November 30, 2007

Karas Resigns

Racine Alderman Pete Karas resigned today.

Apparently there is an ancient law on the books that prevents persons who do business with liquor license holders from holding elective office.

Pete is in the insurance business and does business with person who hold liquor licenses. He did not want to put his license in jeopardy so he did what he considered the right thing and resigned effective immediately.

By doing this before December 1st there will a special election in April to fill his seat.

I spoke with Pete on his way to the airport to attend a conference put on by the Liberty Foundation on Participatory Democracy. Ironic.

His mood was upbeat Pete never had a problem in doing what he considered to be the right thing.

There is a move in the Assembly to get rid of this old legislation. Apparently Senator John Lehman and Rep Bob Turner are on board towards getting this bill moving forward. The bill, ab500, is cosponsored by Senators Lassa & Grothman. It has a fair chance of getting passed.
This law first came to notice when Stevens Point Alderman Norm Barber was forced to resign earlier this year.
I have no doubt that Pete will be back and running for his seat should this legislative get cleaned up.
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Pete and I do not agree on much, but I admire his conviction, his ethics and his integrity. He cares deeply about his community and tries his best to serve.

Aldermen in Racine make about $6,000 a year. Pete could not risk his livelihood (his insurance license) on this old law.

We wish him all the best.

NFL Network

Looking around the cheddarsphere it appears the left and right have finally found something they agree upon...

Bryant Gumbel sucks.

One thing I have not seen or head mentioned were the technical broadcast issues. For example they had this nifty down and distance marker superimposed on the field. Just about every time I looked at the thing it was wrong.

It could have been 2nd down, 4 to go and the marker said 1st & 10. Time and time again those technical broadcast issues were there.

Frankly that broadcast was so bad they should be on public access.

Thief makes off with 180 Guinness kegs

DUBLIN (Reuters) - A thief made off with 180 kegs of Guinness beer after smoothly driving into the Dublin brewery which makes the black stout and snatching a trailer load of drink, police said on Thursday.

The incident took place on Wednesday at the Guinness brewery on the banks of Dublin's River Liffey where Ireland's trademark tipple has been brewed for almost 250 years.

Has anyone seen the Asian Badger?

November 29, 2007

An open thought to the NFL Network.

If you really want me to pressure my cable company into carrying you on the basic tier...

Try not sucking so much.


We'll get 'em in the NFC Championship

Meet the new KITT

I like the old KITT.

Empty efforts.

NBC was touting the fact that they saved energy by cutting down the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree by hand.

I'm sure they carried it by hand for 80 miles (with police escort), and the used a hand operated 280 ton crane to hoist the 84 foot monster into place.

Saved energy...


H/T Caledonia Unplugged.

I understand there is some sporting event this evening.

Packers vs Cowboys open thread.

The Racine Journal Times was against a referendum before they were for it.

Yesterday I pointed to a Journal Times editorial asking for a referendum on KRM. At the end of that post I asked what the problem was...

This is from another Journal Times editorial dated March 29, 2007 calling out Robin Vos specifically to support the plan and criticising him for asking for a Referendum.

Referendums are sometimes used as a delaying mechanism and Vos no doubt is aware of that. But since the business community is on board with KRM and they would be paying the bulk of the "freight" for the rental car fees, what purpose would a referendum serve?

Rep. Vos was elected to lead and to act with vision and that is what we would ask him to do on commuter rail.

So now that everything else has failed the Journal Times changes their tune and calls for a referendum.

Bully for them.

I know Rep. Vos polled his district and better than 70% were opposed to the KRM plan.

I'm also sick and tired of the Journal Times pretending that all business is in favor of this plan. Some are, some are not. That paper does whatever Johnson Wax tells them. If J Wax wants the train so bad, let them pay for it they certainly can afford it; I can not.

Proponents love to point out all the cars at the Kenosha METRA stop. Spend $200 million and run a train that operates at an 83% loss (their number not mine) and what will you get? Some of those cars will be in Racine instead of Kenosha. Whooptie Freakin' Doo.

I'll remind you unless this thing can average 320 riders per train (14 trains a day, 7 on weekends) revenue projections will fall short and the project will require additional taxes.

Racine will not see any real economic development until they deal with the root problems in this community: crime, education, unemployment, taxes.

If you had kids would you move to Racine with these schools? No. You would move to Union Grove, Burlington, Waterford, Franklin, and that is exactly what is happening here.

KRM is like a vampire, kill it and it keeps coming back. The reason? The myopic leadership in this community refuses to deal substantively with the real issues. They want KRM as they truly believe it will fuel growth to pull this community out of its doldrums. (I'm talking about Racine here and their lackeys at The Journal Times). This is a panacea, they are putting the cart before the horse.

Deal with the real issues, fix them and then come up with a realistic rail plan with honest revenue and ridership projections. The plan as proposed is a complete joke.

The Journal Times has long ago stopped actually reporting this story and are acting as advocate instead of a news source.

And I'm going to keep calling them out on it.

November 28, 2007

More Hillary Slime.

OK, so somehow the big story out of the You Tube debate winds up being Hillary.

An advisor to her campaign was a selected questioner.

That's fine, I have no problem with that at all. However, it should have been disclosed UP FRONT.

CNN winds up looking like crap (nothing new there) and Hillary winds up being the story.

This is Clinton 101. Ethics be damned, just win baby.

She'll of course deny any knowledge of this, and she'll likely get away with it. This is her biggest problem. The candidate sets the tone. Hillary could easily set out policy that we just worry about ourselves and we do everything above board. That is so against her nature though that it has seeped through her campaign. And you wonder why her negatives are so high.

Frankly the fact that her negatives are not higher says a great deal about today's Democratic party.

Caption This.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve Sarajevo Live

Excuse me Chief...

If you could ask the incoming Chief of the Milwaukee Police one question, what would it be?


The following editorial graced the pages of the Racine Journal Times yesterday.

Let voters decide rail’s future

Monday, November 26, 2007 4:19 PM CST

Ever since a governor’s special task force ended its study of commuter rail in 2000, the question has always been who will pay. Certainly the task force couldn’t come to a consensus, which is why the dream of a rail route linking eastern Racine County to Milwaukee, Kenosha, and greater Chicago remains a dream to this day.

On the heels of state budget negotiations which killed the latest idea to fund KRM commuter rail (a car rental fee), another idea has come floating back. The modified idea, from the Wisconsin Alliance of Cities, would allow for a sales tax of up to .35 percent levied by any two or more communities which formed a regional transit authority.

The sales tax idea isn’t new. A sales tax was one of the options floated by the governor’s task force, and it was raised again earlier this year by Racine Mayor Gary Becker. What’s new is the voluntary transit authority. It’s a better idea.

Under the proposal, voters of each municipality would decide whether to join a regional transit authority. In other words, they would decide whether the benefit warranted the tax. Thus the transit authority would not be another mandate from Madison like the Brewers stadium tax which generated $25.7 million last year to the supposed benefit of everyone in Racine County.
People in communities which didn’t join a KRM transit authority could still ride the train just as people in Racine can drive to Kenosha to ride Metra. The nonjoiners wouldn’t have a local stop with its convenience and potential for development, and it’s unlikely that politics would allow them that benefit without payment.

A voluntary transit district would allow areas to work out their own transportation needs. So Milwaukee County, whose bus system is struggling, could get money for that.
Other areas of the state could fund their own bus systems, and this could even benefit Burlington, Rochester, and Waterford whose geography may at some point merit a bus link with Waukesha or into Illinois. Yes that seems a stretch now, but gasoline prices of $4 or $5 a gallon or more may give commuters and employers a different perspective.

For the city of Racine, it is estimated that using a sales tax to support commuter rail and the Belle Urban System could free up about $1.1 million for the budget. That would do much to restore the services slowly chiseled away by city officials balancing demands for government with demands for reasonable taxes.

This funding idea is something which should be advanced and passed by the Legislature. To return to a point mentioned last week, if the state can find money to plan a commuter rail link between Milwaukee and Madison, it can certainly allow voters here to determine and fund their own future in an area which has a greater need for alternative forms of transportation.

So, what's the problem?

You tube debate,

So the Republicans turn to face You Tube debate questions is tonight.

Does anyone care?

I have zero interest in this other than to see what kinds of questions CNN picks.

On an evil scale of 1 to 10 can you explain to me why Dick Cheney is a 40?

November 27, 2007

Hey everybody!

Teddy Kennedy is going to write a memoir!

Why don't we give him a working start on a title?

I'll start with the first two suggestions!

Hold your breath.


A view from a Martini olive.

November 26, 2007

Know your blogger

Fraley has a new feature up, Know your blogger.

Fraley's first victim, me.


A nice blog (for the next month or so).

Check out Where's Christmas?

Guess the number game




you know you've been bitten by a zombie Christian.

do you REALLY want to piss off a guy with a chainsaw? Harvey

Freddy Doolicious. Owen.

Access to Brett Favre’s reyouthanator. Plebian.

From $396.99 to $99.99 to $9. Jo.

we know that you passed away over five years ago, but, nonetheless, we appreciate all the votes. Steve.

estrogen-fueled blubbering. Big Daddy Drew.

numbers were likely exaggerated. Jessica. (42% of all statistics are made up)

Christmas is going to be sweeeeeeeeeeeeeet this year. Amy.

hopefully, your turkey hasn’t been sunbathing. Dean.

This isn't Mayberry. Pete.

I sure hope you are into Battlestar Galactica. Dan.

Whipple was an agent of sexual repression. Althouse.

I blame global warming. Wiggy.

it’s PETA propaganda week. Michelle.

this boy is lucky! Berry.

nibbling doesn’t make for good pictures except on Animal Planet. Uncle Jay.

“When do I have to put my turkey in the oven so that it’s done at half time?” Kevin. (yesterday)

Discount liquor is always on my Christmas shopping itinerary. Jeff.

I am nude! LearnedFoot. (TMI)

Yes, it is hard. The Game.

This thing is butt ugly. Jib.

Put that thing away. Grumps. (agreed)

Screw you, Arbor Day! JB.

That bumper sticker will never adorn my Mini Cooper. Shark. (I pictured the shark as more of a Lexus guy.)

Shari'a is so...."Co-Exist-ish." Dad 29.

Politically active upscale comic book fanboy. Plebian. (A Plebian 2 fer)

What percent of Whites are black and Blacks are white? Aaron. (My brain hurts)

entitlement-grubbing collectivist boobs. Arclightzero.

MRQ of the week.

Congratulations to Pete who survived a rollover accident and won MRQ of the week!

I'll leave it up to Pete to determine which was his greatest accomplishment.

Fuzzy bunnies....fuzzy bunnies...fuzzy bunnies.....ha ha hee hee hoo hoo....

Pete is now entered into the MRQ of the month for November which is open for votes on the sidebar.

Elephant Darts

What the heck is going on in Sheboygan IV?

Patrick has the details of the Sheboygan Sheriffs Department giving private security on the taxpayer dime.