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Archive for April, 2010

GM Paid Its Loans">How GM Paid Its Loans

Great video from the gang at Reason.TV explain­ing for those of us who didn’t take a col­lege Account­ing course.

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The Census Takers are Coming

Haven’t turned in your Cen­sus form yet?  Well, get ready for a visitor.

If you haven’t returned your cen­sus form yet, this could be the week­end you get a visit from a cen­sus taker.

Start­ing Sat­ur­day, the U.S. Cen­sus Bureau is send­ing work­ers door to door to fol­low up with house­holds that didn’t com­plete or return their forms.

In most cases, cen­sus work­ers will visit in the after­noons, early evenings and on week­ends. They’re instructed to iden­tify them­selves with a cen­sus ID badge that has a Depart­ment of Com­merce watermark.

Cen­sus tak­ers will visit each address up to three times. Each time they don’t get an answer they’ll leave a phone num­ber the res­i­dent can call to sched­ule an interview.

Cen­sus spokesman Stan­ley Moore asks that res­i­dents coop­er­ate with cen­sus tak­ers. He notes they’ve taken an oath never to reveal any pri­vate data.

No word if it will look (or go) any­thing like this.

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Cartoon of the Day

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EFCA">Victory Over EFCA

The National Asso­ci­a­tion of Man­u­fac­tur­ers (NAM) posts on its blog, Shopfloor, points out that this morn­ing at 9:00 AM EDT, the AFL-CIO took down their giant ban­ner pro­mot­ing the Employee Free Choice Act, or EFCA.  They even have pictures.

Irony alert, the ban­ner blocked the AFL-CIO’s view of the White House over Lafayette Park from their build­ing.  Double-irony Alert: The AFL-CIO and Cham­ber of Com­merce and NAM are on oppo­site blocks near the White House on F Street if I recall.

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David Frum Dumps on Crist, Supports Rubio

“Wel­come to the Party Pal!” — John McClane, Die Hard

Well, bet­ter late than never I sup­pose. Of course, it’d mean more if it weren’t on the day word leaks Char­lie Crist is going to turn back on his word and run for the Sen­ate as an Independent.

The Crist-Rubio con­test is a tough one for modern-minded Repub­li­cans. As Eli Lehrer has noted here, Crist is no paragon of good gov­ern­ment. On the other hand, what has got Crist in trou­ble is not his beach-house bailout, but his will­ing­ness to cut a deal with the feds to res­cue his state finances – kind of a governor’s job. It’s unnerv­ing too that it is so hard to pre­dict how Crist would behave as a U.S. sen­a­tor. With Rubio, you have a more cer­tain idea of what you’ll get.

But here’s where I come down: The cen­ter right has got to hold together. We can­not afford more NY-23s. In all but the most extreme cir­cum­stances, the rule has to be that those who par­tic­i­pate in a party con­test abide by the results of that process. It’s one thing if the race is Lieber­man v. Lam­ont, and what’s at issue is suc­cess or fail­ure in war. I used that com­par­i­son in a tweet today, but it does not stand up to scrutiny: the dif­fer­ences between Crist and Rubio are much more dif­fer­ences in tone, tem­pera­ment, and per­son­al­ity. Had Crist pre­vailed in the Florida Repub­li­can pri­mary, he would have had every valid rea­son to expect Rubio to sup­port the out­come. The reverse should have held true.

Pos­si­bly the best way to describe the Florida Sen­ate race after 5 PM East­ern (Crist’s rumored announce­ment time), is that Crist is likely to become an after-thought very soon.  No Repub­li­can is going to work for him for fear of killing their future career options, no Demo­c­rat is going to lend him a hand because they want to see Kendrick Meeks win the seat.  How Crist fund raises from now on is going to be some­thing to see.

So in short, he’s a lot like how Dick Leinenkugel might per­form in his quest for the Senate.

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Quote of the Day

From FoxPolitics.net, a busi­ness­man who attended a dis­cus­sion Rep. Steve Kagen, MD (D-Appleton) held last week on the effects of the health care bill on small busi­nesses.  (Reports from Fox 11 on Green Bay show it was not the event Kagen’s ego — or the state AP which just rehashed Kagen’s press release — made it out to be.)

Kagen has crossed the Rubi­con. He’s help­less. He’s useless.

Some points from the meeting:

  • If you are keep­ing score, it’s Kagen 3, Pelosi 0.” That line drew groans. And laugh­ter from a couple.
  • CBO esti­mates are accu­rate accord­ing to Rep. Kagen. When pressed he just said, “we didn’t cook the books”. Uh huh. Right.
  • They are cre­at­ing a mar­ket­place for health­care. Cre­at­ing a mar­ket­place? Jeebus.
  • Kept talk­ing about trans­parency. WOW.
  • Peo­ple that attended — all 12 of us were very unhappy about the infor­ma­tion about the meet­ing. I found out at 8:30am today and most peo­ple found out Fri­day after­noon. When we asked Craig [Moser, Kagen’s in-state “Con­stituent Ser­vices Direc­tor], he said, “It’s in the paper today.” Dumb.
  • The good doc­tor was 25 min­utes late for the meeting.
  • Your health relies on your neighbor’s health”. He talked of lim­it­ing body mass index. I kid you not.

I am objec­tive (or at least try to be) — all I see from this man is arro­gance and lies. He has gone from rep­re­sent­ing the 8th con­gres­sional dis­trict to just another hack politi­cian who rep­re­sents the Demo­c­ra­tic Party. He has no inter­est in debate. I don’t even think he believes what he says. Very con­tentious … once again.

Kagen 3, Pelosi 0?’  Note to self: See if I still have that Heller car­toon from 2007.  You know, the one with Kagen sport­ing the big head.

One thing I keep won­der­ing; espe­cially with the non-stop help the Cap Times seems to be giv­ing Kagen in ador­ing edi­to­ri­als, Nichols columns, and sud­den attacks on Rep. Roger Roth (R-Grand Chute), is when will John Nichols write the one thing every­one who’s watched the 8th CD dynamic for these past five years knows: The only way Steve Kagen wins, is if John Gard is running.

It was easy for Kagen to vil­ify Gard the past two cycles.  John’s may be a great guy, a good friend, and a won­der­ful fam­ily man, but his polit­i­cal career was a walk­ing cliche.  Hell; I’m half won­der­ing when our side does the same the Left did to Gard to Tom “Call Me Thomas” Nel­son.  That guy is just, just…wow…

Kagen won’t have that help this time around.  Oh, he’s try­ing to turn Roth (through the Cap Times) into this cycle’s Gard for him if you believe the Kagen Cam­paign blog.  I’m sure he’ll do the same if Reid Rib­ble or Marc Trager win as well.  It’s the Kagen cam­paign M.O.; so full of pro­jec­tion and lies you won­der if even the reporters cov­er­ing it believe them anymore.

(Really need to ask that of the N.E. Wis­con­sin reporters I com­mu­ni­cate with on Twit­ter about that…)

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Cartoon of the Day

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Quote of the Day

Arlen Specter; Senior Penn­syl­va­nia Sen­a­tor from the “Keep Me in the Sen­ate Party,” on the anniver­sary of his switch from the GOP to the Democrats:

”Well, I prob­a­bly shouldn’t say this,” he said over lunch last month. ”But I have thought from time to time that I might have helped the coun­try more if I’d stayed a Republican.”

He’s all yours donkeys…

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PA-12 to “Lean Republican”">Cook Moves PA-12 to “Lean Republican”

Looks like the DCCC’s win­ning streak on spe­cial elec­tions might be ending.

But polls don’t always paint the whole pic­ture, and for spe­cial elec­tion watch­ers who think this is the same kind of ani­mal we saw in NY-20 and NY-23 last year, it’s time to think again. In this cli­mate and cor­ner of Penn­syl­va­nia, Democ­rats’ path to 50 per­cent is con­sid­er­ably more uphill than Repub­li­cans’, and the GOP is well-positioned to snap its dis­heart­en­ing string of spe­cial elec­tion losses.”

Haven’t seen what other polit­i­cal pre­dic­tors have said on this race, but Cook’s move­ment could be just the first of many for this race.

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“Mr. Baseball” Goes on the DL">Mr. Baseball” Goes on the DL

It never dawned on me how much my expe­ri­ence enjoy­ing base­ball was con­nected to the voice of Bob Uecker until I was 18.  As a col­lege fresh­man, one of my dorm mates from Chicago and a Cubs fans (don’t hold that against him, he’s a good guy) went through the loss of long-time broad­caster Harry Caray.

He took it hard.

Watch­ing him grieve made me real­ize that what Caray was to him, Ueck was to me: A bridge to my child­hood.  Of sit­ting in the yard, play­ing catch with my broth­ers lis­ten­ing to a Brew­ers game in the back­ground.  Of great moments you can share with friends and fam­ily.  Of one-liners only Brew­ers fans would know.  Of sum­mer, base­ball, your father, your grand­fa­ther, and on and on.

It’s said that it’s easy to show some­one base­ball.  Just flip on a TV, or take them to a game.  But to hear base­ball?  For Brew­ers fans, that will always be easy to say in two words: Bob Uecker.

In Ueck, Brew­ers fans have some­thing spe­cial, and with him about to be laid up for three months recov­er­ing from heart surgery, it will be like a friend ain’t there.  He’ll be missed on the radio, but also in the club­house at Miller Park and other ball­parks across Amer­ica.

The absence of Ueck won’t just be felt by those of us who are fans of the Crew; but the team as well.  Dur­ing the press con­fer­ence yes­ter­day, a hand­ful of the team stood in the cor­ner, watch­ing, con­cerned for their friend, their teammate.

Trevor Hoff­man, Prince Fielder, Rickie Weeks, Jim Edmonds, Casey McGe­hee, man­ager Ken Macha and Milwaukee’s own Craig Coun­sell stood qui­etly in the cor­ner while Uecker answered about 20 min­utes of questions.

We’re con­cerned,” Coun­sell said. “He’s just one of the guys, so every time you take some­one out of that, you miss him. He swims every morn­ing and I’m kind of an early riser, so from time to time on the road, we’ll meet and have break­fast together. Just sit­ting with him and lis­ten­ing to him tell sto­ries, that’s some­thing every­one should experience.”

Coun­sell used to lis­ten to Uecker on the radio, just like the rest of Wis­con­sin. Coun­sell was born in Indi­ana, but grew up in the Mil­wau­kee sub­urb of White­fish Bay.

My mem­o­ries were lis­ten­ing to him, like a lot of peo­ple, on a sum­mer night out­side the house while we played base­ball until it got dark,” Coun­sell said. “I remem­ber lis­ten­ing to him in my front yard for sure.”

Ditto for Pirates reliever Jack Taschner, who grew up just south of Mil­wau­kee in Racine.

Games here weren’t on TV as much as they are now, so every­body lis­tened to Uecker,” Taschner said. “I’d ride my bike to my grandfather’s house in Mil­wau­kee and cut his lawn, and he’d sit out on the deck lis­ten­ing to Bob Uecker. My other grand­fa­ther, I’d go to his house, and the game is on and we’re lis­ten­ing to Uecker.

You have a lot of peo­ple in dif­fer­ent parts of the coun­try that talk about some­one being a voice. But Uecker has been here from the begin­ning. He is the Brew­ers. Obvi­ously, I hope the best for him. He is every­thing to base­ball in Mil­wau­kee. Bud Selig saved the team, but Bob Uecker is the voice.”

Said Coun­sell: “Base­ball is every day, and he becomes part of your sum­mer. It’s going to be like one of your friends is gone.”

But only for a short time. The doc­tors expect Uecker to be back in the broad­cast booth by August.

Until a few years ago, Fielder didn’t know Uecker had a spot in a “real” broad­cast booth at all. Fielder knew Uecker from his turn as Harry Doyle in the Major League series of films. He didn’t know that Uecker was the Brew­ers’ long­time radio man until 2002, when Mil­wau­kee made Fielder its first-round Draft pick. In the years since, the men have become very close.

It’s unfor­tu­nate, but he’s had a good spirit about it,” Fielder said. “No mat­ter what, he’s always a happy per­son. He has a good aura about him. When­ever he’s around, it’s a good time.”

Fielder, Coun­sell and every other Brewer said the same thing about Uecker: “He’s part of the team.”

That’s the way they treat me,” Uecker said. “They’re con­cerned, I know they are. So am I.”

We all are con­cerned for “Mr. Base­ball.”  Get well soon Bob.

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