Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Doyle Announces Increased Funding for Retarded Idol Contestants

Madison (AP) - Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle today unveiled what figures to be a major provision in his re-election health care platform in the upcoming year. Doyle announced a new plan, called "Idolcare" that would provide increased mental health funding for several American Idol contestants that appeared to wander onto the set from a Special Olympics javelin competition.

When asked how to pay for the program, Doyle indicated the state could save approximately $42 million next year by cutting back on Paula Abdul's allotment of anti-depressants and birth control pills.

Ineligible for Idolcare funding is pretty boy vocalist Ace Young, who is about to set the record for world's largest panty collection, narrowly edging Victoria's Secret. Young was recently named FEMA director, as he will personally be able to repopulate the State of Louisiana by the year 2012.

Many viewers were upset this week when their TiVos malfunctioned and recorded the incorrect show. When the computer saw that two contestants were named Kellie Pickler and Heather Cox, it accidentally taped "Pickler and Cox" on the Spice Channel. (If Idol truly has 40 million viewers per show, then that joke is made approximately 40 million times nightly.)

A flaw in the voting process was revealed this week when 28 million households voted for contestant Brenna Gethers to be eaten alive onstage by gaunt coyotes. Producers were spared having to carry through on the voters' wishes when Gethers was accidentally mistaken for a stack of buttery flapjacks and devoured by fellow contestant Mandisa.

Before Doyle's plan can become law, it must first be approved by a majority of the members of Randy's Dog Pound.


Here's an honest to God poll on the Idol official webpage: (it will probably be gone by tomorrow)

In their next performances, the Top 10 girls will:

A. Kick it up a notch

B. Hit their stride

C. Impress the judges

D. Triumph over their nerves

"Triumph over their nerves" barely held off "kick it up a notch" (41% to 38%), despite Emeril Lagasse's right arm falling off after voting for 22 straight hours. Coming in a distant third was "Peg Lautenschlager" at 8%.

Monday, February 27, 2006

"The Trouble With Law is Lawyers"

Caught this in a St. Paul Pioneer Press story last week: (you may need to register)

A Wisconsin man pleaded no contest Monday to killing his girlfriend's son after becoming angry when the boy wet his pants.

Kevin Rood, 42, of Hammond pleaded no contest to second-degree reckless homicide and could face up to 25 years in prison, defense attorney Aaron Nelson said.

Rood was originally charged with first-degree reckless homicide and three child abuse offenses in the death of 8-year-old Stephen Hubbard, who died from injuries Dec. 20, 2004, after Rood pushed the boy into a doorframe. Those charges could have carried a 60-year sentence...

"Kevin's always been very concerned about what happened, and he's always been very remorseful about what's happened," Nelson said. "I think Kevin was the best thing that happened to that kid. (He) obviously felt he should take some responsibility for it."

Yeah - Kevin was the best thing to happen to the kid - until he killed him. If I'm putting together a list of "best things that have happened to me," the guy that kills me probably doesn't show up (unless he kills me while I'm watching "Sex in the City," in which case he's doing me a favor.) In fact, people who have not killed me have a distinct advantage in making the list. But a warning for those sucking up - it's going to be hard to leapfrog Peanut Butter Cups, Keira Knightley, and my snowblower.

This goes to show that you can literally say anything these days. He should take some responsibility for it? You think? Was the kid partially responsible for throwing himself into a door frame? Was the door frame maker liable for making particularly dangerous molding?

If an attorney general candidate wants my vote, here's all they have to do: Set up a fund whereby people can contribute money - then all that money goes to the family of the first inmate that makes Kevin Rood of Hammond limp for the rest of his life.

Morgan Freeman for President

I spent Saturday night re-watching Shawshank. Even though I've seen it probably 10 times, I am man enough to admit that I sob like a little girl pretty much the whole way through every time I watch it.

For some reason, Morgan Freeman has this hypnotic spell over me. Every time he starts in with the narrative, I feel every ounce of his pain. I mean Christ, I had to stop the movie and blow my nose when they're all drinking beer on the roof of the prison. His final speech before the parole board is an all-timer. And then at the end, when he says "maybe I just miss my friend," my eyes turn into Niagra Falls.

So I'm thinking we just cut the crap and elect Morgan Freeman President. Think about it - the presidency has pretty much become style over substance anyway. Why not have a President that goes off the charts on the style element?

He could probably talk me, Joe average citizen, into just about anything. If he were giving a speech and said "My fellow Americans, we need to invade Canada," I'd say "Yeah, that sounds about right." If President Freeman wanted to double your income taxes, what are you going to do, say no? After the 40 years he spent in prison under that horrible warden? You heartless bastard.

So my advice to Morgan Freeman is, "get busy runnin' or get busy dyin'."

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Bucher Orders 27 Pizzas to Van Hollen's House

The Wisconsin Attorney General's race took a decidedly negative turn yesterday when Waukesha County District Attorney Paul Bucher ordered 27 pepperoni pizzas to his challenger's residence. The move was called a "cheap but delicious shot" by J.B Van Hollen, who is battling Bucher for the Republican nomination to be the state's "top cop." On top of each pizza were the words "Suck it, Van Hollen!" in anchovies.

Bucher has been criticized recently for his near-nuclear assault on candidates of both parties in the race to become Attorney General. He accused Van Hollen's campaign of being "broke" in a February press release while he himself had to loan his own campaign $55,000. Bucher has also pounded away on Democrats Kathleen Falk and Peg Lautenschlager for being soft on crime. Things got slightly out of hand during a radio appearance last week, when Bucher and Falk began to grapple and Bucher performed the "Rude Awakening" move on her, made famous by "Every Woman's Fantasy," Ravishing Rick Rude. (R.I.P)

Lautenschlager shot back at Bucher, saying that her program to keep alcohol out of the hands of young people was a resounding success. In fact, she noted that she personally confiscated a couple bottles of Night Train from Steve's Liquor Store earlier that day, to be sure they didn't fall into the wrong hands. Falk noted that as solicitor general, she once successfully prosecuted a feral goldfish for performing African hair braiding without the requisite state license. She also noted that she had recently purchased The Season 3 "Cops" DVD, but tearily admitted she had not watched it yet.

"Bucher's tactics are pretty much run of the mill for such a high profile campaign, which is clearly why we need campaign finance reform," said University of Wisconsin political science professor Bernard Redding. "Of course, I am a UW professor, which means I pretty much have my head up my ass most of the time," said Redding, adding, "I sit here and look at pictures of Natalie Portman on my computer all day why my TAs teach my classes - what the hell do I know about politics?"

Bucher's poll numbers have improved lately, with a recent St. Norbert's poll showing him gaining popularity among the much sought after "People Who Don't Want to be Shot in the Face by a Negro" demographic. Bucher, however, is losing ground quickly among the "People Who Really Want to Steal Their Neighbor's Plasma TV" voting constituency.

Last week Bucher promised voters that as AG, he would carry a night stick and personally beat the holy crap out of anyone that looks like a "punk or gangster." Bucher vowed that he would protect the public from murderers, drug dealers, and tight ends. When reached for comment, long-time political observer The Grim Reaper said "That motherf---er is hard core. Keep him away from me."

Van Hollen noted that as Attorney General, he would carry through with his initiative to deliver a flaming bag of poop to Bucher's house.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Do We Need a GOP Legislature?

Many supporters of the proposed Taxpayers Protection Amendment are working off the theory that it doesn't matter whether we have a Democratic or Republican legislature. As Peter DiGaudio puts it:

We need to go RINO-hunting. Seriously. Wisconsin's Republican Party and leadership needs an enema. If it means defeating RINOs in primaries or even electing Democrats to send a message. I never used to feel that way, but seriously: can a Democratic-controlled Legislature in Madison or Congress in Washington be any worse?

Peter's not alone. Aaron at Subject to Change has a variation of this theme here, and Owen at Boots and Sabers stops just short of endorsing the theory here.

This frustration with Republican legislators is absolutely understandable. I'm particularly disappointed in our federal representatives. I mean, we hold both houses of Congress and the presidency, and this is the best we can do? Did we really need a costly new Medicare prescription benefit that's turning out to be a net political negative? Do we need to continue the massive increases in farm subsidies and federal education spending?

And while I feel some of the same frustration at the state level, I have a simple message for those that don't care who controls the state legislature:

You are insane.

I know everyone wants to "TPA me ASAP" and there's general dislike of things like the ethanol mandate and the horrific "eight year old car seat" bill, but you really have to look at the big picture.

Let me take the easiest point first. If you don't keep hold of a Republican legislature in the short term, then there is absolutely no chance of the TPA passing. Remember - it takes two consecutive legislatures to pass a constitutional amendment before it can go to the voters for approval. That means it would have to pass this session and next session, with elections in between. Senate Republicans are playing defense this November, trying to hang on to at least three Democratic-leaning seats that they hold in large part because of the Chvala debacle that sunk Democrats during the 2002 election. Lose those three seats, and the Senate goes from 19-14 Republicans to 17-16 Democrats, in which case there is ZERO chance of your beloved TPA passing. I know it faces a tough challenge as it is, but some chance is better than none.

I know there's a lot of talk about taking out "soft" Republicans in primaries, but the fact is that a lot of these moderates actually represent the political philosophies of their constituents. You can go ahead and run a conservative in a primary against some of these guys, but then you're almost guaranteed to flip the district to a Democrat, since a lot of these districts lean liberal. The GOP is actually pretty lucky to have some of the seats in the State Senate that they do - three Democratic incumbents were yanked out of office in 2002, and each of those seats could easily revert back to Democratic hands with the Chvala issue off the table.

While TPA is a hot topic now, there are other issues that are vital to our state that I am not willing to just concede to Democrats because of failure to pass the TPA. You don't really have to think that far back to remember the Chuck Chvala years, where he essentially assumed the role of co-governor in thwarting the Republican agenda. It just takes one house to go Dem, and it kills any meaningful conservative bills coming out of the Assembly. Think Majority Leader Judy Robson will have a vote on your right to carry a concealed weapon? Think we'll ever be able to stop the state from giving out birth control services to 14 and 15 year old girls without their parents' knowledge? You may have heard about that "school choice" program - good luck getting that to where it needs to be with dems in charge.

That's only if one house goes Democrat. If, for some reason the Assembly were to go Democrat too? Hold on, because here comes your constitutional amendment that guarantees free health care to all Wisconsin's citizens (that would pass a public vote). Be ready for the constitutional amendment guaranteeing spending increases for public education every year (as passed in Colorado, a much more conservative state than Wisconsin). This is one of the downsides of the TPA - it sets the precedent that pretty much anything goes in the State Constitution, which will be a living bitch when Dems retake both houses.

Even if TPA passes and revenue is capped, there's still the question of how that revenue is spent. With Dems controlling one or both houses, there could be shift away from funding prisons, allowing dangerous people to roam free. You could see more funding for worthless programs like the SAGE program (a program solely used to hire more public school teachers), and less funding on transportation, which creates economic development. Even if the "pie" of state government isn't growing, we need Republicans to make sure Stan Johnson of WEAC isn't holding the knife and cutting up the pieces.

So conservatives, keep pushing for the TPA. Keep blogging about what frustrates you regarding your state legislators. But when it comes time to support Republicans that are with you 95% of the time, make sure you think of the big picture.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Exxposing Hypocrisy

A brief break from my vacation for this - I get so few things right, I am obligated to point out when I am:

Kudos to Stacy Forster at the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel for her blog post exposing the hypocrisy of Senate Democrats who criticize oil companies for their "obscene" profits. Hardcore Yorkheads might remember me beating this issue to death (here's the best example).

Here's the text of Forster's post:

The next time lawmakers think about taking oil companies to task for their high profits, they might want to check their own investments first.

For example, Senate Democratic Leader Judy Robson of Beloit is fond of criticizing oil company profits; her Jan. 30 press release noted that Exxon-Mobil Corp. earned record profits of $36.13 billion in 2005.

“How many more billions of dollars will companies like Exxon have to pilfer from hard-working Wisconsinites before legislative Republicans stand up for Wisconsin families?” Robson said in a statement.

But according to her 2005 economic interest statement for holdings in 2004, Robson owned shares of mutual funds that count Exxon-Mobil among their top holdings. For example, according to mutual fund Web site Morningstar.com, Exxon is the top holding in Vanguard’s Institutional Index fund, of which Robson reported owning shares worth $50,000 or less. Robson also reported owning $50,000 or less of shares in Fidelity’s Contrafund, which counts Exxon-Mobil as its 5th biggest holding.

In the press release, Robson called for passage of a bill by Sen. Russ Decker (D-Schofield) that would return a portion of those profits to taxpayers.“These extravagant profit reports are extra insulting at a time when Wisconsin families are struggling to pay to heat their homes and afford their next trip to the doctor,” Decker said in the statement with Robson.

Decker, too, reported owning $50,000 or less of the Vanguard Institutional Index fund that has Exxon as its top holding.

Nice to see the big shots are paying attention. For more info on Democratic hypocrisy, go here, here, and here.

Thursday, February 16, 2006


I'm taking next week off from the blog - so feel free to peruse some of my past posts that I wrote before anyone ever started reading this thing. Here's the first one that seemed to get any attention:


I have a “bone” to pick with our state government.

Taxes are too high, overregulation is stifling our economy, we are at war, and the balance of the Supreme Court is in question. However, our news media has missed one crucial story that may trump the rest in importance. I bring you Wisconsin State Statute 942.08(1)(a), the definition of “public nudity,” which states:

(a) "Nude or partially nude person" means any human being who has less than fully and opaquely covered genitals, pubic area or buttocks, any female human being who has less than a fully opaque covering over any portion of a breast below the top of the nipple, or any male human being with covered genitals in a discernibly turgid state.

That’s right: boners are illegal in Wisconsin.

The thought police are on the prowl – how is it possible for any male to short circuit the direct line (the “Batphone, if you will) between his brain and his pants? I believe it is my right as an American to walk in public in any “state” that I feel is appropriate.

Suppose I want to go out and get my mail after a couple hours of watching MTV's "Spring Break Weekend." Would the cops rush up to my door and slap the cuffs on (or in this case, one small cuff)? Would I have to sit in a jail cell with murderers, rapists, and plagiarizers and have to explain that I was in there because a cable station decided to play “Charlie’s Angels” reruns in the afternoon?

Can you imagine the floor debate on the insertion of this law? Was it tucked discreetly into a larger bill? Did it con its way into state law by buying the statute books a few drinks and playing some Marvin Gaye records?

I imagine the floor debate went something like this:

Pro-boner ban representative: "Mr. Speaker, I rise in order to speak about a danger that is plaguing society. Kids these days with their rap music and boners are going to eradicate humanity. Keep in mind, I have no idea how children are made or that stiffies are essential to procreation."

Anti-boner ban representative: "Mr Speaker, I would like to rise, but unfortunately I am having trouble standing up right now without making an embarassing adjustment."

(This representative accepted lucrative campaign contribution from Swedish "pump" companies.)

This law doesn't discriminate on the basis of age. If you're an elderly Viagra user and your condition persists for more than four hours, you may have to consult an attorney before you consult your physician. For teenage boys, cops could round up sting operations at the same time the Kohl's womens' underwear ads are mailed. The Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue coming to my house would have turned into the OJ trial.

If you find yourself potentially in violation of the law, calm down, lock your doors and windows, and turn on the WNBA for five minutes. This is guaranteed to clear it right up.

This cosmic injustice must be corrected. Some brave legislator must stand up, tall and strong, and challenge the otherwise flaccid Legislature to repeal this law. My suggestion: Representative Jeff Wood.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Jack Bauer's Unborn Son Thwarts Attempted Abortion

Los Angeles (AP) - Infanticide was given a new name today when Jack Bauer's illegitimate fetus killed an abortionist attempting to terminate the pregnancy. The fetus, sensing he was in "flank two" position, grabbed a pair of scissors from the doctor and jabbed them into his neck. The fetus killed four other hospital employees by forcing them to watch a clip of Chloe O'Brian's acting.

Bauer's ex-girlfriend, Department of Defense employee Audrey Raines, decided to terminate her pregnancy when she believed Bauer was dead for 18 months. As Grandma always used to say when tucking me into bed, "a dead child is better than an unwanted child." While he was presumed dead, Bauer hid out where he knew nobody would see him: by starring in Deuce Bigalow: European Gigolo.

The cause of death for the abortionist was listed as "Fetus playing by its own rules, practicing its own vigilante brand of gestation." The fetus' willingess to fight back has inspired thousands of embryos to grow up to be just like him. In fact, a recent fertility clinic had to be closed down when it was discovered that the sperm were sneaking grenades into the donation rooms.

Before the attempted abortion, the Counter Terrorist Unit (CTU) downloaded the blueprints for the entire clinic to the fetus' cell phone, which apparently never runs out of batteries. The fetus was tipped off to the abortion attempt by former President David Palmer, who intercepted some chatter on the set of his latest Allstate Insurance commercial. CTU was especially busy that day, as every crazy relative of each employee decided to show up at the office on that exact day.

Upon hearing the news, President Charles Logan sent the fetus to the Middle East to hunt down Abu Musab Al-Zarqawi. Before making the decision, Logan consulted his closest advisors, all of whom apparently work for Al-Qaeda. It took the fetus about 45 seconds to get to Iraq, which is about the time it apparently takes to get from one side of Los Angeles to the other.

Next season, Bauer will take on his greatest challenge yet by attempting to write a plausible script for the popular FOX show "24."

Fight back, fetuses! Viva la insemination!

Fun With the Kid

So this discussion took place when I was playing with my daughter:

Baby York: "I'm going to get married, Daddy."

Me: "Oh yeah, who are you going to marry?"

Baby York: "Miss Piggy."

Me: Awkward silence....

Me: (Looking at my wife:) "I need a ruling on this - am I allowed to say she's supposed to marry a boy? What are you supposed to say these days?"

Wife: "So you're more offended that she would marry a girl than a pig?"


After that, she and I practiced bouncing quarters off of a table into a cup. I figured this is genius on my part - I mean, when she's doing it in college, why not have her be the best in the world? We always played that the guy who makes it into the cup had to make other people drink - so if she's the Tiger Woods of playing quarters, she should never touch a drop of liquor, right? Daddy's looking out for her best interests. Brilliant. She has about 15 years to perfect it.

Later in the day, we were watching a basketball game and she said it was the "black guys against the white guys." After dislodging the Cheeto from my windpipe, I said "WHAT?" I then realized it was Iowa (black jerseys) playing Indiana (white jerseys). I felt much better knowing I didn't have a three year old Marge Schott running around the house.

Yes, I Need to be Drug Tested

Someone sent this to me today, and I have to admit I almost died of laughter. The more you read, the funnier it gets. And I fully realize that the fact I thought it was funny means I should be checked into some kind of treatment center.


Monday, February 13, 2006

Taxpayer Protection Amendment: Death to Wisconsin Republicans

Pretty provocative headline, huh? Well, stick with me.

Everyone knows Republicans get elected on one issue: taxes. People of all political persuasions are fed up with paying high taxes, and the GOP has always been seen as the party most likely to provide relief. Look at any public opinion poll – taxes always dwarf the rest of the issues that concern people.

So I’m asking the people who support the proposed Taxpayer Protection Amendment (TPA), most of whom are Republican, what good it does the party to take their number one issue off the table in elections? The TPA would write strict government revenue limits into the Wisconsin Constitution, which essentially makes Republicans irrelevant. The only Republican needed in the state will be the Constitution, which will almost guarantee Democratic majorities in the Legislature. Legislative debates will be dominated by arguments about why Ricky Schroeder left "NYPD Blue."

Polls routinely show that between 70% and 80% of the American public support things like universal health care, a higher minimum wage, and more environmental regulation. Republicans, take a look at your future campaign issues. Republicans enacting the TPA would be like the Miami Heat requiring Dwyane Wade to play the rest of the NBA season in a wheelchair. (SIDE NOTE – No legislature has ever willingly and constitutionally curtailed their own ability to tax and spend – states such as California and Colorado have done so through citizen referendum.)

The TPA not only won’t allow Republican candidates to vow to do a better job of keeping taxes down (we have the Constitution for that!), it also will protect normally nutty Democrats from being exposed as addicted to spending. Think filling a couple billion dollars’ worth of state deficit was tough these last couple of years? Imagine what it would have been like with a Democratic legislature – you can kiss that fancy new iPod you just bought goodbye.

Think I’m nuts? Let’s look at what happened in Colorado after their TABOR went into effect in 1992:

Colorado is a Republican state. Until 2004, Democrats hadn’t held both houses of their legislature in 44 years. Since 1963, Democrats have had a majority in one chamber or the other only three times, and they've never held on to it more than two years.

In 2004, while Republicans were increasing majorities around the nation, the Colorado Senate flipped from a one vote Republican majority to a one vote Democratic majority. The Colorado House flipped all the way from a 37-28 Republican majority to a 34-31 majority for the Democrats. Democrats in Colorado even gained a U.S. Senate seat.

So now Democrats control the legislature in what was once a solidly Republican state. What do you think will happen in Wisconsin, which actually leans slightly Democrat? Republicans have built strong majorities in both houses on a strong tax message, but who knows what will happen when that message is yanked away? Is anyone willing to gamble?

Think of the TPA as having Brad Pitt move into your house. Suddenly, you become irrelevant. Before you know it, he’s wearing your clothes, eating your frozen pizzas, and your wife is traveling the world adopting Thai kids. Meanwhile, you’re stuck at home, late at night, staring bleary-eyed at Cinemax and hoping to God you don’t recognize any of the actresses’ names in the next movie that’s on.

On the local government level, what reason would any conservative ever have to get involved in local politics again? Most of our best local officials are regular citizens who get fired up about having to pay such high taxes and run for office to make a difference. Now that everything's on cruise control, why would anyone even show up for a city council meeting, much less run for office?

Supporters of the TPA would counter that it doesn’t matter whether Republicans or Democrats are in power, since Republicans have done a shoddy job of holding taxes down. Once the TPA is in place, everything is taken care of because revenue caps are in place, right? Wrong.

Think about all the social issues important to conservatives that go down the tubes with a Democratic legislature. Kids will get coupons for free abortions in their Peanut Butter Cap’n Crunch. Single people of the same sex under age 25 will be legally required to marry. You’ll be paying ten bucks for Chicken McNuggets because the minimum wage will be able to buy every McDonald’s worker a Lexus.

Conservatives have rightly been up in arms lately about a movement to free “nonviolent” offenders from our prisons, in order to save money. Of course, there aren’t any nonviolent offenders in the prisons (see p. 42 of this document, which shows inmates in for “possession” and “other drug offenses” made up about 1.4% of the prison population in 2004).

If the TPA is enacted by the voters (and trust me, it will), and Democrats begin to take over the legislature, it is almost a prescription for violent felons to be let out of prison. You’re telling me with strict revenue limits in place, the first thing the Dems do isn’t to free prisoners? It’s the easiest thing in the world for them to do, and it saves money in the short term.

Think legislative Democrats couldn’t figure out a way to concoct a universal health care plan that circumvents the TPA revenue restrictions? Are they too stupid to enact a law that requires employers to pay the full cost of health care for their employees, thereby keeping the whole “state revenue” calculation irrelevant? Think Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce is for this? Will there be enough moving trucks for all the businesses to leave?

Think about Indian gaming revenue. The Republican legislature served as a backstop to thwart Governor Doyle’s horrific unilateral expansion of gaming in Wisconsin. Think the Dems aren’t clever enough to give away the farm on gaming and figure a way for the tribes to circumvent revenue limits? You’re going to be able to play baccarat in every Denny’s, and the University of Wisconsin System will get some charitable “gifts” from tribe members, which allows the state to back out General Purpose Revenue and spend it elsewhere. This would render the revenue limits meaningless.

Maybe I’m right, maybe I’m wrong. But these are the discussions that need to be had if we are to seriously look at enacting the TPA. I actually do think there are versions that could make everyone happy. But i shouldn’t take a dopey anonymous blogger to actually think more than one step ahead on this stuff. At some point, the adults need to take over to have a serious discussion of what lies ahead. I mean, let's be serious - this thing is going to the voters in some form. Should we be afraid of having an honest discussion about the possible consequences?

So go ahead with the name calling – I’ll put my conservative credentials up with anyone’s. I have absolutely no sympathy for any of the government workers that say they can’t work with less revenue. I voted for Alan Keyes in the 2000 presidential primary, because I thought George Bush was too moderate (and I was right). I shrieked like a little girl when George Will came to speak at the UW a couple years back. I spent (most of) my honeymoon reading a Thomas Sowell economics book, leading my wife to dub me “king of the right wing dorkwads.”

Regardless of what happens, only one thing is certain – it will be permanent. The best short-term solution will be to elect either Scott Walker or Mark Green as governor. I don’t want to see the Wisconsin Constitution indefinitely damage the party I belong to by permanently disrupting the balance of the legislature. So go ahead and roll the dice, lawmakers – just don’t say Uncle Denny didn’t warn you.

UPDATE: Owen at Boots and Sabers does a good job of taking me to task here. I can't say I disagree with any of the points he makes about the level of taxation. But I don't think we should be afraid to have an honest discussion of what some of the unintended consequences of the TPA might be.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Geena Davis Urges Feingold to Pull Out

Washington, D.C. (Reuters) - A late night meeting between a phony president and a phony presidential candidate took an unexpected turn last night as Geena Davis invoked the legal principle of coitus interruptus on U.S. Senator Russell "The Love Muscle" Feingold. Feingold, divorced 23 times, had invited Davis (best known for her role on ABC's The Breast Wing) back to his office to offer her a position on his staff.

According to reports, the evening began innocently enough with Feingold inviting President Mackenzie Allen out for dinner. Upon being seated at Kenny Rogers Roasters, the conversation took a ribald turn when Feingold pressed Davis for a timetable on withdrawal of her boobs from her blouse. Despite being a staunch advocate of campaign finance reform, Feingold offered to make a substantial, yet covert, deposit in Davis' account. Davis countered that any heat seeking missles that may be launched at her constituted an act of pre-emptive war on her booty, and were not welcome.

Things turned around quickly when Feingold spiked Davis' mashed potatoes with "Senator Feelgood's magic love juice." When they arrived at the Senator's Capitol Hill office, Davis was surprised to see a heart shaped waterbed in Feingold's office, under a neon sign offering "dime mustache rides." Feingold then stated he was filing an open records request to determine the contents of Davis' pants. He seductively offered Davis the chance to have a face to face meeting with the new House Majority Leader, John Boner.

Davis clarified that she didn't normally "do this on the first date," a disclosure which is legally required of women who sleep around extensively. The encounter was halted briefly when Capital Times columnist John Nichols emerged from Feingold's anus.

Following the encounter, Feingold had intended on using his trademark "cut and run" maneuver, where he looks for his pants and begins talking about the important meetings he has to attend in the morning. His staff, however, report that they keep Feingold's schedule blocked off from between 8 AM and 12 PM every day to allow him a chance to gaze at himself in the mirror.

Reacting to reports that he has yet to call Davis, Feingold said that he has been "like, totally slammed at work, my cell phone battery is dead, and my roommate is going through some personal stuff." Feingold stated that he would "totally call her soon," before he broke into hysterical laughter.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Crappy Senator Remembered

Madison (AP) - Services were held in the State Capitol snack room today for a Wisconsin political giant, former U.S. Senator Bertrand von Frankenhoffer. Von Frankenhoffer, who represented Wisconsin in the Senate between 1946 and 1962, was remembered by colleagues as being cowardly, closed minded, and fully beholden to special interests.

"Yeah, he was a real bastard," said former colleague Ashton Wellington of New Hampshire. Wellington recalled a time when an amendment was debated on the floor of the Senate that would have provided funding for afterschool programs for African-American children. "He was yelling in opposition and got really red in the face," recalled Wellington. "Then he crumpled up the amendment, set it on fire, threw it on the floor, and urinated on it," said Wellington.

Von Frankenhoffer's funeral service comes, ironically, near the same time as political giants William Proxmire and Gaylord Nelson, two towering figures of integrity in Wisconsin's history. Proxmire and Nelson are remembered for their honesty, dedication, and intelligence, none of which were possessed by von Frankenhoffer.

In 1960, von Frankenhoffer gained national attention when he ran for President on the newly formed "Whiteys-4-ever" ticket. He garnered 1.2% of the total vote, which was only slightly higher than Ed Garvey received when he ran for Governor of Wisconsin in 1998. Later in life, von Frankenhoffer retracted his racist views, and proved it by purchasing a Hootie and the Blowfish CD.

Former colleague Edwin Rumplemeyer fondly recalls von Frankenhoffer's colorful views on religion. "It was really funny - he refused to hire a Jewish staffer one time because, as he liked to say, 'the Jews killed Hitler.' Ah, those were the days," said Rumplemeyer. He recalled von Frankenhoffer's principled stance against invading France during World War II.

In 1996, when he was relegated to a wheelchair, von Frankenhoffer wheeled himself outside and spray painted "down with cripples" on his own garage door, as he heard there was a new disabled person in his neighborhood.

Von Frankenhoffer's personal life came under attack nearly thirty years ago when it was discovered he had fathered a child with one of his servants. The York Blog has been able to unearth a modern day photo of his estranged daughter:

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Fun With Statutes, Part II

Here's another fun one someone brought to my attention:

Wis. Stat. 765.03(1):

(1) No marriage shall be contracted while either of the parties has a husband or wife living, nor between persons who are nearer of kin than 2nd cousins except that marriage may be contracted between first cousins where the female has attained the age of 55 years or where either party, at the time of application for a marriage license, submits an affidavit signed by a physician stating that either party is permanently sterile...

This is fantastic news for the downtown Madison parking cops.

Exactly what special interest was in the Capitol lobbying for this one? Move over, WEAC and WMC - here comes the powerful "people that are dying to marry their second cousins" contingent. Do they raise a lot of money to spend on elections by selling fruit on the side of the road? Do they save money by handing down school photos from generation to generation? I can see the attack ad against Mark Green right now:

"You grew up in the same trailer. You've spent two weeks' pay on her at the DQ. BUT MARK GREEN DOESN'T WANT YOU TO BE ABLE TO MARRY YOUR OWN COUSIN. Call Mark Green and tell him you want to get in them drawers!"

I mean, seriously - we allow cloning for stem cells but don't allow men to make an honest woman of their first cousins? I'm surprised the UW isn't lobbying to fund this horrifying genetic milkshake.

Ah, but there's an out for the truly hard core in-family lovers. If you're permanently sterile or the woman is over 55, you can marry your first cousin. So you have struck gold if you either:

1. Work at a nuclear power plant; or
2. It is the year 2036 and you are Jessica Alba's first cousin.

Side note: Being married and posting pictures of Jessica Alba is an easy way to achieve sterility, as your wife is likely to "take care" of things herself. In fact, I think I hear her sneaking up behind me now...

Here's another one that I actually am interested in:

Wis. Stat. 765.035:

765.035 Validity of marriages of epileptics. All marriages, otherwise valid and legal, contracted prior to April 24, 1953, to which either party was an epileptic person are hereby validated and legalized in all respects as though such marriages had been duly and legally contracted in the first instance.

I'm seriously curious about the history of this one. I'm assuming that at some point, state law either didn't recognize or outright banned epileptics from marrying. The new law corrected that by grandfathering in any epileptic marriages that may have taken place prior to April 24th, 1953 (and what the significance of that date is).

Is there any way we can amend the constitution to go back and bar epileptics from marrying? Ever since I found out at about 6:00 tonight that it's legal, I have noticed my traditional marriage beginning to deteriorate. When I demanded my wife make me a pot roast, I was hit upside the head by a flying frozen hot pocket. It can only get worse from there.

Monday, February 06, 2006

Swann Set to Become The Black Republican

(AP) - According to sources, Pittsburgh's Super Bowl win on Sunday vaulted former Steeler Lynn Swann into frontrunner status in his quest to become The Black Republican. The position of Black Republican has been vacant since the retirement of Congressman J.C. Watts, also a former football player. While Swann's race is expected to help him pick up votes in the African American community, it is also clear he will lose votes from the demographic of voters who refuse to even buy colored chalk.

"It's been a while since Republicans had someone they could point to and say 'hey, we love black people - that guy is a Republican.' And now, in Lynn Swann, we have found 'that guy," said RNC Chair Ken Mehlman. "Swannie will be able to draw on his extensive experience holding a microphone on the sidelines in his quest to run one of the most crucial economies in the nation," said Mehlman.

When asked what makes his career in football relevant to running a state government, Swann said, "It's easy. There was this one time against the Jets when Coach Noll called a play to be run out of the Tiger formation. But I saw one of the linebackers shadowing me, so in the huddle, I said 'no way, man' and I changed the formation to Roscoe. Franco Harris then ran for four yards, all because of my audible. If that doesn't tell you all you need to know about leadership and balancing budgets, nothing will."

Many anti-abortion groups are calling on Swann to affirm his pro-life stance, which he did Sunday. "There was this one time against Dallas, where I was supposed to run a fly route, but I saw Too Tall Jones trying to kill the play before it had a chance. So I broke off my route, ran a slant, and caught an eight yard pass to make sure that play happened. If elected, I promise to keep running inter-uterine slant routes."

Local fan Todd Marinelli, when asked who he would be voting for in the upcoming election, said "Yeah Steelers! Woo Hoo!," adding "Boo, civil rights!"

Marinelli was referring to the Pennsylvania gubernatorial election, where Swann will be facing former Philadelphia Mayor and current Governor Ed Rendell in November. It figures to be a tight race, as Rendell is a lifelong public servant with years of experience in politics and governing, while Swann can run really fast.

Swann announced that he would be naming Franco Harris to his administration, as Secretary of Awkwardly Dark Beards.

"Let the People Decide"

A democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where fifty-one percent of the people may take away the rights of the other forty-nine. -- Thomas Jefferson

While there shouldn't be any question about the love I have for my right wing brothers and sisters in the blogosphere, there are issues on which we occasionally depart. For me, the Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR), or Taxpayers Protection Act (TPA), or whatever they are calling it these days, is one of those issues.

I understand this puts me in the significant minority among right wing bloggers. I know my opinion will be received about as well as Clay Aiken opening for Jay-Z.

I am second to no man or woman in my belief in low taxes, less government, free markets, and business development. Before all the lefties get excited, trust me - Governor York wouldn't hesitate to cut the gravy train off. It's all a question of how we get there.

That being said, I chuckled when I saw Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce's press release in favor of of the TPA, a bill that hasn't even been circulated among legislators yet. The release (titled "Wisconsin Taxpayer Protection Amendment: Let the People Decide") contained this line:

"At WMC, we say: 'Let the people decide!'"

Oh really?

Well then, let's throw it open to a public vote and let the people decide on the following:

  • Universal Health Care

  • Withdrawing Troops from Iraq

  • Capping Gas Prices

  • Legalizing Abortion (assuming Roe v. Wade is overturned)*

  • Capping CEO Pay

  • And the list goes on and on. All of these, of course, would pass, and each would be disastrous. In every case, the discretion of our lawmakers serves as a goalie to thwart public opinion. It works the other way, too. Think carrying concealed weapons would pass a public vote? I'll put it on the board right now - what gets the higher percentage - concealed carry or whoever runs against Herb Kohl?

    As an example, WMC's release also contains this statement, which can be described as misleading at best:

    Colorado’s program also includes mandated increases in education spending above the rate of inflation- this eats into resources for other state programs and priorities before government budgets are even developed. These automatic spending hikes are not part of the Wisconsin Taxpayer Protection Amendment. Politicians will be forced to prioritize spending.

    Colorado's original program had no such provision (and I agree, any constitutional provision that mandates spending is appalling). Actually, Colorado voters came back in 2000 and passed a constitutional amendment that mandated school spending above the rate of inflation, which was in direct conflict with their TABOR. So their voters actually chose to have conflicting constitutional provisions on spending. Does anyone really think that couldn't happen in Wisconsin? You just throw out a generic "do we need to prioritize spending on schools" question on a ballot and what does it get? 60%?

    Fortunately, we don't need to have this battle about direct democracy. It was debated at length during a little known period of history known as the Founding of the United States. James Madison, credited as being the architect of the U.S. Constitution, had contempt for democracy - he famously wrote The Federalist #10, which warned of the dangers of majority rule and faction.

    Madison said:

    Democracy is the most vile form of government...democracies have ever been spectacles of turbulence and contention: have ever been found incompatible with personal security or the rights of property: and have in general been as short in their lives as they have been violent in their deaths.

    Now, no modern day lawmaker is going to argue against the wisdom of the public. But the public is famously bipolar when it comes to public policy. "The public" almost always wants lower taxes and more spending (I would settle for lower taxes and less spending). "The public" is busy fixing their cars in their driveways, starting small businesses, and taking all of Jesse Jackson's illegitimate kids to their t-ball games, and not necessarily consistent in dictating complicated fiscal policy. For that, we hire representatives to reflect our interests. If we don't like them, we vote them out.

    I think WMC does a great job advocating for the interests of employers and taxpayers. In this case, however, I have to respectfully dissent from their position. We all want lower taxes - how we get there remains the unanswered question. I think we can do it without usurping our founding principle of representative government.

    *Wisconsin law still outlaws abortion, so a proactive vote would have to be taken to keep it legal should Roe v. Wade be overturned.

    Thursday, February 02, 2006

    Fun With Statutes: Blind Goods

    It's fun to look at State Statute books from time to time and wonder how the laws that are there came about. Obviously, each new law has a story behind it, and sometimes it's pretty easy to see what activity precipitated the statute change.

    Take Wisconsin Statute 47.03(3)(a) (a), which says:

    47.03(3)(a) (a) No person may advertise any product as being blind-made or sell or distribute any product that is advertised as being blind-made unless at least 75% of the labor involved in creating the product was performed by blind or visually impaired persons.

    So there was obviously some slimeball out there running around selling something and telling people blind people had made it, when all they really did was play a Stevie Wonder CD at the factory while it was being made. There has to be some benefit to blind-made goods, whether they get preferential contracts or people like helping out the blind by buying their product.

    So I envisioned a conversation like this:

    Seller: So take a look here at this beauty of a car - it's 100% blind made. Your purchase of this fine automobile will really help out all those blind kids I'm always bumping into in my car.

    Buyer: Um... It looks like the car doesn't have any wheels, bumpers, or a roof.

    Seller: Yeah, well it was made by the blind. They skip a detail here or there. They can't see.

    Buyer: Are you sure this car wasn't stolen? It's up on blocks and has an "I Brake for Unicorns" sticker on it.

    Seller: This is blind labor at its best, my friend. Don't mock the crippled. They work cheap, which is why you're getting such a good deal.

    Buyer: I don't even like the color - I'm not really a pea-green kind of guy.

    Seller: Green? That car is obviously midnight blue. Maybe you should come down and work at the plant.

    Buyer: Wait... what? Are you saying I'm blind now?

    Seller: Well, you obviously can't see what a great deal you're getting on this finely tuned, brand new car.

    Buyer: Will a personal check do?

    Do we need to have this same statute in place for products manufactured by other minority groups? I would like some assurance that my candy bars are being produced by at least 75% Oompa Loompa.

    God's New "Eye For an Eye" Policy

    So by now you've likely heard of a bill in the State Legislature that would bar protesters from demonstrating at funerals, military or otherwise. This bill is in response to funeral demonstrations by The Westboro Church of Kansas, led by noted hatemonger Fred Phelps. Phelps argues that deaths of the soldiers in the Iraq War are God's revenge on the United States for its acceptance of homosexuality.

    My question if this - if God truly is vindictive, what could America possibly have done that is bad enought for The Lord to burden us with Fred Phelps?