December 31, 2006

Someone help me understand this.

AP poll: Americans optimistic for 2007

Poll: Americans see gloom, doom in 2007

Packers playoff picture.

Well the Giants did their job and hung one on the Redskins tonight, so what does that mean for the Packers?

Courtesy of Yahoo sports...

Giants clinch strength of victory tiebreaker over Packers with: Lions loss; or Vikings loss; or any two of the following results: Cardinals loss, Dolphins loss, 49ers loss, Panthers win, Texans win, Buccaneers win. If Giants and Packers finish tied in strength of victory, then tie will be decided by best strength of schedule.or subsequent tiebreakers.

To break that down for you, the Packers chances of making the playoffs are essentially the same as winning the lottery.

December 30, 2006


Vacuum shoes suck up dust as you walk

By Mike Swain, Science Editor

IT'S a brilliant feat of design - vacuum shoes which suck up the dust as you walk.

The Shoover - which makers Electrolux call the Dustmate - is perfect for anyone who hates housework.

It has a tiny rechargeable vacuum inside the base.

And there is a laser movement sensor which switches the suction on and off automatically to save energy. It's all made of green nylon with a flexible rubber sole and elastic sock to fit any foot making it comfortable to wear.

Electrolux said: "We all have to vacuum our home - this product is designed for busy people who want to keep the housework down to a minimum. Dustmate provides a cleaning solution that doesn't take up any precious free time.

"As you walk, the base of the shoes collect dust on the floor without requiring any effort. It is a simple yet creative cleaning concept."

The designers came up with the invention after asking consumers what they wanted and finding that they were just too busy to spend ages doing housework. Research found that only 28 per cent Hoover daily - down six per cent in the last two years.

And just 37 per cent do it every three days - down from 32 per cent.

Electrolux hopes its latest gadget will become an "unconscious by-product of everyday life".

It will certainly be perfect for clean living types

December 29, 2006

The two faces of CBS.

I would like to point out that when former US President Gerald Ford died this week CBS news made the choice not to break into regular programing and report it.

Tonight CBS News did break into regular programing to report the death of Iraqi mass murderer, Saddam Hussien.

I find this an interesting, strange and disturbing trend.

Can Snoring Kill You?

From Yahoo Health: I have this folks it is serious, easily treatable and fixing it can change your life.

Posted by S. Brent Ridge, M.D.

No, I'm not talking about the thoughts that have raced through your bed partner's mind! I'm talking about obstructive sleep apnea.

Approximately five out of every 100 snorers have sleep apnea (that's 2-4 percent of the adult population in America). For most people, snoring is just an annoyance, but for sufferers of sleep apnea, snoring can be a significant alarm system.

People with sleep apnea have short periods during sleep where they stop breathing. These periods last anywhere from 10 seconds to 40 seconds and can occur as many as 400 times per night. If you do the math, this means that the average person with sleep apnea spends more than three hours a night not breathing normally or not breathing at all. That can't be healthy.

It's not.

Symptoms of sleep apnea include:

Loud snoring
Choking sounds during sleep
Falling asleep during the day
Trouble with memory and attention
Decreased libido
Impotency in men and menstrual irregularities in women
Dry mouth in the morning
Morning headaches

Do you recognize these symptoms in yourself or your loved one? Persons with sleep apnea have a higher death rate than the average person, are five times more likely to be in a fatigue-related car accident, are 10 times more likely to have a stroke, and have high rates of hypertension and cardiac arrhythmias.

Snoring is one of those things that we don't tend to pay a lot of attention to. In fact, many people don't even bring it up when they talk to their doctor. An overnight sleep study is necessary to document sleep apnea, but, trust me - everyone will rest easier if the condition is treated properly.

Perhaps this is one item you should add to your new year's resolution list. Do any of you know anyone with sleep apnea? Or do you suffer from it yourself? If so, share your experiences.

I'm proud of my BNI group.

I am a member of a BNI (Business Network International) group in Racine, the Racine Pacesetters.

For those not aware BNI is a group that meets weekly to network, learning about member businesses and passing referrals back and forth as they find them for each other.

It was suggested that we do a charitable gift with each member contributing what they could. As you can see, $1,065 was given by the group to the Harvest Outreach food pantry in Racine.
(that's me on the left along with our chapter President Bryan Walthers, I do believe the first picture of me on RealDebate)

Mrs Real Debate has been volunteering at Harvest Outreach for the last five years or so and we have come to have a real heart for the work they do getting food to members of the community who need it.

Harvest Outreach is a ministry supported by 12 member churches in Racine. It is staffed by volunteers and most of the people they serve are referred by The Salvation Army. The member churches also refer people who come to them in need of help.

Well it turns out BNI has a charitable outreach division and they are going to match the $1065 we gave making a total of a $2, 130 donation going to the pantry!

Any pantry always appreciates donations of non-perishable items but they can buy so much more with cash.

I'm proud of, and grateful to, the BNI Racine Pacesetters for stepping up like this!

If you have a business that serves the Racine area and would like more information about BNI, please do not hesitate to contact me.

I'll have the clone free milk please...

FDA's OK May Spark 'Clone-Free' Labels

WASHINGTON (AP) - Meat and milk from cloned animals may not appear in supermarkets for years despite being deemed by the government as safe to eat. But don't be surprised if "clone-free" labels appear sooner. Ben & Jerry's, for one, wants consumers to know that its ice cream comes from regular cows and not clones. The Ben & Jerry's label already says its farmers don't use bovine growth hormone.

"We want to make sure people are confident with what's in our pints," company spokesman Rob Michalak said. "We haven't yet landed on exactly how we want to express that publicly."

For food that does come from clones, the Food and Drug Administration is unlikely to require labels, officials said.

Poll on New Years Resolutions

I'm not sure about this...

Women make more resolutions, men keep more: poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) - More women make New Year's resolutions, but men are more likely to say they keep them, according to a poll of American adults released on Thursday.

Losing weight topped the list of resolutions made by women, while the leading vow among men was to be a better person, according to the poll by WNBC and the Marist Institute for Public Opinion at Marist College in Poughkeepsie, New York.

Overall, 44 percent of adults planned to make a resolution, with those under 45 more likely to do so than older adults, the poll said.

Forty-six percent of women surveyed said they would make such promises, while 41 percent of men planned to do so, the poll showed.

Of those who made resolutions last year, 71 percent of men and 57 percent of women said they kept at least part of it, the poll said.

December 28, 2006

President Ford at the 1996 Republican Convention

What is it, in a few words, that all Republicans believe? We believe - along with millions of Democrats and Independents - that a government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.

Happy New Favre

So the NFL used their new flex scheduling thingie and moved the Packer Game to a night game giving newsies and bloggers something to pontificate over.

Mrs Real Debate and I usually stay clear of the insanity of New Years Eve, we were going to toss a steak on the grill then maybe catch a movie, now it looks like the movie got canned in favor of more hype on the status of Favre's possible last game.

Story of the year.

Ok folks, light up the comments.

What is the story of the year?

This could be sports, entertainment, politics, your choice.

I will put forth an executive order that Britney and K-Fed do not count...

New Racine Blog, Kay's Blue Racine.

Last night I announced my new blog.

Today I added a new Racine blog to the RDW blogroll, Kay's Blue Racine.

This is the new web based home of last years Democrat of the Year recipient Kay Collins-Schulz. You may have seen her posting here occasionally under the name Jetticus.

Kay has been a long time contributor to the Racine Democrats website.

From her introductary post: " appears that there is no blog that covers the county, as far as I could find, and certainly none that give that special blue hue to it. Of course I plan on posting loads of stuff that has nothing to do with politics whatsoever......well, some random stuff anyway. But, I promise to make it worth the click to check out."

Kay is the real thing, she attends meetings, she gets involved, she speaks her mind. I may not agree with her on everything but I most certainly do respect her passion and her level of involvement with the community.

Welcome to the Kringlesphere Kay.

December 27, 2006

Dooley for Alderman Blog.

I have built a blog for my Aldermanic campaign.

You can find it at (you blogger types, don't forget the linkie love please)

RDW will continue much as it has with commentary on daily events and what ever else draws my interest. The majority of campaign related information will be posted at the other blog.

I had a nice conversation today with Janine Anderson at the Journal Times. She is writing a story on my candidacy for tomorrow's paper.

In other news I hit the streets tonight and gathered the necessary signatures to place my name on the ballot. I need to grab a few more insurance signatures tomorrow night, but we have what we need already.

Dooley for Alderman on the Journal Times.

The Racine Journal Times has a blog going on my candidacy for Alderman. The comments are for the most part positive. I appreciate their putting it out there.

Join in the discussion here!

I'll be putting out my campaign website later today.

December 26, 2006

Dooley for Alderman

I have decided to run for Alderman in Racine's 7th district.

I opened my campaign account on Saturday and went down to City Hall to file my paperwork this morning. Alas, City Hall was closed, so I'll actually file tomorrow and then work on getting the required nominating signatures.

I obviously have an interest in politics, I also have a willingness to serve and help improve our community. Over the last couple of weeks I have been seeking feedback on my possible candidacy, it has been exceedingly positive.

My thanks too all of those who provided me feedback.

Over the next couple of weeks I will open a new website and come forward with more information about my campaign.

This will be very much a grass-roots door knocking kind of effort. And we need all the help we can get.

If you'd like to help or have any questions for me, please send me an email at

Rest In Peace Mr. President

RDW 2006 Prediction Recap

1st District Congressional stuff: Candidate Justin Sowa will drop out of the race and be replaced by Tim Daley of Union Grove. Yeah, Thomas is still running, the 7th time will not be a charm. This will be a nice coming out party for Daley and provide him some nice name recognition, but he will not be able to overcome Paul Ryan's war chest (currently 1.7 million).

I was right on Sowa dropping out and Daley did run but against Robin Vos, not Paul Ryan. Not a bad guess...

Republican Primary for Governor: I must admit this one is a coin flip. Walker plays better in Milwaukee, Green plays better up-state. I'm giving this one to Scott Walker based on primary turnout. I think he will be able to pull more of his base on a traditionally low primary voter turnout.

100% wrong...

Governor. Doyle is a one-term wonder. He has never polled above 46%, and in this race it appears like there will not be an Ed Thompson to add a 3rd party vote. Doyle will lose as he has kept killing legislation the people support. This election will be about taxes and spending and Walker will have Doyle's record to run against. Additionally, he will have his to run on. You may not like every cut Walker has made but he has submitted level spending budgets every year. That is powerful mojo. Doyle neend 55% in Milwaukee county to win, he will not get above 50.

100% wrong.

Congress. The Democrats will lose two seats in the Senate and five seats in the House.

100% wrong.

Racine Mayor. New Storm Trooping Racine County Democratic head Kurt Vlach will do everything in his power to unseat sitting Democratic Mayor Gary Becker. He will fail. As an additional fun point to watch, the Racine Journal Times will miss this huge story right under their nose. Back-biting and some of the nastiest politics I have seen in some time are going on right here in Racine and they are oblivious. Case in point to the schism, this request from Kurt Vlach on the Racine Dem's message board (a very good one by the way), I ask that you delete from the home page (and any other page) of any reference to it being the "Home" of the the Democratic Party of Racine County. I ask that you cease and desist from using such language to identify the website as such. The website is not to be considered the "Home" of the Democratic Party of Racine County and your prompt attention to this matter is appreciated. Kurt may be right, the new home is the Union hall.

Well, Gary Becker did survive the Vlach attack, Vlach's ethics got him in trouble well before mayoral politics got interesting.

Iraq. I hate this, but politics will play a role. Troop withdrawals will go a bit too far this summer and Iraq will do a backslide requiring more troops to be brought in again. Further good news and progress will continue to be ignored.

Almost right.

Spying. This will go nowhere. Most people will get they fact that spying is going on with people who have ties to terrorists. Clue to you Dems. The people think we should do that.


Brewers. The Milwaukee Brewers youth movement will blossom propelling the Brewers to a 2nd place finish behind St Louis falling just short of the wild-card. However, they will have a winning record.

The Brewers finished 4th 5 games under .500 but I nailed St. Louis, heck they won it all.

Packers. Brett Favre will not retire. (until the end of the 06 season). The Packers will take a running back in the draft and Ahman Green will not be back. (Mike Sherman will be)

Right, wrong, wrong.

Racine School Referendum. This years outrage will be defeated soundly not once, but twice. Tommie Hicks will bring it back a 3rd time still not getting the fact that no means no. Kids will be scared and crying and pictures will be on the front page but RUSD will finally be forced to live within their means. (sorry Bil)

Passed the first time. Blew this one bad.

Scott. I'll continue to get news from dozens of sources, Scott will remain convinced though I only get news from Limbaugh and Fox News.


Voces De La Frontera. Pressure will come to bear and Voces De La Frontera will lose their non-profit status.

Wishful thinking I guess, nobody cares but me.

The Terrible Shopping Season

If I heard it once I heard it seventeen times today, the disappointing holiday shopping season.

Sales were projected to be up 5%, but horror of horrors they were only up 4.3%. Let me clue you in on something, a 4.3% increase is a GOOD THING.

However, the part they missed was that gift card sales were up huge. $24 billion in gift card sales were recorded. You see the thing is the seller can not count that card into sales until it is redeemed.

Now, Senator Fred Kessler thinks any unused portions of those cards should go to the state. H/t Peter.

How disturbing.

Why the need to try and turn good news into bad? And why does Senator Kessler think he is entitled to money that isn't his?

Fantasy Football Update,

Well the fantasy football playoffs are all over, and I am proud to announce your Debate Team is the champion of the Cheddarsphere league.

Steve from No Runny Eggs finished second (a fact I am sure he is still having trouble dealing with), Casper of Ask me later fame came in a surprising 3rd place.

It was a great league, good people much fun.

My thanks to all, and you are all welcome back next season.

December 25, 2006

Monday Random Quotes - the Ho Ho Ho Edition

Dear Girls and Boys in Blogland,

You've all been such a good bunch this year that I have traveled the throughout the Santasphere delivering links galore. Next year, old St. Nick might have a more high-speed method of delivery. Merry Christmas to all, and at 10:47 p.m., to all a good night!

Where’s the rest of it? Patrick.

Everything You Need to Know About Love, Sex, Relationships, Casper.

I say that we need to tear up all the handicapped access ramps ASAP! Aaron.

Yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck, yuck. Jib.

Written by fools to be read by imbeciles... Peter.

Good grief. Jenna.

Whatever happens I won’t care much. Sean.

I Solemnly Swear I am Up to No Good Chris. (Naughty list for Chris)

“It’s A Wonderful Life,” Circa 2006 Kevin.

We here at B&S wish all of you a very Merry Christmas. - From the proud fam at Boots and Sabers

"UN to Iran: Stop! Or, we’ll yell ‘Stop’ again!" Fraley.

Four – count them – four 20 inch LCD monitors. Clint

Does Size Matter? I think so. Phel. (ho ho ho...this one got a lump of coal)

Why would the heavenly father let me find this on Christmas Eve… Dan

Too bad someone didn't wrap Belling's tie that secure. Wiggy

If at first you don't succeed.... Open another present. Fred

December 23, 2006

Mail Call

We got this beautiful card in the mail today from one of the RDW faithful. This thing is actually HAND PAINTED! Jeesh we have a hard enough time finding the time to write out store bought cards. That this reader found the time to do this, and make such a beautiful card, I'm really touched.

The reader also included a copy of the following check they mocked up and sent six copies of to the ACLU in business envelopes. Great stuff!

I'd identify them, but I don't have permission. If they would like to identify themselves in comments, so be it.

Really, our sincere thanks for this beautiful gesture.

Top Christmas Movies

From Yahoo Buzz Log the top 20 Christmas Movies.

1. "The Nativity Story" (2006)
2. "A Christmas Story" (1983)
3. "The Nightmare Before Christmas" (1993)
4. "The Polar Express" (2004)
5. "A Christmas Carol" (multiple remakes)
6. "Deck the Halls" (2006)
7. "White Christmas" (1954)
8. "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause" (2006)
9. "Home Alone" (1990)
10. "The Sound of Music" (1965)
11. "It's a Wonderful Life" (1946)
12. "How the Grinch Stole Christmas" (2000)
13. "Elf" (2003)
14. "Bad Santa" (2003)
15. "Candles on Bay Street" (2006, Hallmark Channel)
16. "National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation" (1989)
17. "Miracle on 34th Street" (1947, 1994)
18. "The Santa Clause 2" (2002)
19. "The Christmas Card" (2006, Hallmark Channel)
20. "Scrooged" (1988)

I believe they rank by search term, I think the order is goofy.

So what is your favorite?

I'm going to take Mrs. Real Debate to see The Nativity Story tonight. I'll report back on it. (Shhh don't tell her)

December 22, 2006

Mary Did You Know

Peter posted this a couple of weeks ago, I thought I would share it here.

Merry Christmas.

Fantasy Football Preview

Well this weekend is the CheddarBowl. The chamionship game of our little fantasy league.

My preview:

I really like my chances this week.

The Bears secondary will have a let down after clinching home field advantage, Roy Williams scores twice and goes off for 110 yards. 23 points

Marty Booker out, Chris Chambers has a huge game against the Jets with one score, maybe two and 80 or 90 yards. 15 points

Elam kicks a 50 yarder plus two others and gets me about 15.

Andre Johnson in a shoot out with Indi playing catch up, two scores 140 yards. 26 points

Tampa D off the scrap heap against a horrid browns offense, keep them under 10 and a possible defensive score. 19 points

Westbrook in a rivalry game becoming Garcia's favorite target three scores close to 200 all purpose yards. 38 points

Peyton Manning goes wild against the Houston secondary 350 and 3 tds. (2 passing 1 running) 28 points.

Jeramy Steven catches two passes for 17 yards, 1.7 points.

And last but certainly not least Reggie Bush against an undersized, banged up and demoralized Giants secondary and maybe a special teams score. 14 points.

179.7 points.

But then again, Steve has LT, 17 scores and 700 yards. 172 points, plus his other guys...

It will be fun...

Thought of the week.

If at first you don't succeed....

Open another present.


NEW YORK (Reuters Health) - Had a strain of influenza akin to that which caused the 1918 influenza pandemic emerged in 2004, researchers estimate it could have killed 62 million people worldwide.

The vast majority of deaths (96 percent) would have occurred in poor countries where "scarce health resources are already stretched by existing health priorities," report Dr. Christopher J. L. Murray, of Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts and colleagues in The Lancet medical journal.

The investigators used death registration data gathered during the 1918-1920 influenza pandemic in 27 countries to estimate global mortality if such a similar pandemic should happen today.

So let me get this straight, had something that didn't happen happened anyway something bad could, but not necessarily would have happened, and it might not occur now or at any point in the future...

Thanks for clearing that up.
Must be Federal Employees

This is a must watch....

December 21, 2006

Cleaner sky causes global warming.


Earth's air is cleaner, but this may worsen the greenhouse effect.

Our planet's air has cleared up in the past decade or two, allowing more sunshine to reach the ground, say two studies in Science this week.

Reductions in industrial emissions in many countries, along with the use of particulate filters for car exhausts and smoke stacks, seem to have reduced the amount of dirt in the atmosphere and made the sky more transparent.

That sounds like very good news. But the researchers say that more solar energy arriving on the ground will also make the surface warmer, and this may add to the problems of global warming. More sunlight will also have knock-on effects on cloud cover, winds, rainfall and air temperature that are difficult to predict.

The results suggest that a downward trend in the amount of sunlight reaching the surface, which has been observed since measurements began in the late 1950s, is now over.

The researchers argue that this trend, commonly called 'global dimming', reversed more than a decade ago, probably following the collapse of communist economies and the consequent decrease in industrial pollutants.

Global dimming now caused by CLEANER AIR... This stuff makes my head spin round and round. We have people running around saying dirty air causes global warming and we have people running around saying cleaner air causes global warming.

Fact of the matter is NOBODY TRULY KNOWS, but some people want spiffy government funding for their research and they are trying to scare you into it.

Judge dismisses suit against Michael Moore

BOSTON (Reuters) - A U.S. federal judge has thrown out a lawsuit by an Iraq war veteran who claimed filmmaker Michael Moore used the veteran's image without permission in the anti-war documentary "Fahrenheit 9/11."

According to court papers, Judge Douglas Woodlock of U.S. District Court in Massachusetts dismissed the suit on Wednesday. It had sought $35 million in damages from Moore, as well as Miramax, which is owned by Walt Disney Co. and several other film companies.

The film showed Iraq war veteran Sgt. Peter Damon, who had lost his right arm near the shoulder and much of his left arm, lying in a hospital gurney at Walter Reed Army Medical Center in Maryland, saying that he feels pain but that pain-killers given him "take a lot of the edge" off of it.

The video clip was originally used by NBC Nightly News for a story about medical treatment for veterans. In Moore's film, it followed a statement by Democratic Rep. Jim McDermott of Washington that "they're leaving all kinds of veterans behind."

Seeing as I posted this when it was filed, I thought I should post the outcome. The guy had a case, but he asked for too much.

Christmas Advice to the men out there.

To not blow it in the remaining days before Christmas I offer up the following advice to the guys out there.

Words Women Like.

1.) FINE: This is the word women use to end an argument when they are right, and you need to shut up.

2.) Five Minutes: If she is getting dressed, this means half an hour. Five Minutes is only five minutes if you have just been given five more minutes to watch the game before helping around the house.

3.) Nothing: This is the calm before the storm. This means something, and you should be on your toes. Arguments that begin with nothing usually end in fine (see #1).

4.) Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

5.) Loud Sigh: This is not actually a word but a non-verbal statement often misunderstood by men. A loud sigh means she thinks you are an idiot and wonders why she is wasting her time standing here and arguing with you about nothing. (Refer back to #3 for the meaning of nothing.)

6.) That's Okay: This is one of the most dangerous statements a women can make to a man. "That's okay" means she wants to think long and hard before deciding how and when you will pay for your mistake.

7.) Thanks: A woman is thanking you - do not question or faint. Just say you're welcome.

8.) Whatever: Is a women's way of saying "%@&* YOU!"

9.) Don't worry about it, I got it: Another dangerous statement, meaning this is something that a woman has told a man to do several times, but is now doing it herself. This will later result in a man asking "what's wrong" - for the woman's response refer to #3.

Indentured servant lite

An interesting editorial in the Racine Journal Times in regards to the proposal to give free college tuition in exchange for 10 years of working in the state after graduation.

Desperation comes in many forms. The most recent comes with a proposal from the Wisconsin Commission on Improving Higher Education.The offer is free college tuition. But it comes with a price tag: an indenture to live and work in the State of Wisconsin for ten years after graduation.

Several of the commission members have labeled this concept as the “big bang” idea because they believe it will revolutionize the Dairy State. In their opinion, creating a “captive” workforce will draw new business and industry to Wisconsin and help lower our tax burden.

Unfortunately graduates won’t bring jobs to the state. Jobs attract the graduates.

This is particularly true when there is a ready supply of graduates available in every state in the union to meet the demand of the employers needing those jobs filled.

So grads must move to and work in the states where the jobs are going. And how do the jobs really get there? Business has always thrived in low tax jurisdictions. Unfortunately, Wisconsin, the 5th highest taxing state in the country, provides no such pro-business environment.

An interesting fact: Colorado is second in the country in the percentage of their population with college degrees. That is pretty impressive for a state that was supposedly ruined by TABOR.

This proposal of free college tuition will only drive up taxes making it even more difficult for business as well as the graduates the Commission had hoped to keep here.

George Meyers

I think Mr Meyers nailed this one.

Vos release on proposed increase in Racine County sales tax.

CONTACT: State Representative Robin Vos


( RACINE ) A new countywide sales tax proposal by the Regional Transportation Authority (RTA) is a lump of coal in Racine County taxpayers’ holiday stockings according to State Representative Robin Vos (R-Caledonia). In addition to the 5.1% sales tax Racine County residents already pay for the state sales tax and for the Brewer’s Stadium, an additional .0375% sales tax would be added to fund a new commuter rail system in Kenosha , Racine and Milwaukee Counties .

“Increasing taxes to fund mass transit is just not an option,” said Vos. “ Racine County is already taxed to death and citizens shouldn’t have to dip in their wallets again.”

The idea of expanding commuter rail to southeastern Wisconsin is not new. Its feasibility became dim when the Chicago commuter rail system decided it did not want to connect with one in Wisconsin . However, Wisconsin moved forward and money was set aside via a car rental tax to fund a study of a commuter rail system that would extend from Kenosha through Racine to Milwaukee . The study is now completed and it proposes to build train stations in Caledonia, Racine and other places along the route paid for by sales tax money generated in all three counties.

“I am not opposed to commuter rail service, but I think people who never ride the system shouldn’t be forced to pay for it,” said Vos.

The study shows ticket fares would only cover 26% of the cost of operations with state and federal subsidies covering an additional 66%. Local taxpayers would be forced to make up the difference through the additional sales tax.

Vos noted that 78% of the respondents to his 2005 fall legislative questionnaire said they did not support a tax increase to fund a commuter rail system. “Clearly my constituents have shown through these results and the last election that they don’t want new taxes,” said Vos. “While going door to door during the campaign people consistently said they did not want their taxes increased – period. I can’t imagine they would support an increase for commuter rail.”

Vos is concerned that once the new sales tax is put in place it will be impossible to get rid of it. He compared it to the Brewer’s Stadium sales tax which is supposed to end in 2014, but only if all the debt is retired. Costs of the stadium have been three to four times greater than expectations so there is no guarantee it will end in the next seven years.

“I’ve been working the last two years to end the Brewer’s Stadium tax in 2014 debt free or not,” said Vos. “It’s easy for government to start a new tax, but not end it. The taxpayers of Racine County have been deceived once with a short-term tax that sunsets; I won’t let them be deceived again.”

The RTA proposal will now have to gain state approval through the legislative Joint Finance Committee of which Vos is a member.

The new internet addictions

These are interesting, strange but interesting.

- EGO-SURFING: When you frequently check your name and reputation on the Internet.

- BLOG STREAKING: "Revealing secrets or personal information online which for everybody's sake would be best kept private."

- CRACKBERRY: "The curse of the modern executive: not being able to stop checking your BlackBerry, even at your grandmother's funeral." (A BlackBerry is a popular handheld device that can be used for phoning, emailing and web-browsing).

- GOOGLE-STALKING: Defined as "snooping online on old friends, colleagues or first dates."

- CYBERCHONDRIA: "A headache and a particular rash at the same time? Extensive online research tells you it must be cancer."

- PHOTOLURKING: Flicking through a photo album of someone you've never met.

- WIKIPEDIHOLISM: Excess devotion to contributing to the online collaborative encyclopaedia, Wikipedia. (Wikipedia even has a page where you can test whether you're an addict: (

- CHEESEPODDING: Downloading of a song "so cheesy that you could cover it in plastic wrap and sell it at the deli counter." Cheesepodders are especially vulnerable to soft-rock favourites from the 1970s.

December 20, 2006


Weird Al Rocks

Opinions be damned

I know that Fred and I have often railed on the obvious liberal bias of the Racine Journal Times, but it's not just them that are unable to accept criticism. As the RDW education reporter, I often read through the school-related blogs of our local paper and have to note the content of the posts of the administration's defenders.

Posters who disagree with Unified's practices, or the decisions of Dr. Hicks, will usually offer salient points as to why the logic may be flawed. That is not always the case, but more often than not. Then come numerous posts which instead of defending a point, attack the dissenters. People who write about voting no on a referendum, disagree with a board decision, or the hiring of the umpteenth consultant by Dr. Hicks, are immediately called names degrading their intelligence and/or labeled as anti-education.

What's funny is that both sides of local education issues want the same thing. Change. However if you don't call for the same change as Dr. Hicks and those who agree with him, then you must hate children and teachers.

As a teacher, I can speak to the flawed pedagogy behind the Continuous Progress model of instruction with some first-hand experience. I know that our superintendent is forcing poor policy on a district that needs guidance. I fear that the fiscal situation for this already cash-strapped community is only going to get worse with the amount of money freely spent on policies and consultants that have little or no educational impact.

I can have these feelings without hating my students or colleagues. Why can't some understand that?

We're growing....

I am proud to announce a new addition to the RDW staff. Phelony Jones has agreed to come on board.

Phelony's primary responsibility will be Monday Random Quotes, however she is welcome to post whatever she wants whenever she wants.

Phelony adds a bit of class to the joint don't ya' think?

Britney Spears

Help me understand why every time I see one of these listings of most popular search terms Britney Spears is at the top of it.

For the life of me, I do not understand the attraction.


This from a Journal Times Weblog open thread.

TARGET IS A SCAM!!!!!!!!!!!!



Wow, that is one ticked off consumer. It is a common practice among some retailers to mark things up to put them on sale.

I have not been to Target since they banned the Salvation Army.

Have any stories of good or bad shopping experiences in this shopping season?

Do share...

December 19, 2006

Candidate Fred?

I have mentioned to a few people locally that I was considering a run for Alderman in Racine.

It would seem the rumor mill has taken hold and it is all over town that I am running.

I thought I should clear things up, I have not yet reached a decision.

I have until January 3rd to gather signatures and file. I do not intend on making a decision until the middle of next week.

I must say I have been impressed by how closely and how well Alderman Helding and Mayor Becker have worked together. They are essentially partisan opposites, yet they work together very well. I want the same thing they do, to move this city forward and to make it a more attractive place for people to live, work and raise their children. We may not agree on all the issues, but we all agree on that.

I'll announce my intentions here no later than Friday the 29th.

Feel free to add your input in comments.

Until then, Merry Christmas.

Fantasy Football Update.

I've been a bit behind on this, We've been waltzing through the playoffs and are entering the Superbowl this weekend.

We were way behind going into last nights game, but Peyton Manning's four touchdowns lifted The Debate Team ahead of Owen's Sander's Sabers to a clash of 1 vs 2 this coming weekend.

The top seed is Steve at No runny eggs. When last we met I eeked out a .36 point victory.

Steve has a powerhouse trio of running backs in LT, Frank Gore and Willie Parker. I've got the edge in quarterback and receivers.

It will be a glorious slug-fest.

$9.1 million woopsie

You have got to read this...

The money quote... Barrett is furious because the board chose to raise spending instead of holding down taxes, "with no thought of the taxpayer," and "furious that the ball got dropped between the city clerk's office and the comptroller's office," Curley said. "It's a ridiculous situation."

December 18, 2006

Navy Norway

Training Sir....

Iran and the big lie

A brilliant column by Suzanne Fields.

Watching the coverage of the Holocaust-denial convention of big liars in Tehran was an immersion in the theater of the surreal. All it lacked was Borat. Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, the bizarro president of Iran, had to be satisfied with David Duke.

On a short walk through Mitte, the neighborhood where I have been staying, I had to step over shiny bronze street plaques imbedded in the sidewalks of Rosenthaler Strasse to document the lives of Jewish men, women and children who lived there before the Nazis ripped them from their homes. These tiny plaques, placed throughout Berlin, mark the starting places for journeys that led to Auschwitz, Buchenwald and Dachau. The very sound of the names of the death chambers echoes a grisly cacophony of evil.

Few Berliners, or any other Germans, are at risk of believing the grotesque lies that emanated from the conference in Iran. Most of the world is grimly aware of what happened to 6 million Jews and 5 million others -- political prisoners, prisoners of war, homosexuals, gypsies and the halt and the lame whose blood couldn't conform to the standards of mental and physical purity demanded by the Nazis. Leaders of Western countries expressed the expected outrage at what went on in Tehran.

But it's not the West and the people of the 21st century that the conference was meant to persuade. The target audience, of course, was those who insist on living in the 12th century, whose bigotries need the sustenance of fresh lies about Israel and the Jews.

Hatred of Israel and the Jews is one of the most powerful tools the unreconstructed Arab and Muslim radicals use to maintain a unity of evil.

The rest.

New taxes.

So Jim Doyle wants a $1 increase per pack of smokes because it would help make people quit.

This ladies and gentlemen is something called social engineering, it stinks.

If this is going to be Jim Doyle's Wisconsin then so be it, I recommend the following immediate tax changes.
  • Value Meal Tax. A $6.50 per value meal tax. We all know fast food is bad for you so this will help you to pack your own lunch.
  • Happy Meal Tax. A $10 tax on fast food meals marketed to children. This will help teach children to eat properly.
  • Gambling Tax. Gambling addiction is a very real and serious problem. I recommend a 50% tax on any and all gambling winnings plus a 10% rake on house fees.
  • Car Tax. Face it people, cars kill. An immediate $10,000 per year tax on all automobiles, this will encourage people to use cheaper, more efficient mass transit. If you don't have mass transit in your town, tough. After all, we know what's best for you.
  • Cable tax. Last week there was a report out saying we watch too much TV. I propose an immediate $500 a month cable / satellite TV tax. This will encourage people to get off the couch.
  • Internet Tax. When we get you off the cable you might surf the web, $500 per month ISP tax (educational exception of course, but not for choice or private schools)
  • Michael McGee Jackson Jr & Sr Tax. Every time the N-word is used either by or in regards to Michael McGee Jackson Jr or Sr a $100 tax shall be imposed. This should persuade people to stop using said word pleasing Eugene Kane to no end.
  • Eugene Kane Tax. Everytime anyone plays the race card, $2,300 tax. (don't ask me why it is $2,300 like Jim Doyle I am making it up as I go along)
  • The Vlach tax. A $5 rebate on every thong purchase...
  • Union Dues tax. Everyone not in a union should have to pay dues anyway. The attack on our unions has gone on far too long.
  • Formula Tax. $10 per can of baby formula since breast feeding is better for our children. It takes a village you know.

Feel free to add your own particular spin to our tax policy.

Crappity crap crap crap.

I hate this...

Hillary Clinton Says She Wouldn't Have Voted For Iraq War
December 18, 2006 4:02 PMDavid Chalian
ABC News' David Chalian Reports: As Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton continues to assess a possible presidential candidacy and the contours of a Democratic nomination fight, she has taken another step away from her 2002 vote authorizing President Bush to attack Iraq by saying that she "wouldn't have voted that way" if she knew everything she knows now.

Clinton has often been asked if she regrets her vote authorizing military action and she usually answers that question with an artful dodge, saying that she accepts responsibility for the vote and suggesting that if the Senate had all the information it has today (no WMD, troubled post-war military planning, etc. . .), there would never have been a vote on the Senate floor.

Hindsight is such crap. Would you like to learn from the past; sure you would. These people should have to live with their votes.

Do the Packers wish they had drafted Barry Sanders instead of Tony Madarich? Of course they do. In life people have to stand up and accept their mistakes instead of trying to make brownie points.

Sorry Hill, the anti-war left wil not fogive you that easily.

First license and registration fees....

Now a cigarette tax hike.

By RYAN J. FOLEY Associated Press WriterMADISON, Wis. (AP) -

Gov. Jim Doyle said Monday he was open to a $1-per-pack increase in the state cigarette tax as long as the money is used to deter smoking and help pay for health care.

Kind of like how gas taxes are just for road building....

A council convened by Doyle to study health care suggested adding $1 to the state's 77 cents-per-pack tax as a way to pay for programs that reduce the cost of health insurance and the number of uninsured.

Doyle was cool to a similar plan defeated by lawmakers two years ago, but said Monday in an interview with The Associated Press that he saw "real positives to an increase in the cigarette tax."

Now that he has been re-elected this makes sense... What phony political hackery.

...Wisconsin's cigarette tax ranks 30th among the states, according to the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids.

A $1 increase would make it the ninth highest in the country, according to the group.

Doyle said the dramatic hike would make sense."If you're going to do a cigarette tax, you really want to have it bring down smoking rates," he said. "There's got to be real shock value to what happens. Little incremental increases don't achieve that for you."

Lord knows we can not have a tax that is not in the top 10 in the nation...

Monday Random Quotes

His bellybutton is on backwards... Owen.

More sugar and better health benefits. Jib.

Be careful what you sweep under the carpet… Kevin.

When we go home we’re taking our toys with us. Aaron

When in doubt, buy him a cordless drill. Kate.

I hate to get all Mel Gibson on this... York.

Clinton spied, Diana died. Dan.

Santa Catalina is waiting for me.... Phelony.

Run like the wind RealDebate run!!! Sliverthetomcat.

In10sity. Tom.

That which can go wrong, will go wrong, and at such as time as to maximize the inconvenience and aggravation level. Phoenix.

amazed at what great handwriting their dog has... Nick.

Another addictive distance thingie....

Again, my apologies.

December 17, 2006

Ho Ho Ho

I would like to thank the academy...

Arrogant blogger sued by the invasion of privacy people.

By Robin Abcarian, Times Staff WriterDecember 17, 2006

It's hard to know whom to sympathize with in this fight.

On one side: the paparazzi who stalk celebrities in their moments of greatest vulnerability — at doctors' offices, with their newborns, when they are falling-down drunk.

On the other: a blogger who helps himself to those photos, scrawls puerile comments on them, and posts them on his immensely popular and profitable website.

The owners of one L.A. photo agency are so frustrated with what they consider to be blatant theft by self-styled "gossip gangsta" Perez Hilton that they've decided to make a federal case of it.

On Nov. 30, X17 Inc., known for the aggressive pursuit of celebrity prey, filed a $7.6-million federal copyright infringement lawsuit against Hilton, alleging that he has used 51 photos without permission, payment or credit.

The list of allegedly infringed photos is an almost poetic inventory of the state of pop culture and people's obsession with it: "Pregnant Katie Holmes," "Kevin Federline Pumping Gas," "The New Slim Britney Spears," "Britney Spears Exposes Her Derriere," "Britney Spears Exposes Herself (Again)."Brandy Navarre, who co-owns X17 with her husband, Francois Navarre, said the agency is suing the owner of not just because he doesn't pay or credit them, but also because they don't like his attitude.

While X17 has agreements with many gossip blogs — Pink IsTheNewBlog, PopSugar and SocialiteLife, among others — allowing them to post photos with proper credit and a link back to the X17 website, Navarre said she was tired of constantly reminding Hilton to credit X17 and had finally given up."We've had trouble with a lot of bloggers," she said. "But he's the biggest, and the most arrogant and pigheaded about it, frankly.

"Reached by phone at his "office," a corner table in a Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf on Sunset Boulevard, Hilton, whose real name is Mario Lavandeira, sounded miffed. "She is suing me because I'm arrogant? That's not what her press release said. My position is that I don't think what I am doing is illegal, and I am going to vigorously defend myself. I am willing to step up to the plate and fight for my rights and fight for the rights of all bloggers."

December 16, 2006

Interesting column by A. Colon.

The Mendacity Of the Liberal Press
BY ALICIA COLONDecember 15, 2006URL:

The first time I heard the word "mendacity" was in the film "Cat on a Hot Tin Roof." I loved the way Burl Ives's character spits out the word as something vile and unacceptable.

Unfortunately, we live in a society where untruthfulness is routinely accepted and even mandated by politicians, union leaders, and members of the press. New York is the headquarters of the biggest producer of mendacity, the New York Times. Fortunately, it's also the home of the antidote,

I pity the Americans who do not have the computer expertise to access the exposés of lies of corrupt politicians and gullible television anchors, biased newspaper headlines, and anything from the Associated Press. If it were not for the Internet and Lucianne Goldberg's Web news forum, I would never learn the truth behind the Times headlines as pitched by the Drudge Report.

Matt Drudge, who may or may not be a willing accomplice to the distortion of news reporting, must be held responsible for the dissemination of the bias in the liberal press. Studies have shown that the readership of the Times is down — as it is in other liberal publications — and so are the television ratings of the alphabet networks and CNN and MSNBC, while Fox News is up.
Nevertheless, the propaganda of the enemedia — an excellent descriptive term coined by one poster to — continues to sully news coverage, thanks to Mr. Drudge. A study of press bias by a professor of political science at the University of California-Los Angeles, Tim Groseclose, listed the Drudge Report as one of the most liberal sites on the Web because it consistently posts articles from left-of-center sources.

My patience with the Drudge Report ended when I saw a photo of Frank Rich of the Times posted on the site along with his words: "We are losing in Iraq." It isn't too encouraging to the morale of the nation, but posts like this are common on Drudge.

The site gives top billing to every possible negative statement about the Iraq war and the Bush administration, and it gets about 13 million hits a day. Is it any wonder that President Bush has record low approval ratings?

The week before, Mr. Drudge posted a quote from the new secretary of defense, Robert Gates: "We are not winning in Iraq." Did he really say those words? No. At Mr. Gates's confirmation hearing, Senator Levin, a Democrat of Michigan, asked him if we were winning in Iraq, and he answered, "No."

Lucianne, of course, pointed out that Mr. Gates went on to say we're not losing, either. His exact words were: "Our military forces win the battles that they fight; our soldiers have done an incredible job in Iraq. And I'm not aware of a single battle that they have lost. And I didn't want my comments to be interpreted as suggesting that they weren't being successful in their endeavors."

Mr. Gates, you can be 100% certain that everything you say from now on as secretary of defense will be misinterpreted by a certain New York publication headed by Arthur "Pinch" Sulzberger.

This is the man who in the 1960s, according to author Harry Stein, when asked by his father whom he'd rather see shot when an American soldier runs into a North Vietnamese soldier, replied: "I would want to see the American get shot. It's the other guy's country."

That statement is something Mr. Sulzberger appears to be proud of, as he repeats it from time to time. Maybe he actually believes that this lack of nationalistic empathy is necessary for good journalism. I think the truth would be a better measure of it, but the Times is continuing to put out news that is completely mendacious, even when it's not about Mr. Bush or Iraq.

I was certain Pope Benedict XVI had given in to Muslim pressure. Why? Because the New York Times reported this in a headline: "In Reversal, Pope Backs Turkey's Bid to Join European Union." Of course it was posted on the Drudge Report. Was it true? Not according to Richard Neuhaus, the editor and founder of First Things, a distinguished religious publication. On December 1, he wrote, "Even by today's standards, this is a breathtaking instance of journalistic shoddiness, if not downright dishonesty."

But mendacity pays in this town, whose residents survived the worst attack on this country in history, yet they still can't recognize the danger of lies in wartime if reported in the Old Gray Lady.

My name, Alicia, means truth, so here it is. We are at war. Our military is the best in the world and the smartest we've ever had. Our enemies are barbaric beheaders who want us dead — period. You cannot negotiate with them. They exist on mendacity.

You have been warned.

Im speechless on this...

Ukraine babies in stem cell probe
By Matthew Hill BBC Health Correspondent

Healthy new-born babies may have been killed in Ukraine to feed a flourishing international trade in stem cells, evidence obtained by the BBC suggests.

Disturbing video footage of post-mortem examinations on dismembered tiny bodies raises serious questions about what happened to them.

Ukraine has become the self-styled stem cell capital of the world.

There is a trade in stem cells from aborted foetuses, amid unproven claims they can help fight many diseases.

But now there are claims that stem cells are also being harvested from live babies.

Wall of silence

The BBC has spoken to mothers from the city of Kharkiv who say they gave birth to healthy babies, only to have them taken by maternity staff.

In 2003 the authorities agreed to exhume around 30 bodies of foetuses and full-term babies from a cemetery used by maternity hospital number six.

One campaigner was allowed into the autopsy to gather video evidence. She has given that footage to the BBC and Council of Europe.

In its report, the Council describes a general culture of trafficking of children snatched at birth, and a wall of silence from hospital staff upwards over their fate.

The pictures show organs, including brains, have been stripped - and some bodies dismembered.

A senior British forensic pathologist says he is very concerned to see bodies in pieces - as that is not standard post-mortem practice.

It could possibly be a result of harvesting stem cells from bone marrow.

Hospital number six denies the allegations.

H/T Amy.

Seriously? How obvious could your bias be?

Check this out..

Do to aggregious personal attacks, comments on this post have been deleted and suspended. Comments must be limited to a discussion of the issues. Personal attacks will be deleted. Anyone who makes an offensive or inappropriate comments will be banned from further posting. -Journal Times editors 12/15/2006 11:02:50

(By the way guys I usually do not pick on spelling as I suck at it but seeing you are professionals and all, it is egregious not aggregious)

This on a discussion board about a state of the schools speech given by Racine schools Supernintendo Tom Hicks. I'll not comment on the talk as Randy has a post on that beneath this one except to say he sure seems to have to take statistical stretches to try and point to anything positive.

I saw a few of these posts before they were erased, their authors banned and they were sent on their merry way, I can sum them up for you.

Hicks sucks he needs to go.

That was about it.

For this the Journal Times is banning people. The paper generally treats the schools with kid gloves hardly ever writing a critical word. I have in the past called their education reporter Brent Killackey Unified's Cheermaster. This cements it. I sent Killackey a question asking why discussion was banned, he indicated to me that he did not know and he didn't do it.

The Journal Times has a rabid and vocal group of lefties who throw insults and personal attacks with noting to back them up. Their favorite targets, County Executive Bill McReynolds, President Bush, Robin Vos and me.

I rarely post there under my name any more as I just grew tired of the ad homonym attacks on me personally claiming I was just trying to draw traffic here and I was on someone's payroll and that kind of crap.

Oh there are the right wing attackers there as well, but they are a much more polite crowd in general.

My point, all those personal attacks are allowed, even encouraged by the editors there. Hot topics draw hits and big hit numbers equal ad revenue. And if you don't think that website is about ad revenue just pay a visit, they have some of the most aggressive popups on the net!

But not Supernintendo Hicks... It is verboten to say anything bad about him. I absolutely guarantee you that he called and complained and they just turned a dutiful eye and did his bidding as usual.

You, banned! You, banned!

When will Racine's paper finally come out and admit they care nothing about critical reporting or a free exchange of ideas? They claim to be objective; I have a continuing battle with them over that. I wish they would be like the Capital Times and admit their bias. At least the Madison paper is honest enough to say they are not objective in any way proudly proclaiming themselves to be Wisconsin's Progressive Newspaper.

In concept and practice their web forums are a good thing, in how the staff of the Racine Journal Times polices those forums their bias is readily apparent. There is only one faster way to get banned there than writing critical words of Supernintendo Hicks, that is to write a critical word of a Journal Times reporter.

December 15, 2006

The State of the District Address

Thursday night, Superintendent Thomas Hicks, PhD, delivered his first state of the district address at the Golden Rondelle. I did not have the opportunity to attend said address, but I gleaned a few thoughts from excerpts available on Youtube.

-?Hicks points out a significant increase of reading test scores over one year at Julian Thomas Elementary. What he fails to mention is that is he comparing two different classes of children or the same group. A group of 4th graders at Julian Thomas scored 29% proficient or advanced in the 2004-2005 school year. In 2005-2006 it was 47% at advanced or proficient. Is that the same group as 5th graders or the new batch of 4th graders? That is significant to the validity of the results.

-?He also states that the increase is due to the implementation of the continuous progress model. There is no evidence of that because the continuous progress model has been utilized in all RUSD elementary schools since the fall of 2003. So therefore the model was used on both the low performing and high performing groups of students.

A series of carefully worded and spun success stories does not progress make. Every school will have up and down years. In Hicks' five years there has been no significant sign of student progress. For some reason no one in the community calls him on it.

Note: This story and video was also available on the Journal Times blog site. They chose to close the blog down as many posters did not give a ringing endorsement of Hicks. Typical JT spin.

Diabetes breakthrough

In a discovery that has stunned even those behind it, scientists at a Toronto hospital say they have proof the body's nervous system helps trigger diabetes, opening the door to a potential near-cure of the disease that affects millions of Canadians.

Diabetic mice became healthy virtually overnight after researchers injected a substance to counteract the effect of malfunctioning pain neurons in the pancreas.

"I couldn't believe it," said Dr. Michael Salter, a pain expert at the Hospital for Sick Children and one of the scientists. "Mice with diabetes suddenly didn't have diabetes any more."

The researchers caution they have yet to confirm their findings in people, but say they expect results from human studies within a year or so. Any treatment that may emerge to help at least some patients would likely be years away from hitting the market.

But the excitement of the team from Sick Kids, whose work is being published today in the journal Cell, is almost palpable.

"I've never seen anything like it," said Dr. Hans Michael Dosch, an immunologist at the hospital and a leader of the studies. "In my career, this is unique."

The rest.

As someone who was recently diagnosed with diabetes, this is very exciting.

How is it that this stunning break through had nothing to do with embryonic stem cells?

Penguin Launching...

Go ahead and click it....

But Air Tran will keep everything the same...

India has killed 10 million girls in 20 years


NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Ten million girls have been killed by their parents in India in the past 20 years, either before they were born or immediately after, a government minister said on Thursday, describing it as a "national crisis".

A UNICEF report released this week said 7,000 fewer girls are born in the country every day than the global average would suggest, largely because female foetuses are aborted after sex determination tests but also through murder of new borns.

"It's shocking figures and we are in a national crisis if you ask me," Minister for Women and Child Development Renuka Chowdhury told Reuters.

Girls are seen as liabilities by many Indians, especially because of the banned but rampant practice of dowry, where the bride's parents pay cash and goods to the groom's family.

Men are also seen as bread-winners while social prejudices deny women opportunities for education and jobs.

"Today, we have the odd distinction of having lost 10 million girl children in the past 20 years," Chowdhury told a seminar in Delhi University.

"Who has killed these girl children? Their own parents."

December 14, 2006


Off with your head...
Another Awesome Christmas Display

Some people have waaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much time on their hands.


And so it begins.

George Wills latest...

Now is Obama's chance to grab the brass ring

NEW HAMPSHIRE was recently brightened by the presence of Barack Obama, 45, who, calling the fuss about him "baffling," made his first trip in 45 years to that state, and not under duress. Because he is young, is just two years distant from a brief career as a state legislator and has negligible national security experience, an Obama Presidential candidacy could have a porcelain brittleness. But if he wants to be President -- it will not be a moral failing if he decides that he does not, at least not now -- this is the time for him to reach for the brass ring. There are four reasons why.

First, one can only be an intriguing novelty once. If he waits to run, the last half-century suggests that the wait could be for eight years (see reason four, below). In 2016, he will be only 55, but there will be many fresher faces.

Second, if you get the girl up on her tiptoes, you should kiss her. The electorate is on its tiptoes because Obama has collaborated with the creation of a tsunami of excitement about him. He is nearing the point when a decision against running would brand him as a tease who ungallantly toyed with the electorate's affections.

Third, he has, in Hillary Clinton, the optimal opponent. The contrast is stark: He is soothing; she is not. Many Democrats who are desperate to win are queasy about depending on her. For a nation with jangled nerves, and repelled by political snarling, he offers a tone of sweet reasonableness.

What people see in him reveals more about them than about him. Some of his public utterances have the spunginess of Polonius' bromides for Laertes ("neither a borrower nor a lender be . . . to thine own self be true"). In 2005, the liberal Americans for Democratic Action and the AFL-CIO rated his voting record a perfect 100. The nonpartisan National Journal gave him an 82.5 liberalism rating, making him more liberal than Clinton (79.8). He dutifully decries "ideological" politics, but just as dutifully conforms to most of liberalism's catechism, from "universal" health care, whatever that might mean, to combating global warming, whatever that might involve, and including the sacred injunction Thou Shalt Execrate Wal-Mart -- an obligatory genuflection to organized labor.

The nation, which so far is oblivious to his orthodoxy, might not mind it if it is dispensed by someone with Obama's "Can't we all just get along?" manner. Ronald Reagan, after all, demonstrated the importance of congeniality to the selling of conservatism.
Fourth, the odds favor the Democratic nominee in 2008 because for 50 years it has been rare for a Presidential nominee to extend his party's hold on the Presidency beyond eight years.

Nixon in 1960 came agonizingly close to doing so (he lost the popular vote by 118,574 -- less than a vote per precinct -- and a switch of 4,430 votes in Illinois and 24,129 in Texas would have elected him), but failed. As did Hubert Humphrey in 1968 (he lost by 510,314 out of 73,211,875 votes cast), Gerald Ford in 1976 (if 5,559 votes had switched in Ohio and 7,232 votes had switched in Mississippi, he would have won) and Al Gore in 2000 (537 Florida votes). Only the first President Bush, in 1988, succeeded, perhaps because the country desired a third term for the incumbent, which will not be the case in 2008. So the odds favor a Democrat winning in 2008 and, if he or she is re-elected, the Democrat nominated in 2016 losing.

Furthermore, remember the metrics of success that just two years ago caused conservatives to think the future was unfolding in their favor: Bush carried 97 of the 100 most rapidly growing counties; the center of the nation's population, now southwest of St. Louis, is moving south and west at a rate of two feet an hour; only two Democratic Presidents have been elected in the last 38 years; in the 15 elections since World War II, only twice has a Democrat received 50 percent of the vote. Two years later, these facts do not seem so impressive.

In 2000 and 2004, Bush twice carried 29 states that now have 274 electoral votes; Gore and Kerry carried 18 that now have 248. Not much needs to change in politics in order for a lot to change in governance. And Obama, like the rest of us, has been warned, by William Butler

Yeats: All life is a preparation for something that probably will never happen.

Unless you make it happen.

If they can't make it there.....

This article slays me...

Madison liberals hold a rally to save Air America and their reasoning on why it should be kept on the air.... pointing to the stations relatively healthy ratings in the market, particularly when compared to progressive-format broadcasters elsewhere in the nation.

So the station does well when you compare it to other stations using the same format elsewhere... Who cares. The ONLY metric that matters is how the station is doing in Madison! (badly)

Radio is a business. It matters not what ratings are elsewhere, it matters what ratings are in Madison. Ratings = revenue. And even in Madison revenue matters.

Look, if Air America is not on the air in Madison will there be any serious decline in the availability of liberal thought there? Seriously, every time I go to Madison liberal thought is so prevalent I feel like I am in a foreign land.

If someone, anyone, thought they could be profitable running liberal talk in Madison they would put it on the air! This is free market, not NPR...

Oh yeah, they do have NPR don't they?

Former CNN News Chief To Launch 'IraqSlogger' Site

By Greg Mitchell Published: December 13, 2006 3:05 PM ET

NEW YORK For the past four years there has been no shortage of news and views on Iraq and the long-running war there. What’s been missing: a one-stop-shopping clearinghouse for nonpartisan information, including material coming out of Iraq itself from natives of that country, not from foreign correspondents.

Now that need is finally being addressed in the form of IraqSlogger, in Beta at, but due to be officially launched next week. Its director is the former CNN news division chief, Eason Jordan, who quit that post suddenly in 2005 after 23 years with the company. The name of his new venture, he says, was inspired by a Donald Rumsfeld reference to this war being a “long, hard slog.”

The concept, Jordan tells E&P, “grew out of the feeling that I think many people shared that there was no one place to go. Individual news organizations do terrific work but you can spend the better part of a day going from one site to another and one TV outlet to another,” searching for a full picture.

“Iraq is the story of our time,” he declares. His goal for the site is for it to become nothing less than “the world's premier Iraq-focused information source” -- and with no “political slant.”

First, Eason Jordan would not know non-partisan if ti bit him in the keaster.

Second, I thought we already had an all Iraq, all the time network in CNN.

December 13, 2006

Balancing Act.

So, Democratic Senator Tim Johnson has been hospitalized sending pundits across the nation into a complete and total tizzy.

You see if Johnson needs a replacement that person will be picked by Republican Governor Mike Rounds of South Dakota. Routinely when doing these sorts of appointments Governors appoint persons of their own party.

This would throw control of the Senate back to the Republicans.

I have a problem with this practice.

If a Republican is replacing a Democrat they should replace them with another Democrat.

The same should be true in reverse. Getting the parties to agree on that would be exceedingly difficult, but it just seems right.

Oh games would still be played, Democrat governors would put RINOS into play and I would expect Republican Governors to place centrist Dems (are there any left?).

However, balance should not change due to a medical condition or the unfortunate death of someone.

How old is too old?

There have been two articles in the Racine paper in recent days concerning older drivers getting into accidents.

One highlighted a 77 year old man in Oshkosh who drove into a restaurant injuring four, the other an 84 year old man in Caledonia who had an encounter with a freight train yet somehow escaped injury.

The State of Wisconsin places no restrictions on drivers licensing due to age, none. If you are 82 and need your license renewed you get it for another 8 years! The same goes for your 90 year old renewal, the DMV will give you a new license until you are 98 assuming you can pass the vision test.

My Grandmother is 89 years old, she lives in Chillicothe, Illinois. She has to take a road test every year to keep her license. Even at that she only drives to the grocery store and even then she cuts through a cemetery to avoid the main road in her town for that three block trip.

Why does Wisconsin continue to ignore this problem? I'll tell you why, it is because seniors vote and legislators of both parties are more worried about grey haired retribution than keeping seniors and the rest of us safe from some seniors who should not be on the road.

So how old is too old, or what should licensing and testing requirements look like?

I'm also curious why in two articles in two days on this issue the Racine paper did not ask this basic question?

December 12, 2006

A note from Alderman Karas.

I just got this from Racine Alderman Pete Karas, he is recovering from neck surgery.

We wish him well.

I thought it would be timely to provide an update on my medical condition and return timetable.

First, at this point, the surgery appears to be a success, although I will know more after the next neurologist appointment next week. The neck surgery pain level and recovery time is certainly much less than the lower back surgery which I had performed earlier in the year. If all goes well, I should be able to reassume aldermanic duties (including starting to attend most meetings) sometime in January. Some of my attendance may ultimately depend on when I get the go-ahead to drive. I’ve been advised that the most likely date for me to be full speed again is in early February. For now, my voice has mostly returned (to the dismay of some, I’m sure J ) and if anyone needs to contact me about a City matter, I may be reached at either 633-2540 or 498-5021 (or via email.) Please feel free to leave a message if you receive voice mail on either line. If there is a citizen item that needs personal attention and, Ald. Ray DeHahn may be contacted as he has been doing a fine job helping my constituents during my absences.

Hope all is well with everyone else!

Ald. Pete Karas

Ps: This should be it. With both the back and neck ‘repaired,’ I don’t expect to be laid off for any more extended periods of time.

Destroying the liberal argument

I wrote a long brilliant response yesterday that got electro-blipped out of existence.

I was writing in response to a post on my Baker-Hamilton piece, I thought I would reconstruct it piece by piece.

In response to this... "it bears repeating that invading Iraq had no rational place as a response to the terrorist attacks of 9/11. None at all. Is it a factor now? Yeah. Only insofar as our invasion and occupation has boosted al Qaeda recruitment, radicalized previously moderate Muslims against us, and given non-Iraqi terrorists a prime venue in which to attack us at will. "

This is the basis of the liberal response to the war in Iraq. Hussien didn't have anything to with 9-11. That is only relevant if you think we went to war over 9-11.

9-11 was the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak. We had been attacked multiple times by Islamic terrorists. 9-11 made it clear that if we continued to not respond they weren't going to stop. To the terrorists this is not a conventional war declared by this government against that this a jihad against the infidels.

We went into Iraq for a number of reasons, one of them being Hussien's Iraq was a safe haven for terrorists, he paid ransoms for suicide bombers, he let terrorists train on his soil, etc. Again, this was a war on terror, NOT a war in retribution for 9-11. To attempt to make that case is to ignore all of the other attacks and Hussien's history in being buddy buddy with terrorism. To make that point is to make a reactionary political point and ignore all of the other attacks against this country.

I am also tired of this recruitment point. Gee the 9-11 attacks also fueled US military recruitment, you never see liberals making that point. Instead we get Charlie Rangle pushing a draft for a political point. They made huge noise over a couple of months when US military recruitment numbers did not make goals even though over-all year to date recruitment was on target. Why the disparity? Political reasons, power.

If we had not gone after Al-Qaeda and terrorisms in general would terrorist have not been recruiting? Please.

For once I wish these people would offer something constructive instead of stupid small points designed for political benefit rather than any honest political discourse.

Find a small point say it often enough and the people will eventually start to believe you.

To follow the liberal line through to its logical conclusion makes no sense. So if we had not been to Iraq, terrorist recruitment would be less and then what... Would they be less likely to attack us again?


They need to recruit because we are killing them, we are killing them where they are instead of where we are.

I like that.

The war on terror is a big picture concept. Liberals out of power ignored the big picture and made a strategic decision to find a number of small points and pound them home.

It worked, they got their power back.

The enemy is happy about that.

I'm not.

Some us, believe it or not, still support the war on terror. In fact we have not been anywhere near aggressive enough (again for political purposes) in fighting it.

We see the big picture.

There is an enemy out there, one that waits and trains and plans and destroys innocents. They are hard to find, they are hard to fight, they want to kill us because they think it is their holy destiny to rule the world.

You can't negotiate with evil and evil never changes.

You can either destroy it, or ignore it and wait for it to destroy you.

December 11, 2006

Incoming House intelligence chief botches easy intel quiz

Why does this not surprise me?

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Rep. Silvestre Reyes of Texas, who incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has tapped to head the Intelligence Committee when the Democrats take over in January, failed a quiz of basic questions about al Qaeda and Hezbollah, two of the key terrorist organizations the intelligence community has focused on since the September 11, 2001 attacks.

When asked by CQ National Security Editor Jeff Stein whether al Qaeda is one or the other of the two major branches of Islam -- Sunni or Shiite -- Reyes answered "they are probably both," then ventured "Predominantly -- probably Shiite."

That is wrong. Al Qaeda was founded by Osama bin Laden as a Sunni organization and views Shiites as heretics.

Reyes could also not answer questions put by Stein about Hezbollah, a Shiite group on the U.S. list of terrorist organizations that is based in Southern Lebanon.

Stein's column about Reyes' answers was published on CQ's Web site Friday evening.

In an interview with CNN, Stein said he was "amazed" by Reyes' lack of what he considers basic information about two of the major terrorists organizations.

"If you're the baseball commissioner and you don't know the difference between the Yankees and the Red Sox, you don't know baseball," Stein said. "You're not going to have the respect of the people you work with."

While Stein said Reyes is "not a stupid guy," his lack of knowledge said it could hamper Reyes' ability to provide effective oversight of the intelligence community, Stein believes."If you don't have the basics, how do you effectively question the administration?" he asked. "You don't know who is on first."

A picture tells...

Clinton Administration spied on Diana without permission from Brits...

American intelligence agencies were bugging Princess Diana's telephone over her relationship with a US billionaire, the Mail's sister paper has learned.

Evening Standard reports that she was even forced to abandon a planned holiday with her sons in the US with tycoon Teddy Forstmann on advice from secret services, who passed on their concerns to their British counterparts.

Both US and British intelligence then forced Diana to change her plans to stay with Mr Forstmann in the summer of 1997, saying it was too "dangerous" to take her sons there.
Instead the princess took the fateful decision to take a summer break with Harrods owner Mohamed Fayed. This ultimately led to her going to Paris with his son Dodi, where they died in a car crash.

The rest...

Monday Random Quotes.

Showing of the privates for the paparazzi. Ramon'

I hear that the McJackson’s have a problem with Barack Obama. Patrick.

As usual… tasteless. Owen.

A little too far? I’ll tell you who went too far, her mother and father… Chris.

Bart nails one of life’s truths Chris. (No a different Chris)

Jimmy Carter can add a new title: plagiarist. Peter.

they can use mine, for a nominal fee, of course. Asian Badger.

Sounds racist to me! Kathy.

he can be a bus driver for a charter school. The Game.

Butt-Head Driver Award Billiam.

We will never achieve a colorblind society by focusing on people’s color. Elliot. (Preach it!)

Us normal people will be good Americans and watch football. Sean.

There's not even any nudity. Jenna.

I do have a kissing ball. Phoenix.

His parents named him Lucius. Not bad you say? Pair it with his (birth) last name... Nicole.

Heaux Heaux Heaux. Kate.

the world is ready for a new Christmas Carol. Grumps.

These are Carol's. Clint.

December 10, 2006

Cow 'emissions' more damaging to planet than CO2 from cars

I didn't do it...

Meet the world's top destroyer of the environment. It is not the car, or the plane,or even George Bush: it is the cow.

A United Nations report has identified the world's rapidly growing herds of cattle as the greatest threat to the climate, forests and wildlife. And they are blamed for a host of other environmental crimes, from acid rain to the introduction of alien species, from producing deserts to creating dead zones in the oceans, from poisoning rivers and drinking water to destroying coral reefs.

The 400-page report by the Food and Agricultural Organisation, entitled Livestock's Long Shadow, also surveys the damage done by sheep, chickens, pigs and goats. But in almost every case, the world's 1.5 billion cattle are most to blame. Livestock are responsible for 18 per cent of the greenhouse gases that cause global warming, more than cars, planes and all other forms of transport put together.

7 Wonders of Wisconsin

Some online idiot has put together a list of the 7 wonders of each state in our nation.

I thought the Wisconsin list could not have been more wrong.

My question is, what would you have on your list?

This is the published list:

Sugar River State Trail

"The Sugar River State Trail is a 23-mile long, 265-acre, recreation rail trail in Wisconsin. This trail connects four communities: New Glarus, Monticello, Albany and Brodhead.

National Railroad Museum

"The National Railroad Museum, located in Ashwaubenon, Wisconsin (a suburb of Green Bay), is one of the oldest museums dedicated to railroad history. It was founded in 1956 by community volunteers in Green Bay who contributed time and resources. Throughout its history, patron contributions have continued to create one of the largest railroad preservation institutions in the United States. "

House on the Rock

"The House on the Rock is a complex of architecturally unique rooms, streets, gardens and shops built mostly by Alex Jordan, Jr. The "house" itself was begun in the 1940s atop Deer Shelter Rock, a column of rock 450 feet tall, 70 feet by 200 feet on the top, that stands in a field in Spring Green, Wisconsin. "

Racine Zoological Gardens

"The mission of the Racine Zoological Society is to foster an enlightening and affordable wildlife experience that improves the bond between people and nature. The Society will provide for the recreation and education of the people, the conservation of wildlife and wild places, and the advancement of science. "

Dells of the Wisconsin River

"The Dells of the Wisconsin River (used in the singular, and also called the Wisconsin Dells) is a 5 mile (8 km) gorge on the Wisconsin River in southern Wisconsin in the United States noted for its particular scenic beauty, in particular for its unique sandstone rock formations and tributary canyons. "

Apostle Islands National Lakeshore

"It is known for its collection of historic lighthouses (called "the nation's finest"), sandstone sea caves, a few old growth remnant forests, and natural animal habitats among many other things. "

Noah's Ark Water Park

"Noah's Ark is America's largest water park, with over 40 water slides and dozens of other various attractions. Located in the city of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin (the "Water Park Capital of the World," with 18 indoor water parks), "