Quote, unquote


“The smokers will be upset at first, and they might stay out of the bars for a while, but I think they’ll get tired of drinking a beer in their garage and they’ll come back.” -- Ron Fox, owner of The Flame Lounge in Menomonie, on state smoking ban to take effect July 5.


Wis. GOP ad targets Tea Partiers

Think the Republican Party of Wisconsin isn't worried about whether the Tea Party will support the GOP-endorsed Scott Walker in the primary for governor against Mark Neumann, who is cast in the anti-politician role this year?

The new cable television buy just laid down by the state GOP started Tuesday, and is running statewide for two weeks -- on Fox News only.

View the spot here and compare with One Wisconsin Now's fact check here.

Great GOP minds think alike

Several Republican candidates for Congress in Wisconsin, including fair-haired boy Sean Duffy, have nearly identical language on their campaign websites about where they stand on issues. Asked about the "coincidence" by the Journal Sentinel one candidate apologized and took down the language.

Duffy and the others say they wrote it themselves.

If you had 1,000 GOP candidates with 1,000 typewriters and infinite amounts of time, would all of them produce a Shakespeare play, or just one? Or would they all produce the same play?

Just asking.

Where There's Smoke, There's Pollution

(Cross-posted from my blog, Kaufman's Gull)

If you want to find out about coal pollution in Central Wisconsin,  a good source is The San Francisco Examiner and the Associated Press.

It seems that a big, new coal-fired power plant near Wausau was belching a thick, dark smoke which is usually a sure sign of pollution, particularly particulates. (The Wisconsin DNR was looking the other way. Heck, it's just some smoke.)

When the Sierra Club pointed this smokestack pollution out, Wisconsin Public Service Corp. said the smoke was not as it appeared, that the apparent pollution was just an illusion, for the alleged pollution was being controlled. (This is the same fine corporation that was fined in 2006 for withholding  pollution-control information from state regulators.)

The 4th District Court of Appeals ruled that they, too, could see the dirty smoke and that the DNR and the power utility should also be able to see it if they looked closely enough at the stack and the Clean Air Act.

What the judges couldn't see (most people can't) is the nitrogen oxides and sulfur dioxide that the Sierra Club wanted tougher controls on, too.

Pollution? What pollution?

If we can't see it, it isn't there.

Michigan's Governor and State DNRE Say "No" to New Coal Plant

Cross-posted from my blog, Kaufman's Gull at kaufmansgull.com


Back in 2003 when WE Energies proposed building two new units of coal-fired power in Oak Creek, Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle of Wisconsin called for a "vigorous debate" but also said "We do not have the luxury of just saying no to new transmission and new power plants." End of debate, at least at the State Capitol.

In January of 2004 the Wisconsin DNR approved an air pollution permit for the plants, essentially abdicating its role as the primary protector of Wisconsin's natural resources. Abundant electricity became a resource more important than clean air and clean water.

Today we in Southeastern Wisconsin have dirty air (the NWS issued an air quality watch for today and encourages all of us to "practice energy conservation"), too much electric power, and higher electric bills because we have to help pay for the building of the coal plants.

GOP to OWN: Get off our lawn.

In 1951, John Patrick Hunter, a reporter for the Capital Times,typed the preamble of the Declaration of Independence, six amendments from the Constitution's Bill of Rights and the Fifteenth Amendment giving ex-slaves the right to vote into the form of a petition and headed to a park where families were celebrating the Fourth of July. Of the 112 people he asked to sign, twenty accused him of being a Communist. Many more agreed with the sentiments expressed but were afraid that signing the document might get them in trouble with Senator Joe McCarthy. -- John Nichols in The Nation, after Hunter's death in 2003.

What brings that to mind today is the experience of One Wisconsin Now (OWN) -- the news media always says "liberal-leaning one Wisconsin Now or something similar -- at the state Republican convention this weekend.

OWN showed up at the convention of tax-haters and deficit-haters with a petition asking delegates to oppose billion dollars in irresponsible tax cuts for the wealthiest individuals and corporations unless there was a way to pay for them.

A Few Quick Words About Small Government

We don't have a lot of time for a big discussion today, but I wanted to take a second and talk about basic Federal Government economics as they apply to Rand Paul.

It is his stated vision to reduce the size of Government...and it is an undeniable reality that the vast majority of the Federal Budget is focused on only a few areas of spending.

Today, we'll quickly run through that economic reality, and we'll challenge Dr. Paul to tell us where he stands.

Gov. Doyle's Defense of Defense Spending

Though he's not running for re-election, Wisconsin Gov.  Jim Doyle felt it necessary to defend his recent decision to offer shipbuilder Marinette Marine about $50 million in tax incentives should it win a big Navy contract to build combat ships. Doyle's op-ed appears today in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

In recent days, Gov. Doyle, a Democrat with little to lose, has made some rather unenlightened, un-progressive moves. Vetoing bills to allow small dairies to sell unpasteurized milk and to require state buildings to adopt green building standards while not vetoing a bill that allows the turning of garbage into power to count as the state's share of "renewable" energy.

NRA disarms members at its own meeting

Sign at the National Rifle Assn. convention in Charlotte, where NRA members say they don't mind the restrictions.

Meanwhile, the Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort (WAVE) reports:

Supporters of the open carry movement claim that we'll all be safer if more people carry guns in public.  Really?  Let's take a look at just who will be "defending" us...

Public Gun Carrier #1
- Jesus Gonzalez - Mr.


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