Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Sorry, Charlie

Sometime the facts have a bias of their own.


Our company is promoting our low-environmental-footprint packaging system this year at PackExpo in Chicago. So, I spent all day Sunday wandering around McCormick Place with a Go-Green shirt on.

Much dissonance ensued.



Bob Spoden has the experience and the rapport to lead the Rock County Sheriff's Department. He is both lawman and administrator while Scott Wasemiller lacks the experience to lead the cost-sink that the department has become into the future. Spoden is open to ways to save the county from its own bad instincts where the jail is concerned.

Wasemiller may be willing to discuss alternatives to the $60 million jail expansion but has no experience in leading such a project.

Prediction? Gary Keller siphons off enough of the "lock-em-up or shoot them" crowd to let Spoden cruise on Tuesday.

Monday, October 30, 2006


Against both.

Wisconsin has thrived without being in the retribution business for a century and a half. There are no compelling reasons to make us more like Texas at this point.

My take on the Discrimination Amendment is simple. When we've invested enough energy to wipe out the problems caused by animosity and fear and hate, then we can start looking for ways to regulate who-loves-whom. Until then we have bigger fish to fry. Let's stop wasting our time and energy on this red herring.

Wisconsin is a better place than these two refernda could ever make us.

Sorry For The Slack Time

I was laughing so hard when I heard Tommy T blame someone besides himself for high taxes that I couldn't blog.

We've just about cleaned up the mess that the wannabe Prez made, and here he is bloviating about someone else being to blame. Who does he think he is? GWB?

Okay, Wait A Minute

We're supposed to reject Embryonic Stem Cell research because "a cure from its technology is not imminent" but we've been pissing good money down the Star Wars Missile Defense rathole since before Reagan could have benefitted from ESCR.

Does that single argument make sense to anyone?

Any Questions?

Beatles tribute correctly done.

Beatlse tribute poorly done.

An Ugly Win Is Still A Win




Jenifer Keach stood up and took the reins of the Coroner's department when the other two candidates were engaging in finger pointing and blame throwing. Keach is the single candidate not involved in enabling the behavior of the prior Coroner and has performed admirably in the office.

She deserves a full term in the office.

Updated to address comments: Haverly did blow the whistle after standing by, in her estimation, 25 times. Apparently, the first 24 didn't register with her as being wrong.

Coroner isn't about party-lines. We'd probably be better off with a paid Medical Examiner on a contract basis. Until then, Keach was there for Rock County when there wasn't much reason for her to do so. She doesn't deserve your vilification.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Bang postponed. Not Big enough. Reboot.

The headline is a six-word story by David Brin. Wired magazine asked dozens of authors to write their own very short stories. You can read the rest here.

The collection includes Hemingway's self-professed "greatest work," For sale: baby shoes, never worn.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Perspective, I Suppose

The poster in the doctor's office asked, "Are you suffering from post-partum depression?"

I thought, "Hell yes. My daughter will be 30 next year. That's enough to depress anybody."

How Do You Get Your Money's Worth?

Lisa has some good points about the campaign for State Executioner should the Death Penalty Amendment bear its tainted fruit.

I just wonder how many executions per year we'd have to hold to make the Executioner's job cost effective in the minds of the corporate types over at WMC. You'd hate to form a whole new bureaucracy only to use them two or three times a year.

Maybe Mark Green has a plan to make this a part of the DNR restructuring he keeps bringing up.

It Looks As If Bill Connors Has His Work Cut Out For Him

Former City Administrator Bill Connors left us to become the Director of Continuing Legal Education for the State Bar of Wisconsin.

In a moderately related story Michael Horne, writing at Milwaukee World, says that some of Wisconsin's largest companies could benefit from Bill's tutelage.

It would be any CEO’s nightmare: Your General Counsel, entrusted with the
in-house legal department of your firm, tells you that you never really had a
legal attorney-client privilege agreement, and every negotiation you’ve
undertaken must therefore be revealed to your adversaries, who could hold you in
contempt. Your attorney could face sanctions for engaging in the unauthorized
practice of law, and disqualification all because he or she, for whatever
reason, never got a Wisconsin license despite working for years from a Wisconsin
office. A far fetched scenario? Hardly, according to a Milwaukeeworld.com

Among Wisconsin firms where the general counsel does not
appear to have Wisconsin licensure: such giants as Oshkosh Truck Corp., Briggs
& Stratton Corp., Sensient Technologies, Corp., and Robert W. Baird &
Co., Inc.

Check out the rest of the story here.

Well, At Least He Didn't Say We Should Burn Them All

Bill Crozier wants to be State Superintendent of Education in Oklahoma. He's the best person the Republicans could recruit to run in their stead in the entire state.

Crzier's money quote?
"We need to look at protection of young people that sometimes people may think
you are a little smarter than everybody else or a higher IQ or whatever."
How does he propose to do that? By putting textbooks under the desks to use as shields. He sent video to a local TV station showing a test of the concept. If you get just the right book and just the right gun at just the right range you might not get shot.

Wouldn't our time and money be better spent keeping guns out of the hands of people who would use them in a school and making sure they can't get into a school with them?

Monday, October 23, 2006

Where Is The Recess Supervisor When We Need Him?

GWB has made another recess appointment because the mean, old Republican dominated Congress wouldn't approve his nominee. This time it's Richard Stickler as the head of the Mine Safety and Health Administration.

You remember mine safety? That's an issue that the adminsistration gave lip service to after Sago and now another in Preston County, WV. The House was concerned that Stickler was too cozy with the industry and has a record that show that mines he's been responsible for have an accident rate double the national average.

Do you feel safer now?

Just Wondering

There are reports of tension between The Current Resident and his father.

How much different would 41's reaction be to the events of the last 6 years if we didn't have the father-son dynamic?

There has been a ton of speculation about 43's actions and how much they have been pushed into a direction to "take care of" perceived mistakes by the earlier Bush Presidency. There has been little written about the way the elder would be speaking out if his progeny were not in the big chair.

Just wondering.

Sunday, October 22, 2006

"Bush: Our Long National Nightmare Of Peace And Prosperity Is Finally Over."

The headline is from the Onion but it ain't far off base.

Majority Whip Roy Blunt has a post on his website that claims that if Dems win control of Congress they'll establish a "Department Of Peace."

Remember when peace was something this country supported? Remember the Paris Peace Talks? Remember "Peace In Our Time"?

Again, from the Onion:
President-elect Bush vows that "together, we can put the triumphs of the recent
past behind us."
That the Onion saw it coming in January of 2001 is an even poorer reflection on the rest of us.

In The Hands Of Gravity

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfield have been driving the country for six years (abetted by the likes of Mark Green) and a reader at TPM has an observation.

Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld were in the front seat.They drove the Iraq car off a
cliff.Then they turned to the Dems in the back seat.

And said the Dems couldn’t complain unless they could come up with a plan of their own.The tragedy is that there is no rational hope for a plan (any plan) that will work well. When you’ve driven the car off the cliff, your range of options is quite limited.

We’re in the hands of gravity at this point.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Brackets? We Got Brackets

Click here for the WIAA Division 4 Football Bracket. it looks like the Blue devils could see Brodhead-Juda in the second round and Bigfoot in the third.

Click here and the follow the Tournament information link for all the brackets and rosters.

Mencken And Russell

Dick Russell discusses Family Values.
“You have a choice. You can be nice to other people or you can be mean. Don’t be

Character Counts

President Bush has declared this as "National Character Counts Week." He celebrated character by appearing with Rep Don Sherwood (R-PA.) in a campaign stop.

Sherwood showed his own character by reaching a financial settlement with his mistress to end their long-time affair. He denies that he ever choked her. That's probably why Bush was able to appear with Sherwood. The whole "no-choking thing," I mean.

AQ Mathias has more character examples.

Upgrading The Candidate

It's time to move Tom Reynolds up a grade to Fully-Baked Clown.

He's done.

...And Having Writ Moves On

Okay, we can work through this together.

The Marine Corps is cracking down on tattoos and discharging those who violate the policy while this book is getting momentum.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

The Trouble With Quibbles

Congressman Green is having some struggles with distance. He's, apparently, too close to President Bush for his own follower's liking. The MJS says he voted with the President's agenda 92% of the time and the Congressman's suporters are in high dudgeon.

"Harumph!" They sputter. "He did not vote with the President 92% of the time. That would be insane. Congressman Green is his own, independent man. He only agreed with the President and House leadership (of which he is a part) 90% of the time. How dare you accuse him of being a lick-spittle, rubber-stamp lap-dog."

Here's the sad truth. In a day when parties build their majorities on razor-thin pluralities, the members of those parties have to vote party-line to accomplish their agenda. Congressman Green had to follow the fold in Washington to keep his access to those K-Street dollars he's fighting so hard to use against the Governor.

It works the same way in Madison. Every time you vote for one member of a party you are voting for all members of that party's ability to bring legislation to the floor. If you vote for Debi Towns because you like what she's done for Edgerton you are casting a party-line ballot which gives added weight to the per diem wastrels, Zien and Gard. If you vote for Brett Davis you are casting a vote that will support bringing guns onto playgrounds and all manner of silly social-engineering policy. The silly ideas of Frank Lassee get no traction if the Republicans are the minority party. He can't embarrass the whole state from the back bench.

Over the last two decades it's become clear that if you sleep with someone you are sleeping with everyone that person slept with. It works the same way in Madison. If you vote for someone you are voting with everyone that person ever voted with. The moderate votes in the party in power are traded away to amplify the most extreme. In the same way that Mark Green's votes are used to support the policies of GWB and Denny Hastert, the votes of Brett Davis and Debi Towns are used to support Tom Reynolds and Scott Suder.

It's time for a change. Vote for it.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

A Really Big Shew

The British Are Coming! The British Are Coming!

Update: Tickets are still available at the Pharmacy, Real Coffee, The Pig and The Night Owl in Evansville.

Drawing at intermission for framed or matted Beatles cover prints.

Doors open at 6:45.

That’s right. It’s the British Invasion all over again as American English takes over the stage at The Performing Arts Center at the Evansville High School. E-Arts is proud to bring the band called, “Simply the best Beatle tribute story of our time,” to town for one performance on Saturday October 21 at 7:30 PM.

American English has shared the stage with musical headliners such as The Grassroots, The Neville Brothers, Three Dog Night, The Ides of March, Eric Burdon, The Buckinghams, The Doobie Bros., Badfinger, and now they are coming to Evansville.

At the inception of the band, they were voted “number one” by thousands of Beatle fans as winners of sound alike contests at Beatlefest® for three consecutive years. Demand in the US and abroad, coupled with their spectacular fan base, anchored them into a professional setting, and launched them into larger venues and theatres worldwide.

With the band's increasing success, American English hit the international scene in 1999 making their debut in Tokyo. The frenzied crowds in Tokyo reacted as though they were seeing the real Beatles!

In Nov. of 2000, American English awakened a major significant figure in The Beatle world. Sam Leach (the original Beatles promoter from Liverpool) was in town for a book signing for his story “Birth Of The Beatles”. After seeing American English, he called the band “The Beatles incarnate!” and is now back promoting and managing American English. Under the wings of Sam Leach American English traced the historic footsteps of The Beatles, and performed on the hallowed ground of several original Beatles venues including The Cavern Club in Liverpool.

In December of 2001, the band headlined the George Harrison tribute at the House of Blues in Chicago, where they were joined by several legendary Beatles/Wings related artists. This tribute was the first of its kind and the event made news headlines around the world. The band was honored to perform with the original Beatles drummer Pete Best!

Their crowning moment came in 2002, as they headlined International Beatle Week in Liverpool in front of a screaming crowd of 50,000 plus! To top it all off, American English recorded a concept album at the famed Abbey Road Studios in London. The fantasy album “What If”, features songs that might have ended up on the next Beatles record, had they stayed together in 1971.

The show begins with the early years of Ed Sullivan and includes classic Beatle favorites such as She Loves You, Twist and Shout, I Wanna Hold Your Hand, and many others. American English captures the very essence of John, Paul, George and Ringo!

Next, you’ll take a trip with American English as they recreate the psychedelic era of The Beatles. Every musical and visual detail is magically shaped in a colorful journey back in time. You’ll witness incredible versions of selections from Sgt. Pepper and Magical Mystery Tour. All the songs are performed completely live without any tapes or backing tracks.

And in the end, you’ll be transformed to a spectacular musical excursion of the final years of The Beatles partnership. Relive the years of The White Album, Let It Be, and Abbey Road. Moving renditions of songs such as Hey Jude, Something, and Let It Be, are sure to complete the tribute to The Beatles!

The fantasy lives on with these remarkable musicians who take the music to the highest level possible. American English is the closest you will ever get to reliving The Beatles. Whether you grew up with the Fab Four or not, this show will be your window to the past. Witness “The Complete Beatles Tribute” with American English!

Tickets are $16 in advance and, if available, $20 on the day of the show. Advance tickets may be purchased at Real Coffee al Gusto, The Evansville Pharmacy or Kopecky’s Piggly Wiggly or contact Peter Diedrich at (608) 882.3570.

All We Need Is Some Elephants And A Calliope

The parade of administration officials pleading guilty stretches out in gay enfillade.

Former FDA chief Lester Crawford will plead guilty for failing to disclose a
financial interest in companies his agency regulated, his lawyer said Monday.

The CEO Administration lives down to its title once more.

Waiting To Get Blown Up

"Think of what you hate most about your job. Then think of doing what you hate
most for five straight hours, every single day, sometimes twice a day, in
120-degree heat," he said. "Then ask how morale is."

-Army Staff Sgt. Jose Sixtos on convoy duty in Baghdad

Monday, October 16, 2006

So, Um...What's Scooter Doin'?

Next-door-neighbor, George, has to go to jail while his appeal is being heard. Why is Scott Jensen out walking around?

Nietzsche...Billy, Billy...Nietzsche

Take one random Family Circus cartoon. Add one random Nietzsche quote. Hilarity ensues.

The Shift Is On

A editor in Overland Park, KS explains why his paper will be endorsing Dems this year for, almost, the first time.

But I could not help but put in perspective a more global phenomenon that has led us to re-evaluate our traditional support for Republicans. [snip]

But the shift, frankly, shocks me, because I have pulled the lever over and over since my first vote in 1968 for Republicans. If I was a closet Democrat, I must have hidden it well, especially from myself, since I always beat up on Democrats in my columns. I have called them leftists, socialists, and every other name in the book, because I thought they were flat-out wrong.

And, for the most part, I still do. I am opposed to big government. I have little use for unions. I never liked the welfare plans. I am opposed to weak-kneed defense policies. I have always been for fiscal prudence. I think back to the policies of most Democrats, and I cringe. [snip]

You almost cannot be a victorious traditional Republican candidate with mainstream values in Johnson County or in Kansas anymore, because these candidates never get on the ballot in the general election. They lose in low turnout primaries, where the far right shows up to vote in disproportionate numbers.
To win a Republican primary, the candidate must move to the right.
What does to-the-right mean?
It means anti-public education, though claiming to support it.
It means weak support of our universities, while praising them.
It means anti-stem cell research.
It means ridiculing global warming.
It means gay bashing. Not so much gay marriage, but just bashing gays.
It means immigrant bashing. I'm talking about the viciousness.
It means putting religion in public schools. Not just prayer.
It means mocking evolution and claiming it is not science.
It means denigrating even abstinence-based sex education.
Note, I did not say it means "anti-abortion," because I do not find that position repugnant, at all. I respect that position.
But everything else adds up to priorities that have nothing to do with the Republican Party I once knew.
That's why, in the absence of so-called traditional Republican candidates, the choice comes down to right-wing Republicans or conservative Democrats.
And now you know why we have been forced to move left.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Boehner Says...

Republicans were too clueless to be held accountable.

He says that the Republican leadership in the House (including Assistant Whip, Mark Green) didn't have a clue despite being told. It's all someone else's fault.

Whiter Than Sour Cream

Aaron has a video that strikes a little too close to home.

"No Kiddin'" Headline of the Week

From Reuter's

Suicide attacks change life in Afghan capital

Saturday, October 14, 2006

The Phone Isn't A Toy

Don't extrapolate. Don't infer. Mark Green probably didn't train this volunteer personally.

Just enjoy the frustration if you've ever done cold calling from a phone bank. I owe a h/t to an anonymous commenter but the credit goes to benandjenelle.

Wrong On So Many Levels

Delay was wrong. Schelske was wronger. The Family Values crowd rides again.

National Republicans Can't Think Of Anything Good To Say About Their Candidates

So they lead the exact opposite of a "clean campaign."

Mixed Emotions With The Raspberry Vinegarette, Please

There's an odd dissonance in these two stories yet, in the end, they are related somehow.

Go read them and hurry back.

SEAL falls on grenade to save comrades

Texas school tells classes to fight back

My reactions are manifold. I am awed by the sacrifice by the young SEAL who was doing the thing he was trained to do. He sacrificed himself to save the unit. I am also apalled that our best and brightest are being pissed away in Iraq. I wonder if training 14 year-olds to make the same decisions under fire is a good thing.

I understand the pioneering spirit that built this country. I also understand that the same spirit caused a lot of heartache for those who stood in the way. One of the first things a town wishing to be "civilized" did was to hire a lawman. The second was to start churches and schools. These were the civilizing institutions which separated us from the "savages" and the lawless. Now there are those among us anxiously backsliding to the late 19th Century.

I'm not offering glib solutions here or pointing fingers. This post is just to share my mixed emotions; admiration, disgust, despair, hope. I just wonder what crooked path we are being led down and when we, as a civilized society, will decide together that it's time to find another way.


Friday, October 13, 2006

A Question For Paul Ryan

If one of you from the eastern edge of my readership should happen to find yourself in the same room as Paul Ryan (It could happen. I went to a Lorge meet and greet.) would you ask him a question for me? Just get him on the record, please by asking,

"If the Republicans retain the majority in the House next month will
you vote for Denny Hastert for Speaker?"

I'd just like to hear what he has to say about leadership. It'd be fun to get Flyin'Jim on record as well but I think that's a little less likely.

Louis Shares His Reasons

Rock Netroots shares the reasons that Jenifer Keach deserves your vote for coroner.

What Do The Authors Say?

We can banter and bicker about what the second sentence of the Anti-Marriage Amendment means, but what does it mean to those who wrote the accursed thing?

“By putting 'substantially similar,' we're asking the court to step in.”
- Scott Fitzgerald in an interview on WIBA, March 17, 2004, when
asked if the second sentence would impact domestic partner benefits

“If there are lawsuits filed in regard to it, the lawsuits are going to
come down the way I'm stating they're going to come down and that's just the way the legislation's been structured and that's clear in the legislative intent as well as in the language.”

- MarkGundrum guaranteeing he knows how courts will rule on the second
sentence. Madison WISC-TV, Channel 3, Feb. 20, 2006

Sounds like pandering to activist judges and limiting the rights of all citizens to me. Wisconsin doesn't need this amendment to be strong. Vote "No."

North Korea Timeline- Who Let What Happen? When?

From Think Progress

Mid-1980s: First signs of North Korea nuclear program detected by US intelligence. [Link]
1986: North Korea produces plutonium in reactor. [Link]

1991: US begins talks with North Korea to end to nuclear program. [Link]
1992: North Korea has separated an estimated 0-10kg of weapons-grade plutonium, enough for 1 to 2 bombs.

1993: North Korea announces it will leave nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty; US prepares to attack nuclear sites. [Link, Link]
1994: Clinton Administration reaches Agreed Framework, North Korea freezes nuclear production for the next eight years. [Link]
August 1998: North Korea tests medium-range “Taep’o-dong-1″ missile. [Link]
December 1998: North Korea warns they will test another missile, but pressure from US dissuades them. [Link]
September 1999: Pyongyang agrees to long-range missile moratorium. [Link]
October 2000: Secretary of State Madeleine Albright is highest ranking US official to ever meet with Kim Jong Il.

March 6, 2001: Secretary of State Colin Powell says the administration will “pick up where President Clinton left off.” [Link]
March 7, 2001: President Bush undercuts Powell, declares negotiations will take on a different tone. [Link]
January 2002: Bush labels North Korea a member of the “Axis of Evil.” [Link]
March 2003: United States invades Iraq. [Link]
April 2003: North Korea withdraws from the Non-Proliferation Treaty; soon thereafter, they restart their reactor. [Link]
April 2005: North Korea appears to unload nuclear reactor with up to another 15 kg of weapons-grade plutonium. [Link]
September 19, 2005: In six-party talks North Korea agrees to abandon its nuclear program in exchange for incentives package. [Link]
September 19, 2005: US labels bank that provides financial support for North Korean Government Agencies as “money laundering concern.” Bank freezes North Korean assets; causes collapse of September 2005 agreement. [Link]
June 2006: North Korea is believed to have now produced enough plutonium for 4 to 13 nuclear bombs. [Link]
July 2006: North Korea tests missiles: one medium-range and five short-range. Medium-range “Taep’o-dong-2 fails. [Link]
October 3, 2006: Kim Jong Il announces North Korea plans to test nuclear weapons.
October 4, 2006: North Korea asserts that nuclear test is a measure to “bolstering its nuclear deterrent as a self-defense measure.” [Link]
Mid-2008: If North Korea unloads another batch of fuel, it may have enough nuclear material for 8 to 17 nuclear bombs. [Link]
– Rachel Weise

I'm Sorry, Did You Bring Facts Into This Room?

The headline kind of sums up the last 3 years.

Bush dismisses Iraq death toll study

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Mark Warner Isn't Running For President

How much does this change things?

Probably, not much.

Dear Jim,

Nine months ago, I left the office of Governor in Virginia. I was immensely proud of what we had accomplished. We faced historic challenges and got real results.

Upon leaving office, I committed all my time and energy to Forward Together because we need a new direction in America.

Everywhere I’ve traveled, I found hope that we could turn this country around. That Americans are looking for leaders who at this moment of enormous challenge for our country can actually bring us together and get things done.

I’ve heard that regardless of the depth of dismay at the direction President Bush has taken our country, rank and file Democrats are energized, and want ours to be a party of hope, not of anger.
I am especially proud of the work we’ve done in supporting those kinds of candidates throughout America.
We got a lot done.

Forward Together has contributed more money this year to Democratic candidates and party organizations than any other federal leadership PAC. Our effort raised over $9 million.

I headlined 86 events in 25 states to help raise or directly donate $7.3 million to Democrats this cycle.
And our work is not done—especially at home in Virginia, where I continue to work to help Jim Webb win.
But this has also been another kind of journey—one that would lead to a decision as to whether I would seek the Democratic nomination for President.

Late last year, I said to Lisa and my girls, “Let’s go down this path and make a decision around Election Day.”

But there were hiring decisions and people who’ve put their lives on hold waiting to join this effort.
So about a month ago, I told my family and people who know me best that I would make a final decision after Columbus Day weekend, which I was spending with my family. After 67 trips to 28 states and five foreign countries, I have made that decision.

I have decided not to run for President.

This past weekend, my family and I went to Connecticut to celebrate my Dad’s 81st birthday, and then we took my oldest daughter Madison to start looking at colleges.

I know these moments are never going to come again. This weekend made clear what I’d been thinking about for many weeks—that while politically this appears to be the right time for me to take the plunge—at this point, I want to have a real life.

And while the chance may never come again, I shouldn’t move forward unless I’m willing to put everything else in my life on the back burner.

This has been a difficult decision, but for me, it’s the right decision.

It’s not a decision I have easily reached. I made it after a lot of discussion with my family and a few close friends, and ultimately a lot of reflection, prayer, and soul-searching.

Let me also tell you what were not the reasons for my decision.

This is not a choice that was made based on whether I would win or lose. I can say with complete conviction that—15 months out from the first nomination contests—I feel we would have had as good a shot to be successful as any potential candidate in the field.

As for my family, Lisa and our three girls have always had a healthy amount of skepticism, but would have been willing to buckle down and support the effort. I love them all and appreciate their faith in me.

So what’s next?

First, I know that many friends, staff and supporters who have been so generous with time, ideas, energy, and financial support will be disappointed.

My decision does not in any way diminish my desire to be active in getting our country fixed. It doesn’t mean that I won’t run for public office again.

I want to serve, whether in elective office or in some other way. I’m still excited about the possibilities for the future.

In the short-term, I am going to do everything I can do make sure Democrats win in 2006. It’s an exciting year to be a Democrat. I leave shortly to go to Iowa to support folks running for state and congressional office. Hope they are still excited to see me.

I want to thank the thousands of Americans who have donated to Forward Together, hosted me in their homes, shared their ideas, and given me encouragement.

I also want to thank all of the staff and key advisors at Forward Together who have created a great organization. If we had chosen to go forward, I know they had the skills, talent, and dedication to take us all the way.

And finally, as I have traveled the country, I have been amazed at what pent-up positive energy for change exists.

In my speeches, I always acknowledge that what disappoints me most about this administration in Washington is that with all the challenges we face . . . and the tragedies we have experienced, from 9-11 to Katrina . . . that the President has never rallied the American people to come together, to step up, to ask Americans to be part of the solution.

I think a number of our party’s potential candidates understand that. I think, in fact, we have a strong field. A field of good people. I think they’re all hearing what I heard: that Americans are ready to do their part to get our country fixed. I wish them all well.

And I want to say thanks to all who’ve been part of this effort.

Mark Warner

On Wall Building

In honor of Drinking Right and of the Sensennbrenner/Green (et al) Wall.

So, these three guys are shipwrecked on a desert island and a lamp washes up on shore. They get together and one of them rubs it and a genie pops out.

"Because you've freed me from the lamp," says the genie, now twenty feet tall, "I'll grant you each one wish."

"Corn," says the guy from Iowa. "I miss seeing corn so much. Can you take us where there is corn?" And...poof!

They are all standing on a small rise, surrounded by corn. Tall, straight and impossibly green corn. As far as the eye can see, nothing but gorgeous corn with big, fat ears in rows that fade into the distance.

And the guy from Illinois says, "Dope! You could have had anything. Anything in the world and you wished for corn. I am so sick of you people. You come across I-80, driving in the left lane at 7 under with your turn signal on and you're stupid. I just wish there was a wall around Illinois to keep stupid people out."

And the genie says, "I can do that," poof...and there is a wall around Illinois. Thirty feet tall, ten feet thick, no doors, no windows, no seams.

The guy from Illinois says, "Bless you. That's the kind of wall I'm talking about."

And the guy from Wisconsin, he says, "That's really cool. Can you fill that up with beer?"

Jess Gets All Philosophical On Us

This might be one of the strangest posts ever.
NY plane incident

So, we worried it might be a terrorist, and it was a New York Yankee. How weird is that?
(It was a coincidence, Jess. You've fixated on Kevin Barrett for so long that you're starting to sound like him. Not everything is a conspiracy.)

NEW YORK (CNN) -- Yankees pitcher Cory Lidle was the sole person aboard the plane that crashed Wednesday into a high-rise apartment building in New York, FBI officials told CNN.

Lingering question: How, exactly, did a plane - small or not - manage to crash into a NY building? (Um, it had a fuel problem, went off course out of control and freakin' crashed) Aren't we supposed to have people guarding against that now? (No. We're supposed to have people guarding our ports but the funding for that has been slashed by the Bush/Green bunch. They did it at the same time they were gutting funding for school security programs.) What if a terrorist DID commandeer a small plane? (They'd probably do about as much damage as this one did. Two dead [the pilots] and three apartments burned.)

Wouldn't anyone stop them? (Not unless JBvH got anti-aircraft guns for the RV. Yeah, that's it. Allow teachers to carry anti-aircraft guns. Go to work, Jess. Your posts get all paranoid and foolish when you post before you've talked yourself down.).

Buried In The Comments- Local Stories Of Interest

There are a couple of things going on in Evansville that deserve wider play. Some discussion of these things has been going on in the comments to a couple of posts.

What is the progress on hiring a new City Administrator? The Review ran an ad asking for candidates this week, 100 or more dys after the position opened. The comments show us the focus of the search right now.

Some users of the new skate park struggled with boundaries and it's going to cost the City to fix the damage. Do you blame the park when you can't pinpoint the abusers? Check out the comments.

Honest, Mom! The Bed Was On Fire When I Laid Down On It

John McCain says that the Bush administration has been so ineffectual that they should face no responsibility for anything that has happened for the last 6 years.

Tsunami? Clinton's fault

Cheney shot a guy? Hilary's fault

Now, in the interest of not playing the blame game, McCain assigns some blame. It's our fault. The way that the senator is moving to his right you'd think he was trying out for a job at shortstop.

The Bureau Of ATF Gets An 'A'

Unfortunately, the grade was on the former director's nephew's homework assignment. Your CEO Administration at work:

The nephew's project — a documentary about the ATF that took 10 months to
complete — was one of a half-dozen examples of lapses in judgment Carl J.
Truscott committed before he resigned in August, says the report by Justice
Department Inspector General Glenn A. Fine.

The report found that only the high school project demonstrated
mismanagement by Truscott, whose employees accused him of wasting federal funds, taking costly trips and creating a hostile work environment.

The man who recently departed as director of the Bureau of Alcohol,
Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives ordered his staff to help with his nephew's
high school homework.

An estimated 20 ATF employees were pulled in to help with the documentary,
spending dozens of hours on research, pulling film footage from the agency's
library and setting up interviews with Truscott and other officials in
Washington and Philadelphia.

Congressman Green Is An Extreme Copycat, Too

So says Snooglepoop. Check it out for yourself.

h/t to Jay

For Clarity: This story probably means very little in the grand scheme of things. But how many times, in the web and weft of political writing am I going to get a chance to say, "Snooglepoop?"

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Any Questions?

Jimmy Buffett's keyboard player, Michael Utley

George Bush's player-hater, Karl Rove

Ben Writes About Dave Magnum And What Passes For Issues

From Badger Blues
Since he has previously
a desire to run a substantive, issue-based campaign (presumably
about issues other than where to hold some debates), I decided to look up where
Magnum stands on the issues. It’s not an easy task, since his campaign website
doesn’t mention of any of the things that have dominated our political discourse
for the past two years. Nothing on Social Security. Nothing on Medicare Part D.
Nothing on Iraq. Nothing about habeas corpus (although in the debate he
announced the “moderate” position of favoring a sunset provision for torture).
Nothing about tax cuts. Nothing about fiscal responsibility.

It was not always thus.Back in 2004, when the Republicans were not down 23 points
in the polls
, and when George Bush’s approval ratings were not in
the 30s
, Dave Magnum didn’t feel the need to separate himself so much from
the President. He was in favor
of privatizing Social Security
. He supported George Bush’s rejection
of new stem-cell research
. He supported the elimination of the estate tax.
He opposed a woman’s right to choose in almost all cases. He supported the war
in Iraq. He blamed the Republican budget deficits on “the recession”. He was a
conventional George Bush Republican.

Again, Dave Magnum, “moderate” (he says so himself!), wanted to
privatize Social Security.

The Observer Posts The One Letter Everyone In Evansville "Must Read"

Bill Connors writes to the Observer about budget caps.

Did Jennifer's memo say anything about the 2008 budget? The levy limit is
based, in part, on growth in tax base. The tax base recently stopped growing
much outside of the tax incremental districts. The city is adding positions in
the 2007 budget which will create permanent spending increases in 2008, 2009,
etc. The city could find itself in a very tight spot when it puts together its
2008 budget at this time next year.

I hope the city hires a new administrator who is an ace at budgeting and
does not follow Mayor Decker's suggestion to strip the city administrator of
responsibility for the formulating the budget.

Bill Connors
Former City Administrator

Evansville needs a strong administrator soon. Even if the new target date of mid-November is viable we will still have been without a pro running the city for more than 5 months.

You Can't Tell The Players Without A Scorecard

There will be 5 forums of interest to Rock County voters Wednesday night, according to the Gazette.

At UW-Rock County in the All-Purpose Room in Hyatt-Smith Hall:

6 p.m.: Coroner candidates Democrat Jenifer Keach (i), Republican Brad Farrell and Independent Melissa Haverley.
6:45 p.m.: Sheriff candidates Democrat Robert Spoden, Republican Scott Wasemiller and Independent Gary Keller.
7:30 p.m.: Assembly District 44 candidates Democrat Mike Sheridan (i) and Republican Fred Yoss.
8:15 p.m.: Senate District 15 candidates Democrat Judy Robson (i) and Republican Greg Addie.

The forums are moderated by the League of Women Voters and open to the public. Candidates will begin with an introductory statement, and then members of the League will ask prepared questions, as well as questions submitted by the candidates.

At Beloit College in the Oscar Mayer Hall:

At 7 p.m. Wednesday at Beloit College a forum with Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin and her Republican challenger, Dave Magnum, in the race for the Second Congressional District.

Monday, October 09, 2006

Can Somebody Share The 411?

Does anybody out there know about skateboarders in the pool? Wanna share?

It Could Have Been Worse

They might have used the horse's picture.

"George Bush Is Not The Future"

Who said that?

Hillary Clinton? Charles Rangel? John Kerry? Nope, none of them.

It was Republican Dave Magnum during a debate with Tammy Baldwin, doing his best to run like a bunny from the stink in Washington.
"The fact is I'm not George Bush and George Bush is not the future," said

Is it possible that Magnum is smarter than Congressman Green and Gard the Annointed? Does he see what they cannot?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Republicans Against Theoretical Sex

Hastert and crew are defending their decisions when faced with actual sexual misconduct while GOP candidates are running ads attacking incumbents who voted to fund the NIH which, in turn, uses a small portion of its grant system to fund sexual health research.

North Carolina candidate Vernon Robinson used an ad to attack the incumbent, Rep Brad Miller, last month and ignited a storm of controversy. Now, Paul Nelson has plagiarized the offending ad for his campaign against Rep Ron Kind in Wisconsin. Nelson's spokeswoman, Sheila Mealey, says the ads are similar. Watch the ads yourself and decide. Then check out the comments at TPM Cafe for the discussion.

Updated: McBride saw a story about the ad. Then she missed the story behind it.

On Increasing Headcount At City Hall

There has been discussion about having the city and the Chamber of Commerce jointly fund a "go-to" position for economic development in Evansville. The Economic Development Committee recommended that the city fund 40% of such a position to the tune of $12,000 a year.

The position was not funded in the latest budget proposal, mainly due to WERP restrictions but could be resurrected by cuts to other programs.

To my mind, this position would be a waste of city dollars. The whole point is to have one place to call for those looking to invest in the city and to drive economic, rather than residential, growth in the city. The best possible solution to that would be to fill the vacant City Administrator's position with someone who will aggressively represent the city.

Too often in the past, the City Administrator has been turned into a hand-holder for residential development at the expense of much needed Industrial and Commercial business. Teaming with the CoC in those duties will result in a conflict of interest for either the city or the Chamber that could quickly become untenable. While there are mutual benefits to be driven by new business in town, there are also situations that would benefit the city while contradicting the mission of the Chamber.

In order to best benefit the city we need to fill the Administrator's position soon (the newest target date is 11/16) with someone to serve as a lightning rod for the interests of the city and the taxpayers. Funding a position for the CoC is not in the best interests of either group.

One who serves two masters serves neither well. (Matt. 6:24)

Newest Republican Response To Misfeasance In Office By Hastert And His Posse?

Blame Steve Kagen.

The NRCC, led by the Federally embattled Tom Reynolds, has dumped nearly $8
million into attacking challengers in Republican held districts.

Nevermind that Reynolds, the man in charge of finding and developing Republican candidates is so insecure in his own race that he doesn't mention his party affiliation on his own website.

I Guess It's True. Men Are Idiots

Leann Real promised her husband, an avid sports fan, that if they ever had
a son he'd get to pick the name. ESPN Montana Real was born this week at Biloxi
Regional Medical Center.

From the AP

The CEO Administration's Trickle Down Corruption


Federal agents have arrested two current employees and one former employee of the
Federal Emergency Management Agency in an undercover sting operation.

Agents said the sting caught the men trying to sell air conditioning units which were stolen from FEMA trailers being stored in Baton Rouge. The arrested men were Byron Basil, 29, of Plaquemine; Leroy Thomas Jr., 37, of Baton Rouge; and Byron Hardesty, 37, of Baker.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

New GOP Plan: Punish The Pages

Rep Ray LaHood has called for the Page Program to be suspended calling it a flawed program. From the Oregonian:
Either today's House members are less capable of being trusted around
16-year-olds, or today's 16-year-olds -- as one conservative voice suggested
Tuesday -- are more dangerous and seductive.
To liberate House members from this unbearably suggestive atmosphere, from now on their errands might have to be run by prison trusties, or possibly elderly British nannies -- unless congressmen just decide to eliminate the middlemen and replace the teenagers with lobbyists.
Last night on John Williams' WGN Radio show LaHood was asked if he thought other pages were in peril. "Well," he said, "There are other gays in Congress."

So there you have it. The issue isn't a predator in Congress. It isn't the failure of Republican Leadership (of which Foley was a part) to investigate or communicate. The issue isn't the cover-up or the CYA attitude in Dennis Hastert's Office. It's all about them gays.

Yesterday Hastert said that he takes full responsibility but that he will take no action to hold himself accountable. Although his words said, "The Buck stops here," he made it very clear that his search continues for someone to whom he can pass the buck. That seems to be a common theme in Washington over the last 6 years, doesn't it?

Related: Seth says, "It's the cover-up, stupid!"

Update: The Republican from Utah puts the blame where it belongs; on the page's parents.
"Frankly, this is the responsibility of the parents," (Rep Chris) Cannon
said. "If you get online you may find people who are creepy. There are creepy
people out there who will do and say creepy things. Avoid them. That's what you
have to do. And maybe we can say that a little more to the pages."
After all, Ray Lahood says that Congress is a creepy place.

How Much Safer Do You Feel?

I know that you must have felt safer last week when the TSA confiscated my purple Sharpie at the Madison airport. But, how much safer does this make you feel?
More than 30,000 airline passengers have asked just one agency — the
Transportation Security Administration — to have their names cleared from the
lists, according to the Government Accountability report.

Or this?
He said an agreement reached Friday between the U.S. and the European would
help prevent people from being misidentified. The agreement calls for airlines
to submit 34 pieces of data — including names, addresses and credit card details
— about passengers flying from Europe to the United States.
Even if you're comfortable giving up your liberty, are you willing to trust this administration with your credit card info?

Arts In Evansville

On October 13, the very talented singer & songwriter, Becca Tracey, is scheduled to perform at Real Coffee al Gusto. Stop over and have a glass of vino and support a local talent.

Becca is an Evansville HS graduate who went to UW-Madison and got her degree in Education. She later got a teaching job in Nashville where she developed her true love of singing and songwriting. You can visit her website here. Please come out and support her at Real Coffee next Friday night.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Follow The Bouncing Ball

Sykes says he doesn't believe the Drudge Report but posts the story word-for-word anyway.

How long will it take for this drivel to be reposted as Gospel?

Hey, Susan. Mark Graul Still Owes You A Favor

Maybe Susan Ralston can get a job with Graul on Team Green. After all, she's done favors for some of them.

Ryan Supports The Cover-up

Paul Ryan is firmly behind the lack of leadership that has been covering up the actions of the Congressional Predator Foley.
"You are seeing a rally-around-the-speaker effort more than anything else," he

Apparently rhetoric about protecting America's families falls by the wayside when politics kicks in. Southern Wisconsin voters should tape that quote to a note card to carry with them to the polls.

A vote for Paul Ryan is a vote for more of the same.

Related: Xoff wonders who else Paul Ryan supported in this way.

Owen Supports Giving Kevin Barrett A Gun

Dumb idea. 'Nuff said

He Said. The He Said. Then She Said

Denny said:
"I saw Bill Clinton's adviser, Richard Morris, was saying these guys knew about
this all along," he said. "When the base finds out who's feeding this monster,
they're not going to be happy.... The people who want to see this thing blow up
are ABC News and a lot of Democratic operatives, people funded by George Soros."

Then, later, he said instead:
"I only know what I've seen in the press and what I've heard. There's no
ultimate, real source of information, but that's what I've read. And that's what
I've heard in the press." Later, he said he believed that Democrats "don't have
a story to tell. And maybe they're resolving to another way to -- to -- another
political tactic."

Because They said to Denny:
"The Chicago Tribune interview last night--the George Soros defense--was viewed
as incredibly inept," a national Republican official said. "It could have been
written by [comedian] Jon Stewart."

But what did our own Miss Reliable say?

FRIDAY, Oct. 6, 2006, 12:42 a.m.

Authorities: Soros funded group allegedly sat on Foley emails for months and wouldn't cooperate with FBI Liberals are going to end
up snared in their own web.

Washington Post story:In subsequent days, unidentified Justice and FBI officials told reporters that the e-mails provided by CREW were heavily redacted and that the group refused to provide unedited versions to the FBI. One law enforcement official -- speaking on the condition of anonymity to discuss an ongoing investigation -- also told The Washington Post the FBI believed that CREW may have received the e-mails as early as April and that the group refused to tell the FBI how they were
obtained.CREW is a liberal group funded by Soros. The group denies the

We can count on Jess to get to the story late and wrong.

That Didn't Take Long

I haven't been heading out of town to the north very much because of the construction on Madison Street. Some time between last Wednesday when I went out that way and this Tuesday when I got back from our little getaway the new speed limit signs went up.

The rationale for the 45 mph zone was to slow traffic on the hill and to make it safer for turning vehicles along that stretch. There has been a problem with some drivers ignoring the 35 mph limit at the bottom of the hill and passing inappropriately before the top of the hill or passing turning cars on the right going up the hill.

The letter in the Review which asked for the reduced limit to the top of the hill said that a new, lower limit woiuld make the hill safer and traffic flow smoother.

Yesterday was the first time that I went to work that way. I made the mistake of obeying the limit. The young woman in the SUV didn't even put down her phone while she passed me as soon as the solid yellow line started. She didn't look overly concerned about the school bus coming over the hill in the lane she was using.

If the new speed zone is going to work the DOT needs to put some signage or flags up to call attention to it. Then the County and the City need to set up some concentrated enforcement to send the message home to the Earnhardt wannabes headed for the big city. There is nothing like a ticket-blizzard to make a message clear.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

It Seems That I Misunderestimated Frank

I've often accused State Rep Frank Lassee of plucking on a one-note banjo. His monomaniacal pursuit of an artificial stranglehold on taxes is the stuff of legend. He's been willing to sign on to or co-author every version of TABOR/TPA that has come through the lege. But now he's added another arrow to his quiver of bad ideas.

In the wake of the tragedies in Weston and Colorado and Pennsylvania Frank has decided that what we need is more guns in our schools. Lassee is introducing a bill to allow school personnel to carry guns at work.

Frank thinks that a good dose of vigilante justice is needed in Wisconsin. He thinks that small arms will put the civilization back in Western Civ. Lunch ladies will be packing more than sandwiches. When the janitor says he has to "sweep the hall" everyone will duck for cover.

Whatever happened to thoughtful discourse and statesmanship? One candidate for Rock County sheriff says that we can solve society's problems by shooting the mentally ill and now a legislator is proposing, with a straight face, that we arm our Home-Ec teachers.

What the hell is happening here? Will we ever be able to get the grown-ups back in charge in Wisconsin?

Update: Carrie reminds us that a lot of Lassee's colleagues have already voted once to put guns on playgrounds away from schools.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Signs In The Lobby

We stopped to check out a "rustic" motel west of Boulder last Saturday. The two signs in the lobby said;

In case of flash flood, climb to safety.

What to do if you encounter a mountain lion...

We headed back into town and found a spot with a nice, indoor, Jacuzzi.

Denny Sez'

If you're calling for accountability, the terrorists win.

Update: The Bucher woman blames the media.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Do You Want To Know How To Do It Wrong?

Carrie has a list of the candidates willing to sign on to the failed theory behind TPA or TABOR or whatever other foolishness it'll be called this time. Eight straight years of failure and these folks are signing up for more.

Colorado is just only now starting to dig itself out from under the mess that TABOR has wrought in that state. I just got back from a long weekend in Boulder and can share one of the other effects of this mindset, the one that says, "Let's vote on it."

Next month the good people of Boulder will be asked to vote on no fewer than 19 ballot measures. They have their own version of the referendum to restrict marital rights and benefits alongside votes on annexations and bond issues.

Representative Democracy has been choked to death in Colorado by the forces of meaningless pledges. Votes that should have been taken by duly elected County Boards and School Boards and City Councils are stacked up like cordwood waiting to be burned off on election day.

Most voters struggle to understand the issues that separate one candidate from another beyond the top of the ticket. To expect them to offer informed votes on 20 referenda at a time is disingenuous at best and negligent at worst.

Take a look at the list of candidates willing to abdicate their judgment to campaigns of rancor and special interest money. Note that these candidates are willing to "Put it up for a vote," a vote that will be fought over by the same special interest money running ads in the two referenda measures in Wisconsin.

It's past time to vote for candidates willing to make the hard decisions in Madison. Election Finance Reform, School Funding Formulas and the future of our infrastructure are the needs of this state. It's past time to reject sloganeering and vote instead for some statesmen and women willing to do more than pander.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

The MSM Sees The Problem

Jessica McBride, a radio personality (if you will) with WTMJ in Milwaukee says it plain:
Green is underperforming in the Valley. More people are getting to know him, but
he's got a problem with senior citizens, and his negatives are rising faster
than his positives, likely due to the bad press/Doyle attack ads about
Washington and... this.

Congressman Green has done little to distance himself from the Bush administration except ducking out on the picture taking with Dick Cheney's Money last week. I'm not sure why McBride thinks others will do it for him.

Just Exactly How Bad Is This Problem?

Taken from a Joint Statement from Speaker Hastert, Majority Leader Boehner and Majority Whip Blunt on the Congressman Foley Matter:
We have also asked for the creation of a toll-free telephone number for House
Pages, parents, grandparents, and staff to confidentially report incidents of

Do they expect a lot of calls? Enough to keep an operator busy 24/7? Or is this a CYA move on the part of failed leadership who knew about the problems Foley was creating and chose to do nothing about it? Do they believe there are other Congressmen preying on pages?