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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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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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