Today in History - Another Reason Republicans are Uncool

From the NYTimes:

1983 - Interior Secretary James Watt banned the Beach Boys from the 4th of July celebration on the Washington Mall, saying rock 'n' roll bands attract the "wrong element."

And happy birthdays to:

70 - Merle Haggard - Country musician
70 - Billy Dee Williams - Actor

42 - Frank Black - Rock musician (The Pixies)
32 - Zach Braff - Actor-writer ("Scrubs")

All of whom are cooler than any Reagan Cabinet member.

Hey Tony, Where's the Apology?

Many in the WI Dem Blogosophere are calling for apologies from the Righties for their statements against Gov. Doyle in regards to the Georgia Thompson affair.

I would like to add one from the left. My city councilor Tony Palmeri (that's gonna get hard to get used to) who wrote:

Ms. Thompson is of course innocent until proven guilty. But does anyone, with the exception of Doyle flacks and Democratic party hacks, honestly think a DOA bureaucrat would do these things without being ordered to do so by the DOA Secretary or Doyle himself?

Come on, Tony... Admit you were wrong...

Here's a headline we can expect to see in Oshkosh over and over again...


Schneider, Becker Unhappy With ... (fill in the blank)

Headline should read "Cheney Continues Lying To America"

Granted, the sub-headline kinda does say that...

Cheney reasserts al-Qaida-Saddam connection

Vice president’s words come as latest Pentagon report again dismisses link

WASHINGTON - Vice President Dick Cheney repeated his assertions of al-Qaida links to Saddam Hussein’s Iraq on Thursday as the Defense Department released a report citing more evidence that the prewar government did not cooperate with the terrorist group.

OshNW Letter Writer Gets It Wrong - Walter Reed Scandal Caused by Private Sector Healthcare, not Public

In today's OshNW, a letter writer blamed 'National Healthcare' for the scandalous treatment of our troops at Walter Reed.

These past few weeks there have been disclosures of substandard medical care of our military personnel at the Walter Reed Medical Center. Be honest. Are we really surprised by this information? This medical facility is run by our government. Turn anything over to the "leadership" in Washington and this is what you get!

I wish this letter writer would have done more research in the matter. If he had, he would have learned that it was by turning the operations of the Walter Reed facility to private interests that caused the decrease in quality of the care.

An Army contract to privatize maintenance at Walter Reed Medical Center was delayed more than three years amid bureaucratic bickering and legal squabbles that led to staff shortages and a hospital in disarray just as the number of severely wounded soldiers from Iraq and Afghanistan was rising rapidly.

Documents from the investigative and auditing arm of Congress map a trail of bid, rebid, protests and appeals between 2003, when Walter Reed was first selected for outsourcing, and 2006, when a five-year, $120 million contract was finally awarded.

The disputes involved hospital management, the Pentagon, Congress and IAP Worldwide Services Inc., a company with powerful political connections and the only private bidder to handle maintenance, security, public works and management of military personnel.

While medical care was not directly affected, needed repairs went undone as the non-medical staff shrank from almost 300 to less than 50 in the last year and hospital officials were unable to find enough skilled replacements.

Smoking Bans Protect Workers...

... no matter what the workplace is.

From the OshNW:

According to the health departments, Researchers with the U.W. Tobacco Surveillance and Evaluation Program "sampled 840 bartenders working in Madison and Appleton and found that, not only had their exposure to second hand smoke dramatically decreased" in the months following both cities' workplace smoking bans, but also that "the change in working conditions resulted in measurable and statistically significant improvement for eight upper respiratory symptoms, including cough, wheezing and sore throat."

I have always argued that smoking bans are for the workers. It is the same as an employer being required to have accessible doors.

Right now, someone with a breathing disorder can not work in a bar or restaurant. It is the same as if an office did not install a ramp.

You can not use the argument that "they can work somewhere else." It is wrong.

Also, if an employer allowed hazardous chemicals to leak in the water and air of an office or manufacturing complex, they would be rightly fined and hopefully criminally prosecuted.

Why is that OK in a bar or restaurant?

As America moves more and more towards a service economy, we need to place the same standards on all workplaces.


Doonesbury on Troop Support

Amen! Wineke on WMC:

Contact: Jason A. Stephany, Political Director

April 4, 2007

608) 260-2408

WMC: Partisan Hacks, Job Killers

Unofficial Independent Expenditure arm of the Republican Party gathers in Madison today

MADISON – As Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (WMC) kicks off their annual “business day” in Madison, Democratic Party Chairman Joe Wineke questioned what, exactly, the Republican front-group has accomplished for Wisconsin businesses.

“What has WMC done to grow the economy or create jobs in Wisconsin?” Wineke asked. “The answer is simple: nothing. WMC is too busy dragging our political process into the gutter and spending millions of dollars in negative campaign advertisements to worry about a positive business climate in our state.”

According to studies by several non-partisan watch-dog groups, Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce spent more than $4.5 million dollars in negative advertising in 2006 – targeting Democratic candidates for Attorney General, Governor, and the State Legislature. WMC continued its spending spree into 2007, buying the Supreme Court race with over $1.5 million worth of misleading attack ads against candidate Linda Clifford. Their spending on actual pro-business efforts pales by comparison.

“WMC’s spin-team will tell you that they’re not interested in campaigns, but the numbers don’t lie,” Wineke observed. “Nasty, negative campaigns are just about the only thing they’re interested in. If I was a WMC member, I’d start to wonder where my dues are going.”

By contrast, the Doyle Administration has worked with members of both parties, Chambers of Commerce, and business owners around the state to invest in our economy and bring thousands of family-family supporting jobs back to our communities.

“Given the choice between a bunch of Republican hacks who have done nothing to grow the economy and an Administration with a proven track record of job growth, I know which one I’d put my money on,” Wineke concluded.

Authorized and Paid For By the Democratic Party of Wisconsin, Joe Wineke, Chair