Thursday, August 31, 2006

It's Morning In Wisconsin

A candidate for Assembly votes to give his campaign treasurer/ girlfriend a raise and the right side of the blogosphere shrugs. "It's no big deal," they say. Wigderson takes the flak like a champ.

A Candidate in Racine County formed a company specifically to do business with the county and received no-bid contracts. "Keep moving. Nothing to see here," the right side says.

It's refreshing that we'll no longer be seeing those blog posts that huff and puff about "airs of impropriety" and "whiffs of corruption." The BBA is figuring out that sometimes these things are just coincidence.

For my two cents; the McReynolds thing is, truly, a non-starter. He formed a company to help the county find a local supplier and lost his investment doing it. He should be a poster boy for small business over the last 6 years.

I also think folks are taking the wrong approach to the Kramer story. Maybe he wasn't voting to give payback to his Sweetie, who happens to be his campaign treasurer, maybe he was "voting for the office." The point is that he couldn't see the consequences of his own actions far enough ahead to recuse himself.
Why leave the doubt? The vote to increase the salaries passed unanimously. Bill Kramer wasn't a good enough politician to count the votes and figure out that his vote wasn't needed. If he had the skill to see what was going on around him and the foresight to recuse himself from a vote that had a fishy smell we wouldn't be having this discussion.

As for the bloggers who are in a tizzy over the mere thought that someone could falsely accuse a candidate of impropriety I say, "get over yourself." There are things that do matter going on while you waste your time and energy accusing Jim Doyle of shaking down Kimberly Clark every time he uses a Kleenex.

Plenty Of Events To Go Around

If you're not going to the meet and greet with Robert Gerald Lorge at the Masonic Hall on Saturday, or even if you are but have some time a little earlier, Janis Ringhand is opening her Monroe Office with an open house that day.

The office is at 1717 11th St. in Monroe. Joining Janis at the open house will be the First Lady of Wisconsin, Jessica Doyle. The open house will run from 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.

The Observer has the rest of the release.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

First Lady Visits Stateline Literacy Council

Last Wednesday First Lady, Jessica Doyle visited students at Stateline Literacy Council in Beloit for about 90 minutes.

In this photo from the Beloit Daily News she is talking with the (very new) Intermediate ESL class.

As a part of SLC I am proud of the statewide attention our programs are getting. Consider this a public, "Thank you," to the staff.

Candidate Appearance In Evansville

Saturday afternoon, September 2, Robert Gerald Lorge will be at the Masonic Hall on Main St in Evansville to answer your questions. Lorge is running against Senator Herb Kohl for the US Senate as a Republican.

To learn more about Lorge and his candidacy click here.

Is Anybody Surprised?

The good news is that California has something to hold him on so he's not back on the street.

Monday, August 28, 2006

How Fast?

There is no airbag in case of mishaps. "People have looked into safety measures,
but whichever way you look at it, it doesn't really add up. In a car the main
thing is to keep it on its wheels. If it's still shiny side up, then all your
other problems are minor," said Green.

That quote is from The Guardian's story about the world land speed record attempt for diesel powered vehicles. You know that you're attempting something serious when the best discussion of safety measures comes up with, "You're toast."

The vehicle is fitted with two JCB444 digger engines. They are the same engines which power more than half of the company's production road building equipment. On last Tuesday the team broke its own record with a timed average run of 350.092 mph at Bonneville.

The best part of the video is hearing driver Andy Green say that they haven't used full throttle yet, nor have they used high gear. Once they get the tires figured out they expect to do much better.

Sykes Says- Green Should Posture Harder

Sykes advice to Mark Green is, "Don't worry about the science. You're behind the curve on that. Appear to abandon your extreme position on stem cells by grasping at a passing headline and make it look as if you've won."

I'm betting he won't.

Differences Of Opinion

This post brought back memories about this post and the underlying issue brought about this silliness.

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Why People Believe In Magic

If I knew how to embed video this would be the first one.


h/t Richard Russell

Vote Soon- Shameless Blegging

As it turns out I am one of the last to know. The Happy Circumstance has been nominated for Blog of the Week in the MKEOnline Poll. Voting ends soon.

If You support this enterprise your vote is appreciated.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

It's A Vacation. No, It's A Carnival

Nick did the Carnival of the Badger on his way out the door. The least you could do is go check it out.

Friday, August 25, 2006

What Did They Know And When Did They Know It?

Aaron didn't tell you first.

Congratulations to both him and Kelly.

Did I Miss Something?

I know that I've been out of town for a few days and may have missed a story or two but this has me puzzled. In the middle of yet another Republican AG scorn-storm one Anonymous commenter points to the "Donovan Riley case as classic example" of how The LCBA in Waukesha County is getting free press every day.

I know there's a lot of natter about what Riley supposedly did or didn't do but is there a "case?" I don't think that the giant crimefighting machine in Waukesha has sprung into action on this one yet.

And Now, Riley has done the honorable thing and dropped out of the race. Fraley is searching the Web for a new fantasy to spin.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

National Attention For The 23rd And 31st- What About The 80th?

DKos has a post about the Republican vulnerabilities in the Northern Districts of Dave Zien and Ron Brown. But nothing yet about our own race to Put a Democrat in the Capitol.

Meanwhile, Jody shares her favorite pic of Zien and Brown.

Some Still Support War In Iraq

The Undercover Trucker has a list of ten things less popular than the misbegotten War in Iraq.

#3? Used Band-Aids in the salad bar lettuce

Read the rest.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Our Christmas Gift Suggestion For Tom Reynolds

For the Senator who is really ascared The Happy Circumstance suggests these Dr Seuss boxers. Very nearly guaranteed to keep away the fear of video cameras.

Secret Meeting Exposed- Clark Kent Revealed

At The Tap has the scoop on the meeting between Lois Lane and then-Deputy Secretary of State Richard Armitage.

In a related story, right-wing bloggers say the report means nothing since Superman hadn't been all that super for several years.

Let's Take A Look At The Tape To See If he Sucks Or Not

Now that some of the furor has died back from the AG showdown at Charlie's Place I'd like to look at a little longer soundbite than the now-infamous, "You suck."

What JBvH said was "Will you ever listen? That's why you suck, Paul, because you only listen to people who agree with you." It was a fairly specific charge, one that has been heard before. "Where?" you ask.

At McBride's Media Matters on March 13 Bucher's wife, a local celebrity of sorts, said this of her husband,
Whenever someone criticizes my husband Paul and it's a person or entity that he
doesn't respect - say, the Capital Times, for example - he laughs and says, "Who
cares? It's like getting lectured by an inmate in the jail." In fact, he's told
me that before when someone of that ilk criticizes me. "Toughen up! Do I get
upset when I get criticized by inmates in the jail?"

Bucher doesn't care what you think if you disagree with him. He may have the personality to be a fine prosecutor. I don't know. But, it's becoming increasingly clear that those closest to him don't think he's open-minded enough to be a good boss and administrator for the state.

NPP/Landmark Open House Today

The Observer has the skinny on the open house today from 1-8 at the High School.

North Prairie Productions has the answers to Frequently Asked Questions about biodiesel.

Landmark Co-op has a report about the efforts to bring a soybean crushing facility to town.

The Gazette has the scoop on what kind of neighbors we can expect and a report on the future of biodiesel.

Goodness sake. What else do you want to know? Go to the High School this afternoon and ask.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I Missed It- Slammer Got It

Out of the comments:

The reason the Wally Fellows yard signs are homely as a mud fence; they are the same blue and orange as Bobby Douglas' uniform. Jim McMahon wore blue and orange before green and gold, back when he was good. Mike "for cryin' out loud" Ditka wore orange and blue.

What were you thinking Mr. Fellows? Oh, my.

Local Boy Makes Good

Milwaukee blogger and occasional Carnival Of The Badger contributor Tom McMahon turned up on Metafilter this morning. It is a 4 Block World.

Doing A Nation's Job

Whatever your politics, there is a powerful post on DKos this morning.

The Cawveys keep the medals and ribbons their daughter earned during her
military career in a special wooden box. Sierra recognizes many of the ribbons,
and as she showed them to a visitor, she called them by name: "Good Conduct . .
. Purple Heart . . . Bronze Star . . ."

"Why did she get that one?" asked her grandma, pausing.

"Because she died."

An Observation Without Judgement

I know that Janis Ringhand has been working hard and knocking on doors to get the word out for months now. Someone who didn't know that wouldn't be led to assume that by the sudden appearance of Fellow's signs on Main and Madison over the weekend.

Those signs are as ugly as homemade soap but they're hard to miss.

A Blog Post That Reads Just Like It Sounds When You Speak It

Pat Kreitlow has a stem-winder of a stump speech over on his blog that is both a call to action and a rallying cry. I won't do it the disservice of excerpting it here. Go read it yourself.

If anybody is going to tip Dave Zien off his high-mileage motorcycle it's this guy.

The Press Release We Couldn't Start Reading

Discover the Major Trends Affecting the Home Cleaning Market in Japan

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Navy Blames The Troops- No Support Ribbons On The Warships

In the immediate aftermath of the bombing of the USS Cole in the Gulf of Yemen in 2000 Admiral Vern Clark said of the ship's commanding officer, Cmdr. Kirk Lippold:
"There is a collective responsibility. We all in the chain of command share
responsibility for what happened on board USS Cole."
"The investigation clearly shows the commanding officer of the Cole did not have the specific intelligence, the focused training, the appropriate equipment and on-scene
security support to effectively prevent or deter such a determined, such a
pre-planned assault on this ship," Clark said on Jan. 19, 2001.
On Monday the Navy Secretary, Donald C. Winter, said:
...that Lippold's actions before the attack on Oct. 12, 2000, "did not meet the
high standard" expected of commanding officers.

Winter concluded that:
(b)ased on that assessment, that Lippold was "not the best and fully qualified
for promotion to the higher grade" of captain
and removed him from the promotion list according to the South Mississippi Sun Herald.

Forgiving Mark Green

You can almost forgive Mark Green for saying this after a trip to Baghdad in 2003. A lot of Republican Congressmen were making excuses then just as they are today.
“For so much of the country, everyday life goes on as normal. As you’re flying
in over (Baghdad), the streets are busy, the shops are open, the cafes are open,
the schools are running, and people are going about their
everyday lives. For the vast majority of Iraqis, I think life is returning to
normal.” (Green Bay Press-Gazette, “Terrorist Acts Will Backfire, Green
Says,” October 28, 2003)
But how can you forgive him for forgetting that he washed himself out of the Navy?

In Defense Of Wingnuts

The prefered blog shorthand would hold that folks on my side of any argument are moonbats and folks on the other side are wingnuts.

Unless someone pitches into my wheelhouse I try to stay away from easy name-calling. It adds nothing to the discussion and causes the reader on the other side, the affected wingnut/moonbat, to stop listening while they form a vitriolic response (see, Jessica McBride.) I am, however, all too human and engage in the occasional hyperbole. forgive me, please.

I offer this explanation of why I don't use "wingnut" as a perjorative toward those with whom I disagree..
  1. Wingnuts are useful.
  2. Wingnuts hold things together.
  3. You only have to buy a wingnut once. The K Street Project kept buying them over and over.

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Scorn Storm Rising

Owen posted a fairly moderate piece about Paul Bucher's campaign modifying their ad to remove the name of a slain DOJ agent after the agent's family requested the change. He then made a rather startling leap when he compared that ad to the Doyle stem cell ad made with the consent, cooperation and approval of Jody Montgomery's family.

All of that aside however, the wife of Paul Bucher teed off on Owen in a truly stunning display of hyperreaction and shrill keening. For the umpteenth time Boots and Sabers is off the McBride Replicating Blogroll (She says. He was still there this morning.) Ms Bucher's screed raises overreacting (and overacting) to a new level.

This one is getting fun to watch.

On a related note: Little Miss "Whallah" takes Muskego to task for their principals.

Elvis Presley Votes For Smart Growth In Price County

It's important to check in once in a while with people who have different ideas of how things should be run.

The Price County Board last week rejected the idea of initiating a Smart Growth Plan. The biggest opponents came from the southern end of the county which hasn't seen growth as much as the northern end of the county. The plan went down in a 15-4 vote with two northern district supervisors, James Robb and Leona DeRemer, voting for the change as well as two Phillips city supervisors, Dave Scholz and Elvis Presley .

From the Phillips Bee:

It is among the most bipolar (I'm fairly certain they mean "polarizing"- ed) issues in local and state politics.

Supporters argue that Comprehensive Planning is a way to assert local control over
development, in order to ensure that local values are represented as the county

Critics of Smart Growth claim nearly the opposite is true. They say
Smart Growth is an attempt by the state to usurp more authority over decisions
that should be left in local, private hands.

Meanwhile, some officials are already privately speculating about another round for Smart Growth on the Price County Board, possibly in 2008. State statute requires local governments that engage in land-use regulation to enact Comprehensive Plans by Jan. 1, 2010, although the legal force of that provision is a subject of widespread debate.

Is John Gard Running Against Mark Green

While Congressman Mark Green is selling wolf tickets about how bad job growth is in Wisconsin John Gard is out campaigning with Green's padrone, GWB, on a platform of how hunky-dory job growth has been in the Congressman's home district.

You don't suppose the current Congressman is prone to using a little hyperbole, do you?

Saturday, August 19, 2006


There have been several changes to the blogroll recently. Since I read Kevin and Owen every day I added them for your pleasure as well. Gretchen, Dan and grumbleberries serve to maintain a balance for those two.

There have been several who have dropped away either because I no longer read them regularly or they did not post consistently. Some of them are still out there on other blogrolls. A few have passed into the great beyond. Sort of like

Many of you started blogging because you hoped to achieve the level of Dennis York or the Recess Supervisor. I hope that you'll give a little love to the sarc. I think he'll become a fast favorite.

In any case...enjoy. That's what we're here for.

AG Sues Company Up North- Big Oil Under Subpoena

Peg and Jim?

Nope. It's those pesky Alaska Republicans.

The Easter Bunny, Unicorns and 27% Growth

Fred has done the grunt work to look at rolling decades of growth in Evansville. As the Smart Growth Plan was being formulated surveys were taken which cited a 27% growth rate between 1990 and 2000 and asked for citizens opinions about an accelerating growth level. Upwards of 9 in 10 citizens desired a growth rate at or below that number as Evansville moves forward.

As it turns out, the 27% rate was a MacGuffin, not an intentional one, to be sure, but a number that had less relevance than we all thought. Actual growth rates for Evansville over the 5 rolling decades since 2000 are copied blatantly from Fred.

Decade ; Growth per decade.

1990-2000 ; 27.3%
1991- 2001 ; 28.6
1992-2002 ; 31.3
1993-2003 ; 31.3
1994-2004 ; 30.5
1995-2005 ; 33.6
1996-2006 ; 38.9

As you can see growth has superheated beyond that 27% rate over the last five years. This is something that many of us felt but never recognized. Market forces may drive the 2006 stand-alone numbers down but the decade will show growth in excess of 30% in 2007 nonetheless.

What does all of this mean?
  • The School Board is going to need help sooner rather than later.
  • Many of the houses built here in the last 5 years are smaller and simpler than what can be expected to pay for increased service demands by an average family. (In fairness, my house is one of those. However my household probably has a lower level of city service demand than some.)
  • Evansville needs to get a forecasting model up and running so that the Planning Commission can see the effects of any proposed residential development down to the block level if not the single home level. There has to be a plug-and-chug model out there somewhere that we can use.
  • These numbers validate the Smart Growth process in Evansville. We needed a plan. We worked hard to construct a plan. We need to be diligent in making sure our plan serves the City as we go forward.
  • The Council made a sound decision to not amend the plan to change the designation of the Maas property. The decisions of the past have set us up with challenges that we had not foreseen. That amendment would have made the problem worse rather than better.
  • Evansville needs to successfully manage TID6 and TID7. Those Mixed-use and Industrial areas will smooth our growth pains.
  • We cannot for a moment take our eyes off of the viable industry we have here. Main Street is taking a lot of attention and energy right now in order to make the renovations as painless as possible. The City must not lose sight of the valuable employers we have in place. Baker, Stoughton Trailers, VP and Landmark along with the host of smaller businesses are just as much of a municipal resource as sweet water and public electricity. They should be nurtured in the same way.

What can we do? Stay involved. Stay informed. Volunteer. Vote. You don't have to wonder what is happening if you are involved in making things happen. I know that several of my local readers are already doing just that. If I can get two more of you involved in some small way I'll feel better.

I'll see you at the meeting.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Industrial Accident In Kenosha Has Sweet Ending

Early Friday a 21 year old man suffered minor injuries after being trapped in a vat of chocolate for two hours.

There is no truth to the rumor that he got out twice to use the restroom.

Thank You All

Visitor 10,000 since I put Sitemeter up was here at 6:44 this morning. Thanks to everyone who visits. It is, truly, humbling that you would listen to what I have to say.

Why Republicans Should Support Literacy Training

h/t Dave Diamond


Fine. Get A Warrant

The entire argument of the administration against Anna Diggs Taylor's ruling against NSA warrantless wiretapping was summed up by Tony Snow.
White House press secretary Tony Snow said the Bush administration "couldn't
disagree more with this ruling." He said the program carefully targets
communications of suspected terrorists and "has helped stop terrorist attacks
and saved American lives."
All I can say to that is, "Absolutely. Thank you. Good work. Get a warrant." That's how it works in America. Britain doesn't have that pesky Constitution thingie for a reason.

This country made a conscious decision to be different from England. Let's not start backsliding there now, too.

Some Good News From Up Nort'

The 23rd District race made it onto Kos this week and the news is good.
Pat Kreitlow has pulled dead even with Dave Zien at 43-43 with 14%
undecided. Some notes from rhubarb: Republican incumbent Dave Zien is
a hard-working politician, as someone put it, but the problem is that he works
hard at issues no one seriously should care much about, such as concealed
weapons legislation, while neglecting health care, responsible energy policy or
well-paying jobs.
[snip]Part of it is, no doubt, the feeling of realignment we are all sensing. And part of it is that Zien is, frankly, a time waster. There isn't much there behind his Easy Rider brand, except, perhaps, a greedy maw, gobbling corporate donations. Or a candidate with all the self control of an Irish setter, slavering to "pull the switch" if only Wisconsin could introduce the death penalty for the first time in its state history. What next? A return to poor farms?
Two of the links from the story have been on THC for months now. Check them out.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

"There Are No Hereditary Kings Here"

From Anna Diggs Taylor's ruling against the NSA warrantless wiretapping operation.

"The Government appears to argue here that, pursuant to the penumbra of
Constitutional language in Article II, and particularly because the President is
designated Commander in Chief of the Army and Navy, he has been granted the
inherent power to violate not only the laws of the Congress but the First and
Fourth Amendments of the Constitution, itself.

We must first note that the Office of the Chief Executive has itself been created, with its powers, by the Constitution. There are no hereditary Kings in America and no power not created by the Constitution. So all "inherent power" must derive from that Constitution."

She didn't say that the government couldn't conduct wiretaps. She didn't say that the NSA couldn't go after terrorists or drug dealers. She didn't rule against anything except the defiance of a legal law in the US.

This is not a "victory for Al-Qaida." This is a victory for The Constitution and for the people of America. is important to note that if the court were to deny standing based on the
unsubstantiated minor distinctions drawn by Defendants, the President's actions
in warrantless wiretapping, in contravention of FISA, Title II, and the First
and Fourth amendments, would be immunized from judicial scrutiny. It was never
the intent of the Framers to give the President such unfettered control,
particularly where his actions blatantly disregard the parameters clearly
enumerated in the Bill of Rights. The three separate branches of government were
developed as a check and balance for one another. It is within the court's duty
to ensure that power is never condensed into a single branch of government."

John Gard: The President's Poodle

That's what John Nichols calls him. We call him, Nobody's Wannabe Congressman But George's

It's The Carnival's Birthday

And the proud Papa is throwing the party himself.

It's Official!

North Prairie Productions announced yesterday that they've chosen Evansville as the site for their $42 million biodiesel plant.
A preliminary site plan will be presented at an open house for residents from 1
to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 23, at Evansville High School. Anyone interested in
learning more about biodiesel and the Evansville facility is invited to attend.

NPP is moving their offices to Evansville as well. I predict that we'll be seeing that pickup truck in front of the cafe on Main a lot more often.

The Crux Of The Biscuit

From TPM

Is there anyone in the country who can say honestly, in their heart of hearts,
that when that moment of fear hit them after the recent reports out of London,
they said to themselves, "God, I'm glad we're in Iraq"?


How Do School Levy Limits Affect Your Kids?

In Madison, student athletes pay a participation fee of $115 per sport. And some
sports have surcharges as high as $400 on top of the participation fee.

Rising fees reduce participation. Period.

What do kids who can't afford to participate do? Oh, I'm sure they'll find something.

Think About It For A Minute

One member of my extended family has to have blood work done weekly. At least once a month he has to have a significant amount of blood drawn just to keep his levels within range.

Last week he went to his usual clinic and had a new with Tourette's Syndrome.

What could be more disconcerting? An endoscopist with Parkinson's?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Quote, Close Quote

Saying that providing information about condoms to teens causes pregnancies is like saying that turning on my car's headlights causes the sun to go down.

-Bengt Washburn

Why Does Jess Bucher Hate America?

Doesn't she know that these are troubled times and that anyone who criticizes GWB only emboldens Al-Qaida?

Peter, too.

Whatever Happened To Mark Green's Hundred Ideas In A Hundred days?

He got to, like what, number four before he petered out. Now he's all about, "Well, at least my family likes me."

Asking All The Wrong Questions

It looks as if the three young men arrested Up Nort' for buying too many cells phones and having pictures of The Million Dollar View on their camera will soon be released. Now that the FBI is involved the Ties To Terra seem to be dissolving.

From Dean:

"[The mother-in-law of one of the men said] the men purchased cellphones from
other places in the country, then sold them to dealers on Harry Hines Boulevard
[in Dallas]."'They are nice people,' said the owner of one shop, Wireless Way,
who declined to give his name, saying that he did not want to get

'They sold to me, they sold to a lot of people. It's legitimate,
yes,' the man said. He said he thinks the men were arrested because they are
Arab."'White Americans, real white Americans, are selling [phones] to me [also].
They're not getting in trouble,' the owner said.

"Sean Mobh, manager of Wireless Wholesale, also on Harry Hines Boulevard, said business has been growing for about three years. Pre-paid cellphones are purchased in other parts of the country, where supplies are plentiful and demand is low, and then sold for a profit in places where there is a higher demand, including Dallas, Miami, New York and parts of California.

The question that I haven't seen asked is, "Why is there a high demand for untrackable cell phones near port cities?"

Why would more people want to quickly access communication that can't be traced near the border? Hmmm. Sounds like a job for JBvH.

Quick, Send Out The Bucher Signal

This looks like a job for SuperPaul.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

O'Reilly At The Bar

Bill O'Reilly's latest column, as usual, is a thing of wonderment. He grieves for Joe Lieberman and blames his loss to Ned Lamont on the Far left without seeming to understand that Bush has lost the Middle.
Lieberman's defeat is a dangerous sign. Even though some people believe the far
left that is currently dominating the Democratic party will ultimately lead it
to another presidential defeat, I'm not so sure.
He takes issue with those 3 in 10 misguided folks who think the war is going well.
Slightly more than a third of Americans believe the war is going well. And those
folks are wrong—the war in not going well.According to the private intelligence
firm Stratfor, an excellent source of information, Iran now controls many Shia'
militias in Iraq and is encouraging the sectarian violence that is making true
democracy impossible. As with Hezbollah in Lebanon, the Iranians are ordering up
as much violence as possible, believing the United States and Israel lack the
will to fight long term.
But in Bill's World there is always another enemy to be fought, nevermind that the last one is still doing pretty well against us.
There is no question that Iran wants to dominate the Gulf oil flow, and it
will if it the USA withdraws from Iraq, allowing Iran to become the power
behind the scenes. China, especially, is dependent on Iranian oil right now,
and if the Iranians begin to call the shots on Iraqi oil exports, Iran
increases its power dramatically. With oil as a lever, there would be no
stopping Iran's nuclear weapons ambitions.
O'Reilly shows that he can understand the lack of support for the neo-cons.
The fog that is shrouding the big global picture is the
coalition's failure to control terrorism in Iraq. There is no getting around
this; the Bush administration has not been able to get Iraq under control and
Americans are sick of the whole thing. Thus, quick fix political candidates get
traction, while the Bush people continue to look incompetent.
How does O'Reilly propose to "shake things up?"
The United States needs a new strategy to deal with this ominous threat.
Slugging it out in Iraq may be necessary, but there might be another way.
President Bush needs to level with the American people and begin putting this
country on a war footing. That means a limited draft and a major commitment to
defense. The President needs to shake things up and get people's attention.

Even though the generals in Iraq say that more troops would not generate better results, Bill O'Reilly has the hot tip. Start a whole new war to take people's minds off of this one. It worked well for a month but now we have that pesky cease-fire that's going to let Americans focus on Iraq.

O'Reilly knows that's not good for Republicans in the Fall.

Inside The Warroom

JYD Takes us inside Mark Green's campaign inner circle at A Different Take

Green: "What was that gimmik... I mean idea from the Overstock guy? It had to
due with spending education dollars in the classroom."

Jeff: "The 65 percent solution."

Green: "Yes, that's it!" pause

Green: "How does that work?"

Jeff: "It says that 65 percent of all dollars spent on education must go into the
classroom. Research has shown that too much is spent on administration,
guidance, libraries and other out of classroom costs at the expense of the
children. The more you spend on the kids the more they learn!"

Green: "So even if I backed away from two-thirds funding and froze school spending, I could confuse voters by saying I put more money directly in the classroom?"

FCC Says That America Isn't Old Enough To Hear

By all accounts Flight 93 was a well made film and an imprtant one for its time. Apparently the time is ripe for World Trade Center to treat the events of 9/11 as an American's against adversity film.

The one thing that we aren't ready for, according to our government is the true story of that day. CBS is weighing the chilling hand of censorship against the value of the actual events recorded that day. This isn't about viewpoint or Capital T Truth. This is simply showing what happened.
"It's important to take note of the event as it happened," CBS executive
producer Susan Zirinsky said. "And (the filmmakers) have done an amazing job in
staying with these guys over five years and evolving with them. You will feel at
the end that we've taken a journey again."

We live in a sad time for Liberty.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Muppet Smut?

Not exactly, but Brian Henson is leading an adult-oriented puppet improv show each night at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

What would his Dad say?
"I think he would have loved it because of how outrageous I get. My Dad really
believed in community and sweetness but the other side of him was incredibly
"He always said the only reason we did this was those moments where
it is like laughing in church. It becomes so infectious you cannot stop

There Are More Important Things In Life Than Tall Grass

The mayor of Blackey KY has found that there are better ways to spend ones time. He's refusing to mow his lawn.
"I don't know why we cut grass, but I do know that I like to sit here in the
evenings and enjoy what we have in eastern Kentucky," Dixon said.

Some Things Are Just Wrong On Every Level

h/t Spring City Chronicle

Sunday, August 13, 2006

There Was A Post Entry

Tom McMahon had an entry for the Area 51 Carnival Of The Badger that arrived after the deadline. Against all precedent, here it is.

Remember, you, too can host the Carnival. Why don't you do it now before you forget.

On Growth In Evansville

Fred offers up some hard numbers about the city's growth patterns. I ramble around in his comments like a rhinoceros in a roller rink.

An Oldie But Goodie From A Small Town Newspaper

From the Marshfield News-Herald 12/9/2005

Gay rights advocates say the courts could declare that it's illegal for businesses to grant insurance benefits to the partners of unmarried employees, whether they're the opposite sex or the same sex, for instance, because that's a status that's substantially similar to that of married workers.

And they say resolution sponsors such as three-time divorced state Sen. Dave Zien, R-Eau Claire, are hypocrites. If Zien wanted to defend marriage, he should've started with his -- No.1, No. 2 or No. 3.

Gannett Co. Inc., corporate owner of the Marshfield News-Herald and nine other newspapers in Wisconsin, is among those companies that offer health insurance to cover people in committed relationships with its employees. It does this because if our employees have to worry about whether they'll be able to take care of people they're building their lives around, they're not as effective at their jobs. And the company believes it's the right thing to do.

Imagine what it'd be like if you were married under Wisconsin's current law and you couldn't get health insurance for your husband or wife or your children, because a new constitutional amendment forbade it.

It's that extra little bit of verbiage, beyond the "one man and one woman" part, that makes the defense of marriage bill difficult to defend. If some companies want to give their workers' partners benefits, why let the state government interfere? Or if two people who are devoted to each other want to grant the legal right to make health care or end-of-life decisions for each other, why is that state government's concern?

The political party that says it wants to limit government intrusions into people's private lives is intruding into people's private lives. And it's apparently telling businesses how they can treat their employees, besides.

You'll hear a lot more about the defense of marriage amendment in the next year.

Be skeptical of those who say that they know what's good for marriage, but don't seem to be able to hold one together themselves. They're not reliable advisers.

Saturday, August 12, 2006

An Apology Was In Order

The World's Only Grandchild just spent the night as she often does on Fridays.

Her Nana and I took her out for supper. She made a face when she tasted the liver but happily went back for more once she'd figured out the texture. She made a royal mess around the high chair with a mix of crackers and torn napkins.

This morning she slept late and woke smiling. She and her Grandpa played with blocks on the floor and Nana read to her. The Squirt smiled and giggled through breakfast and took a short nap late in the morning. By the time her Mother, my Daughter, came to pick her up she showed that she is just on the brink of her first steps by design. As it stands right now she can make two or three stumbles forward without holding on but they're too awkward to be called steps.

Over the course of the last few days we have all written a lot of words about the way that the two candidates for AG handled themselves on the Sykes show. Many of us have called their behavior childish or said that they behaved like babies.

After spending the last 16 hours with my granddaughter I have apologized to her for the comparison.

Summer Suspense Thriller

"Liquids On A Plane" The Movie via Craphound

Substantially Similar

What happens when you let governments decide what is or is not a family?
Black Jack (MO), a town of about 7,000 that prides itself on a city Web site for
its "character and stability," refused to grant the couple and their children an
occupancy permit for their home because they do not meet the definition of
"family" as set forth by the city, the complaint alleges.

Character and stability and $500 a day fines for ot being the right kind of family.

Friday, August 11, 2006

JBvH Apologizes

JB van Hollen apologizes for his behavior and language in this post from JB For AG. I've copied it in its entirety for your enjoyment.

A word about the latest debate...

Despite any assertions to the contrary, Paul Bucher and I have appeared at the same venue, before voters, more than 60 times this year, we’ve even debated twice this week and have nearly a half dozen more debates set up in the closing month.I welcome the opportunity to compare our visions, our track records, our plans, our campaigns.

I'll admit the debate today was quite heated, and I should have done a better job of keeping my composure.

After Paul continued to conduct himself in, let's just say an incredibly annimated manner...interrupting, talking over me and the host, raising his voice, etc, I told him, off the air, that I thought his behavior and style ‘sucked.’

The voters deserve an honest debate on the issues that matter and I regret that I lowered myself to this level with my language choice.

I regret it and apologize.

It is vitally important that Republicans come together to defeat the Democrat candidate this fall. Exchanges like today could be good for the party. However, my opponent continues to distort my record in an attempt to build himself up. Voters deserve better.

The voters deserve better than what they've put up with for 16 years at the Department of Justice and, quite frankly, Republican voters deserve better than the name calling both candidates engaged in today.

I believe our campaign is proving to be the one with the organization, resources and plan to win and lead the Department of Justice. in Novermber.

We'll continue to keep our focus on the 16 years of Democrat mismanagement of that office and how we intend on righting that ship.


If You Need A Reason To Vote For Jim Doyle

JJ Blonien has an opinion piece up on Wisopinion that says without Doyle we'll have to put up with a concealed carry law.

Even though those of us who call it the camel's nose have been ridiculed as alarmist, one only has to look around to see the NRA's next step. Fifteen states have passed or soon will pass "Shoot First" laws which blur the lines of what constitutes self-defense.

The central innovation in the Florida law, said Anthony J. Sebok, a professor at
Brooklyn Law School, is not its elimination of the duty to retreat, which has
been eroding nationally through judicial decisions, but in expanding the right
to shoot intruders who pose no threat to the occupant's safety.

"In effect," Professor Sebok said, "the law allows citizens to kill other citizens in defense of property."

...Many prosecutors oppose the laws, saying they are
unnecessary at best and pernicious at worst. "They're basically giving citizens
more rights to use deadly force than we give police officers, and with less
review,Â"said Paul A. Logli, president of the National District Attorneys

These laws are part of the reason that The Happiest Place On Earth is quickly becoming the deadliest.

If Blonien hasn't convinced you of the need to vote for Doyle, take a look at what Seth has found about Mark Green and his sudden silence on the issue.

Walton Is Back And He's Building A Bandwagon

Bum's Bluff has been re-energized by the E85/ minimum markup discussion this week. How else can you explain this flurry of posting?

At Least We Can See Some Of The Dots Now

* North Prairie Productions and Landmark Co-op sent invitations this week to Evansville residents inviting them to a neighborhood open house from 1 to 8 PM on August 23 at the High School "to learn more about the benefits of biodiesel fuel and the proposed biodiesel facility in Evansville." They will showcase interactive exhibits and company information.

* The Wisconsin Soybean Association's Feasibility Study was released early this week and appears to give a green light to a Southern Wisconsin crushing facility. (The Circumstance scooped the Gazette. Just this once.)

* The City Council has stopped talking about expanding the boundaries of TID6 to include the property adjacent to Landmark's and has moved on to the early steps in creation of TID7.

Gina Duwe connects some of the rest of the dots and also takes a look at what Bud Gayhart of the Small Business Development Center at UW-Whitewater has to say about the potential economic impacts of the two facilities.

Wanna Start A TIF?

It's not Eleanor in the Elderhostel with the pipe. It's Ehlers. Pronounced A-Lurz.

I think.

Update: The Happy Circumstance has learned that it is also, clearly, not The Fishmonger Eileen in the alehouse alley with an alewife.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

In Honor Of The Start Of The Sturgis Rally

The World's Largest Motorcycle Trailer Rally is running in Sturgis SD this week.

Why is a Harley like a hound dog? (answered after the quote)
Blomberg has two observations about this year's rally: First, there are a lot
more women driving their own bikes. "They're not just passengers anymore," she
Second, foreigners are finding their way to Sturgis. "You pull up and
the Harley rig next to you, they don't speak a lick of English," Blomberg said.
"They're German, or Norwegian, or something. You find that a lot."

They both like to ride in the truck.

A Week To Say "Slow Down"

This has been a big week for citizens concerned about unfettered growth. Besides the good people of Evansville saying, "Wait," on Tuesday night there was a hold put on the Sho-Deen development in the Town of Delavan and Waukesha decided not to annex 333 acres on a close vote.

A Carnival You Won't Believe

Updated to correct links. My apologies to Peter and Clint

Welcome, Ladies and Gentlemen, to this special tour of the Carnival of the Badger Area 51. You will find that the previous 50 carnivals have done little to prepare you for the anomalies and oddities you'll find here.

Former hosts and caretakers have often faced contributions with which they didn't know what to do. As we tour the area you will see things unbelievable and incredible but I assure you they are all true. Our first stop is at the Nation's oddest Senate campaign courtesy of Steve. I have to remind you at this time that cameras and recording devices are prohibited on this tour.

One of the persistent rumors about Area 51 is that there are spacecraft here, not of Earth origin. Well, my friends, there are spacecraft here and we think we understand the purpose of them. James has learned why these craft are being launched.

Not all of the exhibits here are of hardware. Fred has provided us with videotape of wild behavior from the other side of the World. (Warning for shocking content.) Peter looks at the origins of Moon-bats while Clint looks at choices made...or are they? You can decide for yourself after you see them. The Spring City Chronicle has brought us another strange craft that has been 50 years in the making.

Even though some of the conspiracy theories around here date back decades, Nick has a look at one of the most recent, the Single Caribou Theory of Eugene Kane. Truly, on the other hand, looks at a new technology that sucks time and attention from young lives.

In the past Jenna looked into the future that has now become the present to look into the future yet to come. She made a prediction of a race from yesterday and the effects it will have in two years. Don't wait. Read it now, before I lose track of time myself. Aaron has the story of a young woman who is willing to be locked up for what she believes in.

Patrick looks at a thing that won't go away. Dean looks at something he's finished with.

Watch your step here, folks, as we turn to the left to end our tour. Bill looks at runoff that has nothing to do with Diebold machines. If you'll look over here your humble host has the story of the man who hopes to become Nobody's Congressman But George's.

Thank you for taking this tour of Area 51. Be careful as you leave. If you're heading off to the Northeast today the Secret Service will be there to maintain order. No matter which way you're headed, travel safely and come back for the next...Carnival of the Badger.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Plate Spinning, Bicycle Tires and Blueberry Ice Cream

The vote last night was 8-0 against amending the Smart Growth Plan after a long discussion and an even longer agenda.

The metaphors flowed like water and peace was restored to the land.

The one message that seemed to come through was that this project would be tackled at some time in the future but that, despite the merits of the project, the commitment to the plan would be honored.

My thanks to all who spoke and to all the alders.

Gina Duwe has the story for The Gazette.

Soybean Crushing (Press Release Version)

For those who don't want to wade through the long post or the whole report, here's the press release from the Wis Soybean Ass'n.

The Report Is In And It Looks Good For Southern Wisconsin (Long Post Warning)

The Wisconsin Soybean Association released their report regarding the feasability of locating a crush facility in Southern Wisconsin yesterday. Below are some excerpts from the Executive Summary. Follow this link for the full report.

An 80,000 bushel/day soybean plant located in south central Wisconsin would need to buy about 40% of the soybean crop in southern and eastern Wisconsin and the northern tier of counties in Illinois to operate at capacity.

With so many soybeans leaving Wisconsin and going a great distance to find markets, and so much meal coming into the state from so far away, it should be profitable to process the soybeans within the state. However, a soybean processing plant also makes oil in addition to meal, and until now there has not been an acceptable market for the oil.

The soybean oil refining industry in the United States has evolved to the point where 85% of the active refining capacity is at crush plants. The crusher/refiner has almost entirely replaced the stand-alone refiner. There still are a few stand-alone refiners of crude soybean oil (such as J.M. Smucker, the owner of the Crisco label, at Ivorydale, Cincinnati) and a few who buy semi-refined (refined and bleached, or RB) oil, and do the final deodorizing step themselves (such as Loders Croklaan near Joliet, Illinois). But by-and-large the owners of branded oils are out of the refining business, buying their product from the crusher/refiners and concentrating their own resources on marketing and brand management.

It would be difficult for a new entrant to the soybean oil market, either crude or refined, to establish itself in this already well-established market. However, with the advent of biodiesel, the situation has changed.

Of particular interest to a soybean processor in southern Wisconsin are the stand-alone biodiesel plants that are or will be in proximity to the plant. There are five such plants. Two are already operating―Stepan Company near Joliet, which recently doubled their capacity to 22 MGY (and has plans to double it again), and Renewable Alternatives at Manitowoc. This plant currently is very small―less than 500,000 gallons/year. But an expansion to 3 MGY is in progress and another 3 MGY is planned. Two plants are under construction. Anamax recently began construction of a 20 MGY biodiesel plant at De Forest that is expected to be in production by early 2007. This will be a multi-feedstock plant, some of which will be soybean oil. Ag Solutions is building a 10 MGY biodiesel plant at Gladstone, Michigan, in the Upper Peninsula, 60 miles up the shore of Lake Michigan from the Wisconsin-Michigan state line. Start-up is planned for this summer, with soybean oil being the feedstock. Finally, North Prairie Production (formerly North Prairie Energy) is in the design stage for a 45 MGY plant somewhere in southern Wisconsin.

These five biodiesel plants could take twice as much soybean oil as the plant would produce. (emphasis added) Four expressed very strong interest in having a supplier of soybean oil in southern Wisconsin (Ag Solutions could not be contacted) and Anamax and North Prairie Production mentioned their interest in co-location with the soybean plant.

An 80,000 bushel/day crush plant with similarly sized refinery for the production of RB oil is recommended. Estimated capital costs for such a facility, with adequate soybean and product storage, configured to allow for identity preserved (IP) processing, is $75 million. Fifty percent would be financed by a 10-year loan, with the rest financed by owner equity. Eleven million dollars of working capital will be needed, financed by a short-term loan.

The plant must be sited where there is good access to truck and rail transportation. Co-location with the biodiesel plant at De Forest or Waterloo would meet this requirement. So would locations such as Madison, Janesville, Evansville, Stoughton and Edgerton. Permitting and political hurdles will have to be cleared. Some communities might offer incentives, such as property tax relief for a number of years, to encourage that plant to locate there. (Again, emphasis mine)

The plant can expect stiff competition from the crush plants who have long considered Wisconsin to be a primary market for their meal―ADM and CHS at Mankato, Cargill at Cedar Rapids and ADM at Galesburg.

Before making a “go” decision the Steering Committee should revise the financial model as they deem appropriate, determine what suitable locations would be interested in having the plant near their community and perhaps offer incentives to locate there, get price quotations from the processing and refining equipment suppliers, and conduct further discussions with soybean shippers and meal and oil buyers in the primary, secondary and tertiary market areas.

The Carnival Is Here This Week

The Happy Circumstance is taking a third try at hosting The Carnival Of The Badger this week. Submissions are due by any of the normal ways;

Send an email directly to Please be sure to include the direct link to your post, as well as the name of your blog, and a short summary of your post to help the carnival host.

Use the Blog Carnival Submission Form. You can also view a list of all previous editions of the Carnival of the Badger at the Blog Carnival Archive Page.

Use the Carnival Submit Form from Conservative Cat.

This here is the easiest for me.

It's the 51st edition of the Carnival and I'm looking forward to seeing some new bylines this week. Deadline will be 10 on Wednesday evening. Get your submissions in early. Oh, and go see Nick to volunteer to host one of your own.

Update: I have posts from Steve, Peter and Fred as of Tuesday night. At this rate Dean will be representing the Lefties and Aaron will be my Green representative.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Because He Asked So Nicely

For Walton:

Starting the week of the 20th from Church to Garfield with the water mains. Sewer work will be right around the four corners. Exact start and projected end dates will be decided at a pre-work meeting Thursday 8/10 at City Hall at 8:30 AM. Dave W says the public is welcome.

Ney's hand-Picked Successor Runs Afoul Of Ohio's "Sore Loser" Law

It appears that Joy Padgett, Bob Ney's handpicked successor, is ineligible due to an Ohio voting law that prohibits candidates which lose in one primary from running in another in the same year.

I guess that I'm a little taken aback that Ohio has any voting laws at all.

John Gard Wins "A Major Prize"

Walking in the footsteps of Mark Green has earned John Gard a major award.

Public Hearing On Smart Growth Changes Tonight

Tonight's the night for the public hearing on changing the Smart Growth Plan. If you have an opinion this is your chance to share it with the full council.

The Observer has the full agenda.

Making A Connection Where None Exists

Dieter Zetsche is no Lee Iacocca but his commercials for Daimler-Chrysler are everywhere right now. Does anyone else want an Augsburger Beer when they hear the commercials?

Dr Z sounds just like Hans Kessler, for Heaven's sake.

Monday, August 07, 2006

I'll Be Sending Out Invitations For Complimentary Doses

German scientists have come up with an "anti-stupid" pill. No, really. See?

Balancing Trade A Baker's Dozen At A Time

Hot Donuts Now in Hong Kong. Krispy Kreme follows nine Korean outlets with its first in the Chinese speaking world. The donut maker opens Tuesday in Hong Kong with a perceived advantage of Mister Donut and Dunkin' Donuts.

Krispy Kreme Director of Marketing Jim Rogers believes the company enjoys one key advantage in the region — its open doughnut kitchen.

"I think that's very important typically to the Asian cultures to see food prepared in front of you
and that's why we think it has such great success opportunities here and other Asian markets," Rogers told the Associated Press.

The Chinese are known for their affinity for freshness. In Hong Kong, chicken and fish are killed on the spot in restaurants and wet markets. Local eateries display racks of barbecued pork and duck behind large windows in kitchens at the front of the restaurant.

Mark Green's Buddy Gives Up The Good Fight (UPDATED)

French fries and French toast are back on the menu at the House Cafeteria and Bob Ney isn't willing to talk about it.

Update: Early Monday morning Ney announced that he's giving up his run for re-election as well. I'm waiting for Mark Green to "Stand in solidarity with" his Congressional buddy or some such nonsense.

That Explains A Lot

Richard says that GWB=Simba

He's the son of the Old King. He spends his youth engaging in singing, dancing,
revelry, carousing, and debauchery. He never holds a job that requires honest
work or produces anything of value, let alone qualifying him as a ruler.

One day his father's old advisors approach him. They say that his homeland is being
ruined by the new ruler, who is vile, conniving, and venal and whose cohorts are
a corrupt pack of treacherous hyenas. They say that only the young hero can save
the country. While this requires some unaccustomed effort ("It's hard work!"),
the final outcome is pre-ordained by destiny. Emerging triumphant from a herd of
rampaging elephants, he vanquishes all his foes.

Go read the rest.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

More Questions Than Answers

Some questions about changing the Smart Growth Plan designation of the Maas property.

  1. Have we given SG a chance to work or is 14 months too short of a time to start changing?
  2. What is the best corridor for a west-side route to SH14?
  3. Have we exhausted our options with Town of Union to find that corridor?
  4. Have we looked at our options with the Town of Union to find that corridor?
  5. Will SH 14 still be in the same corridor when we are ready to build a west-side connector?
  6. Is building more houses an optimal way to address traffic congestion?
  7. If the market stays soft and we issue one building permit per months, how long will it take to build out Westfield Meadows, Capstone Ridge and Grand Orchard Estates?
  8. What impact will changing the growth target have on the school district? The electric utility? The water department?
  9. Are the citizens of Evansville committed to the Smart Growth Plan? Is the Council? The Mayor? The, as yet unamed, City Administrator?
  10. We spent more than a year putting together a plan that has been in place for less time than it took to build it. Shouldn't we have a formal review before we start to amend it?

When the discussion over Westfield Meadows started there were voices saying, "Take the time to get it right." Those same voices asked for time to review the Regional Stormwater Plan...and Union's Smart Growth process..and Capstone Ridge.

We've seen what happens when we jump at an offer without thinking about the future. Can we just take some time to not make the same mistakes a third or fourth or fifth time?

Update: There are some more good questions in the comments. I hope that they get asked on Tuesday night. the Council meeting starts at 6:30 at City Hall.

Scary Times

Even in the emotional days following September 11, 2001 we didn't see the virulent genocidal bloodlust that is becoming more prevelant every day now. As emotions rage out of control in Baghdad, Beirut, Mumbai and Haifa we are seeing the right wing in America calling for the annihilation of races and religions.

The overeaction is terrifying. The story of one incident in Seattle is telling. Naveed Haq went on a shooting rampage in a Jewish Center last Saturday. Early reports said that
... in the midst of his shooting spree in Seattle Friday, he declared himself an
angry Muslim.
But it is probably incorrect to blame his religion for his actions. Haq had been baptized as a Christian and had been attending services at a Seattle area church. We would be just as incorrect to blame Christianity for his failings as to blame Islam. Haq was a deeply troubled American.
Acquaintances said he never seemed the fanatic religious extremist he played out
on Friday. Instead some think his anger was really directed at problems in his
personal and professional life.
"Naveed had the profile of the guy who just couldn't get things together," said Erik Neilsen, a Richland resident who let Haq live with him for three months in 2004. He said he thinks several problems compounded for Haq, and he just exploded.
"I wish I could have done something about it. I look back in retrospect and say 'Is there anything I could have done.'"

Peter is right. The story has been poorly reported. The mental breakdown of a troubled man is being reported by the Malkinistas as a symptom of class war. This kind of inflammatory rhetoric makes America less safe as it distracts from the threats that are out there.

While we're chasing phantoms we aren't protecting ourselves from terror. We are perpetuating it.

Just Wondering

Why is it that people who can dismiss the ravings of Kevin Barrett when he says that the US Government was responsible for the WTC collapse are not capable of dismissing the ravings of Michelle Malkin and Faux News when they claim that Hezbollah is responsible for the tradgedy at Qana?

Israel says they did it. Israel apologized for doing it. Malkin is bound and determined to make facts fit her prejudices. I think that's one of the definitions of "psychotic."

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Who Wants John Gard In Washington?

Who wants the Assemblyman from Sun Prairie/DePere to represent them in Washington DC?

John Boehner does. The ethics-challenged Majority Leader from Ohio donated the maximum $10,000 to Gard's campaign.

Dennis Hastert does. The Speaker took some of the money from his land dealings and gave $10,000 to Grad.

Majority Whip Roy Blunt of Missouri does. He's given $10,000 to Gard's campaign.

The Republican leadership in Washington apparently feels that Gard will be a reliable soldier in the mold of Mark Green. they're investing their PAC money in making sure that another Borrow and Spender gets into the seat Green is vacating.

Even Gard's primary opponent says the parade of DC cash is unseemly.
"I've served in the state Legislature, and when someone maxes out to you before
you've established a track record, there's usually some kind of expectation on
those checks," Terri McCormick said.

Blunt, Hastert and Boehner are looking for someone who won't rock the boat, who will keep building deficits and continue to reward their big donors. Gard hasn't shown the stomach for reform in Madison. There's nothing in his past that makes us believe he'll grow a spine if he changes his address again.

Neo-Wilsonianism And The Chance To Get Worse

Ben and Nate are arguing the usefulness of the Bush administration and the War On Terra over at Badger Blues.

Friday, August 04, 2006

"Sensenbrenner's Office Declined To Comment"

Well, I bet they did. What can you say to defend your actions when this is the headline they're calling about? From the Gazette:
Sensenbrenner tops list of privately funded travel

Now that Tom Delay has moved on Flyin' Jim can move up the list.
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner has taken around $200,000 worth of privately funded
travel over the past 6 ½ years, more than any other lawmaker, according to a new
Read the rest

I Have Been Remiss

Fred not only hosts the Carnival Of The Badger this week but he's also handing out the Badgies. Please take the time to give it a look.

Court Says "You Picked Him. You Run Him"

Texas Republicans say they don't want him anymore but the judge says that Tom Delay has to stay on the ballot because of the way he tried to manipulate one last election.
Texas law requires candidates, when they file for office, to swear that they
will be eligible to serve on election day. If a candidate does something
completely incomparable with that promise, such as moving to another state and
voting in that state's elections, as Tom DeLay has, then Texas law permits the
Chairman of that political party to declare the candidate to be ineligible and,
thereby, to require the candidate to reaffirm his eligibility, by stating that
he intends to return to Texas by election day, if he intends to do so.

Quote of the day from DCCC spokesperson Bill Burton:
"One way or another, Tom DeLay is going to be serving a two year term. But it's
not going to be in Congress."

Public Hearing On Smart Growth Next Tuesday

The announcement of Public Hearing is dispassionate.
At 6:30 PM on Tuesday, August 8, 2006, the Common Council will hold public
hearings regarding proposed amendments to the city's Smart Growth Comprehensive
Plan. These proposed amendments were recommended by the Plan Commission on
June 29, 2006. For more information about the proposed amendments, contact
the Clerk/Treasurer's office at 608-882-2266.
Be sure to bring your thoughts to the meeting.

A Personal Observation About A Race Far Away

The foderol surrounding the Lieberman-Lamont race in CT makes me uncomfortable. There is always a place for the clash of ideas and primary races keep parties fresh in a lot of cases. There's just something about the shrillness of both sides in this debacle that reminds me of Panzer v Grothman.

It makes you want to take a shower when you watch a party eat its own.

The Definition Of "Freak Accident"

Road America is an underated gem but it is not without its difficulties. Keep Cristiano DaMatta in your thoughts.

An Image Of Peace In A Time Of Trouble

From my Brother via e-mail

Thursday, August 03, 2006

A Modest Proposal For The Finance And Public Safety Committees

Use Public Service labor to do data entry and update the City Code books. Two birds; one stone.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Really Big Difference...Really

Aaron's Pink Helmet

Definitely someone else's pink helmet.

Castro's Prospects

Billy Big Rig has the Top Ten Things Castro Is Going To Hate About Hell.

One Quick Question

If you're voting to ask the City Planner to draft an ordinance that says, in part, that the City Planner will have more authority acting in consultation with the City Engineer, why in the world would the City Engineer not recuse himself from the vote?

Around The Block At Five In The Morning

One quick lap of the Cheddarsphere before I have to go to work.

Nathan wonders who wants to declaw the IRS.

The Brawler concedes a point to Mark Green.

DY looks at When Bunnies Attack.

Dave Diamond shows off Mark Green's sense of humor.

Over at folkbum's Place krshorewood is looking for positive examples from the Bush Presidency. Can you think of one?

Elliott reminds us about the Carnival of the Badger deadline tonight.

Seth shows us that Green's campaign keeps moving further out of focus the longer we look at it.

Jef looks at folks who are just carrying on traditional values.

Tim is only dreaming...we hope.

Jody writes about feeling bad on the job.

Richard shares a fool-proof plan but expresses no confidence in the current crop of fools.

Kate shows us the power of a woman scorned. h/t to Aaron.

James is crying in our collective beer.

Nick has the skinny on Additive Annoyances.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Jess Redoes The Math

Jess McBride has a new take on Einstein. Maybe we shouldn't look to her for answers to the science questions.
In my Freeman column last week, I suggested we come up with a mathematical
equation to sum up all of the Doyle ethical scandals (E-MC squared or something)
because I can't keep track of them anymore.

Wrong Again

From Tom Tomorrow (Click on the strip to enlarge)

Books You Wouldn't Have To Read, But You Should

Richard Lawrence Cohen has a post about books whose titles say it all. Peter Galbraith's The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End, Thomas Ricks' Fiasco: The American Military Adventure in Iraq, and Amusing Ourselves to Death by Neil Postman are all on his list.

Cohen lists many more and then asks for our contributions to the list. See if you can help him out.

Burns Misses The Point

Nearly 40 years ago we were waiting for a table in a diner in the Black Hills of South Dakota when a busload of firefighters pulled into the parking lot. A forest fire to the west had broken out two days before and was threatening a creosote factory outside of the town we were in.

The waitresses went from table to table asking people who had not been served to stand up and those who were eating to hurry through their meal so the smoke-eaters could have their seats. Meals already on the grill were shoved aside and replaced with steaks and potatoes for the crew.

Dad thanked the firefighters, many of them on loan from states in the east as they came in and we went to look for another place to get some supper.

Last weekend Montana Senator Conrad Burns, made famous by his ties to Jack Abramhoff, ran into a group of smoke-eaters from Virginia in the Billings airport after a dedication ceremony at Pompey's Pillar. The firefighters were waiting for a flight home after fighting the 92,000 acre Bundy Railroad fire outside of Worden, MT.

How did Burns thank these men and women? From the Billings Gazette;
Burns approached the firefighters and told them they had "done a poor job" and
"should have listened to the ranchers," according to a report prepared by Paula
Rosenthal, a state Department of Natural Resources and Conservation employee who was sent to the airport to speak with the senator.

According to the Montana Missoulian in a scathing editorial this morning:
After his unprovoked attack on the firefighters, Burns reiterated his criticism
to a representative of the Montana Department of Natural Resources and
Conservation. “See that guy over there?” Burns said. “He hasn't done a
God-damned thing. They sit around. I saw it up on the Wedge fire and in
northwestern Montana some years ago. It's wasteful. You probably paid that guy
$10,000 to sit around. It's gotta change.”

Just to set the record straight, firefighter contracted by the Forest Service are paid $8 to $12 per hour to risk their lives in 12 and 14 hour days.

Burns has been criticized for representing big business at the expense of his constituents, of marching in lockstep to the administration at the behest of Tom Delay and his K Street Project. This time he showed that he was angry that people working to preserve those big-money interests might be making a little taste of what he had voted to give his benefactors.

Facing the toughest political fight of his career, Conrad Burns may have seen his career-dissipation light kick into high gear at the Billings airport.