Tuesday, January 31, 2006

terminating the contract, but keeping the money

Okay, let me get this right. He's terminating the contract, but keeping the money. Jim Doyle decided that the Adelman contract should be terminated, just to be safe. But the $20,000 in contributions from Adelman don't need to be returned? They say Adelman did nothing wrong, but decided anyway to ask Adelman to walk away for the good of the team. This is not a very coherent or savvy strategy. Doyle removed the benefit for the guys that bought him off, but keeps the benefit of contributions for himself.

Regular people will take this as a sign of Doyle's greediness, and inability to clean up the mess. He continues to cling to the argument that he's seen no evidence of wrongdoing, but is taking half measures like bringing in Mark Bugher to try and allay suspicions. It's all so incredibly weak, that I find myself getting very happy. Yesterday's move does nothing to put this scandal behind Doyle, and only makes the shortcomings in his thinking more apparent.

In the overall picture of Doyle's millions in campaign cash, the $20,000 from Adelman is virtually meaningless. So why not just return them and pose for holy pictures to play it safe? Might they believe that further indictments are on the way, and that returning the money would be an admission of the Administration's guilt?

And when will Doyle or Adelman be forced to answer questions about the solicitation of these large contributions. As a former bagman myself, I can tell you that people don't just wake up one day and decide to write $10,000 checks to politicians -- even if they just received a big state contract. Somebody asked them for the money, and the idea that this was coincidental to the irregular rewarding of this contract is simply laughable.

The arrogant guy who thinks he knows better than the rest of us is failing to intelligently manage this crisis. All I can say is thank you, Jim Doyle, and keep up the good work.

Monday, January 30, 2006

Moments In Wisconsin Political History

Perhaps I Was Too Harsh

I have to temper my earlier skepticism on consultant Brian Fraley and his "Daily Takes" blog. He has filled the gap admirably, and -- other than being a little thin-skinned -- is doing an excellent job with the Republican take.


Editorial: Extra caution with deer meat
From the Journal Sentinel
Posted: Jan. 29, 2006

New findings on chronic wasting disease only add emphasis to points that the state Department of Natural Resources (and we) have made before: Don't eat meat from an infected deer. All animals killed in an area where the disease has been found should be tested.

I don't know much about the backgrounds of the Journal Sentinel's editorial writers, but I have to wonder their planet of home origin. Most people in Wisconsin are pretty familiar with the word venison, and would find it rather awkward to say "deer meat." Probably illustrative of a larger problem.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

When The "Everyone Was Doing It" Defense Fails

Another Role Model

Henry Hill: You're a pistol, you're really funny. You're really funny.
Tommy DeVito: What do you mean I'm funny?
Henry Hill: It's funny, you know. It's a good story, it's funny, you're a funny guy.
Tommy DeVito: what do you mean, you mean the way I talk? What?
Henry Hill: It's just, you know. You're just funny, it's... funny, the way you tell the story and everything.
Tommy DeVito: [it becomes quiet] Funny how? What's funny about it?
Anthony Stabile: Tommy no, You got it all wrong.
Tommy DeVito: Oh, oh, Anthony. He's a big boy, he knows what he said. What did ya say? Funny how?
Henry Hill: Jus...
Tommy DeVito: What?
Henry Hill: Just... ya know... you're funny.
Tommy DeVito: You mean, let me understand this cause, ya know maybe it's me, I'm a little fucked up maybe, but I'm funny how, I mean funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh, I'm here to fuckin' amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?
Henry Hill: Just... you know, how you tell the story, what?
Tommy DeVito: No, no, I don't know, you said it. How do I know? You said I'm funny. How the fuck am I funny, what the fuck is so funny about me? Tell me, tell me what's funny!
Henry Hill: [long pause] Get the fuck out of here, Tommy!
Tommy DeVito: [everyone laughs] Ya motherfucker! I almost had him, I almost had him. Ya stuttering prick ya. Frankie, was he shaking? I wonder about you sometimes, Henry. You may fold under questioning.

For My Friend From DePere

I have an M.D. from Harvard, I am board certified in cardio-thoracic medicine and trauma surgery, I have been awarded citations from seven different medical boards in New England, and I am never, ever sick at sea. So I ask you; when someone goes into that chapel and they fall on their knees and they pray to God that their wife doesn't miscarry or that their daughter doesn't bleed to death or that their mother doesn't suffer acute neural trama from postoperative shock, who do you think they're praying to? Now, go ahead and read your Bible, Dennis, and you go to your church, and, with any luck, you might win the annual raffle, but if you're looking for God, he was in operating room number two on November 17, and he doesn't like to be second guessed. You ask me if I have a God complex. Let me tell you something: I am God.

Alec Baldwin in Malice

Why Western Wisconsin Is Better Than Eastern Wisconsin

First of all, it's prettier. From the hills and coulees of southwestern Wisconsin, up the Mississippi blufflands, even to Up North -- the west is a more geographically attractive country to meander. Other than perhaps Door County, the eastern part of the state is all about highways, flat potato fields, Illinois drivers, and urban sprawl. Anyone who's driven the backroads of Grant or Crawford Counties will be too spoiled to want to spend any time driving through Kewaunee or DePere.

Next, there are too many people and not enough interesting outdoors in the east. Drive in any direction around the Milwaukee metropolitan area, and you find new cookie cutter housing developments, derelict and characterless former farms, McDonalds, Burger King, Dairy Queen and BP stations. Any parks or trails you can find will abhor dogs, be crowded with officials and granolas, and be way too close to highways and civilization.

In the west, you can drive with or without a map, and find little towns you've never heard of and discover something new every time. Small cafes with exceptional pie, or little bars with deep fried cheese curds or liverwurst sandwiches, or a country antique shop where you can find a 1954 Westby Lutheran Church "This Is Our Best," cookbook for 25 cents. You'll find civil war memorials, soaring courthouses, ghost towns, and abandoned breweries.

Up North West is even better than Up North East. There are more of the aforementioned FIB's in the east with their oversize boats or snowmobile trailers speeding by in their SUV's on their 8 hour drive to the lakeside condo in Minocqua. When you're Up North in the East, and you look over the hundreds of mega-mansions hugging the shoreline, you can almost imagine how beautiful it all once was. But if you drive west, you don't have to imagine it. Less people, more dirt roads, less law enforcement, and more space between you and everyone else. And while the west also has its fudge shops, the fudge is definitely better. And that giant musky truly must be seen to be believed. You might also want to check out the world's tallest Indian just across the border from the historic sex, drink and logging town of Hurley. In the west, you will often have the lake to yourself, and in the east you barely control your own pier.

Hunting and fishing is better in Wisconsin West. From pheasants, to grouse, turkeys, muskie, largemouth bass, trout streams, and record whitetail deer -- it's all better than in the east. Although I suspect the east has more game farms where you can shoot birds for a price just out of their cages. If you're an outdoorsman, you will be much happier in the west.

And the water. The Mississippi River with it's sleepy hillside villages, to the bald eagles of the St. Croix River, and the startling cleanliness and clarity of the water of Lake Superior are all superior. If you love water and wildlife, the west can do oh so much more. In the east, you have the Poop Lake with closed beaches, and polluted urban rivers in need of reclamation. Only the elite boat culture types get something out of the lake, although I'm not sure what it could be, other than a way to get somewhere else.

And if you disagree, that is not a problem with me. And if you're an offended easterner, I apologize. But some things are just better than other things. In your heart, you know I'm right.

Rice Pancakes

Rice Pancakes (Rislapper)

This is a fine use for leftover boiled rice.

1 egg
i tblsp sugar
1 tblsp flour
1 tblsp milk
1 cup boiled rice.
1 tblsp butter

Mix egg and sugar, stirring well until smooth. Add flour, then gradually the milk, continuing to blend. Stir the boiled rice into this. Melt butter in a pan, and when beginning to brown, drop batter by spoonfuls into it, frying like hot cakes until brown, turning them once. Serve with jam or jelly or maple syrup.

This is from a wonderful cookbook in the form of a memoir called "Young and Hungry."

Saturday, January 28, 2006

Looks Like I Need Him

Mr. Wolfe: If I'm curt with you, it's because time is a factor. I think fast, I talk fast, and I need you guys to act fast if you want to get out of this. So.... pretty please, with sugar on top... clean the fuckin' car.

The Bald Man and the Fly

The Bald Man and the Fly

There was once a Bald Man who sat down after work on a hot
summer's day. A Fly came up and kept buzzing about his bald pate,
and stinging him from time to time. The Man aimed a blow at his
little enemy, but acks palm came on his head instead;
again the Fly tormented him, but this time the Man was wiser and

"You will only injure yourself if you
take notice of despicable enemies."


The picture is that of a 21-week-old unborn baby named Samuel Alexander Armas, who is being operated on by a surgeon named Joseph Bruner. The baby was diagnosed with spina bifida and would not survive if removed from his mother's womb. During the procedure, the doctor removes the uterus via C-section and makes a small incision to operate on the baby. As Dr. Bruner completed the surgery on little Samuel, the little guy reached his tiny, but fully developed, hand through the incision and firmly grasped the surgeon's finger.

Republicans Are Smarter

Clinton and Bush use binoculars at the DMZ, lenscap on and lenscap off.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Heads Up For Tuesday

Jon Richards might want to have this article ready for Tuesday. I'd say it was a another Democratic conspiracy to impact Wisconsin politics, but the embarrassed legislator this time turns out to be a Republican.

Virginia lawmaker's gun discharges in office; bullet stopped by vest hanging on door
AP Political Writer
January 26, 2006
RICHMOND, Va. -- A Virginia lawmaker's handgun accidentally discharged in his Capitol Square office Thursday as he tried to unload it, sending a bullet zinging across the room before it was stopped by a bulletproof vest hanging on the door.

Former Governor McCallum Admits Lead Role In Travel Scandal

Associated Press International
January 27, 2005

Former Governor Scott McCallum Admits Lead Role In Travel Scandal

Fomer Governor Scott McCallum admitted today that the Jim Doyle's Travelgate scandal was all his fault. "When I hired Georgia Thompson in my Administration, I ordered her to do everything in her power to reward political contributors with state contracts," admitted a remorseful McCallum. "But as with many things in my Administration, we really weren't able to get things implemented in time."

McCallum went on to say that there were many people in his Administration that did not give him their wholehearted support, but Georgia Thompson was not one of them. "I'm proud to have a friend like Georgia, who went above and beyond the call of duty to carry out my wishes. Had I been fortunate enough to have a chief of staff or campaign manager with similar dedication, I might still be in office managing this crisis myself from the east wing."

Former McCallum adviser and ethics specialist Brian Christianson was quick to bail out on the former Governor. "I knew this kind of thing could happen, and that's why I had to quit just prior to McCallum's loss. Had he been willing to listen to me, he could have rewarded contributors to the Governor while he was still Governor."

The Doyle Administration breathed a sigh of relief at the news, with DOA Secretary Stephen Bablitch saying "See, I told you we were not really in charge of the day to day operations of the Doyle Administration. Have the evil Republicans no shame?" Governor Doyle himself could not be reached for comment as he was still pretending to support our troops on an extended stay in Northern Iraq.

McCallum promised to cooperate fully with investigators, while -- he hoped -- continuing his Senior Fellowship on cooperation within government at the Discovery Institute, a national think tank headquartered in Seattle, Washington.

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Why Can't You People Leave This Poor Girl Alone?


Gov. Doyle: Statement Regarding DOA Travel Contract
Contact: Anne Lupardus, Office of the Governor, 608-261-2162

Governor Jim Doyle today released the following statement:
"I've made it very clear that I have zero tolerance for any ethical lapses in my Administration.
"But I also have a lot of confidence in the procedures that the Department of Administration has in place, including making sure that career civil servants and not political appointees make decisions about contracts, and that contracts should go to the lowest bidder.
"I've certainly never met Ms. Thompson, and from what I understand the contract was awarded to the lowest bidder, a Wisconsin company, and actually saved taxpayers $30,000.
"I'm a former prosecutor, and I have a lot of respect for prosecutors and the job they do. We take this very seriously. But we also have to be very careful that election year politics and partisanship don't take the place of fairness - and that a longtime civil servant isn't used as a political football."

CAN THEY HONESTLY BELIEVE THIS STORY CAN BE FLUSHED AWAY WITH THIS SMELLY OF A RESPONSE? He's basically saying that nobody did anything wrong, that this is an illegitimate indictment, and that it's simply a political attack. Does that sound like the comments of someone shocked and appalled by potential wrongdoing in his Administration? It sounds much more like a defensive and flustered guilty team in circle-the-wagons coverup mode. Not only have the handled this pathetically from a PR standpoint, as SPICE point out this morning, but they are also acting incredibly guilty. An "it wasn't us, it was her," defense would have given them a little more traction. DOYLE STINKS and everyone should start being really nice to Mark Green and Scott Walker.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006


Our lord Jesus Christ has done incredible things to achieve our salvation here on earth, and yet I fear that mankind is not properly taking notice of his good work. This entry isn't meant to condemn those who have become lax in their Christian beliefs, but to make people all over the world aware of what awaits them if they don't begin to follow Christianity. What I'm talking about here is the doctrine of hell and eternal punishment.

The Bible is very clear concerning what Hell is all about in many areas, such as Christ's own words in Matthew XXV and in Revelations XIV and XX. These passages warn us of Hell and tell us that if we do not become followers of Christ we shall be cast into a lake of fire and suffer eternal torment. Well, you may ask, how more basic and straightforward could such an issue be? And I would answer that it is a totally basic and simple impetus to salvation, and yet the problem I see is that many people of the world aren't truly aware of this, or they choose to play down its importance, and therefore they are missing out on salvation.

Hell is an uncomfortable thought for some people. If one does not lead a good Christian life, instead of finding eternal bliss in Heaven after death, they will suffer eternal torment in the fiery reaches of Hell. Because the wicked have found Hell and uncomfortable thought, they have somewhat succeeded in driving the importance of Hell out of the day to day thinking of modern mankind. I think that now is the ideal time to try and remedy this situation. Hell and its eternal suffering should be on everyone's mind, every day, whether in America or China. However, there is a solution to this problem. Advertising and mass media can force people to think about Hell and if everything goes well eventually bring down all of the false religions of the world like Islam and Buddhism.

What we as Christians must do is use billboards and satellite television and newspapers and magazines to make the people of the world aware of what Hell is like and how they can avoid it by joining a Christian church. This strategy won't be an overnight success, but eventually I feel that it cannot fail. Think what the eventual effect of a giant neon billboard showing non-believers burning will have on college students walking to class day in and day out or using illustrations of Hell and its sufferers as labels on boxes and cans of food relief sent to starving heathens in such places as Africa. The possibilities are endless.

Special effects in movies today are wonderful and amazing. Why can't we use this technology to show the world what Hell is all about? People burning with much "weeping and gnashing of teeth" in an eternal "lake of fire." Just think what success we could have with this!

In this modern world of ours, the time has passed for patient hard-working missionaries to be sent to remote areas of the globe to explain to the world the way things are. We must use the tremendous power of advertising and technology to make people realize and ponder what will happen to them if they don't come around.

Children and young people facing the pressures of school and growing up can be especially susceptible to this kind of education, and Christianity's leaders should not fail to recognize this. For example, in churches and Sunday schools around the country, children should not be getting the generic bad guys go to Hell sermon. We should show it to them in brilliant color and continually drill it into their little heads.

Well, like I said, the possibilities are endless. But I guess I should conclude by saying that I for one am excited about it. Just think of it, whole societies will realize the incorrectness of their religions, less dedicated Christians will become extremely dedicated, and Satan's lair will grow emptier and emptier. To quote John Belushi in Animal House, who's probably down there right now and would therefore agree, "LETS DO IT!!"


DID YOU KNOW... The difference between margarine and butter?

Both have the same amount of calories Butter is slightly higher in saturated fats at 8 grams compared to 5 grams. Eating margarine can increase heart disease in women by 53% over eating the same amount of butter according to a recent Harvard Medical Study

Eating butter increases the absorption of many other nutrients in other foods Butter has many nutrional benefits where margarine has a few only because they are added! Butter tastes much better then margarine and it can enhance the flavours of other foods. Butter has been around for centuries where margarine has been around for less then 100 years Now for Margarine... very high in Trans Fatty Acids Triple risk of Coronary Heart Disease Increases total and LDL ( this is the bad cholesterol) Lowers HDL cholesterol * and this is the good one Increases the risk of cancers by up to five fold. Lowers quality of breast milk. Decreases immune response. Decreases insulin response.

And here is the most disturbing fact....

Margarine is but ONE MOLECULE from being PLASTIC...

( this fact alone was enough to have me avoiding margarine for life and anything else that is hydrogenated , this means hydrogen is added changing the molecular structure of the food )

YOU can try this yourself, purchase a tub of margarine and leave it in your garage or shaded area, within a couple of days you will note a couple of things, no flies, not even those pesky fruit flies will go near it,( that should tell you something) it does not rot, smell differently...Because it has no nutritional value, nothing will grow on it, even those teeny weeny microorganisms will not a find a home to grow...Why? because it is nearly plastic. Would you melt your tupperware and spread that on your toast?

From StopTheChain.org

The Dog Mark Pocan Should Have Saved

Hank - #62345 -- is awaiting adoption at our local Dane County Humane Society.

Hypocrisy, Little Dogs, and Mark Pocan

As I suspected, it is so nice to have someone like Mark Pocan in the blogosphere. http://markpocan.blogspot.com/
True believers can be so entertaining.

But I must admit, I'm a little confused by his recent adoption of "Che," a Cavachon - a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel and Bichon Frise mix that he picked up at an Iowa puppy mill. The whole thing just violates so many principles of the quasi-socialist PC isthmus left that I fear for Mark's continued support in the community.

My first question for Marky Mark is why he didn't pick out a new dog from the thousands awaiting execution in Wisconsin's many humane societies? Just think, another dog will die so that Pocan can have a "Cavachon." My second concern has to do with MP's position on civil liberties and the rights of prisoners to due process. I know that Pocan has dedicated a great deal of his time to defending Supermax prisoners and the like, so I'm confused by his dog-name endorsement of the murderous executioner Ernesto "Che" Guevera. Could his application of civil liberties be dependent on what types are getting executed? Conservative Cubans can be shot in secret, but Tookie Williams must be protected?

But anyway, good luck with your new puppy Mark. And power to the people! I hope things work out for you. And please keep letting it all hang out in your blog. I love it how you call the Republicans hypocrites in nearly every other press release issued by your office. Down with hypocrisy, I say. And that is indeed one cute hamst... er puppy that you've got there.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

The Blanchard "I can do whatever I want" Defense

Fascinating filing today by Dane County District Attorney Brian Blanchard. In the brief for Judge Ebert, Blanchard argues that Scott Jensen's "everyone was doing it" defense should not be allowed in the upcoming trial. Blanchard claims that it doesn't make any difference if others were breaking the same laws, and that District Attorneys are empowered to pick and choose who they would like to prosecute.

There is apparently no reason to expect equal treatment for all those investigated in the Blanchard John Doe proceedings. Blanchard basically admits that Jensen could demonstrate that many other capitol leaders engaged in the very same behavior, but goes on to say that he doesn't have to prosecute those other figures if he doesn't want to. So, how is that decision made? Do you just prosecute the people you don't like, and protect your friends or partisan associates? Or perhaps he just doesn't bother the "good guys" like Tom Loftus, who Blanchard asserts was just kidding around in his book while making admissions about similar wrongdoing.

What Jensen did, what Krug did, what Panzer did, what Chvala did, what Brancel did, what Prosser did, what Kunicki did, and what Loftus did was definitely wrong. But selective prosecution based on the subjective preferences of the district attorney violates every standard of fairness. This is precisely why the caucus scandal should have ended at the time of the Ethics and Elections Boards settlement and dissolution of the caucuses. If you aren't going to go after all of the ringleaders, it undercuts your ability to go after one or two of them.

I'm not arguing that the "everyone was doing it" defense should be adequate for an acquittal, and I still can't envision a Jensen strategy that will be able to win over a Dane County jury. But it does suck, and it isn't fair. And all of you "holier than thou" bloggers out there ought to be willing to admit it. And even if you're a Jensen hater, you should still fear a system that crushes only select violators. Many of you may be tempting targets.

The Jim Doyle Cancer Diagnosis

What a day in the news. Georgia Thompson indicted in the new Travelgate. I guess we can now all fully understand the hiring of Stephen Hurley. Xoff and the rest have not yet posted on this topic as they are probably all in secret left-wing conspiracy meetings trying to figure out how to spin this little bit of news. We look forward to hearing from you Bill.

Everyone should step back for a moment, take a deep breath, and look at what this really means. Either (A) the Doyle Administration has a rogue employee going to extraordinary measures to reward Doyle contributors, or (B) the Doyle Administration itself has systematically broken the law and one of those involved in the criminal conspiracy actually got caught. Which do you consider more likely? I think it's blatantly obvious that this is a guilty team, rather than just a guilty individual.

As I wrote a few months ago, Doyle has been incredibly stupid with his reward system and is bound to suffer the consequences. There is virtually no way that Doyle can get out from under this corruption scandal, whether Thompson flips on him or not. This is his staff, and his Administration, breaking the law to reward a major contributor. This story breaks through into the general population right now. Real people of Wisconsin, not political freaks like us, will now forever identify Jim Doyle as the Pay-to-Play Governor. It will be those real people who decide his fate, and the die is now cast.

I feel kind of bad for Xoff and the rest. They now have to rally around and defend a doomed candidate for many months to come. The bleeding will be horrible to watch. They should all rush out to read "Will" by G.Gordon Liddy for a role model on how to handle the crisis. But I guess it's probably too late for that approach. The cancer on Governor Jim Doyle and his Administration is already plainly in view, and no amount of stonewalling can make it go away.

BREAKING NEWS: Subpoenaed Staffers Rally In Protest On The Capitol Square


Column: State over spending, over taxing
By Michael J. Fredrich

The state Senate committee on Job Creation, Economic Development and Consumer Affairs took their show on the road to Manitowoc last week to solicit testimony on their plan to jumpstart the economy in Wisconsin. To their credit, they are all well intentioned and they want Wisconsin businesses to do well.

Unfortunately, the economic proposals offered in the economic development package called Invest Wisconsin are at the same time laudable and quixotic. The plan does not address the fundamental problem we have in this state, to wit; all levels of government—state and local—spend too much money and our tax burden is too high. It is that simple. Wisconsin has languished in the top five highest taxed states for longer than I can remember.

The most recent issue of The Wisconsin Taxpayer reveals a disturbing trend. The state population is not growing. Over the five-year period 1995-2000 the net population increased by only 7,282 people (338,108 in 330,826 out). We lost one Congressional seat.

So, who comes to Wisconsin? It should be no surprise that if you have a very generous social safety net vis-à-vis surrounding states you will attract lower income, less educated people, which is preciously what is happening.

Who is leaving reveals more about the tax climate in this state: People with incomes greater than $75,000 leave and people with higher education (which usually correlates to higher income) leave. Very few high net worth people retire here. Over the five-year period, Wisconsin lost people with a combined net worth of $4.72 billion. If you do not think this out migration is due to the high taxes in this state, you have your head in the sand.

There is also much hand wringing over the "brain drain" in Wisconsin. We have a good and readily accessible public university system, which produces high quality graduates. Why do they leave? They leave because there are better opportunities elsewhere. They leave because they can make, and keep, more of their earnings elsewhere. They are voting with their feet.

The burden of decades of high taxes has resulted in a stagnant economy. On a per capita basis, we rank eighth highest in state income taxes, 11th highest in property taxes and second highest in gasoline taxes. Any one of these rankings would be troubling but combined they are toxic to economic growth.

Spending is the problem. During the 10-year period, 1991-2000, total state spending increased 77 percent from $6.3 billion to over $11.2 billion—an average of 7.7 percent per year. Over that same period inflation, as measured by the consumer price index, increased an average of 2.78 percent per year. State spending increased at a rate nearly three times the rate of inflation. No wonder we have a problem. Ask yourself—did my income increase 7.7 percent each year for 10 consecutive years?

Excessive spending is not a Democratic or Republican issue. Both parties are equally complicit. Neither has demonstrated a resolve to curtail spending. Unless this problem is addressed, Wisconsin's structural disadvantage vis-à-vis other states will continue. We will continue to languish in our little socialist enclave.

The only way out is this mess is to incorporate strong spending limits into our state constitution through a taxpayer bill of rights amendment—TABOR. TABOR will restrict spending increases for all levels of government. State and local bureaucrats don't like the idea, which is probably all you need to know about its efficacy. TABOR would fundamentally change the spending landscape in Wisconsin, which must happen if we are to ever have a chance of getting out of the top five highest taxed states. It has worked successfully in other states and it will work here.

Michael J. Fredrich is president of Manitowoc Custom Molding.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Enrich Your Life With Rommegrot

Bertha Johnson, Westby
1 quart cream
1 tsp salt
1 cup of flour
1 quarter milk (2% or whole)

Over moderate hear use a heavy kettle to heat the
cream for 15-20 minutes. Use a whip to add the
flour and salt. Continue cooking and beating until
the butter forms. Carefully drain the butter into a
small dish or pitcher. Continue beating as the
cream separates. Heat the milk in a glass pitcher
in the microwave for 5-7 minutes. Add about a
cup of the milk to the cream at a time and whip
until smooth each time. When all the milk is
included continue beeting/whipping for 3-4
minutes (yellowish-cream color). All of this is
done over moderate - never high heat. Then pour
the grot into a dish or storage container and pour
the melted butter over it. Never make more than
a single batch at a time. A double batch fits into a
ice cream pail and freezes fine. Brown sugar and
cinnamon are tasty toppings.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


Things are getting more an more interesting on the Jim Doyle investigation front. His press secretary is quoted in today's Journal Sentinel with the kind of qualification that should remind us all of the Clinton Administration.

"The governor has not spoken to any investigators," he said. "We have no idea whether there's a grand jury or not. As the governor has said many times, he's more than happy to talk to anyone who's reviewing this because everything he's aware of, this (Adelman Travel) contract was awarded to a Wisconsin company that was the lowest bidder. That's all he knows about it."

Please note the "everything he's aware of" qualification that has crept into the Doyle team's comments on the pay to play investigation. Earlier in the week we learn that DOA figure and Doyle crony Georgia Thompson has hired prominent criminal defense attorney Stephen Hurley, then we learn that a grand jury is hearing testimony about Adelman, utilities, and who knows what other transgressions. Things seem to be getting more serious, and the Doyle team seems to be running scared.

My guess is that Doyle insiders understand that there is indeed some fire mixed in with the smoke on this issue. Who knows how they do their deals or work to reward their friends. It's probably as simple as a coven of Doyle apparatchiks who discuss hypotheticals in coffee shops or GEF corridors. Or one Klauser type could be pulling strings for Doyle in many directions. Regardless of the method, Doyle has learned from his old rival and built an even more malodorous donor-rewards system than TGT.

Could Leistikow be laying the groundwork for the ever popular "my staff did it" defense? How did they do it in the Godfather? Deliver orders through a few levels of bureaucracy in order to protect the top guy from incrimination. Good luck with that. If any real pay-to-play activity has gone on in the Doyle Administration, than Doyle himself will be the one who goes down. He has a rather Nixonian creepiness when you think about it. And both Nixon and Doyle were certain of their righteousness and contemptuous of others.

If things continue in this direction, Doyle ought to consider moving the Capitol and Administration headquarters to Milwaukee County. There's no way the state's top Democrat could ever be convicted of anything there.

Friday, January 20, 2006

Just be careful with the fire.

Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.

“Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.”
Napoleon Bonaparte

Excellent post today from Caroline Lamb. http://www.glenarvon.blogspot.com/

I especially like the comments about all those glory-starved staffers hungry for relevance. And her discussion of the collateral-damage ramifications of a potential Jensen trial is also on-target. But I must admit, I would like to see someone actually fight this out in court. That's not good legal advice, but it would be interesting.

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Fiscal Conservatives and Government Golf

You heard it here first. The secret weapon in the Republican gubernatorial primary could be the golf courses of Milwaukee County.

County Executive Scott Walker manages a mega-bureaucracy and a wide range of services for the good people of Milwaukee, including golfing opportunities. I think Republican activist types would love to hear the Walker radio ads pitching the many County-owned golf courses. The smart guys in Walker's office have allowed him to do these wrong-headed ads for years. While Republicans may like golf, Republican primary voters aren't likely to be all that impressed with government golf. Scott, are you really for limited government and how do government golf courses fit into that picture?

Of course, Jim Doyle's idea of government includes everything from golf courses to Wal-Mart, so these goofy ads wouldn't be a problem in the general election.

So Jim and Bruce, here is your challenge -- track down all of those commercials and have them burned before it's too late! If you don't, evil schemers might put them on a CD and give them away at the Republican convention.

And don't even try to explain, it will only make things worse. What are you guys waiting for? Hurry!

Tuesday, January 17, 2006


IT'S THE SUBTEXT. If you look closely, there's really so much going on. What Doyle says this evening will be pretty irrelevant. I doubt that even Jim Kreuser will care. I will just have to appreciate the little moments.

Something has to be done about sports radio.

Something has to be done about sports radio. Those of us who spend alot of time on the road for their jobs have to listen to something, and we occasionally have to turn the dial away from political talk. So, that leaves me with sports talk radio.

There are two indisputable giants in sports talk radio -- Jim Rome and Dan Patrick. Rome is the most consistently entertaining and insightful of them all. His takes on sports or bizarre news stories are often spit-out-your drink hilarious, and almost always right on target. He does sometimes give his showboating callers a little to much leeway, but nobody's perfect. If he's anywhere on my radio dial, I have to go to Jim Rome. His requirement that callers have a take and don't suck is word-perfect and should be followed more widely. Dan Patrick is just consistently good. He's best when he has an entertaining guest or sidekick, but always worth listening to nevertheless. He doesn't often say stupid things, which is more than I can say for most of our other options.

I was driven to write this after briefly listening to the Mike and Mike show this morning. These guys, Mike Golic and Mike Greenberg, have been idiots for a very long time. Golic plays the dumb ex-lineman jock, and Greenberg plays the geeky and neurotic non-athlete. As a former pro football player, the fat Mike should be able to offer some insider insight into at least the NFL. But he doesn't move beyond sports cliches and qualified guesses, and usually just comes off as the not-so-bright big guy on your team who ends up working at the gas station. The little Mike is even more irritating. He's the kid who couldn't make the team, who became the towel boy or P.A. announcer. He's whiney, and is always talking about his effete metrosexuality. I don't want to listen to people like that in real life, and I sure don't want to have to listen to their little-guy geekiness on the radio. This morning they ventured into popular culture with a discussion of the Golden Globe Awards. They spent most of the time talking about how they had never heard of this show or that actress. Here's a tip guys, if your job has to do with talking about popular culture, then maybe you should try to learn something about popular culture. They should just shut up, but usually I have to do it for them.

Colin Cowherd is the mid-morning guy on ESPN radio. He replaced Tony Kornheiser, which I mostly appreciated. But it didn't take more than a few minutes to figure out that Cowherd comes from the screaming lightweight school of sports broadcasters. He also forces us to listen to his neanderthal takes on women and his off-target commentary on popular culture. He's seldom worth listening to, unless you are incredibly desperate and there's a substitute host on WTMJ. He will not entertain you, but he might make you mad. Apparently, that is an acceptable model, as Peter Brown follows the same blustering path on local Milwaukee sports radio. He's so often wrong, and loudly so, that it's necessary to quick switch the station after Rome so you don't end up with a "Family Circus" moment. Most of the other local Madison and Milwaukee sports guys aren't really worth mentioning, other than somebody really needs to beat up that "have a loud take and always suck" Sparky Fifer kid.

Please, sports radio station owners and programmers, can you please get rid of some of your more stroke-inducing broadcasters? I don't care if some of their ratings are good, you need to replace them with people that actually have something to offer. People like the hilarious Sklar Brothers or Jim Lampley or maybe even Skip Bayless. The Mike and Mike's of the sports broadcasting world are likely to push me and infinite others right out of your demographic. I'M BEGGING YOU, GET RID OF THESE GUYS or I might cry in frustration. And, for the record, I never cry.

Monday, January 16, 2006

Thanks To The Tornado Club And All In Attendance

NEXT YEAR WILL BE EVEN BIGGER AND BETTER. Thanks to everyone who helped make this thing happen, confidentially.

Happy Martin Luther King Day

Happy Martin Luther King Day. I think it's a great reminder of the evil in our not-so-distant past, and our transformative progress over the last 40 years. Negroes were classified and treated as second class citizens. And in many places, treated as much less than citizens, with no right to vote or sometimes even to live. The history books show that it was acceptable in much of white society to treat black people as less than human. Happily, that is no longer true today.

I was fortunate to have parents that taught me that people were people, regardless of ethnicity or background. My parents were by no means groundbreakers. Just good people with a basic understanding of fairness and right and wrong. The Norwegian and German-Americans of Wisconsin were not much involved in Dr, King's campaign, but I like to think that good people like my parents played a vital role nevertheless. I don't know if they heard Dr. King's "I have a dream" speech, but I do know that they taught me to judge people by the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

I AM A MAN. What a message to have to deliver. How evil and wrong it was for people to deny others their basic humanity. How wrong it is to treat people as a race rather than as an individual. How offensive to categorize people like livestock based on countries of origin or skin color.

I attended a presentation recently where the speaker was encouraging the audience to respect and nurture children's ethnicity. They should be proud to be black or hispanic or asian, and we should all make sure to celebrate that categorization of humanity. But I didn't like what I was hearing, and it made me better understand how far we still have to go. The argument that "we as a group, are as good as you as a group," has obscured the true goal of equality. Are these children? Or are they black children, hispanic children, or asian children?

When we put a kid or a stranger on the street into a category, we have diminished and defined them in ways that have little or nothing to do with who they actually are. I think a kid is a kid, and a man is a man. Our heritage and background is significant, but it should not be our defining characteristic. When people think of me, do they define me by my Norwegian-American background? Hardly. Should they? Of course not.

We are all human equally. Some people do good, other people do bad. But it's not your skin color that does it. Maybe it's time to stop emphasizing the categorization of humans, into aggrieved and separate subcategories. Dr. King dreamed of a day when his children would be judged by the content of their character. I think it's time that more humans on every side of the existing divides recommit to that dream and erase those lines of separation. The modern forces of separation and racial categorization will keep demanding something from the "other." But I believe we'd make more progress by recognizing that there is no "other" and we are all of the same family.

"All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distort the soul and damages the personality. It gives the segregator a false sense of superiority and the segregated a false sense of inferiority. Segregation, to use the terminology of the Jewish philosopher Martin Buber, substitutes an "I-it" relationship for an "I-thou" relationship and ends up relegating persons to the status of things. Hence segregation is not only politically, economically and sociologically unsound, it is morally wrong and awful. Paul Tillich said that sin is separation. Is not segregation an existential expression 'of man's tragic separation, his awful estrangement, his terrible sinfulness?"
Martin Luther King, Jr.

Sunday, January 15, 2006



Bloggers' Free Speech Rights Upheld By Delaware Supreme Court

DELAWARE---The Delaware Supreme Court has become the first Supreme Court in the nation to rule that an Internet service provider doesn't have to disclose the identity of an anonymous blogger who posts alleged defamatory comments about an elected official on the Internet.

The ruling will no doubt set a legal standard on the issue nationwide including a case in Florida in which the Hillsborough sheriff seeks the learn the identities of posters on a message board for police officers at www.leoaffairs.com.

In its 34-page decision which reversed a lower court decision, the Supreme Court said that the free speech rights of the anonymous bloggers outweighed a town councilman's argument that he was defamed.

Chief Justice Myron Steele wrote that Internet speech was like anonymous political pamphleteering, a practice the U.S. Supreme Court had characterized in 1995 as "an honorable tradition of advocacy and dissent". Steele wrote that a court should not order the unmasking of an anonymous Internet poster unless a plaintiff offers strong proof of defamation.

"We are concerned that setting the standard too low will chill potential posters from exercising their First Amendment right to speak anonymously," Steele wrote. "The possibility of losing anonymity in a future lawsuit could intimidate anonymous posters into self-censoring their comments or simply not commenting at all."

Steele also noted that plaintiffs in such cases can use the Internet to respond to character attacks and "generally set the record straight," and that, as in Cahill's case, blogs and chatrooms tend to be vehicles for people to express opinions, not facts.


© 2005 North Country Gazette


Saturday, January 14, 2006

This was really, really good.

I made these today, and they made me feel better. You might want to try them yourself with lots of real butter, syrup, Nueske's bacon, and ice cold milk. Did I do the right thing when I made this breakfast, or did I cross the line into questionable behavior? I don't know, but I do know that it made me feel better. No screaming in today's entry. I've taken that deep breath. Please join me.

2 eggs
2 cups buttermilk
2 cups flour
1/2 cup vegetable oil (or butter)
1 tsp baking soda
3 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt

Beat the eggs and buttermilk in a bowl with a whisk or your KitchenAid. Mix the dry ingredients together and beat them into the eggs and milk until smooth. Then put them in the waffle iron until done.

"Life, within doors, has few pleasanter prospects than a neatly arranged and well-provisioned breakfast table."
Nathaniel Hawthorne (1804-1864)

Friday, January 13, 2006


Today's guilty plea by former Representative Steve Foti is the most maddening day of the caucus scandal to date. FOTI HAD VIRTUALLY NOTHING TO DO WITH THE ASSEMBLY REPUBLICAN CAMPAIGN MACHINE, and he ends up having to take this bullet.

I think that Brian Blanchard and his group of selective crusaders HAVE LOST THEIR MINDS! He should never even have been charged, UNLESS YOU ALSO WANTED TO CHARGE ABOUT 50 OTHERS.

For the team, Foti said fine when higher ups asked him to put the Assembly Republican fundraiser on his payroll. He didn't supervise her, he didn't direct her, he merely stood aside and let things happen in other corners of the capitol. Foti was never involved in caucus campaign stuff. It simply was not his interest, and he never particularly cared for the institution. After becoming Majority Leader, he simply stepped up and allowed for one of his positions to be used by others. WHAT ABOUT SHIRLEY KRUG OR BRIAN FRALEY OR MARY PANZER OR RICH JUDGE? For gods' sake, they actually ran campaign machines out of the capitol AND THEY'VE NEVER BEEN CHARGED WITH ANYTHING!!!!

Steve Foti is one of the best guys to have ever served in the Legislature. His early unseriousness was replaced by intelligence, results and an exceptional demeanor with members of both parties. It is worse than unfortunate that this scandal forced him out of office, as he would have been a great Speaker. A giant next to the midgets that are currently hoping to succeed Gard. SHAME ON YOU, BRIAN BLANCHARD, FOR SCREWING THIS UP!! You busted one of the good guys, and let dozens of more egregious violators slide. IT IS BEYOND SICKENING!

And another thing, I found it laughable to read the language in the plea agreement about Foti potentially having to pay back $300,000 in salary to cover the cost of Sherry Schultz. THIS IS SUCH BULLSHIT! If you want to know who really benefited for her fundraising, track down every Republican that's been in a targeted race over the last decade. They should be the ones paying her salary, not Mick Foti. What about you, Don Friske? Jerry Petrowski? Warren Bluhm? Judy Krawczyk? Lorraine Seratti? AND DOZENS MORE!!!! And the Democrats have an entire legion of their own, guilty of benefiting and cheating more than Steve Foti could even imagine.

He had to plead guilty to avoid a felony conviction from a bogus justice system in Dane County. Prosecutors and judges in Dane County have too much power and can crush you by merely choosing to do so. Should Foti have gone along with the game? Probably not. But neither should the hundreds of others who gained from the work of the caucuses over the years. If they aren't required to answer for the system, then Steve Foti should never have been forced to answer for the system.

Go ahead, Blanchard, finish crushing Scott Jensen and then you can just walk away claiming a big victory for clean government. Congratulations. But your judgment sucks, and you cherry picked only the rulebreakers of your choice. HOW CAN YOU LIVE WITH YOURSELF? You ruin people for what? The caucus system was already gone by the time you filed your first charges. Let's hope some of these guys can survive this travesty of justice, because what you've done to most of them simply isn't right, fair or equitable.

It was a very bad day in the caucus scandal. Foti doesn't need to ask for our forgiveness -- but we should all probably ask for his.

Donkey Ethics for the Weak-Minded and Morally-Challenged

Maybe Democrats are really just bad people. I was struck today by the last couple of paragraphs in today's story on the Dem thugs tire-slashing case.

Both Smith, an employee at Norfolk State University in Virginia, and Ward, a Maryland lawyer, admitted on the witness stand that they had been involved in their own campaign shenanigans during the early hours of Nov. 2, 2004. They testified that they had gone out with a third campaigner to pull the opposition's yard signs.
"We replaced Bush signs with Kerry signs," Smith said, " . . . probably about six total."

Without even getting into the tire-slashing issue, I must conclude that this gang of Democrats is true scum. Even the witnesses for the prosecution admit that they broke the law and did their part for "Operation Elephant Takeover." I guess this must be what happens when weak-minded and morally-challenged individuals spend years or lifetimes demonizing their opponents.

Character is doing the right thing when nobody's looking. There are too many people who think that the only thing that's right is to get by, and the only thing that's wrong is to get caught. ~J.C. Watts

I'm no paragon of virtue and I've demonized a few opponents myself, but I would never sink so low as to steal a yard sign or slash a Democrat's tire. It is, indeed, a question of character. What kind of a person are you? And how zealously immoral are you prepared to be? Bush-haters seem to have given themselves permission to engage in both misdemeanors and felonies for their cause.

I know a few Republicans like this, but I'm beginning to believe that the self-righteous twits in the Democratic Party have become the honest-to-goodness bad guys. From the MoveOn.Org harassers outside my polling station to the Democratic Senators on the Judiciary Committee, they have moved beyond civil political disagreement into a more brownshirted direction. Good thing they'll never have the power to put us Bush-supporters in concentration camps. The thugs of today's Democratic party might just try to get away with it.

Thursday, January 12, 2006


16 Horsepower
Sackcloth 'N Ashes

Horse Head

Come to my house an we'll pick bones
There hands outside ready with stones
Come to my yard
I got whiskey an chairs
We'll sit on the porch
As the good men stare

You ain't never spoke true
I shake an angry fist at you
You are not needed here
To help me feel low down
I'm doin' it fine all on my own

I hear you cryin' from cradle to coffin
An for you there'll be no stoppin'
I see you lyin' in a pine box with bitter words
That's how the boy talks

Scott Walker and Situational Ethics

Situational truth is an affliction with some politicians. Figure out what your audience wants to hear, tell it to them, and hope nobody ever catches you in the contradictions.

Scott Walker's foray into the world of DeLay smears is today's example. I just heard Scott Walker telling Charlie Sykes that he never criticized Mark Green or said he should return the DeLay money. He claimed instead that he had merely told people that he would have returned the contributions. Walker apparently wanted Charlie to believe that he hadn't actually violated Ronald Reagan's "Thou Shalt Not Criticize Fellow Republicans," code of conduct.

Unfortunately, Scott also played to his audience when meeting with the moonbats of the Capital times last week. Here's what he said to the John Nichols' crowd,
"I think (he) should give the whole thing back," Walker said in an interview with the editorial board of The Capital Times on Monday. "Why would you keep any of it?"

Of course, this breaking of ranks made statewide headlines, and made it slightly harder for regular people to grasp Jim Doyle's unique villainy. I'm sure Susan Goodwin and Joanna Richard couldn't be more thrilled with Walker.

Hopefully, this pattern will not be repeated by any of the good guys. Just remember, (1) keep your story straight regardless of audience, (2) stick with the Reagan code -- even when desperately behind -- and (3) never, ever try to mislead the morning host at WTMJ.

Tuesday, January 10, 2006


To quote Marvin Pratt, "It's Time." It's time for a constitutional amendment to eliminate the state lottery and, with it, all legalized gambling in Wisconsin. The state should never have taken the gambling bait in the first-place. As you old-timers recall, the lottery was sold by a bipartisan bunch of ethically challenged legislators like Dick Shoemaker as the solution to property tax relief. A vote against the lottery was cast as a vote against the property taxpayer. What a big lie that has turned out to be.

The state received an estimated $132.1 million in property tax relief from the Lottery fund last year. With just over $5 million residents, that breaks down to about $25 in tax relief for every man, woman and child. Woop tee doo! Is the $25 really worth all the hassle? Throw in the Indian money, and we have the blessing of an even larger state government.

I'm rather libertarian, and really couldn't care less if Wisconsin's lower classes want to throw away their cigarette money on the bad bet of a lottery ticket. But I'm also conservative, so I know that government should not be in the gambling business.

I understand that the Wisconsin political world has accepted the lottery as forevermore, and that a reversal is probably unlikely. But let's stop the charade and recognize Wisconsin's gambling policy for what it really is -- a boon to big developers, Indian tribes, and state bureaucrats. The rest of us are stuck with our government running a gambling house, the Indian tribes buying the Governor's Mansion, dying supper clubs, increased embezzlement, old ladies spending our inheritance, and the everyday diminution of our cumulative intelligence in gas station lines around the state.

Republicans should take advantage of their soon total domination of state politics and get conservative about gambling. Let's roll back the clock, and leave the gambling business to other states. Or is the true definition of a good politician all about staying bought?

Monday, January 09, 2006

Can We All Get Along?

Guess I hit a sore spot with Bill Christofferson and Brian Fraley. Sorry guys, I think you may have missed my point. I was merely pointing out the inherent limitations of political consultant blogging. I meant no disrespect. You both are fine individuals with insight who are absolutely worth reading.

I've never argued against having a point of view -- we obviously all need one if we are to have anything meaningful to say. You each have some patron restraints on your takes. Not a big deal. Perhaps I shouldn't even have mentioned it. I hope we can move beyond this and remain pals.

There should be an honest attempt at the reconciliation of differences before resorting to combat.
Jimmy Carter

Now we know why the corruption is so pervasive.

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Xoff Redux

Dear Jeff Mayers,

I see you have responded to my call for change and, softy that you are, added rather than deleted a featured blogger or two. But you've failed to take into consideration that political consultants are incapable of providing an honest take that doesn't suck.

A consultant, like Xoff or Fraley, are speaking solely for their audience of potential clients or to their unique political clique. Xoff likes Doyle, Fraley likes Walker. Gee, I wonder if their personal relationships or business plans have anything to do with their takes? They also pull punches to avoid pissing off friends, are unfair to the extreme with personal political enemies, and suck up shamelessly to anyone that they think can help them or their careers. And golly gee, wouldn't Margaret Farrow be a great candidate for U.S. Senate?

Their worldview hinges on a particular group of friends and patrons breathlessly committed to the clique's personal and political correctness. This sectarianism seldom leads to honest or insightful commentary.

The best political or cultural commentary has little to do with the self-serving takes of political consultant with a butt to kiss or an ax to grind. Instead of decrying anonymity, you should perhaps insist on it for your featured political blogs. Then at least we could receive a larger dose of critical perspective, unfiltered by the bloggers commitment to their patrons and personas.

Friday, January 06, 2006


Ellis: Funds not available for governor's bid
Post-Crescent Madison bureau, 1/6/6
MADISON — State Sen. Mike Ellis, R-Neenah, says he won't run for governor this year. Ellis said he recently hired a consultant to explore the feasibility of a bid, but he has decided not to enter the race. "The money is not there," Ellis, 64, said Thursday. "I'm going to stay in the Senate." Ellis, who has served in the state Senate since 1982, must run for a new four-year term in the Nov. 7 election. His 19th District includes much of the Fox Cities area, and some rural areas of Outagamie and Winnebago counties. Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle is seeking re-election. Two Republican challengers are in the race: U.S. Rep. Mark Green, Hobart, and Milwaukee County Executive Scott Walker. Ellis said a report he commissioned broke down the costs of running to individual details. It added up. "I would need $3.9 million to get through the primary and another $6 million to get through the general (election)," Ellis said.


Hypocrites and the Staff Lobbying Ban

I agree.

Thursday, January 05, 2006


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Another Reason Not To Dress As An Indian Mascot

Elizabeth Burmaster Cares About Our Children's Future.

Do you know who I am, Mr. Worley?

I'm the Anti-Christ. You get me in a vendetta kind of mood, you will tell the angels in heaven that you had never seen pure evil so singularly personified as you did in the face of the man who killed you. My name is Vincenzo Coccotti. I work as a counsel for Mr. Blue Lou Boyle, the man your son stole from. I hear you were once a cop so I assume you've heard
of us before. Am I correct?

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