Friday, June 30, 2006

Smart Growth Plan Goes Out The Window On 4-3 Vote

The Evansville Planning Commission last night voted to ignore the short-term Smart Growth plans and the expressed wishes of a large portion of the citizens and allow the development of the Morning subdivision south of County C well ahead of the planned 2015 date. Mayor Decker cast the tie-breaking vote. The Observer has the audio from the meeting.

Even Bill Hamman, who spoke against the proposal based on impact to the schools, was surprised.
"When we plan budgets and services and do long-range planning, we're basing it
on a certain growth rate. If we continue to approve this particular project,
then all assumptions on budgets are invalid and everything will need to be

There will be a public hearing on the issue at the August Common Council meeting. If you have strong feelings about the rate of growth in Evansville contact your alder between now and then. Then be at the public hearing in August.

What Didn't Mark Green Know And When Doesn't He Know It

Mark Green launched a sputtergram yesterday blaming Governor Doyle for Honda's failure to build in Walworth County. Regarding Honda's decision Fred Burkhardt, vice president of the Walworth County Economic Development Alliance, has said:
Walworth officials knew they were too late in their offer and he wasn't
surprised that Wisconsin didn't get the plant. Other states besides Indiana that
may proposals were Illinois, Ohio and Michigan."We knew going in we were a long
shot," he said. "We knew we were late in the game, and we appreciate the
opportunity to have played."
Green chooses to ignore the facts so he can rage about Wisconsin's business climate, a climate of growth according to the candidate to replace him in the 8th District. In the meantime Burkhardt says the effort has created more opportunity for the south-central County.
...he has heard from what he described as a "major national developer" that
builds Internet technology and life science business parks."Those are byproducts
you get from having gone to the plate," Burkhardt said,
according to the Gazette. Fred Burkhardt knows what Mark Green doesn't. Every attempt makes the next one more likely, unless you spend your time and effort whining.

Fun With Statistics

Garrison Keilor's Lake Woebegon is a place where all the children are above average. Paul shows us how WMC and similar groups have shown that no state can measure up. 78% of the states rank in the bottom quartile for taxes.

We all live in the same version of Hell, apparently.

Carnival Guilt

Belle has the Carnival of the Badger this week.

Nick wishes you'd taken it instead.

Step up and host it next week.

Thursday, June 29, 2006

Movie References and Press Releases

Just keep releasing press releases until someone prints them. That's the plan of Brian Fraley releasing for JB van Hollen. Back on June 6 Brian posted this on JB's website about the new JBMobile, the mobile campaign station for the intrepid al Qaeda fighter.

Through heavy-handed humor Brian tried to make us think of Stripes, often voted one of the funniest movies ever. By piggy-backing on the goodwill of Bill Murray and John Candy Brian hoped to make us feel good about his candidate.
And while we know those who fear a JB victory will snicker about 'a heavily
armed recreational vehicle,' this Mobile HQ will be a huge benefit to the
campaign and to the hundreds of grassroots volunteers who will staff JB this
summer. (And, truth be told, even we've made a few references to the movie
Stripes--it's ok).

Well, despite Brian's best efforts hardly anybody noticed so he put the release out again this week. Dennis York noticed. It even made Dennis think of what might be happening at the Caped Crimefighter's HQ.

Unfortunately it made me think of the wrong movie. Does anyone else remember Racing Stripes?

Not A Simple Question

Dean has a good roundup of the reaction to the proposed flag-burning amendment's rejection. He captures the tenor of the debate and shares his own opinions, as well.

There seems to be a large group stuck in the middle who venerate the flag without worshipping it. These are the folks who believe that our soldiers fight for the ideals of our country as represented by the flag. They have now become the targets of those who believe the flag, in and of itself, is what is being fought for.

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Scott Walker's Latest Wacky Idea

End mutual aid for County paramedics. Let'em pay for their own.

More of the "pass the costs to the locals" from the King of Freezing Revenue. I don't think Walker understands the meaning of unfunded.

A Fine Question

I'm mad I didn't think of it.

...if Rush isn't married, why would he need Viagra?

-Bob Cesca

Why would a member of the Morality Cops need the effects of the drug he was carrying sans scrip?

McBride's Tortured Reasoning

So he had a bottle of Viagra in his doctor's name for privacy reasons. BIG DEAL.

-Jess McBride

Convicted drug abusers should go free if they reoffend. It's not that big of a deal.

Does Paul know you feel that way? He wants all the druggies locked up. (I'd show you the rest of Bucher's Ten-Point Plan but there are only two points there.)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Good Help Is Hard To Find Locally

We gathered the clan and went to the parade in Oregon yesterday to support one of the young'uns who's marching in one of the bands that was there. You can tell that it's getting closer to Primary Day all the time.

There were two candidates for Dane County sheriff there marching along with Brian Blanchard. I must not have stayed long enough to see the Republican DA candidate. Brett Davis was there as was Janis Ringhand who will be running against him. Herb Kohl wasn't there (nor was Fred) but Rae Vogeler was.

Both candidates for Governor were represented. Doyle had a guy in pretty typical parade garb marching in his place as well as a team of volunteers handing out the same stickers they had at the Monona parade. The Green Team was there in force handing out Packer schedules again as well as something new.

Team Green had lunch-size bags for the kiddies to put their swag in (and the swag at Oregon was plentiful and rich. The hockey organization was pitching pens. At least two groups had freeze pops.) The Green swag-bags were a little lightweight but you wouldn't expect heavyweight from Green to be given away. What did surprise me, though, was that Team Green was giving away Canadian-made and printed paper bags. A quick search on ThomasNet shows a dozen or more Wisconsin bag makers listed, a fair share of them in the 8th Congressional District.

Maybe Green just isn't used to buying Wisconsin-made goods after all those years of Washington living.

Joel McNally On Paul Bucher's Southern Strategy

It's a piece of cake for politicians in states bordering Mexico to spread
anti-immigrant bigotry. But ours is almost on the edge of Canada, where the
greater threat is from hordes of illegal immigrants wearing ugly flannel shirts
and hats with ear flaps.

McNally's column in the Cap Times comments on the AG candidate's plan to scare the pants off the base.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Dangerously Close To Being A Commercial

Tolerate Mornings is a commercial website from P&G, the makers of Folgers. They have a few wacky web-thingies. There's a Boss Tracker and auto generated excuse emails.

But for the most disturbing commercial in a long time click on the TV in the bottom right corner of the screen.

Make sure you've had your morning coffee.

Making The Connection

I do so like Elmer Gantry. The award winning book was made into an award winning movie starring Burt Lancaster, Jean Simmons and Oscar-winner Shirley Jones. The heart-wreching part of the movie for me is the unawareness of the lead character. Gantry honestly believes in what he says, even while his life and actions contradict his words.

Even though we first meet him in a speakeasy, Gantry piously rages;
As long as I got a foot, I'll kick booze. And, as long as I got a fist, I'll
punch it. And, as long as I got a tooth, I'll bite it. And, when I'm old and
gray and toothless and bootless, I'll gum it till I go to heaven and booze goes
to hell.
Gantry has no idea that he is a hypocrite, that he is bringing about the destruction of the church he has hooked himself onto. Sincere believers desperately take in his words and cannot be bothered to judge him by his deeds because of their own fears.
Sin. Sin, Sin. You're all sinners. You're all doomed to perdition. You're all
goin' to the painful, stinkin', scaldin', everlastin' tortures of a fiery hell,
created by God for sinners, unless, unless, unless you repent.

And now, Xoff shows us the Elmer Gantry for 2006, a man steeped in special interest money preaching about reform, a man who would restrict the health choices of our wives and daughters sermonizing about bad science, a big-government-voting GW-kowtowing deficit-building Congressman who claims he has suddenly found restraint in a brazen attempt to fleece the flock.

Sinclair Lewis wrote Elmer Gantry in 1927 as an expose of religious hypocrites. If he was writing it today it could just as easily be written about the last 6 years in Washington.

It's supposed to rain this afternoon. Go rent a movie.

Saturday, June 24, 2006


I was wrong. I agreed with the President and see what it gets me? I was wrong. So was the President, but that's cold comfort right now. I took a chance, went out on a limb and said that, just this once, GW was right.

What a shock to find out he's fallible.

I agreed with the President when he said, "
"We ... need to confront the larger problem of too many localized fuel blends,
which are called boutique fuels. This has produced an uncoordinated,
overly complex set of fuel rules that tends to cause the price to go up."

That argument made sense to me but a draft report released Thursday by the EPA says that boutique fuels aren't responsible for higher pump prices. From the Washington Post:

Although often cited as a reason for volatile gasoline prices, so-called
"boutique fuels" have not caused unusual distribution problems or contributed to
price increases, the report concludes.

The review was conducted by a task
force headed by the Environmental Protection Agency and involving
representatives from the 50 states as well as the Energy and Agriculture

Government restrictions that promote breathable air aren't raising our energy costs, according to the task force. Now that a scientific study has shown GW to be wrong he'll most likely change his views.

That's what a reasonable man would do. I know I have.

This Will Be Interesting, If Nothing Else

Let's take a look at some of the positions of the new candidate for the 15th Assembly District;

1) Roll back property tax limits.
"If something isn't done to amend the tax freeze, local governments like
Janesville will have to cut serious services in the future."
2) Create a tax-exempt status or credit that could be applied to Wisconsin National Guardsmen on active duty.

3) An increase of one-quarter of 1 percent on the state retail sales tax that would go to cities.
"That would raise $3 million for Janesville."

4) Toll systems to pay for roads.

Now for the surprising part. This guy, Greg Addie, is the REPUBLICAN challenger to Judy Robson. Addie is a businessman and a clergyman. He has worked at a homeless shelter, Frito-Lay and has been a Marine.

Addie is a two term Janesville councilman who has often been at odds with the rest of the Council. I'm not sure he'll get along well with the Lassee/Grothman wing of his own party, either.

Friday, June 23, 2006

On Vacation With The Carnival

Dean has the Carnival Of The Badger/ Vacation Edition. Check out the best of Wisconsin Bloggng for the past week.

Why The Internet Is Getting Full

Jef takes us back in time.

Why Is The Japanese Fertility Rate Down To 1.25 per Woman?

Not enough sex.

All Up In Their Grills

It all started over a burger and a beer.

Sounds like a good idea to me. Weber Grills, United Airlines, Marriott,FCL Graphics, Smith and Wollensky and Jeep are the sponsors of Command of the Grill, a cookbook by and for our Marines. The cookbook, subtitled A Salute To Steak, contains 29 recipes from winners and runners-up in the Command of the Grill™ competitions held last fall. The book also contains recipes from famous Marines such as Ed McMahon, Art Donovan and Lee Trevino.

The proceeds from the cookbook will be split between four charities: The Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund, Wounded Warrior Project, Fisher House, and The Marine Corps-Law Enforcement Foundation.

If you like steak you can show your support by checking out this book.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Into The Belly Of The Beast

Yep. It's true. I'm slouching toward West Allis and the Beautiful Milwaukee Mile. I'll be there for the truck race Friday night.

Anybody else going?

I See London, I See France...

Football's governing body has explained why up to 1,000 Dutch fans watched a
World Cup tie wearing no trousers.

According to the BBC FIFA is spending an awful lot of time defending Budweiser's selection as the sole beer of the World Cup matches.
Around 1,000 fans arrived for the Ivory Coast tie in their traditional bright
orange trousers - but bearing the logo and name of a Dutch brewery.
To protect the rights of the official beer they were denied entry, so the male fans
promptly removed the trousers and watched the game in underpants.

German fans and fans of good beer are less than pleased that the weak American brew is all they can get at the soccer venues. Bru had the story going into the matches.

Before it knew the games were to be played in Deutschland, Anheuser-Busch, which
makes Budweiser, paid $40 million for the World Cup beer monopoly.
Unfortunately, Germans don't like the beer. They call it Spülwasser, which
roughly translates as dishwater.
In addition, there already is a comparable product in Germany, so the American company is not allowed to use its own name. The company must sell its product, the most popular beer in America, under the awkward label of "Anheuser-Busch Bud," and it had to negotiate even for that.
Germany's Bitburger beer is known as Bit, and the authorities ruled that Bit, a
name close to Bud, had the name first.

Add A Name To The List

Now that Dean Mundy has announced that he won't be running for Herb Kohl's job it looks as if the second string may be stepping up to test the waters once more. A WSJ/Zogby poll shows Kohl leading Mark Neumann by 9 percentage points in a race that no one is talking about.

Is Neumann going to be the final losing candidate on Rick Graber's Washington resume?

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Revisionism Revisited


2) One that refuses to abide by the dictates of or resists adherence to a group; a dissenter.

From Merriam-Webster
2) an independent individual who does not go along with a group or party

From McBride
Flyin' Jim Sensennbrenner. The man who goes along with anyone with a private jet.

Show The Team Spirit

The English Soccer Team Spirit, that is. Thanks to the BBC you, too, can look like your favorite member of the Brit Boys. Download masks of the team here.

You'll look just like David Beckham, except around the checkbook.

NHL Weather Forecast

Hurricane Wipes Out Oilers- Light, Sweet Crude Up $7 In Early Trading

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

The Carnival Of the Badger Gets A New Host

...and a new logo. Deadline for submissions is Wednesday evening. Find out how you can participate or host at Dean's Place or Nick's.

h/t and a "welcome back" to Belle, for the logo.

The Job Nobody Wants

Who is going to run against Herb Kohl?

Tommy won't do it.

Tim Michels has good reasons to not do it.

Marcus Gumz succumbed to the only thing that could keep him out of a race.

Glenn Grothman could do it but no one thinks he'd win.

That leaves Gerald Lorge and no one is excited about that.

And yet the powers of the party say they have a "strong" candidate. Somehow, I doubt it.

Roberts, Alito- "What Fourth Amendment?"

Maybe Tom Delay was right. Maybe we do have to beware activist judges. When the Supreme Court is willing to abandon 90 year old case law and admit, in Mark Moller's words, “let’s pretend originalism” — a Potemkin fidelity to the old ways,
robbed of any force by a deceptive, lawyerly slight of hand.
what is left to be taken away?

Update: Over at The Observer anonymous asked what our municipal judge would have to say about this decision. As so often happens Dick was on the request like a duck on a junebug. Read what Judge Tom has to say about the 4th Amendment and the Roberts Court.

Monday, June 19, 2006

What Does He Really Think?

Newest Bush Domestic Policy Advisor, Karl Zinsmeister:

Doctors who perform abortions belong in jail:
WATTENBERG: So you would feel comfortable putting a doctor in jail for
performing a procedure that a woman wants? And not just on-demand, but it could
be rape, incest, life of the mother.
ZINSMEISTER: Sure. No, again, I have a
definition that had some exceptions for rape and incest where there could be
real psychological damage to the mother. But yeah, Ben

Religion should be the basis of government:
...a slow organic process by encouraging and teaching and leading people to try
to make more socially constructive choices, and religion is a very important
tool for doing that. It's, for instance, we know it's one of the best ways to
get off of drugs; it's one of the best ways, one of the only ways that's had any
affect [sic] in getting people form [sic] becoming repeat criminals when they
get out of prison.

What "Corporate Synergy" Means To You

From today's NYT World Business page:
Nestlé, the Swiss food giant, is planning to announce today that it has agreed
to pay about $600 million for Jenny Craig.

If they could figure out a way to put a turbine in the middle of the process they could harness perpetual motion for the electricity.

Which side do you think Kirstie Alley is going to come down on?

Frank Can't Make Up His Mind

Assemblyman Frank Lassee, he of the cheesy amendment, appears to be of two minds about the bogus budget numbers being touted by his party cronies Ellis and Cowles.

On Thursday he was sure that it was a taste of doom and gloom. By Friday he was siding with Owen and calling the numbers bogus.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Pick Up The Phone

It's Father's Day. Call him.

Is Evansville Next For BioWillie?

The Observer has the scoop on Landmark's presentation to the Planning Committee regarding a biodiesel production facility on Evansville's east side. They will make another presentation next Tuesday at the Evansville Economic Development meeting.

Update: Gina Duwe and The Gazette have more info. The fuel plant itself will have 25 jobs with it. The most encouraging quote from the article?
Company officials were impressed with the city's response to such a project.
Swalheim called Evansville officials "spectacular." "We were very impressed with
the mayor and the commission members and the excellent business climate that the
Evansville area offers," he said.

The proposed facility would bring about 100 jobs to town and use exsisting infrastructure to bring in the raw materials. It's far from being a done deal but let's hope that we can pull together to make this happen.

From Willie's website: In 1911 Rudolf Diesel stated:
"The diesel engine can be fed with vegetable oils and would help considerably in
the development of agriculture of the countries which use it." In 1912, Diesel
said "the use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today.
But such oils may become in course of time as important as petroleum and the
coal tar products of the present time."

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Let 'Em Know You're On the Way

Tuesday night my Lovely Bride, her Mother and I went to Mt Horeb to meet one of the Young Sons for supper at The Grumpy Troll. The meal was good, the beer tasty, the conversation just what we needed and a fine 90 minutes passed too quickly.

We left the restaurant by 8:30 and, since it was still early, I called to see if we could drop in on Young Son N, Young Son J and his beautiful wife. I called on the cell from the car.

ME: Whatcha doin'?
YSJ: Not much. We're still unpacking from the trip.
ME: Can we stop over for a few minutes? LB wants to see the granddog.
YSJ: (Unprintable!)

Okay. I know how he felt. He and his wife had just got back from a four day trip and were still unpacking. I was three minutes away with his stepmom and her mother and he didn't want to leave a bad impression. There was absolutely no time to clean up.
Oh, and the granddog thing? A blatant lie. LB wanted to see the kids. I'm the one who calls Wilson our GD.
In the end I made a deal. we'd stop to say, "Hi," but we'd stay in the yard. We could collect hugs (the kids) and scratches behind the ear (me and Wilson) and they didn't have to let anyone see their unwashed scanties.
We had a nice visit, made plans for the weekend (It's father's Day. Buy a card now.), and a fine time was had by all.

I just couldn't help thinking about a similar call last week and how the recipient must have felt. Please indulge me while I share my take on the phone conversation between GWB and Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.

GWB: Hi. Nuri? Yeah, good, um, look I'm at the airport and wonder if I could swing by for a few minutes.

Yeah, um., George Bush. Leader of the World's Last Superpower, Defender Of the Faith. All that, yeah.

No. No. Just a few dozen of us. We're getting in the helicopters now and we'll be there in five or so. Yeah, yeah. I know you're not expecting company. We won't stay long. Just gonna take a few pictures, maybe pat you on the back, you know, give you an attaboy and a little boost. We'll be gone before you know it.

What? No, no. That's just a figure of speech, Nuri. The rest of them are going to stay. My guys will be gone but the troops are staying. Yeah, okay, great. See you soon.

Nuri al-Maliki: (Unprintable.)

Friday, June 16, 2006

Two Thousand Five Hundred

Tony Snow: "It's a number."

Badger Culture On the Skids

Two tales of celebrities in Wisconsin.

Neidermayer's restaurant makes headlines for all the wrong reasons.

Screech needs your help.

WTF Is Going On In Detroit?

First the National Guard loses three Hummers. Now the cops lose a submachine gun. From a jeep. At a Tigers game.

Suburban police chief says, "He gets an `A' for stupidity in this case."

Thursday, June 15, 2006

PCP At Leaning Blue

Aaron and I are doing a Point-Counterpoint at Leaning Blue before Belle gets back.

Our topic?

Madison vs Milwaukee.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

It's Impossible To Make Some Of This Stuff Up

THE PRESIDENT: Yes, Peter. Are you going to ask that question with shades on?
Q I can take them off.
THE PRESIDENT: I'm interested in the shade look,
Q All right, I'll keep it, then.
THE PRESIDENT: For the viewers, there's no sun. (Laughter.)
Q I guess it depends on your perspective. (Laughter.)
THE PRESIDENT: Touche. (Laughter.)

It's possible that Bush didn't know the reporter suffers from a form of macular degeneration that can be mitigated by wearing UV protective glasses and is legally blind. But, shouldn't someone on his staff have known enough to clue him in?

H/T kos

I Wish This Was Happening On Cable

If this guest pairing was happening on HBO we'd truly be able to see the difference between "profanity" and "pornography."

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

How Do I Get Out Of This Chicken Outfit?

Tony Snow. Dan Bartlett. Baghdad.

Say no more.


A PSA For My Lovely Wife

"What do you wish you had learned in school for your own financial literacy?"

That's the question that a workgroup of , business and finance professionals, and government and elected officials asked before developing a Financial Literacy curriculum for Wisconsin.

From the Wisconsin State Journal:
From relating education to future earning potential, to becoming a critical
consumer and avoiding excessive debt, Wisconsin's personal financial literacy
standards reflect the skills and knowledge that are critical to becoming
financially secure.

Read the rest.

I Need A Fact Checker

Is Jess McBride remembering this wrong or am I?

From her blog today:
Contrast this with Mark Green giving back the Tom Delay cash. He gave the money
back after Delay was indicted even though the money and Green had zero
connections to the indictment and there were no allegations of wrongdoing by
Green at all. He gave it back to shut up the media, which wouldn't let up about
it. I don't even think he had to give it back. There was no allegation of
wrongdoing, and Delay's legal problems had nothing to do with that money or
Green. NOTHING. I was prety sure that Green was still using the DeLay cash and complaining that he couldn't get rid of it.


My lovely wife has just hung a new "Welcome" sign on our front door. It's made of woden letters about 2 inches tall with three tiny chain links to connect them. On the back is a warning sticker.

"For Decoration Only"

Dang, I was hoping to use it as a life preserver if the yard flooded.

Quote- Close Quote (World Cup Edition)

Shocking developments yesterday at the World Cup when Germany began playing against Poland with no warning.
-Bob Kevoian


I'm stunned by the Georgia Thompson verdicts. After all the testimony it seems clear that she did exert influence on the procedures. It also seems clear that the pressure served to follow the requirements of the RFP, give the contract to a Wisconsin firm and get the best deal for the State.

In other words, Georgia Thompson got it right. She brought the discussion back to the table when others were willing to let state contracts out on the basis of a slick presentation.

Let's do this. Although it's clear that the case focused on the actions of one person some of you are going to want to play fast and loose with the facts and point fingers at someone else in this decision. If you want to make this an issue about someone's ethics or lack of same you must start your post with the sentence, "I called the office of my state senator this morning and demanded a special session to pass campaign and ethics reform."

If you can't muster that modicum of positive effort then you're not allowed to spin off into Speculationland.

Call your senator and your assemblyman with the same message? Then you get a pass to name one name, as long as you bring up a counter-sin.

Monday, June 12, 2006

Politics With A Vengeance

What do you get when you combine local politics with candidates with a radical "change" agenda?

Fulton Township.

One side calls it "citizen involvement." The other calls it "harassment." In the grand scheme of things it may be both. The Gazette calls it "chaos."

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Duh! Headline Of The Day

from the AP

Osama Bin Laden Keeping a Low Profile

When Puppies Are Outlawed...

Over at LeaningBlue I have the stories of assault with a puppy, murder by bockwurst and a woman who threw the book at her husband.

Check it out.

A Bad Example Of Wisconsin's Hunting Tradition

The poster boy for getting it wrong.

  1. He was in jail for 4th offense DUI with work release privileges.
  2. He took the time to go hunting.
  3. Without a license until after the fact.
  4. Before his release date.
  5. He didn't register all the deer.
  6. He skipped the court date for his 5th DUI.

He's due in Court again Monday. What's the over-under on his being there?

Friday, June 09, 2006

How Far Would You Drive To Work?

Walworth County is guaging interest and trying to attract a new Honda auto plant.

Burkhardt, whose job is to promote and retain economic development in Walworth
County, said the area is ideal for an auto manufacturer.

"We believe that Walworth County specifically, and Wisconsin in general, has the type and level of quality workforce that Honda will find attractive," Burkhardt said. "We feel that Walworth County's economic base would make us competitive with other states."We believe we are in a good, competitive position. At such a time the
proposal is completed, we would be happy to release more."

The gazette has the full story.

Why Dennis York Is Inspiring

Even DY's random thoughts are focused. We may not all always agree but we all always read.
If two anonymous bloggers have an argument, does it really exist at all?
Read the rest.

New Element Discovered- Heaviest Yet

Stephen reports on the discovery of the World's heaviest element in Washington after the administration reached critical morass. For the details on Bushcronium check out Purple Cheese.

Taking Money Under False Pretenses

A Texas judge has granted a temporary restraining order preventing the Republican Party from removing Tom Delay's name ffrom the ballot in November. It seems that the Texas Election Code has impediments to candidates who collect dollars to run and then pull out.

Once again, Juanita's got the word.

New York, Arlington, Somerset- Never Forget

The USS New York, the fifth amphibious assault vehicle of its class, has a bow section smelted from 24 tons of World Trade Center steel.

At least two more vessels of the class are planned, the USS Arlington, named for the location of the Pentagon, and USS Somerset, named for the Pennsylvania county where Flight 93 was forced down.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

For The Record

Senator Feingold's statement on the death of Terrorist Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi:
“I commend our military forces for their great accomplishment. Abu Musab
al-Zarqawi was a ruthless terrorist who led an insurgent campaign of brutal
suicide bombings, kidnappings and hostage beheadings in Iraq. This is
great news for the Iraqi government and the Iraqi people. It is also a
testament to the professionalism and capability of the men and women in uniform
in the U.S. military and the effectiveness of well-planned and targeted

Read the rest.

A Most Mannerly Carnival

Jenna has the carnival Of the Badger this week and it's a Miss Manners version of same.

While you're there follow the links to host the Carnival your own self.

They Told Us That It Can't Happen Here

How do you shoot your neighbor and get away with it? Move to Florida.

Don't say that we weren't warned.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Teaching Kids The Important Things

Setting educational standards, teaching kids the skills they'll need in a Brave New America, and leaving at least one kid behind. Samantha Medina was ejected from her high school graduation in San Antonio for waving to the crowd.

"She was twirling in the line," said Northside ISD spokesman Pascual Gonzalez.
"She was waving. She was not acting like she was instructed to.

The rule she broke?
According to Northside ISD policy, students must keep their hands by their side
at all times and not bring them above waist level until they receive their
The school district handbook also states that "students who raise
their hands above their waists for any reasons other than receiving the diplomas
or shaking hands may be removed from the graduation ceremony."

The new Texas Schools Motto: Breaking their spirit, one at a time.

...And I Feel Fine

What do you get when you cross low-brow sports with low-rent religion?

The "Ignite Your Potential'' number 27 Ford Taurus in NASCAR's low rungs.

Kenton Gray, a 35-year-old Californian, will attempt to make the field for a
late model race Saturday night at Irwindale (Calif.) Speedway. His No. 27 Ford
Taurus will be sponsored by Bridge Publications, which publishes Scientology
founder L. Ron Hubbard's bestseller ``Dianetics.''
The hood of the car will
say ``Dianetics'' on it, along with a volcano to mimic the book cover.

Above: Driver Kenton Gray with Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson.

Double Duty

For the next week or so Belle, of LeaningBlue fame will be AFK. I will be one of four guest bloggers over there.

Before she left Belle posted a pic of the four of us. Phelony and Fred are easy to pick out. Figuring out which one is Aaron and which is your humble reporter may be tougher.

Check it out. My first post is about the horrible error made by the Canadian Parliament yesterday.

Ann Coulter Is A Contemptible Human Being

Never mind Coulter's casual relationship with truth and reason, her behavior on the Today show Tuesday was worthy of contempt and vilification by people of any political stripe. Her vile spew should be condemned with the fervor that faced Ward Churchill and his idiocies.

In her new book Coulter has written of the widows of American soldiers in Iraq:
These broads are millionaires, lionized on TV and in articles about them,
reveling in their status as celebrities and stalked by grief-arazzies. I have
never seen people enjoying their husbands’ death so much.

The self-proclaimed Voice of the Right went on to sputter a defense to her offense by claiming that the widows of Amreican servicemen have lost their right to speak out while Coulter continues to get rich from the poison she spits.

Ann Coulter has the right to say whatever evil, stupid thing she wishes. This is America despite all efforts to change it. She does not have the right to denigrate the sacrifices of our troops and the losses of their families. We have an obligation to challenge the moral abomination that Coulter has become.

Is Ceasarian The New Black?

Go ahead and read the post. I know it's a Mommyblog but it's written with humor and a healthy dose of self-awareness.

Besides, the kid is cute.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

A Timely Post

It is now 6:06:06 on 6/6/06. Nothing happened.

The numbers had no more effect on the sun coming up than the rise in the minimum wage.

That doesn't mean the doomsayers are going to stop, I fear.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Rummy's Army To Formally Jettison Human Rights

Remember when it was the "Godless _____s" or the "Heathen ______" who were the animals? Remember when the Americans were noble and fought on the side of the righteous? Remember when we adhered to the Geneva Conventions because we knew that they protected our soldiers who were POW?

From The LA
The Pentagon has decided to omit from new detainee policies a key tenet of the
Geneva Convention that explicitly bans "humiliating and degrading treatment,"
according to knowledgeable military officials, a step that would mark a further,
potentially permanent, shift away from strict adherence to international human
rights standards.

The State Department is trying to explain to these dunderheads what this means to US standing in the World and they just don't care.

When do we stand up and say, "Enough! You may not do those things in our name.?" When do we get our America back?

Moral Flummery

Isn't politics fun?

In 1960 the Republicans spoke out against JFK because they were sure that he'd do whatever the Pope told hm to do.

In 2006 they're coming down on Jim Doyle because they're sure he won't.

Another Day. Another Misleading Meme

Brian Fraley has a low threshold for "alarming." He has found all manner of purported malfeasence and misfeasence and no-fee-sense in the Legislative Audit Bureau Report. The report, released by Audit Committe Co-chairs Rep Jeskewitz and Sen Roessler, looked at fees collected by the DNR and expenditures for hunters and fishermen by the DNR.

Fraley fumes:

What the Audit Bureau uncovered is alarming.
Only 57.3 percent of user fee-funded expenditures in FY 2004-05 were spent
primarily for the benefit of those who provided those fees.
The audit also found that 2.4 percent of the $68.2 million in user fees
expended in that year, or $1.6 million, did not directly benefit hunters and
And a whopping 11.1 percent went to administrative costs (read feeding the

He ignores the report when it adds:

29.2% Benefited Hunters, Anglers, and Other Users

He ignores the report's line which states:
DNR's administrative costs
were below a 16.0 percent limit established by

He even sputters:
This audit will be spun thusly:
Contrary to complaints of many legislative Republicans, a new audit found
that more than 96 percent of hunters' and anglers' user fees are being spent for
their intended purposes.

Well, then. I know where he came up with that piece of doggerel. If you look at the Committee Report released by the two Republican co-chairs it says:
We found that 97.6 percent of
user fee-funded expenditures in FY 2004-05 provided some level of benefit to hunters and anglers, including 57.3 percent spent primarily for their benefit. We also found that 2.4 percent of the $68.2 million in user fees expended in that year, or $1.6 million, did not directly benefit hunters and anglers.

Fraley ignores the findings of the report, abandons its conclusions and does a free form riff on the facts in a pathetic attempt to justify doubling the bureaucracy at the DNR by splitting it in two as Mark Green has suggested.

Fraley isn't alone playing fast and loose with the findings of the non-partisan bureau. Joe Leibham cherry-picks the facts in a press release. Mark Green spun out a self-serving release that just passed over the facts altogether and hoped that folks had heacontroversytrovery without looking at the reports findings. While Fraley and Green are trying to convince us that the DNR doesn't spend enough on hunters and fishers Scott Suder sails way out where the buses don't run and says that the report shows that the DNR spends too damn much money. Maybe he didn't get the memo.

Bath And Bodyworks For Men

Yesterday was an "occasion" in our family and many gifts were opened, as it happened mostly by the women. There was the usual cascade of Bath and Body Works stink-good stuff in all varieties. Sweet Pea. Plumeria. "They discontinued the Vanilla one I liked."

"The Black Cherry-Vanilla?"

"No that's the new Coke flavor. That one Vanilla. You know which one I mean."

So the question was asked. "What scents would B&BW for Men sell?"

"Sweat," was suggested.

"Don't need to buy it," the son replied. He's a pipefitter. He's right.

"30 weight," the other son said, "93 Octane."

The brother weighed in, "Krispy Kreme, Steak On the Grill."

"Oh, man," the younger again, "Biscuits and Gravy."

Consensus. "Yep. Biscuits and Gravy. Can we cut the cake now?"

Sunday, June 04, 2006

On The Nature Of Hell

Tim Rock has one answer about the nature of Hell. Is it exothermic or endothermic?

Why should we care?

Saturday, June 03, 2006

I Missed The Carnival

A lot of folks did because of the whole Tuesday is Monday thingie. That's too bad because Sex and the Mil-Town did a fine job with her first attempt.

Eliott still had the primo headline, though.

Bill Connors Moving On

The Observer broke the story (before the paper hit the street) yesterday with Gina Duwe's coverage of Bill Connors moving on to become Director of Continuing Legal Education for the State Bar of Wisconsin.

We wish him the best and also pass along strong good wishes for a smooth transition. Bill will leave a lot of plates spinning when he goes and has communicated well with the online community here in Evansville. Your humble reporter hopes that spirit of openness will continue.

Bucher Postures, Violence Continues

Paul Bucher issued a press release berating state government for not answering his "challenge" to Peg Lautenschlager and Jim Doyle to fund Bucher's "90 Cops for 90 Days" grandstand ploy.

In the first place, it's not really a state problem. Bucher should first challenge Mayor Barrett and County Executive Walker to come up with solutions.

In the second place, Bucher says that the state should "free up" the money to pay for 46,800 hours of police overtime to fund his scheme. Does Paul think that the state has buckets of money lying around the Capitol that can be pulled out to make up the Milwaukee shortfall?

Thirdly, he accuses Doyle of doing nothing to alleviate the problem of violence on Milwaukee's streets. I say that Doyle acted to keep guns off the streets of Milwaukee by vetoing the Guns In Every Pocket bill put forth by the Gard/Schultz legislature. (Esther Hodges can't be blamed for the violence against her but it seems fairly certain that she wasn't shot until after she got her own weapon.)

Bucher doesn't understand the job he's running for. The AG isn't a SWAT Team leader or a street avenger. He needs to stop acting as if he has an answer for the problems in Milwaukee if the best he can do is point fingers and scream for help. Violence in our cities is a complicated problem. It's clear that the best Bucher can do is blame others and offer simplistic solutions.

Updates: Paul Soglin calls Bucher's lack of knowledge about gang psychology "grotesque."

The Milwaukee Police Union has some thoughts about the increased workload (although they didn't share them until a Dem said they'd actually find a way to fund it.)

Snakes On A Plane

No, really.

Plane. Snake. West Virginia.

Say no more.

Friday, June 02, 2006

Who Pays For A Great Idea?

The legislature has passed a bill that offers free tuition for veterans to any UW System school or Wisconsin Tech College. It's about time that we had a new GI Bill to help these kids transition back into normal life.

One question the lege didn't deal with, however. Who pays?

Apparently, Sen. Scott Fitzgerald thinks it's just a cost to be absorbed.
“We give the UW System $1 billion every year. The cost of the waiver is
miniscule compared to the overall budget.”

This is the same bunch that decries rising tuition at the UW, screeches about rising Tech College levies, and has attempted to choke off their ability to raise taxes.

It's time for senators like Fitzgerald to realize that there is no free lunch and that someone has to pick up the check.

Quote- Close Quote

"I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor
Jewish--where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on
public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other
ecclesiastical source--where no religious body seeks to impose its will directly
or indirectly upon the general populace or the public acts of its officials--and
where religious liberty is so indivisible that an act against one church is
treated as an act against all.

-JFK address to the Ministerial Association of Greater Houston, 12 September 1960

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Can You Catch "Gay" From A Cell Phone?

At least one member of the Assembly thinks so. Check out Mark Pocan's take on the special veto session yesterday.

BTW: When does Jonh Gard schedule that special "Ethics" session of the Assembly?

Which Would You Rather Be Protected From?

The Journal Sentinel reported yesterday that:
West Milwaukee's Badger Outdoors last year again was tops among all gun shops in
the nation for selling guns that later were recovered by police during criminal
investigations, according to new data from the federal government.

But, the Feds are working on a law to prohibit the release of crime-gun trace information because, among other purported reasons :
National Rifle Association spokesman Andrew Arulanandam said the trace data was
used by anti-gun groups for lawsuits and argued its release could damage cases.

The question becomes, "Do we, as a society, wish to be protected from criminals who buy guns at legal outlets or to be protected from the free flow of information about threats to our safety?"

Once again, Cory has his own take on this question.

So, Do We Call This Guy A "Ham Burglar?"

We could call Grady Shanklin the Ham Burglar if the headline on the story of his arrest wasn't so tasty all by it's own self.

Illinois man nabbed for bagging beer, two hams. Thief has penchant for smoked

Shanklin was arrested in April for stealing two hams and a sixer of Colt 45. The Post-Dispatch has more.
At various times since 1998, he also has been arrested and convicted of stealing
frozen shrimp, spareribs and bananas. In May 2000, he was arrested and later
convicted of taking two electric fans, two answering machines and a radio alarm
clock from the Walgreens store at 2510 State St.
"Ham is just his particularity," said East St. Louis Detective Michael Floore, who has handled at least two of Shanklin’s arrests on charges of food theft. "He can sell them

When was the last time you saw the word "penchant" in a headline?