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Archive for June, 2012

Tarrance Group Memo: Ribble Looks Like Lock for Re-Election

Admittedly, anyone with half a brain knows this already. But it’s interesting that it made this morning’s “Morning Score” from Politico.

The Tarrance Group, the Republican polling firm that did Walker’s polling, argues in a one-page memo that Democrat Jamie Wall faces an uphill climb against Reid Ribble in the newly-drawn congressional district. “In 2010, Scott Walker received 56.3% of the vote of 260,463 cast. In the 2012 recall election, a goal of 57% was established early on for this region. On recall election day, however, the Governor well over performed the goals in this district, hitting 61.5% of just over 308K votes cast. Statewide, turnout was roughly half way between Presidential-year and Gubernatorial-year turnout, and the same goes for this district. Given Walker’s strong performance, however, the roughly 190K votes he received here would have been enough to win this district even assuming Presidential-year turnout. This fall, Congressman Ribble is well-positioned to build on Governor Walker’s strong performance.”

Tarrance Group has also been traditionally the polling firm used by former Gov. Tommy Thompson.

This is the county-by-county breakdown that was released.  Admittedly, I don’t see Brown Co. going as hard for Ribble as it did Walker.  Then again, 60% there is just mind-blowing for the swing area of a swing state.  Though, on second thought, it probably speaks volumes about the collapse of the Democratic Party of Wisconsin outside the I-94 corridor of Madison and Milwaukee.

The Duffy Campaign did something similar with the new-look 7th Congressional District after the recall result.  The only difference between their memo and this one, is that people in DC will actually take this one much more seriously.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Idiot of the Week

Someone on an IMDB forum wrote the following claiming that J.R.R Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy “ripped off” J.K. Rowlings’ “Harry Potter” series of books.

(Perhaps only in a world with Delorian-based time travel…)

Here’s the post in question:

Overall, I like Lord of the Rings. However, I do feel that Tolkien kind of rips off Harry Potter in many ways. There are several parallels, such as elves, dwarfs, wizards, goblins, trolls, magic (especially invisibility), etc. Sauron is referred to as “Dark Lord” just like Voldemort is. There is also the elder white-haired bearded wizard who serves as a mentor, Gandalf, who is reminiscent of Dumbledore. Some of the character names are similar, such as Wormtongue as opposed to Wormtail, too. There is even a gigantic spider (Shelob) at the end of ‘The Two Towers’ that reminds one of Aragog from ‘Chamber of Secrets.’ I even noticed that the plots of both series begin with the protagonists’ birthday. Now I see that Tolkien, this unoriginal bastard, is coming out with The Hobbit in December. This would be fine, but why didn’t he just write this book first to begin with? I still like Lord of the Rings, though–don’t get me wrong–but I wonder if Tolkien has ever said in interviews whether he borrowed elements from Harry Potter. I’ll be watching the extended DVDs later this week and I think he’s featured on the commentary track, so I look forward to that.

Next week, someone no doubt will claim Bram Stoker stole from Stephenie Meyers for his vampire novel, “Dracula.”

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Is 7-Eleven Finally Coming to Wisconsin?

I never went to a 7-Eleven in my life until I lived across the street from one in Arlington, VA around March / April 2007.  Never knew what it was about either the franchise or the state of Wisconsin, but there are no 7-Eleven’s in the state.

Hopefully, that now will change.  I’ve been mildly craving a Big Gulp for a while now.

Dallas-based 7-Eleven has completed the purchase of 18 Open Pantry convenience stores in Wisconsin, the company said Monday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Three of the stores are in Madison, at 2201 S. Park St., 2703 W. Beltline and 1401 Regent St. Other stores that are part of the sale are in Milwaukee, Kenosha, Waukesha and Winnebago counties.

A few existing Open Pantry locations were not included in the deal, 7-Eleven said. Open Pantry Food Marts of Wisconsin is based in Pleasant Prairie, near Kenosha.

The acquired sites will be company-owned stores. Remodeling and rebranding will begin soon with most of the work completed by the end of the year, 7-Eleven said.

Job offers will be extended to about 190 Open Pantry employees who are affected by the acquisition.

Now…if we can get some Chick-Fil-A in this state.

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Cartoon of the Day

The answer is the ObamaCare ruling.  How they distract from that is anyone’s guess.

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Former CBS News Producer: “I Can’t Defend the MSM from Bias Attacks Anymore”

(H/T Fellow Cheesehead done good, Tim Graham of the Media Research Center)

Greg Kandra once upon a time worked for CBS News and was a producer for the CBS Evening News back when Katie Couric was anchor.  He’s now retired and spends much of his time as a Catholic deacon for his church and blogging.  Here’s what he had to write after the MSNBC incident involving “Mrs. Alan Greenspan,” a.k.a Andrea Mitchell, selective editing and the attempt to turn it into the “supermarket scanner” moment of the 2012 Presidential campaign.

I’m tired. Truly. I’ve grown weary of trying to defend the indefensible and explain the inexplicable. For years, people have stomped their feet and pounded their fists and snorted “Liberal media bias!” and I’ve always tut-tutted and shooshed them and said, “No, no. Calm down. They meant well. It was just a misunderstanding. A mistake. These things happen.” I spent over 25 years working in the oft-reviled Mainstream Media and I saw up close and personal how the sausage was made. I knew the people who wielded the knives and wore the aprons, and could vouch (most of the time, anyway) for their good intentions.

But now?

Forget it. I’m done. You deserve what they’re saying about you. It’s earned. You have worked long and hard to merit the suspicion, acrimony, mistrust and revulsion that the media-buying public increasingly heaps upon you. You have successfully eroded any confidence, dispelled any trust, and driven your audience into the arms of the Internet and the blogosphere, where biases are affirmed and like-minded people can tell each other what they hold to be true, since nobody believes in objective reality any more. You have done a superlative job of diminishing what was once a great profession and undermining one of the vital underpinnings of democracy, a free press.

Good job.

I just have one question:

What the hell is wrong with you guys?

In a phrase: A lot.

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Sheboygan Area Youth Coaches: Whatever Happened to Learning How to Play Before Playing to Win?

Ask any former youth league umpire (I count myself in those ranks) which type of game do they prefer to help call — T-ball, little league, or U-14 — and chances are you’ll find that they prefer umping the older kids.

It’s not because the young ones don’t know the game and the older ones do and the games go faster — that ‘s a plus.  It’s often because parents are crazier at the T-ball level and they believe their little Susie or Johnny is the next Babe Ruth.  By the time they’re older, reality of a child’s abilities has set in.

It’s also at the T-ball level that many coaches and umps notice — I sure did — that parents (and by extent the kids) seem to care more winning then having a kid who knows how to play the game properly.   To that extent, the Sheboygan Press has an interesting article in today’s paper about how many local coaches and umpires (or ex-umpires) noticed the exact same thing.

When April Arvan was Lakeland College’s women’s basketball coach, she would organize youth basketball tournaments and during these she observed something: competition and success were being emphasized more than play for play’s sake.

“It took me back a few steps,” said Arvan, now the assistant athletic director and a professor of sports studies at Lakeland. “I understood that to be college basketball but I didn’t understand that to be third grade basketball.”

Lakeland assistant professor of exercise science Kelly Quick’s time umping U-12 softball games took her back a few steps as well.

“It was amazing how much I got harassed as an umpire with 12-year-olds and under,” Quick said. “And I compared that to when I was a young girl playing park district softball, and the difference was astounding.”

Arvan’s and Quick’s experiences led them, along with Lakeland associate professor of education John Yang and Lakeland student Miguel Luis, to conduct a survey examining the state of youth sports in Sheboygan County, which they presented yesterday at Lakeland College as part of the school’s 150th anniversary celebration.

They modeled the survey after one conducted nationally in 2005. It was divided into five categories: child-centered philosophy, coaching, health and safety, officiating and parental behavior and involvement. Youth sports league leaders, parents and coaches were recruited to respond to the survey’s statements on a Likert Scale (5=strongly agree; 1=strongly disagree). Average scores less than 3 were considered “of concern,” while average scores greater than 4 were considered “positive.”

The study indicated that the most problematic categories were parental behavior and involvement, child-centered philosophy and coaching, which received average scores of 3.23, 3.29 and 3.31, respectively – all barely above the “of concern” range.

All respondents scored the individual statement, “youth sport parents understand the dangers of early sport specialization” as “of concern” (2.5). Other specific fields falling into “of concern” were, “coaches possess training in coaching techniques and safety, ensuring a safe environment (2.9)” and “league leaders and coaches possess adequate training in first aid and team safety (2.9)”.

Specific questions that were ranked “positive” were, “there is a safe and secure environment for games and practices (4.0)” and “youth sport coaches discourage the use of performance-enhancing supplements, alcohol and drugs (4.1)”.

There is one problem with the survey results, low participation rate among survey takers.  Only 55 people responded, but given anecdotal evidence I’ve had, my brothers had (I first noticed this article from a brother via Facebook), and even my own dad has had in umping and coaching kids today, we have a monster on our hands — today’s little league parents.

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Cartoon of the Day

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Because Donations to “The Human Fund” are so Passe…

I used to think I’ve seen it all in the world of insane ideas from campaign finance directors to get people’s money into their coffers.  I guess I was clearly wrong.

I keep imagining what “The Daily Show” would do with this news if a Republican campaign was the one who came up with this idea first.

It’s not pretty inside my head what they come up with.  I’ll tell you that.

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Cartoon of the Day

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