January 14, 2006
So what has Justin been up to since 10-30? He says he has been working the district, having everyone tell him we need change. I don't buy it.
This statement comes out when rumors circulate that Tim Daley has in fact decided not to run. It seems his involvement in the inner-circle of the Kurt Vlach led slimy takeover of the Racine County Democratic Party is just a bit soon for Daley.
Justin, serious candidates do not just vanish for the better part of three months. They hold public meetings, they have fund raisers, they publish editorials, they put press release after press release. You just vanish then claim you've been busy. Do you you really think people believe this?!?
RDW has learned Sowa has been seeking help from some Democratic electoral power brokers. Their response to him, we got better things to do.
Welcome back to the party Justin.
Tell me, when might you be willing to answer a fair question or two please.
Yes sir my name is Mark Seavey and I just want to thank you for coming up here. Until about a month ago I was Sgt Mark Seavey infantry squad leader, I returned from Afghanistan. My question to you, (applause)
Like yourself I dropped out of college two years ago to volunteer to go to Afghanistan, and I went and I came back. If I didn't have a herniated disk now I would volunteer to go to Iraq in a second with my troops, three of which have already volunteered to go to Iraq. I keep hearing you say how you talk to the troops and the troops are demoralized, and I really resent that characterization. (applause)
The morale of the troops that I talk to is phenomenal, which is why my troops are volunteering to go back, despite the hardships they had to endure in Afghanistan.
And Congressman Moran, 200 of your constituents just returned from Afghanistan. We never got a letter from you; we never got a visit from you. You didn't come to our homecoming. The only thing we got from any of our elected officials was one letter from the governor of this state thanking us for our service in Iraq, when we were in Afghanistan. That's reprehensible. I don't know who you two are talking to but the morale of the troops is very high.
This is the reality of the rabid opposition to the war. They are willing to say anything and everything that buttresses their anti-war rhetoric. However, in this forum where they were supposed to hear from the people and respond, this is what they had to say, "That wasn't in the form of a question, it was in the form of a statement. But, uhh lets go over here."
Outrageous, not only did they ignore this constituent, they refused to even dignify his statement with a response.
These are your leaders my Liberal friends. They bash the troops, they lie about conditions, they lie about morale, they only mention the negative while ignoring the positive. In short, they are putting political gain above defending our country.
The thing that really gets my goat here is Moran & Murtha should of said something. Thank you for your service, we are glad you are home safe and sound, or something to that effect should of been the bare minimum response given to this real American Hero. They could not be bothered to even give him that.
It seems our friends in the MSM love to cover every word from the mouth of Murtha; my guess is many of you have never seen these comments. It is my opinion his lack of comment to this soldier shows you what kind of man Murtha is, a hypocrite.
See the video here.
Reps Moran and Murtha could not be bothered to say thank you. Real Debate Wisconsin will. Thank you Sgt. Seavey for your service and dedication to keep this, the greatest country on the planet safe from terrorism.
John Stossel just did a big piece on choice in education. I missed it, but it would appear the whole transcript is published here.
Interesting points to look for in the article. How his cameras were turned away in school after school, what were they trying to hide?
How our system compares to European models, and the test results to prove it.
Why does our system hang on to bad teachers? (and what is the societal & dollar cost)
Should we place incentives for good grades?
I would put forth the following question for deabte: If study after study shows choice works, why do our established school educrats fight it, and the expansion of it, so harshly? If they really wanted the best education possible for our children, you would think they would be all for anything with such a proven track record.
In truth they are just protecting their own interests.
UPDATE: Watch the report here.
January 13, 2006
NY Daily News reported (the NY Times did not, big shock), one of Hill's fund raising committees was fined some $35,000 for misreporting $722,000 in contributions from a felon.
This stemmed from mis-reporting costs involved in a Los Angeles fund raiser on Aug 12, 2002.
Gee now if this had happened to a Republican, would you all of heard about this? An almost 3/4 million dollar boo boo in hard money.
My word if this would of been Mark Green or Scott Walker Xoff would finally have something real to slime with.
I wonder if any of you saw this?
I love John Shadegg. He is a forward and original thinker who could really make a positive impact.
I'll just give you one of Shadegg's ideas I just love. He is in favor of requiring all legislation to have on the first page introduction of said legislation a listing of the constitutional justification for that legislation.
I wrote in August or September about the health care reform involving State mandated coverages driving up costs. Shadegg authored that as well.
We love this. He is a true outsider, not slimed by any funny money and would be the kind of lead that could get the party back to legislating.
January 12, 2006
Giving us the need to know on the Cheddarsphere Spiceblog poked at Belling a day after they blasted into him for making a mistake.
I did hear about two minutes of Belling's show today, the last two. He was pointing out this Spiceblog post that someone is selling a Belling Bobble-Head on E-Bay. At the time the bobble was at $10.
Checking it two hours later it is up to $71 with 6 days to go.
Paul from The Electric Commentary thanks one and all I am sure for the publicity. Paul, I hope you get a thousand bucks for it.
I am so pleased the Spice Girls are really digging deep and finding the need to know of the Cheddarsphere. This is clearly the most important thing going on right now.
People are snooping around Madison looking into Governor Doyle’s use of state planes and the budget for those planes.
Doyle is allowed to use the state plane for political purposes, but he must reimburse the state the cost of a commercial ticket for the trip. As you might guess, that reimbursement doesn’t go very far to cover the actual cost of operating the plane, especially with fuel prices being the way they are. Even for political trips, the state picks up the bulk of the cost.
Doyle has used the state planes quite a bit. The result was that the budget for the state planes fell short by about $416,600 last year. To fix this hole in the budget, Doyle had his Department of Administration Secretary transfer the money from the General Fund to pay for the airplanes. It is not usually legal for the Executive to move funds from fund to fund without legislative action, so this transfer of funds may have been illegal.
It also appears that Doyle might have monkeyed with the reimbursement rate for using the planes for political travel, but I’m not sure about the details on that one.
This isn’t the first time that Doyle has had problems using the state’s planes.
Folks are digging up the manifests and reimbursement records as I type this. This story is developing… stay tuned…
UPDATE: It appears that part of the reason for the deficit is that state agencies didn’t use the plane enough. State agencies pay into the state plane program when they use the state planes. They didn’t use the planes as much as projected, so the state plane program came up short. Still developing…
Not sure if you remember this or not, but our pals up at Milwaukee Rag were all over former Governor McCallum over his use of State planes. Memory refresher here.
Vanguard seems to be the Senator's hotpoint, and he had a line of questioning asking if any Vanguard cases came before the Supreme court.
The Judge explained the rules for recusal are not the same in the different levels of the court as in the Apellate branch if a Judge steps aside, for whatever reason, another can take their place.
Feingold could not grasp the concept in an attempt to paint the Judge in worst possible light.
He and his cronies are totally grasping at straws here.
The Judge's conduct has been above board, they on the other hand have not been. Ted Kennedy should give up the right to preach ethics to ANYONE.
January 11, 2006
Pressure is a hard thing to deal with. We hear about people bowing to political pressure all of the time. Blogs are a great source of applying pressure.
Sometimes elected officials must make unpopular decisions. Sometimes you have to put the taxpayer first.
This is the next in our series on the Racine Unified School District. I have done the unthinkable in the past and actually gone to School Board Meetings. Know what I see every time I am there? Someone begging for increases in the budget, or lobbying against this cut or that cut, usually trying to save their own skin.
I've never personally been witness to any of those requests being denied. The Deloitte report provides a couple of good examples:
- When it was decided that the WiggleWorks classroom learning system would no longer be used in the District, Central Office chose to eliminate the 15 persons who had been supporting it. The district was preparing to terminate these workers when the board stepped in and voted to keep them... These former WiggleWorks staff members are now doing "whatever their principals need" just to fill in their days. Their actual positions are no longer relevant, and their work has disappeared, but there is no way to terminate them and limited capacity to fully redeploy the.
- When it was decided that a handful of librarians throughout the District would be let go as part of another round of budget cuts, the full librarian staff attended the board meeting where this decision (among others) was reviewed and loudly lobbied for the cut positions. The Board agreed to their demands and the cut positions were restored.
I have witnessed this type of behavior myself. So what we have here are 19 staff positions with full benefits that could of been relieved from the budget but we are still paying for.
I've been downsized, it sucks. I feel for people who may find themselves jobless due to governmental budget cuts. Truth be told though most governmental cuts are managed by not replacing people when they leave or retire.
Sometimes you have to look people in the face, say I'm sorry but your services are no longer required. The Racine Unified School District lacks either the ability or the willingness to do that. Simply put, they bow to pressure way too easily.
This is the fundamental problem I have with the district. I am no where near convinced that they are using the money the have effectively, or that they are willing or able to make the difficult, but some times necessary, spending cuts.
Today the Journal Times announced the start of the push for this years referendum. (I announced it in November), same stuff as before, last year on the 2nd try they asked for one-year issue to get their act together. They got their one-year through shady fear tactics and by running it on its own in the summer with nothing else on the ballot. Now they are back with the same crap.
Oh by the way, that 5 million they just had to have last year, they have a 6 million surplus.
January 10, 2006
Apparently in opening statements the lawyers for two of the defendants (they did not say which two) are putting forth the defense that disruption and vandalism of RNC offices and equipment was a nation-wide orchestrated effort with as many as 75 persons participating.
We are supposed to believe the tire slashing was orchestrated and carried out by these persons, they have no idea who they are of course, and these poor kids had nothing to do with it.
You have got to be kidding me. The left has been so busy telling us there is no orchestrated effort at vote fraud/suppression, but now we are supposed to believe it. Of course all they have to do is get one nutball juror to believe it. If this is all they have, this is going to be great drama.
Here we have it folks, the brand new Vast Left-Wing Conspiracy Defense.
You could not make this stuff up if you tried.
UPDATE: The Congresswoman herself is now speaking. Her son is being put through this out of retribution for her being elected. HUH?!? Slime and blame, slime and blame that is the defense.
This guy's monumental ego is bugging me.
The title of his post: ME and Jessica McBride.
I'll post it below to show this egomaniacs over inflated opinion of himself, but the fact he is just had to mention himself first. To do so in capital letters kind of shows the monumental sense of self worth he expouses. Any polite person might of started his post, Jessica McBride and I or myself.
Ladies first Eugene, you have crummy matters.
Here is his post:
It's too bad the blogosphere can ruin a beautiful friendship. (Maybe you did that yourself)
I knew Jessica McBride - blogosphere queen and Waukesha Freeman columnist - pretty well when she worked at this newspaper for years.We used to talk a lot, went to lunch several times, met for drinks occasionally. (I wonder who bought? Also, I shall change the link on my site to reflect her royalty.)
Just a few years ago, she invited me to speak at her critical writing class at UW-Milwaukee. She also recommended me for a teaching job at the university. I'm teaching there again this year. (Well goodie for you)
I always liked Jessica, particularly her fearlessness in going to the central city to cover crime stories. But lately, we've fallen out.
Mainly because, after years of friendship, she slammed me (not by name) in her Media Matters blog recently, telling readers that I refused to mentor a young black male she took under her wing five years ago.
The guy ended up in prison. (And this matters why? Maybe if you had helped he might not of made it there.)
It was infuriating to hear her say because I didn't take her up on her offer, it meant I had somehow "forfeited" my right to write about troubled black youth. (You are forfeiting that yorself be completely missing the point all the time. Try responsibility now and again Eugene instead of playing the blame game.)
Jessica knows nothing about the black youth I have mentored or advised in 20 plus years in Milwaukee. I have written columns about some of them, successes and failures. (fair)
It was a condescending and naive comment, but then, that's Jessica. (And what exactly are YOU?!?)
Anyway, we've launched a blogosphere feud after my Sunday column in which I pointed out that today's Jessica McBride is decidely different in political attitudes than the woman I used to talk to regularly in the Journal Sentinel newsroom. Believe me, she was no conservative back then. (But you are still a liberal excuse monger aren't you?)
Here is Jessica's response to my column.
I told the blogosphere to "bring it on". Looks like the games have begun. (They certainly have Eugene, they certainly have.)
Eugene has chimed in today attempting to minimalize the tire slashing case by equating it somehow with Jim Crow southern efforts to suppress black votes in the past.
The thing is Eugene, the only one making this comparison I have heard is you. So what is it you are saying? Does your equating of this with something else mean immediately everyone else is attempting to draw your comparison? Absurd.
Answer this question Eugene. If this had been vandalism by primarily white youths on vans earmarked to help central city residents vote, would your take have been the same?
I seriously doubt it. This would of inspired 74 scathing columns from you demanding swift justice. In addition CNN would of moved their headquarters to Milwaukee demanding this terrible act be handled quicker and you both would of tried to add hate crimes on top of the current charges.
I am sure Louis Farakhan would of been here, as would of Jesse Jackson and Al Sharpton screaming about the racism in Milwaukee. God forbid two sons of white elected Republicans had been involved, you would of been screaming for their resignations and helping organize daily protests at their offices, and most likely their homes. Riots could have broken out from the justifiable furor that would of resulted from such actions.
However, when the shoe is on the other foot, you give us this, "It sounds like petty political mischief, but the potential penalties are serious: 3 1/2 years in prison and a $10,000 fine."
The double standards you spew forth are growing increasingly tiresome.
Do Milwaukee a favor.
A great service, but sometimes, I just do not get it.
Mon. Jan 9, 22 individual posts. Let's see, the obligatory weekly post on Feingold gaining Presidential momentum. Begging for stories of people without health insurance. Covering stuff I covered on Unified 5 days ago, free pub for SC Johnson, what exactly is a antaramian (hopefully the new dictionary will have that).
The usual stuff.
SUPREME COURT NOMINATION HEARINGS......
You might think someone would have an opinion to share on that.
Not nearly as important as the post office being out of 1 & 2 cent stamps I guess.
UPDATE: The JT chimed in this morning. Well sort of. A combo post of three items. This is what they had to say on Judge Alioto, ""It's possible you could talk me out of voting for you, but I doubt it." -- Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., to Samuel Alito at the confirmation hearing for the nominee to the Supreme Court."
That is it. Now, this was posted by the Web Editor. Out of all the crap yestedray, we published the Kennedy slander, Judge Grahm seeming to be pre-disposed is what they want comment on?
Did you guys hear Kennedy or Schumer or any of those other guys? Apparently no.
Rob, your leftie is showing. Bigtime.
How long ago was this guy nominated? You would think someone on the Judiciary Committee would have his name figured out.
Someone tell the Senator to retire please.
Judge Alioto at his hearings today said, "A judge can't have any agenda, a judge can't have any preferred outcome in any particular case, and a judge certainly doesn't have a client."
Apparently Judge Alioto has not yet read the Teddy Kennedy Handbook on Judicial Activism. You know the one where it says you are supposed to judge based on feeling rather than the actual law. The book that says who the client happens to be is much more important than prior decisions put forth by the court.
I seriously have one question. Can we please put Senators Reid and Kerry on the Judiciary? Then just about every really annoying blow-hard TV camera sucking Democrat in the Senate would be on there. Save room for Hillary, after she moves back to the left.
One thing I do like about these hearings. it is about the only time the Senior Senator from wisconsin shows us he still has a slight pulse.
So why did Senator Kennedy set me off today? He said this, "In an era when America is still too divided by race and riches, Judge "Alioto" has not written one single opinion on the merits in favor of a person of color alleging race discrimination on the job. In fifteen years on the bench, not one."
Either the Senator is stupid or a liar. Now we have the actual record of Judge Alioto. Not one civil rights case, but 12. Teddy, try the truth for once.
* In Zubi v. AT&T Corp., 219 F.3d 220 (3d Cir. 2000), Judge Alito dissented from the majority's holding that a man who claimed he was fired because of his race could not sue in federal court. According to Judge Alito, the plaintiff was entitled to sue because a longer statute of limitations applied. The Supreme Court later vindicated Judge Alito's dissent. See Jones v. Donnelly & Sons Co., 541 U.S. 369 (2004).
* In Goosby v. Johnson & Johnson Medical, Inc., 228 F.3d 313 (3d Cir. 2000), a race and sex discrimination case, Judge Alito reversed the district court's decision to grant summary judgment to the defendant employer. The Third Circuit ruled that the plaintiff, a black woman, had introduced enough evidence to call into doubt the employer's explanation for why she was given lower-quality assignments.
* In Smith v. Davis, 248 F.3d 249 (3d Cir. 2001), an African-American probation officer brought a claim of race and disability discrimination in violation of Title VII and the Americans with Disabilities Act. Judge Alito joined a unanimous decision to reverse the lower court's grant of summary judgment for the defendant employer.
* Judge Alito's dissent in Sheridan v. DuPont, 100 F.3d 1061 (3d Cir. 1996) (en banc), is a principled balancing of the interests of employees and employers, and the Supreme Court later vindicated it.
* Judge Alito interpreted the Supreme Court's holding in a previous case as requiring that a Title VII plaintiff who produces certain evidence i.e., that the employer's stated reason for the employment decision was false should "usually" but not necessarily "always" be permitted to go to trial.
* The Supreme Court agreed with Judge Alito's Sheridan dissent in Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Products, Inc., 530 U.S. 133 (2000). Reeves was a unanimous opinion signed by Justice O'Connor whose seat Judge Alito is poised to take.
* In Bray v. Marriott Hotels, 110 F.3d 986 (3d Cir. 1997), Judge Alito would have affirmed the trial court's ruling for the employer because the plaintiff, an African-American woman, had failed to meet her burden of proof under relevant Supreme Court precedent.
* Marriott explained that it promoted a white female instead of the plaintiff because the white female had a higher objective employee rating, had superior experience, and had participated in more seminars and training sessions.
* Judge Alito argued that discrimination claims of require evidence of actual discrimination, not just evidence that an employer failed to comply with its own internal procedures.
* Judge Alito has held that prosecutors' efforts to exclude African-Americans from juries is unconstitutional discrimination.
* In Jones v. Ryan, 987 F.2d 960 (3d Cir. 1993), an African-American defendant was convicted in Pennsylvania court of robbery and criminal conspiracy; at trial, the prosecutor used peremptory challenges to exclude three African-Americans from the jury. Judge Alito joined a unanimous opinion holding that the prosecutor had discriminated against the potential jurors on the basis of race, and granting the defendant habeas relief.
* In Brinson v. Vaughn, 398 F.3d 225 (3d Cir. 2005), an African-American defendant was convicted of first-degree murder in Pennsylvania court and sentenced to life in prison. The prosecutor had used 13 out of 14 peremptory challenges against African-American potential jurors, and Judge Alito held that this pattern raised an inference of discrimination.
Come now by rabid liberal friends, defend this kind of rhetoric. Tell me how Senator Kennedy is coming to this hearing with an open mind.
I wrote last week about how i was not all warm and gushy over Spiceblog like everyone else is.
What is the big blog story out there right now?
Eugene Kane vs Jessica McBride.
I'd list all the blogs that are talking about this, but I do not have time to input all of those links.
So where are the Spice Girls when the full furry of the Blogosphere turns on a fellow MJS employee?
I guess I should remind you of the mission of Spiceblog, "Journal Sentinel columnists Cary Spivak and Dan Bice trudge through the scores of local political blogs so you don’t have to. Here’s a peek at the good, the not-so-good, the truly offensive or the just sort of interesting."
I guess that is to trudge through everything that is not about a fellow MJS employee.
January 8, 2006
If a tree falls in the forest and nobody hears it, has it made a sound?
In a nutshell, that's what I think about most race-baiting liberal columnists.
The Media is overrun with race-baiting liberal columnists. These personal opinion columns are written by both amateur and professional journalists with an ax to grind or strong opinions they are dying to express. Many of them are read by only a small group of readers, sometimes just family or friends.
Despite the current hype over race-baiting liberal columnists taking on the blog authors - Blogosphere to many race-bating liberal columnists - I believe there's little chance that race-baiting liberal columnists will replace traditional forms of reporting and commentary. At least, not in the near future.
But yes, they are making an impact.
I started my "Real Debate Wisconsin" blog on blogger about 8 months ago, mainly out of desire to explore this new and exciting form of expression and counteract some of the rabid partisan constituency that dominates the race-baiting liberal columnists field.
Race-baiting liberal columnists are not equal opportunity complainers.
Race-baiting liberal columnists have gotten credit for forcing major newspapers and television stations to cover big political stories, such as the Clarence Thomas Confirmation Hearings, why the NAACP attacked George Bush during his 2000 presidential run, and the Main Stream Media’s flawed reporting on Louis Farrakhan’s allegations that explosions were set off in New Orleans to send flood waters away from affluent white neighborhoods.
The best thing about race-baiting liberal columnists is the slow manner in which they distribute opinion. If a person is beat to within an inch of his life by a loitering mob, race-baiting liberal columnists can weigh in on their opinion in days, weeks even.
Here in Milwaukee there's an active race-baiting liberal columnist community.
Some of it is a byproduct of left-wing racist radio, which makes reading those race-baiting liberal columnists akin to listening to four hours of our local blowhards rail against conservatives, County Executive Scott Walker, Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner, President George W. Bush and the other usual suspects.
It's my humble opinion that the best blogs - like mine at http://realdebatewisconsin.blogspot.com - don't rant and rave as much as refer readers to race-baiting liberal columnists and commentary from other sources.
Race-baiting liberal columnists are best when they are a clearinghouse for blame rather than a long-winded exercise in self-control and taking responsibility for one’s own actions.
Enough, I can take no more. I think the point is made. Eugene you ended your column "Bring it on". Are you sure you really want the full weight of the Cheddarsphere to go over every word you write? Be careful what you wish for.
First, what do they have now? RUSD's current package is a highly customized version of AMF LEAFS. I spent a long time in the computer training industry and I have never heard of this software. This package runs on an additionally outdated mainframe.
So what does this get us, much information must be double keyed, you got it, do the same thing twice. Payroll is spread across several different systems. The Deloitte report also mentions a DPI report that take some 400 hours of labor to produce on the current system.
This summer RUSD put out an RFP (request for proposal) for a new ERP system. This RFP was put out by a committee put together to deal with this specific issue.
The Deloitte report pointed out several issues dealing with the procurement of the new system.
- Many of the members of the ERP committee had no familiarity with ERP systems. As such these members have no idea of what functionality to look for in a new system.
- There is no business case for implementing the new ERP. This means there is no way to set goals or measure the success of this project.
- There is no comprehensive or viable plan for implementation.
The report identified six key elements towards the successful implementation of this sort of system. RUSD only has one of those elements covered.
We are talking about a 3 to 4 million dollar decision here, and we have people with no experience, and no goals making said decision. What they have done is identify a need and are going about providing that need blindly.
The public has been critical of RUSD in the past for spending too much money hiring consultants. (We will deal with the ongoing facilities study later). It seems clear that this need should of been identified many years ago and dealt with then. The district should of hired a consultant at that time to help them develop a plan and choose a system beneficial to their needs. How much mosy has been lost due to an outdated system that has for some time not fit the needs of the District? It boggles the mind.
According to the Deloitte report, the successful implementation of the right ERP system would have the following benefits:
- Improve customer service.
- Improve key cycle times.
- Improve the quality and decrease the time of data-driven decision making.
We would also add in the short run this type of investment could pay for itself by decreasing redundant work and helping to manage resources more efficiently.
The study warns, if the ERP is not successful - which is a significant risk given current plans for it - the District will find itself facing a community outcry over wasted investments and will continue to fall behind its peers.
The issue of the new ERP is but one example of a pattern we will see as this series delves deeper into the Racine Unified School District. As you read this here, and at the Texas Hold 'Em Blog keep in mind the patterns that develop.
We are up next with a situation in which the District maybe should of hired a consultant years ago, and failed to do so.