Tuesday, March 31, 2009

For Clarity

As I am not a "cat person" I will decline to participate in the "Cat-Hat Revolution."

Thank you

He Calls It, "Wasteful Spending." She Calls It Vital.

Just another glimpse at why cries to cut "waste" are so difficult to put into policy. Often the call is being made by someone who doesn't understand the problem.
"Recently there were some comments made about federal spending for volcano
monitoring being wasteful," [Alaska Senator Lisa] Murkowski
from the Senate floor, without naming Jindal directly. "I can assure you that
monitoring volcanoes is critically important to the nation and especially to my
home state of Alaska."
Her comments referred to a rebuttal speech given by Louisiana Governor and Stimulus Denier, Bobby Jindal. Jindal doesn't understand that:
"Volcano monitoring" in some parts of the country is not all that dissimilar
from "hurricane monitoring" on the Gulf Coast.

Monday, March 30, 2009

It's Only Funny In Context

Taken by themselves these two posts are only mildly amusing. Together they rise to the level of polished parody.

Owen defines the perceived threat from the talkers using a quote from Goebbels, completly ignoring the influence of the tranplanted American, Bernays, on Goebbel's ideas.
Fascism and Bolshevism were formed by nothing more nor less than the great
orator, the great shaper of words! There’s no distinction between the
orator and the politician.”

Then our goofy friends at AFP/FBA burnish the threat to a high shine, put it on buses and send it off to the Capitol.
The Rock Star of Radio -
Vicki McKenna
Americans for Prosperity State Director - Mark Block
WTAQ Radio- Green Bay - Jerry Bader
WSAU Radio- Wausau- Pat Snyder
Milwaukee God Squad- Pastor David King
Chairman State GOP- Reince Priebus
Hunters Alliance (HARC) - Tony Ungerer
Wisconsin Family Action - Julaine Appling

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Just A Bit Of Trivia

What was Cool Hand Luke doing time for?

Cutting the heads off parking meters.

He Said-She Said

It's becoming clearer that Tony Evers violated campaign finance laws by emails to Jeff Dickert. Evers switched to his home account when the exchange became political but addressed his emails to Dickert in his work capacity and for that he'll be paying a fine. The Evers campaign contacted the GAB to notify them of the violation.

I look for the same level of hand slapping for Don Pridemore who started off by using his state legislator's email to try to influence the election. There are rumors afoot that there was coordination in that case as well but they have not been substantiated.

The kerfuffles will pass as they always do but one thing strikes me as funny in all of this. Those who spend the most time squawking about who did or didn't address what email which way are the very ones who defended the ethically challenged Justice for using his office phone to arrange a fundraiser.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Just One More Reason To Vote For Tony Evers For DPI

Rose Fernandez is a bureaucracy-creating machine. Beside her call to split up Milwaukee schools into seven separate districts with non-elected boards comes this little reality biscuit from the State Journal's endorsement of her.
Fernandez talks passionately about making sure every child is prepared for a
strong start in school. She's not just interested in more 4-year-old
kindergarten programs. She talks about the potential need for 3-year-old

That seems to be a huge leap. Maybe she wants virtual three-year old Kindergartens.

Need A Lift? Head To West LaFayette

Brett Westcott, a sophomore in civil engineering from Plainfield, Ill., and
Cameron Brown, a sophomore in business management from Toledo, Ohio, stand on a prominent walkway at the center of campus every Wednesday and
to hundreds of passersby.

No ulterior motive. No initiations. No nuffin.

The Lazich Stone Wall Goes Up

James Wigderson has been documenting his frustrations in trying to get clarification from Senator Lazich's office regarding her position on the CRG-led recall of Governor Doyle.

Lazich aide Kevin Fischer called for the recall on his blog at FranklinNow. Since Senator Lazich is not bashful about spreading her message into Rock and Green County via press releases to The Monroe Times and The Evansville Review I was sure that a simple yes/no question would be answered with due speed.

I sent an email to Senator Lazich's office on Friday without expecting an immediate response. The Senator, after all, still has her job.

On Monday I received a response asking for my home address form another aide in Lazich's office, Tricia Sieg, asking for my home address. I replied promptly giving the requested information as well as explaining that I had seen the Senator's releases in my local paper and online and was curious as to her position.

That was two days ago and Tricia has not seen fit to respond to my request. James, on the other hand, has received a response from yet another Lazich aide (she has a bigger posse than Mariah Carey), Lance Burri saying, in effect that the Senator doesn't care what Fischer said even though he adds the weight of her office to the header of his blog and that the Senator hasn't made up her mind about supporting the recall.

In the time it took Ms Sieg to ask my address she could have sent the answer. In the time it took Burri to stonewall James he could have clarified the Senator's position. Why is Senator Lazich loathe to step up and answer the question directly? She's not been bashful about making her positions about the Governor's policies known. She wouldn't even be breaking new ground. Senator Kanavas, himself rumored to be looking at Doyle's seat, has called for the recall effort.

The Senator has time to blog and three aides to help answer her emails. How can she be too busy to answer a yes/no question from a Wisconsin citizen?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stolen, I Say

This pic is blatantly torn from the postings of Jef Hall. It shows the "patriots" opposed to handouts storming an SUV to make sure they get their free t-shirt before they're all gone.

Jef has commentary on a couple other pics from the Green Bay Serious People's Rally and Bridgewalk.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Quick Question

What the Devil is a, "toxic asset?"

If it's an asset it ain't toxic and if it's toxic it surely ain't an asset.

Can we just start calling these "poor decisions made under conditions of little or no regulation" or "wild speculation made with other people's money?"

Sunday, March 22, 2009


The President said something off the cuff that was really stupid last week. I've been a big supporter of Special Olympics for years and have done some work with them at the Area 6 Athletic Events. Let's see how President Obama should have handled the apology according to those who should know.

Taken directly from University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension. Emphasis is mine.

One key to getting along well with people is knowing when to say you're sorry. Sometimes little comments or actions can hurt or offend others. Heavy workloads and stress may keep us from seeing how our actions make others feel. The little things can add up. It doesn't take long for someone to hold a grudge and for grudges to grow into conflicts. In most cases, if someone is offended by something you do or say, it's much better to apologize right away. That solves the small problem and keeps it from getting bigger.

It's hard to apologize. Many of us are ashamed or have too much pride. Sometimes we just don't know how to do it. Here are some tips that may make it easier to say you're sorry.

Take responsibility. The first step in apologizing is to admit to yourself that you have offended someone. You may know this right away, or the other person's reaction may let you know you have done something hurtful. But you must admit you have done wrong and accept responsibility for your actions.

Explain. It's important to let the person you hurt know that you didn't mean to do harm. At the same time, you must show that you take your mistake seriously. Recognize that your actions caused a problem for the other person.

Show your regret. The other person needs to see that you have suffered, too. Come right out and say you are sorry or ashamed. I felt bad the minute I told your secret. I'm ashamed of myself.

Repair the damage. To be complete, an apology must correct the injury. If you damaged someones property, offer to fix it. If the damage isn't so obvious, ask What can I do to make it up to you? There may be nothing concrete you can do, but the offer must be sincere. I'll try to keep my mouth shut in the future. Meantime, let me buy you a cup of coffee. Another way to repair the damage is to send a note or a small gift.

Use good timing. Apologize right away for little things. For example, if you bump into someone, say you're sorry right away. Don't wait until the next day to apologize. However, if you have done something more serious, like insult a friend, your apology should be more thoughtful. A quick apology might seem phony. Take the time to sit down, look the person in the eye, and apologize honestly.

It's not about who "won" or who "lost." It's about keeping a strong friendship.

Written material may be reprinted provided no endorsement of a commercial product is stated or implied. Please credit University of Nebraska Cooperative Extension and the Nebraska Health and Human Services System.

Thoughts On Brackets

LSU is now a four-letter word at my house.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

For What It's Worth

I sent my email to Senator Lazich's office on Friday to ask if she, personally, supports the call for Governor Doyle's recall that was made by her legislative aide and Senator Kanavas.

You'll be surpised to know that no answer has been forthcoming. The count starts on Monday.

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

More Teleprompter Funnies

Irish Prime Minister Brian Cowen was just a few paragraphs into an address
at a St. Patrick's Day celebration at the White House when he realized something
sounded way too familiar. Turns out, he was repeating the speech President
Barack Obama had just given.

The silly people will find a grand conspiracy here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Seven Years

Seven years ago we landed at Shannon Ireland after a 7 and a half hour flight.

The man at Avis told us to take the rental into the industrial park next to the airport to practice on that Sunday morning.

The weather was soft, the cider was sharp, the company sublime and the parade, for lack of better words was sweet.

No green beer. No drunks in the streets. No forced frivolity or Mardi Gras beads.

Seven years ago today was a good start to our travelling habit. Happy Saint Patrick's Day

Monday, March 16, 2009

Ooksi Kooksi Coolama Vee, Santia Urho Is Ta Poy For Me!

So let's give a cheer in hower pest vay
On Sixteenth of March, St. Urho's Tay.

Now in Madison, too.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

GOP See And Say

The delusional people say, "Papers, please."

Friday, March 13, 2009

It's Long Past Time For Rick Santelli To Man Up

As much fun as it was to watch Jim Cramer take the drubbing that he'd asked for (You just know that Hannity goaded him into it) it remains that the original piece was intended for the visit to the Daily Show of The Great Tea Bagger, Rick Santelli.

Cramer went to the Comedy Central studio knowing he was in for a withering shot but he went. Santelli has yet to make amends for his attack on the working men and women of the US.

The Free Market At Play

Yes, I understand that change is shocking and hard to understand. No, it's not been bought by Bruce Willis.

Just imagine the marketing opportunities if Pfizer had bought it for their proprietary brand of Sildenafil citrate.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

It's About Competence, Folks

Coleman campaign apparently stored credit card info, unencrypted, on the same server as the rest of their site, making it a fairly easy process to view. It didn't require any real hacking.
Coleman-supporter Kelly McShane, who donated $100 online and whose job is to
secure data for the banking industry, had this to say: "I'm in IT security for a
bank, and I can tell you that this is so ... irresponsible that I can't believe

A Matter Of Semantics

Are we really calling Bernie Madoff a "disgraced financier" now? Isn't that a little like calling Lorena Bobbit an aspiring sugeon?

Madoff is a confidence man, a crook, a scam artist who scored more than 10,000 Nigerian princes together. There are enough disgraced financiers out there without lumping this guy in with them.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Ex-Senator, Norm Coleman, Making It Up As He Goes Along

Now that it's clear he's lost the vote, the recount, the re-recount and the court case Coleman is crossing his fingers, spitting twice and making a pinkie-swear that he'd be happiest with a do-over.

It must be fun to think you can just make up the rules.

If Enough People Tell You That You Look Sick...

...You might want to go lie down.

Even Red State's Erick Erickson says that the RNC has lost the few clues it had.
Either they don’t know what they are doing, or they’ve already picked their
consultant and are going through the motions. If it is the former, well, the RNC
is screwed. If it is the latter, Michael Steele’s claims about bidding out work
was B.S.

I now that there are competent conservative web designers out there. Why doesn't Team Steele trust them to do the job?

Monday, March 09, 2009

GOP Surrender Monkey Is Betting On "Fail"

Have Congressional Republicans given up on the problems of the nation? Is the GOP actively working aginst solutions to the problems they created?

From The National Journal comes GOP Rep Patrick McHenry:
“We will lose on legislation. But we will win the message war every day, and
every week, until November 2010,” said Rep. Patrick McHenry, R-N.C., an
outspoken conservative who has participated on the GOP message teams. “Our goal
is to bring down approval numbers for [Speaker Nancy] Pelosi and for House
Democrats. That will take repetition. This is a marathon, not a sprint.”

Their message seems to be that GOP can only hope to win if America fails.

Hip-Hop Don't Stop

We know that Joe the Make-believe Plumber isn't down with it* but where does Flyin' Jim Sensenbrenner fit into Michael Steele's new Hip Hop GOP?

*From WisPolitics (Because Joe knows what hip-hop really means)
“Unfortunately we have a chairman up there who wants to redefine
conservatism; he wants to make it hip hop, put it in a new package and sell it,”
Wurzelbacher said, knocking Republican Party Chairman Michael Steele, whose
recent statements, including a dismissive comment about talk show host Rush
Limbaugh that he’s since apologized for, have drawn the ire of some

What Is The Plural Of "Anecdote?"

From The Tulsa World
Thirteen-year-old Lane Dunkley just wanted to go hunting with his
grandfather. Dunkley and his father, Daniel Reddy, who live in Tulsa, went
to Broken Arrow on Tuesday night for a hunter safety course normally required to
get an Oklahoma hunting license.

The class was a reward of sorts. Dunkley, who wants to go hunting with
his grandfather, was told he could take the class only if he brought up his
grades. So he did — to a B-plus average.

But when father and son arrived at the lesson, the volunteer
instructor, Kell Wolf, asked if any of the students voted for President Barack
Obama. Reddy, a transplanted Californian — and former Marine —
raised his hand.

According to Reddy and others in the room, Wolf called Obama "the next
thing to the Antichrist" and ordered Reddy and Dunkley from the room. When Reddy
refused, Wolf said he would not teach "liberals" and would cancel the course if
Reddy didn't leave. So Reddy and Dunkley left, as did a few others.

Cooler heads prevailed, of course. Wolf no longer is listed as a volunteer for the ODWC and Dunkley is receiving the Hunter Safety Training he wanted. It's tempting to say, "No harm, no foul," but what has this thirteen year old learned about politics from his instructor? He looked up to Wolf for information and got naught but foolishness.

Whose point of view looks bad from this story? Do you think they can extrapolate to figure out why their opinions are held in such low favor right now?

Saturday, March 07, 2009

A Prediction

Want to read Monday's blogs today? Here's my prediction of the conservative take-away ffrom the AFP Pancake Breakfast and Goat Rodeo.

"We Need A Federal Spending Freeze."

There will be chaff and flack aplenty. Watch for at least one swoony post about Joe the make-believe plumber. But my one prediction is that Pompadour Paul Ryan will be banging the drum for an economy-killing grand, futile gesture. Because, "[When a] situation absolutely requires a really futile and stupid gesture be done on somebody's part [they're] just the guys to do it.

Getting GOP Jiggy With It.

When you think of pop-culture and entertainment, what jumps into your mind? When you want to read a little celebrity gossip mixed with some cultural archaeology all while getting the latest rundown of what's hip and happenin', who would you turn to?

Would you look to the GOP for your daily dose of cultural analysis? There are those who hope you will.

Faced with an idea that says building the party requires, "Reach[ing] youth via pop-culture and entertainment media." the Conservatives are launching a new Facebook based magazine aimed at the college crowd.

It's hard to launch a new magazine today. With so many outlets competing for both readers and talent the likelihood of success is small but I wonder if building your business model on conflicting ideas is the best way to start out. Can you build an audience for your take on pop culture if you hate pop culture? I wonder if they'll be able to keep the level of discourse higher than Goofus and Gallant.

I also wonder if they have a plan for reaching out and building their audience that's any better than hoping someone stumbles across their site and then saying, Hey! Do you wanna help us build our audience?" If that's their hot tip for getting the word out they may be in trouble before they get going.

Thursday, March 05, 2009

"Blessed Christian Salt" Is Certified Kosher

Irony dies by inches. h/t Barry Orton
Retired barber Joe Godlewski says he was inspired by television chefs
who repeatedly recommended kosher salt in recipes.

"I said, 'What the heck's the matter with Christian salt?'"
Godlewski said, sipping a beer in the living room of his home in unincorporated
Cresaptown, a western Maryland mountain community...

If the salt takes off, Godlewski plans an entire line of
Christian-branded foods, including rye bread, bagels and pickles.

Adds the good professor,
The funniest part of this story is on the home page of the
company that's selling the Blessed Christian Salt, the Ingredients Corporation
of America, located in Memphis, TN. Right there is the proud statement that:
"All our ingredients are Kosher Certified and FDA approved."

The mind boggles.

Casie? This Is For You

Verb Of The Day


Thank you. You may now return to your regular activities.

Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Evansville Community Theater Supports ECP Chili Cook-Off

Local non-profit group, Evansville Community Theater, will be participating in the ECP Chili Cook-off on March 7 at the Grove Campus Field House with two entries. Linda Draeving-Hammack returns with her award-winning “Winds Of Change Chili,” and Dave Sobeski will enter “The King’s Thai Chili.”

ECT will be supporting their upcoming production of Rodgers and Hammerstein’s “The King and I.” The group is looking for a large cast and will hold auditions on May 16 and 18. Watch for more information or check the ECT website at ectstagelights.org .

Evansville Community Theater’s most recent production was “Escanaba In Da Moonlight” at JC McKenna last October. This will be the group’s first musical in five years.

Make sure to stop by and support these two entries or bid on one of two four-packs of tickets to “The King and I” in the silent auction. These ticket packages are a $48 value. Proceeds from the silent auction go to Evansville Community Partnership.

If You Hurry You Can Still Be The First In Your Congressional District

There are still dozens of districts in which no Republican has yet apologized to Rush Limbaugh. If you use the "I'm Sorry, Rush" widget you can be the first in yours to pay fealty to the "brains" behind New Conservatism.

The handy drop down boxes make it easy for you to personalize your own message to the drug-addicted serial monogamist sex tourist who now speaks for all Conservatives. Rumor has it that JtP will be insulting Rushbo at the AFP Navel-Gazing Expo and Ice Fishing Jamboree just so he can apologize next week.

Accept no imitations. Use only the Official "I'm Sorry, Rush" widget. It's endorsed by leading Republicans everywhere.

Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Surrender Monkey Is Jindalriffic

"I'm glad [Steele] apologized. I think the chairman is a breath of fresh air for the party. As I said before, I think Rush is a leader for many conservatives and says things that people are concerned about."
-Bobby Jindal on Larry King

"Okay, I'll send you a response, but I don't need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails."

-Drug addicted, serial matimonialist, sex tourist, surrender monkey, Rush Limbaugh

Hey! Law Dogs

Does this West Virginia case about elected judges recusing themselves that is coming to SCOTUS have any relevance to Wisconsin's circumstances?

That's En-Ter-Tain-Ment!

Sure, Rush's show is ugly and incendiary but the GOP really digs that.
-Shorter Michael Steele

"You be da man!"
-GOP Rising Star Michele Bachman, earlier, to Steele

Monday, March 02, 2009

G.R.O.S.S.= Fight Club?

I got here because I went there because Ben said I should.
And clubs like this, of course, have their beginnings in backyards,
tree houses, and garages all over America. Not surprisingly, Calvin started such
a club when he was six years old. Little did anyone realize that he would
construct another one much later in his life, again with the aid of an imaginary
friend. For just as Calvin, Hobbes, and Susie have dark future versions in Jack,
Tyler, and Marla respectively, G.R.O.S.S. (Get Rid Of Slimy girlS) has the same
in Fight Club.

G.R.O.S.S. shares the following characteristics with Fight Club:

Both have catchy names (although the "slimy" part of G.R.O.S.S. is
redundant, otherwise it doesn’t spell anything).

Both are co-run by a friendless male and his imaginary companion (Calvin
is Tyrant and Dictator-for-Life; Hobbes is President and First Tiger).

Both are exclusively male organizations, although Fight Club’s membership
is considerably larger.

Along with that, all members of both organizations are very loyal.

The leaders of both organizations constantly engage in fisticuffs (but
only in G.R.O.S.S. does a member receive a demerit for biting).

And in said fights, in both organizations, there is only one fight at a

Both are supposedly very secretive (though Jack never tells his mother
about Fight Club).

At least one leader of both organizations is fond of giving speeches
(though Calvin never uses the term "space monkey").

Drama Therapy and the Timelessness of Themes

Twelve Angry Men was written as a teleplay for CBS' Studio One, was adapted to a screenplay that was directed by Sidney Lumet and has now been adapted, as Twelve Angry Lebanese, at one of the hardest places on Earth.
The latest – and most unlikely – revival of a venerable courtroom drama is
being staged by inmates at Lebanon’s most notorious prison. Eyad Houssami
reports from Roumieh.

The script, which deals with perceptions of guilt and with preconceptions about people, has always had a power to make people uncomfortable with their first look at the drama. Now it is laying open the preconceptions of a country in the wake of the assassination of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri four years ago.
“It’s a microcosm of Lebanon. People don’t want to see it,” says Daccache,
who first visited the prison 10 years ago as an assistant stage manager with
Clowns Without Borders. “But it’s fertile. Theatre is nourished by people’s
hunger: the bigger the hunger, the bigger the theatre.”

Read the rest of this amazing story.