"Beyond Thin" Judge Draws Notice for a SC Vacancy

Justice Diane P. Wood is drawing attention as a leading candidate to fill the first vacancy on the U.S. Supreme Court.

Wood is famous in some circles (especially in Wisconsin) for her judicial equivalent of voiced disgust shown towards Stephen Biskupic, former U.S. Atty for the Eastern District of Wisconsin, who launched several political prosecutions during his tenure with the Bush administration's Department of Justice, including the repulsive political prosecution of an innocent woman, Georgia Thompson.

Wood was nominated to serve as an appellate judge by President Clinton and confirmed in 1995.

As Mark Pitsch notes in a State Journal piece in 2007 [largely an it's-not-what-Biskupic-did-that-really-matters piece]:
Georgia Thompson, a state purchasing agent for Doyle's Department of Administration, was indicted in January 2006 and convicted six months later in the midst of a heated gubernatorial election.

BusStop. A plea to County Transit drivers.

Word from Transit is their concern that the demise of Transit TV will leave Transit but 'no choice' except to find a substitute system.  As a bus rider, I have a better idea. 

Dear Drivers

One bus driver on Route 15 announces all the stops. It is a pleasure to hear his voice and it gives him a commanding presence that is reassuring about the service as a whole. Why we needed Transit TV was that Transit management gave up on its efforts to get drivers to announce bus stops.

They might have thought that TTV filled the bill, but it does not. It announced only major stops, skipping the dark corners one can barely discern from inside the bus.  Dark corners are the corners the rider needs to get right.

Drivers, please spare us another version of TTV and call the stops, all of them.

Your riders have gone to bat for you against the cuts, against the fare increases that would reduce your hours. We need you on this one. Shout the stops. We'll thank you.

BusStop. Transit TV. May it rust in pieces.

I have been begging County Transit to abandon Transit TV for years. It is a noisy intrusion on a quiet ride. It offers scams to unwitting citizens. It was a blight on the Milwaukee scene - as if we were too cheap to provide our passengers with a quality ride - we had to infuse the bus with the worst of television and AM radio ("operators are standing by...").  It appears to have died at the hands of the Market. Thank heavens for the hand of the market. (never thought I could ever say those words.)


No one at Transit wanted to step forward and say the truth: this noisy nuisance was deterring the efforts to get passengers who can choose to ride the bus.  Let peace reign. Death to scavengers is good. Mercy killing is not always wrong.


Bill Sell



Could it happen here?

California's Courage Campaign, which describes itself as the online organizing hub for nearly 400,000 progressive Californians, has produced this video, asking viewers to sign a petition to the State Supreme Court asking that 18,000 same sex marriages already performed in California be allowed to stand, and that Proposition 8, banning gay marriage, be overturned.

In the other corner: Kenneth Starr.

Praise the Lord that the people of Wisconsin, in their infinite wisdom, voted to make certain that none of the images in this video would be seen here.

It's a powerful video that speaks for itself, so I will stop typing:

"Fidelity": Don't Divorce... (by Courage Campaign w/ Regina Spektor)

Obama: Now; GOP: No

Update II: Senators Reach Tentative Deal on Stimulus Package

Update: On stimulus, Senate Dems ready to go it alone
President Obama called for action today in a Washington Post op-ed piece implicitly reminding obstructionist Republicans that their policy views are what got us here in the first place and are precisely what was rejected by voters the last election.

In recent days, there have been misguided criticisms of this plan that echo the failed theories that helped lead us into this crisis -- the notion that tax cuts alone will solve all our problems; that we can meet our enormous tests with half-steps and piecemeal measures; that we can ignore fundamental challenges such as energy independence and the high cost of health care and still expect our economy and our country to thrive.

Civil Liberties, Yes

It's about time someone spoke up against Kathleen Falk's bone-headed approach to addressing the issue of operating a vehicle while intoxicated (OWI) and the non-issue of Wisconsin's alleged drinking "culture" problem.

Falk's criminalization and anti-civil liberties OWI agenda drew reproach from her opponent, Nancy Mistele, at the first debate (January) between the two likely candidates for Dane County Executive in the general election in April.

Mistele hit the statist, heavy-handed Falk program by pointing out that personal responsibility and private action were critical vis a vis government's involvement of changing the "culture," to a round of groans from Falk supporters.

Yesterday's Captial Times hits Falk's approach, though not naming Falk as a leading advocate; [wish they had].

All I know is what I read in the papers...

Koschnick actually raises $4,000.

The media tell us Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson has a huge financial advantage over challenger Judge Randy Koschnick, who, we're told, has raised only $14,715 compared to the Chief's $822,600, a 56-1 advantage.

That's what you get if you take the campaign's release at face value and don't look at the actual finance report Koschnick filed.

What it shows is that $9,995 of the total was "raised" from Koschnick himself. The other $4,720 he actually raised include $200 from his father-in-law and $1,000 from his wife's employer (or more likely her co-worker, it appears.)

Koschnick said he spent only $555, most to staffer Todd Albaugh, who got $353.08 for mileage and $146.92 in consulting fees.

He lists debts of $225.41 to Persuasion Partners, Darrin Schmitz's consulting firm, and $344.98 to a Jonathan Klein.

"With wages like that," one observer emailed me, "it's no wonder Schmitz and Allbaugh left."

Who had the better year?

When Babe Ruth was asked by a reporter how come his salary was so much higher than the president of the United States, Herbert Hoover, he had a good answer:  "I had a better year."

How's Bud Selig going to explain that he makes $18.35-million when President Barack Obama makes $400,000?

Nobody had a better year than Obama.

* * * 

Who says there are no jobs out there?

Mark Green lands on his feet, but not in Wisconsin.

He'll be fighting malaria.  Sounds like steady work.