Brunch Links


Woke up a little early to study for a geology exam. Obviously brunch links come first though. I am reluctant to put a link to the Outback Steakhouse over a more local outlet, however, I’ve always wanted to know what the “Bloomin Onion” looked like. Congratulations to all you Twins fans. Phillies-Twins World Series? The last hurrah for the Metrodome.


The mayor presents his operating budget with wage freezes and a small property tax hike.

Dane County budget run-down in the Herald. Is this really the “worst county budget since the Great Depression” or does that just sound plausible?

Tommy Thompson is probably the only guy or gal in the state who could beat Russ Feingold in a Senate race. Generic Democratic Assembly candidates still beat out GOP counterparts by five points.

UW-Madison earns B on green “report card.”

In the context of U.S. gun politics, too much is being made of the MPD’s new assault rifle plan. However, it’s encouraging that people in Madison see a danger in arming police even more.

Raising OWI penalties means more people are going to spend time in jail, meaning it’s going to cost money. But a $20 million tax increase on hard liquor is too much for Senator Randy Hopper (R-Fond du Lac) to bear. Frankly, the penalties will likely cost much more.

Green County voters approve tax increase to fund nursing home by an overwhelming margin. That is community spirit.

Medical marijuana efforts in the Assembly. Apparently it still pays politically for Republican leadership to oppose it.

Jason Smathers article on pot legalization is thoughtful, but a bit presumptuous. There actually is an increasingly articulate and organized effort behind the legalization movement.

Did you know that Paul Soglin’s predecessor was Lestor Maddox’s (racist Georgia governor) vice-presidential candidate?

Pro-Life Wisconsin adds its voice to the anti-sex education movement.

State gets federal money to increase use of DNA to exonerate the wrongly-convicted.


6 Responses to “Brunch Links”

  1. Jason Smathers Says:

    Yeah, I get the criticism of the pot article, but as articulate and polished as some of the new defenders are (Someone pointed out MPP), the public perception of pot is not much different.

    And this is the issue. When cigarettes were introduced to women, not many were smokers because there wasn’t a positive perception that worked with the female lifestyle.

    Then the cigarette was refurbished by one of the first PR campaigns that reworked cigarettes as “torches of liberty” and sales skyrocket.

    If the public at large has an image of pot smokers as burnouts, it might not matter what arguments are brought before legislators — the public isn’t going to accede to an agenda for people they think are burnouts.

    If, however, the overall perception of marijuana is worked as an empowering form of self-medication in a world of mass produced pills for a range of chemical reactions that alter our behavior in ways we can’t entirely control. Now that seems like it could be secreted under the banner of our current health care crisis.

    But on a separate note: Just so anyone reading Hopper’s press release knows, the statement about the first offense is wrong. It’s not a felony for an OWI with a kid in the car, it’s a misdemeanor. Just correcting.

    • The Sconz Says:

      Jason, I think it really depends what sample of the public you are talking about. For instance, where I grew up, most of the parents had smoked their share of pot in high school and college themselves. Just think about kids whose parents went to UW back in the late 60’s and 70’s. These stereotypes you’re invoking likely come from more conservative areas, where the counter-culture of the baby boomer generation was not as influential.

      In many parts of the country, however, marijuana has become quite mainstream. Frankly, when I was in high school, weed smoking was considered on equal footing as drinking. There were very few “jocks,” to use a generic term, who abstained. The fact that it was easier to acquire than alcohol made it that much more popular.

    • Paul Axel Says:

      I honestly enjoyed reading the article, Jason. I’m in much of the same mind regarding this issue. If those who support the legalization of marijuana want to be taken seriously, then you have to carefully pick and choose what sort of image you want to craft when you present your argument to the public. So far, it’s mostly been dudes with long hair and tie-dye shirts with a big marijuana leaf on it, or something of that nature.

      I’m guessing you had a roommate freshmen year who was a complete stoner, and disrupted your sleep patterns because of it.

  2. Steve Horn Says:

    “Tommy Thompson is probably the only guy or gal in the state who could beat Russ Feingold in a Senate race. Generic Democratic Assembly candidates still beat out GOP counterparts by five points.”

    I can’t say I agree. Early polls are meaningless and if he were to run against RDF, people would look at Thompson much differently, especially after RDF exposes Thompson for what he is: a non-Progressive politico only running for office for personal gain, rather than to serve the people of Wisconsin. Maybe I’m overestimating peoples’ intelligence, but I believe there’s no way in hell he could beat Feingold in an actual race. A poll is one thing, but an election is an entirely different entity.

  3. Ordinary Jill Says:

    And yet somehow that non-Progressive politico managed to win a statewide election four times. How could people not realize that he only ran for Governor for personal gain, rather than to serve the people of Wisconsin? Goodness knows Ed Garvey tried to point it out to them. I don’t believe that most people voted for Thompson due to a lack of intelligence. Not everyone shares Russ Feingold’s priorities, Steve. Many Wisconsin voters find Thompson’s policy positions more appealing. That’s all there is to it. In the end, I think Feingold would win the election, because Thompson is now linked to the Bush administration, but I don’t think it’s a slam-dunk.

  4. Steve Horn Says:

    That’s fine that you think that. I just think he’d be a really easy opponent to defeat. While Feingold could speak to a record of principle, he could just knock Thompson for being a piece of sleaze. Guess we’ll see how things play out…

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