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Archive for August, 2011

Coincidences on the Presidential Political Level Do Not Exist

Well said by the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza in regard to the timing of President Obama’s requested time for his jobs speech to be before a joint session of Congress next week…a time which would be directly coinciding with the next GOP Presidential Debate from the Reagan Library.

Admittedly, a part of me wouldn’t mind if the speech and the GOP Presidential debate went back-to-back.  It’d be either the longest opposition party response to a Presidential address in the history of the country or the night we find out if the Obama White House political shop is full of geniuses or complete boobs.

UPDATE: Scheduling conflict avoided. The President is moving his speech to September 8th.

Now he only has the NFL Opener between the Saints and the Packers to deal with.  (America will probably go with the football over the politics.)

President Barack Obama has agreed to move his scheduled special address to a joint session of Congress from September 7 to September 8, after consultations with House Speaker John Boehner, the White House said Wednesday night.

For those saying Speaker Boehner is being unreasonable here, do recall that in any Congressional address, the President sits in front of the Speaker and the Senate President Pro Tempe.  It is a sign of who’s in charge of the building.

Like any other household, the House of Representatives doesn’t like to deal with uninvited guests.

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Jeff Wood, Busted Again

Man, that decision by the Dems last year to pull him off of work-release to vote on the public employee contracts just keeps looking better and better with every legal infraction.

Former state legislator Jeff Wood has been jailed after being accused of altering a prescription.

Chippewa Falls police Capt. John Liddell says police called Wood in Monday after the Chippewa Valley Veterans Administration Clinic reported he may have changed a prescription dosage. Liddell didn’t know the medication’s name.

The 42-year-old was still jailed Wednesday.

The Chippewa Herald says (http://bit.ly/qDg6Bt ) Wood wasn’t arrested. His probation officer asked police to detain Wood on a probation hold. He pleaded no contest in January to fifth-offense operating while intoxicated.

Chippewa County District Attorney Jon Theisen says police forwarded the case Wednesday and he will decide whether to file charges.

Wood had been arrested for impaired driving three times since 2008, which triggered calls for his resignation. He chose not to seek re-election.

While initially elected to the Assembly as a Republican, Wood bolted  from the GOP caucus in a rumored deal with chief Democratic Assembly Campaigner and Madison Assemblyman Mark Pocan.  In the deal, Wood would become a declared Independent and would caucus with the Democrats in exchange of avoiding an opponent in 2008.

The deal worked out horribly for all parties involved as Woods’ personal life spiraled out of control.  His seat was picked up by the GOP in 2010.

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Wausau Unions to Let GOP March in Parade

While we were sleeping…

Organizers of the Labor Day parade in Wausau backtracked on Tuesday night from an earlier decision to bar Republican lawmakers from participating in the event.

In an email statement issued shortly before midnight, Marathon County Labor Council President Randy Radtke said everyone will be permitted to march in the parade “because we don’t want to have community groups and school bands affected.”

“We didn’t start this fight in Wisconsin, but were responding to anti-worker positions and policies supported by local Republican politicians, including those who have complained about not being invited,” Radtke’s statement read. “With the track records that Pam Galloway, Sean Duffy, Scott Walker, and Jerry Petrowski have all put together this year, they should be ashamed to even show their faces at a Labor Day parade.”

On Tuesday afternoon, one day after demanding organizers allow members of all political parties to participate or lose financial support for the event from the city, Wausau Mayor Jim Tipple said the decision was intended to make the parade all inclusive.

“I don’t think the Labor Day parade was ever intended to be a political statement,” Tipple said Tuesday afternoon. “It’s meant to honor workers, who may be predominantly Democratic. But we’ve got Republican, Green and Independent workers here, too.”

In the past four years, the city provided a staff to assemble a stage for the event and guide traffic around the parade route, and paid an insurance premium of about $400.

If the labor council didn’t make the change, Wausau officials estimated the organization could owe the city anywhere from $1,300 to $2,300, based on insurance, equipment and staffing costs from the past four Labor Day parades.

The Wausau Police Department also assists with traffic control during the parade. The city did not provide an estimate Tuesday for costs associated with the police presence.

Must say, I’m a little shocked to see the Marathon Co. Labor folks bend like this.  On Twitter last night, DPW’s 2nd Vice Chair Jef Hall went so far as to say he’d give them $25 to help pay for the costs.

Actually, I’m a tad surprised DPW didn’t just call them up and say, “Hey. We made a boatload in donations over the first half of the year thanks to Scott Walker and these clowns, how much do you need?”

Unless of course…the money’s gone already.  (Has anyone asked DPW if they still have that huge war chest anymore, or did they blow it all during the recalls?)

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Google Lets Overseas Soldiers Use Its GMail Phone for Free

I usually beat up on Google, but good for them for doing this.

Uniformed U.S. military personnel serving abroad can use Gmail’s phone calling feature for free. The promotion starts now and runs through the end of the year.

The free offering merely requires would-be callers to add and validate their .mil email addresses in Gmail. Then they can click the “Call phone” link in the Chat sidebar to initiate a call via Gmail’s dial pad.

“We recognize and appreciate the sacrifices U.S. troops make when they serve abroad, and we’re proud to help make it a little bit easier for them to stay connected and hear a familiar voice,” Ilya Frank, Senior Software Engineer at Google, says of the company’s decision.

The generous free calling offer is Google’s second of the year. The company is letting Gmail users make free phone calls to the U.S. and Canada throughout the year to promote its Skype-challenger.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Wausau Mayor Plays Hardball With Labor Unions Over Parade

Yeah, funny thing about parade permits.

You might get them, you might be able to say who can and cannot have a float in the parade.  But the city determines how much it will cover for police protection and other aspects.

Welcome to the pickle the Marathon County Labor Council is now in.

A conflict over the annual Labor Day parade in Wausau is the latest reminder of lingering tension between organized labor and the Republican Party in Wisconsin.

Marathon County Labor Council President Randy Radtke confirmed Monday that no Republican lawmakers are welcome to participate in the organization’s Labor Day parade — a departure from procedure in previous years.

“I don’t like when politicians try to use us, use our event, for their personal gain,” Radtke said. “And that’s pretty much what they’re doing. The Republican politicians in our area don’t side with us, but now they want to make it look like they’re on our side.”

The decision to bar GOP lawmakers might mean parade organizers will lose financial support typically provided by the city of Wausau.

According to a statement issued Monday afternoon by Mayor Jim Tipple’s office, the city would require the labor council to reimburse all expenses unless the decision to prohibit a GOP presence is reversed. Tipple said he didn’t have an estimate of what an insurance premium, stage setup and takedown, and traffic control by Wausau police officers would cost.

“Hopefully, I’ll get a call back (from Radtke),” Tipple said. “I have every reason to believe the parade will go forward as it has in years past.”

No where in the article does it say what the annual Labor Day Parade will cost the city, that would have been a nice little detail to have since Marathon Co. Democrats are fighting back saying a city spokesman said over the weekend the city doesn’t pay any money for the parade.

Other media is saying Wausau pays about $2,000 of the parade’s costs.

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“Deal” Done

How do you know when a new idea isn’t working?  When it doesn’t even leave the test-stage.

Facebook’s “Deals,” a direct attempt to take on companies like GroupOn and Living Social by offering localized coupons to people on the service, is dead.

Facebook is ending its Deals program, which offered the site’s 750 million users discounts similar to those offered by daily deals site Groupon.

Facebook said in a statement Friday it decided to end Deals after four months of testing. The service will wind down in coming weeks. It was available only in Atlanta, Austin, Dallas, San Diego and San Francisco.

Facebook says it remains committed to serving local businesses through ads, pages and other products. And it will continue to offer “check-in deals.” These lets businesses like restaurants and stores offer deals to customers who “check in” through Facebook to let their friends know where they are.

Facebook’s “Check-in” deals is no doubt connected to their “Places” feature.  There, you can see the company’s trying to go up against social-location apps like “Foursquare” and “Gowalla.”

I can understand the need for Facebook to want to branch out, but if they’re failing at these ventures, I don’t understand why they don’t stick with what they’re good at and excel there.

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Brewers to Hit 3 Million Attendence Mark Soon

Brewers Fever…CATCH IT!

The Milwaukee Brewers expect to sell their 3 millionth ticket this week, team officials say.

It would be the third time since 2008 that the franchise has reached 3 million in attendance.

To date, 2,453,617 fans have come to Miller Park so far this season. That’s an average of 37,176 a game.

Currently, the Brewers rank 9th in Major League Baseball in attendance, and have a chance to catch the Chicago Cubs, who have faded in the National League Central division.

This week, the Brewers meet the St. Louis Cardinals in a three-game series at Miller Park. Team officials say the Tuesday game is close to a sellout, but there are seats available in many categories for the remaining two games.

Get your seats while you can.

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Cartoon of the Day

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