Wednesday, May 31, 2006
John Gard intends to introduce a bill requiring autopsies on healthy citizens to find out why they are walking around. "Doggone it," Gard said, "If I say they're sick they ought to go lie down. This bill will allow us to get to the bottom of why they're so healthy."
The bill is in keeping with the spirit of Gard's "4K Task Force," his effort to nitpick a reason to kill the popular and effective program. "We just need to keep picking at thngs until they die," Gard said.
Tuesday, May 30, 2006
For all I know Mark Green is having his schedules printed by a commercial publishing house and paying the bills from the campaign fund. I just wonder why he'd want to remind people about the football schedules that came up in the Jensen trial.
Do they think that nobody was paying attention?
Spivak and Bice do a little throwaway snippet about what it is that sticks to the spurtle when you scrape the bottom of the barrel and on the first day back at work the searches start coming hard and heavy for:
Grothman AND Kohl AND Senate
Probably means nothing. Probably just checking the wind. You'd think, though, that Conley would be plugged in enough that they didn't have to check with me to see what's going on.
Nothing to see here. Just move along. Waiting for Tommy to tell Tim to see if Glen needs to do something. No action here.
When the world's first organism with feet takes its hesitant steps out from
the ocean and onto the waiting shore, it slips on a discarded banana peel left
behind by a careless gorilla. Frightened by this harsh new world, it scampers
back to the relative safety of the water.
Sensing an impending disaster, the citizens of Atlantis move the entirety
of their amazing city to idyllic New Orleans.
The largest ship of its time, the Titanic, sets sail from the southern
shores of England and into disaster. Several passengers complain of filet mignon
that has been overcooked, and one unfortunate man has to wait over ten minutes
to ride on a pony.
Sunday, May 28, 2006
Joe Ely has been everywhere and toured with the Clash and the Ringling Brothers. From Joe's website:
Joined Ringling Bros. Circus in the summer of 1974 and took care of the llamas
and the world's smallest horse. Later took care of the Arabian and Belguim
horses. Played every stop in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. In Houston, was
kicked unconcious by the lead horse as the elephants were being led in by famed
trainer, Gunther Gebal Williams. Gunther witnessed Joe's accident and
temporarily left his elephants to pull Joe to safety. This event probably saved
Joe's life. He hitchhiked back to Lubbock down Hwy 36 with two broken ribs and
laughed only when necessary.
Joe is a member of the Flatlanders with Jimmie Dale Gimore and Butch Hancock and of Los Super Seven with 3 members of Los Lobos, Flaco Jimenez, Rick Trevino, (now dead) Freddy Fender, Rubin Ramos, Doug Sahm (sadly, gone as well), Augie Myers and Guzman.
(Ely s)aw his first hundred dollar bill in a Lubbock speakeasy called the
Hideway Club. Hall of Fame quarterback, Bobby Lane, who was out on the town with
fellow Yankee star Micky Mantle, tiped Joe one hundred dollars for playing the
Willie Nelson Classic, 'Nightlife'.
Head down to Shank Hall to see this amazing singer-songwriter-artist-actor up close. You'll be glad you did.
If I Could Teach My Chihuahua To Sing
(Tornado Temple BMI,Gracey-Rhodes Music/Irving Music BMI)
Joe Ely / Kimmie Rhodes / Gabe Rhodes
O weary me
I'm broke as a man can be
My bills are all due,
I got holes in my shoe
Bill collectors, they won't let me sleep
If I Could Teach My Chihuahua To Sing
I could make cash registers ring
What a sight to behold her,
she could sit on my shoulder
And whimper in harmony
If I Could Teach My Chihuahua To Sing
What a wonderful world it would be
I could take her to the border
and teach her how to orderMargaritas
and Fajitas Senoritas would bring
The circus is coming to town
The telephone lines are down
While the tight rope they're stretchin',
my puppy is fetchin',
The tin cans all scattered around...
If I Could Teach My Chihuahua To Sing
The whole would live in peace
Instead of them fightin',
everyone would be writin'
Love letters to Senators and Police
If I Could Teach My Chihuahua To Sing
What brave new world it would be
I could take her to China,
on a big Jet Airliner
And Bark in the Park '
till the Freedom Bells Ring
If I Could Teach My Chihuahua To Sing
There'd be no more sorrow and grief
I could take her to the border
and teach her how to order
Guacamole and Posole,
and feel Holy and Free!
Today will be the second Indy 500 without Duane Sweeney. I'd like to call Sweeney a friend of mine but he was truly a friend of the world.
Sweeney was flagman at Hales Corners for 27 years and flagged at the fairgrounds track at Beaver Dam as well.
Duane waved the flags as Chief Starter for the Indy 500 in 1980 for the first time. In the next 17 races there he waved the checkers over the fourth Indy victories of Al Unser and Rick Mears. He was there for Danny Sullivan's Spin and Win in Al Unser's narrowest-ever victory over Scott Goodyear.
After handing over his duties to Bryan Howard, Sweeney became an unofficial ambassador for Indy and for the IRL. He was always present somewhere near the Pennzoil facilities on Gasoline Alley or shaking hands in the suites. He was on a first name basis with AJ Foyt, Tony George and with thousands of race fans.
He saved every checkered flag from the 500 and donated many of them to fundraising projects for MACC to fight childhood cancer.
Sweeney passed on at his home in New Berlin in January of 2004. I remember the day he said to us, "Come on. I know an elevator guy." If there's a better place, I'm certain that Sweeney knew the way up there, too.
Saturday, May 27, 2006
We spent the hour talking about ethanol, liberal blogging, or the dearth of same, and the relative charisma of Mark Green and Tommy T. To call the hour wide-ranging is, perhaps an understatement.
This is one time I wish the Governor had used his veto pen.
With a stroke of his pen, the Governor expanded the nanny state in
Wisconsin by creating an enforcement and logistic nightmare. Under
previous Wisconsin law, parents could decide whether their children
between the ages of four and eight should be placed in booster seats
or seat belts. That was plain old common sense.
She goes on to blast the Gov for signing the law while ignoring the fact that this Nanny State bill was a Republican forged and forced bill. The bill passed on bipartisan support increasing the intrusion of government into the lives of citizens. Sen Lazich wishes that responsibility for kids was put in the home:
Parents should be allowed to make common sense decisions about theirOf course Lazich missed the irony. Her column last week was all about the lege making choices for kids and teachers.
children’s safety, and should be allowed the freedom and flexibility to use
newer and better safety measures as they become available. Technology moves
so fast, government regulations have difficulty keeping up. Rather than
forcing parents to abide by a law that may be outdated by the time
the ink is dry, allow parents to take advantage of the best safety for
Legislation I have authored, Senate Bill 286, requires that school
boards that choose to provide sex education must present abstinence
as the preferred choice of behavior.
Nanny is as nanny does, I guess.
Thursday, May 25, 2006
Even though this house was riding the McPheever Bandwagon I don't believe that the two strongest candidates met in the Idol final. I certainly don't believe that a maginally talented bar singer like Taylor Hicks will become an idol in any sense of the word.
63 million votes? American Dreamz was closer to the truth than we care to admit.
Tuesday, May 23, 2006
One of my favorite posessions is the auction bill from his 1895 sale. He was selling off the farm by Sauk and moving to the north and east a little. I have a silk-screen of the auction bill on the wall inour spare room. It lists the tools and implements for sale including a state of the art McCormick reaper. The relevance of that bill to today's discussion, of course, is the headline on the bottom half of it.
Attention! The rest of the bill is in German and set in a Very Germanic font. Why would Granpa Fred do that, you ask? Because he knew his customer base. His auction was in late 1895, not yet 50 years after Wisconsin became a state and there were a lot of German speakers along the river by Sauk City and in the bluffs around Baraboo. To get the biggest crowd for his sale Fred had to use the language of business and, at that time, it was as much German as his native English.
When the Wisconsin Constitution was ratified in March of 1848 it was published in English, German and Norwegian so that it could be read and taken to heart by the people here in the state.
I'm not picking a fight about legal vs. illeagal. There are ways to secure our borders and bring some sense to immigration law and solutions will be found. Operation Streamline II is working along the border at Eagle Pass. Now we just need to find the will to make it work along all of the borders.
What I am rambling on about is the "Official Language" foolishness that always pops up alongside that discussion. It makes sense to have a language that the country uses as a base but we have seldom in our history been a one-language country. Making certain that everyone has access to the mechanism of government is part of our heritage and a fine defense tactic on its own.
English and the way we use it change over time. This country has assimilated large groups of people who spoke other languages in the past and will continue to do so in the future. One of the best ways for us to keep English viable is to teach it in strong schools. Another is to use it as a tool rather than as a weapon.
And the Lord said, “Let there be eggs and flour,” and the batter took substance and it was good.
On the second day the Lord said, “Let there be poppyseed and carrots and spices from the corners of the Earth. And the batter came in many varieties and it was good.
On the third day the Lord said, “Let there be butter cream and cream cheese and chocolate and lemons for custard filling.” And it was even better.
On the fourth day the Lord said, “Let there be marzipan and rosettes of spun sugar. Let there be decoration and embellishment to light the eyes and hearts of all who see.” And it was beautiful.
On the fifth day the Lord created Adam who promptly left in search of a cup of coffee.
On the sixth day the Lord said, “Adam, come here. There’s someone I want you to meet.”
And Eve said, “Would you like a piece of Devil’s Food?”
Adam looked at the wonders around him; at the beasts of the field and the birds of the air and replied unto her, “Sure. Piece of cake.”
And the Earth began to tremble.
Monday, May 22, 2006
I spent part of the weekend going through some old notebooks and back issues of some of my zines. The title of this piece is from May of 1998. Here are some more leftovers from the WayBack Machine.
I took a minor in Couch so I had something to fall back on.
When you are riding a tiger you ned to keep the reins short.
She didn’t say she wanted us to start seeing other people. She said she wanted us to start watching other people.
You don’t want to go to a tattoo parlor in Bosnia. (overheard)
They managed to pressure cook a sheep in just over an hour. (overheard)
Sunday, May 21, 2006
The actual legislation passed by the Iranian parliament regulates women's
fashion, and urges the establishment of a national fashion house that would make
Islamically appropriate clothing. There is a vogue for "Islamic chic" among many
middle class Iranian women that involves, for instance, wearing expensive boots that cover the legs and so, it is
argued, are permitted under Iranian law. The scruffy, puritanical Ahmadinejad
and his backers among the hardliners in parliament are waging a new and probably
doomed struggle against the young Iranian fashionistas. (The Khomeinists give
the phrase "fashion police" a whole new meaning).
The Iranian government still makes the country a bad place to live. Don't misunderstand. They're just not guilty of this one crime against human dignity. The still commit many such affronts.
Yawn. Set aside the Bond's lack of personality or warmth. Ignore, if you can, the steroid use and the lying. Nevermind the juiced ball years.
This ranks right up there with being the third guy to fly solo across the Atlantic or being the third runner to break the 4 minute mile.
Call me when he gets to 750 or so. Then, I'll decide if I want to be excited or not.
Saturday, May 20, 2006
Friday, May 19, 2006
I have always believed that elective office should not be a career move...
I have supported term limits throughout my years in the Wisconsin State
...I concluded early on that term limits were necessary to break
the political system of its long-term addiction to special interest money and
the self preservation instinct of politicians.
Carrie Lynch points out that Mark Green said those things in a letter supporting and pledging to adhere to term limits. He vowed to limit himself to 6 years in the House because it would be:
...an effective way to push the kind of taxpayer-based citizen-oriented reformOf course, he said those things 8 years ago. Once he got his nose in the trough he found it hard to push away after all. And, rather than "taxpayer-based citizen-oriented reform" Green has been more interested in party-line big-money giveaways.
that I believe the people of Northeastern Wisconsin are longing for.
Why should we believe he means what he is saying now while he's asking for a chance to be Governor?
State Sen Mary Lazich has found a survey of high school students which has offended her. By reading one or two lines of the raw data she has found a way to be offended by the fact that some of them are having, avert your eyes if you must, s-e-x. She uses the survey to determine that the state must spend more time tell the kiddies to, "Stop that!" while ignoring the information that the bulk of our offspring are using methods to stop unwanted pregnancies and STDs.
There is a lot in the survey that says that our High School age kids are hearing the message and altering their behaviors in healthy ways. Lazich doesn't seem to grasp that in her efforts to be offended.
Dave Diamond gives his reaction here while Seth takes a little deeper look at the numbers behind the Senator's outrage.
Thursday, May 18, 2006
The first lady told “Fox News Sunday” that she thinks the American people want a debate on the issue. But, she said, “I don’t think it should be used as a campaign tool, obviously.”
“It requires a lot of sensitivity to just talk about the issue -a lot of sensitivity,” she said.
Babblemur has that quote and a handful of others on homosexuality as an issue.
Photo h/t The Nate Report
My Assemblyman is Brett Davis of the 80th. Some describe him as a strong freshman and a hope for the future of the Republican Party. Brett and I had some interesting chats over the last concealed carry bill and weren't as far apart as some might have thought. Even though he voted opposite my intentions I understood his way of thinking and he made an effort to give mine an equal consideration.
Brett got positive attention around here for breaking with the John Gard anti-reform bunch and voting to bring an ethics bill to the floor.
Which is why I was disappointed in Brett last week for his endorsement of JB van Hollen for Attorney General. JB might be the best choice that the Republicans have right now but he certainly doesn't stand for the people of the 80th. His radical stand on abortion and birth control would set back women's right 40 years. His ramblings about terrorists in Superior feel like a sad cry for attention. JB wants to turn the state's back on Consumer and Environmental protection and to bring back the death penalty.
And yet Davis thinks this is the best man for Wisconsin's top law enforcement position. The Attorney General's focus has to be on more than just meth labs and Steve Avery. I'm sorry, Brett. You blew it this time.
She has been an enigmatic beauty, an object of men's desire and of women's envy but has seldom been fully understood. Through it all she smiles and perseveres.
There have been rumors, of course, but few have been proven. She was rumored to be the paramour of a famous artist. Some thought she was the darling of one of the richest men in the world while others have advanced the outrageous theory that she was born a man.
Despite all of this she remains a beauty and an icon, a woman about whom songs are written and movies made. She has remained untouchable and, ultimately, unknowable. And now she has taken center stage again in a great controversy, a place where she seems implacable. While the cares of the world swirl around her she sits calmly and smiles.
Mona Lisa, we adore you. Happy 500th Birthday.
Tuesday, May 16, 2006
Monday, May 15, 2006
Write a story that ends with the following sentence:
Debra brushed the sand from her blouse,
took a last, wistful look at the now putrefying horse,
and stepped into the hot-air balloon.
Click the title to read the other 12.
According to ABC News that argument can be put to bed any minute now.
A senior federal law enforcement official tells ABC News the government isI'm not sure that this administration can be trusted to tell so little as the correct time any more.
tracking the phone numbers we call in an effort to root out confidential
"It's time for you to get some new cell phones, quick," the source
told us in an in-person conversation.
The SanFrancisco Chronicle reported back in February of 2005 that Bush was backing off his strong talk on beefing up the borders.
Officially approved by Bush on Dec. 17 after extensive bickering in
Congress, the National Intelligence Reform Act included the requirement to
10,000 border patrol agents in the five years beginning with 2006.
Roughly 80 percent of the agents were to patrol the southern U.S. border
from Texas to California, along which thousands of people cross into the
United States illegally every year. But Bush's proposed 2006 budget,
revealed Monday, funds only 210 new border agents.
There was enough money in the Bush budget for tax breaks for the wealthy
and support for the petroleum industry but no money to execute on his
So tonight, when he proposes using National Guard troops, ask who is paying for his bravado. Ask who is posturing.
In Texas where Kinky Friedman turned in petitions for his candidacy showing 169,574 signatures. Those will be checked to make sure that there are 46,000 signatures from registered voters who did not vote in the partisan primaries in April.
Texas Comptroller Carole Keaton Strayhorn (Scott McClellan's Mom) turned in 101 boces of petitions for her independent candidacy as well.
“As our staff is beginning to consolidate and organize all of the petitions thatIt should be a lively race in Texas this Summer.
Ms. Strayhorn turned in yesterday, we have consolidated her 101 boxes (of
petitions) down to 12,” says Scott Haywood, communications director for the
Secretary of State’s office. Haywood is not sure what the agency will do with
the leftover cartons (all 101 delivered Tuesday were slapped with Strayhorn
bumper stickers). He made it clear that Strayhorn did not fill boxes to the
brim. “If she had not been so hungry for media attention, we would not have had
to waste time consolidating her petitions into a more usable format. By trying
to get a bigger play in the media, she has made the process more time-consuming
for our office.”
Click here for the latest Kinkytoon, "Save Your Vote For Kinky."
Thompson claimed that his family was unanimously against another campaign. However, he left open a run against Herb Kohl for Senate and had nothing at all to say about Presidential ambitions.
So there you have it. Tommy says nothing and does nothing and soaks up a week's worth of headlines from Green. Even Green's idea to double the DNR bureaucracy couldn't get much traction from either side. Unless and until TT telss the Journal-Sentinel that he triple dog absolutely won't run for anything ever ever cross his heart ever he'll still get more attention than the flawed Republican candidate.
Tommy T just had to remind Mark Green about who's the Daddy.
Saturday, May 13, 2006
Will Tommy go after Herb Kohl's seat? Even though almost all observers believe that Thompson's ego wouldn't be happy as one voice in a hundred his lack of an announcement has kept anyone else from stepping up to take a shot. Poor Tim Michels is relegated to a card table in the parlor while Thompson entertains the adults in the dining room. If Tommy lets Herb off the hook then Timmy has to convince the people of Wisconsin that he was the best choice all along.
Speaking of best choices; How would you like to be Mark Green this week? Thompson's lack of a directional statement has left Green as "The Best Choice...For Now...Unless..But, Maybe." Any Democratic attention that Tommy attracts for his deficits will also reflect badly on Green's time in the lege. Green can't win in this fight. He won't be able to run against his own record in Washington and Tommy only focuses on Green's performance in Wisconsin. Jef Hall comments on the Thompson/Green spending connection.
Belling shows the depth of support for Green when he urged Thompson to:
Do it, Tommy. Your party and your state need you.Belling is jumping on a bandwagon that hasn't hitched to a team yet. He goes on to list Green's shortcomings for his mainly right leaning audience in a way that those on the left couldn't match.
Around The Cheddarsphere:
Ben has a take on Tommy's "stay or go?" moment while Shark and Shepherd shares a Suessian perspective. Corey reminds us that Tommy gets headlines for saying nothing while Green can't think of anything lead-worthy and that Green couldn't be bothered to skip a fundraiser to make a vote for veterans but that he didn't skip the vote to hand $70 billion to his corporate benefactors.
Seth has comments on Thomspon's intentions in defining the mission of the Republicans in Wisconsin and on Milwaukee radio's reaction to his waffling. Jim McG gets all whimsical. Dean remains non-committal and remarks on the right side of the Cheddarsphere's quiet on the pending fight. Peter isn't non-committal in the slightest. He says that Thompson isn't a Republican at all. Spivak and Bice come down firmly on both sides (so long as they can cover the spat.) Owen keeps it short and sweet. Steve gives odds and an opinion.
Friday, May 12, 2006
The Emperor: [to the Senate] In order to ensure our security and continuing stability, the Republic will be reorganized into the first Galactic Empire, for a safe and secure society which I assure you will last for ten thousand years!
Padmé: [to Bail Organa] So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.
Abstract: The exponential dependence of resistivity on temperature in germanium is found to be a great big lie. My careful theoretical modeling and painstaking experimentation reveal 1) that my equipment is crap, as are all the available texts on the subject and 2) that this whole exercise was a complete waste of my time.
In order to control the temperature of the germanium, I attached the
crystal to a copper rod, the upper end of which was attached to a heating coil
and the lower end of which was dipped in a thermos of liquid nitrogen. Midway
through the project, the thermos began leaking. That's right: I pay a cool ten
grand a quarter to come here, and yet they can't spare the five bucks to ensure
that I have a working thermos.
Banking on my hopes that whoever grades this will just look at the
pictures, I drew an exponential through my noise. I believe the apparent
legitimacy is enhanced by the fact that I used a complicated computer program to
make the fit.
Follow the link to read the rest.
Thursday, May 11, 2006
Walton has the good news from Iraq. Water and electricity flow every day and that pesky "Guest Worker" problem has been solved.
You can also tell that the Iraqis have finally bought into the "Liberators" theme because the walls will only be 15 feet thick. If they hated us we'd have to make them defensible...like in France.
Another Encore Blogging performance whilst wishing for the weekend. This study on the dangers of bread wasn't put out by the Waukesha Taxpayers League yet it uses similar methodology.
!!! BREAD IS DANGEROUS !!!
Research on bread indicates that:
1. More than 98 percent of convicted felons are bread users.
2. Fully HALF of all children who grow up in bread-consuming households score below average on standardized tests.
3. In the 18th century, when virtually all bread was baked in the home, the average life expectancy was less than 50 years; infant mortality rates were unacceptably high; many women died in childbirth; and diseases such as typhoid, yellow fever, and influenza ravaged whole nations.
4. More than 90 percent of violent crimes are committed within 24 hours of eating bread.
5. Bread is made from a substance called "dough." It has been proven that as little as one pound of dough can be used to suffocate a mouse. The average American eats more bread than that in one month!
6. Primitive tribal societies that have no bread exhibit a low incidence of cancer, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, and osteoporosis.
7. Bread has been proven to be addictive. Subjects deprived of bread and given only water to eat begged for bread after as little as two days.
8. Bread is often a "gateway" food item, leading the user to "harder" items such as butter, jelly, peanut butter, and even cold cuts.
9. Bread has been proven to absorb water. Since the human body is more than 90 percent water, it follows that eating bread could lead to your body being taken over by this absorptive food product, turning you into a soggy, gooey bread-pudding person.
10. Newborn babies can choke on bread.
11. Bread is baked at temperatures as high as 400 degrees Fahrenheit! That kind of heat can kill an adult in less than one minute.
12. Most American bread eaters are utterly unable to distinguish between significant scientific fact and meaningless statistical babbling.
In light of these frightening statistics, it has been proposed that the following bread restrictions be made:
1. No sale of bread to minors.
2. A nationwide "Just Say No To Toast" campaign, complete celebrity TV spots and bumper stickers.
3. A 300 percent federal tax on all bread to pay for all the societal ills we might associate with bread.
4. No animal or human images, nor any primary colors (which may appeal to children) may be used to promote bread usage.
5. The establishment of "Bread-free" zones around schools.
Tuesday, May 09, 2006
There's a Time and Place for Atheism
During the Reign of Terror of the French Revolution, one morning's executions began with three men: a rabbi, a Catholic priest, and an atheist.
The rabbi was marched up onto the platform first. There, facing the guillotine, he was asked if he had any last words. And the rabbi cried out, "I believe in the one and only true God, and He shall save me." The executioner then positioned the rabbi below the blade, set the block above his neck, and pulled the cord to set the terrible instrument in motion. The heavy cleaver plunged downward, searing the air. But then, abruptly, it stopped with a crack just a few inches above the would-be victim's neck. To which the rabbi said, "I told you so."
"It's a miracle!" gasped the crowd. And the executioner had to agree, letting the rabbi go.
Next in line was the priest. Asked for his final words, he declared, "I believe in Jesus Christ the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost who will rescue me in my hour of need." The executioner then positioned this man beneath the blade. And he pulled the cord. Again the blade flew downward -- thump! creak! ... stopping just short of its mark once more.
"Another miracle!" sighed the disappointed crowd. And the executioner for the second time had no choice but to let the condemned man go free.
Now it was the atheist's turn. "What final words have you to say?" he was asked. But the atheist didn't hear. Staring intently at the ominous engine of death, he seemed lost. Not until the executioner poked him in the ribs and the question was asked again did he reply.
"Oh, I see your problem," the atheist said pointing. "You've got a blockage in the gear assembly, right there!"
...Because, like the rest of the Internet, it can be a disintermediating
force, the Web log can create an arena where candidates and voters interact
directly without the distorting effects of the traditional news media or the
formats that may be favored by traditional debate sponsors.
There is scant evidence that the blog format either increased voter
participation or affected voting decisions. But the blog debates demonstrated a
willingness among candidates and voters to engage with new technology as a way
of furthering political debate. Both candidates and voters saw benefits to the
blog format, and there were indications that the blog format could enrich and
improve local political discourse.
Go on over to read the whole post or follow the link to Professor Maguire's paper as a PDF.
Monday, May 08, 2006
That's the conclusion of Neil Heinen's editorial about the conclusion of the Legislature's session last week.
The last two weeks of the state Legislature's 2006 floor session, which
ended around midnight last Thursday, were probably the most embarrassing in the
history of the state.
The Republican-led Assembly and Senate are so badly out of touch and out of
control that neither is capable of anything remotely resembling responsible
Examples include the admission that spending cap schemes were a fraud, that
pandering to the fringe on issues like immigration status was more important
than government reform, that an advisory amendment on the death penalty was
worth humiliating political maneuvers and that a great many lawmakers lack the
will or the conscience to set strong ethical guidelines for themselves.
There are some Democrats and a few Republicans who have tried to serve
But the Republican leadership has so jeopardized this state's
reputation that Republican citizens are embarrassed and frustrated.
Special sessions are likely useless with this group.
election is the only answer.
What are your thoughts?
Just to refresh:
The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and
effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and
no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or
affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the
persons or things to be seized.
- The Leadership Was Poor.
- The Message Was Mishandled.
- The Grothman-Wood Version
Was Too Long.
- The Timing Was Poor.
- It Took Too Long.
- It is bad policy for business to choke growth. It is bad business for
government to artificially stifle growth. The Law of Unintended
Consequences lives in laws like this one.
- A coalition of groups who care more about the people of Wisconsin than they care for WMC lined up against it. TPA supporters call WMC a "business group" and the coalition of charities, churches and service providers lined up against TPA "special
interest groups." They fooled no one.
- The "choke government" wing of the Republican Party lost their credibility on the streets of New Orleans. Their effectivness is flowing out to sea along with the flood waters. John Gard is scrambling to catch a ship that will sail to Marginland before he can get aboard.
- No matter what Mark Belling thinks, if your bill goes down
2-1 it's not because everybody else is out of step. Mark should take two hours to watch "A Face In the Crowd" for its hidden messages about media power.
Sunday, May 07, 2006
RL is keeping me running right now. With your indulgence I'll pass along this piece from May of 2004. I originally pubbed it in Dolores del Queso Diablo for TurboAPA #214.
A Short History Lesson, I Guess
The ghosts in this hotel are at peace this rainy afternoon.
There’s no sign of Sallie White today, even though she regularly revisits the corridors of the hotel at night in her long gray skirt and bandana. She carries an armload of towels that she’ll never deliver. Her husband murdered her here one night in a drunken rage. Some say he was jealous of her job and of her friends at the hotel.
Captain Richard King doesn’t come into this barroom anymore, but he is occasionally seen entering the suite named for him through the wall where a door once stood. King founded and built The King Ranch 150 years before. His 1300 square mile dream lives on but he is seen only in the halls of the hotel where he spent his final days in 1885.
There are others. A rude lady knits in the lobby wearing a blue beret. When a helpful employee asks, “Can I get you something?” She curtly replies, “No,” and disappears. A guest is wakened by a man clad in buckskin and brown trousers standing by his bed. The man is speaking to someone on the other side of the room. "Are you gonna stay or are you gonna go?" he asks three times and then takes his leave, unhappy with the unheard answer.
These are the ghosts of the Menger Hotel in San Antonio. They are not here with me on a rainy Saturday afternoon. Today we are a soggy crowd of tourists and passers-through. The table under the loft is full of soldier boys, called up but not yet shipped out. The man on the stool next to me is waiting for his sister to come in from the rally for peace next door…at the Alamo. “It rained on us in Boston on Thursday, too.” he says, matter of factly, as if flying cross country for anti-war demonstrations was a commonplace activity in his family.
This was an afternoon in the first days of our war in Iraq. Sadaam and Qusai were still up for grabs. No one had declared, “Mission accomplished,” and no one had heard of Abu Ghraib. Most of us thought that there might still be WMD to be found and that there was hope that the Iraqis would soon have a provisional government in place.
All of this was in the conversations in the barroom at the Menger Hotel that afternoon but then this was a room accustomed to conversations of conflict. Built in 1887 to be a replica of the taproom in the House of Lords Club in London the solid cherry bar, cherry-paneled ceiling, French mirrors, and gold-plated spittoons were the wonder of San Antonio.
Theodore Roosevelt first visited the Menger in 1892 on a javelina hunt and enjoyed a cold beer, chilled in the Alamo Madre ditch which passed through the hotel courtyard. Five years later he returned. Legend holds that he put a tablet of paper on one of the tables, ordered an unending round of beers for the assembled cowboys, and laid down a challenge to sign up for the First United States Volunteer Cavalry. The men who answered the call that day, along with volunteers from El Paso and Fort Sheridan and their Eastern gentleman officers charged, on foot, up San Juan Hill and into glory as The Rough Riders.
But on this day that noble cause seems far away. We discuss quagmires and Viet Nam. We talk about mandates and duty and purpose. There were doubts on that rainy Saturday 15 months ago but not one of us guessed how badly the mission in Iraq could turn. How is it possible that a generation could grow up in this country thinking that Grenada was the last good war?
Now some of those soldier boys that we treated to a round that day are probably back in West Texas. It’s very possible that a few of them are never coming home or that some are forever changed. But on that one day we sat together and let the ghosts of the Menger rest while we dealt with our own personal ghosts.
I sat at the end of the bar waiting for Nancy to return from shopping. In front of me was a vee of wood, lighter than the cherry of the rest of the bartop. During a lull in the conversation about weather and war I asked the barkeep for the story behind the patch.
“Oh, that’s where Carrie Nation took exception to the menu,” he deadpanned. When you live with ghosts nothing seems out of the ordinary.
Thursday, May 04, 2006
Tuesday, May 02, 2006
The Recess Supervisor won't settle for meaningless gestures.
Seth knows that actions speak louder than words.
Marc Pocan reports on the attempt to drag SB1 onto the floor of the Assembly and how the efforts of the Republicans killed it.
Meanwhile Mark Green is doing his level best to keep reform out of the Federal picture.
h/t The Nate Report
Wisconsin Assemblymen and women show support for flying foreign flags during the weekend of May 18, 19 and 20.
Peace and harmony break out throughout the land.
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Use the Carnival Submit Form from Conservative Cat.With so many options, how can you not participate?
Just when you thought you'd probably seen the worst the state Legislature had to
offer, along came Thursday — and early Friday.
On Mark Gundrum's obstruction of the ethics bill: One of them, Rep. Mark Gundrum, R-New Berlin, also said the bill hadn't gotten enough public input. This despite that fact that it was introduced in January 2005 and was the subject of two public hearings since. Gundrum's call for a task force to study the bill sounds more like stonewalling.
And the breezy passage of a rough draft of something to take to the stump:
In fact, the entire resolution was discussed, amended and voted on in the span
of about four hours in the middle of the night. It's funny that Gundrum
didn't object to a lack of a public hearing this time. Well, it's only the state
When your assemblyman or woman claims to have voted for a Taxpayer Protection Anything make sure to call them to task for their cavalier attitude and actions.
The Racine Journal Times said of Gard's stunt-based leadership:
By dawn's early light, Gard was defending the package as a glass that was "half
full." Others - including some Republicans - were characterizing it more as
half-baked. It is rather a mess.
And shone some light on the true effects of the debacle: Local governments rely heavily on state funding support so a lid on state spending would translate immediately to cuts in aid to local governments - cuts that would require either local spending cuts or, that's right, property tax increases.
The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, in an editorial titled A Constitutional Insult said:
Assembly Speaker John Gard proclaimed in a news release that, with the passage
of the Wisconsin Taxpayer Protection Amendment early Friday, Assembly
Republicans had kept their promise to taxpayers. If he was able to put that news
release together with a straight face, he deserves to be commended.
Gard's grandstanding in front of a piece of poor governance fooled no one over the weekend.
The measure did not go to committee for discussion. Not a single public hearing
was held. But so desperate was Gard, a Republican from Peshtigo, to approve
something, he ignored the public's interest and sent through a measure without
appreciable public input.
You don't mess around with the state constitution
in this way, and you don't disregard the public in such a way if you have the
state's best interest at heart. Government isn't supposed to work like this.
There is a reason that so many local governments and service providers are against this concept. But there is no reason that anyone should support any legislation made in the dead of the night solely for the purpose of election year showboating.
Monday, May 01, 2006
Bill Connors sets it right over at the Observer, Evansville's blog of record.
And why do they expect the rules to be changed for them?
The Gazette has the stories.
A Varig airlines cargo plane from Brazil sits parked at the Mexico City airport with its nose up in the air after the cargo was unevenly distributed on Wednesday April 12, 2006. (AP Photo/Exelsior-Adrian Roque)