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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


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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