If only I worked out a little more....


Expensive Brats...

From 'The Hill' - The newspaper for and about the US Congress:

Under the heading of

Meat lovers with PAC money to spend need not venture far from the Hill this week.

is this:

Finally, on Thursday, Rep. Tom Petri (R-Wis.) hosts his annual Brat Fry for $1,000 per PAC and $500 per individual.

Now, I love a good brat as much as the next guy, but this is pretty darn extreme. The horseradish and buns must be pretty swanky in DC.


More American's Now Call Themselves Democrats!

Gallup: In Shift, More Americans Now Call Themselves Democrats
By E&P Staff Published: March 29, 2006 12:15 PM ET

NEW YORK In a (perhaps) historic shift, more Americans now consider themselves Democrats than Republicans, the Gallup organization revealed today.

Republicans had gained the upper hand in recent years, but 33% of Americans, in the latest Gallup poll, now call themselves Democrats, with those favoring the GOP one point behind. But Gallup says this widens a bit more "once the leanings of Independents are taken into account."

Independents now make up 34% of the population. When asked if they lean in a certain direction, their answers pushed the Democrat numbers to 49% with Republicans at 42%. One year ago, the parties were dead even at 46% each.

This shift indicates, Gallup says, why its polls show Democrats leading in this year's congressional races.

The latest poll was taken from January to March 2006, with a national sample of about 1,000 adults.

Maybe this guy was right.


Mark Green is trying to take away votes:

Yesterday, I linked to a statement by the State Elections Board titled: "Requirements for Registering on Election - Day Elections Board Adjusts Rule to Avoid Discouraging Voters"

What an honorable goal, encouraging people to vote, to take part in their government.

It seems that discouraging the vote is more what Mark Green is after. Today, he challenged the SEB's sensible take on how to both comply with the 'Help America Vote Act' and make sure that votes can be cast and counted in the spring election with a letter to the US Justice Department.

Why? He's afraid that people who register using their Social Security numbers instead of their Driver's license numbers may still be considered registered for the fall election.

Who do you know that have Social Security numbers, but not always Driver's license numbers, yet vote in high numbers?

Senior citizens.

That's right, seniors. Mark Green wants to make sure that it is difficult for seniors to vote in the fall, because he knows that among other issues, Doyle's protection of Senior Care is the one thing that saved them from Mark Greens Medicare Part D disaster (passed by one vote - and Mark Green voted for it).

Mark Green knows that. And it scares him.

Make sure you know the facts before you vote. Not just to select a candidate, but to get through the door.

Another reason that the Voter ID bill pushed by WI Republicans is no good. If passed today, 85,000 seniors in Wisconsin would have to make a trip to the DMV before next Tuesday.

Do you want to be in that line?

Abramoff gets 5 years 10 months

A federal judge has sentenced former lobbyist Jack Abramoff to five years and 10 months in prison in his Florida fraud case.


Abramoff's sentence won’t start immediately so he and Kidan can continue cooperating in a Washington corruption investigation and a Florida probe into the murder of former SunCruz owner Konstantinos “Gus” Boulis.


The same week Abramoff pleaded guilty to the SunCruz fraud, he entered guilty pleas to three federal charges as part of a wide-ranging corruption probe that could involve up to 20 members of Congress and aides, including former House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas. No date has been set for his sentencing in that case.

It's all here

Is economics the new racism?

Something for affirmative action opponents to remember:

Blacks losing ground financially, study finds
Gap with whites grows despite improved national economy

By Larry Copeland USA

Despite a rebounding economy, African-Americans are not making progress in achieving income, net worth, employment and homeownership levels equal to those of whites, according to a National Urban League report to be released today.

Blacks have just 56% of the economic status of whites, a slip of 1 percentage point from last year, according to the civil rights organization's annual “The State of Black America” report. “The economic status of African-Americans is getting worse,” Urban League President Marc Morial says. “If things are stagnant in a growing economy … then we've got to say that progress is seriously lacking. … America is not America when millions of our citizens are still viewed as a fraction of a person.”

The sharpest economic disparity between black and whites is in median net worth, according to the report, which compiles data from many government sources, including the Census Bureau and the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The median net worth for African-American families — half have more, half less — is less than one-tenth of the median for white families. That gap is driven largely by differences in homeownership.
More than 70% of white families own their homes, compared with about 50% of blacks, the report says.

The unemployment rate for blacks is 10%, compared with 4.4% for whites. One promising finding in the report: The rate of black-owned businesses compared with white-owned ones is growing.

Falwell on McCain:"I think he is genuinely a state's righter — and so am I"

Does anyone remember what that used to be code for?


When McCain accepted an invitation to be Liberty University's graduation speaker, he spoke with Falwell by phone about the marriage issue.

According to Falwell, McCain is not pushing for a federal marriage amendment at this time. But McCain "reconfirmed" to Falwell that he would support a federal constitutional amendment defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman if a federal court were to strike down state constitutional bans on gay marriage.

McCain's outreach to conservatives on marriage is politically important because of the way he sharply denounced a federal constitutional ban on gay marriage when it was considered in 2004. McCain called it "antithetical in every way to the core philosophy of Republicans" because it "usurps from the states a fundamental authority they have always possessed and imposes a federal remedy for a problem that most states do not believe confronts them."

Ooops, looks like it still means the same thing...

RNC Memo Warns GOPers Not To Distance Themselves From Bush

Click here for the entire memo. In it, the Chairman of the Republican National Committee warns Congressional Republicans not to run away from Bush.

I really can't imagine such a memo from Howard Dean.

Here is the clincher line:

The President is seen universally as the face of the Republican Party. We are now brand W. Republicans.

Lets remember that about Mark Green in November.


Is Jerry Falwell on the Way?

The City Attorney just said that Jerry Falwell pledged to send lawyers to defend the 'Christmas Box Angel'.

Just what we need...

Here are two simple solutions. Why do we need to dig in heels on this issue?

Also, if they are putting up the address to send donations for the statue during the meeting on public access, shouldn't they give equal time to the other side?

Update: here is the Northwestern on the subject.

Make Sure That You Vote - Don't let someone turn you away because of ID:

From the State Elections Board today:

And if she has neither a driver license number, a Wisconsin state identification number nor a Social Security number, she can check a box on the form attesting to that.

The State Elections Board (SEB) recently decided that if a registering voter arrives at the polling place on election day, April 4, without her driver license number she will be allowed to register using the last four digits of her Social Security number. The Board based its decision on Wisconsin’s current transition to statewide voter registration, and the premise that no registering voter ought to be turned away because she is not able to provide a driver license number.

All other same-day voter registration rules still apply, including providing proof of residence.

Must See: CBS correspondent Lara Logan on 'Where is the Iraqi Good News?'

The video is here.

Part of the transcript:

KURTZ: But critics would say, well, no wonder people back home think things are falling apart because we get this steady drumbeat of negativity from the correspondents there.

LOGAN: Well, who says things aren't falling apart in Iraq? I mean, what you didn't see on your screens this week was all the unidentified bodies that have been turning up, all the allegations here of militias that are really controlling the security forces.
What about all the American soldiers that died this week that you didn't see on our
screens? I mean, we've reported on reconstruction stories over and over again…I mean, I really resent the fact that people say that we're not reflecting the true picture here. That's totally unfair and it's really unfounded.
...Our own editors back in New York are asking us the same things. They read the same comments. You know, are there positive stories? Can't you find them? You don't think that I haven't been to the U.S. military and the State Department and the embassy and asked them over and over again, let's see the good stories, show us some of the good things that are going on? Oh, sorry, we can't take to you that school project, because if you put that on TV, they're going to be attacked about, the teachers are going to be killed, the children might be victims of attack.
I mean, security dominates every single thing that happens in this country….So how it is that security issues should not then dominate the media coverage coming
out of here?

On conservative radio host Laura Ingraham's recent statement that journalists need to do less "reporting from hotel balconies" in Iraq

LOGAN: I think it's outrageous. I mean, Laura Ingraham should come to Iraq and not be talking about what journalists are doing from the comfort of her studio in the United States, the comfort and the safety. I mean, I don't know any journalist that wants to just sit in a hotel room in Iraq. Does anybody understand that for us we used to be able to drive to Ramadi, we used to drive to Falluja, we used to drive to Najaf. We could travel all over this country without having to fly in military helicopters. That's the only way we can move around here. So, it's when the military can accommodate us, if the military can accommodate us, then we can go out and see. I have been out with Iraqi security forces over and over again. And you know what? When Bob Woodruff was out with Iraqi security forces and he was injured, the first thing that people were asking was, oh, was he being responsible by placing himself in this position with Iraqi forces? And they started to question his responsibility and integrity as a journalist. I mean, we just can't win. I think it's an outrage to point the finger at journalists and say that this is our fault. I really do. And I think it shows an abject lack of respect for any journalist that's prepared to come to this country and risk their lives. "
Oh, sorry,
we can't show this reconstruction project because then that's going to expose it to sabotage. And the last time we had journalists down here, the plant was attacked. I mean, security dominates every single thing that happens in this country….So how it is that security issues should not then dominate the media coverage coming out of here?

This is Worth Seeing:

Click here for a photo essay from the Rocky Mountain News of the wake and funeral for Cpl. Brett Lundstrom, Marine and Native American, on Pine Ridge Reservation.

My Northwestern Interview is Online

I was beginning to think it would never make it there...

I also submitted a written statement, which is not posted. I'll add it here later.

There was no Editorial Board interview for us, this was a telephone interview with a reporter.

Here it is (click on this sentence)

Update - here is my statement.

FDR Quotes:

I stumbled across a website full of FDR Quotes - here are some great ones:

Here is my principle: Taxes shall be levied according to ability to pay. That is the only American principle.

Human kindness has never weakened the stamina or softened the fiber of a free people. A nation does not have to be cruel to be tough.

I think we consider too much the good luck of the early bird and not enough the bad luck of the early worm.

In our seeking for economic and political progress, we all go up - or else we all go down.

It is an unfortunate human failing that a full pocketbook often groans more loudly than an empty stomach.

Let us never forget that government is ourselves and not an alien power over us. The ultimate rulers of our democracy are not a President and senators and congressmen and government officials, but the voters of this country.

Selfishness is the only real atheism; aspiration, unselfishness, the only real religion.

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today.

The only sure bulwark of continuing liberty is a government strong enough to protect the interests of the people, and a people strong enough and well enough informed to maintain its sovereign control over the goverment.

The only thing we have to fear is fear itself.

The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little.

True individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence. People who are hungry and out of a job are the stuff of which dictatorships are made.

We have always known that heedless self-interest was bad morals; we now know that it is bad economics.


Gloom, Despair and Agony on Us...

RIP Buck Owens

Better Late Than Never (But get your facts straight)...

The Wisconsin Green Party released a statement today in support of Sen. Feingold's call for the censure of President Bush over the illegal wiretapping program.

While it is nice that they also support our senator's efforts. I would ask their researchers to look before they leap with a press release. In it they say:

The Democratic Party’s silence on Feingold’s censure is the latest manifestation of its unwillingness to stand for even the most basic of principles – those upon which our nation was founded

I wish they would have looked on the Democratic Party of Wisconsin's website. On the front page, there is a link to Joe Wineke's statement about our support of Senator Feingold:

“President Bush and the Republicans must be held accountable for their failures, and the Democratic Party of Wisconsin applauds Senator Feingold for leading the effort to do just that.”

And that was released 9 days ago - March 17th. As I said, better late than never, but get your facts straight.