Sunday, August 30, 2009

DOJ = Pretty Freakin Awesome

"It's becoming harder to get away with murder in Wisconsin." Enough said.

Thanks in large part to advances in DNA technology and the work of law enforcement officers devoted to investigating long-unsolved killings, a steady stream of cold-case homicides from throughout the state has been cracked in recent months.

Charges have been filed this year in at least seven killings dating back to 1976. All the cases depend in part on DNA evidence that links the suspects to the crimes....

The State Crime Lab, which processes DNA samples from across the state, essentially doubled its staff of DNA analysts when it hired about 30 new analysts in 2007, said Gary Hamblin, who oversees the crime lab as head of the Division of Law Enforcement Services in the state Department of Justice.

The extra staffing has helped the lab cut through a backlog of DNA samples while expediting the testing of high-priority cases, Hamblin said.

The lab expected a roughly 12% increase in cases this year, but the actual number of cases submitted to the lab so far in 2009 is significantly higher than anticipated, Hamblin said.

Credit Hamblin and DOJ.

Rachel Campos Duffy loves being a mom

I think it's refreshing that not only is Sean Duffy (former Real World cast member), an up-and-comer in the Republican Party and well-known attorney in Wisconsin, running for Congress - he's got a brood of 5 at home and a seemingly awesome wife running the house.

Rachel Campos Duffy is more than a stay at home mom, and though I've never met her, I'm a fan.

If upon entering motherhood I ever consider staying at home, I'll pick up her book to consider it. She makes it work in Ashland, WI and works with AOL and blogs. I'm sure the kids are thankful for it- and now with Sean running for Congress- he'll need additional support.

That said, my point is I think it's awesome Rachel Duffy has her own thing and isn't afraid to speak her mind, even while her husband is in the political campaign spotlight. She's a class act.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Vikings not so sure...?


Dear Breakfast,

Thank you for existing and being so full of wonderful panclock and syrupy goodness.

All my love,
Little Miss Sunshine

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Paul Ryan town halls

Congressman Paul Ryan conducts a civil town hall meeting in Wisconsin, a far cry from many others around the nation.
Packed rooms greeted — and, occasionally, booed — U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan at two Kenosha County listening sessions Tuesday.

Ryan, a Wisconsin Republican, is holding a series of district listening sessions as a national debate rages over health care reform.

Crowds in Kenosha and Paddock Lake seized on the issue, discussing it almost exclusively in what were technically free-wheeling town halls to discuss any federal concerns...
Ryan said he doubts Democrats want to ration care, but he believes it is a definite outcome if their plan becomes law.

The congressman used the sessions to tout his reform alternative, called the Patients Choice Act, which would alter the system within the framework of the current private-sector insurance model.

While Ryan bemoaned the costs of the Democratic plan, Steve Herr, a 2006 Democratic primary candidate for Ryan’s seat, told Ryan he spends about 15 percent of his small business’ fixed monthly expenses on health insurance for himself and his employees.

Herr said the United States spends about 15 percent of its gross domestic product on health care, a figure that drops to about 10 percent in other nations with universal care.

“In effect, our current health care system, particularly the insurance companies, are nothing but a 5 percent anchor” on the economy, Herr said.

While applause outweighed boos at the meetings, there were a few moments in which Ryan stopped to remind audience members to respect one anothers’ views.

A reasonable voice.
Kenosha resident Kent Peters urged for some middle ground in the health care debate.

Peters — who said he spends about 40 percent of his income buying coverage through the state’s high-risk pool, and added he is willing to continue to do so — said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s “take-it-or-leave-it approach” is driving a wedge through her party and the entire nation.

“Where is the voice of moderation and compromise?” Peters asked.
Look up, Kent. It's Paul Ryan.

Feingold has no hope for healthcare bill

At least not before the end of the year. That's the spirit, Russ!
U.S. Sen. Russ Feingold told a large crowd gathered for a listening session in Iron County last week there would likely be no health care bill before the end of the year - and perhaps not at all.

It was an assessment Feingold said he didn't like, but the prospect of no health care legislation brought a burst of applause from a packed house of nearly 150 citizens at the Mercer Community Center.

"Nobody is going to bring a bill before Christmas, and maybe not even then, if this ever happens," Feingold said. "The divisions are so deep. I never seen anything like that."

Feingold reiterated his appraisal a bit later.

"We're headed in the direction of doing absolutely nothing, and I think that's unfortunate," he said when asked about the plight of uninsured Americans.
The problem is that representatives are NOT listening to their constituents. Maybe the holiday break will give them a chance to consider working for those who elected them.

The division is so deep because this issue is so critical- and the outcome could be severe if reform isn't done right.

Maternity care at stake

In the U.K.:
Thousands of women are having to give birth outside maternity wards because of a lack of midwives and hospital beds.

The lives of mothers and babies are being put at risk as births in locations ranging from lifts to toilets - even a caravan - went up 15 per cent last year to almost 4,000.
Health chiefs admit a lack of maternity beds is partly to blame for the crisis, with hundreds of women in labour being turned away from hospitals because they are full.
Latest figures show that over the past two years there were at least:

63 births in ambulances and 608 in transit to hospitals;

117 births in A&E departments, four in minor injury units and two in medical assessment areas;

115 births on other hospital wards and 36 in other unspecified areas including corridors;

399 in parts of maternity units other than labour beds, including postnatal and antenatal wards and reception areas.
Additionally, overstretched maternity units shut their doors to any more women in labour on 553 occasions last year.

Babies were born in offices, lifts, toilets and a caravan, according to the Freedom of Information data for 2007 and 2008 from 117 out of 147 trusts which provide maternity services.
This is almost laughable, if it weren't so frightening.

Is this what we're going to come to?

Senator Kennedy passes

The passing of Senator Kennedy truly marks the end of an era. What an eventful life.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

DMB and a little Country

If you haven't heard the newest song b/t Kenny Chesney and Dave Matthews- give it a listen.

And I totally disagree with this take.

Except for the part about how Kenny Chesney is totally un-inspiring. Dude never got me fired up.

But it's good stuff.

Favre diatribe

I've been a bear today to most folks, for that I apologize. But I'd like to take the opportunity to blame one person: Brett Faver. I mean, Favre.

First of all, the purple does nothing for his complexion. And what used to be a golden booty will now simply be a fasion faux pas- wearing white after labor day.
Uniform gripes aside, it's reported Favre will play the entire first half at the Houston game this weekend.

Yeah, because he has to show the Vikings coaching staff and his future "teammates" that he can still hack it.
Brett Favre's crash course in all things Viking ramps up this week, with coach Brad Childress saying Monday he expects the 39-year-old quarterback to play the entire first half of Minnesota's next exhibition game at Houston.

Favre signed last Tuesday, arriving with such fanfare that there was little time to fully prepare for his first appearance in purple, which came Friday night against Kansas City.

He played two series against the Chiefs, going 1 for 4 for 4 yards and no first downs.

The Vikings' third preseason game is next Monday night, and typically is when coaches play their starters the most. Childress said it will be important for Favre to get plenty of snaps to try to build chemistry with his offensive teammates before the regular season opens at Cleveland on Sept. 13.

Even though Favre missed more than two weeks of training camp, Childress said there was still plenty of time for him to catch up with the offense and learn his teammates' tendencies.

"He's doing everything he needs to do to get up to speed," Childress said. "(I'm) confident we've got the type (of team) and distance to be able to do that."
That's a lot to ask of a guy who doesn't like to practice with his team in the off-season, used to rather sleep in team film-watchings and several years after entering the NFL still didn't know what a nickel defense was. (I learned that at 5, Brett, no pun intended.)

For all the Vikings receivers, I'm sure they're shaking their head wondering what they're in for. If a new Favre doesn't show up- and I mean that literally- he won't earn the "right to start" that I'm sure he's signed for and there will be some pretty pissed off boys in purple.

So the entire first half it is, enough time for an entire first-half defense to kick the crap out of the old geezer.

Now the question is, will the dome be closed in Houston?

Game On.

Snooze paper

Just because the Wisconsin State Journal doesn't have any original news to report, doesn't mean the "wit" needs to get too cutesy.

"Six-year-old is latest addition to Madison Police Department". Haha. It's a horse. For DUMB.

The editor over there must think the intrigue of reading a story with this title is hilarious...

and yes, I'm cranky today which is to be reflected in many of my posts.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009


The ELCA convention resulted in a vote allowing gay members of the clergy, even in relationships. Past decisions stated they had to be "celibate" to be clergy.

I guess there are many mixed reactions, and as a conservative I myself am not sure how I feel immediately.

Just one question: how would you even know if they were in a "committed relationship," celibate, or (fill in the blank here_________)???

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Prosthetic Elephant leg

The Lieutenant Dan of Elephants:
Ten years ago, an elephant working in an illegal Thai logging camp near the Burmese/Myanmar border stepped on one of the many landmines still buried in the area. As a result, she had to have her left front foot amputated. The surgery required a world record-setting amount of anesthetic drugs -- enough for 70 grown men. According to, the resulting wounds took so long to heal that the initial prosthetic leg planned for Motala wasn't able to be used.

On August 15, the 48-year-old, three-ton elephant (who is a resident of the world's only elephant hospital set up by Friends of the Asian Elephant, or FAE) was fitted with a new, permanent prosthetic leg, reports the Associated Press. Motala's first walk with the new leg lasted about 10 minutes and she celebrated by tossing dirt in the air.
In the words of Forrest Gump, "You got new legs!"

Friday, August 21, 2009

AG Statement

While I agree with the reasoning behind this, a second grader could have written Attorney General Van Hollen's statement- and probably without the gramatical issues in the first paragraph.
In November 2006, Wisconsin voters amended our State Constitution to declare that marriage was between one man and one woman. The amendment prohibits our government from recognizing any other legal status substantially similar to marriage. But the general domestic partnership provisions contained in Act 28 do just that recognize a legal status that is substantially similar to the legal status of marriage.

That is why I cannot represent the state in this case.

My decision isn't based on a policy disagreement. As Attorney General, I prosecute and defend laws that I wouldn't have voted for if I were a policymaker. That is what I believe the job entails.

But I will not ignore the Constitution. My oath isn't to the legislature or the governor. My duty is to the people of the State of Wisconsin and the highest expression of their will -- the Constitution of the State of Wisconsin. When the people have spoken by amending our Constitution, I will abide by their command. When policymakers have ignored their words, I will not.

To defend the law would require me to ignore the command of the voters when they passed the recent marriage amendment or to ignore the expressly stated intent of the legislature in enacting Chapter 770. I am unwilling to do either.
It seems informal and of an immature voice.

It angers me when our highest elected statewide Republican office holder puts something out to the media like this. It's crap. Do better.

But good decision- at least now maybe South East Wisconsin conservative talk radio can say something nice about him.

Kind is kind, or at least peaceful

This pretty boy can do no wrong.
This is what we’ve been encountering in most of my public forums," Kind told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel. "I don’t know if it’s homegrown Wisconsin civility. Obviously, passions run deep on both sides of the health care discussions. There was enough respect and courtesy where you can conduct a forum of this nature without degenerating into mob rule."

Kind is a moderate Democrat and potential swing vote on any reform package seeking to make its way through Congress.

Tuesday’s meeting had almost a Norman Rockwell quality, with Kind politely sitting near a basket on the floor of the community center’s basketball court. One citizen after another stepping forward to a microphone near a three-point line on the court to give their take or ask a question.

It was a fine show of engaged citizenry, exercising free speech in a meaningful way. That’s how democracy is supposed to work.
Welcome to Pleasantville, folks. I think the folks at WI State Journal are smoking some reefer today.

Minus the half-crooked smile suggesting children should run and not take the candy, Ron Kind gets a glowing review of his "peaceful" townhalls.

Must be that civility.

If he's in the gubernatorial race ring, round one of editorial endorsements may already be done!

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Dave Matthews Baby Blue

Officially my newest favorite DMB song

Health Care

WASHINGTON -- Repeatedly invoking the Bible, President Obama yesterday told religious leaders that health-care critics are "bearing false witness" against his plan.

The fire-and-brimstone president declared holy war in a telephone call with thousands of religious leaders around the country as he sought to breathe life into his plan for a system overhaul.
I would love to have seen the faces of those listening. But this is just frightening:
He also disputed charges that the overhaul would pay for abortions and care for illegal immigrants.

He said the reforms aim to carry out one of God's commandments.

"I am my brother's keeper. I am my sister's keeper," Obama said.

He called health reform a "core ethical and moral obligation."
Presidents have oft-invoked the Lord or the power of their faith as they've helped govern our nation. But this weirdo lingo that leaves President Obama looking like a meditating "Ohm" yoga instructor is too much.

Don't sing a different tune when you're in front of a faith audience. The abortion and illegal immigration charge is currently undisputed. No one wants it, and yet I haven't heard any member of Congress take it completely off the table.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Favre BS

If this is true... What would you do if you ever saw Brett Favre up close?
What would you say to him?

First thoughts:
Walk up and say "I curse the day you were born!" (thank you, SATC).

Taking suggestions...

Ryan says no to Governor

Oh Paul.
Rep. Paul Ryan, R-1st District, will not run for governor next year, according to a statement from his campaign office Monday. The statement was released in the wake of news media speculation that Ryan would be interested in the office after Gov. Jim Doyle's announcement that he would not run for re-election. Following is the text of Ryan's statement:

“Governor Doyle has spent his career serving others through elected office. He has sacrificed much time away from his family and personal pursuits as a result and I wish him the best of success in whatever path he follows in the future. As far as my own plans are concerned, I will be asking my employers, the residents of Wisconsin’s First Congressional District, to rehire me as their Congressman in 2010. Consequently, I have no plans to run for Governor of the State of Wisconsin next year.”
In that case, we'll wait for President, 2012.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Michael Steele's Real Ideas for Change

Love the "I love puppies" line.

Doyle announces not running

I'm sorry, who will be crying?
Gov. Jim Doyle announced this morning that he will not seek re-election in 2010, telling a Madison news conference that he believes governors should limit themselves to two terms.

"There will be plenty of time in the future for us to cry and say goodbye, but we still have a year and a half to go," Doyle told the crowd at the Madison elementary school he attended as a child. "I intend to work every single day."

Vick's remorse

CBS Sports correspondent James Brown didn't ask any questions that could have surprised Vick, and that allowed Vick to hit the basic themes he wants to get out there: He's remorseful for participating in dog fighting, he knows he was wrong, his time in prison caused him to re-think his life, he wants a second chance, and so on.

"First day I walked into prison, and they slammed that door, I knew the magnitude of the decisions that I made, and the poor judgment and what I allowed to happen to the animals," Vick said.
He knew he had ended up in prison and lost money. His sweet pad wouldn't be home for quite a while. His endorsements, gone. His contract, gone. His reputation, slaughtered like those pups.

No one who systematically tortures animals - personally drowned, electrocuted, organized fights, need I go on?! -and then collects the cash at the end feels THAT remorseful, unless he has a chance to get back into the spotlight and the seven "zeros" that follow after the dollar sign in his paycheck. I hardly believe this is heartfelt. HEINOUS!

AND another thing. It is NOT part of anyone's culture to viciously torture dogs and chickens in such a way.

Why did he cry? "For what I did..." and then NOTHING about dogs. Missing his family, his home, the football field. I'm sorry, did I just throw up in my mouth?

Let him out of prison, fine. Let him work his way in a blue collar job or whatever "pysical education" degree he received from VA Tech, the second best public school in Virginia.

Save it, Vick. I hope every defense you play against goes absolutely ape-shit on your ass and puts you back in rehab.

Voter rights

Can you imagine living in an America where this threat was present?
In other words, if Nato succeeds in restoring political stability to Afghanistan, then Islamist terror groups will have fewer opportunities to plan their terror attacks against the British Isles.

It is for this reason that Nato is investing so much effort to ensure that this week's presidential election in Afghanistan is a success, even though all that means is that the corrupt government of the current president, Hamid Karzai, will be re-elected to serve another term.

It also explains why the Taliban is doing everything in its power to disrupt the elections, from sending suicide bombers to launch terror attacks against Nato's headquarters in the capital, Kabul, as occurred on Saturday, to sending menacing "night letters" to Afghan families, threatening to cut off their fingers if they vote.
The purple ink will give them away and they'll lose their fingers.

Makes you think twice, folks. When you stand up at a town hall, you are not shot for your difference of opinion. Your tongue isn't cut out. You have all your fingers and can raise your hand in question or protest.

Be grateful.

Mayor BadAss

It started with an urgent plea for help late Saturday night as he walked to his car after a State Fair outing with his family.

And it ended with Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett lying in a pool of blood with a broken hand after he rushed to confront a pipe-wielding suspect officials described as a "vicious thug."

By Sunday evening, the suspect was in custody, Barrett was recuperating at a hospital, and his heroics were being recounted on national cable and network news shows.
So Milwaukee's Mayor beats down an attacker and saves a lady and her kid, and survives severe injuries. I have mixed feelings.

I can't say it was the smartest move. You have your family there, your own children, and you start to intervene in a public quarrel. While most would agree it's ballsy (and the woman and her 1 year old likely looked as though they needed help), there could have been greater consequences.

We're talking Milwaukee here, folks, let's not be fooled. There could have been guns or knives and serious injuries, even death.

And Joe Barrett has every reason to be teary. So we'll just announce his heroism and thank Mayor Barrett for his service.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

little girl goes fishing

Awesome. Who cares if this is real or not?

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

McCain Bloggett

You go girl.
There is a place for the far right in this party, Malkin included, and I respect their right to be heard. But the Republican Party will continue to lose elections unless we start reaching out in a more effective way to people my age and to moderates. Barack Obama won the last election on the slogan “Yes We Can,” and there is no reason why Republicans can’t go forth and win elections with equally positive messages. We will not get anywhere by continuing to sell hate and fear. Of course, there is always going to be a fraction of the GOP that is going to respond to that, but at some point we have to start facing the reality that hate and fear will only get us so far. Those emotions are not sources for inspiration of joining anything, let alone supporting a political party.

Hillary Clinton Outraged in the Congo

Perhaps she SHOULD channel Bill in the whole working out-eating healthy-losing weight thing, though. The pictures are NOT flattering. She might want to consider a new suit jacket.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Town Halls

Rep. Mike Pence on Fox News: "Look, the American people are rejecting a government take-over of health care"...and in a time when our deficit is over $2 billion.

The fear in my fellow Americans' eyes at these townhalls is apparent. For our Congressmen and women not to see it, concerns me. We have a desperate Democratic leadership and White House that have placed this at the top of their liberal agenda, regardless of the negative impact it will have.

I honestly believe this will backfire on Democrats- particularly their claim that dissent is un-American, their hypocritical Op-Ed (no one once called the Iraq War protestors un-American??), and their refusal to allow American constituents access to important facts.

It is frightening on so many levels.

Not to mention, all this while the House wants more money for government jets. Pelosi is clearly not in there for her constituents.


That Democratic leadership refused to allow the Republicans to send out the healthcare policy chart to their constituents?

Talk about the disruption of information.

Protest is un-American?

Where would we be without the Boston Tea Party? Rosa Parks' refusal to move? The Million Man March? Need I go on?

Protest is apart of our history. Protest and freedom of speech DEFINES America.

Yet, Nancy Pelosi sure likes to call things "un-American."
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, insisting at the start of a long and politically heated summer congressional recess that healthcare reform can be achieved this fall, today are calling the disruption of "town-hall'' meetings by vocal protesters "simply un-American.''

"However, it is now evident that an ugly campaign is underway not merely to misrepresent the health insurance reform legislation, but to disrupt public meetings and prevent members of Congress and constituents from conducting a civil dialogue,'' the two leaders write. "These disruptions are occurring because opponents are afraid not just of differing views -- but of the facts themselves. Drowning out opposing views is simply un-American.''
And members of Congress shutting out their constituents' concerns over BAD policy is misrepresentation.

And this, from a woman who thinks enforcing American immigration law is also "un-American." Nancy, get a new word.

Pelosi and Hoyer should be recalled immediately.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Ex-DNC Chief on Obama's Problems (and How He Can Fix Them) -- Politics Daily#comments#comments#comments#comments

Ex-DNC Chief on Obama's Problems (and How He Can Fix Them) -- Politics Daily#comments#comments#comments#comments

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I'll let Paul Ryan speak for me

Ryan: If I were in charge of health care reform ...

There is no debate in Washington more critical, more consequential and more controversial than the current debate over health care reform. With Congress out of session for the month of August, the weeks ahead represent a unique opportunity for an honest and open debate here in Wisconsin - and across the nation - on how best to tackle the long overdue need for health care reform.

If it seems as if there is no room for agreement in Washington's partisan atmosphere, let's look at some shared principles, and even some shared policy reforms to get there. Democrats, Republicans and Independents alike agree on the following goals of health care reform: contain costs; expand coverage; and preserve the current coverage enjoyed by most Americans.

Beyond these broad strokes, there are some policy prescriptions that would certainly find bipartisan approval if we were communicating in a bipartisan fashion: transparency on price and quality in health care; prevention and wellness; the promotion of electronic health records; and long overdue medical liability reform.

I see no reason - outside of partisan gamesmanship - why these common sense provisions couldn't be included in health care reform legislation when Congress reconvenes in September.

Even on some controversial elements, there is more agreement than first meets the eye. From all ends of the political spectrum, you will be hard-pressed to find an economist that would defend the current tax treatment of health care. Jason Furman, President Barack Obama's deputy economic advisor, has written,

"Replacing the current tax preference for insurance with an income-related, refundable tax credit has the potential to expand coverage and reduce inefficient spending at no net federal cost."

We need tax equity
Plain and simple, the current health care tax exclusion discriminates against millions of Americans and helps inflate the costs of health care. Those in the highest tax brackets and those with the most generous insurance plans receive the largest tax benefits. If you are self-employed, unemployed or don't get your coverage from your employer, the current tax code gives you nothing.

I believe that we should equalize the tax treatment of health benefits and provide all Americans with the resources they need to purchase quality, affordable health insurance. The tax treatment of health care was poisoned with election year campaign politics and has been "taken off the table," but it is a reform that we must revisit.

Of course, there are some more fundamental divides, as many in Washington believe that health care in America should revolve around the federal government - not patients and their doctors. It takes an uncomfortable faith in Washington to believe that spending can be restrained and bureaucratic waste can be contained if only we gave government more control.

Despite skyrocketing costs remaining our top concern, the majority has concluded that we are not spending enough on health care in America. We already spend over two-and-a-half times more on health care than any other country, with government alone spending roughly $1 trillion last year. Rather than add trillions more on top of that - as the majority is proposing, let's take the money we already spend on health care and spend it more efficiently, more effectively.

No government rationing
In the face of a looming entitlement crisis, the majority remains intent on creating a costly new government health care entitlement, believing that it can fairly compete with non-subsidized private plans. Here is how it works: the federal government "option" would reimburse doctors at below market prices in order to control costs, forcing those with private coverage to make up the difference.

With costs continuing to mount, employers will increasingly find it more cost-effective to dump their employees onto the government-run plan and pay an additional 8-percent payroll tax for each worker. Some estimates state that under this public plan option, two out of every three Americans would lose their current coverage. The President has yet to reconcile this actuarial fact with his promise: "If you like what you got, you can keep it."

With more Americans forced onto the government-run plan, the only way to contain costs will be through rationing by the federal government. The decision as to whether or not you need a potentially life-saving treatment will not be a decision you, your family or your doctor will make, it is a decision the government will make on your behalf.

The more Americans learn the details of what is being rushed through Congress, the more folks will be looking for alternatives. Thankfully, many in Congress have put forward innovative, patient-centered solutions. My reform proposal - H.R. 2520, The Patients' Choice Act ( - demonstrates that we can achieve universal access to quality, affordable health care in America, without adding trillions in new taxes and debt, and without the federal government taking it over.

Health care reform is one of the most crucial domestic issues this Congress will act on and requires the input of all Americans. With an engaged and educated public actively involved in the health care debate, I believe that your elected representatives can start anew and embrace this historic opportunity for reform. Congress can - and must - rise to meet the challenge before us, but we can't do it without you.

U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Janesville) represents Wisconsin's 1st Congressional District.