Yes, I'm back. I've been on sanity leave from Wisconsin politics for a while, but things are just too crazy to resist any more. I've been trying to pay some attention to my business, and my family for a while.
So - on to the potshots:
I've been working on a new site for Frac Sand Mining in the midwest. Please come by and visit at http://fracsandawareness.com , where we're trying to start documenting this struggle in multiple states. We're looking for contributors too.
ANd while we're on the subject of web sites, I note that Charlie Sykes' RightWisconsin site is about to go into full production - and of course, is about to start asking people for money for the privilege of participating. One free week and then --- . Hmm --- seems like a business model to me - how much money would YOU pay to read Uppity Wisconsin? If we threw in some steak knives would you pay more? How about some shallow right-wing rhetoric?
And on the subject of right-wing rhetoric - There are people in the state for whom Right Wisconsin is nowhere near right enough - you can visit THOSE folks at http://farrightwisconsin.com ----
The mining bill. I'll have more to say about that real soon now, but let's face it, it's the same old mining bill from last year, re-introduced because there's one more Republican to vote for it. Despite their continual protestations that it makes no changes to environmental law, even a quick read tells you otherwise. We'll be posting some resources for this later today, and info on going to the hearing tomorrow. There will, of course, be no hearings near anyone who it will affect, but it's FitzWalkerStan and we like it like that.
I'm starting to detect a pattern here. Pass laws or regulations that are not going to be found acceptable. Wait for the lawsuits to start. Spend a whole lot of time and effort and money trying to defend it. Hold the state in suspension for years as you wait for it to all settle down. Wash, rinse and repeat. Ask ALEC for a new version of what you should do, and then start all over again.
Speaking of ALEC and laws, my friend Capper over in the wilds of Milwaukee has been documenting the crazy-making changes being proposed in Milwaukee County. It all sounds like money-saving and responsibility to hear people talk about it, but it's really a big ol' power grab. Remember how upset people were about Michigan taking over local government? Now we're hearing about reducing the county government, fiscal stress-tests, and even more. As Capper says, there's always more. Keep up with Walkergate and all kinds of other juicy stuff on his site.
The "Crackdown" in the capitol continues. People keep getting arrested for being too damn uppity in the capitol. The cases keep getting thrown out. It's a lot like Casablanca -- round up the usual suspects, please. You'd really think they'd start to realize how badly intimidation is working. You'd think.
More detail on this and many other things in the upcoming days. But there's a cup of coffee beckoning, and on a morning this cold it's calling my name loud and clear.