Nuclear accidents only in the movies, right?

Milwaukee Magazine's News Buzz:

Filmmakers will use a building on [Milwaukee's] Tower Automotive site to stage a scene that is supposed to take place at the infamous Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine — where a 1986 meltdown remains the world’s worst nuclear power accident.

Why not just use Point Beach,(pictured), a real nuclear plant, not too far up the road?

Point Beach hasn't had a major accident yet, although it is one of the oldest opeating reactors in the nation.

But the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC), which inspects the nation's 102 operating reactors, has only issued five "red findings," the most serious safety warning, since it began using that system. Three of the five red warnings have gone to Point Beach.

In bureaucratic terms, the NRC says a red finding has a "high safety significance." How high? Well, there is no color higher than red on the scale.

But not to worry. The reactors have been relicensed to operate until 2030 and 2033, when they will be 60 years old.

New Health Insurance Options Available

Do you know someone who has been without health insurance because they have pre-existing conditions? A new health insurance option may be able to help.

Enrollment for the new “HIRSP Federal Plan” opened last week. This plan is open to Wisconsin citizens who have a pre-existing condition and have been without health insurance for six months. 

Wisconsin received $73 million dollars from the federal government to provide a health insurance option to help those facing the worst situation – serious health conditions with no health insurance.  The HIRSP Federal Plan offers very reasonable rates for comprehensive health insurance. For example, a person age 60 and over who chooses the highest deductible - $3,500 – will pay $398 a month. A person under 25 who chooses the lowest deductible - $500 – will pay $214 a month.

The plan’s benefits are similar to many health insurance plans and exclude such things as eye glasses, routine dental care and hearing aids. But the plan does offer a prescription drug benefit that includes generic and brand name drugs.

Only an incumbent is qualified?

This seems like strange message in an election year when incumbents are supposedly in trouble, but it comes from a spokesman for Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke's campaign:

"This election is going to come down to two things. It's going to come down to experience and proven leadership. The sheriff runs the largest sheriff's office in the state of Wisconsin, with a budget of $150 million. He supervises 1,400 employees," Chris Haworth said.

That statement was in response to Milwaukee Police Dept. Chris Moews announcing he would run against Clarke in the Democratic primary.

Moews has 16 years in law enforcement and is a homicide lieutenant in the Milwaukee Police Department.

At the time Clarke was plucked from obscurity and appointed sheriff by Republican Gov. Scott McCallum in 2002, he was a captain in the Milwaukee Police Dept. and had been in charge of the downtown MPD district.

He had not run anything like the largest sheriff's department in the state, been responsible for a budget of $150-million or supervised 1,400 employees.

But Clarke had no doubt he was qualified for the job. - gone, at least for now

I've been meaning to mention this for a few days now -- uber-aggregator mysteriously disappeared a few days back.  Apparently owner (and former Bush speech writer and conservative Washington Times editor) David Mastio has killed the project because it was not taking in enough ad revenue to sustain itself.  Of course, right-wing blogs that were big supporters of the project are calling this the fault of Obama's economic policies.  Personally I also blame Obama economic policies for the fact that Penelope Cruz married Javier Bardem rather than me -- I mean, if I was rich and handsome and famous and an actor ---

I've alwys had mixed feelings about this service. It clearly had a right-wing spin to it, and it kept promotiing its raniking systems of blogs in each state, which seemed to be fairly arbitrary.  Also, they've had any number of run-ins with bloggers whose content they appropriated without permission, and they apparently often refused to remove blogs even if the blogs involved asked to be removed. This seems in keeping with Mastio's general attitude toward pagiarism.

I've recently started a new aggregation effort.  We're hoping to help rebuild the old 50-State Blog Network by having an opt-in aggregator of progressive blogs from around the country.  It's off to a slow start, but you might want to stop in at if you'd like to start reading collected blogs from around the country.  Soon this will include a weekly 50-state blog roundup.

RoJo attack ad rated 'barely true'

PolitiFact, a Pulitzer Prize-winning feature of the St. Petersburg FL Times, gives Ron Johnson's attack ad on Russ Feingold a "barely true" rating. And that's a stretch. The summary:

Feingold did vote against a bill that included the permanent ban on Great Lakes drilling, and also voted against two of the bills with temporary bans, though for reasons unrelated to the drilling ban provision. As a result, Johnson has some justification for saying that Feingold "voted against the law that protected our lakes."

But the ad ignores that Feingold supported one of the temporary bans, and that he has a long record of protecting the environmental quality of the Great Lakes, including championing at least one bill that dealt directly with drilling. Meanwhile, we don't buy the campaign's rationale for excluding New York from the list of Great Lakes states. That fundamentally undercuts the ad's claim that Feingold was the only Great Lakes senator to vote against the 2005 bill.

At least 38% know who he is

The Capital Times:

Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle's approval rating has hit a new low.

The University of Wisconsin Survey Center's Badger Poll released on Friday shows the two-term governor's approval rating at just 38 percent. That is down from a high of 52 percent in June 2007. Just seven months ago his approval was at 46 percent.


Based on the Badger poll's other results,  they probably found the other 62 per cent didn't have any opinion or had never heard of Doyle.


Conservation Champions Eau Claire

I attended the League of Conservation Voters event in Eau Claire Wednesday night.  The event honored Jeff Smith and Kristin Dexter for having 100% voting records on their Conservation Scorecard. It was heavily attended and was a great event for conservationists in Western Wisconsin.  Here are some pictures:

[img_assist|nid=13856|title=Jeff Wood Accepts Conservation Champion Award|desc=|link=node|align=left|width=300|height=226]











This should help turnout

Madison NORML reports:

MADISON: In a voice vote, the Dane County Board unanimously voted Thursday night to place a Medical Marijuana Advisory Referendum on county ballots for the Nov. 2 general election. Thursday's vote sets up the first-ever vote in Dane County on medical marijuana.

The resolution was sponsored by District 6 Supervisor Jon Hendrick, who was joined by 12 cosponsors. It had previously passed out of the board's Executive Committee on July 8 on a unanimous 6-0 vote.

The vote means that on Nov. 2, all Dane County ballots will carry this question:

"Should the Wisconsin Legislature enact legislation allowing residents with debilitating medical conditions to acquire and possess marijuana for medical purposes if supported by their physician?"

Now, what are we going to get on the ballot in some other Democratic counties?

If Ron Johnson falls in the forest ...

When Milwaukee County Supervisor Peggy West mistakenly said recently that Arizona didn't border Mexico, she became an instant celebrity and object of ridicule, both locally and on the national scene.

A one-second search of the JS found at least seven articles about West's gaffe.

And it was a bad one. Whether she really didn't know about the Arizona-Mexico border or experienced a brain fart while she was debating on the County Board floor, she really embarrassed herself.

Fast forward now to this week, and a TV commercial by Senate candidate Ron Johnson, airing statewide at saturation levels, in which Johnson claims that Russ Feingold was the only Great Lakes Senator to vote against an energy bill cooked up by Dick Cheney and the oil companies in 2005.


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