Saturday, February 8, 2014

Where the Republicans Held Their January 29-31 "Congress of Tomorrow"

They probably received great off-season rates.

House GOP to hold retreat at Md. resort.  (Politico, 12/18/2013)

It's where Speaker Boehner received a slapdown from his colleagues on immigration reform.

A River of Orange Tears: Boehner Deflects Blame on Immigration Reform

What's the real story?

Boehner Hit from Right on Overhaul for Immigration.  (The New York Times, 2/7/2014)

The tail wags the dog (emphasis added).  As House Republicans embarked late last month in luxury buses for their retreat on the Eastern Shore of Maryland, their ears were already ringing with angry phone calls. Heritage Action, the political arm of the conservative Heritage Foundation, was imploring its members to flood the Capitol with warnings to accept “no amnesty.”

Not to mention these happenings.
  • 900,000 automated phone calls generated by the Tea Party.
  • FreedomWorks "Fire the Speaker" online petition

Scott Walker Issues National Heterosexual Marriage Week Proclamation for the 4th Year in a Row

And Julaine Appling, president of the Wisconsin Family Council, is tickled pink.

Here's this year's proclamation (highlights added), which you won't find at the Office of the Governor's website.  I found it via The Wheeler Report>Wisconsin Family Council.

Related post:
Did you know that it's National Heterosexual Marriage Week USA? (2/8/2014)

Did You Know That It's National Heterosexual Marriage Week USA?

Sheila Weber tells us all about it in this YouTube video, which is not expected to go viral.

Sheila is the executive director of National Marriage Week USA and occasionally shares her opinions on Fox news.

Here's an example.

Don't let the cost of a wedding keep you from getting married.

Well, I hesitate to use the Daily Mail as a source, but a warning bell is rung in this article:
How a lavish wedding could lead to divorce - and why doing it Keira-style is more likely to mean lasting happiness.  (5/12/2013)

Some couples might want to take Sheila's advice with a grain of salt.  Amanda McAlister, head of family law at Slater and Gordon, said eight in ten couples who divorce within five years cite spending too much on the wedding as a reason.

And I suspect that this research has probably not yet made its way into Sheila's black-and-white Mayfield.

From page 4 of the report.
The Cost of Marriage and Divorce. CNBC, 5/7/2012)

The economic benefits can be wobbly at times. The latest Census Bureau data show that 32.6 percent of divorced men in 2009 had annual incomes of $75,000 and up — more than any other group. The rate for women was 23.4 percent .A greater number, 29.9 percent, were in the $25,000-$40,000 income group.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Sen. Paul Farrow Throws a Hissy Fit (Which is Transcribed in This News Release)

Wisconsin provides the streamlined version.

ALEC'S balanced budget amendment policy

Assembly Joint Resolution 81

Paul Farrow and ALEC

Bag the faux outrage, grocery boy.   Be a man and own up to the source of your inspiration.

Frances Cash VanVolkinburg (1929-2014) Warren High School Class of 1947

Warren Times Observer obituary

1947 Warren High School Dragon yearbook

"Frances" spent 15 years in the top 10 -- from 1911 to 1924, and again in 1926.

A popular song as Graduation Dady 1947 approached.

Postage increase imperils Wisconsin's printing and paper industries. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/6/2014)

How the hike impacts the state's papermakers and printers.  Wisconsin is the nation's leading papermaking state and is home to a vast sister industry of contract printers. According to a report last year from the Wisconsin Economic Development Corp., industries that pulp trees, make paper and convert industrial-size rolls of that paper into catalogs, magazines, direct mail, envelopes and stationery as well as books and other publications collectively amount to the single biggest industrial sector in the state. 

Quad/Graphics, based in Sussex, led much of the opposition to the bill. Quad is the biggest printer of magazines in North America as well as the largest printer of catalogs and retail inserts. 

On behalf of its customers, Quad sends 13 billion pieces of mail a year. It prints Vogue, Time, Sports Illustrated and glossy catalogs like L.L. Bean. In terms of total printing orders, from books to publications, Quad is second only to Chicago-based.

Who Will Run in the 81st Assembly District Now That Fred Clark Isn't Running for Re-Election?

Rep. Fred Clark won't seek re-election.  (Portage Daily Register, 2/7/2014)

Public libraries in the 81st Assembly District  (the District's previous configuration)
Baraboo Public Library
Black Earth Public Library
Mazomanie Free Library
North Freedom Public Library
Portage Public Library
Ruth Culver Community Library
Sauk City Public Library

The other Fred Clark.

Other 2014 election posts:
17th Senate District.  (1/27/2014)
59th Assembly District.  (1/18/2014)
1st Assembly District.  (12/13/2013)
Candidate scorecard for the 2014 Wisconsin Attorney General's race.  (12/8/2013)
22nd Assembly District.  11/21/2013)
17 Senate District.  (11/7/2013)
19th Assembly District.  (11/7/2013)
9th State Senate District. (10/23/2013)
15th State Senate District.  (10/10/2013)
Wisconsin Attorney General in 2014: Waukesha County DA Brad Schimel.  (10/10/2013
25th State Senate District.  (10/9/2013)

Thursday, February 6, 2014

The Wisconsin State Journal Editorial Board Throws a Hissy Fit

37 seats and only 7 choices for Dane County voters.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 2/6/2014)

Imagine this extravagant claim accompanied by pearl-clutching and wheezy breathing. The biggest county board in just about the entire world is attracting very little interest in its seats this spring.

First of all, it's not just Dane County where there's a paucity of challengers.

Calumet County.  Contested races for the spring election.  Appleton Post-Crescent, 1/8/2014)  2 of 21 seats contested.

Dodge County.  Mayor races top ballot in three cities.  (Beaver Dam Citizen, 1/8/2014)  5 of 33 Dodge County Board seats are contested.

Marquette County.  Marquette County board features 2 contested seats.  (, 1/10/2014)  17 supervisors on county board.

Oconto County.  Three county board seats contested this year.  (Wisconsin Outdoor Fun, 1/13/2014)   Oconto County, with a population of 37,660, has 31 supervisors.

Portage County.  Dreier to run unopposed; only three County Board seats contested this spring.  (Stevens Point Journal, 1/8/2014)  The Portage County Board has 25 supervisors.

Rock County.  Five of 29 Rock County Board seats contested.  (Janesville Gazette, 1/16/2014)

Wood County.   All County Board Supervisors Have Election Papers In.  (Wisconsin Rapid City-Times, 1/8/2014)  4 of 15 seats contested.

Secondly, the Marathon County Board has 38 members.  And it's all relative when you factor in population and area.

The Chattering Class Falls Hard for Scott Walker, but the Voters are Still Scratching Their Heads

Chris Christie’s pain is Scott Walker’s gain. (Politico, 2/5/2014)

Scott Walker doesn't even make the cut, his name is not included on a list of choices, in a recent CNN/ORC poll.  (Found at CNN/ORC Poll: Christie's loss appears to be Clinton's gain, CNN, 2/3/2014)

Despite the Koch brothers support, a book tour, national fundraising junkets, and an open invitation to spout his pearls of wisdom on Fox News, Walker remains the Rodney Dangerfield of Republican Presidential candidates.

Walker did make the cut in this January 20-23 Public Policy Polling poll.

I remain convinced that, like Tommy Thompson, Scott Walker has limited appeal to the general voter outside the state of Wisconsin.

It will be interesting to see how "Uncle Sugar" fares in subsequent polls.

What Else Would You Expect from Someone Who Needs to Pander to a Tea-Party Base in Order to Keep His Dim 2016 Hopes Alive?

Walker says he senses no gay marriage 'movement'. (WEAU, 2/5/2014)

It's called willful ignorance.

As Craig Gilbert notes in a March 27, 2013, opinion piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, A lot has changed since Wisconsin banned same-sex marriage in 2006.

When 59% of Wisconsin voters approved a same-sex marriage ban.

In a series of national polls conducted in 2013, respondents consistently supported same-sex marriage by wide margins.

These recent polls show that 53% of Wisconsin residents support same-sex marriage.  No movement?  Hardly!

Scott Walker Promotes His Income Tax Cuts As Fair and Equitable

According to a Legislative Fiscal Bureau memo, Distributional Information on Proposed Individual Income Tax Rate Reduction, it looks as though Walker did a teeny bit of rounding up to make a dubious point.

It's not as though a typical family making $40,000 a year is getting special treatment.

Related posts:
Column graphs worth sharing from the Wisconsin Budget Project.  (1/25/2014)
Governor Walker's campaign contributors' tour.  (1/24/2014)
The most fortunate of Wisconsin's residents: Heading in the right direction and leaving the rest of us behind.  (6/5/2013)
More disproportionate tax cuts for the rich.  (6/4/2013)
Wisconsin Budget Project notes structural deficits a' comin'.  (3/5/2013)

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Public Library Hours of Operation in a Bankrupt California City

Voters in bankrupt San Bernardino sweep old guard from power. (NPR, 2/5/2014)

The city filed for bankruptcy in August 2012.



Change Proposed to Iowa's Public Library Records Law

Bill granting parents access to kids' library records advances in Iowa House. (Des Moines Register, 2/4/2014)

One concerned parent is enough to get the legislative ball rolling.  The bill arose after a parent in Bondurant was unable to get information on the fines owed by her pre-teen daughter.

In the News: Derse, Lamar Advertising

Firm says businesses will pay more for Wisconsin highway signs. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/4/2014)

Milwaukee-based, but...... For 28 years, Milwaukee-based Derse-Wisconsin Highway Business Signs has run the program that tells drivers what restaurants, gas stations and hotels are available off interstate exits. Derse charges businesses to put their logos on the blue signs, so the program does not cost the state anything.

Derse timeline
  • 1948.  Founded by James F. Derse in Milwaukee.
  • 1989.  Sold to a senior group of officers and managers.  (Bill Haney, new CEO and owner)
  • 1994.  Expansion
    • Opens full-service office in Las Vegas.
    • Opens sales office in downtown Chicago.
  • 1996.  Further expansion
    • Opens full-service office in Dallas.
    • Opens sales office in Phoenix.
  • 1997.  Opens full-service location in Atlanta.
  • 1999.  Opens system rental division in Atlanta.
  • 2000.  Opens systems rental depot in Las Vegas.
  • 2002.  Opens full-service division in Pittsburgh.  
  • 2007.  Opens sales, design, and warehousing facility in Minneapolis
  • 2009.  Opens new national  headquarters in Milwaukee.
  • 2009.  Opens sales offices in Los Angeles, San Diego, and New Jersey.
  • 2010.  Opens sales and project management office in Milan, Italy.
  • 2010.  Opens sales office in Indianapolis.  

Let's follow James Derse's money, which he contributed exclusively to Republicans.

The next question to ask:  Is Bill Haney keeping up his end of the bargain?

What about all of Derse?   After 2002, Carla Haney is the only one contributing.

What about Lamar Advertising, the company that won the bid.

I guess the king hasn't been in his counting house recently.  (Interstate Logos doesn't show up in WDC's campaign finance database.)

Derse's "Save Our Signs Wisconsin" Facebook page.

It's Possible That the Radio Shack Slide Continues

657,239 views. But how many of these viewers have seen the inside of a Radio Shack store recently?

Radio Shack to close 500 stores in restructuring.  (Wisconsin Business Journal, 2/5/2014)

They're shrinking. Texas-based RadioShack has about 4,500 locations, but has not yet announced which locations will close and when the closings will begin, the newspaper said. The chain has more than two dozen Milwaukee-area locations.

The "to be expected" part of the equation:

Scott Suder, His Tummy Full, Is Back in the News Again

Scott Suder closed campaign fund with personal purchases. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/4/2014)

In addition to the "steakhouse dinner", Suder also treated himself with the remaining $5,700 to.......

...."a new Apple computer".

What would Scottie do?  (It's not specified what model he purchased.)

And $2,000 in mileage money.  (To reimburse himself for those trips to Waunakee?)

Related posts:
Translation time: Assembly Speaker sez, "Let me hang this Suder guy out to dry."  (9/7/2013)
What are the duties of the Speaker Pro Tempore?  (8/27/2013)
Rep. Scott Suder takes job with PSC but it's not "News" on his website.  (8/26/2013)
Rookie donors land $500,000 sportsmen's grant from Joint Finance.  (8/26/2013)

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Queens Library Director on the Hot Seat

Source:  The Awl
City Council To Probe Lavish Spending By Queens Public Library President.   New York Daily News, 1/28/2014)

A smoking deck?  The News reported that Galante spent $140,000 last year to renovate his offices - including $27,000 for a teak-tile rooftop deck outside his office that he uses for smoke breaks.

That’s on top of his $391,594 salary - and the $37,000 car he gets every three years.

Galante told the News Monday his salary is “average,” and accused the library workers union of trying to embarrass him after he outsourced janitorial services to a company that cut salaries in half.

Or maybe Galante has a preference for one of these.

Coke Airs "Diversity" Commercial and Yammerheads Share the Contents of Their Pinched Minds

'Puppy Love' Warm Response; Diversity Draws Mixed Response.  (The New York Times, 2/3/2014)

And who are the yammerheads, Pavlovian in their responses, who are quoted in the Times article?
  • Allen West, Tea Party darling and former Florida Congressman.  He lost his 2012 re-election bid.  ("If we cannot be proud enough as a country to sing ‘America the Beautiful’ in English in a commercial during the Super Bowl, by a company as American as they come — doggone we are on the road to perdition. This was a truly disturbing commercial for me, what say you?”.  Well, Allen, I say you're a doggone shameless grandstander.) 
  • Todd Starnes, Fox News commentator, who seems to deal badly with racial issues.  (“Couldn’t make out that song they were singing. I only speak English.”)
  • Glenn Beck, who became too toxic even for Fox News to handle.  (“Hey, have a Coke and we’ll divide you.”)

Sadly, there are too many Americans who subscribe to this vitriol.

Wishful Thinking on Sen. Schultz's Part

State Capitol Report: Schultz To Push Hard For Redistricting Reform.  (Wisconsin Public Radio, 2/3/2014)

Although I certainly agree with him on his second point.  (But I would insert "Republican" before "legislators".   Most of the Democrats are already on board.)

The Stonewalling Chronicles

Assembly Committee on State Affairs and Government Operations Chair Chad Weininger (R-Green Bay) refuses to schedule a public hearing on redistricting.  Weininger was recently appointed to this position by Assembly Speaker Robin Vos (R-Burlington) so draw your own conclusions.

Likewise in the State Senate, Mary Lazich (R-New Berlin), Chair of the Committee on Elections and Urban Affairs, will not schedule a public hearing.  And don't expect her to budge.

Then there's the time factor.  With Speaker Vos drastically reducing the 2014 legislative calendar, when would such a debate take place in the Assembly chamber?

Where does the Governor stand?  In spite of the numerous calls from Wisconsin newspaper editorial boards for Walker to address redistricting reform in his recent State of the State address, he remained silent on the issue.

And, finally, it's an election year.  Legislators are eager to get into full-time campaign mode.  And why should the majority party do anything?   They love the current design, best represented by the 37th Assembly District.

It's all a matter of Republicans priorities.  Schedule a hearing on the Governor's tax cut proposal? Hey, there's plenty of time for that!

Vos plans to end spring session by March. (, 12/19/2013)

Orange highlights = floorperiods that remain on Vos's schedule
Red highlights = eliminated floorperiods
Red arrow = my question if the date to send bills to the Governor is moved up.
Green arrow = Legislative Council Study committees start and end dates.

Related posts:
What are the odds (the follow-up).  1/26/2014)
What Are the Odds That Governor Walker Calls for Redistricting Reform in his State of the State Address? (1/21/2014)
Editorial Boards Make Sport of Rep. Chad Weininger. (12/11/2013)
Much to their chagrin, Republicans can't make redistricting reform go away.  (12/10/2013)
Redistricting pipe dream.  (12/9/2013)
An unintended consequence of redistricting.  (11/12/2013)
Taxpayer money and political contributions.  (11/2/2013)
Iowa's nonpartisan approach to legislative redistricting.  (10/14/2013)
Wisconsin State Journal editorial board not impressed with The Little Soldier.  (10/14/2013)
Against much evidence to the contrary, Sen Neil Kedzie (R-Elklhorn) spouts the company line.  (9/20/2013)
Wisconsin Democratic legislators who have yet to sign on as co-sponsors of Senate Bill 163/Assembly Bill 185 (Redistricting Reform) -- UPDATED.  (9/17/2013) 
Common Cause in Wisconsin calling out Sen. Lazich and Rep. August.  (8/19/2013) 
Undoubtedly, Tyler August is just following orders.  (8/12/2013)
Will Republican Leadership in Wisconsin Fail to Support Redistricting Reform? (7/22/2013)
The Redistricting Weasels Sing a Chorus of "Because I said so!!"  (5/16/2013)
Common Cause in Wisconsin asks, "Do your state legislators support non-partisan redistricting reform?"  (5/14/2013)
A trio of non-responses in this redistricting story.  (4/22/2013) 
Actually, Robin, Your Riposte is Patently Absurd.  (12/30/2012)  Expect a Frigid Reception from Wisconsin Republicans to This Redistricting Bill.  (12/7/2012)
Close, but no cigar, in this Republican redistricting effort to steal an Assembly seat.  (11/20/2012)
Redistricting in Wisconsin:  The plumber controls the spigot.  (11/15/2012)
Eric Litke can't see the forest for the trees.  (11/12/2012)
Robin Vos and religious imagery.  (10/15/2012)
The faces of gerrymandering.  (10/9/2012)
What it's all about in Wisconsin.  (8/1/2012)
Who's running for state office in Wisconsin:  31st Assembly District.  (7/4/2012)
Not anymore!  (2/7/2012)
Redistricting in Wisconsin:  the Basics.  (12/6/2011)
Define "judicial activism".  (12/3/2011)
More headaches but this time Sen. Lazich has the cure.  (10/27/2011)
Legislative redistricting in Wisconsin, part 2.  (10/24/2011)
Legislative redistricting in Wisconsin,  part 1.  (10/18/2011)
Legislative Reference Bureau legislative brief:  Local redistricting readjustment.  (9/6/2011)
Let's call this bill exactly what it is:  an unfunded mandate.  (7/21/2011)
Wisconsin redistricting plan popeils DeForest, Windsor.  (7/21/2011)
Fred Clark gets redrawn out of  his district?  Just a coincidence, of course.  (7/21/2011)
Oshkosh Northwestern editorial board tells it like it is.  (7/29/2011)
Wisconsin legislative redistricting:  Abandoned principles, interactive maps, bill text, and more. (7/13/2011)
Congressional redistricting in Wisconsin.  (6/19/2011)

Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce Puts Walker in a Pickle with His Tea-Party Base

Powerful business lobby defends state's Common Core academic standards. (Green Bay Press Gazette, 2/3/2014)

Wag the dog.   But there’s been a backlash against the standards, particularly among tea party conservatives, leading to a series of bills in the Legislature to either make modest changes or to repeal them and start over. 

Walker last month said he wants to create a commission to review the state’s standards and recommend changes to Evers, the state superintendent.

An Uncommon Conversation:  Wisconsin, Rightfully, Moves Forward with the Common Core Standards.

Other Common Core posts:
Dear Wisconsin Republicans, "Don't believe a word of those silly things you've heard, they're just rumors".  (12/13/2013)
Outside experts like Sam Blumenthal?  (11/1/2013)
Legislators hear a wide range of opinions at Common Core public hearing.  (10/4/2013)

Monday, February 3, 2014

Ruth Campbell Freeman (1927-2013) Warren High School Class of 1945

Warren Times Observer obituary

1945 Warren High School Dragon yearbook

(That's how the photos for Bettie, Joyce, Francis, and Chris appear in the yearbook.)

"Ruth" spent 39 years in the top 10, from 1892 until 1930, and it was in the top 6 for all but 1929 and 1930.

Other Ruths in the WHS class of 1945
  • Ruth "Davy" David
  • Ruth Hathaway
  • Ruth "Sis" Lewis
  • Ruth "Ruthie" McCulla

Scott Walker's Big, Mostly Out-of-State Donors (Part 2, April 15-June 24, 2013)

Scott Walker's big money comes from big donors outside Wisconsin. (Capital Times, 2/2/2014)

Meet Bruce Kovner
Meet Barry Maclean
Meet Robert McNair.

Related post:
Part 1.  (2/3/2014)

Scott Walker's Big, Mostly Out-of State Donors (Part 1, June 24-30, 2013)

Scott Walker's big money comes from big donors outside Wisconsin. (Capital Times, 2/2/2014)

The 75% of the money he collects.  Walker does not fly to New York and Washington and South Carolina and Texas and Florida to collect $50 checks. He wings his way around the country chasing checks with a lot more zeroes on them. And those big checks are the key to his fundraising prowess — not small donations from the grass roots.  

Beloit Public Library: Amendment to City Ordinance Would Allow for Sale and Consumption of Beer and Wine at Certain Special Events

Vote scheduled for ordinance on alcohol at library. (Beloit Daily News, 2/1/2014)

Limited in its scope.  Under the proposed amendment the ordinance would add “for three separate annual single-day events at the Beloit Public Library with all sale and consumption of fermented malt beverages and wine allowed only within the library building, each such event to be sponsored only by the Friends at Beloit Library (FABL) or the Beloit Public Library Foundation, Inc.

Washington's Bubble World vs. Main Street's Reality

The Middle Class Is Steadily Eroding. Just Ask the Business World. (The New York Times, 2/2/2014)

Two different worlds.....we live in two different worlds.  As politicians and pundits in Washington continue to spar over whether economic inequality is in fact deepening, in corporate America there really is no debate at all. The post-recession reality is that the customer base for businesses that appeal to the middle class is shrinking as the top tier pulls even further away. 

If there is any doubt, the speed at which companies are adapting to the new consumer landscape serves as very convincing evidence

Sunday, February 2, 2014

"My Bathroom is a Private Kind of Place" and Other Gems from the Golden Age of Industrial Musicals

Singing of Toilets, Instead of for Tonys.  Industrial Musicals Were Once Big Shows.  (The New York Times, 1/29/2014)

One-and-done shows.  Mr. Beebe got the job, which turned out to be his first in a long list of industrials, the corporate entertainments that companies including the Big Three automakers, Coca-Cola and Westinghouse produced by the hundreds from the 1950s to the early 1980s. All over the United States, conventions and business meetings echoed to the sounds of tap-dancing feet, ringing choruses and catchy lyrics celebrating tail fins, shower heads and mouthwash.