April 7, 2007
If it weren't for the roof, I am sure the Brewers would be adding to those cold weather cancellations. Maybe that wouldn't be a bad thing consider how they have faired against the Cubs.
An iPod for every kid? Are they !#$!ing idiots?
The Detroit News
We have come to the conclusion that the crisis Michigan faces is not a shortage of revenue, but an excess of idiocy. Facing a budget deficit that has passed the $1 billion mark, House Democrats Thursday offered a spending plan that would buy a MP3 player or iPod for every school child in Michigan.
No cost estimate was attached to their hare-brained idea to "invest" in education. Details, we are promised, will follow.
The Democrats, led by their increasingly erratic speaker Andy Dillon of Redford Township, also pledge $100 million to make better downtowns.
Their plan goes beyond cluelessness. Democrats are either entirely indifferent to the idea that extreme hard times demand extreme belt tightening, or they are bone stupid. We lean toward the latter.
We say that because the House plan also keeps alive, again without specifics, the promise of tax hikes.
The range of options, according to Rep. Steve Tobocman, D-Detroit, includes raising the income tax, levying a 6 percent tax on some services, and taxing junk food and soda.
We wonder how financially strained Michigan residents will feel about paying higher taxes to buy someone else's kid an iPod.
That they would include such frivolity in a crisis budget plan indicates how tough it will be to bring real spending reform to Michigan.
Senate Republicans issued a plan a week ago that eliminates the deficit with hard spending cuts. Now their leader, Mike Bishop of Rochester Hills, is sounding wobbly, suggesting he might compromise on a tax hike.
We hope Bishop is reading the polls that say three-quarters of Michigan residents oppose higher taxes.
There are few things in the House budget outline from which to forge a compromise.
For example, Dillon says he would shift the burden of business taxes to companies that operate in Michigan, but don't have a facility here. The certain outcome of that plan is to drive even more businesses out of Michigan.
About all we see of merit is a call for government consolidation and a demand that state employees contribute more to their retirement benefits -- which is no more than House Democrats suggested for future state lawmakers a few weeks ago.
We find it ironic that the Democrats are proposing floating $5 billion in revenue bonds to pay for retiree health care, when Gov. Jennifer Granholm vetoed a nearly identical plan by Oakland County because it would cost the state money.
Instead of advocating cost-saving changes in public school teacher pension and health plans, Dillon suggests more study. There have been plenty of studies of the issue, with the conclusion being that hundreds of millions of dollars could be saved through reforms. Michigan needs action, not more study committees.
Dillon also proposes that the state cover 50 percent of the cost of catastrophic health insurance for everyone in the place, but once again doesn't specify a funding source.
Stop the stupidity. Michigan can't tax or spend its way out of this economic catastrophe.
The only responsible option is to bring spending in line with current revenues. The mission must be to expand the tax base, rather than to expand taxes, by crafting a budget that encourages growth.
We won't get there by wasting money on early Christmas presents for Michigan kids.
April 6, 2007
The batch we had was not in the recall but if you would like to check for yourself here is a link to the manufacturer's website where all batch UPCs are listed.
I wonder how long it will be until the Kibbles 'n Bits lobby demands legislative action?
Here is the money quote from the Journal Times story: The two-year referendum, which officials said will meet the district’s basic needs, designed to allow the district to develop a long-term comprehensive plan to address outstanding issues, such as instructional achievement, elementary boundaries, space utilization, facility maintenance and finances.
Every year with every new referendum this is what we hear, it will give us the time to develop the plan....
Every year same horrid results no plan.
Every year the same hand out saying more time more money.
Every year the same broken promises.
Every year no actual accountability.
Every year people don't care enough to go to the polls and defeat this garbage.
This will take Supernintendo Hicks' 5 year plan into the 8 year range. Another generation of children failed and we still need time to come up with a plan.
HOW CAN THERE NOT BE A PLAN?
HOW CAN AN ORGANIZATION THAT ALREADY SPENDS OVER A QUARTER BILLION DOLLARS A YEAR OF TAXPAYER MONEY NOT HAVE A !#^&!*)^#!&*) FINANCIAL PLAN OR A PLAN OF ACADEMIC ACHIEVEMENT?!?
The Partners for Progress people have not done a thing to improve this district, some progress. I'm sure Jeff Neubauer is proud.
And here we are with the June 12 date again. This district refuses to put a measure on the ballot in April or November when more people get out to vote. Cowards. In fact they waited until after Tuesday's election to see how other referenda fared to figure out what they could get away with!
There was a bill put in front of the Governor to prevent this sort of thing, he vetoed it of course.
So now we are at the same point. If you draw a line in the sand and say no more you will be vilified as being against children.
If we give them this money they will come back again and promise a plan again and not deliver.
They did once and the school board ignored them scaring the kids saying they had to cut the $1.5 million it took them to put on athletics, then the district went out and spent over $1.5 million on consultants.
For what? All that money on consultants and the RUSD board still does not have a plan, just ask them they'll tell you.
April 5, 2007
People on completely unrelated topics would put in their little I hope you get your butt kicked comments, many were flat out vulgar.
Frankly this is not the place, when I had those comments I deleted them and banned the posters.
I had another one today, milder but still an attack, I deleted it.
We talk about issues here in which some times people get passionate. We do not, nor will we ever condone personal attacks here. I have admonished regular posters left and right when they have gotten out of hand, I try to apply this right down the middle.
Consider this a final warning. I am releasing all the bans I have, all are welcome to comment.
However, keep it on topic and if you take it personal I'll delete the comment and ban the poster.
This is my website, your freedom of speech ends when you take it nasty against myself or the guests of my website.
She speaks in Syria and tells their government Israel is ready for peace talks....
Of course she leaves out the disclaimer, as long as Syria is ready to denounce Hezbollah and Hamas. Israel did not seem to be amused by her omission.
Today she is in Saudi Arabia, what is she going to tell them? Our people really want to pay $120 for a barrel of oil.
The Speaker of the House can take all the fact finding trips she wants (tax payer funded see the world plan), but she is not supposed to be conducting foreign policy that falls under the purview of the State Department.
She should come home and resume breaking her campaign promises on our soil.
How is that more inclusive congress coming anyway Nancy?
UPDATE: The Jerusulem Post.
The Prime Minister's Office issued a rare "clarification" Wednesday that, in gentle diplomatic terms, contradicted US Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi's statement in Damascus that she had brought a message from Israel about a willingness to engage in peace talks.
According to the statement, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert emphasized in his meeting with Pelosi on Sunday that "although Israel is interested in peace with Syria, that country continues to be part of the Axis of Evil and a force that encourages terror in the entire Middle East."
Olmert, the statement clarified, told Pelosi that Syria's sincerity about a genuine peace with Israel would be judged by its willingness to "cease its support of terror, cease its sponsoring of the Hamas and Islamic Jihad organizations, refrain from providing weapons to Hizbullah and bringing about the destabilizing of Lebanon, cease its support of terror in Iraq, and relinquish the strategic ties it is building with the extremist regime in Iran."
The statement said Olmert had not communicated to Pelosi any change in Israeli policy on Damascus.
Pelosi, who met in Damascus with Syrian President Bashar Assad over the objections of US President George W. Bush, said she brought a message to Assad from Olmert saying that Israel was ready for peace talks.
"We were very pleased with the reassurances we received from the president [Assad] that he was ready to resume the peace process. He was ready to engage in negotiations for peace with Israel," Pelosi said after meeting Assad.
April 4, 2007
April 3, 2007
**Wisconsin had a huge win tonight in electing Annette Ziegler. We now have a justice who will not legislate but interpret the law. Clifford would have been a nightmare.
**Congratulations to Bill McReynolds, Racine County is in good hands.
**Big referendums went down, good for the taxpayers, RUSD were you watching?
**Speaking of RUSD, the shadow 527 Partners for Progress flooded registered voters with mail for the hand picked WEAC slate, they won again. A loss for honest grass roots politics.
** Terry McCarthy lost to Pete Karas by 3 votes. Very nice try Terry, congratulations Pete.
Two questions come to mind which challenges the validity of the this story and/or Mr. Moore's feelings.
1. How did the Journal Times know about this story before it actually happened?
2. Is Mr. Moore sincere or is he, in conjunction with the RJT and RUSD, greasing the skids for the security referendum?
Mr. Moore may have a point with keeping tabs on the numerous amount of people going in and out of school to vote. However, with the questions I have about this story, I think this is little more than propaganda.
I cannot recall when the last time was teachers were thanked by the school board. While I am pretty sure this is legal, the timing of this letter smacks of sucking up to probable voters.
April 2, 2007
A man argues that a $50,000 insurance claim on his wife is alive as long as he continues to appeal his conviction for her murder in 2001.
By Paul Gustafson, Star Tribune
Last update: April 01, 2007 – 9:41 PM
A few weeks before he murdered his wife in December 2001, Ronald Cram was seen by a neighbor storming out of his St. Paul home and yelling, "I should just kill you and collect the insurance money!"
More than five years later, Cram is trying to collect on his wife Colleen's life insurance policy -- even though he has since been convicted of murdering her.
Minnesota law prohibits anyone convicted of intentionally killing someone from collecting on their benefits. But Cram has kept his hopes alive, and prevented anyone else from getting the $50,000 in insurance money, by arguing that his conviction isn't final so long as he continues to appeal it.
A hearing in the dispute is scheduled April 27 before Ramsey County District Judge Steven Wheeler.
Meanwhile, Cram's quest to collect on his murdered wife's life insurance policy puts him in notorious company.
A similar insurance claim was made -- unsuccessfully -- by St. Paul attorney T. Eugene Thompson, who was convicted of hiring men to kill his wife in 1963 in one of Minnesota's most celebrated murder cases.
Cram's legal battle, and the notion that he just might succeed, is upsetting Colleen Cram's family.
"How can he kill somebody, and then have a right to $50,000 in life insurance? I mean, that's not right. That's crazy," said Marcella Konietzko of Ham Lake, Colleen's 82-year-old mother.
"He killed her. Why doesn't he leave her alone now?"
Tom Cunningham, Colleen's brother, said he's not sure what motivates Ronald Cram but wonders if he's simply trying to be vindictive.
"Sometimes I think he is just trying to stretch this out so nobody gets anything," said Cunningham, of Lake Elmo.
Clark Thurn, an attorney representing Cram in his life insurance claim, did not return calls seeking comment.
As for my endorsements, Rob Jankowski will be new to the school board and is bringing some new ideas with him. He supports upgrading technology, which is an area that RUSD lacks behind many other southeastern Wisconsin school districts. Jankowski also wants to demonstrate fiscal responsibility and need before going to the taxpayers for more money. He is also the father of two future RUSD students and wants them to have a great school system when they enter. Jankowski's motives appear to be above board and he seemingly will not be a rubber stamp for Dr. Hicks. Both are pluses in my book.
Juile McKenna is a strong incumbent to the board. She has quietly questioned district decisions and is not a voter in the RAMAC/SCJ party. This quote by McKenna really speaks volumes as to her commitment to better schools. In it she wants to "remind the staff and students (what) they can do regardless of their gender, race, economic position or circumstances in life." This is a piece the race baiters in the community fail to acknowledge. I also appreciate McKenna's choice to wait on redistricting until the Supreme Court decides on the cases in Seattle and Louisville. It is the first prudent wait-and-see measure in this ongoing saga.
The other three candidates take me back to Brewster's Millions and the "None of the Above" campaign. Norris Johnson is obsessed with racial quotas all over the board and in the schools. Bill Van Atta appears to be another clone from the Johnson's Wax laboratories. Susan Kutz is a notorious rubber stamp and enjoys the fact that her governing authority was neutered through policy governance. Adding to the negatives for Kutz and Van Atta is that they are endorsed by the REA. So I guess if forced to pick a third it would be Johnson solely because the union didn't pick him.
The Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel has a concise piece covering all the candidates. How odd that the Racine paper doesn't offer the same, objective type of coverage.
April 1, 2007
What is $50,000,000?
UPDATE: Kurt Cobain earned $50,000,000 last year making him the highest earning dead celebrity.
Cobain overtook Elvis Presley for the number 1 spot.