waukesha
Taxpayers League website. You can pick up petitions
The Print Shop (National and Moreland)
3628 S. Moreland Rd
New Berlin, WI 53151
anytime 8-6 m-f
Midwest Law Enforcement Supply Inc.
(Both locations 262-567-1004)
210 S. Silver Lake Street, Oconomowoc
or 16825 W. Lisbon Rd
Or you can come this Saturday to Gehrke’s Corners in
Brookfield at 9:00am this Saturday for petitions and
to get an area assigned for going door-to-door. I’ll
even drive and deliver petitions if I have to. Just
e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
This effort can change government in Waukesha to be
more visible, more accountable than ever before. And
after Waukesha, perhaps all of Wisconsin. But this
effort has to start with each one of us. If we gather
enough signatures to demonstrate real momentum in the
next few days, we can stop the Waukesha County Board
from making a token cut to short circuit our efforts.
When it falls to us to make great things happen, we
must seize the opportunity.
James M. Wigderson
"And so people don't need to worry about security. ... This deal wouldn't go
forward if we were concerned about security for the United States of America."
At least we don't have that to worry about anymore.
Thursday, February 23, 2006
Bushies blew it again, Republicans grumble
Iraq sectarian violence kills 130
Roadside bombs kill 7 US soldiers in Iraq
Senator Challenges Ports Deal Procedure
World science body slams tougher U.S. visa rules
Treasurys lower after 5-yr auction
Average American Family Income Declines
White House admits Katrina flaws
Who knew that the Prez would long for the good old days when big news was the Vice President of the United States shooting a lawyer in the face?
I don't share the "Sky is falling" panic of so many around the DP World deal to buy P&O's ports operations. In a lot of ways it's a routine transaction in the international shipping biz. But the administration has spent five years playing spurious games of connect the dots and selling wolf tickets to the Middle East to maintain his War on Terra and now the xenophobic chickens are coming home to roost.
The troubling part about the DP World deal is the lack of routine oversight involved and required by the US. In the headlong rush to approve a deal for his Arab cronies the Prez let them steal the farm. Look at the "Secret Deal" as reported in the Guardian.
The administration did not require Dubai Ports to keep copies of business
records on U.S. soil, where they would be subject to court orders. It also did
not require the company to designate an American citizen to accommodate U.S.
government requests. Outside legal experts said such obligations are routinely
attached to U.S. approvals of foreign sales in other industries.
More troubling is this excerpt:
Under the deal, the government asked Dubai Ports to operate American seaports
with existing U.S. managers ``to the extent possible.'' It promised to take
``all reasonable steps'' to assist the Homeland Security Department, and it
pledged to continue participating in security programs to stop smuggling and
detect illegal shipments of nuclear materials.
Think about the phrase "all reasonable steps" the next time you have to take off your shoes and belt buckle at the airport.
The administration's close personal economic ties to this deal should raise red flags in front of those who've been paying attention for the past five years. It's the level of antagonism from Bush's base that's finally heartening. Peter ranted several times. He reports that even Michele Malkin has turned on GW and his claque.
I can see a splendid irony in the fact that the deal that drags GW into the muck is going to be one that simply smells bad, rather than being one of those which stinks from head to core.
Wednesday, February 22, 2006
Sandy Decker received 324 votes
Karen Aikman 94
Mike Anderson 76
The city ordered 420 cardboard ballots, enough for a turnout of 20% or so. With the County Clerk predicting a 4% turnout I think we did well to show at 25%.
Tuesday, February 21, 2006
No, Frank. I'm not a government employee. But you are. The good people of Bellvue sent you to Madison to work in their best interests but you want to abdicate that job to a discredited formula, one which no sane person would adopt for their home or business.
Now, Glenn Grothman has been chosen to lead the Bride of TABOR along with Jeff Wood this time out. After the failures of Colorado it has been renamed the Taxpayer Protection Amendment to distance it from the earlier attempts.
Already the drums are beating on the right and calling for blood. Seth gives us the image of The Sopranos meeting the Donner Party as the tizzysphere starts calling for the head of anyone who dares to "water down" this poorly thought-through bill. Even the court-supporting tax hater, Orville Seymour is on board in that queue. He just doesn't want any cuts to the system that protects his rights as a landlord.
Now here we are, not quite two weeks into this new debate and Lassee is looking for his out-move. In a press release dated last Friday Lassee compared the TPA to several Wisconsin products.
“Let’s not make this the Swiss Cheese Amendment. Let’s make it good Wisconsin
cheddar or Colby – no holes.”
He can see the changes coming that will attempt to make this amendment smell less like good Lemke's Brick cheese.
“Now, right out of the gate, they’re talking about weakening it to exempt
fees, bonding,and special purpose districts,”
“I hope Senator Grothman can withstand the pressure he’s facing..."
Otherwise, Lassee says "it will be better to fail now, and try again next year."
Lassee is lining up his excuses early and edging toward the door to try to mitigate the wrath of the hardcore, tax-hating right wing of his party and lessen the amount of grief that will come his way. He seems to have forgotten The First Rule of Dancing With the Gorilla. The gorilla decides when you're done.
Monday, February 20, 2006
ABI's mission is to enhance the competitiveness of Iowa business and
industry by shaping a legislative and regulatory environment conducive to Iowa
So much for promoting the home team.
If he's right and the turnout is around 10% I think Mike Anderson has a shot at moving through. His base is passionate enough to turn out and do him proud. If the vote totals push up toward the 500 mark I think that Sandy and Karen have broad but not deep support and will swamp Mike.
Get out and vote. Make your point at the polls.
Friday, February 17, 2006
Thursday, February 16, 2006
Wednesday, February 15, 2006
Tuesday, February 14, 2006
JB had an article in the Freeman over the weekend about blogging. All her links, apparently, are on the right side of the Cheddarsphere. Apparently, she can't see to her left.
Monday, February 13, 2006
Which makes you grin?
- The Vice President's name is "Dick."
- The victim is a lawyer.
- Who served as Funeral Services Commission head under GWB
- No one involved thought it was newsworthy until after it had been in the MSM (If that's what the Corpus Christi paper is.)
- Shooting at quail? I thought he said Quayle.
- Cheney's spokeswoman uses the professional name, "McBride."
Saturday, February 11, 2006
But, life goes on and I'm feeling marginally better now, just in time for a busy weekend. I teach this morning and the Stateline Literacy Council Moonlight Bowl is tonight in Beloit at 9:30. This is just prelude to the celebrations to follow, however.
Last year on Valentine's Day my lovely bride and I ran off and got married without telling a soul. It was too hard to bring kids and sibs together for a February wedding and we wanted them all to be there so we waited until September for the big marriage celebration. But, on the 14th of February my wife and I will be married one glorious year.
The preacher asked what we wanted in our vows, considering that they were just for us and that we'd be repeating them later. My Beautiful Wife said, "Leave out "obey."" I said, "Leave in "Kiss the Bride,"
It's been a good year. My thanks to all who helped make it so.
Friday, February 10, 2006
Theodore Roosevelt Heller
Theodore Roosevelt Heller, 88, loving father of Charles (Joann) Heller; dear brother of the late Sonya (the late Jack) Steinberg. Ted was discharged from the U.S. Army during WWII due to service related injuries, and then forced his way back into the Illinois National Guard insisting no one tells him when to serve his country. Graveside services Tuesday 11 a.m. at Waldheim Jewish Cemetery (Ziditshover section), 1700 S. Harlem Ave., Chicago. In lieu of flowers, please send acerbic letters to Republicans.
Thursday, February 09, 2006
"Questions have been raised about the President's authority to establish the
NSA's terrorist surveillance program..."
Sounds as if he's headed down the trail blazed by Sen Feingold, doesn't it? But, no F goes on,
,...which was created to protect Americans against a dangerous enemy intent upon
using any means possible to destroy Americans and the freedoms we cherish.
Fulfillment of Congress's oversight responsibility about this program no doubt
will involve highly classified information that cannot be publicly released
without harming national security. Nonetheless, I'm confident the unclassified
responses to these questions will both assist the Committee's oversight efforts
and better inform the people that the program is designed to protect."
In other words, "Bring your dog and pony show over to my committee and I'll see to it that we pretend that everything's alright." F Jim thinks that all we need is to hear the same old arguments and we'll be mollified. That ain't gonna happen.
Wednesday, February 08, 2006
Link here for Gazette coverage. Use this for Karen Aikman's remarks (I don't have the other two electronically.) Link for the Crossing Guard question with some history from the Observer is here. The tax reduction question is here and the leisure time question is here.
The Observer covered the forum in depth. I hope to have my own observations posted later tonight. Chasing Ambulances has made the same promise.
President Bush has figured out a way to reduce the deficit. He's proposed doing away with the $255 Social Security Burial Benefit.
His budget also calls for a lot of other cuts but Bush has said, "Most of the people who'll be affected don't contribute to political campaigns anyway so we won't miss their dollars."
Illinois Rep. Rahm Emanuel sums it up nicely.
"The Republican Congress has given a whole new meaning to the term
'women and children first.'"
There are a lot of folks weighing in on the appropriateness of the eulogies at Coretta Scott King's funeral and comparing those speeches to the attacks of Fred Phelps and his ilk. Most of those comparisons miss the point that the speakers in Atlanta were celebrating the life of Mrs King and the causes in which she believed. That the President was in the audience was not her choice, but his.
It's one thing to attack the deceased and the mourners with political arguments which are beside the point. It's quite another to make the political points to which the deceased had devoted her life. If the President was uncomfortable during the service perhaps he should have familiarized himself with the work of King's family. If that's not the proper place to share her views and causes there may never be one.
Five years of dodging the NAACP will tend to leave one out of touch, I suppose.
Tuesday, February 07, 2006
Monday, February 06, 2006
New House Speaker John Boehner took steps to put the kibosh on the broth-thin "reform" proposal of Dennis Hastert while he waits to propose an even weaker plan of his own. It seems that Hastert's ban on lobbyists gifts and trips were not acceptable to the Republican rank and file. Now it looks as if the R's are headed off to the Maryland shore for a beach party to rework the plan.
Jonathon Weissman's article in the WaPo quotes a senior Republican aide:
"This is something we refer to as a false start," a senior aide said,
acknowledging that Hastert and other leaders had backed the Republicans into a
no-win situation. The leaders can either push forward with a plan most
Republicans oppose, or they can scrap it and read that they backed off the
toughest reform proposals.
Failure to address this problem will be tantamount to feeding it. The longer it goes on the harder it will be to fix. Mark Green supported Boehner on both ballots last week. Now let's see if he goes along on the beach party.
The sizable crowd sampled the chili and perused the silent auction offerings which ranged from a mustard sampler to a weekend in Door County. E-Arts donated an $80 package and local artists and patrons donated artworks. Local businesses donated gift certificates for the auction and for the door prize drawings throughout the night.
But the real draw for the evening was the chili. There were offerings that were almost Sloppy-Joe like and some that were more like soup. Some were thick and some were chunky, some sweet and most just a little spicy. One included milk chocolate, Guinness, bacon and Maker's Mark. Your Humble Reporter believes that Maker's Mark belongs in the cook, not in the chili. If nothing else it was a fine representation of the variety of chili and a fair explanation of why the nature of the dish causes so many arguments.
The winners on the night were:
Best Display- Princess Chili. Aunt and Uncle's chili with a veritable plethora of Princesses.
Most Unusual Chili- Devilishly Good Chili
Best Mild Chili- Haven's 2nd Place
People's Choice- Evansville Auto Auction Top Bid Chili
Honorable Mention- B&B Chili
and the Grand Champion for 2006- Triple C Chili (Camping High Cliff Chili)
Next week is the ECP Chocolate Extravaganza. I'll leave it to others to document that evening. I'll be in Beloit at the Stateline Literacy Council's Moonlight Bowl.
When the Wisconsin State Journal comes down hard on a Republican it's usually pretty clear that all but the True Believers are in on prosecution.
As for Scooter... How can he say that there has been too much publicity when he admits that someone as well connected as he didn't know that Chvala and Burke had been prosecuted and taken down? Didn't someone tell him? That alone would have cut down on the wailing and gnashing of teeth last week.
I'll give even money that he pleads before the end of the week. I'm still working out the odds on a felony plea.
Sunday, February 05, 2006
Remember when we, as a nation, worried more about Aunt Bea's pickles than about most anything? Remember when politicians sold us hope instead of fear? Remember when compromise and bipartisanship was how laws got made? Remember when Walter Cronkite was the most trusted man in America and Huntley/Brinkley weren't far behind?
Remember when it was Republicans who were in favor of getting government out of peoples lives? Now, they've taken over the Nanny job and passed the costs on to young families.
Remember when NASA was our most trusted source for news of space and atmospheric science? Now the press agents have taken over the jobs of the scientists.
Remember when we elected officials to govern our state and nation? Now some get up in court and say, without shame, that they considered it to be their job to get re-elected even if it meant breaking the law and the public trust.
Remember when Congressional districts made geographic sense instead of being strung out to the benefit only of the political parties? Now, gerrymandering into one party strongholds has made us a divided nation within our own towns and taken accountability away for elected officials.
I'm no geezer but I play one on the Internet. I can remember the good old days. Will my grandchildren be able to say that?
Saturday, February 04, 2006
Thank you, Deputy Flynn, for the job you do so well.
The Evansville Community Partnership is hosting its annual Chili Cook-off Saturday night at Level 8, formerly the Red Barn.
There will be children's activities, a silent auction, and the best chili in this end of the state. Your $15 entry ($20 at the door) includes a Matthias James bowl and tastes of all the competitor's chili.
Come early. Stay late. Vote for Badger Red in the People's Choice category.
Friday, February 03, 2006
It was an odd dream, of course, and I only remember parts of it.
"Oh, yes," she said, "Scotty was always playing follow the leader. He always did whatever the other kids did whether I yelled at him or not. He knew that sometimes it was wrong but he just couldn't help himself."
"But, Mom, "He'd say, "All of the other kids are (I don't remember this part well. I think she said something about breaking something) Why are you only picking on me?"
"Because I'm your Mother, Scotty. Chuckie and Stevie have already had to answer for what they did. If Davey P jumped off a bridge, would you jump off a bridge, too?"
"Not again," Scotty hung his head. "But I'm going to kick and scream and fall on the floor until you bring all my friends in here so you can see that I'm not so bad."
"Oh, Scotty," His Mother said. "This time it's all about you. Try to act like a little man and not be a baby.
Thursday, February 02, 2006
You can check out their website here. We wish them well in this endeavor.
Don't forget that prime slots remain for hosting your own version of the carnival. Go to Nick's to see how you can join in the fun.
It turns out that two women were escorted from the chamber Tuesday night, one of them the wife of Republican Congressman Bill Young, the Florida Rep who is chair of the House Defense Appropriations Committee. According to the LA Times; ...He had two lawyers spend the morning researching House rules, and that they "came up with absolutely nothing on which they could base what they did."
The spokesman for the Capitol Police said...his officers had "made a good-faith, but mistaken, effort to enforce an old unwritten interpretation of the prohibitions about demonstrating in the Capitol." His department has offered apologies to both women.
Now for my analysis. Freedom of speech has nothing to do with your message. It has everything to do with our freedom. Having said that...If you can't pay the respect to the institution of Congress and our Presidency that it would take to not wear a t-shirt to the SOTU speech you may deserve to be shown the door.
Wednesday, February 01, 2006
Do they have a command of the issues? If they don't have a basic understanding of the issues here, then they probably don't when they go door-to-door or hit donors up for money or push for support in front of other audiences.
Do they have a particular theme a voter can latch onto? Specific issues come and go. Will the people in the audience say to themselves, "liberal, conservative, weirdo, incompetent, leader, taxes" etc. Poltical campaigns are almost like a word association game at a party. Voters like to have a label on someone before they vote. Another way to look at it, every good song has a "hook" that gets people to want to hear it again. So do candidates.
Does the candidate tend to ramble on into completely unrelated topics in an incoherent manner? Their campaign will, too, and you can put that person down as a loser.
Did the candidate say something stupid? If you see Waukesha Freeman editor Bill Yorth walk out of the room cell phone in hand right after your candidate said something, that's not a good sign. That's the front page being re-written.
Do they sound like they are going to win, or that they can win? It's an intangible, a gut feeling. Some candidates have it, some don't. Of course, having a strong campaign organization behind you tends to fuel a candidate's confidence. A candidate who is worried too much about what is going on in the campaign office is one that won't look well at a candidate forum.