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Archive for November, 2009

Willis Wants Extension for Avery Decision

Looks like we’ll be see­ing some sort of rul­ing on this by Man­i­towoc Co. Cir­cuit Court Judge Patrick Willis by the early part of next year.

MANITOWOC, Wis. (WTAQ) — Steven Avery will have to wait until after the new year to learn if he will get a new trial. An appeals court in Wauke­sha ordered Man­i­towoc County Judge Patrick Willis to decide by Tues­day whether he would grant Avery a new trial. How­ever, Judge Willis has requested an exten­sion and is now look­ing at hav­ing a deci­sion around Jan­u­ary 29th. Avery’s attor­neys believe he should get a new trial because he wasn’t able to present evi­dence other peo­ple could have killed Teresa Hal­bach and because of the dis­missal of a juror dur­ing deliberations.

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PPP’s Poll Should Keep Wisconsin Dems Up at Night">Why PPP’s Poll Should Keep Wisconsin Dems Up at Night

Gonna try a first here at Lakeshore Laments, poll analy­sis not by word, but by pic­ture.  See, I’ve been spend­ing the past few Thanks­giv­ing hol­i­day days and free moments in them going over the var­i­ous releases from the recent Pub­lic Pol­icy Polling (PPP) poll they did last weekend.

As I’ve said in my last post on this poll, I’m not a fan of week­end polling since it often times will over-sample Democ­rats, but I did see some inter­est­ing stuff in the cross-tabs I thought we should all see and dis­cuss.  So feel free to in the comments.

Oh, here’s your decoder ring.

WI Area Codes

And here’s the data…

PPP Polling 1PPP Polling 2PPP Polling 3

Yeah, I know what you’re think­ing.  That 59 per­cent oppo­si­tion to the Stim­u­lus pack­age in the 715 area code shocked you too.

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Cartoon of the Day

There sure are a lot of them; all want­ing the same thing…


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State Visitors Centers Worried About Map Shortage

Inter­est­ing story out of La Crosse I spot­ted on Twitter.

A bill that would help Wisconsin’s bud­get issue could also result in a state map shortage.

Sev­eral state law­mak­ers want to pass a bill that would pro­hibit the state from pro­duc­ing free maps that are avail­able at the state’s vis­i­tor cen­ters for the next two years.

The depart­ment of motor vehi­cles issued map could still be dis­trib­uted until the cur­rent sup­ply runs out.

La Crosse offi­cials say the free maps are very pop­u­lar through­out the area’s vis­i­tor centers.

La Crosse Area Vis­i­tors Bureau Exec­u­tive Direc­tor Dave Clements says, “We go through over 20,000 of those a year and so its obvi­ously some­thing the con­sumer, the vis­i­tor, the tourist is inter­ested in having.”

So where can Vis­i­tors Cen­ters get more maps?

Oh, I have an idea… (From Sep­tem­ber in the Jour­nal Sentinel)

The long­stand­ing prac­tice of state law­mak­ers giv­ing away Wis­con­sin high­way maps to con­stituents at tax­payer expense has some leg­is­la­tors and gov­ern­ment watch­dogs call­ing for the hand­outs to be reined in because of per­ceived abuses.

Assem­bly Major­ity Leader Thomas Nel­son (D-Kaukauna) has led the way, dis­trib­ut­ing 36,000 maps in 2007 and 2008 — more than the 30,083 total votes cast in his Novem­ber 2008 election.

Nel­son has handed out 76,400 maps since he came to the Assem­bly in 2005 — about 20,000 more maps than peo­ple in his district.

It’s a big hit with my con­stituents, and it’s a ser­vice I’m happy to offer and will con­tinue to offer,” Nel­son said.

In all, law­mak­ers have given away nearly 1.4 mil­lion maps worth about $190,000 since 2005, state records show.

What an egre­gious waste of money,” said Sen. Rob Cowles (R-Green Bay), who has dis­trib­uted 2,400 maps over the five years.

Cowles said he thinks the state should stop print­ing maps and leave that to oth­ers instead of the Depart­ment of Transportation.

I oppose Cowles idea of mak­ing the Wis­con­sin DOT stop print­ing maps; but I do think the long­stand­ing prac­tice of giv­ing state leg­is­la­tors as many maps as they want should end.  Wis­DOT could give them instead to local com­mu­ni­ties instead or just allow them to be handed out at gas sta­tions like Pack­ers schedules.

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Screw the Science, Follow the Politics!

You know, for a prac­tic­ing attor­ney, I would think that Tom Foley of the “illu­sory ten­ant” blog would have seen the news from today’s Times of Lon­don about what’s being called “Cli­mate­Gate” the same way I did.  That the destroyed data on cli­mate, universally-accepted, but now impos­si­ble to prove in any sort of sci­en­tific peer-review, would be akin to being a defense attor­ney and find­ing out the pros­e­cu­tion had decided to elim­i­nate evi­dence dur­ing the dis­cov­ery phase of a trial.

It’s about the best anal­ogy I can think of for what seems to be the biggest scan­dal in the Sci­en­tific Com­mu­nity in a long, long time; if not ever.

Ah well, pol­i­tics trumps all I sup­pose…even one’s pro­fes­sional decorum.

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Cartoon of the Day


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Photo of the Day

(Cour­tesy of the White House flickr page)


That Ladies and Gen­tle­men, is how close “the Party Crash­ers” got to the Pres­i­dent of the United States and the Prime Min­is­ter of India (left of Obama), in what looks like the Blue Room.  One is grate­ful they’re just pub­lic­ity hounds and not assassins.

ABC’s Jake Tap­per has the story from the White House, which is not com­ment­ing on the break­down in secu­rity in what is sup­posed to be one of the world’s most secure parimeters.

The White House would not com­ment on the meet­ing between the reality-tv seek­ing cou­ple and the leader of the free world.  White House spokesman Nick Shapiro said the Secret Ser­vice has the con­fi­dence of the President.

The United States Secret Ser­vice said they made a mis­take and they are tak­ing action to iden­tify exactly what hap­pened and they will take the appro­pri­ate mea­sures pend­ing the results of their inves­ti­ga­tion,” Shapiro said.

Indeed, tonight in a writ­ten state­ment Secret Ser­vice Direc­tor Mark Sul­li­van said his agency is “con­cerned and embar­rassed” for allow­ing the Vir­ginia cou­ple to slip through their security.

The pre­lim­i­nary find­ings of our inter­nal inves­ti­ga­tion have deter­mined estab­lished pro­to­cols were not fol­lowed at an ini­tial check­point, ver­i­fy­ing that two indi­vid­u­als were on the guest list,” Sul­li­van said, “Although these indi­vid­u­als went through mag­ne­tome­ters and other lev­els of screen­ing, they should have been pro­hib­ited from enter­ing the event entirely. That fail­ing is ours.”

Yeah some­one is going to be leav­ing the POTUS detail in the Secret Ser­vice and will be pro­tect­ing ‘a high-value asset’ at a base in South Dakota or Alaska soon.

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Cartoon of the Day


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In the Meanwhile, Dubai is Broke

Okay, not really broke, but damn close and it’s caus­ing a heck of a lot of trou­ble for global mar­kets today as we’re off eat­ing turkey sand­wiches and shop­ping on “Black Friday.”

On the plus side, this is a nice pre­view of what a nation (or in this case national cor­po­ra­tion) looks like when it can’t pay its inter­est on the money it owes.  Good to know when the Chi­nese come to col­lect, we’ll know what it looks like.

Fears of a dan­ger­ous new phase in the eco­nomic cri­sis swept around the globe yes­ter­day as traders responded to the shock announce­ment that a debt-laden Dubai state cor­po­ra­tion was unable to meet its inter­est bill.

Shares plunged, weak cur­ren­cies were bat­tered and more than £14 bil­lion was wiped from the value of British banks on fears that they would be left nurs­ing new losses.

Ner­vous traders trans­ferred the focus of their anx­i­eties from the risk of com­pa­nies fail­ing to the risk of nation states default­ing. Investors owed money by Mex­ico, Rus­sia and Greece saw the price of insur­ing them­selves against default rocket.

Although the scale of Dubai’s debts is com­par­a­tively mod­est at $80 bil­lion (£48 bil­lion), the uncer­tainty spooked the mar­kets, with no one sure who its cred­i­tors are. Sev­eral banks rushed out state­ments to reas­sure investors that their expo­sure was small.

The FTSE 100 plunged by 171 points to 5,194 — its biggest one-day fall in eight months in one of the most jit­tery days in the finan­cial mar­kets since the depths of the bank­ing crisis.

The Trea­sury, the Bank of Eng­land and the Finan­cial Ser­vices Author­ity were mon­i­tor­ing events closely and are demand­ing fig­ures from UK banks on their loan expo­sures to Dubai.

Accord­ing to a senior gov­ern­ment offi­cial, Dubai’s cri­sis is regarded as mod­est and man­age­able for Britain, but there were grow­ing fears that Abu Dhabi, the oil-rich neigh­bour­ing emi­rate that has in the past given res­cue loans, would leave Dubai to its fate.

Tra­di­tion­ally, the NYSE is only open a half-day the day after Thanks­giv­ing, so the United States mar­kets might be spared the same fate the rest of the world’s exchanges are see­ing today — an aver­age drop of about 3 percent.

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Happy Thanksgiving

From the Her­itage Foun­da­tion, Lincoln’s Orig­i­nal Procla­ma­tion of Thanksgiving.

The year that is draw­ing toward its close has been filled with the bless­ings of fruit­ful fields and health­ful skies. To these boun­ties, which are so con­stantly enjoyed that we are prone to for­get the source from which they come, oth­ers have been added which are of so extra­or­di­nary a nature that they can not fail to pen­e­trate and soften even the heart which is habit­u­ally insen­si­ble to the ever-watchful prov­i­dence of Almighty God.

In the midst of a civil war of unequaled mag­ni­tude and sever­ity, which has some­times seemed to for­eign states to invite and to pro­voke their aggres­sion, peace has been pre­served with all nations, order has been main­tained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and har­mony has pre­vailed every­where, except in the the­ater of mil­i­tary con­flict, while that the­ater has been greatly con­tracted by the advanc­ing armies and navies of the Union.

Need­ful diver­sions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peace­ful indus­try to the national defense have not arrested the plow, the shut­tle, or the ship; the ax has enlarged the bor­ders of our set­tle­ments, and the mines, as well as the iron and coal as of our pre­cious met­als, have yielded even more abun­dantly than hereto­fore. Pop­u­la­tion has steadily increased notwith­stand­ing the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege, and the bat­tle­field, and the coun­try, rejoic­ing in the con­scious­ness of aug­mented strength and vigor, is per­mit­ted to expect con­tin­u­ance of years with large increase of freedom.

No human coun­sel hath devised nor hath any mor­tal hand worked out these great things. They are the gra­cious gifts of the Most High God, who, while deal­ing with us in anger for our sins, hath nev­er­the­less remem­bered mercy.

It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, rev­er­ently, and grate­fully acknowl­edged, as with one heart and one voice, by the whole Amer­i­can peo­ple. I do there­fore invite my fellow-citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are in for­eign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thurs­day of Novem­ber next as a day of thanks­giv­ing and praise to our benef­i­cent Father who dwelleth in the heav­ens. And I rec­om­mend to them that while offer­ing up the ascrip­tions justly due to Him for such sin­gu­lar deliv­er­ances and bless­ings they do also, with hum­ble pen­i­tence for our national per­verse­ness and dis­obe­di­ence, com­mend to His ten­der care all those who have become wid­ows, orphans, mourn­ers, or suf­fer­ers in the lam­en­ta­ble civil strife in which we are unavoid­ably engaged, and fer­vently implore the impo­si­tion of the Almighty hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it, as soon as may be con­sis­tent with the divine pur­pose, to the full enjoy­ment of peace, har­mony, tran­quil­ity, and union.

In tes­ti­mony whereof I have here­unto set my hand and caused the seal of the United States to be affixed.

This year, I’m thank­ful for my fam­ily; who’s sup­port is with me in good years and bad.

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