cur-mud-geon: anyone who hates hypocrisy and pretense and has the temerity to say so; anyone with the habit of pointing out unpleasant facts in an engaging and humorous manner
An article in the morning Business section of the Journal Sentinel caused me to reflect on my childhood. The article discussed the three new cheese plants that are to be built in Wisconsin in the course of the coming year to year and one-half.
The Journal Sentinel reports this morning that it cost less to restore the Capitol than earlier estimated by the Walker Administration. The actual cost was 'only' $197,459 as of March 15th, so obviously the Walker Administration was guilty of over-estimating the costs when it initially forewarned that costs could be as high as $7.5 Million. The actual costs were comprised of the following:
The races for Germantown School Board seats were about as I had expected in this largely conservative district. The group of three who were touting their conservative perspectives won rather decisively (with margins of 2-1 or better). This was a highly contentious set of races and we will now observe what this means for the School Board. Will there be contentious issues through-out the terms of these new Board members, or was that discussion largely politically-driven? Will these races prove to have been the precursor to a more contentious overall political climate, or was that largely the result of the 'education system' being the driver of those feelings?
A person who holds extreme or fanatical political or religious views, esp. one who resorts to or advocates extreme action.
Governor Walker's Act 10 bill was hit by a federal judge who found that unions could not be required to re-certify on an annual basis, and who found that the State of Wisconsin must collect union dues as has been done for many years. That was not quite the victory that it is being billed to be, but it does take a little of the sting out of Act 10 from the unions' perspective. It is a long way from overturning the law.
Paul Ryan, as you already know, made Mitt Romney his selection in the race for the Republican nomination. That may be enough of a push to assure a significant victory for Romney in our election.
Our two Supreme Courts, one in Madison and one in Washington,D.C., are showing how important this third branch of government truly can be.
The flyer from Menard's this morning announcing another 'Crazy Days' sale made me think of the current climate in our Badger state and in our country. We are in the midst of what is becoming perpetual 'Crazy Days' in all things political.
The every-decade experience of redrawing the maps that determine where each of us votes is nearly finished. For all the machinations by the opposition that virtually every decision taken by the Republicans was taken in error (with malice aforethought likely), it appears that only two districts were determined in need of change by the federal judges hearing the case. The judges also were not kind to the Republicans so far as the manner in which the maps were created with oaths of secrecy signed. No mention was made, interestingly, about the complaint by one of the plaintiffs being filed before the new lines were made public; this complaint apparently supposed the new lines would be a violation of their rights even before they knew what they were to be, and these were the two districts cited by the judges.
Ethics allegations against Wisconsin Supreme Court Justice David Prosser were unveiled yesterday in a continuation of what, to me, is among the more farcical things to come out of Madison. Admittedly, there is a wide selection of things farcial that eminate in Madison from which to choose, but at least for now...this takes the Most Farcical award.
"Can you even begin to imagine the size of the crowd cramming itself into Erin on this St. Patty's Day?"
Circuit Judge Richard Niess of Dane County ruled yesterday on another challenge to the Voter ID law. He didn't mess around with a 'temporary' restraining order; he issued a 'permanent' injunction.
The "Energizer bunny" of Wisconsin politics just keeps on running. Tommy Thompson has been out of office for 13 years according to an article yesterday, but leads the field of candidates running to replace Sen. Kohl (D).
Private sector adds 233,000 jobs was the headline on the story in the morning Journal Sentinel. Then followed the statement: Unemployment rate unchanged at 8.3% after 3 strong months.
Eric Hovde is officially in the race to replace Sen. Herb Kohl (D) who is not running for re-election. Hovde has a lot of competition and will take his lumps as the long-time politicians who are his opponents in the Republican primary work him over. Hovde has made a lot of money, so he is similar to our other Senator, Ron Johnson (R), in that he can provide a lot of funding from his own bank account if need be, and that is likely to be needed given the number of hands already reaching out for contributions.
I awakened this morning to newspaper stories telling me that a Dane County Judge who signed a Walker recall petition has declared the voter ID law is likely costing some 220,000 people to lose their right to vote because they do not have ID cards and therefore has ruled that it cannot be enforced in the coming April elections. I also read of the decision by Democrat Senators in conjunction with one Republican "moderate" Senator who have decided many people in Northern Wisconsin will continue to hover near poverty. I read that Gogebic will withdraw from its efforts to develop mining operations that would employ several hundreds of Northern Wisconsin folks and uncounted hundreds more in Southeastern Wisconsin who would've built the mining equipment.
It was interesting to hear what one of the independent groups has found in its review of the 152,508 pages of signatures submitted to recall Governor Walker.
There is a phrase that comes to mind as the re-districting case winds its way through the courts: "to the victor go the spoils".
It is interesting to see the very open, and some would say blatant, attempt by major unions in Wisconsin to hand-pick their candidate to go against Scott Walker in the almost certain recall election to come. It is very simple really; either you pledge to veto any budget that doesn't restore full union rights or you run the state without a new budget. There is no inbetween; no 'ifs, ands or buts' as it were.
Just when you think it isn't possible for the GAB to continue to be in the press, it makes some decision or announcement that propels it back into the news. That is sort of the "gift that keeps on giving" from a talk show host's or a blogger's perspective.
It was no surprise to see the Court of Appeals render its decision to vacate the decision of Waukesha County Circuit Court Judge J. Mac Davis. The Davis decision, of course, was the one in which he chided the GAB and said it needed to be more aggressive in its role of reviewing recall petition signatures.
The Government Accountability Board (GAB) finds itself in the news again this morning with its decision to withhold the signature petitions involved in the Walker recall effort. Supposedly this is for a brief period during which the GAB will ponder the request of some signers that their signatures and address information be kept from public view. One of the examples mentioned involves a person who was a stalking victim.
I served in the Wisconsin Army National Guard during the Berlin crisis that saw the 32nd Division activated and sent to then Ft. Lewis, Washington. We trained for possible deployment involving what was then called the "Cuban Missile" crisis. That never occurred and we were released from active duty some ten months later. Then that was quite the big deal; today that is little more than an extended summer camp at Ft. McCoy.
As I read the morning Journal Sentinel today, I was struck by the political inferences across the main section even though this publication claims to be unbiased. (1) Dan Bice continues on the 'expose Walker' bent that he has made standard fare of late. His "sources say" that charges will be issued in the coming days and that they likely will involve Walker operatives. He mentions that "at least eight" of Walker's "former aides and associates have hired criminal defense lawyers". "Insiders" have told Bice that the "next phase is focusing on the role of some of Walker's closest associates". (2) There is now an 'issue' over whether or not Wisconsin is in a deficit or not in a deficit. The gap of some $3.6 Billion that Walker encountered when he took office was closed by the Walker government but that was on a cash basis. So now we are exposed to the fact that under GAAP accounting there is still a deficit and that this fact was used recently in a petition to the federal government to gain its permission to cut some 50,000+ people from a state health plan if necessary. I don't recall the continuing series of articles during the former government's time in office that traced the ever-increasing budget deficit or that condemned the use of various 'funds' (transportation and patient compensation, for example) to make possible increased state spending. (3) A story on the national 'health care overhaul' from the Associated Press states that Wisconsin is among the states "lagging" in implementation of the wonderful new PPACA legislation that has yet to withstand U.S. Supreme Court scrutiny. This story mentions some 500,000 Wisconsinites who have no health insurance but does not indicate that this state is among those with the lowest uninsured population in the nation. Nor does it bother to mention that each of these 500,000 people have access to health care under federal laws that have been in force for years. Maybe this was simply accidental story selection. Maybe not.
The union workers (International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Local 516) at the Manitowoc Company have been fighting with the company for the past two months to get a new contract. There have been at least three votes of which I am aware. Each time the proposed deal was voted down, the union and company went back to the table and came up with a revised contract proposal. In the meantime, the company hired temporary replacement workers.
The Milwaukee Brewers made a great signing yesterday and it was a former player. Craig Counsell joined the front office staff under GM Doug Melvin having decided that it was time to hang up his spikes.
She was a real pretty little thing. Big brown eyes. Lovely light brown hair. Slender legs. Probably about 150 lbs.
Our Packer season is over. Wow! That came too soon and it was sort of ugly as those kinds of things tend to be.
So the GAB (Government Accountability Board), in response to the decision by the Waukesha county judge saying that it needed to be more proactive in reviewing recall campaign signatures, has decided that it can create spread sheets. Instead of sixty days to review the signatures collected as it said it would need before the decision, the GAB says it will need more time and it will seek that permission from a judge. That has been granted in each case I can recall.