Thursday, August 30, 2007

Disenfranchisement! Hypocrisy! Horror!

Will this be the end of the Republic?????

Umm. Not really. Go back to what you were doing. Some folks just aren't used to following the rules and they get all goofy when they see someone else doing it.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Simple Question

How can a party claim to be the party that is reducing taxes when one of their budget proposals is a tax increase?

GOP tries to cut state tax credit program

For Wilma Mitchell of Waupun, $700 is a lot of money.

That 's the amount the 63-year-old retired factory worker usually receives each year through a state tax credit on the property taxes on her three-bedroom home. That 's also the amount Mitchell stands to lose under cuts to a tax credit program for low-income homeowners and renters contained in the Assembly Republican budget.

The changes to the Homestead Tax Credit would strip single residents under 65 like Mitchell out of the program -- $80 million in net cuts to the program over two years that would affect more than 81,000 state residents, according to the nonpartisan Legislative Fiscal Bureau.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Agenda: Public Works: Tuesday, August 28, 2007: 6.00pM


The regular meeting of the Public Works Committee for the City of Evansville will be held on the date and time stated below at Public Works Garage, 535 South Madison Street, Evansville, Wisconsin. Notice is further given that members of the City Council might be in attendance.

Click the title for the full agenda at the Observer's Agenda Blog

What's The Difference?

What is the difference between the Iraqi Parliament and the Wisconsin Budget Conference Committee?

The Iraqi Parliament wasn't collecting per diems during August.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Flood Damage Assesments Requested By Evansville and By Rock County

More information on reporting flood damage is available on the City website. The city's posting is below the Rock County posting here.

(Scroll down for new posts)

Here is a link to the Residential Damage Reporting Form and one to the form for reporting damage to your Business.

I'll make this a sticky to stay at the top until the Monday deadline.


Possible Federal Preliminary Damage Assessments for Rock County

Residents asked to Report Flood Damage

Wisconsin Emergency Management is requesting Rock County gather information to determine whether the recent flash flood events warrant a Preliminary Damage Assessment by FEMA inspectors. FEMA will conduct assessments in Crawford, Richland, Vernon, Sauk and La Crosse Counties due to significant flood damage in that region. Depending on reports gathered from other southern Wisconsin counties, including Rock County, the Governor may request the FEMA teams extend visits to those counties next week.

Significant flash flooding occurred in parts of Rock County during the period of August 18-20. Reports of in excess of 6 inches of rain fell in northern Rock County over that weekend. Rock County Emergency Management has contacted local municipalities to request their assistance in gather flood damage reports from private homeowners and businesses. The Cities of Evansville, Edgerton, Janesville and Milton as well as the Villages of Clinton, Footville and Orfordville have agreed to assist with gathering information from local residents and businesses. Residents of the rural towns in Rock County should contact Rock County Emergency Management at 758-8440.

It is very important that homeowners, renters or businesses that incurred damage as a result of the heavy rainfall that began Saturday, August 18th report damages. Forms to report damage can be obtained through the local municipality or the Rock County Website at . Completed forms should be returned to the local municipality by Monday morning. Information submitted will be compiled in a summary report and sent to the State of Wisconsin. Individual assistance in the form of either grants or loans for private residents and business may be available according to Wisconsin Emergency Management depending on the extent of damages.


Wisconsin Emergency Management is requesting preliminary damage information from the heavy rainfalls August 18-20. If you have had damage due to the recent rains, please complete the appropriate form and return to the city. Forms need to be returned as soon as possible; the deadline is Monday, August 27.

Rock County Press Release
Residential Damage Form
Business Damage Form

Completed forms can be submitted in person at City Hall (31 South Madison Street), deposited in the after-hours dropbox at City Hall, faxed to 608-882-2282, or emailed to Our rural neighbors should contact Rock County at 608-758-8440.

Please note that this does not mean that damages sustained in Evansville or Rock County will be eligible for FEMA relief. It is simply a preliminary step to help state and federal officials determine if damages were severe or wide spread enough to warrant declaring an emergency for Rock County.

If you have had damage, it may be helpful to take photos of the damage. But please do not submit photos with your completed form; if needed, they will be requested later.

In Other News

Castro Might Be Dead

Probably not

Fred Might Be Running

Not legally, anyway

Sunday, August 26, 2007

A Perfect Day

The rain has taken a break. The Lovely Mrs Circumstance and I took an early Saturday train from Harvard into Chicago. We had an early lunch at Heaven on Seven on Wabash.

She had two 4 oz crab cakes and I had a platter of the jambalaya. We started with the gumbo and a jalapeno cornbread muffin. The Abita Turbodog was so cold that it could have be sacramental.

Then we took in a matinee of Wicked at the Oriental Theater. It was all we'd hoped and more. There is nothing to compare to live theater.

We caught the 5:30 back to Harvard and had a late steak in Janesville and were still home by 10 o'clock.

I hope your day was as good or better.

Fred Says (Plausible Deniability Edition)

CIA Director Marshall: What's all this top secret business I've been hearing about over at the Pentagon?

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fred Says (On Military Operations)

Admiral Josh Painter: This business will get out of control. It will get out of control and we'll be lucky to live through it.

Monday, August 20, 2007

Six Minutes For My Neighbors

Fred Says (Self-deprecation Edition)

Trudeau: What the hell is that supposed to mean? I know we're all dummies up here, McClane, but give us a little taste of your brilliant genius! What are we talking about, a hijacking ...

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Greatest Hits Blogging

Just because I can.

Try singing these posts to the tempo of two dueling sump pumps.

Some of you will find these funnier than others.

It's An Honor Just To Be Nominated

But, it is truly a gas to win.

I've been nominated again for MRQ of the week after winning the prestigious award for MRQ of the Month of July at Realdebate.

Do me the kindness, please, of going over to Fred's and voting for the quote about the tan Buick on the right hand side, there.


Real-World Lessons

As a palate cleanser for the Sykester's ramblings and self-promotion a who's who of the left side of the Cheddarsphere put their heads together and came up with their own 50+ things.

Pundit Nation has the full list. Jay gets credit for the artwork.

Monday, August 13, 2007

What's The Difference?

Today there are twice as many Thompsons not officially running for President.

Why The Dogs Didn't Go After Sykes

Professional courtesy.

Bush To Leave His Brain Deep In the Heart of Texsa

The Dark Prince has announced his retirement. Has he simply had enough or have the chicken entrails fortold of bad cess to follow?

Sunday, August 12, 2007

True Love and Pirates

Go now. Go tonight and see Stardust. It's funny and adventurous and beautifully imagined.

It's amazing to me that in a movie with Sienna Miller, Kate McGowan and Claire Danes that they would not be the most breathtakingly good-looking stars. Michelle Pfeiffer is back and looking as stunning as ever.

This movie is from the director of Layer Cake, another movie that I really enjoyed a lot. Stardust was taken from a story by Neil Gaiman and carries his wit and fancy.

I liked this movie a lot.

Fred Says (Relationship Edition)

CIA Director Marshall: Well, spilt milk. And you can forget about Pritchard. He's homosexual.

Kevin O'Brien: I'll be damned.

CIA Director Marshall: So will he, if you believe the Old Testament.

Friday, August 10, 2007

A Comment For Chasin' (Since Comments are closed over there)

I'm willing to bet that your Dad did more than a little maintainence of woodland. It has to have the brush and deadwood taken out to prevent fires and snags. It has to have selective cutting done for the health of the remainder.

As to creek maintenence, it's less often and less obvious but no less important. I can remember pulling rocks and clearing debris in the Spring on Narrows Creek.

You can ask any beautiful woman. It takes a lot of work to maintain a Natural look.

A Riddle or More

When does an easement become a flood?

What can overwhelm a system that works the rest of the time?

If you build your property up, what becomes of those who are below?

Fred Says (Foreign Trade Edition)

Big John: If you two wanna turn yourselves into a greasy spot out on a country road somewhere, go right ahead. I don't give a s**t and I don't think anybody else does, but you two monkeys are not going to do it on my racetrack. You ever heard of a "Japanese Inspection?" Japanese Inpsection, you see, when the Japs take in a load of lettuce they're not sure they wanna let in the country, why they'll just let it sit there on the dock 'til they get good and ready to look at, But then of course, it's all gone rotten... ain't nothing left to inspect. You see, lettuce is a perishable item... like you two monkeys.
You trade paint one more time, you so much as touch, I'm gonna Black Flag the two of you, and tear apart your racecars for three-hundred laps. Then, if you pass inspection and you put your cars back together, I might let you back into the race. Now, just to show there's no hard feelings we're all gonna go to dinner together.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

No Real Than You Are

It's Ego Leonard! Coming soon to a beach near you?

Just Another Baseball

I hope that guy cashed in on 756 yesterday because this morning it's just part of an old record.

A guy who has had troubles with his own legacy says that History will judge Barry.

Asked on Fox News if he recognized Bonds as the legitimate home run
champion, Bush said, "There is a lot of speculation about Barry Bonds, and my
only advice for people is to just let history be the judge. Let's find out the
facts, and then everybody's opinion, one way or the other, will be verified or
not verified."

"In the meantime, however, I think it's appropriate to recognize this man can hit the baseball," Bush added.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

How Do You Know You've Had a Bad Twenty Four Hours?

When you come home and your back yard is on the front page of the paper.

Something For Sean To Work On

Congratulations to Sean Hackbarth on his new position working for the First Alternate. Maybe he should start by working on this.

Fred Thompson Relaunches Web Site, No Word On Candidacy
Fred Thompson's undeclared campaign today relaunched the Web site of his
testing-the-waters committee. The revamped design of looks very similar to declared candidates, including features such as a "Volunteer HQ,"
downloadable widgets, and rudimentary social networking. The content may be
still be under construction however as the menu "Principles" only has one item, (emphasis mine, g) labeled "Federalism." Then again, maybe he hasn't declared other issues yet.

There'll be plenty of time to borrow somebody else's priciples later, I'm sure.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Dean got me with the latest meme that's going around. Now, I'm supposed to share 8 random things about myself.

Thing 00: The Lovely Mrs Circumstance and I have 5 grown children between us, including three 26 year old men.

Thing 01: I have driven more than 2.5 million miles but never lived more than 150 miles from where I was born.

Thing 02: I once debated, and won a trophy, as part of a team from Mother Guerin, an all-girls Catholic High School in Chicago. The topic was "Should Public Schools be paid for using property taxes?" I'm glad we settled all that 30 years ago.

Thing 03: I'm a SF snob. Books. Not media, thank you ever-so-much. But I did like the Tom Baker Doctor Who.

Thing 04: Somehow, I have turned into The Guy Who Drives The Tan Buick.

Thing 05: I was the drum major in High School. I can twirl a baton. Not well, but I can do it.

Thing 06: Every magazine that has published one of my articles has gone belly-up. Probably no relation.

Thing 07: I have helped to build two airplanes. Both of them are still flying twenty five years later.

Now I'm supposed to tag 8 more folks to publish 8 random things. I'll tag Richard, Nathan, The Mom, Chasin', TMB and IT. The other two slots I'll leave open for you two.

Friday, August 03, 2007

A Note To Reince

Dear Mr Priebus

Do you want to start rebuilding your party? Do you want to reach out and bring back the fiscally and socially conservative voters who abandoned your party in the last 6 years? Are you more interested in that than you are in holding tight to the Lasee/Reynolds crowd?

Then you should listen to this guy:
He began benignly enough, using an anecdote about going to Disney World
with his grandchildren to explain an epiphany he'd had about the value of not
"thinking like a Republican." From there Gingrich moved into waters the students
surely did not expect. He cited the Detroit school system, where a black male is
more likely to go to prison than graduate from high school.

"How can we tolerate systems more likely to send young Americans to
prison than college?" asked Gingrich. "Republicans have this maniacally dumb
idea of red versus blue. They say Detroit is a blue place, so we're not going to
go there."

And he was just getting started.

"Republican political doctrine has been a failure," Gingrich said.
"Look at New Orleans. How can you say that was a success? Look at Baghdad ...
We've been in charge for six years and I don't think you can look around and say
that was a great success.

"We have got to get beyond this political bologna. I'm not allowed to
say anything positive about
Hillary Clinton because
then I'm not a loyal Republican, and she's not allowed to say anything positive
about me because then she's not a loyal Democrat. What a stupid way to run a
country." This last line he nearly spat out, expressing what seemed like genuine
outrage. But the response was muted. Tepid applause bubbled up and then died
within seconds.

Inhofe had recommended the students read Michael Crichton's "
State of Fear" to learn about the global warming hoax, but
Gingrich suggested they pick up newly elected French Prime Minister Nicolas

And finally, when it seemed he'd been as blasphemous as he could
possibly be, Gingrich pulled out a whopper: "None of you should believe we are
winning this war," he said, referring to the so-called war on terror. "We are in
a phony war ... we have not been taking this seriously."

I have no idea if he's had an epiphany or if he's simply trying to stir the pot. Either way it's a message that will ring true with people you're not reaching now, Mr Priebus.

Aww, Dude! Rocketbelts

It's time for the 2007 Rocketbelt Convention already. How does a year fly by so fast?

Dude, it has a rocketbelt!

Justice Doesn't Always Bring Joy To the Heart

Hainstock guilty of first-degree intentional homicide

One For; One Against

I am amazed. One reads headlines from countries around the world in which a fruit stand collapses and 35 people are killed. In Minneapolis as many as 100 vehicles rode a bridge deck down 65 feet and because of safety regulations and practices we are looking at 4 dead and 8 missing.

I know that many of us feel that the government gets too involved in the way we design and drive our cars but, damn if that ain't something.

Can one of my techie readers help me? I was flabbergasted when Paula Zahn asked the good people of Minneapolis to stay off their cell phones to keep the lines open. I though that one of the benefits of cellular technology was the ability, in areas where enough towers were available, to switch cells and automatically reroute calls. Is that not the case?

Thursday, August 02, 2007

The Big Question

Will they have thought to include the Go-Go-Gophers in the new Underdog movie?

Thoughts On The 35W Bridge Collapse

I have been across that bridge hundreds of times. My thoughts are with the families this morning.

Every truck driver thinks about something like this happening and wonders what they would do. None of them know.

This bridge was barely 40 years old. Parts of our Interstate Highway System are 10 years older than that. Parts of our freeway system are nearly 15 years older than that. Most were not built to carry the loads at the speeds that are being carried today. None of the projections that I see are calling for fewer trucks and cars on the roads in 10 or 20 or 30 years in the future.

Aging infrastructure costs more to rebuild than to maintain.

Update: From Lileks at Strib: This doesn't happen in America.