Saturday, January 20, 2007

The Future of Cuba

God, I hope not...

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Should Peg Lautenschlager Run For DPW Chair?

Judging by the results of a recent Democracy for Wisconsin online poll, Peg certainly would have a lot of support if she did:

What would you like to see Peg Lautenschlager do next?

45% - Run for Wisconsin Dem Party Chair in '07
24% - Run for Congress against Tom Petri in '08
18% - Retire from politics (trolls and the Governor's staffers?)
9% - Run for AG in 2010
3% - Run for Governor in 2010

This indicates that a pretty hefty chunk of the party's most active progressive base wants Peg to pull a Howard Dean and run for chair. Given Peg's frosty relationship with Doyle, and therefore much of the party establishment, it would be an interesting race, but I think she would be unbeatable. And with her solid progressive roots, proven management skills, and work ethic, she could really whip the party into shape.

The only problem is convincing Peg of all this. She hasn't exactly expressed much interest yet from what I can tell. So if the idea of Peg doing for our state party what Dean did for the DNC intrigues you, it might not be a bad idea to her know...

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Best Quote Ever

An oldie but a goodie...

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Republican Party of WI Must Be Broke

What else could possibly explain why they're using an unregistered piece of $35 shareware to create their press releases? Heck, even I can afford thirty-five bucks to publish documents without a big fat disclaimer announcing to the world that I'm too cheap to buy the software I'm using.

This is pretty funny. As part of my research on the Steve Kagen stuff I found this Republican Party press release. It's a fairly well written if standard attack piece. Nothing surprising there. But even though it seemed to be one page long, as a good press release should, there was a second page that looked blank. Curious, I scrolled down, and saw the following notice:

This document was created with Win2PDF available at
The unregistered version of Win2PDF is for evaluation or non-commercial use only. This page will not be added after purchasing Win2PDF.

It's a shame to see a once-proud organization like the RPW reduced to this sad state of affairs. Perhaps one of my kind readers would be willing to send them a small donation to help in this moment of crisis.

Or not.


Shameless plug: I've used Win2PDF in the past, and it was a darn nice piece of software at a fair price. If you need to create PDF files, but don't need all the (expensive) bells and whistles that come with Adobe Acrobat, Win2PDF will do the job at a price even the Republican Party of Wisconsin should be able to afford.

Monday, January 15, 2007

Van Hollen Did What?

J.B. Van Hollen is getting off to an interesting start as Wisconsin Attorney General. One of his first actions after taking office was to falsely take credit for eliminating the position of solicitor general:

Van Hollen said he hasn't made any major policy changes yet, but
that he has eliminated the position of solicitor general, as promised
in the campaign. The job coordinated legal matters with attorneys
general in other states. Van Hollen said he would continue to work
with other states but said there was no need to have a specific
position to do that.

There's just one little problem with Van Hollen's claim. There was no solicitor general's position for him to eliminate. Peg Lautenschlager got rid of it months ago.

There's some interesting background to this issue. During his campaign Van Hollen used the solicitor general's position as an example of unnecessary and wasteful bureaucracy that he was going to clean up, and implied that he was going to save taxpayers' money by doing so.

But solicitor general was basically just a formal title, not a funded position, and while promising to eliminate it might have made a good campaign sound bite, doing so neither saves any money nor reduces the workload within the DOJ. This was simply a baffle 'em with bullshit issue that Van Hollen knew he could get away with because the public didn't have a clue.

It's unfortunate that one of our new AG's first actions is to fib about something as silly as this. I understand he wants to show he's keeping his campaign promises, particularly since many of them, such as reducing the backlog in the crime lab, are largely beyond his control. But I'd be much more impressed by an honest AG than one willing to lie to score cheap political points.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Steve Kagen - True to Form

It seems Dr. Steve Kagen, WI 8th CD Representative, just got himself in the news (read to the bottom) for being an asshole:

Newly elected Rep. Steven Kagen, a rich allergist who self-financed his campaign in Wisconsin, by his own account taunted President and Mrs. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney and presidential adviser Karl Rove during a White House function for new members of Congress in December.

Kagen told a group of activists that after he found himself in the restroom with Rove, he blocked the White House deputy chief of staff's departure by holding the door closed. According to Kagen, he then said: "You're in the White House and you think you're safe. . . . My name's Dr. Multimillionaire and I kicked your ass."

The new congressman said he said separately to both Bush and Cheney: "Thank you for coming to Green Bay. I couldn't have won without you coming." Kagen also said he approached Laura Bush and purposely called her Barbara, the name of the president's mother. Kagen's remarks were reported in "The Scene," published in Appleton, Wis.

Granted nobody deserves it more than Rove, and I can understand Kagen's comments to Bush and Cheney, but deliberately insulting the President's wife is shameful. Not that I'm surprised. Here's what I wrote about Kagen in a post about his race last September:

...I've met and talked to Steve Kagen, and in my opinion he's an arrogant jerk. I'm not at all convinced he's anything close to being a progressive, and I think a lot of good Democrats in the 8th CD are in for a rude awakening.

Looks like I read Kagen pretty well. Unfortunately I suspect he's going to piss off a lot of people in a big hurry, and probably not just on the Republican side of the aisle. Going around deliberately making personal enemies is generally bad practice in politics.