Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Friday, November 30, 2007

Politicians over policies

I am not sure what they put into the Governor's Cheerios this morning, but something went terrible wrong this morning.

Governor Doyle has decided to call the legislator into a special session to address campaign finance reform.

Oh the insanity!

This is what the governor and many Democrats believe campaign finance reform to be:

From the MJS

Ban fund raising by incumbents and challengers in partisan races from the time the governor introduces the state budget until he signs it into law.

Think about this for a moment. There is no faster way for a politician to prioritize his or her own political career above the policies they write.

For example, we all know that our state has a law stating that if a budget is not passed in time, the state will continue to function with the current budget. There is no government shut-down, despite the threats we just received from Governor Jim Doyle in the last budget fiasco.

The very next budget that the Governor is required to write is for '09-'11. The Governor runs for re-election in 2010.

In early 2009, the Governor introduces his budget- from that point forward- the Governor and NO CHALLENGER to the governor's seat can raise any funds.

So why pass a budget?

The state will continue to function without a budget and the Governor or any other incumbent will end up with no challengers because no one is allowed to raise money. Tada! Governor automatically wins! This is true straight across the board, every incumbent wins!

Say our legislators recognize this and decide during this special legislative session, that they will only ban current office holders from raising funds, but their challengers can raise funds.

Well then, in an effort to save their own political careers, they will pass any kind of crappy budget just so they can get back to raising money for their re-elections.

Once again, politicians over policies.

Now don't tell me that this type of stuff could never happen. Hello, they are politicians!

Even with this goofy proposals for so-called "campaign finance reform", nothing is being done to address the real issue. Special interest money!

Nothing is stopping these special interests groups from doing whatever they choose to do. They can run ads demolishing a certain politician and that politician cannot defend himself, because they cannot raise any funds to put out a counter ad.

The real money in politics is in the special interest groups or 527s. Brought to us by McCain-Feingold, that actually created a monster. They called this "campaign finance reform", too. As you can see, it did not reform anything.

These new campaign reform policies, proposed by Governor Doyle, will do nothing to reform the system.

In fact, it will further cut off regular folks like you and me from the political process.

This Is Winter!

But it Brings Joy!

In honor of Winter's first storm I present: L'inverno (Winter) Movement I

Search out the last two movements of Vivaldi's winter concerto, in fact search out and listen to all four of his famous Four Seasons Concertos. Vivaldi did a wonderful job of capturing the seasons in the music. The poem at the beginning is great, the translation I am familiar with ends This is Winter, but it brings joy.


It's the end of the world!!!!!!!

Let's use this post as a clearing house for the biggest hype stories from the impending storm...

I nominate Jib first of all for his WTMJ storm team impersonation below!

Keep an eye on the weather this weekend

A major winter storm is in the offing for most of the state. Right now it is projected to bring heavy snow to the north and western part of the state while dumping snow and then significant ice to the southern part of the state. Plan necessary travel around the storm, prepare your car for an emergency if you must travel, and have power outage supplies handy at home.

Hey, Where is Everybody Else?

Hey Lance, Marcus, and Jib got a quick question for you...

Is it me, or are we the only ones who actually post on this site? Where the heck is everyone else? Are they members, or just place holders? I mean, no Owen, no Patrick, and Sean's the only one with an actual excuse not to post anything here.

How about I find time to run over to the Patent Office out here, trademark the BBA logo under Jib's name and we nickname the blog "Lance, Mark, Jib and Kev's Wild Blog Ride?"



Thursday, November 29, 2007

Well, crap.

Dallas 37, Packers 27.

The key to this game: the Dallas O-line controlling the line of scrimmage. Particularly on pass plays - we had almost no pressure on Romo at all.

That was a big factor in the way the Dallas receiving corps owned our defensive backfield all night.

Add to that our two defensive starters who didn't play, and Favre's terrible game before he left with that injury, and...

...all in all, I think we've got to be pretty proud of the way the Packers scrapped in this game. If'n I'd had my druthers, we'd have won, but the Packers stayed in this game despite all their problems and despite never getting any traction on the defensive line.

Bodes well, I think.

NOTE - Favre needs 450 passing yards to break Marino's record. Let's hope those x-rays were negative.

I'm watching the game on the internet!

On click this link and then click where it says ""

I have no idea why this is working: looks like something you should have to pay for. But it's working.

UPDATE - they showed the first drive, but then showed an interview with T.O. instead of the ensuing kickoff. I think they're like drug dealers or something.

UPDATE - they've got talking heads following the game, showing replays. Harris had that ball.

UPDATE - Sometimes they're showing replays, sometimes they're talking heads, sometimes they're showing other stuff (they had a segment on 1970s-era teams), and sometimes they're showing the game. I'd rather just be watching the game (I've got the radio on), but this is kinda neat.

Badger Bites, Packer Game Edition

There's a reason we don't put out Badger Bites on Sundays-it would interfere with the state religion of watching Packer football. Tonight will be even worse with half the state crowding into theaters and sports bars in order to watch the game. If you are lucky enough to get the game at home then enjoy the links.

*Don't throw that bottle at the TV; vent at the Wisconsin Sports Bar's open game thread.

*Don't forget what is at stake tonight: Bragging rights between Packer fans and James Wigderson.

*Oh, and bragging rights with Owen, too. Although it looks like the couch is favored against him.

*Uh-oh. Fraley picked the Packers.

*Kathy puts the game to a vote.

*Mac Verstandig has a couple thoughts on the FCC.

*The Daily Rag illustrates why the Journal Sentinel ain't what the Journal used to be.

*Rockefeller Center's green formerly green evergreen.


Henry Hyde, R.I.P

The Conservative Movement has lost an Honorable Man, the Right to Life Movement has lost a Champion.

Henry Hyde, long-time Republican Congressman from the suburbs of Chicago, passed away this morning at the age of 83. He was honored by President Bush with the Presidential Medal of Freedom earlier this month.

Here's a part, taken from the Corner, of National Review's editorial on the event and Hyde's legacy to the Right to Life Movement.
He will be most remembered for the Hyde Amendment. First passed in 1976, when Hyde was new to Washington, it bans the public funding of abortions though Medicaid. The year before it passed, the federal government had financed 300,000 abortions for low-income women. Afterward, this number dropped essentially to zero — the women either found another way to pay for their abortions or chose life for their unborn children. The National Right to Life Committee has estimated, conservatively, that the Hyde Amendment has prevented at least one million abortions. That’s one million Americans who are alive today because of Henry Hyde.

The Hyde Amendment has proven remarkably durable, undergoing only one important revision. In 1993, Congress added rape and incest exceptions to the life-of-the-mother clause that had been in place from the start. It is without question the most important piece of pro-life legislation ever to pass Congress.

Liberals will forever loathe him for being the "Torquemada" of the Clinton Impeachment. History will likely look more kindly on the man.

As a child born post-Roe; thank you Mr. Hyde for all that you did. Rest in Peace.


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Tales of Baghdad Cabbies

According to reporters who've been to Iraq, they say the "true barometer" of the success of the surge will be measured by Baghdad's taxi drivers.

From today's Washington Post:

Cabbies gripe that the improved security situation also makes it harder to eke out a living. A growing number of Baghdad residents now feel comfortable driving their own cars around the city, obviating the need for taxis. The skyrocketing cost of fuel has made it harder to make ends meet. And high unemployment has led many young men to plop a yellow "TAXI" sign atop their vehicles, adding to the competition for passengers.

For taxi drivers who used to take passengers from Baghdad to Syria, the increased sense of security -- combined with strict new visa rules in Syria -- has stopped the exodus to the border, ending their source of income.

Muntasir Rasheed, 24, who worked for two years driving Iraqis to Damascus, said he is now unemployed. Almost no one is going to Syria anymore. The demand is so high in the reverse direction that $500 taxi rides from Damascus to Baghdad now cost $1,000, he said

It's not all happy news for cabbies on those rides through Al Anbar province. The Post reports Sunni insurgents who US Marines haven't taken care of, have been known to cut off the fingers of drivers who are spotted smoking, and ears of drivers caught listening to music.

This article's on A1. God it's going to be fun to see Harry Reid explain this one. Maybe he can do it during one of those 30-second "Special Sessions of the Senate" he's holding this week with Jim Webb (D) of Virginia?


Monday, November 26, 2007

Ron Paul Gets Brothel Owner's Endorsement

Betcha Jay Leno, and David Letterman wish they weren't on strike right about now...
RENO, Nev. - Republican presidential candidate Ron Paul, an underdog Texas congressman with a libertarian streak, has picked up an endorsement from a Nevada brothel owner.

Dennis Hof, owner of the Moonlite BunnyRanch near Carson City, said he was so impressed after hearing Paul at a campaign stop in Reno last week that he decided to raise money for him.

"I'll get all the (working girls) together, and we can raise him some money," Hof told the Reno Gazette-Journal. "I'll put up a collection box outside the door. They can drop in $1, $5 contributions."

Hof and two of his prostitutes, Brooke Taylor and a woman who goes by Air Force Amy, attended a Paul news conference.

The women said they liked Paul's message, but wanted to learn more about other candidates before making a decision.

No word yet about the vital endorsement of "A Pimp Named Slickback."


Coexisting with Badger Bites

Once in a while in the Wisconsin blogosphere, there is a topic that everyone talks about. Most recently it was a certain bumper sticker parody. We're not going to rehash all that. It's time for new controversies, but in the spirit of coexisting, let's get to it.

*We may as well all get along now because we're destroying the universe with our eyes. I knew a girl like that once, so I believe it.

*Daily Takes has begun shining a spotlight on Wisconsin bloggers. Fred beat up everyone in order to get the spotlight first.

*Owen points out a, uh, hot steaming pile of mayonnaise.

*More trouble in Sheboygan.

*Can the Packers survive the support of Paul Soglin?

*I refuse to have the BBQ nickname of Skinny Mama. But Sean Hackbarth's is worse.

*The OTBL crew calls for the support of AB 581.

*Daniel has a fresh take on coexist.

*Ol' Broad brings the hate.

*Wigderson is a Cowboy fan in Wisconsin. Make your Packers-Cowboys prediction in his comments.

Since a Firefox update nearly wiped this entire post out, I think we'll leave it at that for tonight. Badger Bites will be back at halftime on Thursday night.



From The Volokh Conspiracy:

In Saudi Arabia, a 19-year-old woman is sentenced to 200 lashes. Her crime? She had been sitting alone in a car with a man who was not her husband when the two were abducted and raped by a gang of seven men. Had she not been raped, her "crime" would not have been prosecuted. Were that not obscene enough, now it seems her attorney will lose his law license for handling her defense too aggressively.

Stores rake in the cash on Black Friday

"Black Friday," because they're going in the black:

According to ShopperTrak RCT Corp., which tracks sales at more than 50,000 retail outlets, total sales rose 8.3 percent to about $10.3 billion on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, compared with $9.5 billion on the same day a year ago. ShopperTrak had expected an increase of no more than 4 percent to 5 percent.
Yep, the economy just reeks.

Kagen holds sessions on immigration | Appleton Post-Crescent

"Less than a week after returning from his visit to the U.S.-Mexico border, U.S. Rep. Steve Kagen is making his rounds through northeastern Wisconsin to talk immigration issues.

Kagen, D-Appleton, is holding forums with community leaders and businesses Monday in Waupaca and Shawano and Wednesday in Appleton. He is taking questions but is also promoting the Secure America with Verification and Enforcement Act.

“I think it’s a good first step. It may not be the complete solution, but begins to define some of the (answers),” Kagen said Sunday of the immigration bill, which has gained the support of 45 Democrats and 68 Republicans in the House as of Nov. 15."

Typical Kagen. 'Making his rounds' is he? Three stops in Appleton, Shawano, and Waupaca do not constitute 'making the rounds' nor are those three cities representative of the entire 8th Congressional District. Hello? Anyone heard of Green Bay? The city that's actually taking the lead on illegal immigration?

At best this is more shabby reporting on the part of the Post-Croissant [where is the direct link to the bill online so that citizens can read the source document and prepare for the Kagen meeting? (Here are two links; one with spin from the Immigration Reform Caucus and one without from the Congressional website. How hard was that? Responsible journalists need to include sources!) Where are the times and exact locations of the meetings so that citizens can participate?] and more posturing on the part of Steve Kagen. At worst, it's an example of how the Post-Croissant gives Kagen a pass time and again. 'Kagen said', 'Kagen said', 'Kagen says'! For crying out loud! Ask the guy a tough question every once in awhile instead of just passing on his press releases lock, stock, and barrel...

Click the title to read the full article online and let me know if I'm just hyperventilating or if you, too, are sick of the way the Appleton Post-Crescent whitewashes Steve Kagen...

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Steve Kagen is AWOL!

Where is Steve Kagen? The record shows he's been quietly at work in Washington [for a change] voting for legislation that grants special rights to homosexuals in the workplace and a $78.3 billion NEW tax bill that he claims lowers taxes and increases quality of life for folks in Northeast Wisconsin. He has also distinguished himself not once, but twice as the "Pander of the Week" as awarded by and betting cases of beer over Packers games with his roommate -- frat house stuff, not House of Representatives stuff...

On October 20, news of dubious campaign donations broke in an article by Daniel Bice of the Journal Sentinel entitled "These kids help Dad around the House" which raised questions about the timing and amounts of donations made by Steve Kagen's children. A few days later, the Republican Party of Wisconsin chimed in with "Questions for Kagen", a pointed list of questions that Kagen should be anxious to answer to avoid the appearance of evil. Since then, all that we have heard is the sound of crickets chirping. In other words, Kagen has been AWOL on the issue of campaign donations....

Let's set aside partisan politics for a moment and ask a few simple questions. Northeast Wisconsin, does Steve Kagen represent you? Do you favor granting special privileges to gays in the workplace? Do you want higher taxes? Do you like a representative who bends and breaks campaign donation laws? Congressman Kagen’s website claims he’s "nobody’s congressman but yours." -- well, this is not what I expect from MY congressman...

Friday, November 23, 2007

Democrats: Party of the Rich

This helps explains why I'm a Republican I guess.

You have to love studies that blow up stereotypes.

Democrats like to define themselves as the party of poor and middle-income Americans, but a new study says they now represent the majority of the nation's wealthiest congressional districts.

In a state-by-state, district-by-district comparison of wealth concentrations based on Internal Revenue Service income data, Michael Franc, vice president of government relations at the Heritage Foundation, found that the majority of the nation's wealthiest congressional jurisdictions were represented by Democrats.

He also found that more than half of the wealthiest households were concentrated in the 18 states where Democrats hold both Senate seats.

"If you take the wealthiest one-third of the 435 congressional districts, we found that the Democrats represent about 58 percent of those jurisdictions," Mr. Franc said.

A key measure of each district's wealth was the number of single-filer taxpayers earning more than $100,000 a year and married couples filing jointly who earn more than $200,000 annually, he said.

But in a broader measurement, the study also showed that of the 167 House districts where the median annual income was higher than the national median of $48,201, a slight majority, 84 districts, were represented by Democrats. Median means that half of all income earners make more than that level and half make less.

Mr. Franc's study also showed that contrary to the Democrats' tendency to define Republicans as the party of the rich, "the vast majority of unabashed conservative House members hail from profoundly middle-income districts."

This really shouldn't be startling news. Look at Hollywood -- full of Democrats. Look at Manhattan -- full of Democrats. A listing of the richest U.S. Senators found an overwhelming majority of the ten richest were Democrats (Rockefeller, Kohl, Kennedy, Kerry, etc.). Does Steve Kagen come off as a "man of the people" when he dumped $2.6 million into his campaign last year like it was nothing?

And to think, for years Democrats have been wondering why middle-income Americans weren't "voting their income." Seems like they were after all.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

RE: New Member Joins BBA

Finally, someone else to send to the store for piston return springs and blinker fluid.

RE: New Member Joins BBA


If memory serves, Owen kept the rubber chicken for safe keeping.

Todd, just remember this one thing: "It never really happened," and you'll be fine.

Welcome aboard. We need more bloggers who called NE Wisconsin home 'round here if you ask me.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

New Member Joins BBA

I'd like to take a moment to welcome Todd Lohenry as the newest posting member here at the BBA. Check out Todd's blog "The Right Side of Wisconsin" and remember that hazing is allowed at the BBA when it comes to resident rookies, which Todd now is.

Doyle and Kagen on Today's Stem Cell News

Hmm. Guess they're both going for the 10:00 evening news.


Whitelaw Sausage Company

Some of you may know of the little village called Whitelaw in Manitowoc County. The little village of Whitelaw used to have a general store and butcher shop called The Whitelaw Sausage Company and they made excellent bacon and wieners. I recall seeing their wieners being sold throughout northeastern Wisconsin. In fact, I know Whitelaw Sausage Company Wieners have been enjoyed worldwide! However, the company fell on hard times, went through a number of different owners and finally closed shop.

However, that has changed! Not only is the Whitelaw Sausage Company open, they now have an online shop! The old general store is gone and now the Whitelaw Sausage Company specializes in quality meats & cheeses. The wieners are top rate and while Appleton has a good old style sausage company the Whitelaw Wiener is a superior product.

Now, I have no financial ties to the Whitelaw Sausage Company, I just want to make everyone aware of a great product and make sure my supply of the good stuff does not go away!

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Stem cell breakthrough without embryos

Don't expect to hear the good news being touted much.

It's only got one of the most important cloning experts - who holds a license in the UK to clone humans - behind it.

Well crap, Kevin. I'd say "great minds think alike," but it appears that "great minds hit the 'publish' button a few minutes faster."

True "Stem Cell Progress"

The early outlook is the only people who are going to be pissed at this news are liberal political consultants and Democratic politicans who just lost an issue and the folks at WARF (Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation) in Madison...for about five seconds until they cash in on this one too.

Dr. James Thomson does it again.

Scientists have made ordinary human skin cells take on the chameleon-like powers of embryonic stem cells, a startling breakthrough that might someday deliver the medical payoffs of embryo cloning without the controversy.

Laboratory teams on two continents report success in a pair of landmark papers released Tuesday. It's a neck-and-neck finish to a race that made headlines five months ago, when scientists announced that the feat had been accomplished in mice.

The "direct reprogramming" technique avoids the swarm of ethical, political and practical obstacles that have stymied attempts to produce human stem cells by cloning embryos.

Scientists familiar with the work said scientific questions remain and that it's still important to pursue the cloning strategy, but that the new work is a major coup.

"This work represents a tremendous scientific milestone - the biological equivalent of the Wright Brothers' first airplane," said Dr. Robert Lanza, chief science officer of Advanced Cell Technology, which has been trying to extract stem cells from cloned human embryos.

"It's a bit like learning how to turn lead into gold," said Lanza, while cautioning that the work is far from providing medical payoffs.

"It's a huge deal," agreed Rudolf Jaenisch, a prominent stem cell scientist at the Whitehead Institute in Cambridge, Mass. "You have the proof of principle that you can do it."


The new work is being published online by two journals, Cell and Science. The Cell paper is from a team led by Dr. Shinya Yamanaka of Kyoto University; the Science paper is from a team led by Junying Yu, working in the lab of in stem-cell pioneer James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Both reported creating cells that behaved like stem cells in a series of lab tests.
Thomson, 48, made headlines in 1998 when he announced that his team had isolated human embryonic stem cells.

This is my favorite quote in the story.

Both labs did basically the same thing. Each used viruses to ferry four genes into the skin cells. These particular genes were known to turn other genes on and off, but just how they produced cells that mimic embryonic stem cells is a mystery.

"People didn't know it would be this easy," Thomson said. "Thousands of labs in the United States can do this, basically tomorrow."

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, which holds three patents for Thomson's work, is applying for patents involving his new research, a spokeswoman said. Two of the four genes he used were different from Yamanaka's recipe.

On my old blog I've long supposed the real reason Jim Doyle fought and used stem cell research as an issue wasn't just in memory of his "dear, sweet mother." It was at the urging of UW and WARF who needed the patent money from embryonic stem cell research.

Don't expect to hear anything on this news from Doyle today. Even if it is great news for UW-Madison. He's gotten all the traction he needed off the issue last year.

P.S. NRO's David Freddoso points out something. "Stem Cell Research" is now being called "Embryo Cloning" in the scientific and media community.

What took them so long to finally admit the truth into what was actually happening I wonder?


Monday, November 19, 2007

The apple of Mrs. Thompson's eye is 66 today

One of them, anyway. Happy Birthday, Tommy!

Badger Bites, Thanksgiving Edition

Thanksgiving is almost here, and many are out in the woods, so this will be the only Badger Bites this week. Have a safe and enjoyable Thanksgiving.

*After personal experience, Kathy calls out the angry bloggers.

*The state and country are in trouble in Caffeinated Politics' mine because of...Annette Ziegler.

*Global warming...on Mars.

*Nick doesn't hold much back in discussing the World War II generation.

*Elliot looks at disparity of force in policing.

*Giuliani-pragmatism for or philosophical against?

*Brett as the Bishop.

*Dry run into Milwaukee?

*Random 10 takes a peak at the dangers of the popular vote removed from the structure of a republic.


Gee, I Wanted to Declare this in 2004...

Florida is a "Red State." Deal with it liberals.

Hell, deal with it media.

Republican Rudy Giuliani, shown here campaigning yesterday at the NASCAR Nextel Cup Ford 400 race in Homestead, is the most popular presidential candidate in Florida, with 57 percent of voters willing to consider voting for him, according to a new Mason-Dixon poll.

In a potential matchup with Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, Giuliani wins 50-43 percent. Republicans Fred Thompson and Mitt Romney also beat her, although their wins are within the margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points.

Bush won Florida by a larger margin in 2004 than he did in 2000. The state is becoming more Republican-leaning.

Of course, on the flip-side, I'm pretty certain Wisconsin's going to stay a "Blue State" in 2008. I've played with the numbers enough, but I could be wrong.

Heck, I've said to countless politicos out here in DC and back in Wisconsin that the Badger State won't vote for a Republican until at least 2012. (Gets a few double-takes too.)

And that's not taking into the expected margin of fraud...

UPDATE: Further proof of my point on Florida in a new Rasmussen Poll out.

Lastly, Rasmussen has general election match ups that show Giuliani beating Hillary Clinton - but by the smallest margin of any top tier Republican:

McCain 48 - Clinton 38
Thompson 47 - Clinton 38
Romney 46 - Clinton 39
Giuliani 46 - Clinton 41

In Rasmussen's poll of the state, the biggest thing to notice is a +8 gain for Romney, tied in with a -2 and -7 drops for Giuliani and Thompson respectively.

(Might a Mitt-surge be upon us?)


Law Abiding? Citizens?

This morning I heard a conservative talk show host say that most illegal immigrants are "law abiding citizens." Now, I understand the need to pussy-foot around an issue because the host wanted to steer the discussion in a certain way. And, he probably wanted to avoid seeing himself in the Shepherd Express for weeks on end. But, I don't mind saying what occurred to me when he used the phrase. It's wrong on both counts.

Citizen? Illegal immigrants are not citizens. They must apply for citizenship and recite the Pledge of Allegiance a few times before they can become citizens.

Law Abiding? What part of ILLEGAL immigrant implies that? They're breaking a law every second of every minute of every day, voluntarily. They may be model individuals (not citizens), but they cannot be considered law abiding if they choose to ignore federal law. In fact, the hijackers were more law abiding than that, right up to about 7:00am on September 11, 2001. Some of them still had visas.

You needn't bother flaming me in the comments. I'm only pointing out the ridiculousness of trying to tip-toe around tender sensibilities. On the immigration issue itself, I don't see why I should care. If our government sees a threat, it should deal with it. When Washington gets serious, then perhaps I'll take the issue seriously. Right now, Connorsville is probably more proactive in enforcing its law against firing a gun during an orgasm.


Sunday, November 18, 2007

Clash of the Doctors

For the Doctor Who geeks out there. (Yes, I include myself in that category.)

Peter Davison, the Fifth Doctor, returns to have some fun with the Tenth Doctor, David Tennant, for the bi-annual BBC "Children in Need" Charity Special.



Saturday, November 17, 2007

BBA Big Buck Contest

It's deer hunting season in Wisconsin, so let's have a little fun here. If you score a buck this week, let us know in the comments with points and weight. Links to photos are appreciated. We'll recognize most points and largest bucks with photos on the main page after the season ends.

No Michigan Primary Says Court

Expect appeals from the campaigns with the most to lose out from a caucus or convention with this news.

That'd be Clinton, Giuliani, Thompson, and others with limited "on-the ground" organization.
A divided Michigan Court of Appeals refused Friday to overturn a lower court ruling that effectively bars the state from holding its presidential primary on Jan. 15.

By a 2-1 margin, the appeals panel sided with an Ingham County Circuit Court judge who ruled last week that the presidential primary law illegally restricted access to the lists of voters who participated in the election to the two major political parties.

It was not immediately clear whether Friday’s decision is the final nail in the ill-fated primary’s coffin or not.

Minutes after its release, Michigan Republican Party Chairman Saul Anuzis called on the Legislature to approve a bill pending in the state House designed to restore the primary. Lawmakers are tentatively scheduled to convene on Tuesday, but may not act.

Despite backing from Gov. Jennifer Granholm and other Democratic Party leaders, support for the Jan. 15 primary in the Democrat-controlled state House is tepid.

Backers of the primary – designed to give Michigan a more prominent role in selecting the next president – also could seek further court review, although time is running short for that option. State elections officials told the appeals court Thursday they needed a final decision within days to meet schedules for preparing absentee ballots.
A primary is by far the preferred method of selecting a candidate. It is after all, direct democracy. A convention or caucus puts it in the hands of party bosses and die-hard activists.

Long story short, even with polls in his favor, Giuliani will not win Michigan with a caucus or convention formula. The Wolverine state is going to either Romney, McCain, or possibly even Huckabee. Mark Hemingway of NRO has a great article on who likely will win Michigan.


Friday, November 16, 2007


In my post on The Eve of Destruction and on John Derbyshire's bottle melting episode I publish an e-mail I sent to John.

At the end I use the acronym TTYL.

Tee Bee then wonders what TTYL means.

TTYL is an acronym for Talk To You Later

Other common acronyms one may encounter online:
AFAIK: As far as I know
ex: AFAIK, what you say is correct.

AFK: away from keyboard (mostly used while chatting)
ex: Well I have to run to the kitchen quick, AFK

BTK: Back to keyboard (mostly used while chatting)
ex: BTK, whew that was close something I was cooking was on the verge of fire!

IM(H)O: In my (humble) opinion
ex: IMO Ravenswood county zinfandels are great wine values.

RO(T)FL(MAO): Rolling on the floor laughing (my @$$ off)
ex: That picture of the jet engine melting the pile of cars had me ROTFLMAO!

TTYTT: To Tell You the Truth
ex: TTYTT this acronym is beautifully balanced and symmetrical!

I consider these quite different than "txt" talk used by phone texters (at least those w/o full keyboards)


Talk Like a Yooper Day is just around the corner!

Just a quick reminder to everyone going off to deer camp: Talk Like a Yooper Day is this Sunday, November 18th. Ya der hey appropriately.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Late Nite Badger Bites

I've been scrambling all day, so tonight's Badger Bites is a slightly abbreviated midnight snack.

*The world: Worse or no?

*Marquette Warrior looks at feminism as well as prep athletics for girls.

*Rollin', rollin' rollin'...

*The Guide goes wild. With these guys?

*Paul Soglin wants Gov't to kick the tires. Patrick McIlheran looks at it a little deeper.

*The Thoughtful Conservative passes along a thought you don't want to think about.

*It's a good time to catch up on your recent Iranian history.

*Another round in the Taser debate.

*Madison's worst bumper stickers.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Perfect on Pork

Tammy Baldwin scored a perfect 50 out of 50 (or, rather, zero out of 50), voting against anti-pork amendments every time they came up in Congress.

Nice work, Tammy! Proud to have you in Congress!

Here's the rest of Wisconsin's delegation:

Ryan, P. (R-WI-1)-- 100%-- 50 / 50
Sensenbrenner (R-WI-5)-- 100%-- 50 / 50
Petri (R-WI-6)-- 94%-- 47 / 50
Kind (D-WI-3)-- 2%-- 1 / 50
Moore, G. (D-WI-4)-- 2%-- 1 / 49
Baldwin (D-WI-2)-- 0%-- 0 / 50
Kagen (D-WI-8)-- 0%-- 0 / 49
Obey (D-WI-7)-- 0%-- 0 / 48
Feingold (D-WI)-- 80%-- 12 / 15
Kohl (D-WI)-- 7%-- 1 / 15
Ryan and Sensenbrenner were two of only 16 Congressmen to score perfect records, voting against pork every single time.

H/T to Grandpa Steve of Grandpa John's.

Thompson: End the War On Children

This may not be the best political strategy - or maybe it is - but Fred Thompson has reportedly proposed a pseudo-Ryanish plan to fix Social Security, and end the War On Children.

Read about it here.

Why should we all - retirees, near-retirees, and non-near-retirees - care about this?

Economist Jagadish Gokhale, writing in IBD earlier this year, said Social Security will ring up more than $14.4 trillion in deficits by 2050 or so. To pay for it all, according to some estimates, will take as much as 40% of our total GDP. Americans won't accept that.

Bill Passes 415-2, Kagen Demands Cookie

Given how Ellyn Ferguson is; Gannett Wisconsin's DC Correspondent, this will be in the Appleton Post-Crescent tomorrow.

Personally, I think press releases on bills that pass 415-2 are a cry for attention.

They're also nothing new.
Congressman Steve Kagen, M.D. and a bipartisan coalition in the House acted Wednesday to address the growing problem of child exploitation and protect children from online predators.

The PROTECT Act (Providing Resources Officers and Technology to Eradicate Cyber Threats to our children Act), H.R. 3845, was approved by the House of Representatives 415-2. The bill was co-sponsored by Congressman Steve Kagen.

It commits resources to build a strong nationwide network of highly trained law enforcement experts to track down and put away known sex predators who target children on the Internet.
The rest of the press release is boring U.S. Code speak. The Recess Supervisor should be pleased to know no green license plates were harmed in the typing of this press release.

I'd love to see just once from a Congressman or Senator, a press release that berates the guys who voted "Nay" on bills like this. I mean, what the hell are the reasons for opposing a bill that helps the police tackle cyber predators?

Yes, one wants to practice Chamber "Comity" (gotta love homonyms...) but sometimes you just wonder; especially in a world Post-Mark Foley.

Oh, and another sign Kagen's running scared on the issue of illegal immigration (or running as hard as Rahm Emanuel tells him to); he's touring the U.S.-Mexico border this weekend. He'll be one of eight Democratic Congressmen on the "fact-finding trip."

Of the eight, seven are Freshman Democrats from NRCC-targeted districts.


Re: The Future of Badger Bites

See, Marcus, this week just keeps getting more interesting.

Take a big metal vehicle, fire, and a dog with a famous cheese-state product for a name, catch the fire on video and you've got yourself the makings of a TV movie of the week. It has 'blogfodder' written all over it.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The State Planes in Muncie

The Asian Badger did a little sleuthing and found that 3 state of Wisconsin planes flew to Muncie, Indiana today.

Nice to know our taxes dollars are being spent for important stuff….Like THREE! Pilatus aircraft going to Muncie, Indiana today.

Want to track the flights yourself? Take a look.

And then he asks good questions.

(Note…I don’t have a problem with the governor having access to a plane but……..)

  1. Why are the taxpayers paying for three of these? I thought Pol Pot Doyle was selling off the fleet.
  2. Why did the State buy a plane made in Switzerland? Piper aircraft aren’t good enough? Hell, the Meridian or Mirage is the same plane, essentially.
  3. Why are 18 people going to Muncie, Indiana? It looks like at least two are staying overnight, too since I only see one scheduled departure from Muncie back to Truax.
  4. Is it any wonder this state is a tax hell? Why are taxpayers paying for THREE PILATUS PC-12s???????????????????

I'd just add one question. What was so pressing in Muncie that we had to pay to fly three planes there rather than just drive?

Link added to Asian Badger's original post. Sorry about the oversight, AB.

We've Found Kagen His Man

Steve Kagen hasn't endorsed anyone on the Democratic side of the aisle for President yet. Heck, once to prove his hero worship of Nancy Pelosi, he once told WFRV 5 in Green Bay that she should run for President.

Truth be told; Kagen's playing it safe. He's going to need whoever wins the nomination to come to Appleton and Green Bay to help in his not-so-reassured re-election, so he can't play favorites. With the exception of Ron Kind, the rest of the Wisconsin Democrats in the House have picked a dancing partner. Obey's with Edwards, Baldwin's with Hillary, and Moore's with Obama.

So, to help the Good Doctor out, I'd like to suggest Rep. Steve Kagen, MD, endorse John Edwards.

Michelle Malkin helps explain why:
Oooooh, watch out. John Edwards has a new ad and he’s threatening to take away health insurance from members of Congress unless they pass his Hillary-style universal health care plan:

SCRIPT: John Edwards: “When I’m president I’m going to say to members of Congress and members of my administration, including my Cabinet: I’m glad that you have health care coverage and your family has health care coverage. But if you don’t pass universal health care by July of 2009 — in six months — I’m going to use my power as president to take your health care away from you. There’s no excuse for politicians in Washington having health care when you don’t have health care. I’m John Edwards and I approve this message.”
You get where I'm going with this? Sure you do. It's a match made in populist B.S. heaven.

Kagen gave up his Congressional Health Coverage (never mind the fact he's loaded, has family who can treat him for free, and rarely have I met a Doctor who doesn't go to a Doctor buddy for free care as it is) as a blatant political stunt. Edwards is organizing this ad as a blatant political stunt.

How blatant? Well, the WaPo's Howard Kurtz writes that Edwards is claiming powers no President can have: Setting Congress's own benefits. Only Congress can do that. (Edwards campaign says they'll rectify this by introducing legislation. Paging Dr. Kagen to sponsor?)
John Edwards's new Iowa ad is very effective rhetorically--and based on a false premise. A president has absolutely no power to rescind federal health insurance for members of Congress, as the Edwards campaign admits.

"He would introduce legislation, that's all it is," spokesman Eric Schultz said. "He would introduce legislation and ask them to set a deadline for themselves." While a President Edwards could mount public pressure based on the 47 million Americans who lack health insurance, Congress is, to put it mildly, unlikely to relinquish its own coverage. In fact, some experts argue that such a law would violate the 27th Amendment's ban on "varying the compensation" of members of Congress without an intervening election. Schultz said Edwards would ask senior administration officials to voluntarily give up their health coverage if he fails to pass universal coverage.

It's the last one he does have control over. But I'm guessing officials in a Democratic Administration are gonna have issues with fending in the free market.

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Re: The Future of Badger Bites

Marcus, having just completed a post I ended up calling "Wild Wisconsin," I have to respectfully disagree.

Sometimes the news is just plain free-for-all funkier than others. I expect this week's offering of posts to be exceptional.

Re: The Future of Badger Bites


Seems like it is a bit of work, even with a good RSS reader you have to check all of them out to make sure there are no hidden lunacies and the to compose, write, & format it all. I say let it go.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Future of Badger Bites

Our experiment with Badger Bites is now several weeks old, and I'm debating whether we should continue it or not. On the one hand, I think the twice weekly round ups are very useful. On the other hand, I've noticed very little excitement for the feature. Even watching the out clicks on our stats, I'm not seeing much action on the links we provide. So tonight, rather than offer up a new Badger Bites, I'm asking everyone to offer their thoughts on the future of this feature in the comments to this post.

I am on The Corner!

John Derbyshire on The Corner today recounts an episode where him and some buddies are sitting around a fire and decide to see if a fire can melt a beer bottle. His wife comes out and sees it and has a reaction other than studied fascination. Some of the follow up e-mails he received talked about some guys who designed a slingshot to shoot a buick and John's follow up to that was now let us see about melting a buick.

Hehehe, I have never been to it, but many of my friends from the Appleton Area have been and that is Wisconsin International Raceway's The Eve of Destruction. They have a bunch of wacky races (figure 8 trailer races, school bus races, backward races, etc) and that at the end of the night they pile the car wrecks up and well, click on the links to find out what happens to the wrecks!

Anyway here are the notes

The original:

Wisconsin International Raceway does something like that every fall. Its called the Eve of Destruction and after a night of wacky races they pile up a bunch of cars and melt them See:


Here is what John put up:
Melting Buicks [John Derbyshire]

The men of Wisconsin come through:

John—Wisconsin International Raceway does something like that every fall. Its called the Eve of Destruction and after a night of wacky races they pile up a bunch of cars and melt them See ">here.

[Me] That's an awesome picture. So long as we can produce events like this, America is OK.

11/12 03:13 PM
Source: The Corner – Melting Buicks (John Derbyshire)

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Saturday, November 10, 2007

Happy 232nd Birthday United States Marine Corps

On this day in 1775, at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, the United States Marine Corps was founded. Initially set up as a form of naval infantry, the Marine Corps has gone on to be seen as the most disciplined, committed, and honored fighting force in the world.

You don't just become a Marine with your enlistment; you earn that title and with it, the right to wear the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor.

Here is the Commandant of the Marine Corps' video message to the few and the proud this Marine Corps Birthday.

Semper Fi Devil Dogs. Semper Fi Leathernecks. Semper Fi Marines.

And let me take a moment to send a personal Semper Fi to the recently promoted to Staff Sergeant Kurt F. Binversie of the 2nd Marine Logistical Group.


Happy Birthday to the first ones in, and the last ones to leave.

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Friday, November 09, 2007

Take the Packers, and the Points!

With news like this, about the only thing Viking fans have is the knowledge their possible starting QB is used to handing off the ball...a lot.
Once again, the Minnesota Vikings will delay naming their starting quarterback until Sunday's pregame warmups.

Tarvaris Jackson, who was knocked out last week with a concussion, is listed as questionable for the game at Green Bay.

Brooks Bollinger will start if Jackson doesn't, but coach Brad Childress said Friday he will wait to reveal his starter for the third time in nine games. In two other weeks this season, he hinted at his choice but stopped short of formally announcing it.

Jackson and Bollinger have shared time at the position in practice this week. Jackson said he hasn't had any significant effects from the injury, but Bollinger has played well in relief on three seperate occasions this year and is the favorite to start.

Two defensive starters and a key offensive player were listed as questionable Friday: defensive end Ray Edwards (foot), cornerback Antoine Winfield (hamstring) and wide receiver Sidney Rice (hamstring).

All three will be game-time decisions, but Winfield said he felt better after sitting out last week against the San Diego Chargers.

With Kelly Holcomb still experiencing stiffness and pain in his neck after an injury Oct. 28 against the Eagles, the Vikings signed former Philadelphia quarterback Koy Detmer this week.

They're not likely to keep four quarterbacks on the roster for long, though, and Childress said after Friday's practice that a move could be soon. He didn't elaborate.

For most of his college career at Wisconsin, Bollinger handed to ball off to Ron Dayne - rarely if ever throwing the ball.


Thursday, November 08, 2007

Badger Bites to Return Next Week

My apologies, but there will be no Badger Bites today. I've been disposed of all day, and nobody else could fill in. We'll be back on Monday with the next edition.

Pot, kettle, elites

Wow. Maddening.

Why do we constantly compare today's youth and today's politics to those of that decade? —Jo Ann Douglas, Gulf Shores, Ala.

[Tom Brokaw] We're at war. It's an unpopular and divisive war. Again, the élites have the privilege of avoiding military service because it's an all-voluntary military now. We have a much bigger drug culture now than we had then. The recreational use of drugs [then], some of it was quite benign. Now it has given way to vast criminal empires that are ravaging the inner cities of this country.

Yeah...those damn "elites." Like the ones who go to college and major in "beer and co-eds."

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Pulling Back the Curtain

What happened to the market today will maybe be only the beginning correction of the markets due to the Fed's intervention into the money supply. This is no surprise to those of us OnTheBorderLine.

Over the past few days, the financial dislocations caused by the inflated money credit policies of the Federal Reserve have began to surface. First, there were the revelations that Merrill Lynch would have to write down nearly $10 billion of various papers in which there were no markets. Then we had Citigroup disclose write downs of $8-$13billion for the same reason. It is speculated in the case of Merrill Lynch that the firm will have to write down another $10-$15 billion in the coming months. It is important to note that when companies take a write down on their paper, they are not costing out to zero, but merely taking an incremental haircut on the cost basis of the assets. Furthermore as Citigroup noted, valuations are based on a hypothetical model. Realistically, unless there is a transaction for this paper or for that matter any asset, then the value of said asset is zero. This point has been repeated often by those who adhere to Austrian Economic Principles. In addition to the announced write downs, Citigroup revealed that they held an additional $132 billion of paper assets for which markets may not exist.
See Pulling Back the Curtain.

Mark P. @ OTBL


The Hollywood writer's strike will not affect either the quantity or quality of posts here at Badger Blog Alliance.


Tuesday, November 06, 2007

How about just going to a novelty store...

...spending five bucks on fake ears, and giving the rest to charity?

Ever thought of getting yourself a permanent pair of Star Trek Vulcan ears? A day trip to the plastic surgeon can get that done for you. This body modification is said to enhance the music listening experience, but then, you have to go around looking like Spock to enjoy that questionable benefit.

Done under local anesthesia, the plastic surgeon uses existing ear cartilage and skin to extend the top of the ear, and after three to four weeks, it's healed up enough for you to convincingly start telling people to live long and prosper.

Monday, November 05, 2007

Get to know General Billy Mitchell

We all are familiar with the name General Mitchell here in Wisconsin. After all, the airport in Milwaukee is named after him. But how many of us actually know anything about General Billy Mitchell? The answer is all too few of us. So today I'd like to offer up a brief introduction to the man that Milwaukee's airport is named after. I'm sure someone in the Wisconsin blogosphere has covered this at some point and time, but it bears repeating.

*Billy Mitchell was born in 1879 in France to Milwaukee native and future Wisconsin U.S. Representative and U.S. Senator John L. Mitchell and his wife.
*Mitchell would join the military at age 18 during the Spanish American War.
*By the time the U.S. entered World War I, Mitchell was a lieutenant colonel.
*Once in France, Mitchell, who had an interest in air power since early in his career, began to explore air power with his French and British colleagues.
*In Europe, he received a field commission to Brigadier General.
*He would eventually see the advantage of air power while flying over the trenches of the Great War. He would apply that air power very successfully in the Battle of Saint-Mihiel.
*After the war, Mitchell would become a relentless advocate of air power. He would prove to the Navy in tests that air power could defeat ships of war, and much of what he advocated would play out much later in World War II.
*Mitchell, however, was not a very good salesman. His style easily turned off many in the military brass as well potential allies within the military.
*He would be demoted after the war to colonel and sent on a tour of the Pacific. Returning from Hawaii, Mitchell would predict the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the Philippines with eerie prescience 17 years before it occurred. The prediction would be correct in the order of the attacks, day of the week, and nearly dead on as to the time of day the attacks would occur.
*Mitchell's bristly nature led him to overplay his hand after two newsworthy air disasters by denouncing the military brass and appealing further to the public for support of air power. It would lead to the court martial that ultimately ended his military career.
*Mitchell would be posthumously made a two star major general by Franklin Delano Roosevelt.
*As a result, General Billy Mitchell would not only have a major airport named after him, he would also be considered the father of the modern air force by many.
*General Mitchell, who passed in 1936, is buried in Forest Home Cemetery in Milwaukee.

That's Our Dave!

(HT Michelle Malkin)

I've got to meet and talk to Amanda Carpenter out here in DC a couple of times. She's not the "make up a story" type.

The man who controls the House purse strings to fund the war in Iraq said the President’s “surge” was showing recent signs of success because U.S. soldiers have “run out of people to kill.”

“One of the reason we’ve had incidents of violence, sectarian violence go down is because they are running out of people to kill,” said the Chairman of the House Appropriations Committee Rep. David Obey (D.-Wisc.) at a National Press Club luncheon Monday afternoon.

“They’ve killed so many in so many areas, that there are fewer opportunity targets, if you want to put it that way, for each side,” Obey said. “I welcome any reduction in the level in violence for whatever reasons it occurs, but I don’t think that tells us much for what the future is going to be.”

Obey’s remarks were prompted by a question that asked, “Some Republicans say the casualties are going down in Iraq, there seems to be signs the surge is working. Do you think that is true?”

See for yourself. The video is posted below.

Northern Wisconsin, thanks for the continual embarrassment.

Um, Dave...who's "they?"

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Badger Bites

It seems that last four days have been more than a bit slow in the Wisconsin blogosphere, so with that we'll dedicate today's Badger Bites malaise edition to Jimmy Carter.

*Phelony is taking a hiatus of sorts.

*Santa. Diet. Boot camp. Ugh.

*No saving the Democrats...from themselves?

*Don't forget to vote.

*Grandpa John's has a funny joke...if you look the words up first.

*I think a quote will sufficiently set up this link: "These guys make me want to vomit into my little, girly hands."

*Ol' Broad has a pretty interesting graphic on attacks in Iraq.

*Marquette Warrior takes a look at who globalization helps and why some don't like it.

*Spring City Chronicle spins well.

*Wigderson makes several good points on smoking.

*Excitement is...Edwards taking it to Hillary.

We'll be back with more Badger Bites on Thursday, and hopefully I won't have to implore everyone to wear sweaters.


Sunday, November 04, 2007

Fun With Numbers

On Friday November 2nd, two interesting numbers were introduced to the public. The first, was from the Washington Post on U.S. Military deaths in Iraq for October.
The number of attacks against U.S. soldiers has fallen to levels not seen since before the February 2006 bombing of a Shiite shrine in Samarra that touched off waves of sectarian killing, according to U.S. military statistics released Thursday. The death toll for American troops in October fell to 39, the lowest level since March 2006, and the eighth-lowest total in 56 months of fighting, according to the Web site, which tracks military fatalities.

An unofficial Health Ministry tally showed that civilian deaths across Iraq rose last month compared with September, but the U.S. military found that such deaths fell from a high this year of about 2,800 in January to about 800 in October.
Then there was the number of highway deaths in October from the Wisconsin DOT.
In October, 59 people died in 51 Wisconsin traffic crashes, according to preliminary statistics from the Wisconsin Department of Transportation. In terms of traffic deaths, last month was the fourth safest month of October since World War II. The lowest total occurred in 1997 with 53 traffic fatalities. The deadliest month of October was in 1971 with 127 fatalities

The 59 deaths in October were eight fewer than in October 2006 when 67 people died in 60 crashes and 10 fewer than the five-year average for the month of October of 69 fatalities in 65 crashes.

As of Oct. 31, a total of 634 people have died in Wisconsin traffic crashes during 2007, including 105 motorcycle drivers, five motorcycle passengers, eight bicyclists and 48 pedestrians. Traffic deaths through October were 41 more than during the same period in 2006 but 23 fewer than the five-year average.
Going by the logic of anti-war liberals, the media, and Democrats; there is just one conclusion to draw here: THE DOT'S SURGE HAS FAILED.

It is time we admit that we are trapped; engaged in a civil war on Wisconsin's roads. That all the manpower, marketing, and effort is wasted that will only lead to more dead drivers.

DOT Secretary Frank Busalacci is no doubt a fine man with years of transportation experience behind him; but he is incorporating the same failed "Stay the Course" philosophy of those before him. His ways will only lead to more dead drivers.

Yeah, no wonder folks like Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, Steve Kagen, and countless other liberals sound like fools when they talk about statistics in Iraq.

Only idiots see failure in progress.

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Thoughts on morality of School Referendums

There are many referendums around the state and throughout the country being voted on next Tuesday. Remember, a referendum only has to win once to be successful. Are they moral?
Any system of education that is premised upon, firstly, the sacrifice of individual rights to the collective benefit of "society" will not simply reverse its premise and commit suicide down the road - there is no altruism towards the individual from the collectivist's viewpoint. In fact, individual rights, as envisioned by our founders, is anathema to the collective will, euphemistically referred to as "the common good." To argue that if tax support for a quasi governmental monopoly is simply shifted to either all property tax or all state redistribution misses a fundamental point. Economic educational choice has to be, logically, the first premise and priority. The rights of parents are either primary or they are subordinated, and once subordinated gradually become non-existent over time. Without economic choice as primary you will never get real choice, because choice and ANY government monopoly (regardless of funding source) are logically and practically incompatible. Their ends are justified by their means. And their only means are the restrictions of your liberty with regard to your own children AND the coerced expropriation of your wealth to pay for their ends. The fact that it is done through a so-called democratic process does not make it moral.

More at OnTheBorderLine and a post specifically questioning the premise, "Are Referendums Moral ?".

Chris - OTBL

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Thoughts on government health care...

...from a breast cancer surgery specialist:

In 2006, Medi-Cal (California’s version of Medicaid) denied payment for one of my patient’s breast cancer surgery due to “incorrect gender.” She was as surprised as her doctor. After five appeals and nine months had elapsed, Medi-Cal finally paid me $253 for the two-hour cancer operation and 90 days of follow-up care.

So forgive me if I am a bit skeptical at the reform proposals made by California’s Republican Governor and at least three Democratic Presidential candidates, all of which include a greater role for government in funding and directing medical care for lower-income populations.
She's got some suggestions, and yes, they include Health Savings Accounts.

Read the whole thing.

Fox Politics

How about blogrolling Fox Politics?

I may live in the Appleton environs but Jo has served on the Appleton City Common Council and so knows the politics up here and who is who better than most people I know.


Rush: The Trees

Whence I gratuated from High Schrool, me and my buddies found it rather fitting that one of our all time favorite bands, Rush, came out with an album that year entitled: Farewell To Kings... There was a shred of truth that we were somewhat ignorant, rock and roll loving, ethnocentric and idealistic but it was the lyrics which grabbed us and propelled us forward... Onto to some truly great days and stout achievements.

Hope and enlightenment are where you find them, and I found both in the lyrics of this great band which still rocks to this day...

Rock on and don't tread on me!
There is unrest in the forest,
There is trouble with the trees,
For the maples want more sunlight
And the oaks ignore their pleas.

The trouble with the maples,
(And they're quite convinced they're right)
They say the oaks are just too lofty
And they grab up all the light.
But the oaks can't help their feelings
If they like the way they're made.
And they wonder why the maples
Can't be happy in their shade?

There is trouble in the Forest
And the creatures all have fled
As the Maples scream 'Oppression!'
And the Oaks, just shake their heads

So the maples formed a union
And demanded equal rights.
'These oaks are just too greedy;
We will make them give us light.'
Now there's no more oak oppression,
For they passed a noble law,
And the trees are all kept equal
By hatchet,
And saw.

Rush - The Trees (released in October 1978)
No doubt, we are kept down with hatchet, ax and saw!
dontThis great parable vividly illustrates through music and lyrics how the small people, the looters, with small mystical minds, continue to force those graced and armed with knowledge (and wealth) gained through rational thought to bend to the collective will of those who are not worthy, resorting to violence rather than reason to have their way. The song asks an age-old question: Which are you? The noble oak, or a weak maple whining about fairness and demanding an equality of outcomes, rather than bettering yourself through improved photosynthesis and nutrient gathering?

It is no coincidence that Rush's Neil Peart wrote this song as he (and the band) are Canadians and the maple, national tree of Canada, represents Peart's dissatisfaction his socialist-minded homeland. Alas, the same could be said now for America...

The great bald eagle now seems to change colors with the seasons...

donttreadonme @ OnTheBorderLine

Re: What is an "unlicensed adult?"

WEAC sued WIVA a few years ago, contending that they're breaking the law by having parents directly involved in their children's educations.
Source: The Badger Blog Alliance – What is an "unlicensed adult?" (Lance Burri)

That went down about the time Gregg Underheim ran for state superintendent of schools. I saw him in Appleton and remember him talking about that lawsuit. The Teacher's Industrial Complex (TIC) named the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (WDPI) as co-defendants in that one. However, the WDPI files and amicus brief on behalf of whom? You guessed it, the TIC.

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Unfortunately the Wisconsin version is very real

Owen at Boots and Sabers links to a report on the chupacabra, a "goat sucker", a mythological creature that sucks the lifeblood out of farm animals.

Owen may not be aware of it, but here in Wisconsin we have our own version of the beast. It's called the "chupataxra" and it sucks the lifeblood out of Wisconsin taxpayers. Unfortunately, the Wisconsin version is very real and is known for going into a frenzy every April 15th. The "chupataxra" tends to be difficult to see around election day but is frequently seen during budget season.

Sadly it preys on homeowners the hardest, especially seniors. In Wisconsin, the "chupataxra" has very few natural enemies.

Update! Phel asks for a picture.Notice the sharp eyes, looking for prey. The shifty nature, making it often too quick for any potential predator. The chameleon-like coloring is able to change with the political seasons. Such a creature can suck the the lifeblood out of the sick, the elderly, even the relatively mobile with it's extremely long reach. Despite the annoying tonal qualities of it's song, it is quite capable of beguiling it's victims into believing it is perfectly harmless before it strikes.

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Friday, November 02, 2007

What is an "unlicensed adult?"

Rose Fernandez, spokesperson for the Wisconsin Virtual Academy, on the educratic viewpoint:

I heard lawyers for DPI and WEAC call parents incompetent. I heard them say that unlicensed adults should not perform any teaching function whatsoever in public schools. The attorney for DPI, a deputy attorney general, actually said parents were not even capable of recognizing a teachable moment. Now that's an argument the Department of Justice can be proud of.

Unlicensed adults is code for what I am. A parent.
WEAC sued WIVA a few years ago, contending that they're breaking the law by having parents directly involved in their children's educations.

Read the whole thing. It includes a brief timeline.

I last wrote about this a couple years ago.

Re: The Taxing Chicken or the Spending Egg

Jay may not want to pin it down, but I'd say that any tax rate over 100% is probably too much. Even the ultra-ultra-rich might have trouble making ends meet if that were the case. That's just a hunch, based upon my public school education, though.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

The Taxing Chicken or the Spending Egg

Folkbum keeps getting the same question:

The last couple of times I've posted about taxes, my conservative readers have asked a question in the comments that I have opted to ignore.
But not this time, he says. The question is:

How much is too much of someone's income to take [in taxes]? What should the top line total tax picture be in your mind?
That seems a dang fine question to me, and I wonder why Jay doesn't want to answer it? Could it be because he has no "top line total tax picture?"

Is there a limit? How about fifty percent of personal income? Too much? Not enough?

From reading the rest of his post, I think Folkbum would answer "what's it buying us?"

My impression is that no amount of money will ever be enough - not just for Folkbum, but for the entire spending lobby. We could double our tax burden tomorrow, and in ten years be right back to where we are now: with interest groups and local governments screaming for More.

You heartless, greedy conservatives.

Anyway, here’s why Folkbum won’t answer the question: is a classic "gotcha" question--one designed to stop or derail conversation about important questions and instead put people on the spot so they can be criticized personally.
Instead of that question, he says, we should be doing something else that conservatives frequently want to do: set priorities.

Once we know what our priorities are, and what our revenue sources will be, we can set a level for taxes… The process of setting priorities, that important first step, will help us in deciding what to not to fund if there is no way to do that fairly.
I dearly wish we could do that, but in my experience, that's a fairyland picture of how government works.

We'll never set priorities. Government will not. Everything is top priority to somebody. There is no budget item, no potential target for the spending of taxpayer dollars, that doesn't have an interest group to whom that item is the most important thing.

And that interest group will form a coalition, print letterhead, find a legislative champion, find a media champion, and sooner or later get their money. Government hates saying no. This is especially true of social programs.

Put another way: we can't set priorities unless we first have limits. With no limits, there's no reason to set priorities in the first place. That is how we all do our own budgets – we know, generally, how much money we’ll make in the coming year, and so we know about what we can afford. Not the other way around.

Badger Bites 11/1

Halloween is over and deer hunting and Thanksgiving are still weeks away. What is there to look forward to? How about some of the interesting posts on Wisconsin blogs?

*Tonight we start out west with the author of Monday's edition, Chris from OTBL, who says, "Repeal the 17th Amendment."

*Meanwhile, Texas Hold 'Em Blogger brings us the shenanigans in Sheboygan. Uh, not those Shenanigans.

*The Daily Rag asks, "Is it time for the Pleasant Prairie Tea Party?" If so, I want to see the participants in powdered wigs.

*Steve brings us his favorite nominees for Weblog Awards, and there are a few homegrown blogs nominated.

*Who is the bad guy, cable companies or the Big Ten Network?

*Folkbum says that the question 'How much is enough?' is just a silly gotcha game.

*Babblemur is a sideline Ron Paul fan.

*Sean is not.

*Aaron asks for something reasonable-test score increases commensurate with school tax increases.

*Could Wisconsin matter?

*Hasenpfeffer Incorporated proposes a tax repeal I am heartily on board with.

*Illusory Tenant decides to share the c-word with invitees only.

*Pheisty gives us the YouTube expose on Hillary.


Harassment in Sheboygan

Cross-posted at THEB.

Mark Belling talked about this on his show today.

Apparently the powers-that-be in Screwy Sheboygan have taken it upon themselves to harass the proprietor of the Sheboygan Spirit, a public forum which allows citizens to comment on public events and officials, among other topics.

The Sheboygan Spirit had a link to the Sheboygan Police Department on the forum. Yawn. So what? Many blogs have links to public officials and services in their links section.

Apparently Mayor Juan Perez doesn’t care for this forum or its proprietor. Why? The Spirit led a recall attempt against Perez for attempting to abolish the police department, among other things. Typically, Perez played the race card and accused his political foes of targeting him because he is Hispanic.

You can read about the recall and the reasons behind it here.

Recently, the Sheboygan Spirit proprietor received a letter from the City Attorney, Stephen McLean, demanding that the link to the Police Department be removed from the forum’s home page. No reason. It isn’t illegal to post such links to any web site. Not only that, he demanded that the link to the Police Department be removed from the proprietor’s private business web site as well.

The proprietor did as the City Attorney demanded and removed the links. Not long after, she received a phone call from the Police Department stating that she was now the subject of an investigation by the Police. Apparently, this investigation of a private citizen for no apparent reason was personally ordered by the Chief of Police in Sheboygan, David E. Kirk, a crony of Mayor Perez.

So the Mayor orders his buddy, the Police Chief, to begin an unwarranted criminal investigation of a private citizen who led the recall efforts against him.

Can you say, Abuse of Power? Recall this guy? Maybe he should be impeached.

The police do not serve at the discretion of the mayor or any other elected official. They are to protect and serve the public as a whole. How many tax dollars and man hours were wasted as a result of this politically motivated stunt aimed solely to silence a critic of the mayor? I could say there were probably real crimes to be investigated and real criminals to be caught, but one of the idiot liberal judges in Sheboygan — also cronies of the mayor — would just let them go anyway.

Are we now to fear speaking out and being critical of elected officials for fear they’ll send their personal collection of brownshirts, attired in their jackboots and Nazi bucket helmets, to make sure we don’t step out of line?

If there were a real newspaper in Sheboygan, this would be front page. But the Sheboygan Press is also a lapdog for Perez and his goon squad, as well as the idiot liberal judges that allow dangerous criminals to roam the community.

By the way, here’s the link to the Sheboygan Police Department that had Perez so upset.

While you’re at it, why not let Mayor Perez know what you think of his attempts to intimidate a private citizen into silence? His e-mail is: Perez can be reached by snail mail at:

The Honorable Juan Perez
828 Center Avenue, 3rd Floor
Sheboygan, Wis. 53081
Phone: (920) 459-3317

Be respectful if you e-mail or write.

You can also let Chief Kirk know what you think of him being a willing participant in the harassment of a private citizen. His e-mail is: Kirk can be reached by snail mail at:

David E. Kirk, Chief of Police
828 Center Avenue
Sheboygan, Wis. 53081-4499
Phone: (920) 459-3343

Once again, please be respectful if you e-mail or write.

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