Badger Blog Alliance

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Monday, March 31, 2008

Packers on Monday Night

The Packers will host the Viqueens on the season's opening Monday night:

The NFL announced on Monday that the Green Bay Packers will begin the 2008 season against the Minnesota Vikings at Lambeau Field in the first game of the opening weekend's Monday Night Football doubleheader.

Kickoff time is slated for 6 p.m. (CT) on Monday, Sept. 8.
Game’s on ESPN. The season actually kicks off with the Giants and Redskins the Thursday before.

The rest of the Packers' schedule hasn’t been released yet, I take it, but here’s a list of the Packers’ opponents. We get Dallas at Lambeau this year.

Wisconsin Greens Support McKinney

Wisconsin's Green Party nominated former Rep. Cynthia McKinney at their convention over the weekend.

(Oshkosh) The Wisconsin Green Party Spring Gathering and Presidential Preference Convention was held today at the River Center at the Gruenhagen Conference Center, UW Oshkosh.

Cynthia McKinney received an overwhelming majority of the votes cast in the Wisconsin Green Party Presidential Preference Primary. McKinney received 79% of the vote; Kent Mesplay received 10%, Write-Ins for Ralph Nader 5%, Kat Swift 2%, Uncommitted 2%, and Jesse Johnson 1%.
That'd be the same Cynthia McKinney who: punched a cop and blamed racism; accused President Bush of advance knowledge of the 9/11 attacks; begged a Saudi Arabian prince for money by badmouthing her country; sued to overturn her crushing primary defeat in 2002; was fined $33,000 for campaign finance violations; and never leaves home without a full deck of race cards.

Way to distinguish yourselves, Greens. We'll all take you a lot more seriously now.

Badger Bites

Okay. Some of you out there are dodging the flood waters. Others are still suffering the indignities of winter. Either way, the miserable winter of 2007-2008 holds on by the finger nails. Grab a warm beverage, a cozy blanket, and tuck into tonight's Badger Bites.


Lawton to run for Governor in 2010?

She says she will, if Doyle doesn't:

Lt. Gov. Barbara Lawton tells The Associated Press she will run for governor in 2010 if Gov. Jim Doyle decides not to seek a third term.

Doyle has not said whether he will run again but he continues to raise money as if he is.

Lawton said Monday that she believes Doyle is undecided. She says he has not told her whether he will run again.

But Lawton says she "absolutely" will run for governor if Doyle ultimately decides not to go for a third term. She says she is undecided on whether she would run as his lieutenant governor for a third term if he seeks re-election.

The 56-year-old Lawton says she is in the early stages of preparing for a potential run for governor.
I can't decide whether that's a good thing or not.

Might be time to move to North Dakota

The U.S. Geological Survey is nearing completion of a research project that will attempt to quantify how much oil is contained in the Bakken shales formation and how much of it is recoverable.

...the Bakken formation may hold as many as 900 billion barrels of oil.

...Other estimates of the Bakken formation's oil reserves have pegged the number at closer to 200 billion or 300 billion barrels.
Note that Saudi Arabia’s proven reserves were about 267 billion barrels in 2006, so even given the lowest estimate, this would make the U.S. virtually OPEC-like.

And wouldn't that just stick in some craws.

I was going to make this point…

but Jib beat me to it:

Islam has overtaken Roman Catholicism as the biggest single religious denomination in the world, the Vatican said on Sunday.

Monsignor Vittorio Formenti, who compiled the Vatican's newly-released 2008 yearbook of statistics, said Muslims made up 19.2 percent of the world's population and Catholics 17.4 percent.

"For the first time in history we are no longer at the top: the Muslims have overtaken us," Formenti told Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano in an interview, saying the data referred to 2006.
Jib writes:

Why is the Vatican comparing the whole of Islam to Roman Catholicism? Islam is not without its theological divisions. Sunni, Shi'a, and Sufi are all Islamic 'denominations', if you will.
Yeah, it's kinda like comparing one team's passing touchdowns to another teams total touchdowns.

I wonder what the context was: why would the Vatican go out of their way to let us know that?

Car crashes into woman's bedroom

Via the Baraboo News Republic:

A 78-year-old Baraboo woman received minor injuries after a car crashed into her bedroom early Saturday morning.

The car failed to stop at the intersection of Sauk Avenue and Hitchcock Street before crashing into the bedroom of the woman's home, according to a press release from the Baraboo District Ambulance Service.

The 20-year-old man driving the vehicle received minor facial injuries and was transported to St. Clare Hospital along with the elderly woman.
Whaddayawanna bet alcohol was involved?

Opening Day

Cross-posted at THEB:

In honor of Opening Day, here's the classic Abbott & Costello routine "Who's On First."

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Sunday, March 30, 2008

So, is everybody else's Final Four still intact?

Or is it just mine?

MJS Endorses Scott Walker

Well, not really. But, they tried to. With statements like this it's hard to tell who they really want us to vote for:

Absent these critical considerations, we cannot recommend her over Walker. Given our differences with Walker, we wish we could.

That's not exactly glowing praise for either candidate. If I were in Walker's shoes I'd make a point of rejecting the endorsement. It would show more spine than the individual who wrote this has. You can tell that the MJS didn't have enough courage to write what they're really thinking: vote Taylor, we know she's a dud but at least she's not a republican.

I've tried to imagine what the rough draft of this endorsement must have looked like:

Let’s get one thing straight: we can’t stand Scott Walker. For crying out loud, the man killed The Blue Shirt, a symbol of – something really important, probably. He’s also managed to keep the county from tanking while holding the line on taxes and that just can’t be tolerated.

Walker single-handedly killed the county parks, too. He literally killed them! It must be seen to be believed. Sometime in October all the leaves fell off the trees and there's no sign of recovery. We blame Scott Walker.

We’d really love to endorse his opponent, Lena Taylor. We really would. It’s just that she’s such an embarrassment we can’t risk our credibility on her, not even after we endorsed Jim Doyle for governor! The woman hasn’t got a clue how to run Milwaukee county and she openly admitted it. It's all over the Cheddarsphere now. If we endorsed her now they'd have us committed.

So, we're forced to endorse the greater of two evils. Scott Walker may be the anti-christ, but he looks damned good in a suit. Meanwhile, we'll continue wishing for the democrats to run a viable candidate. We can't stand to go through this every four years! Scott, please run for governor, of Alaska. Couldn't you at least stop acting so professional? Give us a sex scandal, or something, anything, that we can use to tarnish your reputation. Why do you have to be so damn popular, Scott? You're killing us!


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Re: Danica Patrick

When I was young, idealistic, and ready to take over the world, I hoped the "Jib Doctrine" would be something that history books wrote about and which changed the course of American history for the better. Now that I'm older, realistic, and generally pissy, I'm cool with it having to do with repeatedly writing "Danica Patrick."

The web really was innocent all of those...three years ago. We didn't even need to have pictures of Danica Patrick to get swamped with traffic-we just had to write her name. I guess people were just better back in the old days. (That's dry humor for those of you who think I'm serious).

IRL Adopts "Danica Rule"

Alternate title: Return of the Jib Doctrine

I found a new excuse to blog about Danica Patrick!

From now on, the minimum weight for IRL cars must include the driver.

What's the big deal? Well, it just so happens that the lightest driver on the circuit is a woman. And not just any woman. It's Danica Patrick...

At just 100 pounds, she weights 20 pounds less than the two other women on the circuit, Milka Duno and Sarah Fisher. The heaviest driver, according to the IRL guide, is 165–pound Ed Carpenter.

…Danica even admits that in a sport where less weight can mean higher speeds, being light offers a slight edge.

In 2005, rival teams were outed in an AP story, saying Danica might gain as much as one mph due to her size.
Jealous and bitter. All of them. They ought to be ashamed.

The pic on the left is size 16 contestant for Miss England, which I found at Boots and Sabers, where they got it from Rachel Lucas, who got it from Dr.Melissa Clouthier, who found the story in the UK's Daily Mail.

The story goes, she's a little on the big side to be a beauty queen, so Dr. Clouthier compared her to Marilyn Monroe.

I'm not comparing them to Danica Patrick* - it's just a good excuse to post her picture. Plus, it's interesting to compare the two stories: one woman too big, the other too small, or so the powers-that-be in their respective fields of excellence would have us believe.

* Official IRL Driver of the Badger Blog Alliance, as long as I can say that without triggering any adverse legal repercussions. Maybe we should contact her agent?

I'm writing about the Supreme Court race again...

...over at my place. Here's a small chunk:

How do we know what society needs? Well, duh. It’s obvious. Society needs release from the monopoly of government schools. Statewide vouchers: that’s what we need.

Oh, you disagree?

You must be glad I’m not a Supreme Court Justice, then. At least, not a liberal one.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Oh. My. &%$@!&**@@#^.

Davidson 73.

Wisconsin 56.

They owned us. Owned. Us. It was like we were I said to whoever was around to listen at halftime that whichever team went cold first would lose. And that was us.

Davidson's star, Curry, was 6 of 11 from 3-point range. I was stunned to hear he'd missed at all. It seemed sometimes that they couldn't miss. Any of them. They were hitting from everywhere and getting fouled, too. And it seemed like we couldn't even get a shot off.

I've swallowed enough bad language tonight to kill a lesser man.

I'll feel better tomorrow. Still, seems like a waste of a great season.

So. When's draft day?


Wisconsin 36

Davidson 36

Geez, Davidson can really play. Tough defense, and just shooting the lights out. I saw one graphic that they were 8 of 12 from 3-point range.

When's the last time we gave up 36 points in a half?

Second half starting.

Somebody's having an easy time making up his mind

Tuesday, I explained why I’m voting for Mike Gableman.

Our good friend Jack Lohman (see here and here) commented:

That Gableman is backed by WMC is the very reason my vote goes to Butler.
Must be nice to have your opinion pre-made for you like that: just see what WMC says, and go the other way.

Although I thought it was us right-wingers who followed WMC in lockstep.

Whatever. In other news: Lohman now opposes the hospital tax.

Democracy is good for the economy

World War II Triple Ace Dies

Lt. Gen. Gordon M. Graham logged more than 9,000 flying hours during his career in the Air Force.

But Graham's first flying experience came while he was working as a teenager at an airport in California in the early 1930s. Told one payday there wasn't enough money to pay him, he accepted an offer of a flying lesson instead, said his wife of 40 years, Vivian Fox Graham of Irvington.

That first experience piloting a plane became a passion for Graham, who destruction of at least 16 enemy planes during World War II made him a triple ace.

...By the end of World War II, he had flown 73 combat missions in P-51 Mustang fighter planes. He also saw combat in Korea and Vietnam, being credited with more than 1,000 combat hours in fighters.
Read the whole thing. He died Saturday in Virginia, 90 years old. He'll be buried in Arlington in July.

He wrote an autobiography in 1996: "Double for Down: Anecdotes of a Fighter Pilot." That’s going on my list.

Again One Day Early

Since tomorrow I will be carving up Ski Brule like it was a Thanksgiving Day turkey I once again present Saturday's music one day early.

Another group I have seen personally, this time at InterContinental Hotel in Al-Ain, UAE. This time this group is more jazz than anything, but they do play some classical pieces.

Today's featured music is performed by Rhythm and Brass a group of five horn players and one percussionist. Some years ago they toured the Middle East paying homage to Duke Ellington. I remember the show and it was very good, the instruments they cold mimic with just their horns was amazing.

Anyway I found a You Tube video featuring Rhythm and Brass and it contains a sampler of their work and at least two arrangements you may recognize:

What pieces do you recognize?

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A little pre-game

Badgers' Flowers can become legend by slowing Curry

In the white corner, this native of Madison, Wis., is a senior majoring in social welfare and sociology, checking in at 6-feet-2-inches and 183 pounds, Micha-a-a-el Flo-o-o-wers!

And in the red corner, this native of Charlotte is a sophomore who has yet to declare his major, checking in at 6-foot-3 and 185 pounds, Steff-i-i-n-n Cur-r-r-r-ry!

Weather Prediction

After this obnoxious Winter I fully expect Summer to come around and try to make up for it. I also expect some idiot, most likely one with an Oscar and a Nobel Peace Prize, to blame the first scorching day on global warming.

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Thursday, March 27, 2008

The Final Floor

Appleton, is guaranteed to have its mark on the floor at the NCAA Final Four. It might be Brian Butch, but at the very least Baseman Floors of Appleton sanded and finished the final floor for the Final Four of the NCAA men's tournament. In addition they did the finish work on the Women's Final Four floor (I am loving this post!).

When the NCAA is done using the Final Four floor they strip the finish and send it back out as plain old wood flooring. How cool would that be, to have some of that in your home? Hmmmm.

Correction - Mr. Butch's first name corrected.

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Twenty-three hours to tip-off…

…and the Badgers aren’t getting much love.

Just read this dreamy fawning over the Cinderella Sweethearts from Davidson and their sophomore sensation (scroll to the bottom). I was going to excerpt it, but if I vomited all over my keyboard...well, I don't have a spare.

Some pundits are picking Davidson to beat Wisconsin, and some are even saying they'll beat Kansas. Yeah, okay. I guess you can’t rule it out, after they made the Sweet Sixteen.

Still, though. Let's get a grip. You know they've got 1700 students? I sat in lecture halls with more students than that. They could bring the whole school to the Kohl Center and you wouldn't be able to tell.

And by the way, Kevin Fischer noticed some guy at Fox Sports ranking Bo Ryan 9th among the Sweet Sixteen coaches.

Ninth. Which, naturally, leads one to ask whether it's too late for Wisconsin to secede from the Union.

Here's a swoonless media opinion for you:

Biggest threat (to Kansas -ed): Wisconsin. Largely overlooked heading into the tournament despite winning both the Big Ten regular season and tourney titles and beating Texas in Austin, the Badgers look like another vintage Bo Ryan team. Against Kansas State, they shut down Michael Beasley after halftime (six points) and got Bill Walker into foul trouble. They're capable of slowing down a team like Kansas just by controlling the tempo.
Also, Jason King of Yahoo Sports named Wisconsin as his possible upset Final Four team. (Warning: link leads to a video following a commercial. King talks Wisconsin at about the 2:10 mark).

Twenty-two hours, fifty-seven minutes to tip-off…

Elsewhere in sports...

This didn’t make much of a splash:

Ted Thompson, the Green Bay Packers' general manager, has been named NFL executive of the year by Sporting News.

…He received 19 of 48 votes cast by NFL general managers and other executives. New York Giants GM Jerry Reese was second with nine votes.
Maybe it shouldn’t, but that does make me feel a little better about Aaron Rodgers.


Rob Davis, the oldest and most veteran player on the Green Bay Packers, has retired and will join the team’s front office, General Manager Ted Thompson announced this morning.
Seems funny to describe somebody besides Favre as the “oldest and most veteran” Packer, but he really was older than Favre, and of course, once Favre retired, he became the "most veteran."

Davis, 39, was the Packers’ long snapper in 167 consecutive games over 11 seasons. That’s the third-longest streak in team history, trailing only Brett Favre (255) and Forrest Gregg (187).
He played in Canada, then Chicago, then Green Bay. He was the last remaining member of Green Bay's 1997 Superbowl team.

The Packers have some youngster coming in to replace him now: let’s hope he can stand the spotlight.

By the way, I found that picture of Davis at a web site dedicated to "the art of long snapping."

Growing majorities like nuclear power

There was a conference on nuclear energy at UW yesterday and, guess what?

Bisconti, whose research was sponsored by the Nuclear Energy Institute, said support by the public has grown from 49 percent to 64 percent since 1983, when she first conducted the poll. During the same period, opposition to nuclear power has dropped from 46 percent to 30 percent, Bisconti reported.

She said part of the reason is because Americans are concerned about global warming and view nuclear power as a relatively clean alternative.
Of course, you’d have to get past the state’s moratorium on new nuclear plants. And then you’d have to get past all the existing regulations. And then there’s still the “not in my backyard” problem.

I’ll let them put one in mine, if it’ll fit. I’ll even rent out the kids for a fair wage.

Read the whole thing. Hat tip to FoxPolitics.

Badger Bites

I can't talk about snow again this year and I'm fresh out of puns, so without further adieu, here's today's Bites.


Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Concealed carry on campus

From the Daily Cardinal:

Push for gun-owner rights reaches Madison

Students for Concealed Carry on Campus, an organization promoting handgun owners' rights on college campuses, will form on the UW-Madison campus in the upcoming month.
Chapters already exist at MATC, Marquette, and Lawrence University. The organization plans to hold protests at all its campuses April 21 through 25.

The story quotes a professor who isn't running and hiding from the idea:

UW-Madison philosophy professor and expert on gun ownership ethics Lester Hunt said the idea of concealed carry on campus could be a good idea if tests and background checks were administered to all potential carriers.

“It’s time to at least consider the possibility of people exercising a concealed carry right on campus,” Hunt said.
Note that he said could, not would. Still, that last statement is pretty powerful for a UW professor, and I'm a little surprised that it made it into a Daily Cardinal story.

Unless the DC isn’t as edge-of-the-spectrum liberal as they used to be, anyway.

That’s the second professor I’ve heard of endorsing the idea.

A prediction:

The “Frankenstein Veto” constitutional amendment will pass with 75% of the vote next Tuesday.

The other 25% of voters will consist entirely of people who filled their ballots out randomly, people who just thought it was funny, and people named Jim Doyle.

It's true: nerds rule the internet.

Cue the Vader Music

Big Dog on a walk:

This is the upgraded "Big Dog" from Boston Dynamics. The unit is gas powered, weighs 235 pounds, has a payload of 345 pounds, and can traverse a wide variety of terrain.
Man, the Rebel Alliance is toast now.

Fast forward to :35 and 1:25 to see how they've improved design to defend against stone-age log traps.

Unrelated Quote of the Week

Bank of England Officials Will Meet Bankers Tomorrow

March 19 (Bloomberg) -- The Bank of England will host a meeting of banking executives tomorrow as officials struggle to ease concern about the health of the country's financial system.

"Senior members of the banking community" will attend the meeting in London, said Lesley McLeod, a spokeswoman for the British Bankers' Association, in an interview. The BBA will not have a representative at the talks, McLeod said.
Fine. We didn’t want to attend your stupid meeting anyway.

Note: this is the second week in a row we've run an "Unrelated Quote of the Week," but that still doesn't mean it's gonna be a weekly feature.


Politically Incorrect

Nick said:

If Obama wins the Democratic nomination, but loses the general election, there will be some sort of rioting.

It's a politically incorrect comment and I'm sure someone's not going to like it. Just in case it's not offensive enough, I'll go one further:

If there's rioting in Milwaukee, how will we distinguish it from the normal cruising and shooting that will likely be occurring at the same time?


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Re: Disenfranchisement in PA


There is no such thing as disfranchisement in a primary election. Primary elections are party business and it seems to me the political parties are private bodies and have no special claim upon the public coffer or law enforcement to uphold pledges of party loyalty.

In fact, I think the parties should be told they have to fund primaries on their own w/o public assistance. If this means caucuses open only to paid party members then so be it.

However, I understand your point is to show how Wisconsin is such an oddball when it comes to voter id and registration and the like.

Disenfranchisement in PA

Pennsylvania's big Presidential primary is on April 22. Lots of people - maybe record numbers of people - want to vote, but if they didn't get registered by yesterday, they're out of luck.

WAYNE, Pa. — Pennsylvanians are rushing in record numbers to sign up as Democrats so they can vote in the presidential primary April 22 between Barack Obama and Hillary Rodham Clinton.
See, there's no such thing as same-day registration in Pennsylvania. You have to register almost a month in advance, or you can't vote.

This is such obvious disenfranchisement of those who weren’t able to register in time, and of those who didn’t know they had to register.

Surely Democrats won't allow this to happen. They'll take to the streets in protest! They'll engage in civil disobedience! They'll disrupt church services!

Any second now. Aaaaaaany second.

I they use dogs and SWAT teams to turn the non-registered away from the polls on Election Day?

Take the test.

UW Report: children exposed to tobacco smoke at home

Here it comes:

MADISON - Despite substantial progress in the past few years, hundreds of thousands of Wisconsin kids are still regularly exposed to high levels of secondhand smoke in their homes.

A report issued today by the UW Comprehensive Cancer Center and co-presented by the University of Wisconsin Center for Tobacco Research and Intervention (UW-CTRI) conservatively estimates that more than 211,000 children are exposed to tobacco smoke in their homes on most days.
At least they're not calling for legislation to outlaw smoking in private residences.


The only good use for a Cubs hat

Clint over at Wisconsin Sports Bar found it:

Shouldn't it be turned around, though?

Monday, March 24, 2008

Badger Bites

I hope everyone had a nice Easter and, for those of you in the southern part of the state, a good snowblower. Spring is just around the corner, but as long as you're still snowbound, you might as well see what's springing up on Wisconsin blogs. (Yes, it is a terrible pun)

*Wheaton Franciscan might as well have a company store with employee relations like this.

*Could Nader affect the presidential race?

*Nick ponders dangerously.

*I'm with James-this is refreshing.

*Peter looks at a good thing born from a bad.

*Sinbad is the new Honest Abe.

*This should be Wisconsin's new state verse.

*Ah, nothing like American pessimism.

*Heh, the wimpy WiSJ.

*Yeah, what about that blog summit?

*The return of the Cheese League?


Great Line

Rick Esenberg:

A good judge, like a good umpire, needs to believe that there is a strike zone and that it must be honored.
Read the whole thing.

Protesters Disrupt Easter Service

Jeff Wagner was talking about this story today:

Six people were arrested at Holy Name parish's auditorium Sunday after disrupting an Easter mass to protest the Iraq war.

The group—whose female and male members identified themselves as Catholic Schoolgirls Against the War—stood up at the beginning of Cardinal Francis George's homily and shouted their opposition to the conflict, which marked its fifth anniversary last week. As security guards and ushers tried to remove them from the service, the demonstrators squirted fake blood on themselves and parishioners dressed in their Easter finery.
First thought: a church with security guards?

Second thought: I’m amazed none of these punks got punched in the nose.

Third thought: if you are witness to something like this; and if, say, your 6-year-old daughter in her new Easter dress got hit with the fake blood; and if you respond by punching the guy (or girl) in the nose…does the fact that you’re in church make your response worse?

Instapundit comments:

If people did this kind of thing at a mosque it would be international news, and evidence of irredeemable hatred and bigotry . . . .
Heck, muslim extremists have bombed mosques in Iraq during services. I believe the U.S. was blamed for that.

Rachel Lucas weighs in on the perpetrators:

Being so young, they likely have never had a good solid beating.
I wonder the Cardinal found room for “spare the rod, spoil the child” as he resumed his sermon.

What day will Easter be on in 2152?


Oh, you mean the date.

Found this over at Ol’ Broad's, who, by her own admission, is “loopier than normal.”

Easter this year is: Sunday March 23, 2008

As you may know, Easter is always the 1st Sunday after the 1st full moon after the Spring Equinox (which is March 20).

This dating of Easter is based on the lunar calendar that Hebrew people used to identify Passover, which is why it moves around on our Roman calendar.

Here’s the facts:

The next time Easter will be this early (March 23) will be the year 2228 (220 years from now).

The last time it was this early was 1913 (so if you’re 95 or older, you are the only ones that were around for that!).

The next time it will be a day earlier, March 22, will be in the year 2285 (277 years from now).

The last time it was on March 22 was 1818.

So, no one alive today has or will ever see it any earlier than this year!
Cool. And according to this, an Easter this early once happened twice in 12 years: March 23 1845, and March 23 1856.

Four straight days watching the NCAA tournament…

…and I have no idea what constitutes a foul and what does not.

Dan Patrick was talking NCAA brackets on 100.5 this morning. He, a professional sports journalist, has only 9 of his Sweet Sixteen games remaining.

I, an unlettered amateur when it comes to college hoops, have 12 of my Sweet Sixteen teams remaining, and 7 of my Elite Eight, thus proving the enormous amount of luck required to pick a successful bracket.

Now if only I could harness that when I want it.

Taylor: "Not your County Expert"

Do how confident would you be in voting for this woman?

Help Me Out Here

Can someone tell me what Hillary Clinton's key demographic is?

I have yet to run into anyone who's a strong Hillary supporter. Men don't seem to like her much and the younger voters clearly gravitate to Obama.

Are there really that many bitter old maids in this country?

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Re: Redistrubute Wealth?

It appears that part of my response to Rev. Halbe’s column last week sounded as though I dislike excessive wealth, that I think wealthy people are selfish, and/or that I think the wealthy should have to give their money away.

I certainly don't think any of that, and wish I'd written that paragraph (fourth from the bottom) differently: capitalism has done more to relieve poverty than charity ever has. The “Rising Tide Lifts All Boats” theory. I’m a fan.

In the offending paragraph, I was offering examples of things we can do to be more charitable with what we have without really impacting our own lifestyles. If you are Christian, then I think you have to take this seriously. If you're not Christian, I still think you should take it seriously.

But, as I tried to make clear, it’s an individual decision whether or not to do that. Nobody can make the decision for you, and I would never try. If I believed anything else, I'd probably have agreed with Rev. Halbe in the first place.

I’d have hoped people would realize, from the context of all the other hundreds of things I’ve said about taxes and wealth creation, that any other interpretation – especially a socialist-leaning interpretation – must be wrong.

Still, even in context, that part of my response obviously raised some eyebrows. Hope this clears it up.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


that my redeemer liveth.

Happy Easter to all and may the Risen Lord serve as an example for you to emulate!

From Handel's Messiah Oratorio:


Saturday, March 22, 2008

Re: Redistribute wealth and be saved forever?

There is no virtue in compulsion.

The fundamental question posed to us in the Bible happens early on. Are we our brother's keeper? The Bible's answer is clear and is yes. However, too many people often times hear: Is my government my brother's keeper? Those who hear the question that way are outsourcing the business of caring for each other.

I also believe a fair number of people will answer the question by saying Yes, but after American Idol, that is they procrastinate or keeping pushing it off and does not get done.

Follow Ups & Additional Commentary 10:52 AM 03/23/2008
First off, I note Rev. Halbe is a retired pastor of a United Church of Christ (UCC) church. The UCC has another notable retired pastor. So, no surprise there the UCC is an outfit I would expect this sort of rhetoric from.

Rev. Halbe notes a large number of factoids but I do not believe they are really put into proper perspective. Tom Clancy in Clear and Present Danger puts things in perspective through the movie's villain. The villain is thinking about how even America's poor go to anti-government protests in their own cars. Yeah, the difference between our poor and Bill Gates is large, but so? My biggest problem I have with Bill Gates is the garbage the company he founded puts out not his wealth.

I have traveled the world a fair amount. My first visit to the Philippines had me amazed at the poverty. Large squatter settlements, people sorting through the garbage dump (aka Smokey Mountain) for food and items to rehabilitate and sell (or use). My second visit to the Philippines though came with another perspective shift and it did not look as bad as it did the first time.

In Africa the situation is worse and people I know who have been India tell me I have not seen anything when it comes to poverty.

With all that said, I find the commentary these posts have generated are a perfect illustration in reality of the leftist caricature of conservatives.

Clearly, the Bible does command us to care for others as well as worship and honor God but the second one is being ignored:
"Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.'
Source: New International Version Bible – Mat. 22:36-39
People who do not care for the poor or others fail the test.

Those who profess not to care for the poor would do well to reread the parable of Lazarus and the Rich Man.

Re: Sweet!

You are welcome!

I had the Badgers out in this round, so of course they go on!

Excuse me, while I don my asbestos suit.


Wisconsin 72

Kansas St. 55

Yes, I know, that's about as unimaginative a headline as you're likely to see.

Redistribute wealth and be saved forever?

That - minus the question mark - was the actual headline of an editorial in yesterday's Racine Journal Times. Here's the link.

The first time I saw it, I thought: that's gotta be sarcasm. Some conservative is making a facetious point.

Nope. Serious.

Now: the headline doesn't exactly mirror the writer's point. It's one possible interpretation, I suppose, but I think the writer – retired pastor Glen Halbe – wasn't making quite so direct an equation.

Rev. Halbe wants us to be more charitable: to give more of what we have, since we only have it because of God's generosity in the first place. That's an excellent message that my parish priest has often given, himself.

But he is equating charitable giving with paying taxes, and that's where we part ways.

First, there's nothing inherently Christian about giving money to any organization you consider to be corrupt, wasteful, or just plain wrong. Rev. Halbe himself believes that of our government, at least in part: he calls the Iraq war a waste of money.

Yet, his message is: we must give more to the government. And so what if the government spends it immorally? So what if they allow money to slip wastefully away? So what if office upon government office spends more time slogging through massive tomes of administrative rules than they do actually helping anyone?

Second, paying taxes is a passive activity. They simply happen. They're automatically added to our purchases. They automatically come out of our paychecks. There's no thought required – no actual sense of sacrifice: of giving.

If this pastor's way of thinking becomes the norm, there will be a sense of already having given. We don't have to answer that call for help. We won't give to that charity, because we already gave at the office.

Why should we give to charity? We're already paying taxes!

Bunk. Want to live up to God's expectations? Find a food pantry. Or a homeless shelter, or an educational program. Kids Ranch. Boys and Girls Club. Scouts. Hospitals. Give to the schools, if that's what you want. Help a struggling family or single mom pay for day care. Find a church and donate to their outreach programs.

Now: the pastor mentions the question of excessive wealth, and to a point I agree: those of us who have are called to share with those who don't. For crying out loud, before you go spend $5,000 on a great big TV, find a smaller one that costs $1,000 and give the rest to charity. You'll enjoy the TV just as much. Instead of spending $50,000 on a new car, spend $30,000, and give the rest to charity. You'll still get where you're going in comfort and style.

By no means do I believe that I speak for Him, but I think Jesus will look more kindly on you for it.

But that's the point: we're called. Whether we answer is up to each of us, individually.

Paying taxes is not the same as answering the call, because paying taxes is not an act of choice. It's something we're forced to do, whether we like it or not. To believe that God is judging us based on how much we pay in taxes is to believe that we're judged not on what we choose to do (or not do), but on what someone else chooses for us.

UPDATE - a clarification.


The European Union is talking Olympic Boycott:

BERLIN (AP) -- The president of the European Parliament said European countries should not rule out threatening China with an Olympic boycott if violence continues in Tibet.

"Beijing must decide itself, it should immediately negotiate with the Dalai Lama," Hans-Gert Poettering said in Saturday editions of Germany's Bild am Sonntag newspaper. "If there continue to be no signals of compromise, I see boycott measures as justified."
I kinda doubt they'd ever pull the trigger, but it's something just that they're talking about it.

The NCAA tournament is like crack.

Something overheard in my living room earlier today: "Why isn't there any basketball on my TV yet?"

Badgers at 3:20. Marquette at 5:45. Church at 7, so somebody else keep track of the Golden Eagles for me.

I'm not sure what to say about this:

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, former member of Bill Clinton's cabinet, endorsed Barack Obama yesterday, and:

“An act of betrayal,” said James Carville, an adviser to Mrs. Clinton and a friend of Mr. Clinton.

“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Mr. Carville said, referring to Holy Week.
Thus far, there are no reports of Richardson having hung himself. Hat tip to Townhall's Matt Lewis.

And while I'm over at Townhall, Hugh Hewitt posted a bit of an interview Karl Rove gave, in which Rove listed several news websites and blogs he peruses regularly.

No, BBA wasn't on his list. But then, neither was Townhall.

That's not part of your benefits package.

Found this at Instapundit today:


The calls from the agent started three days later. He hinted, she said, at his power to derail her life and deport her relatives, alluding to a brush she had with the law before her marriage. He summoned her to a private meeting. And at noon on Dec. 21, in a parked car on Queens Boulevard, he named his price — not realizing that she was recording everything on the cellphone in her purse.

“I want sex,” he said on the recording. “One or two times. That’s all. You get your green card. You won’t have to see me anymore.”

She reluctantly agreed to a future meeting. But when she tried to leave his car, he demanded oral sex “now,” to “know that you’re serious.” And despite her protests, she said, he got his way.
Prof. Reynolds comments:

Just think how things will be if we get national healthcare. "I want sex. One or two times. That's all. You get your operation. You won't have to see me anymore."
I'm not completely comfortable with that kind of pre-accusation, but then, we will be handing power over to untold numbers of bureaucrats, and you know what they say about power.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Another Early Edition of Saturday's Music

This one features another birthday composer.

Funny, there are three today. Eric Kunzel, JS Bach, and today's featured composer Modest Mussorgsky. Most likely you know the piece I will feature. In any event I feel it to be rather appropriate given today's weather not being bright and springy.

Modest Mussorgsky was born today in 1839 in Russia. Interestingly enough one of his works is entitled Boris Godounov which I guess Boris Badenov (Natasha and Boris from Rocky & Bullwinkle) is play off of.

Another famous piece by Modest is entitled Pictures at an Exhibition which is one of those works with a very heroic ending.

Happy birthday Modest, you would be 169 years old today! Funny, in my mind Modest is a post-romantic composer though the time period in which he lived is definitely romantic.

Anyway the gabbing ends and Night on Bald Mountain begins:

Here is the ending to Pictures at an Exhibition:

Labels: , , , ,

Scenes from Baraboo

Looking down my street:

Get to work, kid!

It's been snowing all day long so far. Silver lining: at least there's someplace to put it now.

You can click on those if you want a really big version.

Watching the NCAAs...

I am not going to stand here hoping some 19-year-old kid misses his free throws in overtime of the first NCAA tournament his school's been to in decades. No matter what it does to my brackets.

Re: Punctuation Counts

Let me hear it count to 100! :-)

Anyway another good example was President George HW Bush's famous line "Read my lips: no new taxes!"

A buddy of mine noted the speech writer must have forgot a comma to yield: "No, new taxes!" as new taxes we got.


Thursday, March 20, 2008

Milwaukee's Write In Race

In January, we broke a story at BadgerBlogger about County Board Supervisor James White failing to turn in enough valid signatures to get on the ballot April 1st. Since White has had to run a write-in campaign, a strong challenger has also entered the race, but since no local media has covered it at all, no one outside of the district seems to know about it. But after seeing the explosion of "Write in Theo Lipscomb" signs, I had to track this guy down and learn if he would be a credible successor to the the big taxing, pension sweetening, McGee supporting, James White... I think he is, and to learn more, swing over to my place and read about The secret race for Milwaukee County Board’s 1st District

Abuse of power against a blogger

Not since Sheboygan's abuse of power against Jeni Reisinger of Sheboygan Shenanigans, have we seen a local governmental body in Wisconsin go after a blogger using law enforcement. But once again, it has happened, this time in Whitewater.

Free Whitewater is run anonymously by a citizen that calls himself John Adams, and he really knows his stuff about Whitewater politics. He has often been very critical about politicians and the chief of police, and everything he says is true and accurate (no libel, no crime). The Wisconsin State Journal has a great story about how Police Chief James Coan is using city resources to try to unmask this blogger. It seems that in Whitewater, the 1st Amendment doesn't have much meaning. This chief has directed two detectives, the city's director of public works, its information technology officer and the city clerk to try to identify this blogger. Coan calls him a suspect, but admits he hasn't committed a crime. He has even gone as far as to accuse someone else of being the blogger and attempted to intimidate him into silence!

The blogger was asked why he chose John Adams as his pseudonym:
Adams said he chose his alias to honor the country's second president, whose anonymous newspaper columns helped galvanize public support for independence leading up to the Revolutionary War.

"I'm a common man following the example of uncommon men," said Adams, naming Thomas Paine, James Madison, Alexander Hamilton and John Jay as leaders who criticized government under pen names.

"I believe it's fundamentally American. That's the very stuff of which we're made and from which we've sprung."

Amen My Fellow American! We need a little more John Adams in this world.

Wisconsin State Journal: Whitewater police pursue anonymous blogger, critic

In an email, Detective Tina Winger said this blogger "Seems like an anti-government radical to me." So there you have it folks, all of us that criticize our local officials are radicals... Count me as Guilty!

“When even one American - who has done nothing wrong - is forced by fear to shut his mind and close his mouth - then all Americans are in peril.”
--Harry S. Truman

Badger Bites

This is going to be an abbreviated version of the Bites. Since I boogie all over the Wisconsin blogosphere for this, anyway, I'd just as soon have a full version but it has been a slow few days around the state. Enjoy the links. We'll be back with a full version on Monday.

-Yuck, yuck, yuck.

-The Depprivation of Wisconsinites.

-Dad29 brings you the cutest baby animal pics you'll see today.

-Little Miss Sunshine draws an apt comparison between the vandalism of a Milwaukee Army recruiting office and...

-Of course, some just can't be bothered to care. At least they're honest about it.


The Dow Jones is swinging more wildly than…

…Spiderman on a bender;

…Barack Obama’s damage control;

…”Zoot Suit Riot” played at 78 rpm.

Note: if you don’t understand the reference to “78 rpm,” you’re too young to be out on the internet alone.


Headline of the Day…

…comes from Townhall’s Mary Katherine Ham:

Five years on, Osama's pals still playing "Weekend at Bernie's."
Here’s what she was linking to.

Bonus: in the comments, Steveegg and another guy totally hijack the post and start talking about basketball.

Democrats release budget repair bill

Senate Democrats released their version of a budget repair bill this morning after hearing from various local government, state bureaucracy, and union officials during a daytime public hearing in Milwaukee earlier this week.

Not that anybody’s paying any attention, what with the NCAA tournament starting today, and Good Friday tomorrow, and Easter three days from now. Say…they wouldn’t be trying to tank this, would they?

Surely not.

Anyway, here’s the Journal Sentinel story.

Here’s a link to the Legislative Fiscal Bureau’s summaries:

Governor Doyle's plan (27 pages);

The Assembly Republican plan (2 pages);

The Senate Democrat plan (38 pages).

As far as I can tell, the Democrats are trying to balance the budget with commuter trains in southeast Wisconsin. Not quite sure how that would work. I’ll comment further when my corporate masters have given me my opinion.

Punctuation Counts

Here’s the title of a recent post by Fighting Bob’s Ed Garvey:

Words fail me not Barack
That’s an exact duplication. Notice anything missing? Yes! Punctuation!

This isn't uncommon over at Fighting Bob, but as I'm about to point out, it's something they should probably address. Just consider several possible interpretations of that sentence:

Words: fail me not, Barack!
Words fail me; not Barack.
Words fail me not, Barack.
Words fail. Me not Barack.
Note that the second example has two possible meanings: it might be words failing either "me" or Barack; or "I" might be being failed by either words or Barack. You just can't tell. There's also the Mongo-like grammar of the fourth example, which only adds to the problems I've highlighted here.

Let this be a lesson to all of us.

Happy Birthday!

March 20, 1854 - Republican Party Founded

On this date Free Soilers and Whigs outraged by the passage of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, met in Ripon to consider forming a new political party. The meeting's organizer, Alvan E. Bovay, proposed the name "Republican" which had been suggested by New York editor Horace Greeley. You can see eyewitness accounts of the meeting, early Republican campaign documents, and other original sources on our page devoted to Wisconsin and the Republican Party. Though other places have claimed themselves as the birthplace of the Republican Party, this was the earliest meeting held for the purpose and the first to use the term Republican. [Source: History of Wisconsin, II: 218-219]
You don’t look a day over 150!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Unrelated Quote of the Week

"We're dodging the BBA infiltration. It seems like they've taken over and sometimes BBAs forget that we own the place."
You just can’t turn your back on us. Ever.

This seems an appropriate place to include this: the top 20 supervillian master flowchart form!

I found that via Conservative Grapevine, which, by the way, linked to Fraley’s Democrat brackets today.

Note: just because the title says “of the Week,” don’t expect this to be a regular feature. It just sounded better that way.


Five Years

Today, as I’m sure readers already know, is the 5th anniversary of our invasion of Iraq .

I feel like I should say something, but I’m not sure what. Most of the comment about today is coming from the political left – from people for whom today is nothing more than a propaganda opportunity.

I was, still am, and will continue to be a supporter of this war, and of an active foreign policy in general – particularly in the Middle East, even if that means military involvement.

We cannot turn our backs on Iraq – that much should be clear, even to those who opposed the war in the first place. But while Iraq has become a centerpiece, let’s remember that it’s not everything: we are fighting a long-term, global war against elements that would like nothing better than to detonate a nuke in New York, London, Ottawa, Berlin, Jerusalem, Sydney, Rome. We cannot turn our backs on this larger effort.

Seen from that perspective, today isn’t an anniversary any more than October 7, the date our invasion of Afghanistan began; or April 9, the day Saddam's statue fell. This war began well before then. It began before 9/11, and it will go on much longer than our large-scale presence in Iraq .

But I’m still going to take this opportunity to remember all the people serving – both military and civilian - in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere; those who have died; those who have been wounded, physically and psychologically; those who served honorably and returned home whole; and those who have stayed behind while loved ones have gone to serve.

The Journal Sentinel has a nice page devoted to Wisconsin’s Iraq war dead: just click on a picture to get more information about each person.

I just randomly clicked on SPC Bert Hoyer, from Ellsworth, who was killed by a roadside bomb in 2004. There's also a nice article about him here.

I'm going to support the war, and I'm going to make sure I don't forget the cost of the war.

"If we have learned one thing from the history of invention and discovery, it is that, in the long run--and often in the short one...

...the most daring prophecies seem laughably conservative."

Author and science fiction icon Arthur C. Clarke passed away at the age of 90 on Tuesday.

I read very few of his books, and a few more of his short stories. I was more a fan of his public image than of his writing, I guess, but as a moderate sci fi geek I feel compelled to mark his passing.

His death follows that of Gary Gygax two weeks ago: the geek trifecta may be in play.

Does anybody know if Stephen Hawking is still alive?

And on a similar note: Battlestars vs. Star Destroyers!

Geeks of the world, unite!

Badger Bracketology

If you have any advice on filling out these brackets in advance of tomorrow's tipoff, now's the time.

Oh, sure, keep it all to yourselves. Fine. It's not like there's nowhere else to get a tip or two.

The Sports Bubbler has linked several Youtube videos of Badger coach Bo Ryan making several predictions, including a couple of upsets. So if my brackets go to hell, I can just blame him.

A few other Badger-related tidbits:

- SI’s Kelly Anderson has Wisconsin making it to the Elite Eight.

- And so does Yahoo’s Brad Evans.

- So does Luke Winn, who also puts MSU and Marquette in the Sweet 16;.

- Yahoo’s Dan Wetzel has Marquette in the Elite Eight, but has Wisconsin losing to USC on Saturday. Pfft.

- But put them in the Final Four (Quote: “Prepare for some truly boring, but ruthlessly efficient, nights in Detroit.”), plus they chose Bo Ryan as the Midwest Regional’s “most handsome man.”

I'm not sure which pick reflects more poorly on their judgment.

Hurry up. First tip-off is at 11:20 tomorrow morning. Badgers start at 8:40 tomorrow night.

Here's a protest I'd like to join:

WASHINGTON - Police arrested more than 30 people who blocked entrances at the Internal Revenue Service building Wednesday morning, part of a day of protests to mark the fifth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq.
Speak truth to power, friend. Speak truth to power!

Not all change is good...

A little over one year ago:
  1. Consumer confidence stood at a 2 1/2 year high;
  2. Regular gasoline sold for $2.19 a gallon;
  3. The unemployment rate was 4.5%.
Since voting in a Democratic Congress in 2006 we've seen:
  1. Consumer confidence plummet;
  2. The cost of regular gasoline soar to over $3 a gallon;
  3. Unemployment is up to 5.5% (a 10% increase);
  4. American households have seen $2.3 trillion in equity value evaporate (stock and mutual fund losses);
  5. Americans have seen their home equity drop by $1.2 trillion dollars;
  6. 1% of American homes are in foreclosure.
America voted for change in 2006, and we got it!

The most significant accomplishment by the Democratic controlled Congress in 2007:


Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Re: Brackets

I've already got Wisconsin, Purdue, and Indiana in the Final Four. What do you think: Michigan St. or Marquette for that final slot?

Doesn't much matter to me, but can I join your pool since you're giving your money away?

Her talking points are so last year

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Democrat Hillary Clinton charged on Monday the Iraq war may end up costing Americans $1 trillion and further strain the economy, as she made her case for a prompt U.S. troop pullout from a war "we cannot win."
The article doesn’t say to whom she was speaking. Was it a roomful of true believers? Hardened leftists who demand retreat?

Hat tip Vodkapundit

Has anybody filled out their brackets yet?

I always feel like I'm guessing, no matter what I do.

Last year, I did a little historical research:

14 of the past 16 champions have been either a 1- or 2-seed.
You can make that 15 of 17, after last year.


Since 1979, at least one No. 3 or higher seed has made it to the Final Four.
Make that "from 1979 to 2006." Only ones and twos made the Final Four last year.


Since 1997, 12 No. 10 seeds have made it to the Sweet Sixteen.
The highest seed to make the Sweet Sixteen last year was a 7. The highest in the Elite Eight was a 3. Last year, picking the cinderellas got you clobbered.

So. So much for history. Anybody got any advice?

I've already got Wisconsin, Purdue, and Indiana in the Final Four. What do you think: Michigan St. or Marquette for that final slot?

Aw, dang.

Florida Democrats Won’t Vote Again

WASHINGTON — The Florida Democratic Party chairwoman on Monday officially buried the possibility of redoing the state’s disputed January presidential primary, saying there was no practical or affordable way to conduct a new election.
Shucks. Well, there's still plenty of drama left in this story.

The decision leaves the fate of the state’s 211 Democratic convention delegates in limbo, with no plan on the table for determining whether or how they will be seated at the Democratic National Convention in August. Ms. Thurman said the matter would now go back to the national party’s Rules and Bylaws Committee…
That's more delegates than I thought they had: makes me wonder if anybody really knows how many there are.

Anyway, there's still Michigan:

Michigan Democratic party leaders on Monday proposed legislation to conduct a new primary on June 3 to allocate the state’s 156 delegates. The election would be run by the state but be privately financed.

Mrs. Clinton, of New York, has agreed to the plan; aides to Mr. Obama, of Illinois, have refused to commit to it. It is more uncertain than ever that he will…
…because, in yet another astounding twist:

The party’s rules may disqualify anyone who voted in Michigan’s Republican primary from voting in the Democratic primary — including those who may be Obama supporters who voted Republican because his name was not on the Democratic ballot.
More disenfranchisement! But:

Michigan Democratic officials said the plan for a revote could not move forward unless both campaigns agreed to the proposal in the next day or so.
If not, they'll have to go to the DNC for possible seating, too. Either way, the Dems better hope the eventual margin of victory is bigger than these two delegations.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Because People with Glasses are Scary

Mike Plaisted is calling out several conservative talk show hosts and bloggers, wondering why they don't condemn Judge Mike Gableman's new TV ad.

Plaisted says the ad is "racist" because it highlights an old case in which Gableman's opponent Louis Butler, when he was a public defender, got a child molester released (at least temporarily) and, according to the ad, subsequently molested another child.

And the guy is black.

Of course, the ad also shows pictures of nine other child molesters, eight of whom were white. Plaisted ignored that, so I guess I will, too. The ad's main example is a black guy: thus, the ad is "racist."

Question: does Plaisted wear glasses? Because I notice the guy in the commercial wears glasses. Could this not be an example of sightism, rather than racism? The two-eyed trying to keep the four-eyed down?

Let's recap:
  • Gableman's campaign is manned (sorry, that's sexist: I mean staffed) by racists;
  • Gableman himself is racist for allowing the ad;
  • Several unaffiliated radio types and bloggers are racist for not condemning the ad;
  • The general public is racist if the ad affects their vote in Gableman's favor.
I reject that. Nearly everyone who sees that commercial will be shocked – if they're shocked at all – by the thought of a child molester on the streets. The specific race of said child molester is irrelevant: when it comes to child molesters, nobody cares. They care about the crime, and how to prevent it.

The real question is whether the case is even relevant in a Supreme Court election, but since he can score more political points with the race issue, Plaisted goes with that.

Plaisted will, I predict, say I'm just willing to ignore the racism in this case because I'm protecting "my guy," or "my side." Or, he'll say I'm part of the problem because I can't see the racism.

I say he's the problem, because all he sees is racism. Or because he's willing to find racism, because it helps his side, and his guy.

More on the do-nothing, do-everything Legislature

The Green Bay Press Gazette is piling on the "do-nothing Legislature" meme with this editorial: "Lawmakers fail on 3 of 5 bills."

Bottom line: We asked for five things. Lawmakers delivered on two, failed on three, and party leaders were the main players in those three failures.
I'd argue that the Legislature succeeded on two, and then I'd argue they successfully prevented two more, and delayed the third until it can be more thouroughly vetted and, possibly, amended.

They were five for five!

And the PG agrees with my method of determining success: one of their "successes" was the arbitrator for cable TV and the NFL. That bill failed, just like the PG wanted, so they call it a success.

The Journal Sentinel has a similar article, with a longer list of bills that passed or didn't.

It makes a nice contrast: Assembly Republicans successfully stopped encroachments on property rights, massive tax increases and government interference in health care; Senate Democrats successfully prevented the elimination of the sick leave benefit, economic development measures, and protection for prison guards from harassment by anonymous complaint.

Badger Bites Bytes

That would be news, wouldn't it? A badger biting a byte? Well, until it happens, we still have Badger Bites (or is it Bytes)? Either way, thanks to Lance and Marcus for picking up my slack last week, but now you're stuck with me again.

-Imagine Wigderson's best Joan Crawford impersonation: "No more political yard signs!"

-Shoebox asks whether Obama's Wright problem creates a McCain problem for the conservative right.

-Owen looks at a prime example of the First Amendment being rendered meaningless by campaign finance laws.

-The Nat & Singh, rapidly becoming safer thanks to citizens.

-OTBL nails Jim Cramer to the wall.

-Sean examines the left's newest BushHoover claims and finds them lacking.

-Personally, I think Dean hits the nail on the head.

-Handouts has to be the number one seed in that bracket.

-And so it was written in the book of Revelation that Al Sharpton would become the right winger upon the breaking of the seventh seal.


But man would they howl if we brought back the draft

I was reading an article over at on how the hate American crowd would be blockading and protesting recruiting stations as part of their protest over the 5th anniversary of the start of the war in Iraq.

The thought that hit me was these are the same people who would howl like a mashed cat if we ever reinstated the draft. So these people do not want us to recruit people for a volunteer military, their constant attacks on recruiting stations show us that.

But they would react even more violently to us having a conscript army.

How would they actually have us find people to man our defenses? Serious question how would they go about finding people to go into the Military.

Now I know the Hippie Drum Circle types would say, why do we even need a military but we will ignore them they are stoned and pretty stupid.

So to the rest of you Anti War But we support the troops even when we are attacking their recruiting station types. What method of recruiting would be ok with you people?

I am just trying to see your side on this one that is all.

WSB Chris

Blogging by Jo

If you aren't subscribing to Jo Egelhoff's FoxPolitics newsletter…well, you oughta be. Seems like every day she's pointing out one or two things, at least, that I want to blog about, and she's coming up with her own short-column-length blog posts every day, too. Quality and quantity.

For example, if not for Jo's daily email, I might have missed this Wisconsin blogger who agrees with Obama's "G-D- America" pastor.

Okay, they're not daily emails. She takes the weekends off. The slacker. Still, five out of seven ain't bad.

"Draconian" cuts...elsewhere

Well that's interesting: Wisconsin is far from alone in having budget problems this year, and according to the New York Times, other states are taking steps we're not:

In most cases, states have moved to cut state spending, particularly in education. Ms. Lav said that eight states are cutting into the budgets for higher education, and nine states are cutting into their financing for primary and secondary education. (There is some overlap between those two groups.)

…Ballooning health care costs have vexed many states over the last decade, and nine are now trimming their Medicaid programs, particularly programs for children.
These things aren't on the table in Wisconsin. And notice this line:

…Many states are cutting government employees or trimming raises.
Things are tough all over. Say, if Governor Doyle had kept his promise to cut back on Wisconsin's government workforce, would we be in this fix today?

Note: those are my own scare quotes in the title. Hat tip FoxPolitics

Arguing without an argument

Rick Esenberg had a post over the weekend on Planned Parenthood's obvious, blatant, and (one has to believe) deliberate falsehoods directed at several Republican members of the Assembly.

Rick's post is, as usual, excellent, but the really interesting part comes in the comments, where a pair of our left-leaning Cheddarsphere brethren respond – not by engaging the issue at hand, but by changing the subject.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Liveblogging the Big Ten Tournament

And now, in a BBA first...I will attempt to liveblog the Badgers/Illini Big Ten Championship game while simultaneously ignoring several jobs that should really get done around the house and yard.

Tipoff.........geez, nobody can shoot. Two minutes in and no score...Oh, goody, an alley-oop...Oh, come on. Sloppy. OH! GET that weak stuff OUTTAHERE. Slop. Sloppy sloppy. FLOWERS LIGHTING IT UP. Hey, look, a squirrel. Ooh, TWO squirrels. Sloppy sloppy sloppy even on defense. What the hell? Every time Hughes touches the ball they mention his ankles. Oh, look, Hughes took two steps. He's really fighting off those bad ankles. THREE. Gah. NICE.

29-22 Badgers at the half. Here's hoping they come out with a little more focus in the second half.

When do they set the brackets? Will this game have any effect?

Okay, second half. SHOOT! Oh, brick. Klunk. Much more opportunistic, now. Good. Good. Yay! Badgers have a lot of really ugly guys on the team. That's gotta be a good sign. BOOM! I love those blind-side picks. Get...Oh! Oh, get some eyes, ref. Geez. Okay, get a bucket...any bucket...any bucket...let's try running this up some.

Geez, I'm getting bored. No, you may not have the remote back. Another brick. And that one was wide open. Somebody didn't shift right. Oh, THAT was a makeup call. Come on let's get serious now. My team's up 13 points and I want them to get serious. Michael Jordan's kid plays for Illinois? Yipe, that's some pressure. OH COME ON. WE STILL HAFTA PLAY SOME D HERE. Wow, Bohannon can shoot off the dribble. Tick...tick...tick...

Wisconsin 61, Illinois 48. BIG TEN CHAMPS. I should be more excited. How long until we see the brackets now?

I hope you've enjoyed this liveblogging of the Big Ten Championship game, and for the record, I did successfully fail to complete any actual work around the house.

Go Bucky!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

They saw the light at the end of the tunnel...

...but it was a train!

The Capital Times has an editorial today about Florida, Michigan, and the Democrat presidential primary. They figure things will go smoother if those two states are allowed to hold new primaries.

Here's the part that caught my eye:

…it becomes essential that the delegates from these two large states be selected and seated in a manner that is broadly understood as legitimate.

…DNC Chairman Howard Dean seems to be more worried about who will pay for the new primaries than about preventing a train wreck at this summer's convention.
Newsflash to the Cap Times: that's not daylight you're looking at.

If the Democrats allow new primaries in Michigan and Florida, they'd better hope Clinton wins them both. Failing that, they'd better hope Clinton wins the nomination outright, before the national convention.

Otherwise, the Clintons will claim that the rules were changed mid-game, and you can bet they'll put a penny on the tracks.

The only other peaceful solution is for Obama to win by more than Michigan's and Florida's delegate totals – and even then, that's only if those states don't re-vote. Allowing a re-vote, even before the re-vote takes place, could cause momentum to shift Obama's way. That opens the door for the Clintons to call foul.

Obama could cry foul – or, at least, his supporters could – if a Clinton margin of victory comes through superdelegates. Even though she'd have won within the existing rules, grassroots-level activist Democrats aren't going to be happy with that outcome.

Hello, 1968.

Oh, sure, it's possible that one side could do what Nixon did in 1960, what John Ashcroft did in 2000: concede peacefully, even though the results smell bad.

But I think we all expect more from the Democrats. No matter how you cut this thing, it's a train wreck in the making.

Okay, but this is the last time

I'm honestly a little Favred out at the moment, but I was at the store picking up a rotisserie chicken and a two-pack of milk and I saw it on the magazine stand:

Figured I'd regret it later if I didn't get one.

Re: Welcome to the Burri Blog Alliance

The trans-quadraplennial transmorgrifying distributor with 2.367 Hzp/mg acceleration capability is warming up as we speak.

And I missed it!

Wisconsin 65, Michigan State 63. Yay, Bucky!

Great come-from-behind win. And all the more impressive, given that I wasn't able to watch. It decreases their chances of winning when I'm not able to watch, or at least listen. Seriously. That's scientifically proven.

But I was at a meeting at church all afternoon. We snuck into the kitchen during breaks to check the score, but the last we knew, the Badgers were down 10 with about 12 minutes left and Hughes had just hurt an ankle. Again.

Then, meeting over, my friend Mike comes running out pumping his fists in the air.

I just saw on ESPN that about ten teams are vying for the last #1 seed and the four #2 seeds. Wisconsin was on the list.

Bring on Illinois!

Welcome to the Burri Blog Alliance

Damn. Great job of blogging lately, Lance, but I'm a little worried that this is the beginning of the long rumored BBA coup. I'm afraid that the rest of the Burri family is going to be coming ashore on a landing craft any minute now. Let me ask you something, though. Did you make Marcus the 1st Lieutenant and then imprison the rest of the BBA in a prisoner of blog camp or something?

Oops, I see that Patrick and Peter are regular Col. Hogans in the P.O.B. camp.

Guess which Milw. County Exec. candidate uses a Chicago ad firm?

A claim was made that Scott Walker was using a Chicago ad firm for his campaign, this turned out to not only be false, but his opponent is actually using a ChiTown ad firm.

A County Exec. candidate using a Chicago ad firm? Which one?

Re: Would you vote for this guy?

My first thought is no. But, I suppose before the car is put into first gear reverse movement has to stop first.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Would you vote for this guy?

Imagine, for a moment, meeting a candidate for political office. You ask the standard question: “What will you do when you’re in office?”

Now imagine that candidate saying: “Nothing.”

"I won’t pass a single bill."

Would you vote for him? Well, what if he said this: “But by God, I’ll do everything I can to stop the rest of them from doing anything, either.”
Read the rest.

Oh, please, no

I strongly suggest you not read this post over at Wigderson’s:

Could I just pose in my underwear instead?

A new competitor to My Space and Facebook allows its users to post nude pictures of themselves and actually vote on the appearance of other people.

What do you guys think? With beard or without? Should I get a wax job?
I don’t think I can go on.

Who could that possibly be?

From Rich Galen’s column today:

When President George W. Bush appointed several former Governors to his initial Cabinet I spoke with one of them and told him that he had been the absolute ruler of his state for a long time and all anyone around him had to say was, "The Governor wants …" and whatever the Governor wanted to have happen, happened.

"Now," I told him, "you are but one of 14 Cabinet officers and the tens of thousands of non-political-appointees in your Department don't care what "the Secretary wants," especially if the Secretary wants it after 5:00 in the afternoon."


Wisconsin laid the smack down at the 27th biennial World Cheese Competition, held in Madison earlier this week:

…Wisconsin cheesemakers took home 27 out of 77 available best-in-class awards, more than any other single state or country.
Other states finished in underwhelming fashion.

New York took five golds, California and Idaho each took three, Iowa two, and Illinois, Indiana, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island each earned one gold medal.
A "Swiss Gruyere" cheese was awarded the title of Greatest Cheese in the World. That cheesemaker was from someplace called Wasen, Switzerland, which, if you ask me, ought to count for Wisconsin, too. Lots of Swiss people here, you know.


Yay Bucky

Wisconsin 51

Michigan 34

Bring on Michigan State or Ohio State.

UPDATE - It's the Spartans, tomorrow at 12:40, which means I'm gonna miss it because my thing that was scheduled for the morning was re-scheduled for the afternoon. I am not pleased.

Don't forget....

...the Big Ten Tournament started yesterday. Badgers got a bye (because, you know, they had the best record), and play Michigan today at 11 am.

Here's a link to the tournament bracket.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Head Start on Saturday's Music

Since inspiration strikes I post Saturday's music tonight instead of on Saturday.

I was just reading LGF and Charles posted an e-mail published on The Corner. Essentially, it was criticizing people for their open wonderment about Silda Spitzer standing by her man. The letter said she is to be commended for that act and if anything Spitzer is to be criticized for using her as a prop.

This situation reminds me very much of the end of Mozart's Le Nozze Di Figaro aka The Marriage of Figaro. Figaro is a servant of the Count's and Figaro's wife Susanna works for the Countess. Since Figaro & Susanna at the start are engaged and not married The Count is working to exercise his right of first refusal (and he is not refusing). However, The Count jealously guards the purity of all those under him.

At the end The Countess and Susanna swap clothes and plot to trap The Count. Figaro (as is usual there are plots in plots on top of schemes and wrapped in conspiracies) sees this and figures it all out and joins in by making out with the woman dressed as The Countess (i.e. Susanna his wife). The Count comes and sees this and immediately demands satisfaction. Figaro begs forgiveness, "The Countess" begs forgiveness, the crowd (now coming to see the ruckus) begs forgiveness. However the Count's only response is no, no I will not give. Then the real Countess emerges and reveals The Count's hypocrisy. You guessed it, he humbly begs for and receives forgiveness from his wife.

That sums this Spitzer situation up very well (at least the end). He never showed mercy and was absolutely ruthless to those he was out to destroy and then like a clap of Thor's hand Eliot is on his knee begging for and (apparently) receiving his wife's forgiveness. I do not fault her for it, I fault him for needing to ask for it.

Anyway this installment of Saturday's music is in honor of Silda Spitzer and is the final scene from Mozart's Le Nozze Di Figaro (Gente, gente all'armi):

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Did you know?

Return of the Great Circus Parade

The clowns are coming back to downtown Milwaukee.

After a six-year hiatus, the Great Circus Parade is expected to return in July of 2009.

Steve Freese, the executive director of the Circus World Museum Foundation, tells the Journal Sentinel it will be one of the largest parades they've ever put on.
I hope they do the circus train, too. They used to load all the wagons onto flat cars (big event) and roll all the way up to the Fox Cities, then back down to Milwaukee. Big crowds gathering to watch it go by. You can not replace that kind of exposure, that kind of press, that kind of public relations.

If Circus World Museum is going to survive, I have to believe they need that, which means they need the parade. I hope it works out.

Oh, but don’t invite these guys:

The Sheboygan Police Department arrested a group of 8 people who were apparently going around town dressed as a rock group called “Insane Clown Posse”. They spray painted graffiti and then took pictures of their “work”.
Maybe not this guy, either: