Friday, February 14, 2014

They Still Call it "Breakfast Cereal"

Republicans Hope Anti-Burke TV Blitz Will Distract Us From the Release of Rindfleisch's Emails

Major ad buy targets Burke.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 2/13/2014)

Fat chanceThe RGA ad is hitting the airwaves the same day that 27,000 emails and hundreds of pages of other documents that were collected during the criminal investigation into former Walker aide Kelly Rindfleisch are released.

Chris Christie is the chairman of the Republican Governors Association.

Related post:
Republican Governors Association pimp for Scott Walker like it's 2010.  (2/13/2014)

Rep. Michael Schraa (R-Oshkosh), Ever the Diplomat

Assembly Republicans Reject “Higher Ed, Lower Debt” Bill.  (News release from the office of Rep. Dana Wachs, R-Eau Claire, 2/13/2014)

Blanket statement.  All 39 Democratic members of the Assembly and 15 Democratic senators are listed as co-sponsors.

Schraa and his wife are owners of Leon's Frozen Custard in Oshkosh.  (Ardy & Ed's has been my Oshkosh drive-in restaurant of choice since 1978.)

The Propane Crisis: Take Your Pick of Headlines

From the same TV market.

Keep in mind, it was WBAY that wildly inflated the PED piglet death count.

And the Hypocrisy Just Keeps on Coming: Republicans Can't Even Give Lip Service to Their "Principles"

Opinion: Legislature should quash bill to limit voting hours. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/13/2014)

I suppose the good news is that no Senators have signed on as co-spnosors.   The bill would limit in-person absentee voting to 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. There's no mistaking the intent here: Clerks in Milwaukee and Madison — Democratic strongholds — offered extended hours for voting during the evening and on weekends during recent elections. And presumably, a lot of the people who voted in that manner in those cities were Democratic supporters. 

Related posts:
Wisconsin Senate Majority Leader Scott Fitzgerald sez "no" to 40 of his Assembly colleagues.  (12/30/2013)
Your Wisconsin Republican Assembly hard at work promoting Governor Walker's jobs agenda (and GOP principles).  (11/15/2013)
Mary Lazich: Caught in the act of undermining confidence in the voting process.  (11/4/2013) 
The Center for Information and Research on Civic Learning and Engagement asks a question about voter ID laws.  (11/28/2012)
Alberta Darling (R-River Hills) still drinking the Kool-Aid.  (11/12/2012)
Tennessee Supreme Court gives Memphis Public Library cards a thumbs up for voter ID.  (11/4/2012)
Tennessee Court of Appeals ruling pisses off Republicans.  (10/27/2012)
Early voting begins today (Monday, October 22) in Wisconsin.  (10/22/2012)
Judge finds at least one aspect of Tennessee voter ID law "nonsensical".  (8/1/2012)
Judge to weigh in on library cards in Memphis voter ID skirmish.  (7/30/2012)
Library card/voter ID fray in Memphis.  (7/10/2012)
I'd be careful making any long-term Voter ID assessments based on the February 21 primary election turnout.  (2/26/2012)
Hope you signed at least one recall petition, Ruthelle.  (12/5/2011)
True, but why not share a couple of examples with us, Deborah.  (11/11/2011)
Hoping that other state newspapers have similar local news to share.  (10/29/2011)
Walker sez "We're broke" but GAB could spend $600,000 on voter ID public education plan.  (10/12/2011)
ACLU of Wisconsin denounces photo ID policy reversal.  (10/7/2011)
Voter ID:  "A solution without a problem".  (9/25/2011)
Wisconsin State Bar's Civil Rights Section requests AG Holder to monitor Voter ID Bill.  (9/1/2011)
What's the matter with Wisconsin?  (7/27/2011)
Wisconsin Legislative Council information memorandum.  (7/15/2011)
Appleton Alderman Wants Pushback on State Voter ID Bill.  (2/7/2011)

Related reading:
ALEC Exposed:  Democracy, Voter Rights, and Federal Power.  (Center for Media and Democracy, 9/28/2012)
Right-Wing Operatives Take Up ALEC's Voter Suppression Agenda.  (Center for Media and Democracy's PR Watch, 4/19/2012)
Voter Suppression 101.  (Center for American Progress. 4/4/2012)

As Kansas Becomes Increasingly Irrelevant, a Goofy Sideshow

Brownback Leads Kansas in Sharp Right Turn.  (The New York Times, 2/13/2014)

A deep-red checklist at the expense of party unity. Mr. Brownback, 57, has overseen the 
  • largest income tax cuts in state history, 
  • an expansion of gun rights, 
  • restrictions on abortion, 
  • sharply reduced welfare rolls, 
  • increased voter-registration scrutiny and a 
  • paring of state government bureaucracy. 

To accomplish his goals, he helped push the Republican-majority Legislature further to the right by working to oust moderate Republicans, deepening a longstanding rift within the state’s G.O.P.

Turning the wheel with ease.

In most of the counties in the western half of the state, more than 75% of the votes were cast for Romney in the 2012 Presidential election.

And that's not the worst of it.

Kansas’ Anti-Gay Segregation Bill Is an Abomination.  (Slate, 2/13/2014)

A race to the bottom.  When passed, the new law will allow any individual, group, or private business to refuse to serve gay couples if “it would be contrary to their sincerely held religious beliefs.” 
  • Private employers can continue to fire gay employees on account of their sexuality. 
  • Stores may deny gay couples goods and services because they are gay. 
  • Hotels can eject gay couples or deny them entry in the first place. 
  • Businesses that provide public accommodations—movie theaters, restaurants—can turn away gay couples at the door. 
  • And if a gay couple sues for discrimination, they won’t just lose; they’ll be forced to pay their opponent’s attorney’s fees. 

I can't imagine this bill surviving a court challenge.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

The Domestic Help of the 0.01%

Employer and employee are doing quite well, thank you.

The Rise (and Rise and Rise) of the 0.01 Percent in America. (The Atlantic, 2/13/2014)

The New Domestics.  (The New York Times, 2/12/2014)

Things they don't teach you in library schoolWealth has always insulated, but the copious amounts of money now being amassed by the richest of the rich, and the responsibilities that come along with managing and dispersing all that money — the investments, foundations and philanthropies, the multiple, massive properties and their upkeep — require ever more oversight from human capital with skills beyond what you would accrue in old-fashioned butler school. Those are needed, too, though. (Brenda, the estate manager in New York, ticked off a few of the still-prized domestic arts:
  • staff management,
  • first aid,
  • butlering,
  • nannying,
  • care of fine art and antiques,
  • table manners,
  • etiquette,
  • floral design,
  • wine service and
  • chauffeuring.)

OK, so staff management and care of rare books, sorta like antiques, can be put on the library list.

Yet Another Lesson in Republican Hypocrisy

One of the GOP principles as subscribed to by the Republican Party of Wisconsin.

Wisconsin bill banning local 'living wage' laws concern Barrett, Abele. (Wisconsin Business Journal, 2/12/2014)

The only Assembly sponsor of AB 750. Wisconsin Rep. Chris Kapenga (R-Delafield) on Tuesday introduced a state bill banning local living wage requirements on companies that do work using local government money. It also would ban local worker requirements on contracts that receive state or federal money.

Glenn Grothman is the only sponsor in the Senate, where I hope this bill will die a quick and well-deserved death.

Not surprising, there is this model legislation from the American Legislative Exchange Council, of which Kapenga and Grothman are members.

Blame Doyle: Republican Governors Association Pimps for Scott Walker Like It's 2010

In this earlier RGA promo (posted on 10/3/2013), Walker takes a back seat to Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, even though his popularity had been in a tailspin for months.

National Republican group to air early ads in Wisconsin. (Washington Post, 2/12/2014)

Republicans as the party of ideas.  The advertisement, set to begin running February 19, will attack Madison School Board member Mary Burke, Walker’s likely Democratic opponent, for her tenure as state Commerce Secretary under Walker’s predecessor, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle.

How Many Piglets Have Died of PED (Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea)?

As noted in this Wall Street Journal article, each case may represent anywhere from one infected animal on a farm to thousands across a producer's operations. 

6 cases have been reported in Wisconsin.

Virus Threatens Wisconsin's Pork Industry.  (WBAY, 2/12/2014)

4 million, do I hear 4 million?  Since first detected in the U-S last April, its estimated four million pigs have died from PED, which causes diarrhea, vomiting and severe dehydration in hogs. Babies are the most susceptible.

Pig Virus Continues To Spread, Raising Fears Of Pricier Bacon.  (NPR, 1/26/2014)

Out of a total U.S. swine herd of 66 million on 68,300 hog farms. Pork producers across the country are grappling with a virus that's going after piglets. Livestock economists estimate the porcine epidemic diarrhea, or PED, virus has already killed about 1 million baby pigs in the U.S. since it was first found in Iowa last spring.

Piglet-killing virus hitting farmers hard in Minnesota. (Star-Tribune, 2/1/2014)

We're not saying.  Nationwide, the number of cases is climbing steeply, too, as PEDv appears to thrive in cold weather. While there are no hard numbers on how many pigs have died, PEDv can take a big toll on production.

National Pork Board Statement

National Hog Farmer

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Robin Vos on How to Win Friends and Influence People

Tensions rising between Republican leaders in the Senate and Assembly. (Wisconsin State Journal, 2/12/2014)

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

My Experience is the World's Experience, sez Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas

Justice Thomas: Americans More Race Conscious Now Than In '60s. (NPR, 2/12/2014)

Photo credit:  The Supreme Court of the United States

From the "Civil Rights Movement" article in the New Georgia Encyclopedia.

Everything's just peachy Herman Talmadge's victory [1948] ushered in a resurgence of white supremacy. Time magazine quoted a Georgia voter who said, "Pore ol' Georgia—first Sherman, then Herman." Segregation was tightened up in the statute book, state officials sought to outlaw the NAACP, and vigilantes targeted local black leaders. Gilbert, despairing over the collapse of the state network of black protesters, resigned from the leadership of the NAACP. Brewer, who had received death threats from a local Klan member, was assassinated on a Columbus street in 1956 by an unknown assailant, and the group he had founded to oppose white supremacy disbanded.

During the ensuing decade, defenders of white supremacy powerfully interlinked their attack on black insurgency with the more general fear of communism. Organized black protest continued on a significant scale only in Atlanta, Macon, and Savannah, which became relative oases of moderate race relations in the state. Yet even there, strict segregation continued and violent assaults on black residents were frequent.

The article goes on to describe Georgia's "Mass Protests in the 1960s" and "Protest in the Countryside".

As Thomas sez, "Rarely did the issue of race come up."

The Power and Emotion of Books, Reading, Literacy, and Libraries -- in a South African Whisky Commercial

Why Amy Sue Vruwink Voted for Walker's Tax Cut Plan

In a word, redistricting.

Assembly OKs $504M plan.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 2/11/2014)

Among the 2 Democrats who voted to support the bill:
  • Amy Sue Vruwink lives in Milladore and represents the 70th District.
  • Stephen Smith lives in Shell Lake and represents the 75th District.  Smith defeated Roger "Some Girls Rape Easy" Rivard in the 2012 election with 51% (!!) of the vote. Apparently, 13,841 Republican voters held their noses when casting a ballot.

The old 70th Assembly District, covering Wood and Portage counties, for the most part.

The new 70th, expanding southwest into Monroe County.

And why was it so important to include Monroe County voters in this district?

They tend to vote Republican.

Related posts:
Wishful thinking on Sen. Schultz's part.  (2/4/2014)
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)

He Must Have Had a Thin Resume

Oregon church employee arrested on tentative charge of possession of child pornography. (Wisconsin State Journal, 2/11/2014)

Peach-fuzz ministry[Lead pastor Jason] Mahnke said [Brandon] Finch worked at the church when he was hired as a pastor a year and a half ago.

Finch is 22 years old.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

The Guardian World News Is In Need of a Dictionary (or a Reference Librarian)

Shirley Temple was born in 1928.

Pigs, Barclays Style

Barclays to cut 12,000 jobs, pays bigger bonuses. (Reuters, 2/11/2014)

The Dandruff Particles

Head & Shoulders Film: A Very Dandruffy Valentine's Blind Date. (Advertising Age, 2/11/2014)

Hudson Wisconsin As the Face of America's Heroin Scourge

As reported in The New York Times.

Heroin's Small-Town Toll, and a Mother's Grief.  (2/10/2014)

...a mother's pain, in the print edition.   In the wake of the prescription painkiller epidemic, heroin, much of it Mexican, has wormed its way into unsuspecting communities far from the Southwestern border as a cheaper and often more easily obtained alternative. Ms. Ivy’s was believed to be the seventh fatal heroin overdose in eight months in this town of 13,000 on the St. Croix River near Minneapolis. Two months after her death, and before yet another young Hudson woman died — at a “sober house” — of a heroin overdose in October, nearly 500 townspeople crowded into the First Presbyterian Church for a forum called “Heroin in Hudson: A Community in Crisis.”

Community forum on heroin crisis draws an overflow crowd. (Hudson Star-Observer, 7/25/2013) A subscription is required to access full text.

The Bible as Anachronistic History

Camels Had No Business in Genesis.  (The New York Times, 2/10/2014)

Rain Dances spent a lot of time on my turntable in late 1977/early 1978,

Collection Development, Accelerated

Impatience Has Its Reward: Books Are Rolled Out Faster. (The New York Times, 2/10/2014)

Print headline:  Short-Order Book Release Follow the Lead of Binge TV.   While the television industry has begun catering to impatient audiences by releasing entire series at once, the book business is upending its traditional timetable by encouraging a kind of binge reading, releasing new works by a single author at an accelerated pace.

Publication date:  Feb. 4, 2014

Book 2:  Authority, to be published in May 2014.
Book 3:  Acceptance, to be published in September 2014.

LINKcat status.  25 holds on 7 copies.  Not exactly "wowie-zowie" status.

Amazon best-seller status:  955.

Amazon customer reviews:  35, with an average of 3.7 out of 5.

Eric O'Keefe Stands By His Man, with $5,220 in Hand

Wisconsin Club for Growth sues to halt secret investigation.  (Wisconsin State Journal, 2/11/2014)

With Eric O'Keefe, a Director of the oh-so-cozy-sounding Wisconsin Club for Growth, taking a leading role.

Actually, you can paint this table all red.

In second place, Rep. Bill Kramer, Assembly Majority Leader, has received 8 donations totaling $1,700 from O'Keefe.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Georgia Governor Listens to Ian Hunter

Avoid Atlanta Until Storm Passes, Governor Tells Truckers. (NPR, 2/10/2014)

Caution is the watchword after last month's unpleasant experienceThis time, Georgia officials seem determined to get way out ahead of the weather.

New WMC Chairman's Public Pronouncement Belies Campaign Contributions

Snowblower exec Dan Ariens seeks political middle with business group.  (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/10/2014)

They Love Scott Walker in Midland, Texas -- to the Tune of $112,185

62% of which was contributed by 7 donors.

85% of which was contributed by 19 donors.

The Midland Development Corporation promotes the "Oil Capital of America"

Related posts
In the news:  Derse, Lamar Advertising.  (2/5/2014)
Scott Walker's big, mostly out-of-state donors (part 2, April 15-June 24, 2013).  (2/3/2014)
Scott Walker's big, mostly out-of-state donors (part 1, April 15-June 24, 2013).  (2/3/2014)
Another lesson in \hypocrisy: Wisconsin Republicans disparage Mary Burke for her wealth.  (1/31/2014)
Governor Walker's "Campaign Contributors" Tour.  (1/24/2014)

Racine-Based S. C. Johnson Revises Company-wide Restructuring Outcome

SC Johnson cutting hundreds of more jobs than anticipated. (Milwaukee Business Journal, 2/7/2014)

Racine's 2nd largest employer has bad news to share.  In October, S.C. Johnson & Son Inc. announced that it planned to cut between 100 and 200 jobs in Racine as part of a companywide restructuring over the coming months, but those plans have been revised and cuts could be as many as 400.

Among the products in S. C. Johnson's stable.

Who Will Run for Office in the 58th Assembly District Now That Rep. Strachota is Not Seeking Re-Election?

Rep. Strachota's news release.

The above map is brought to you by.....

Public libraries in the 58th Assembly District
Slinger Community Library
West Bend Community Memorial Library

Academic library
UW Washington County Library, West Bend

The likelihood of a Democratic pick-up?

A snowball's chance in hell comes to mind.

This is Grothman County, people.

Other 2014 election posts:
81st Assembly District.  (2/7/2014)
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)

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Are you a consumer with a complaint about your landlord? Too bad so sad, sez Wisconsin legislature

Robocalls lead top 10 consumer complaints in Wisconsin for 2013. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/4/2014)

According to a 2/13/2013 Journal Sentinel article, it's tenants who are filing the consumer complaints, and they primarily involve security deposits.

So how does our state legislature address the issue?

You, too, can sponsor legislation from which you directly benefit -- if you can get yourself elected.  The proposal's lead author, Rep. Duey Stroebel (R-Town of Cedarburg), is himself a landlord — he owns a building on Milwaukee's east side at 2535 N. Stowell Ave. that is valued at $635,500, according to city records. He has said that his proposal doesn't represent a conflict for him because it treats all landlords equally.  (Just one example of the great minds we have serving us in Madison.)

Meet the Parents -- and the Wedding Planner to the Billiionaires

A Meeting That Couples Often Finding Daunting.  (The New York Times, 2/7/2014)

Wedding of the Billionaires.  (Forbes, 2/12/2012)

Cheryl, plugged into reality. “When money is no object, the gown and the jewels tend to separate the billionaires from the millionaires,” says Cheryl Clisby, a wedding planner who focuses on the ultra-rich. “Millionaires tend to borrow the jewels; billionaires tend to buy them.”