October 27, 2007

Thought of the week.

If the best things in life are free.

Can I have your big screen TV?

The Rangel tax.

Charles Rangel is recommending moving the top tax rate from 35% to 44% (expiration of the Bush tax cuts plus 4%).

44% tax before a state tax is ever paid.

In Wisconsin this would take the effective tax rate for persons earning more than $150,000 a year to about 56.5%.

That figure does not even include any consumption taxes.

The government helping itself to the majority of many persons earnings is just wrong in my view.

To my liberal readers I have a serious question.

How much is enough?

I'm serious about this. How much would you consider too much of someones earnings to take?

October 26, 2007

Guess the number game

$822,384

Bruce nailed it:

Political donations thus far, by Wisconsin republicans to republican candidates, in the 2008 presidential campaign.

(Roughly $ 95K more than Wisconsin democrats have raised to date.Source: Federal Election Commission)

He is absolutely correct. Who knew that Wisconsin citizens had given so much more to Republicans than Democrats? For a county by county breakdown click this.

This is a phenomina that is not just limited to Wisconsin. Check out the whole country here.

Now you simply can not argue that as a whole Dems are doing a better job of raising money nationally.

However, why has this story not been told in Wisconsin? I guess it just does not fit the MSM template.

When will the nanny state stop?

This from Salt Lake.

Liquor control commissioner Bobbie Coray asked her colleagues on Wednesday to consider a rule to cover up bottles of booze displayed at restaurants because some diners may be offended at the sight of alcohol.

Commissioner, if people are offended at the site of alcohol I'd suggest three words for you to tell them, GET OVER IT.

Around and around.

Doyle builds KRM without funding source

The details on Jim Doyle's Frankenstein vetoes are coming out.

Jim Doyle has added $800,000 for preliminary engineering on the idiotic KRM rail proposal.

The budget had language that the Department of Transportation could request that money if a funding source was agreed upon and signed into law by the Governor.

The Governor vetoed that part of the language allowing the DOT to go ahead and request and spend those funds now, even though there is no funding mechanism in place.

So we are so flushed with money the Governor is spending 800 grand on a project that does not exist.

I'm so freaking angry about this I just do not know what to say. This is exactly the kind of thing I was referring to in my budget post the other day.

Read it for yourself. It was so important that it was the absolute last item mentioned in this 45 page report about his vetoes.

The whole document is a fascinating read where Doyle hands out favors for the road builders, adds taxes to moist snuff, helps the monopoly of liquor distributors and of course the state employee unions (Dutiful thugs that they are) and the UW system.

This from a reader, The Johnson Wax Tax

Who asked to remain anonmymous.


I heard SC Johnson is ready to announce their new “Johnson Tax Wax.” A thin coat of this revolutionary new product will allow any tax to slip right by taxpayers. What taxpayer could possibly oppose a carnauba enhanced shiny new tax?

Designed to meet the needs of today’s new taxes, Johnson Tax Wax can also be applied to any government budget, making the numbers 20% slipperier.

The Racine-based company is so excited about the future of their new tax applications, they have changed the name of the company to “Johnson Wax and Tax.”

Also in development: “Corporate Tax OFF” which can protect a corporation from increased taxes while they push to tax citizens. This exciting new product has already proved successful in clinical trials using $98 million in Combined Reporting Corporate Taxes. The company was able to successfully lower their own taxes while waxing up the KRM tax for everyone else.

Vos release on Doyle veto pen.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For Further Information Contact: October 25, 2007 Rep. Robin Vos (R-Caledonia) (608) 266 9171


DOYLE USES FRANKENSTEIN VETO TO DELIVER HALLOWEEN TRICK TO TAXPAYERS

Madison…Governor Doyle used his veto pen today to tell Wisconsin’s property tax payers that they’re still not paying enough, according to Representative Robin Vos (R-Caledonia). A veto message delivered by the Governor this morning contained provisions that allow local units of government to collect almost double the amount in taxes they would have been allowed under the budget compromise passed Tuesday by the full Legislature.

“This is nothing but a Halloween trick given to the Wisconsin taxpayers through the use of Governor Doyle’s powerful veto pen,” said Vos. “It’s clear that Governor Doyle will stop at nothing to continue reaching into the pockets of Wisconsinites.”

The budget bill, as approved by Doyle, will allow municipalities to almost double the amount they are allowed to levy in taxes in 2007. Instead of being capped at a 2% increase, they will be allowed to set their levies at 3.86% or at the percentage change in tax base due to net new construction – whichever is higher.

Additionally, Doyle vetoed provisions that the Legislature agreed to regarding levy limits placed on technical college districts. Currently, unelected tech college boards can raise taxes as much as they deem necessary when setting their budgets. Republicans on the Conference Committee fought for this measure to protect taxpayers from runaway spending by tech colleges.

“It’s unfortunate that Governor Doyle has chosen to turn a blind eye on this important part of the compromise,” said Vos. “Republicans have spent months fighting for the taxpayer and the Governor wiped out the most important protection with a stroke of his pen.

Crazy Skills

Bill takes on the truthers.

October 25, 2007

Official 24 season 7 trailer (uploaded by heroes-tv.nl)

Jack'll be back before you know it.

Point to ponder.

While everyone is pontificating on how warm October has been...

You may not have noticed that our Hurricane level this year is slightly above the record low.

I wonder why one is so important and the other one is not so important?

Oh well. Happy Thursday everyone.

If you are Michael McGee Jackson Jr.

You are not happy about this.

Budget theft.

The Journal Sentinel has a good article today on the theft of millions of dollars from the Injured Patients and Families Compensation Fund.

Not only is this likely illegal, it will also result in higher medical costs.

Yeah Democrats raising health care costs again, they'll keep making things worse until they get universal health care.

The Journal's criticism of the theft and waste in the budget has been excellent. If only they had been doing this level of reporting while they were shouting how important is was to pass this horrible budget.

Caption This


October 24, 2007

Whirlyball!

Posturing.

Democrats have spent the day blaming the California fires on their usual suspects: global warming, Bush, Iraq.

Now we hear it is likely arson.

What is with these people that they have to turn EVERYTHING into a political attack, if they any evidence to back it up or not.

Shameless.

They get less ethical every single day.

A Leadership Position in Politics--It's a Guy Thing

Note I didn't say "Leadership is a Guy Thing", I said "Leadership Position." Big difference. O'k, I'm ready for all sorts of criticism from my "women can do anything they want to" friends. But just give me a few paragraphs to make my point.

Politics--more than business--is predominantly run by men. I never had a problem with that, myself. Coming from the private sector in a profession overwhelmingly dominated by men, I had to learn early what makes men tick. (Now, I'm focusing on how they tick at work, mind you, not how I get my husband to do things around the house he doesn't want to do.) If women pick up on these things early in their careers rather than later, they stand to gain quite a bit more professional success.

See, like it or not, men and women are different. I've tried to help my female colleagues both in the legislature and in the workplace understand that simple yet often dismissed point. Women take great pride in being thoughtful, deliberate, and--as my dear friend former Senator Mary Panzer used to say, pragmatic. And here is where we make our mistakes.

To men, everything is a contest. I am reminded of that fact as I came home from dinner tonight with my husband, and we were both trying to read a billboard before the other. (Yes, this is how we entertain ourselves after nearly 20 years together...)

Men want to win. They don't pride themselves on being "bridge-builders", unless they're literally building a bridge. Men don't speak in soft generalities laden with gentleness--unless they're political men-- and that's only in public when their audience is comprised of voting women. Behind closed doors, men relate best to shortly worded battle plans and realistic measurable goals. They don't stay up at night worrying about what the opposition will "feel" about them.

That brings me to the latest development among Senate Democrats and their unceremonious ousting of Judy Robson as their fearless leader. Now I'm one of many who were puzzled when they chose Judy as their minority leader post-Chuck Chvala. While he crossed several legal and ethical lines during his battles, I am quite sure Chuck didn't stay up at night wondering if he hurt someone's "feelings." I know that one from personal experience. So, when Chuck went off to prison, for some reason the senate dems chose Judy Robson of Beloit to fill his shoes.

Judy, a former nurse--and never did she let us forget it during her floor speeches--is the classic example of what goes wrong when you try to lead men and don't speak to them in their own language. Judy was notorious for her long, rambling, hyperbolic speeches that often went far astray from the main point of whatever bill we were debating. She'd always jump to inflammatory, often outrageous statements peppered with so many "uhs" and "and ums" that they would stretch each speech out another 10 minutes or so.

You men out there know how maddening that is. Like when your wife goes on and on and on about something and never seems to get to the point of her story and you just want to pull your hair out of your head? Instead you nod your head absently, silently strategizing your next day at work or thinking about what time the ball game starts.....(BTW: I know my husband is always paying attention to me.)

Well, I can only imagine how the dem caucuses must have been. I can picture the guys with their faces buried behind their newspapers exchanging exasperated glances wondering when she would get to the point: what is our plan to out-maneuver and defeat the republicans?

Like my good friend Mary Panzer before her, she learned too late that she wasn't speaking a language understandable by her male colleagues. You have only to look at the group of real players in the budget this time around: Mike Huebsch, Jim Doyle, and Jim Kreuser. Heck, Kreuser was the MINORITY leader in the Assembly and even HE had a seat at the table!

Yes, ladies, there are ways and times we can use our femininity to our advantages--like asking for men's opinions so they take ownership in whatever conclusion we've already come to. Smiling and nodding in agreement knowing that we'll get our way later, we just need to be patient. These are the only secrets I'll reveal here, however, otherwise I'm just betraying my "sisters."

Unfortunately for Judy Robson, the guys left her in their dust this time. While she was wallowing they were executing. The Senate dems were right to grow impatient with her.

Hopefully the rest of us will learn from her mistakes. And if you're thinking of a nice Christmas gift for Judy, how about "The Art of War" by Sun Tzu? A must-read for any woman who wants to have a "leadership position" in a man's world.

California Fires Open Thread


This whole budget deal ain't over yet.

Yes, both houses voted for the budget yesterday.

Conservatives are furious over tax increases, spending growing like crazy and stupid pork projects all over the place.

Liberals are furious that we did not raise spending and taxes enough and are threatening throwing Aunt Judy out of her leadership role in the Senate for failing to increase taxes enough.

For the record, I do really hope the Democrats are honest enough to run for office on a platform that the EVIL Republicans will not let them raise taxes enough.

So now the real budget negotiations begin. Right now in Jim Doyle's office his team is hard at work pouring over every line in the budget to see where he can line out a comma or cross out a . somewhere to increase taxes and spending further.

The union thugs and the special interests are hard at work pushing him to do just that. This came in to MATC today:

** ACTION ALERT** STATE BUDGET UPDATE

The Senate and Assembly passed a budget yesterday. Wisconsin is no longer the only state without a budget. It passed 18-15 along party lines in the Democratic Senate, and 60-39 in the Republican Assembly where each side of the isle attained votes from the other side.

IT'S NOT OVER:MATC took a hit when the Assembly inserted a 4% limit on property tax levies for technical colleges. This will leave a $3.7 million hole in our budget. MATC already receives almost $7 million less from the state than in did in 2000. Classes, sections, positions and entire programs could be eliminated.But Governor Doyle could fix this.

Governor Dolye was never a supporter of this measure and advocated for us by opposing such language during budget negotiations. He has vetoed tech college property tax levy caps in the past.

Now, we need him to use his line-item veto power to delete the tax levy limit for technical colleges from the budget.

Please contact the Governor's office and thank him for his advocacy for the WTCS, and URGE HIM TO VETO THE TAX LEVY LIMITS ON TECHNICAL COLLEGES!!!

GOOD BUDGET NEWS:-WTCS will receive an additional 3 million dollars for workforce development-WTCS will receive 14 million dollars for Veterans' Tuition remission

CONTACT THE GOVERNOR'S OFFICE

Just the first of many requests to the Governor I am sure encouraging him to use his veto pen to magically add spending and taxes my friends.

How dare anyone tell a technical school board, and their unelected representatives, how much they can raise your taxes! How dare them indeed.

I have feared a setup from the Governor ever since he came up with his revised budget. This Governor is so brazen that I am sure he would insert language that he could later line item veto in order to gain what he wanted in the first place.

Remember the last budget cycle when Jim Doyle's special veto pen magically added $400,000,000 + in education spending? I do. How do you take something out of the budget and increase spending at the same time? That Jim Doyle is some kind of math magician.

Mark my words folks by the time Doyle is done with his Frankenstein veto pen this budget will grow. The only questions are how much, and how much of a pass the media will give him.

Update: The Dems dumped Aunt Judy. Poor Aunt Judy fired for not raising taxes enough.

I wish I had said that...

I contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle. - Winston Churchill

October 23, 2007

Dude, chuck this at that bratwurst....

Racing sausage assaulted at Checkers

Some Blogger....

Assembly Hack from Kenosha Jim Kreueser in conference committee yesterday: "The scare tactics on KRM boggle my mind. When you have someone from SC Johnson wanting this and some people said I can't do this because some blogger was saying this was a bad idea I find that mind boggling."

Please excuse "some blogger" for trying to input some actual facts on the problems with this plan. I'd be happy to debate someone from SC Johnson and Jim Kreueser on this issue at any time any where.

"Some blogger", when the Journal Times references me I get "an area blogger"

Something tells me Jim Kreueser will not be on "some blogger's" Christmas card list.

(someone tell Kreueser some blogger suggests he considers some facts)

If you would like to hear this yourself, click this link and listen in at the 26:30 mark.

Oh, by the way, he is calling for a boycott against an area business at the 25:40 mark on this audio. Nice way to improve the business climate Jim!

What a putz.

Remember the Judge who filed the $54 million lawsuit over a pair of pants?


Ron Paul is #1 in Iowa.

Those crazy Paul folks have lifted Ron Paul to another #1 position in a poll.

This time: Which candidates have you ruled out? Paul came in with 71% of respondents saying they in no way would vote for him.

Paul still has some room to grow, on the Democrat side Mike Gravel came in at 76% with everyone's favorite little candidate Dennis Kucinich close behind at 75%.

Interestingly Rudy showed up at 48% and Hillary at 41%.

See the whole thing.

Opportunity


October 22, 2007

Rail good..... Why do people want KRM anyway?

Among the more memorable events from my run for Alderman was a noon debate sponsored by the Racine Taxpayers Association. Among the participants was Racine Alderman Pete Karas.

When the question came around concerning the KRM rail project Pete explained the process by which he makes decisions. He is a green party guy so the first thing Pete considers is environmental impact of the policy in front of him.

Pete is a staunch supporter of mass transit so he supported KRM.

Transit = good for environment = good. Pete's logic was very simple.

I know Pete, I like Pete, you know where you stand with Pete. I do not write this to make fun of Pete but I find his decision making process illustrative of KRM proponents.

The fact of the matter is the KRM rail project was an exceedingly bad plan. As such the question I asked myself on this was a bit more complex, no rail plan or a bad rail plan. I decided doing it badly was much worse than doing nothing.

We had two posts on this subject over the last four days. The first of those posts was very long and had lots of detailed information on the project. That post had no comments. The second post, a very short one titled KRM is dead was very busy with 27 comments.

I have not seen proponents of the plan issue any defense at all of the issues critics have raised. The response is very Pete-esque on the issue. "well I support it"

Look, if you are going to do something, do it right.

Serious issues involved in the project include the following:

Ridership - The plan projects ridership to an average 320 people per train. Revenue projections rely on those ridership projections. Due to the number being so artificially high, revenue would undoubtedly fall short.

Airport - Every decent rail plan in this country includes service to the local airport. Proponents ignored Mitchell Field for a reason, money. The existing rail lines proposed for use are not convenient to the airport so they simply ignored it. The following is a list of major light rail projects that ignore the regional airport.
____________
____________
____________

Inflation / Economy - The proposed funding mechanism, a 650% increase in rental car fees, did not account for the impact of inflation or a possible downturn in the car rental business. (both things that can and have occurred) When you also take into account the over inflated revenue projections there are serious concerns that the proposed tax would have fallen far short of generating the needed funds.

More Taxes - The dirty little secret of the transit pimps pushing this project is they knew that the funding source would not be sufficient and additional taxes would be required in the future.

Other Transit Funding - KRM would have diverted 23% of transit funding across the state to itself, including Kenosha and Racine. Yes, Racine pundits local buses would have had a funding cut due to the train of 23%.

Duplication of Services - The Amtrak Hiawatha train has stops in Milwaukee and Racine. The METRA stops in Kenosha. Coach Lines has bus service running all day that mimics the proposed train route. You can catch the bus to Kenosha then take the train to Chicago. You can ride the bus from Kenosha to Milwaukee with numerous stops in between. What exactly would the KRM rail line add that does not already exist?

Regional Cooperation - The three county region never did work out the kinks in this plan before submitting it for funding. The Milwaukee County Board and the Milwaukee Common Council were still having power fights over who would be in charge. Should not the region have been in agreement on the plan BEFORE funding it?

Yeah, I know I should not be throwing facts into what for some people is simply an emotional issue but in my estimation these issues needed to cleared and resolved before they were taken up by the legislature.

To the proponents in Racine this project was all about a hope for economic development. In my opinion those hopes were hollow. People will not locate here for a train when we have serious issues with unemployment, high taxes, education and crime. Those issues need to be corrected first before you can have any serious hope for economic development. The train stop might have lured in a Starbucks. A busy dry cleaner can lure a Starbucks.

I'm all for debate on a decent transit plan. A plan that has realistic ridership, tax and revenue projections. A plan that includes the airport and offers a realistic opportunity for expansion should that expansion make sense.

Duplicating services we already have for a price tag as large as this never made sense to me. The big question I have is why the people in favor of this plan would never answer the types of questions we have been asking here.

Go ahead, drive to Kenosha, better yet take the Coach bus to Kenosha and hop on the train to Chicago there. If you are in a hurry go on and take the Amtrak. Need to go to Milwaukee; hop the Coach Line going the other way.

Do we really need to spend hundreds of millions of dollars for a bad plan?

To the proponents, I know you'll be back. Next time try and do it right.

MRQ. The Dumbeldore's WHAT? Edition

The lovely Mrs. RealDebate. Silent E.

teat-sucking squealers Steve.

Violate first, ask questions later! Phelony (in an email no less)

I'm waiting for someone to Blame Bush. Cathy Stepp.

Dan Deibert's severance from Clear Channel... Conrad.

Wearing a tie at a union rally is like wearing a Boy Scout uniform at Neverland Ranch. Christian.

I went in and out three times. Lance.

There was still money in the budget after buying plasma TVs for the bathrooms… Aaron. (Hey everybody Aaron said something Aaron like!)

What in the world “Twitter” is for? Dan.

I am satisfied. Kathy.

Before long they'll have us burning our food stock to 'save the planet.' Oh, wait... Still Unreal.

Wouldn’t you like to four-score with me? Fuzz.

Waffle House brawl Owen.

Chuck Norris doesn't cut his grass. He just stares at it and dares it to grow. Peter

Think Mayor Larry’s sprinkling ban is hard? Huck D
(hey, I kinda like that!)

Everyone knows Bert and Ernie were totally foolin' around together over on Sesame Street. Ally

Bert and Ernie were NOT gay. They were just two grown men living together with a Rubber Duckie. Jeez. Elliot

If someone announced they were gay and nobody made a big stinking deal about it, would they still be gay? Phel

I'm guessing his friends declined to comment because they were laughing too hard. Jib

Fred is obviously still upset with me. Nick

KRM is dead again.

KRM was resurrected, it has been voted down for the seven thousandth time.

Someone throw some dirt on this turkey and bury it for good.

I'll have an extended post up on this later tonight.

Nobel Winner Says Sept. 11 Attacks Not So Bad

MADRID, Spain (AP) - Nobel laureate Doris Lessing said the Sept. 11 attacks in the United States were "not that terrible" when compared to attacks by the IRA in Britain.

"September 11 was terrible, but if one goes back over the history of the IRA, what happened to the Americans wasn't that terrible," the Nobel Literature Prize winner told the leading Spanish daily El Pais.

She'll be contributing on Folkbum by Thursday.

Caption This.


Chuck Norris says.




Election over.

Climate Change - Is CO2 the cause?- pt 4

Stossel- GMAB - Al Gore Global Warming Myth

HamNation: Election Depression Hurts

Journal Times on Cathy Stepp

The Racine Journal Times has a nice article on our very own Cathy Stepp and why she stepped up to be co-chair of Rudy Wisconsin.

A Rudy supporter shows her true colors

Cathy Stepp couldn’t turn down the opportunity when Rudy Giuliani’s campaign called her name

By JANINE ANDERSONJ
ournal Times
Sunday, October 21, 2007 11:44 PM CDT

YORKVILLE — When Cathy Stepp bowed out of state politics, she didn’t have her sights set on something bigger.

She planned to stay home, to be a wife and mother first. She had spent four years in Madison as a state senator, and she was ready to put family first.

But when Rudy Giuliani’s campaign came calling, she couldn’t say no.“You never think a candidate for the presidency is going to think of you,” she said. “People at the national level knew I was staying home with the kids. I think that’s why they called.”

Stepp is co-chair of Giuliani’s state campaign, a job she shares with Scott Klug. Former Sen. Bob Kasten is the campaign’s state chairman.

She said she hadn’t been looking to get involved with the campaign when they called and asked her if she was interested in working with them.“It was important for them to reach out to the conservative core of the party and to have a woman,” she said. “I fit both of those.”

But she didn’t sign on right away.“I researched all his positions,” she said. “I have a friend from the Freddie Mac board who went to grade school with Rudy. I called him up and said ‘What’s he like as a person?’ ”Eventually, Stepp made the decision to get behind Giuliani, and accepted the spot with his state campaign.Her tap by the Giuliani campaign fits in with her political history.

Raised in Oak Creek, Stepp said she attended the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and UW-Milwaukee. She and her husband ran a home construction business, and through that she got involved with the local builder’s association. President George W. Bush appointed her to the Freddie Mac Board of Directors and Tommy Thompson appointed her to the Natural Resources Board, a citizens’ group that sets policy for the Department of Natural Resources. From there she caught the eye of state legislators.

Stepp said she laughed the first time someone suggested she run for the State Senate. She kept laughing through the next several suggestions, and only started seriously considering it when Thompson suggested it.“When Tommy calls, you pay attention,” she said.

She beat incumbent Kim Plache in 2002, and served only one term before bowing out of politics in 2006.

Now, with Giuliani, she’s back.

Giuliani has generated some early buzz that he’s too much of a moderate to really carry the conservative base of the party. Stepp, known for her conservatism, said she found plenty to like about him, particularly his stance on national security and her belief that he would appoint the kinds of federal judges she could support.“To me, I think Rudy fits the needs of a social conservative,” she said. “I’m widely viewed as a strict conservative. The base votes on who endorsements come from. I really believe this is the wise choice for our party going forward.”

When the Giuliani campaign asked for such public support, she took it seriously. She looked at what Giuliani stood for and checked to see that it matched her beliefs. She knew, especially locally, that her support could make a difference.

But she’s also confident in her candidate.“I feel (the conservative core) will come along,” she said. “Look at the alternative.”Stepp said ultimately, it came down to whether or not she thought Giuliani could make it through November 2008.“

It’s really, ‘Who do I think can win the general election,’ ” she said.With Hillary Clinton leading the Democratic race, Stepp wanted to support someone who could meet that challenge from the Democrats.“

Only Rudy can turn some of those blue states to red states,” she said. “He puts other states in play — New York, California. I think a great deal will depend on who he chooses as his running mate. It’s the ticket you end up voting for.”

MRQ of the week

Congratulations to Elliot for winning MRQ of the week! This was an exceedingly close poll, everyone was within a point. My guess is Elliot's bartender cast the deciding vote.

Shouldn’t Al Gore have received his Nobel Prize for inventing the Internet?

Elliot will be entered into the October MRQ of the month drawing.

Tune in tonight for another exciting episode of Monday Random Quotes.

A Republican won an election....

And in Louisiana no less...

A Governor you say?

People fed up with corruption from Democrats?

Nah, it couldn't be so.