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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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GOP March in Parade">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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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">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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