Archive for November, 2009

Pray Leinenkugel is right

November 30, 2009

I’m not necessarily talking about the beer, although I wouldn’t be surprised if economic success in Wisconsin strongly correlated with growth in Leinie’s sales (I don’t think it’s quite cheap enough to be recession proof). Wispolitics:

Commerce Secretary Dick Leinenkugel predicts gradual job growth beginning in 2010 and says that with its diversified economy, the state is ready to take advantage of economic recovery.

“I know we’re ready when the recovery comes,” Leinenkugel (left) said on On Sunday’s “UpFront with Mike Gousha.” “It’s because we’re such a diversified economy.”

Leinenkugel predicted the state, which has lost roughly 130,000 jobs since October 2008, would see jobless numbers turn around in the second quarter of 2010 as businesses gradually begin to hire more workers.

Second quarter. Just in time for graduation! But just in case, maybe you ought to stretch it out into summer. Then you’re guaranteed a job. Right…?

Badger Herald gives up on diversity of topics

November 30, 2009

Apparently the Badger Herald will be dedicating the rest of the semester (practically) to confronting the question of “diversity.” The response in both campus papers to a couple of provocative columns has been so strong that Jason Smathers has decided to put everything else on the backburner. It sent the following email to a certain number of people (I have no idea how many) this morning:

Dear Jack Craver,

To stimulate conversation about race, ethnicity and minority issues on campus, The Badger Herald is asking members of the University of Wisconsin campus community to submit letters and guest columns attempting to answer the question, “What does ‘diversity’ at UW actually mean, and how should we address it?”

We encourage students from all walks of life to sound off on a range of issues relating to the racial and ethnic makeup of campus and what UW and its related bodies are doing to make this a more accepting, equitable and comfortable place for all students.

Jason Smathers loves this stuff. Gerald Cox knows what I’m talking about. Themes, special editions, boycotts. Gimmicks would be the less flattering term. They’re not all bad, and the thinking behind them are usually very idealistic, but the response is usually negative.

Brunch Links

November 30, 2009

Welcome back! How was that four (or five or six) day weekend? The employees of the state enjoyed it too! You thinking about continuing it. As much as I love Thanksgiving, it really ought to be at the end of October. Trust me, people would still Christmas shop the day after. Oh no! Couscous from Pinkus McBride!

If you’re not too distracted by that awful Madison Electric ad that keeps popping up, check out Kristin Czubkowski’s links to what’s going on in the city this week.

Budget deficit for the city.

As a passionate pool player, I have come to recognize the dangerous gleam of gambling addiction described in this State Journal article on a father’s campaign to fund gambling addiction services in the U.S. after gambling-related conflicts claimed the life of his son.

“Since the summer, 211 state workers have been given notice that they are at risk of being laid off — a number that will rise in the coming months, state officials said.”

Jim Arndt: How the GOP can defeat Russ Feingold.

Fake ID company targeting immigrants in Kenosha.

What to do if you hit a deer in Dane County. Spoiler: Call 911.

Was John Nichols in a rush or did he believe that giant quotes from Paul Wellstone would be a better use of column space? I’m guessing he’d say both.

More than a few people are pissed about new car insurance mandates. Including cab drivers. Don’t fuck with the cab drivers.

Medicare costs to go up 11% next year. The Journal Sentinel does not attempt to explain why.

Assembly Democrats come out with another economic package. $25 million. Wow. It’s not going to do a damn thing.

Paul Soglin discusses Baseball Hall of Fame candidates for this year. For the record, I will be very disappointed if Roberto Alomar is not unanimously voted down.

Talk about a frozen pizza..

November 28, 2009

Get the jails ready!

November 27, 2009

So Milwaukee County may be facing deep funding cuts in its federally-funded drug outpatient treatment program. People are being put on waiting lists. Are you kidding? You really think the county government will let a nationally recognized (and relatively cheap) program die?

The county will seek to have the Access to Recovery grant renewed, but the county must prepare for the possibility of a reduction or even complete cutoff of federal money, Walker said.

Oh right.

Low taxes: The devil is in the detail

November 27, 2009

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel:

“But in comparison to other states, Wisconsin’s total tax bite on incomes plummeted to just above the national average in newly released figures.

And the Badger State’s consistent top-five tax perch has slipped steadily down to 15th in the latest rankings.”

And just in case Scott Walker wasn’t happy enough…

School spending: In 2007, spending at the K-12 grade level tumbled below the per-capita U.S. average for the first time in at least two decades and likely much longer. The state had been in the top 10 for many years, with spending up to 18% more than average. The newest national ranking: 22.

Just a reminder for Madison drivers…

November 27, 2009

Some people out there (you know who you are) have issues with parking authority. So I thought I’d remind you:

The alternate side parking rules require that vehicles must be parked on the even house numbered side of the street from 1:00 am until 7:00 am on even numbered days and on the odd house numbered side of the street from 1:00 am until 7:00 am on the odd numbered days.

The Alternate Side Parking Rules are in effect from November 15th through March 15th and are in effect in most of the City seven days a week regardless of weather conditions.

Feingold easily beats Thompson in new poll

November 24, 2009

According to a poll just released by Public Policy Polling (PPP), a polling firm based out of North Carolina, Feingold leads former Governor Thompson 50-41 in a hypothetical senate matchup.

Russ Feingold leads former Governor Tommy Thompson 50-41 in a possible match up. He takes 88% of the Democratic vote to Thompson’s 82% of the Republican vote and also holds a 47-41 lead with independents.

Oh yeah, and and he really takes those other guys.

Feingold also holds solid leads against a couple of minor Republican candidates- 47-32 over Dave Westlake and 48-34 over Terrence Wall.

This, even as Obama’s numbers slide in Wisconsin. Can anyone touch this guy?


“Compositional Diversity” advocates: less McCain, more Obama

November 24, 2009

It’s beginning to look like the Herald and Cardinal ed-boards aren’t the only ones who can manufacture a crisis within the ranks of the informed campus community. Apparently, a group of staff writers can do it too, albeit in the form of a “diversity war,” not a boycott.

My concern when I started seeing facebook events with hundreds of members popping up titled APPARENTLY there are just too darn many “minorities” on the campus, and 90 comments under pieces by Jim Allard (seriously, who still pays attention to him?) was that the responses of advocates of affirmative action policies  were going to  ignore  serious arguments  in favor of name calling and emotionalism. Turns out, I was wrong.

But, now advocates need a more honed and specific message.

The issue of “diversity” is too large and complex to be dealt with in 800 word op-ed pieces. Supporters of affirmative action have been challenged to show why race should matter in admissions,  so they should stick to that. The case is there. The playing field is still far from equal on account of race, color-blindness is still a prescriptive and not a descriptive term, and the argument championed by the visionary Clarence Thomas that race-based affirmative action policies only hurt the legitimacy of accomplished people of color still sucks.

Both the Herald and Cardinal have now promised the platform, it is time to start making the case effectively.

Brunch Links

November 24, 2009

In a hurry and very hungry. And people are coming to paint the ONLY exit to my apartment, so I have to leave soon.

Feingold goes after U.S. radio and TV propaganda program in Cuba, saying the broadcasts fail to meet “journalistic standards of objectivity.”

A reminder for any of you busing to Milwaukee today or tomorrow, make sure to go to Memorial Union – the bus depot on West Wash is no more.

The Diversity War continues: Smathers’ column about breaking down conceptions of diversity or something. Again Herald, “quotas” are not legal in American higher education. The Multicultural Student Coalition writes yet another response to the Andrew Carpenter article from last week – they don’t say anything controversial but it’s hard to read through all the contrived, academic jargon. They also misquoted Carpenter. And if that wasn’t enough, the Cardinal ed board writes an editorial making clear that it does not agree with Carpenter’s original statements. Just to be in style, I’ll write a response later today or tomorrow to this whole issue.

Very good point that more people should hear: you don’t need to sign a lease in November! Unless you’re living with a bunch of people.

HOLY SHIT: University of California schools are raising tuition by 32 percent!

Why aren’t we using stimulus money to repair bridges? Why are we building new roads and not trains?

Cap Times ed board: “There’s a lot of talk about shopping locally these days, but some of us have been shopping locally for decades.”

But State Journal can brag too: State Dept of Health Services has apparently killed pay cuts to private contracted nurses after a State Journal article shed light on the complaints from patients.