Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Jensen Trial

For those interested in following the Jensen trial, Wispolitics has an insightful blog on it.

Friday, February 24, 2006

911: I'm being watched!

Well, I guess being watched in a blogging context is a good thing.

For this, and this, I thank Marquette Warrior.

Yosemite Sam Politics

I enjoyed this article for two reasons: (1) it has insight into the minds of politicians and (2) it referred to Yosemite Sam. I had a poster of Yosemite Sam on my childhood bedroom wall--and by childhood, I mean my wife refused to let me hang it in our home.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Choice Compromise on the Move

The school choice compromise (Senate Bill 618) passed through the Senate Education Committee today. The four republicans voted for it. The three democrats voted against it. It passed the Assembly committee yesterday.

Senator Lurther Olson had raised concerns about the compromise initially, specifically related to the money for SAGE. He voted for the proposal today in committee. Have his concerns been addressed?

The $25 million for SAGE, which has nothing to do with choice, still bugs me.

The argument that raising the cap "saves" money is less persuasive since Doyle backed off the State's 2/3 commitment to public education. (See the bottom of page 5 of this Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo.)

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Crunchy Cons

Interesting article from OpinionJournal.

Here's the punchline: "Mr. Dreher, in short, identifies himself with the venerable traditionalist school of conservatism that reaches back to Kirk, the Southern Agrarians and beyond: a communitarian conservatism profoundly disturbed not only by secular liberalism but also by the relentless dynamism of modern commercial life."

Monday, February 20, 2006


“Doyle’s our goalie!”

I’m told that is WEAC’s battle cry when selling the teachers on the Governor—he saves them from all of the evil legislative proposals. Cute.

So what’s Doyle after the school choice compromise?

What's a futurist?

Sunday's Journal-Sentinel had the following included in its story about Hudson: "Getting a larger house, on a larger plot of land, even if it means moving farther from the city, remains 'a personal aspiration for most people,' says Joel Kotkin, a futurist, consultant and author."

Futurist, consultant and author?

Some futurist have the following core beliefs:

"We share common core beliefs and values about the future and our role in creating it the future we prefer.

The future is creatable, so we have choice.
The future is not something that just happens to us. The future is something we do.

Freedom means being able to participate in the creation of your own future.
If you cannot participate, you are not truly free, and if you are uninformed you cannot participate as fully.

There is a knowable future.
While much of the future is unpredictable and full of surprises, there are aspects of the future which are relatively knowable, if we take the time to look.

The future creates the present.
Our images of the future - what we expect, what we fear, what we hope for, what we prefer - all exert an influence on our decisions in the present. Change our image of the future in a way that matters to us and we make different decisions today.

In order to live fully in the present, one must remember the past and anticipate and imagine the future.

The purpose of anticipating the future is not so that one can figure out what to do in the future.
Rather, the purpose is to fold an enhanced understanding of the future back on the present, and make better decisions right here, right now.

The future is fun.
Imagining it, learning about amazing possibilities, seeing what science fiction writers and other visionaries see, creating it, all can be a rich source of fun and enjoyment."

Are we going to be hearing more from futurist in the future?

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Doyle's Nightmare

Travelgate is one thing, but what's Doyle to do when
two of his sugar daddies come calling at the same time?

"They're trying to outbid each other. . . . Both sides are contributing to him, and both sides can't win," said Kenosha County Supervisor Terry Rose, an opponent of the proposal. "And both sides expect his endorsement. How can he resolve that?"

Some people may fall back on policy when confronted with such a terrible situation. Or (I hesitate to even suggest this) principles. Some may even try to do what's best for the State of Wisconsin.

Unfortunately, it doesn't appear any of these are in Doyle's repertoire.

My guess: the one that succeeds in outbidding the other will win his endorsement.

Saturday, February 18, 2006

TPA: When Throwing Stones from a Glass House is Acceptable

This Wisconsin State Journal editorial makes a seemly reasonable point related to the Taxpayer Protection Amendment (TPA)--the Legislature should not be throwing stones from its glass house.

But, what's the alternative for taxpayers? Do we need to continue to suffer until the Legislature becomes fiscally responsible?

Allowing the voters to speak at the ballot box on TPA will not only place controls on government spending, but will send a message to all elected officals that taxpayers have had enough of the budgeting shell game.

Dennis York noted that the passage of TPA would be the death of the Republican Party in Wisconsin. The Republican Party is a bit more dynamic than that. And, if it's really a one-trick pony, maybe that's an issue for the party to address.

Friday, February 17, 2006


I've been reading blogs for a couple of years. I always wondered how to set one up. Then I clicked on "Get Your Own Blog" on Blogger and here we are.

I worked for Governor Thompson and Governor McCallum. A few months in there, I worked on President Bush's 2000 campaign in the Milwaukee area. Worked for Wisconsin State Senator Ron Brown. Entered law school at Marquette. I graduate in May.

Why this information? I hope you read the post below. I hope you come back.

Plus, I really don't like the blogs where people cover their identity. Can't we have discourse as who we are? If you are worried that you would suffer consequences for something you write under your own name, why write it?

And, for all you masked bloggers out there that do so while hiding your identity in the spirit of the founding fathers (e.g., Publius, of Federalist Papers fame), we all know who wrote the Federalist Papers.

Thumbs Down on School Choice Compromise

What does $25 million towards SAGE (a class-size reduction program for public schools) have to do with School Choice? Where is that money going to come from? Does state government have some reserve of money that I don't know about?

SAGE has nothing to do with School Choice. The money will come from another round of the shell game that we as Wisconsinites have come to know as budgeting by state government--a transfer here, a new fee there, and in the end the budget always come out "balanced," until a couple months after the budget is signed and there are deficits.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Pay at the Pump; Receipt Inside

I love paying for gas at the pump. Very convenient.

Recently, I've been getting prompted to walk inside to get my receipt from the attendant. Doesn't that undercut the convenience of letting people pay at the pump in the first place?

Maybe it's a cost savings measure. At some point people will stop requesting a receipt (better than walking in to get the receipt), thus saving the station owner all that money on paper?

Is it lazy attendants?

Probably no need to harp on it. I don't really do anything with the receipt anyway.


If the post office manages to deliever all of the mail when it's raining, snowing, or sleeting (i.e., spending lots of time fighting the elements), what does that say about its workload on sunny days?