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Archive for September, 2011

Court Declares Mascot Law Unconstitutional

Frankly, I was wondering what took so long?

The way the law was set up, it makes an unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat the judge, jury, and executioner in a farce of a Kangaroo Court.   It deserved any less unnoble a death as this.

A Waukesha County judge has ruled that the state’s effort to strip Mukwonago High School of its Indians nickname was unconstitutional.

Circuit Judge Donald Hassin Jr. granted summary judgment Thursday in favor of residents who challenged the 2010 state law that allowed complaints about Indian nicknames and mascots.

Hassin agreed that the law, as applied in the case against Mukwonago schools, was unconstitutional because the decision maker — a DPI employee named Paul Sherman — had an impermissibly high risk of bias.

In a 22-page ruling, Hassin recounted the history of the complaint against Mukwonago schools, the hearings at which the school district had to prove its use of the Indians name and mascot was not discirminatory, and how various consitutional analysese applied.

A former student registered such a complaint against the Mukwonago School District, which said it would cost at least $50,000 to rebrand all its facilities and equipment.

I fully expect the ruling to be appealed.  The legislature should frankly just repeal the law in full.

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Who are These Other 10 Percent?

CNN reports that a new poll finds that 90 percent of Americans believe the economy “stinks” (Their word, not mine.)

Not the sort of finding you want to hear after the Vice President openly admits “The Economy is Ours, not Bush’s.”  The one saving grace — or default setting really — of the Obama Administration has been to blame its predecessor for the economy.

No one really believes they’ll be able to keep getting away with that come 2012.

New York (CNNMoney) – Three years after a financial crisis pushed the country deep into recession, an overwhelming number of Americans – 90% – say that economic conditions remain poor.

The number, reported Friday in a new CNN/ORC International Poll, is the highest of Barack Obama’s presidency and a significant increase from the 81% who said conditions were poor in June.

The persistent pessimism indicates that Americans are feeling a level of hardship commiserate with the official statistics. Unemployment stands at 9.1%, economic growth is barely above stall speed, and the housing market remains tied in knots.

For a White House now fully engaged in re-election efforts, there is one shred of good news: More than two and half years after inauguration day, Americans are still more likely to blame former President George W. Bush for current economic conditions.

Asked which administration is to blame, 52% of Americans blame the previous Republican regime, while only 32% point a finger at Obama and Democrats.

 

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Cartoon of the Day

Kids these days.

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Image of the Day

This caught my eye on Facebook.  Not really surprised to see Milwaukee on it, but I’m wondering if they count “Democratic Control” as just the mayor’s office and/or the city council.

If so, then yes, the 100% is well-earned.

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Ted Kanavas a No-Go for U.S. Senate Run

I’ll admit I’m surprised by this, but not too surprised given the reasons he puts forth.

After the Republican Convention in May, I told people I would travel the state of Wisconsin to listen to them. I wanted to know if I was the right person to serve as their next U.S. Senator.

People were receptive and told me that they wanted a fresh face, someone who could fix things in Washington and get the country back on track. Someone like Ron Johnson or Paul Ryan.

I am extremely appreciative of the support and honest feedback I received from people across the state; I am inspired by their resilience and hard work. However, today, I am announcing that I will not be pursing the Republican nomination for the United States Senate.

With four or five candidates in the field and with the tough economic times we face, it would be very difficult to raise the money necessary for me to run a winning race. I am not a multi-millionaire and do not have unlimited personal funds to put into this race. I go to work every day like most of the people of Wisconsin.

It is evident that if former Governor Thompson enters the race, his entry would tie up many resources. Privately, many donors stated that they would refrain from supporting anyone out of respect for Thompson’s 45 year political legacy. Those factors ultimately led me to my decision.

I will continue my involvement in Republican politics and will continue to fight for the people who are struggling to find a job and provide a better future for their families. I hope that effort will help ensure a new Republican President and a new Republican Senator from Wisconsin. As always, I will continue to support Governor Walker’s pro- growth economic plans here at home.

We need to focus on what President Obama and Tammy Baldwin’s policies are doing to this country. We can’t afford to allow these misguided policies of the liberal left to continue to bankrupt our country. We saw first-hand in January, right here in Wisconsin, that they will stop at nothing to try to stop common sense ideas that will reduce government spending, protect our families and rebuild our economy.

The “Tommy’s sucking up all the pledged donations” thing is no doubt real.  We saw something to that effect in 2010, that while it was Ron Johnson who provided the kill shot to Terrance Wall, it was Tommy’s shadow which did most of the mortal wounds.  History has shown it is impossible to gain traction in Republican races when his presence is out there.

Kanavas may be just the first to run into that reality, or just the first to publicly saw it for the 2012 GOP Senate primary.

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Cartoon of the Day

’bout time Saudis.

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The Majority Doesn’t Rule in Shirley’s Court

Wow.

This takes stones.

A proposal by the Wisconsin Supreme Court chief justice has drawn a distrustful response from at least one colleague.

Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson proposed Wednesday that four justices not be considered a quorum unless their meeting were previously listed on the court calendar.

She says she wants to avoid a hypothetical situation in which four justices reach some sort of decision on their own and then insist that the chief justice implement it.

Justice Annette Ziegler said she didn’t understand where the proposal was coming from. Abrahamson replied that she just didn’t want any misunderstandings going forward and that the justices should judge the proposal on its merits.

Justice Patience Roggensack said she felt “blindsided.” She said she knew Abrahamson was hiding something.

The proposal was tabled without a vote.

When was the last time it was publicly there were four justices reaching ‘some sort of decision on their own and insisting the chief justice implement it?’

Maybe it was in June, when the four conservatives on the court went looking for Chief Justice Abrahamson to make sure the ruling on the collective bargaining bill got published on time.  They found her sitting in Justice Walsh-Bradley’s chambers, or so the story goes..

Something happened then.  I’m not exactly sure, but I’m sure it was in all the papers.

So…if we’re supposed to judge the proposal on its merits as the chief justice insists, I’m going to see it as a power grab by Shirley.   Who clearly is again making it known in only the subtle ways she’s known for, that she again hates being in the court’s minority.

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Quote of the Day

From “Brother” Blaska in his latest posting over at the Isthmus.

Sorry, but anyone who still thinks Bill Kraus is a “Republican spokesman” is not qualified to conduct its own purity test.

So true, in so, so many ways…

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Gwen Moore to Wisconsin Herders: Drop Dead!

Of course Congresswoman doesn’t care about Wisconsin farmers, I doubt she has a single one in her district, and the only time she’d ever see a gray wolf is in the Milwaukee Co. Zoo.

Besides, there’s no racial element attached.

Most of Wisconsin’s Congressional delegation has joined the push to get the gray wolf taken off the endangered species list in the western Great Lakes region.

U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, U.S. Rep. James Sensenbrenner, U.S. Rep. Thomas Petri, U.S. Rep. Ron Kind, U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, U.S. Rep. Sean Duffy, and U.S. Rep. Reid Ribble have joined forces to request that the gray wolf be removed from the endangered species list list.

The Fish and Wildlife Service announced last spring that it wants to again delist the gray wolf in Wisconsin, Michigan and Minnesota. But recently the service extended the comment period for the proposed change, as scientists take a longer look at whether what some feel is a separate second type of wolf in Wisconsin, the Eastern Wolf, would be harmed if the gray is no longer listed as endangered. Rep. Tammy Baldwin wrote the letter that asks the Fish and Wildlife Service to move ahead with delisting the gray wolf. She says the gray and eastern are pretty much the same animal.

Baldwin says some farmers and other state residents have complained to her about the growing number of gray wolves, and say the state needs to have more options to control the wolf population. Milwaukee Democrat Gwen Moore declined to sign the letter, which was sent to the Fish and Wildlife Service.

Department of Natural Resources Secretary Cathy Stepp reacted to the action of the delegation.

“The department appreciates the support of these members of Congress in supporting our belief that clouding the delisting process by recognizing two physically indistinguishable species of wolves in Wisconsin is neither practical nor defensible,” Stepp said.

Wisconsin currently has the third-most amount of gray wolves of any state, next to Alaska and Minnesota.  While a hunting season may be in the future for these animals, the reality is this is more about allowing property owners to defend their livestock from a wolf attack by shooting the wolves.

Currently, because of the gray wolves extended stay on the endangered species list, farmers have been pretty much helpless from saving their animals from the wolves.  The fact that Baldwin’s not only on board, but had her office write the letter, shows these things are now in the rural parts of her district and wrecking havoc there.

(It also may be a calculated move to show she’s not as lock-step with the hard environmentalist left as claimed — she really is — as she attempts a statewide run for the United States Senate.)

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Cartoon of the Day

Saw this on a friend’s Facebook yesterday.  Made more sense than one would think.

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