Sunday, September 30, 2007

Who set up these sweet deals for police officers?


The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel is highlighting some incredible numbers coming out of Milwaukee Police Department.

The overspending is running rampant in MPD.

Check out some of these numbers. This is enough to give any taxpayer a heart attack-

  • Between overtime pay and compensatory time, the Police Department could have hired 380 sworn officers - filling every one of its 227 vacancies and adding 153 more officers, plus benefits.
  • At least 41 other Milwaukee police employees earned six figures in annual pay and overtime last year. Only five - the police chief, assistant chief and three deputy chiefs - earned that much without overtime.
  • if an officer spends even one minute in court outside his regular shift, he is paid for 2 1/2 hours of overtime.
  • Street officers and sergeants also get 12 minutes of overtime for showing up at roll call at the beginning of each shift. While 12 minutes might not seem like much, roll call overtime pay for the entire department accounted for more than $2 million in 2006.

These are some staggering numbers.

Honestly, if a police officer shows up to work 5 days a week and goes to the mandatory roll call meeting, they are paid almost an hour's worth of overtime a week.

This is ridiculous.

Who set up these sweet deals?

I am all for paying police officers a very good wage. They deserve it. They have very difficult and dangerous jobs, especially in Milwaukee.

This goes above and beyond paying police officers a very good wage. This is bordering on pension scandal numbers.

To all of those folks out there who say think this really does not affect you or your taxes, think again.

Millions upon millions of our tax dollars are being sent to Milwaukee every single year to prop up failing systems. We all send the money out of our own communities to the state and they pour more and more money into failing education and work programs.

Stunningly, even though we, as taxpayers, continue to send more and more money to Milwaukee, many of us try to avoid going to Milwaukee because it is not safe.

What is taking place in Milwaukee affects every single Wisconsinite.

Milwaukee should be the crown jewel of our state. Instead it is a little scary to visit.

It is long past time for Milwaukee County leaders, state legislators, the governor, and the police unions to sit down and have a long heart to heart talk about the future of Milwaukee.

No more blaming taxpayers and talk show hosts for the failures in Milwaukee.(yes, I said "talk show hosts"- click on the link)

We all have a vested interest in ending the frivolous spending and the failed programs and help Milwaukee move in a new positive direction.

We should start by stepping outside of Milwaukee to her surrounding communities and hire the necessary 227 police officers and put these officers on the streets in Milwaukee. The rule that states that you must live in Milwaukee in order to work for the police needs to end immediately.

I cannot imagine how exhausted these police officers must feel with working the amount of overtime they are working. We need these officers well rested and ready to fight the war taking place in Milwaukee's streets.

Wisconsin is 5-0 and still getting shredded by the media

Week after week, Wisconsin wins and still they are mercilessly shredded by the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel-

On a day when the University of Wisconsin defense was gashed for 564 yards, with a combined 321 coming on just eight plays...

Every Sunday morning for the last 5 weeks, Wisconsinites have been treated to comments just like this one- even though Wisconsin keeps winning.

Now, I am not saying that it is not true. Much of the criticism of the Wisconsin Badgers, may well be justified.

Amazingly, the Badgers keep winning and winning.

Well, as long as they keep winning, I am willing to read story after story just like this one.

Congratulations, Jessica- BNN's new #1

Blog Net News came out with their new rankings on Wisconsin's Most Influential Blogs and Jessica McBride is the new #1.

Congratulations, Jessica!

Wisconsin's Most Influential Political blogs
McBride's Media Matters
Texas Hold 'Em Blogger
Badger Blogger
Boots and Sabers
Real Debate Wisconsin
Spring City Chronicle
The Right Side of Wisconsin
The Political Environment
The (Somewhat) Daily RAG
Shark and Shepherd
An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
The Critical Badger
Playground Politics
Paul Soglin: Waxing America
From Where I Sit
Fraley's Daily Takes
Stepping Right Up!

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Senator Judy Robson sends piecemeal budget letter over to DPI

Yes, folks- you read the headline correctly.

After all the fuss and muss about not presenting a piecemeal budget, that is exactly what Senator Robson did in her own special way yesterday.

Remember how insistence the Democrats were about how the budget all fits together and it could not be piece mealed????

Well, after realizing that the Democrats will be held solely responsible for massive tax increases because an entire budget was not passed by DPI's deadline, Senator Robson wrote a little letter-

But Senate Majority Leader Judy Robson (D-Beloit) sent Burmaster a letter saying she should use school funding figures that have been included in budget bills from Democrats, Republicans and Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle, even though they have not agreed to an overall budget.

Hello, Senator Robson- you just sent over a piecemeal portion of the budget and told DPI to go ahead and use it!!!!

Are you kidding me? No budget has been voted on! How can Robson yank out a portion of it and tell them DPI to go ahead and use the piece mealed numbers????

A portion of the budget was voted on and passed overwhelmingly in the Assembly. Yes, this was piecemeal portion that covered K-12 spending. However, Robson refused to take up the piecemeal, because she insisted that all areas of the budget affected each other and it could not be done!

The Democrats insistence that the entire budget stand together is clearly a complete and utter farce.

I am assuming that Senator Judy Robson will be calling the Senate together first thing Monday morning to vote on AB506 and pass this legislation. I am assuming that Robson knows whether or not the Governor will sign it also.

After all, why in heaven's name would Robson tell DPI to use numbers from the budget, if Robson did not plan on passing this portion of the piece mealed budget.

Realistically, how can the DPI legally send Robson's numbers out to the school districts, unless real legislation is actually passed.

After Senator Robson's actions, Rep. Mike Huebsch needs to insist that no more negotiations take place until the Democrats fulfill their commitment that Senator Robson just made to DPI!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Consider this a compliment, Speaker Huebsch

I love it.

Check out what Kreuser had to say about Huebsch-

Earlier today, Assembly Democratic Leader Jim Kreuser of Kenosha accused Huebsch of not negotiating in good faith because he has not moved on budget items other than the cigarette tax

"It's hard to negotiate with someone who doesn't want to move," Kreuser said.

Perfect! Stand your ground, Rep. Huebsch! Stand your ground, Republicans!

Tommorrow, the Democrats get to run around the state explaining to their constiuents why they refused to pass the school budget and their taxes went up and up!

Rep. Boehner on earmarks

Rep. Boehner talks on earmarks and the Democrats in todays Wall Street Opinion Journal

House Republicans have launched a renewed effort to change the way Congress spends taxpayers' money. Our goal: Stop Congress from tucking members' pet spending projects into bills without public scrutiny and debate.

Pork-barrel earmarks were an important factor in the loss of the GOP majority last November. Years of irresponsible earmarks, slipped into bills behind closed doors without public debate or scrutiny, eroded Republicans' reputation as the party of fiscal responsibility and trustworthy custodians of taxpayer funds.

I've never made a secret of my distaste for worthless pork. Just a few months after being elected as majority leader last year, we enacted comprehensive reforms that brought the earmark process out into broad daylight. All taxpayer-funded earmarks had to be publicly disclosed and subject to challenge and debate. If you sponsor a project, we argued, you ought to be willing to put your name on it and defend it--and if not, you shouldn't ask taxpayers to pay for it. These reforms were the right thing to do--and they still are.

The Democratic majority came to power in January promising to do a better job on earmarks. They appeared to preserve our reforms and even take them a bit further. I commended Democrats publicly for this action.

Unfortunately, the leadership reversed course. Desperate to advance their agenda, they began trading earmarks for votes, dangling taxpayer-funded goodies in front of wavering members to win their support for leadership priorities.

The Democrats' retreat began quietly, with passage of a "continuing resolution" in February that contained hidden earmarks. It steadily became more blatant. A troop funding bill was loaded with pork-barrel spending for things like spinach and peanuts--which one top Democrat publicly conceded was only in the bill to buy votes. Members were denied the ability to challenge individual earmarks on the House floor, stepping back from our original reforms and leaving members with no way to force a floor debate and vote on any earmark, even if it violated the rules or was particularly egregious.

By June, the leadership's dismal retreat culminated in a plan to pass appropriations bills loaded with slush funds for secret earmarks. The plan was met with a torrent of public criticism from voices across the political spectrum, and rightly so. House Republicans rallied to defeat the "secret earmarks" plan. It was a spirited fight: Everyone pitched in, and we fought with an energy found only in legislators who believe in their cause. It was a sign of a Republican Party beginning to return to its roots, breaking with past errors, and reconnecting with its principles. We forced Democrats to abandon their ill-conceived plan.


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Incompetence tax

Senator Kanavas gets it right- taxpayers just paid out another $1,000,000 in a "incompetence tax".

Due to the incompetence of Wisconsin's Department of Revenue, taxpayers shelled out $915,000 in interest payments to those folks that did not get their refunds in a timely fashion. It also cost taxpayers $54,000 in overtime pay to get caught up on the returns.

Computer scanners misread paper tax returns this year, delaying refunds and forcing the department to pay about 65,000 recipients 9% interest. The state paid more than $915,000 in interest and spent about $54,000 in overtime to catch up on the returns, Revenue Secretary Roger Ervin said in a letter to Sen. Ted Kanavas (R-Brookfield).

Kanavas said other taxpayers were having to pay for the state's errors.

"What we're doing is we're paying an incompetence tax," said Kanavas, who asked Ervin for the letter detailing the department's expenses.

I am a little curious why the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel opened this article with the line highlighted below.

The state Department of Revenue paid more than $900,000 in interest to taxpayers after computer and management problems caused delays in processing refunds, officials said Wednesday.

The State Department of Revenue paid not one thin dime out in interest. The State Department of Revenue has no money. Every single penny paid out was paid by the taxpayers of Wisconsin.

You talk the talk, now walk the walk!

Stand for what you believe in!

Strike a pose, Governor Doyle!

Okay, we all know that it is crunch time. Basically Governor Doyle, himself, has not bothered to be involved.

The rumor traveling around yesterday about our absentee governor, appear to be true.

Now the Governor has run off to Washington, DC.

Apparently, the budget does not mean that much to our governor.

Gov. Jim Doyle left this afternoon for Washington, D.C., where he is scheduled to meet with U.S. Rep. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, and U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Milwaukee, to talk about federal re-authorization of the SCHIP program.

Traveling with Doyle, spokesman Matt Canter said the governor has been in touch with budget negotiators throughout the day. "SCHIP re-authorization is an enormous federal issue right now, and Wisconsin has a critical stake in the program," Canter said.

He also defended Doyle against charges by some Republicans that he has been absent in budget negotiations. Doyle hasn't sat down at the bargaining table since Monday morning, but top aides like Deputy Chief of Staff Katie Boyce, Budget Director Dave Schmiedicke and DOA Executive Assistant Pat Henderson have been on hand.

"The governor has been at times there in person and has been available and accessible around the clock to both sides," said Canter. "He has been fully engaged around the clock about what's going on at the table. It's the Legislature's job to pass a budget, and to date, the Legislature has failed to do the job. He has made himself, his entire administration and his home available to legislators to come to agreement and get the job done. The expectation is that this happens now." Canter sounded a positive note on the budget negotiations. "There are new ideas, and that's progress," he said.

Doyle will return from D.C. tomorrow. The SCHIP re-authorization passed the House yesterday and is expected to pass the Senate later in the week. President Bush is expected to veto the bill.

These are the same people that have been representing the Governor during budget negotiations for the last three months, that has gotten us nowhere.

Doyle got his picture taken for the media, then he left.

The idea that Governor Doyle was going to try and break the budget log jam is a joke. His only interest in this budget is to get pretty pictures taken for the media! This is a crock!

I see Jessica McBride got the same information that I did.

Strike a pose, Governor Doyle!

Dear Senate Democrats...

The time to act is now.

No more stalling.

No more keeping your fingers crossed hoping that the big bad boogie men and women, known as Republicans, will just go away.

AB 506 and AB 507, the plans to fund schools, split shared revenue and keeping the property tax increases at the current levels, are not going away.

For months now, the Senate Democrats have demanded that Republicans and the taxpayers cave to massive tax increases in the new state budget.

Well, they have not caved.

When this entire process started, Senate Democrats had recently received a boost in political capital from the November 2006 elections. They now had control of the Senate in the state of Wisconsin.

That political capital could have carried Democrats a long way in budget negotiations with the governor and the state assembly.

When Governor Doyle first proposed the ’07 to ’09 budget, it was painfully obvious that there was a huge gap between the taxpayers of Wisconsin and the governor’s plan. Not only Republicans, but also the editorial boards across Wisconsin seemed stunned by the amount of tax increases in the governor’s budget.

This was an incredible opportunity for Senate Democrats to show their leadership skills and use some of the newly found political capital to bring this state together and close that gap.

Instead, as Senate Democrats, you decided to pander to your special interests groups (i.e. WEAC and the Road Builders) that helped you get elected. You wimped out on your campaign promises of fiscal conservatism.

The Democrats over-reached and destroyed their own political capital.

Senate Democrats immediately went out, created the Grand Canyon of all political gaps, and called it Healthy Wisconsin. Just to make matters worse, you also decided to add to even more tax increases in corporate taxes, which widened the gap even more.

The process of closing the budget gap between the taxpayers and their government must be done immediately.

DPI officials have set a deadline of this Friday as the last date for funding our schools at the new levels.

The Assembly Republicans and Democrats have already pushed the process forward so that the government can meet the requirements necessary to fully fund schools, fund local governments and protect the taxpayers.

Senate Democrats must act immediately, if they want to have any say in the funding of education, local governments and property taxes in this state.

Action must be taken now to avoid any problems that may pop up on this piece meal budget. There will be problems. Waiting until the last minute on Friday just looks bad.

Some Senate Democrats are holding out hope that perhaps meetings between the governor, Senator Robson and Speaker Huebsch will provide some answers. This appears unlikely to happen.

As it is, it appears as if the governor did not bother to stick around to help with the negotiations on the first day.

Senate Democrats- you are out of time and your political capital is spent. Pass the necessary legislation, NOW!

If you do not, Senate Democrats will be solely and completely responsible for a $600 million property tax increases.

Millions more tax dollars down the drain

This should come as no shock to anyone-

From the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Medicaid project further delayed
Computer system overhaul also to cost $4 million more

An already-delayed overhaul of the computer system that runs the state's health insurance program for the poor will be pushed back at least another three months and face higher costs.

You gotta love this next little diddy. How is it possible for this new system to be saving us money, when we are actually spending an additional $4 million on it?

Costs for the project are rising by about $4 million, to about $45.5 million. Not all of the increase is caused by the delay, and officials stress that the project's cost is being offset by savings the new system has generated.

This new system, designed to save us money, will actually cost taxpayers at least $14 million more than planned.

Did we miss a meeting where all of the IT people got together and decided that they were going to really stick it to the taxpayers of Wisconsin?

The Medicaid project is the latest state IT system to be beset with delays and higher costs. Legislative auditors in April detailed similar problems across state government and highlighted the Medicaid system as one lawmakers should keep their eyes on.

Good grief!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Go Marlins! Beat the Cubs!

I have never been a bigger fan of the Florida Marlins than I am right now.

Willis shuts down Cubs to lift Marlins

Cubs lose 4-2!

Brewers are winning in the top of the 8th, 9-1

Did Governor Doyle leave the budget negotiating table?

Is Governor Doyle really interested in hashing out an entire budget?

Rumor has it Governor Doyle stuck around long enough to get his picture taken, but left after the press conference-

Legislative leaders ended the week without any agreements, but an invitation to the Governor's residence Monday. After failing to show any leadership during the budget stalemate, Doyle has decided now is the time for him to step forward. However, it appeared Monday may have just been theatrics with Doyle leaving shortly after the morning press conference.

Speaker Huebsch and Senate Majority Leader Robson met until about 8:30 p.m. Monday night. They returned at 10 a.m. this morning for another day of meetings. The rest of this week's schedule is still to be determined.

Has anyone else heard if Governor Doyle is even involved in this process at all or is he just posing for pictures?

Supreme Court to hear Voter ID

This is great news.

The Supreme Court will be taking up the validity of voter ID. The case and the final ruling should all take place before next year's election.

The Supreme Court agreed Tuesday to decide whether voter identification laws unfairly deter the poor and minorities from voting, stepping into a contentious partisan issue in advance of the 2008 elections.

The justices will hear arguments early next year in a challenge to an Indiana law that requires voters to present photo ID before casting their ballots. The state has defended the law as a way to combat voter fraud.

The state Democratic party and civil rights groups complained that the law unfairly targets poor and minority voters, without any evidence that in-person voter fraud exists in Indiana. The party argued that those voters tend to be Democrats.


It will be nice to never again hear the words "voter disenfranchisement" again.

The right move?

Some folks have had it with MATC and decided that they are sick of sending their tax dollars to a MATC board that seems to have no respect for the taxpayers in their district.

District votes to leave MATC

The move, if successful, would cut MATC's property tax revenue by $5 million a year, cut property tax bills for Germantown School District residents and perhaps embolden other communities that are already weighing their own possible secession from MATC.

The potentially historic decision was made after virtually no discussion.

I have to disagree with the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on this one, this has been discussed for months. MJS was probably just pointing out that their was not much discussion before this actual vote.

"Taxation without representation" has been the call for the last several months in Germantown.

Check out this quote from the MATC spokesman when faced with the possibility Germantown would want to leave MATC-

The number of Germantown residents attending each campus probably would not change much if residents in the Germantown School District are moved out of the MATC district, said MATC spokesman Jim Gribble.

Wisconsin residents can attend any school in the system, and there are no differences in tuition rates based on residency.

Gribble said that he believes the metropolitan area surrounding the city should help pay for services provided in the urban core.

Basically, MATC wants Germantown's money.

Mike Nichols has an opinion on that-

In other words, suburbanites should stay in MATC because the urban center deserves their money. It's not just about education, apparently, it's about income redistribution and bigger issues.

This should be an interesting battle.

Monday, September 24, 2007

UAW strike

I am not going to comment one way or another on the strike by UAW members.

Quite frankly, I am getting tired of being beaten up by Kenosha's UAW local leadership, just because I am the chair of the Republican Party here in Kenosha County. Good grief, even when I am on the side of the workers and the UAW, I still get beaten up. It is ridiculous.

So, all I am going to do is post the opinion written by editors at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

However, all of the rest of you go ahead and comment.


Editorial: The UAW's walkout

The union's risky strategy could make an unhealthy company even sicker. A speedy resolution is in the best interest of the union, the company and the U.S. economy.

The United Auto Workers wants job security, but General Motors Corp. may be in no position to provide it.

That's what makes the union's first nationwide strike in more than 30 years so surprising. UAW President Ron Gettelfinger and his 73,000 fellow union members, including those in Janesville, know that GM is in bad shape. The union was so mindful of GM's problems that it was open to the idea of a health care trust fund that would allow GM to shift billions of dollars of obligations off its books.

Yet union members walked off their jobs anyway on Monday, and Gettelfinger blamed GM intransigence. No doubt the union boss has a point. And no doubt part of this is union theater.

But whether theater or genuine blowup, it's risky strategy. The UAW could make an unhealthy company even sicker. Surely, union members recall the devastating 1998 strike at GM's plant in Flint, Mich., which cost the company market share it never regained. A speedy resolution of the strike is essential for the long-term health of the domestic auto industry and for the broader economy.

There is plenty to criticize about GM; it has been nimble as a sloth at spotting trends, for example. But the day of reckoning on the company's legacy costs is long overdue. GM lost more than $12 billion over the past two years and has retiree health care liabilities approaching $55 billion. The company pays more than $1,600 in health care costs for every vehicle that rolls off the assembly line. Japanese rival Toyota spends about $200, a big reason foreign car makers are more competitive than the Big Three.

The two sides apparently agreed on a framework for a landmark plan to create the health care trust fund but could not agree on other issues that would affect how much GM invests in a trust. In the meantime, Gettelfinger is feeling pressure from his flanks to act tough. Even though union ranks are declining - down to 557,000 last year compared with 1.5 million in the mid-1970s - members are in no mood for giveaways after getting beaten up for years. Some dissidents loudly oppose the trust fund, which they fear will mean the end of their top-shelf health benefits.

GM must deal fairly, especially given the union's willingness to help the company offload its health care obligations. But union members have to understand that a quest for job security cannot mean undermining the company that would provide it.

What do you think about the United Auto Workers' decision to go on strike against General Motors Corp. Send a letter to: Journal Sentinel editorial department

Word of warning, if this lasts for more than a few days, I will have plenty to say.

Protecting the taxpayer: One man stands alone

Today, the ball finally gets rolling on passing a complete budget for the state of Wisconsin.

As the Governor, Senate Majority leader Judy Robson and Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch hunker down at the governor's mansion to try and hash out a budget compromise, one thing has become painfully clear:

When it comes to protecting the taxpayer, one man stands alone.

Speaker Mike Huebsch will be carrying the mantel for every single taxpayer in Wisconsin.

Without him, the folks paying the bills in this state would have absolutely no representation at all in these budget negotiations.

The virtual silence by the Democrats on the issue of protecting the taxpayers of Wisconsin is truly amazing.

There was a small blip from the Democrats a few weeks ago when they realized that if a budget was not passed by September 28th, property taxes could skyrocket. When this issue was addressed last week and passed by the Assembly, the Democrats are refusing to act on this legislation.

We have seen the Governor traipse around the state having his photo taken with school superintendents, fire fighters and city officials. Nowhere during these photo ops, have we seen the Governor Doyle standing up and fighting for the average taxpayer that continues to pay the bills this state incurs.

Even though, Speaker Huebsch will be alone in these meeting with the Governor and Senator Robson, he certainly has the support of the average taxpayer.

Many of the 2.7 million taxpayers in the state of Wisconsin are counting on Rep. Huebsch to push back against the Governor and the Senate Democrats and fight off the proposed tax increases.

Of course, the Governor and Senator Robson will accuse Rep. Huebsch and the Republicans of obstructing a new budget.

However, Rep. Huebsch must stand firm, even against these accusations.

We are counting on the Rep. Huebsch and the Republicans to wholly and completely obstruct the massive tax increases by the Democrats.

The Democrats are currently defending these massive tax increases by stating that the taxpayers expect services to be supplied to them by government.

To a certain extent, this is true. As taxpayers, we do expect our government to supply the services that we have paid for.

When we pay almost .33 cents in state taxes on every single gallon of gasoline that we purchase, we expect our government to provide good and safe roads to drive on.

When we scrimp and save for months to buy everything except for food, we then pay an additional 5.5% in sales tax. We expect our government to use that money to pay for good schools, health and family services and many other services.

When we hand over thousands of our own dollars in property taxes every year, we expect our government to spend this money wisely.

What we do not understand is why we have already paid .33 cents a gallon for gas and then we find out that the money for safe roads has been used in other departments.

We also do not understand why our senior citizens have paid their taxes for years and years to our state government, and then that government decides to jack their rates for hospital stays and a nursing home bed.

It is completely unacceptable that most Wisconsinites are living middle class lives in the middle of the Middle West and still we are one of the highest taxed states in the entire country.

Even as Rep. Huebsch and the Republicans head into the lion’s den today, they need to know that as taxpayers, we are counting on them and we are supporting them.

Last week, these same Republicans, with bi-partisan support, passed the most difficult parts of the budget and they are currently sitting on the desks of the lazy Senate Democrats who refuse to act.

Rep. Huebsch and the Republicans need to understand that there is absolutely no reason to try to ram thru the rest of the budget, if the terms of this budget are not perfect.

No matter what the Democrats, the UW Regents and the teacher’s union may say, there is no reason to impose massive tax increases to the already overburdened taxpayers in Wisconsin.

Rep. Huebsch and Republicans, please take your time and understand that the onus is now on the Governor and the Democrats to meet the Sept.28th deadline on funding schools and stopping the massive property tax increases. You have done what you needed to get done, with the passage of AB 506 and AB 507 and the people living in the state of Wisconsin know this.

If for some reason, our schools do not get funded, shared revenue is dispersed or our property tax levels are protected, the people of Wisconsin will look straight to the Governor and the Democrats and ask them why, with bi-partisan support, they still were not able to get the job done.

Yes, Republicans and Rep. Huebsch will be called obstructionists and that is okay. As taxpayers, we are counting on the Rep. Huebsch and the Republicans to build a protective wall between us and the massive tax increases proposed by the Governor and the Democrats.

Rep. Huebsch you may be walking in there alone today, but know that most of the 2.7 million taxpayers are standing behind you.

Good Luck.

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Weekly BNN ratings

The weekly Blog Network News ratings are out.

They have only rated these for the last few weeks.

Badger Blogger is back on top! Congrats Patrick!

Badger Blogger
McBride's Media Matters
Texas Hold 'Em Blogger
Boots and Sabers
The American Mind
folkbum's rambles and rants
Paul Soglin: Waxing America
From Where I Sit
Charlie Sykes
Stepping Right Up!
The World According to Nick
An Ol' Broad's Ramblings
Real Debate Wisconsin
Uppity Wisconsin
Fraley's Daily Takes
No Runny Eggs
Spring City Chronicle

I could add a widget to the sidebar. Anyone interested?

So, do you think you have all the answers?

Think again.

Much fuss has been made over the massive failure of US students in what they are calling a wide ranging civics literacy test. College students in the US averaged about 50% on this test.

I took the test and got 80%(48 of 60), but I was very lucky. I guessed on way too many of these questions.

Take the test yourself.

See- not that easy, huh?

Hat tip- Lance at Badger Blog Alliance

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Tired of Columbia University's antics?

Tired of the ridiculous antics being played by officials at Columbia University?

Hit 'em where it hurts the most- the pocketbook!

It seems that many alumni of the university are up in arms over this antic being played by the university-

Columbia's phones were flooded with angry calls from alumni, politicians and Jewish organizations, who are urging the university to cancel the visit.

Alumni and school supporters- pull your money. That will get their attention.

Parents- pull your kids out of this school. There are plenty of great schools in the New York area that would love to give your kids a great education.

Apparently the fact that the university has invited a terrorist to come an make his case in front of their students seems to mean nothing to the school.

Placing this terrorist at center stage of the university only seems to matter to the rest of America, but not the school leaders.

School President Bollinger talks of "robust debate", but their is not little debate on terrorist in this country.

Americans don't like terrorists, period. No Debate! We most certainly do not like terrorists trapsing around New York.

Ahmadinejad is a terrorist. Currently he is having American soldiers killed in Iraq.

For more on Iran's terrorist activities read the following article.

A Monster with Chutzpah

Highlights of this article-
Iran coordinates its terrorist sponsorship largely through its Ministry of Intelligence and Security and via the Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps. The Guard is also Ahmadinejad's chief power base - he's an IRGC veteran.

At the time of the Iranian Revolution, Ahmadinejad was a member of the executive committee of the student group that initially seized the U.S. embassy and took dozens of U.S. diplomats hostage. During his later time in the Guard, he was a member of the assassination team that killed several exiled Iranian Kurd dissidents in Vienna in 1989.


Friday, September 21, 2007

Democrats demand tax increases

Either the Democrats will jack your taxes through the roof on healthy Wisconsin or they jack your taxes by $3 billion on everything else they want.

That's the Democrats budget that they are bringing to the people?

Sen. Robson said the proposal is "a complete offer," and echoed a well-worn line from Rep. Huebsch.

"If you could remove a $15 billion tax increase, wouldn't you?" she asked.

"This is our offer, you can't pick and choose," she said.

Huebsch responded, "This is a trade? Is that what you're insinuating here?"

Either we rape the taxpayers for more money on Healthy Wisconsin or we rape them for more money on everything else- gas taxes, hospital taxes, cigarette taxes!

Wisconsin- you either get massive tax increases or super massive tax increases!

Healthy Wisconsin has died(kinda)

It took them long enough to realize that Healthy Wisconsin was killing any chance for a budget.

What a bunch of children these Dems are for holding onto this for so long.

Kinda like Linus hanging onto his security blankey.

Of course- now the Dems think they can have all of their tax increases!

Think again!

Senate Democrats have pulled their Healthy Wisconsin universal health care plan from their budget.

Sen. Robson said the Dems are dropping it "in the interest of moving the budget process forward," and they are offering a DHFS package that includes the cigarette tax increase, the hospital assessment, and BadgerCare expansion and transfer from Patients Compensation Fund.

Robson said Senate Dems were "sick of the silence" and "sick of the status quo" from Republicans on health care.

She promised to continue talking about Healthy Wisconsin for the entire upcoming session.Rep.

Huebsch responded by saying he accepts their removal of the proposal, and said it was a move "many felt should have been made long ago."

He also rejected the idea that Republicans aren't talking about health care reform, pointing to their consumer-driven proposals. He said there is a "need for the American consumer and free market to take over."

He guaranteed a public hearing in the Assembly for Healthy Wisconsin if it is passed in the Senate.

More on budget later.

Just got a phone call- Healthy Wisconsin is not dead unless the Republicans will give the Democrats everything else they want?

Can anyone verify that for me?

Willing suspension of disbelief

Over the last week and a half, much flip flap was made over Senator Hillary Clinton statement to General Petraeus-from USA Today

Petraeus and Crocker testified for the second day before Congress, this time at the Senate Foreign Relations and Armed Service committees. Among the presidential candidates there, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., said their testimony requires "the willing suspension of disbelief."

The media loved it.

As smart as Hillary is, I am surprised she did not realize that this statement will come back to bite her over and over again, during this entire campaign.

After Hillary's vote yesterday to not support the troops or General Petraeus by condemning the ad, Presidential candidate Mitt Romney had this to say-

"Hillary Clinton had a choice. She could stand with our troop commander in Iraq, or she could stand with the libelous left wing of her party. She chose the latter. The idea that she would be a credible commander-in-chief of our armed forces requires the willing suspension of disbelief."

Good shot Romney.

Yeah, I should say- this statement by Clinton will reappear over and over again and make for great political fodder, as she runs for President

Thursday, September 20, 2007

This seems odd...

Am I the only person who believes this looks strange?

On the front page of the online Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, we see distinctly different stories.

First, highlighted at the top of the page is more on the Pension mess that has wasted millions upon millions of taxpayer dollars.

Pension 'buyback' inquiry to cover several decades

A little further down the page, we are treated to this editorial complaining that Milwaukee County Exec Scott Walker is "cutting into bone" when it comes to the new budget on Milwaukee County Parks and cutting 81 county jobs.

Editorial : Cutting into bone

Let's see. Normal readers will see millions upon millions of their tax dollars being wasted in county employee pensions. In the next, they will see a complaint by the media that more county tax dollars are not being spent on county parks and see these very same county employees hugely benefiting from these pension buybacks.

Well, that is enough to confuse any reader.

Should the taxpayers feel sorry for the employees that are losing their jobs?(even though they still retain their pension)


Should the taxpayers be angry because county employees are making out like bandits on their tax dollars?

It seems odd to me that the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel would run both the story and this editorial on the same day.

I would love to see the MJS editorial staff come out and name exactly which part of the budget should be slashed. Obviously taxpayers are being taken for a ride.

Slashing more money out of the taxpayers pockets is not an option. Taxpayers pay enough!

Ahmandinejad accepts invitation to speak at Columbia University

A lot of fuss has been made about Iranian leader Ahmadinejad visiting Ground Zero, as well there should be.

The thought of this leader of a terrorist nation visiting the hallowed grounds of the world's largest terrorist attack is sickening.

New York officials are working on denying him access.

In the meantime, the President of Columbia University thought it was a great idea to invite Ahmandinejad to speak at the university.

Ahmandinejad has accepted the invitation.

So now we have this terrorist speaking to our nation's young people at the invitation of the University.

Bollinger's reason-

“It should never be thought that merely to listen to ideas we deplore in any way implies our endorsement of those ideas, or the weakness of our resolve to resist those ideas, or our naiveté about the very real dangers inherent in such ideas,” Bollinger said. “It is a critical premise of freedom of speech that we do not honor the dishonorable when we open the public forum to their voices. To hold otherwise would make vigorous debate impossible.”

So Bolliniger decided to give him a center stage platform.

Does anyone else have a problem with Ahmandinejad speaking to our young people?

I cannot believe that Columbia University would give center stage to one of America's enemies.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Dems difficulty with terrorism issues

Yeah- I should say the Democrats have some serious problems with terrorism issues.

I am just shocked that the Washington Post recognizes it.

Who's bright idea was it to create a "Detainee Bill of Rights"?

Oh yeah- Senator Arlen Specter and Senator Patrick Leahy. That should not come as a shock to anyone.

A Republican filibuster in the Senate yesterday shot down a bipartisan effort to restore the right of terrorism suspects to contest in federal courts their detention and treatment, underscoring the Democratic-led Congress's difficulty with terrorism issues.

The 56 to 43 vote fell short of the 60 needed to cut off debate and move to a final vote on the amendment to the Senate's annual defense policy bill. But the measure did garner the support of six Republicans, a small victory for its supporters. A similar vote garnered 48 votes last September.

The detainee rights amendment was an effort to reverse a provision in last year's Military Commissions Act that suspended the writ of habeas corpus for terrorism suspects at the military detention facility in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, and other offshore prisons.

The Supreme Court had previously ruled that such detainees did have the right to appeal their detention in federal court, but the court invited Congress to weigh in on the issue. At the urging of the Bush administration, the Republican-controlled Congress last year voted to sharply limit detainee access to the courts. Since then, the high court has agreed to hear in its upcoming term another legal challenge concerning the habeas corpus rights of detainees at Guantanamo.

The authors of last year's bill said that advocates of such rights would open the federal courts to endless lawsuits from the nation's worst enemies. "To start that process would be an absolute disaster for this country," said Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.), an Air Force Reserve lawyer who was instrumental in crafting the provision in question in last year's bill.

But advocates of the rights, led by Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Patrick J. Leahy (D-Vt.) and the panel's ranking Republican, Sen. Arlen Specter (Pa.), argued that Congress should right last year's historic wrong.

The Senate's action "calls into question the United States' historic role of defender of human rights in the world," Leahy said. "It accomplishes what opponents could never accomplish on the battlefield, whittling away our own liberties."

How does a lack of a Detainee Bill of Rights, whittle away our own liberties as American citizens, Senator Leahy?

They failed again

It was a ridiculously dangerous plan anyway.

Democrats' efforts to challenge President Bush's Iraq policies were dealt a demoralizing blow Wednesday in the Senate after they failed to scrape together enough support to guarantee troops more time at home.

Try as they might, Senator Harry Reid and his buddies still do not understand- victory is our only option in Iraq. Failure to defeat the terrorists in Iraq is not an option-

Thank goodness these dangerous plans by the Democrats continue to fail in Congress.

The 56-44 vote — four short of reaching the 60 needed to advance — all but assured that Democrats would be unable to muster the support needed to pass tough anti-war legislation by year's end. The legislation, sponsored by Sen. Jim Webb, D-Va., was seen as the Democrats' best shot because of its pro-military premise.

"The idea of winning the war in Iraq is beginning to get a second look," said Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., who led opposition to the bill alongside Sen. John McCain.

Webb's legislation would have required that troops spend as much time at home training with their units as they spend deployed in Iraq or Afghanistan. Members of the National Guard or Reserve would be guaranteed three years at home before being sent back.


Dan Rather files $70 million lawsuit against CBS, Viacom

I was wondering who was going to file the first lawsuit in this.

The winner is, Dan Rather

Dan Rather filed a $70 million lawsuit Wednesday against CBS, claiming the network made him a 'scapegoat' for a discredited story about President Bush's military service.

The lawsuit, filed in State Supreme Court in Manhattan, claims the network intentionally mishandled the aftermath of the story about Bush's time in the Texas Air National Guard, and had Rather take the fall to 'pacify' the White House after the story.

The 75-year-old Rather, whose final months were clouded by controversy over the story, claimed the network gave him fewer and less important assignments and little airtime on '60 Minutes' after forcing him to step down as anchor of the 'CBS Evening News' in March 2005.
The suit also names former CBS parent company
Viacom Inc., CBS President and CEO Leslie Moonves, Viacom chairman Sumner Redstone, and Andrew Heyward, former president of CBS News. The suit is seeking $20 million in compensatory damages and $50 million in punitive damages.


Not quite as unlateral as they thought

Sometimes it is just a single word that shows the bias the media clings to.

That single word for The Capital Times is "unilaterally". This is a news story, not an opinion piece.

The two sides were set to meet for talks again today, but the Assembly is also scheduled to unilaterally approve on Tuesday its own stopgap plan to fund schools and to restore property tax limits that expired earlier this year. Both Doyle, a Democrat, and Senate Democrats have said they will not support anything short of a complete budget deal.

Definition: unilateral

Performed or undertaken by only one side: unilateral disarmament.

The final vote was not as "unilateral" as The Capital Times had hoped. 20 Democrats joined the Republicans in this "not so unilateral" vote and passed the school budget.

70-27 was the final vote. Not exactly coming from one side only.

Maybe these Assembly Democrats can put a little pressure on their friends in the Senate to fully fund schools now.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007


Of course it passed. The surprise is how many Democrats supported the Republicans proposals. It seems that more than a few Democrats realize that they will have to answer to their constiuents, if they fail to fund the schools and protect the taxpayers.

In a sign that increasingly restless legislators are demanding a state budget, the Assembly today overwhelmingly passed a bill that would fund two of the most expensive programs - public schools and local governments - for the next two years.

Democrats, who control the state Senate, have promised to not take up the bill passed by the Assembly. Instead, they want to wait instead until a compete budget is negotiated and sent to Gov. Jim Doyle. That package would fund health care, transportation, prisons and the University of Wisconsin System.

But the 70-27 Assembly vote - with 50 Republicans and 20 Democrats voting for it - put new pressure on the eight-member committee of legislative leaders that has met since July 25, but failed to break the impasse over the spending year that started July 1. The committee is scheduled to meet again Wednesday.

"This (vote) could be catalyst for us to work together," said Democratic Rep. Jim Kreuser of Kenosha.

Assembly Speaker Mike Huebsch (R-West Salem) said the separate funding bill for schools and local governments, which make up more half of all state government general-fund spending, was necessary to put limits on the December property tax bills on homes.

"We will have completed over half the state budget with this bill," Huebsch said.

A second bill that passed 52-45 would limit the 2008 tax levies of local governments to 2%, or the percentage increase caused by new construction, whichever is greater. Those levy limits expired early this year.

Roll call

Now the real grown up choices have to made. Will the Senate Democrats fund schools and protect the taxpayers from a $600 million tax increase?

Democrats are holding Wisconsin hostage

More than likely, by the end of this week, the Assembly Republicans will have managed to pass two very large portions of the 2007-2009 state budget.

Like most states, we spend more on education than on any other areas in our state budgets. By the end of this week the Assembly Republicans will pass a portion of the state budget that fully funds our schools K-12.

This is wonderful news. Over the last several weeks, the Democrats have been telling us of the looming crisis about to hit this state if funding for the school districts is not worked out in the budget. The same is true for aid to local governments. As the local governments are working on their own budgets, they need to know how much state aid they will receive in the budget. This should help keep the property taxes down.

It appears that the legislation will be done in plenty of time for the school districts and local governments to set their finances for the year.

However, there is still one major problem.

Neither the Democrats in the State Senate, nor Democrat Governor Jim Doyle will sign off on this portion of the budget. They have made it very clear, either they get the entire budget negotiated or nothing will pass.

Now, you might ask yourself, with this crisis looming, why would the Democrats reasonably hold these two portions of the budget and refuse to pass it?

Could the reason be that the Democrats believe that the schools and local governments are not getting the financing the Democrats believe they deserve?

No, that is not it. In fact, the Republicans compromised and gave the schools exactly what the Senate Democrats were asking. The Assembly Republicans even went so far as to restore some controversial tax sharing revenues to some of the Democratic strongholds.

However, the Republicans did cap the local levies at 2% or a percentage of growth- whichever is higher. The Governor and the Senate Democrats want to increase this cap to 4%.

Overall, it is a fair proposal and a fair compromise from Assembly Republicans.

So, why are the Governor and the Senate Democrats digging in their heals and promising not to pass these important parts of the budget?

Originally, there was even some talk of a piece meal budget being foreign territory. It had never been done before and folks were not sure how to proceed forward.

In reality, a piece meal budget has happened twice in recent history. In 1995, the transportation budget was broken out from the rest of the budget and passed separately. In 1999, K-12 funding was also passed separately.

It has been done and it can be done.

The Governor and the Senate Democrats are currently holding schools and local government hostage by their refusal to compromise and pass these portions of the budget.

We have seen signs that the Assembly Democrats are willing to move forward with Rep. Kreuser working on delivering some democrat votes in support of funding for these two portions of the budget.

This is great news; unfortunately, it is in the Senate, not the Assembly, where we need to see movement on this budget.

So far, we have seen no movement from Democratic Senate leaders, Robson and Decker, in their willingness to compromise and pass funding for schools and local governments.

Also, the governor is refusing to budge from his promised veto.

These Democrats are staunchly holding onto their tax increases. The 18 Senators that passed the $18 billion in tax increases are refusing to give up Healthy Wisconsin or any of these tax increases.

So far, the only reason Democrats have given for keeping themselves out of this budget process is that they feel the budget should be passed all together.

It is not necessary to pass the entire budget at once. A piece meal budget has been done before and should be done again.

There is a way forward on this budget impasse.

The Assembly Republican’s plan to pass school funding and local government funding, will solve the immediate problem we have.

If left to their own devices, local governments could impose huge property tax increases and school districts could impose massive increases in the school tax levies. This is detrimental to the taxpayers of Wisconsin.

The Democrats need to stop holding the people of Wisconsin hostage and go ahead and provide the funds to our schools and local governments.

It is unfair to the taxpayers of Wisconsin to be subjected to massive school tax levy increases and property tax increases, because the Democrats refuse to move forward.

Wisconsin’s state motto is “Forward”.
Democrats, what are you waiting for? It is time to move forward and get this budget done, even if you pass one piece at a time.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Does the "piece meal" budget kill the Frankenstein Veto?

My friend Matt and I were just talking about this on the phone.

Does the "piece meal" budget kill the Frankenstein Veto?

Think about this for a moment...

Perhaps this is the reason that Governor Doyle and the Democrats insist on having the budget all together.

It would be very difficult for the Governor and the Democrats to slide money in between certain areas of the budget, if it is not all in one piece.

You remember when the Governor raided $1 billion out of the Transportation fund and moved it over to the Education budget?

How would he be able to do that if the Education budget passes on it's own and then the Transportation budget passes at a later date?

How would the Governor be able to move his magic Frankenstein veto pen around without a whole budget?

I don't know, folks. Just a thought.

Perhaps some of our state legislators could help us answer this question. I have emailed them- I will let you know their responses.

Speaking truth to power

I know the liberals love this line- "speaking truth to power". Sometimes this line backfires on them.

An Iraqi War soldier decided he would "speak truth to power" and he aimed that truth directly at his senators in the pages of the New York Daily News. Sometimes that truth hurts.

Dear Senators and Representatives:

You shared in starting this war, now you want to end it, without regard for our progress, or the consequence of defeat?

I served in Iraq two years ago, at your request. We have a saying in the noncommissioned officer corps, "I get my power from Congress." That's you.

As a first sergeant, I led 160 soldiers from a New York Army National Guard military intelligence battalion. When politicos and pundits talk about a surge, men and women like us serve as the vital fluids that form the waves.

We deployed about two-and-a-half years after the initial invasion, which toppled Saddam Hussein and destroyed and scattered his military. My job was to continue that mission. Prepare convoys. Keep my troops focused. Make sure they ate, drank water, got necessary rest. Keep them safe, get them home.

We ran over a hundred convoys. We withstood mortar attacks, a rocket sailed right over our billets, a nearby vehicle-borne improvised explosive device rained car parts and shrapnel down around us. A rocket hit the dining facility, and mortars hit its parking lot. One sailor attached to us, having a late night smoke, lost his legs when a mortar landed at his feet.

We aggressively identified terrorist cells and local area anti-coalition forces for targeting. Our ground surveillance radar guys ran missions with Army scouts in remote areas, survived IEDs and a complex ambush. We came back home knowing there was more job to be done, but we knew we'd done well.

We did our job. Why are you resigned to failure?

Back in 2003, you — including both of my senators, Charles Schumer and Hillary Clinton — voted to authorize the President to take military action. You voted, and by virtue of your authority, that means the U.S. government went to war.

You approved the appointment of Gen. David Petraeus, who last week sat in front of your committees and explained the progress of the war and the difficulties of the way ahead. It was an honest and forthright assessment from a soldier who thinks the military can achieve our objectives and that the military can create the environment for real change in Iraq.

Critics seemed to tune him out even before he began. They seem to believe that this war has already been too long and too painful to continue. Sen. Clinton, you rejected Gen. Petraeus' testimony as a "positive view of a grim situation," stating that accepting his testimony at face value required a "willing suspension of disbelief."

I wonder if being a politician means knowing how to call your opponent an opportunist and a liar to his face, without ever stating it plain.

I voted for you in 2000. Could I take that vote back, the way you seem to want to take back your vote to authorize force?

My soldiers know about the long and painful costs of war. All of us left our civilian jobs for a year and a half, and left our families and loved ones behind. Some lost their families or their marriages, and some lost their grip on home or health.

Yet none of us in the military serve under any illusion. We know what we signed up for. That's why so many of us reenlist.

Wars take time. They require steady will and determination. They compel commitment.

If fighting Saddam Hussein, and later Al Qaeda, in Iraq was important when earlier in this mission, they should still be important today. Al Qaeda is badly wounded there and elsewhere, but they aren't dead yet. Iraq is making gains as a democratic nation, but they still need help. They still need time.

Dear Senators and Representatives, you criticize President Bush relentlessly — picking apart the speech he gave last week with withering words, looking for any and every chance to bring him down.

But at least he maintains steady attention to this war. At least he seems to grasp the stakes of losing and the danger of giving up. Not so Congress.

Leaders influence the morale of their people, for good or bad. I wish you wanted to lead your constituents toward victory rather than defeat.

Nuding served in 2005 in Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Military Intelligence Battalion, 42nd Infantry Division of the N.Y. Army National Guard.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Taxpayers- Just hand over your money and no one gets hurt

We are once again subjected to another "not so veiled" threat from academic elitists out of Madison.

From the pages of the Wisconsin State Journal comes another threat against the taxpayers of Wisconsin.

Either we hand over every single penny that the academics believe they need or they will set about spending millions upon millions of dollars to destroy every single politician or person that dares challenge them on their wasteful spending habits.

Conservatives have long accused college professors of turning young minds into liberal mush.

But a much more real and direct threat to the right wing are the professors ' wallets.

University employees are giving far more money to political campaigns than a decade ago. They 're actually giving more than the oil industry and drugmakers, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks donations.

How do like that?

The academic elitists are giving more money than the evil oil companies.

Now, we already know that these elitists are filling the pockets of the Democrats, and this article is certainly not denying it.

Let's stop here for a moment and study this. If a conservative politician accepts money from a person in the oil industry, that politician is accused of being corrupt and "on the take" from the oil companies. After all, the oil company execs are only trying to buy politicians for their own tax breaks.

However, when a liberal politician accepts money from the academic elitists, they are celebrated as being progressive.

Not only is it celebrated, but it is encouraged by the media. This opinion article written by Scott Milfred, an editor with the Wisconsin State Journal, is a perfect example of this celebration.

The question becomes- why is it okay for the liberals to be "on the take" from the academic elitists? Why is it the Democrats are not accused of being corrupt even though they are accepting millions of dollars in campaign donations in order to push more money into the hands of the academic elitists?

After all, these elitists are demanding more and more money from the taxpayers ever single year. They need the Democrats in power in order to get every single penny they can from the taxpayers.

A perfect example of this corruption is State Senator Bob Wirch. In 2004, Senator Wirch accepted $569,270 in WEAC support.

Clearly WEAC was buying themselves a politician. If Senator Wirch's opponent, Reince Priebus, had accepted $569,270 from oil company execs, can you imagine what would have been said about Priebus? Can you imagine the accusations of corruption that would have been heaped upon Priebus by the media?

As it was, during the campaign, WEAC candidate, Senator Wirch had the nerve to accuse Priebus of being in the "pockets of special interests"!

In fact, in 2004, WEAC bought themselves a ton of candidates. The WEAC PAC spent over $1,800,000 on state legislator's races.

Somehow, these politicians accepting this incredible amounts of money are not considered corrupt. Why is that? Talk about your special interests!

As we travel on through this article, there are a few other little tidbits of information.

Do not question embryonic stem cell research or global warming. The academic elitists will not tolerate this. If you question the science behind either of these issues they will set out to destroy you.

Right now, on the state level, the special interest group known as the "academic elitists" are having a hissy fit because they are not getting the incredible amount of tax dollars that they think they deserve in this year's budget.

Now, it is certainly okay for the schools to complain, and no one expects them not to.

Education is important. As a state, well over half of our budget goes to education and that is the way that it should be. There comes a point when taxpayers just cannot afford any more. When this happens, it is up to all of us to figure out new ways to stop wasting money and becoming more efficient.

What I do find to be amazing is that as smart as these academic elitists are, they have yet to figure out that it was Governor Jim Doyle, the Democrat, who proposed and implemented massive cuts to the UW system. Still somehow, it was the Republicans in the state legislature that incurred the academic elitist's wrath. Simply amazing that these intellectuals still forked over millions of dollars to Governor Doyle and the Democrats last year.

The author of this article goes on the issue a not so veiled threat to the Republicans-

If conservatives want to lead the Wisconsin of the future, they would be wise to stop belittling its brainpower today.

So taxpayers, you dare not question UW spending. You dare not question the academic elitists. You dare not question where the money is being spent. You dare not question their academic standards.

The author of this article is trying to teach us all a lesson-

Taxpayers, just hand over your money and no one gets hurt.

To any person who dares question the academic elitists, you will be destroyed and the elitists will just go out and buy themselves a puppet to do their bidding.

H/T Dan commenting at Badger Blogger

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Another sexual predator could walk

If activist judges are going to completely discount a jury's finding, why do we even have a judicial system that includes a jury?

Overturned verdict stuns DA-

A stunned Sheboygan County district attorney said Thursday he will seek to appeal Circuit Judge Timothy Van Akkeren's decision overturning a man's conviction for trying to entice a 9-year-old girl into a park shelter to have sex.
Van Akkeren made his ruling just minutes after the jury handed down its guilty verdict Wednesday, saying that the shelter the man tried to lure the girl into wasn't secluded enough to satisfy the requirements of the charge.
According to a criminal complaint, Mitchell D. Pask, 44, of Sheboygan was charged in June with approaching the girl at a playground at Workers' Water Street Park in Sheboygan, offering her candy and asking her to follow him to a nearby shelter.

Van Akkeren's reason for overthrow the verdict by the jury:

Van Akkeren immediately overturned the verdict, however, determining that the park shelter was not a "secluded area" as required for the charge.

The jury actually traveled out to the location and determined that indeed there were plenty of secluded areas.

Steve, from No Runny Eggs, also traveled out to the site where the crime took place and video taped plenty of secluded areas.

How can any judge do this?

The defendant is a convicted sex offender who has been in front of Van Akkeren on 6 seperate occasions. If it were not for the fact that the defendant is charged in another criminal case, this man would be walking free right now.

Pask has appeared before Van Akkeren in six other cases, online court records show. Those include the misdemeanor disorderly conduct charge and others for disorderly conduct, resisting an officer and bail jumping.

I would love to know what, if any, punishment Pask has received from Judge Van Akkeren.

Not secluded? Judge for yourself, Steve has the video.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Right on queue...

24 hours?

Perhaps not even that long.

Governor Jim Doyle's lackey launched into a diatribe about the Assembly Republicans determination to move forward on the state budget-

Republican legislative leaders should stop the "theatrics" in the state budget standoff and get back to work on a complete two-year budget, Michael Morgan, Gov. Jim Doyle's top aide, said today.
An Assembly GOP plan to debate the school portion of the state budget next week is not a serious effort and will merely delay the hard work of compromise on a total budget, Morgan said during a meeting with Journal Sentinel editors and reporters.

For the last several days, I have called on the Democrats to belly up to the negotiating table and offer up a plan to break the budget impasse.

The Democrats refuse to act.

Despite the continuous onslaught of insults, only the Assembly Republicans are working on the state budget.

Only the Assembly Republicans are working on breaking the budget impasse.

Only the Assembly Republicans are protecting the taxpayers from massive tax increases.

There sits the Democrats and Governor Doyle doing little more than sitting on their hands. The only time they make a move is when they are fishing around in the taxpayer's pockets.

Apparently, all the Democrats know how to do is grub around in the taxpayer's pockets and insult Republicans.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Democrats- Do you have anything to offer the overburdened taxpayers in Wisconsin?

This is Wisconsin budget debate is beginning to get entertaining.

Honestly, the Democrats have no idea what to do. They Democrats are still offering no solutions. The Democrats have no idea how to proceed forward.

The Democrats are once again reduced to bashing Republicans for their ideas, yet offer up nothing of their own.

I honestly believe they have no clue how to proceed forward. So they revert to their old ways of insulting, instead of providing leadership.

Senator Decker-

"It's time for the Assembly Republicans to get serious and start negotiating and compromising instead of throwing out ridiculous ideas that aren't even worth considering," Decker said.

Like what, Senator Decker? You got any ideas? Senator Decker- what is your compromise proposal?

Does any single Democrat, including the governor, have any single proposal that will break this impasse?

These are the very same Democrats that made promise after promise a year ago as they are running for office, that they had new fresh ideas. Faced with a real test, and they have nothing.

Here they sit- the Democrats are in charge, and honestly they have no idea what to do.

Do the Democrats really believe that the people of Wisconsin voted for them because they believed their taxes were not high enough?

Do the Democrats really believe that the people of Wisconsin really want their taxes increased?

The Republicans are doing the right thing here- they are moving forward with or without the Democrats.

Local governments and local school boards will be allowed to raise taxes to any level they choose. They can charge what they want with few limitations. Even the governor recognizes this-

Huebsch argued that passing those pieces while talks continue on other parts of the budget made sense in order to protect taxpayers from higher-than-necessary tax increases.

"If you knew that you could save property taxpayers more than $589 million and move the budget deliberations forward by agreeing on funding our top priorities, wouldn't you?" Huebsch said in a prepared statement.

Doyle warned last month that failure to pass a new state budget will result in property taxes going up $150 on a median-valued home in Wisconsin.


Huebsch said it's important to act soon, given that the state Department of Public Instruction has said that if the budget isn't passed by Sept. 28, the amount of aid sent to public schools will be based on the current level and not include increases from either budget. Without more state aid, schools could be forced to either make cuts or raise property taxes.

Likewise, cities and counties may raise property taxes if a state budget with additional money, and new levy limits, isn't enacted.

Any yet, the Democrats are offering nothing. They want their tax increases and they will not budge!

Democrats are not backing down from their $15.2 billion universal health care plan, while Republicans rejected Doyle's major proposals and included far less funding in a number of areas, including higher education.

Clearly, the Democrats in Wisconsin have decided that they will take their stand against every single taxpayer in Wisconsin.

Let the Democrats stand there and explain to the taxpayers of Wisconsin next year, why their taxes went up so much, because they refused to act or compromise.

Let the Democrats explain to the taxpayers why they stood by and did nothing while local governments and school boards raised property taxes.

Let the Democrats defend why they needed the largest tax increase in state history as they face the voters next year.

Let the Democrats explain why they could not come up with a compromise.

Let the Democrats explain that when faced with a tax crisis, all they offer are insults and no ideas.

Let the Democrats explain to these very same taxpayers why they refused to protect them when they know a tax increase crisis was coming.

The Republicans and Rep Huebsch have a responsibility to protect the taxpayers and still move forward for Wisconsin school children.

Hey Democrats- belly up to the table

Several days ago, some Assembly Republicans offered to begin the process of protecting the schools and protecting the taxpayer’s property taxes.

The Assembly Republicans want to go ahead and pass the part of the budget that will fund the K-12 school systems and also protect the property taxes from going too much higher.

I figured that since the Republicans were doing what they could to move towards a resolution on two very important issues, that the Democrats would easily jump on board.

This is a big olive branch that has been handed to the Democrats to go ahead and address the spending needed for all of the school districts across the state.

Not only did the Democrats and the Governor not accept the olive branch, now they are lashing out at the Republicans.

Frankly, I am rather surprised by the reaction of the Governor and the Democrats.

According to the Governor and the Democrats, the issue of spending for K-12 schools is their number one issue.

It is rather stunning that the Democrats insist that the schools wait even longer to find out how much.

This is what the Democrats are saying their reason is for not wanting to negotiate is-

But any Assembly-passed spending bills would not become law, since Democrats who control the Senate are insisting that a compete budget be negotiated. Doyle agreed this week, saying all major spending programs -- schools, aid to local governments, health care and prisons -- are closely related.
A Senate Democratic leader made the same point Friday. "You can't do piecemeal budgets," Sen. Russ Decker (D-Weston), cochairman of the Legislature's Finance Committee, said in an interview.

Hum? That is some excuse.

Let us think about this for a second.

Isn’t this how most budgets are debated? Piecemeal. Section by section. Line by line.

This has been the process for as long as our government has been taxing and spending the money of Americans.

How often do we see spending bills being debated after a budget is passed, by not only our national legislatures, but our state legislators also.

Every single one of these spending bills affects the bottom line in our budgets.

Even after a budget is finally passed, billions of dollars more is spent throughout the entire budget cycle. That is what the legislature does, they spend money continuously. In fact, it would be nice to get them to slow down the money spending process a little.

So the excuses that the Democrats and the Governor are making, just do not fly.

The legislators could even do something simple like offer up a base budget that will cover K-12 education costs and local government aid, and then the next two years battling over tax and spending increases, as individual bills.

In fact, just yesterday a suggestion very similar to this one was offered up by a REPUBLICAN. Thank you Rep. Albers! (H/T Boots and Sabers)

Common sense would dictate that the first step of the committee would be to agree on an appropriate level of government spending, with the next discussion being what our priorities are. The Democrats at the table instead have focused on which taxes to increases.

Right now, ONLY the Republicans in our state legislature are offering suggestions on how to break the budget impasse. The Republicans have now offered up two suggestions on how to move the process forward.

What have the Democrats offered?

The Democrats offer up no suggestions on how to move forward. They are clutching onto their tax increases with both fists and refusing to negotiate.

For that matter, the Governor has offered up absolutely no suggestions on how to move forward. He is in China.

Where is the leadership on the side of the Democrats?

Come on Democrats, it is time for you to belly up to the negotiating table and offer up some solutions.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

The New Republic's deceptions- the truth comes out!

The New Republic and their false stories have once again been outed. This is information that we already knew, but their are a lot of new and interesting facts to read.

Bob Owens reveals the real truth at Pajamas Media-

- Private Scott Beauchamp did not reveal that he was “Scott Thomas,” author of “Shock Troops,” until he was asked to sign a second sworn statement. It was after he signed this statement that his identity was revealed in The New Republic.

- Major Cross has seen no evidence of any sort of fact checking by The New Republic’s editors prior to publication, a sentiment shared by Army Public Affairs Officers in both Iraq and Kuwait. It is also worth noting that TNR editors have refused to publish PAO statements that contradict their claims.

- Major Cross was unable to find anyone in Beauchamp’s squad, platoon, or company that would corroborate the stories he told in “Shock Troops.”

- Beauchamp was the subject of a second investigation, which found him guilty of violating his unit’s operational security for which he could have been thrown out of the Army.

Read the whole thing.

I also found it quite interesting that after the New Republic insisted that the tall tales told by this soldier had been fact checked and corroborated over and over again, the truth came out about that also.

Turns out the fact checker for New Republic was the wife of the soldier telling the tall tales.

How many times does the New Republic get caught doing these types of stories before their credibility as a media source is completely shot?