HAND-CURATED POSTS FROM THE WISCONSIN BLOGOSPHERE (AND SOMETIMES POINTS BEYOND)
….Since 2008, the eight current members of the U.S. House and their aides have taken at least 125 privately funded trips at a cost of more than $400,000, according to a Milwaukee Journal Sentinel analysis of travel records. Some are relatively cheap jumps to Maryland or Virginia to speak at conferences. Others are all-expenses-paid trips to Asia or Africa for House members and their spouses or children that can run into the tens of thousands of dollars.
The Journal Sentinel analysis focused on House members because of news last week that the House Ethics Committee had — temporarily — moved to eliminate one of the reporting requirements for such travel.
Of all international destinations, Israel was the most popular for Wisconsin’s lawmakers. Six of the eight representatives and their staff logged at least 10 trips to Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and Tiberias from 2011 to 2013. All told, the travelers racked up $121,000 in expenses….
[Survey doesn't say most ever, just most since 1955 - ed.]
North America had 49.2 million ducks this spring, a record high in the Waterfowl and Breeding Habitat Survey conducted annually since 1955.
The continent also had 7.18 million ponds in May, 40% above the long-term average.
“Majority opinion on the issue has changed substantially since 2006, but among his core supporters — Republicans and conservatives — the majority still oppose same-sex marriage,” Franklin said. “So this puts him in a bind.”
….Janesville taxpayers should think long and hard before committing themselves to additional new taxes. Keep in mind that regardless of who is governor next year, the state is considering a slew of new license and registration fee hikes, including raising the state gas tax and even mileage charges. These higher taxes and charges will be on top of our Forward Janesville induced road tax referendum – if you so choose….
And we probably won’t see the public financing piece of this puzzle for several months, so stay tuned.
After the shooting, Larsen said he texted a friend to tell him he had just shot an albino Sandhill Crane.
His friend told him that the Crane was a protected species, so the big tough guy with the gun did what you would expect him to do. He turned tail and ran!….
Matthew Kent Larsen, 28, of New London, Wisconsin, pleaded guilty to the crime in a federal court in Green Bay and was sentenced to pay $2,000 in fines: $1,500 in restitution to the International Crane Foundation and a $500 Migratory Bird Treaty Act fine. His hunting and fishing rights were also revoked for two years.
Scott’s new piece fixates on the “Draft Mitt” website, which has only collected 28,000 names of Romney 2016 people, which is close to nothing.
Grafton lawyer Richard Kranitz is scheduled for release from federal prison in December; just eight months after that he’ll be eligible to practice law again.
Gov. Scott Walker may be having a little trouble stating his position on gay marriage these days.
Not so his son Alex.
Alex Walker, who will be a sophomore this fall at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, recently acted as the state-required witness to a gay marriage in Waukesha County.
Records show Shelli Marquardt and Cathy Priem married at the Waukesha County Courthouse on June 9. Alex Walker, 19, scribbled his signature on the marriage certificate as one of two adult witnesses to the wedding. The certificate is on file with the Waukesha County register of deeds.
“I would like to thank Senator Herb Kohl and John Hammond for giving me the opportunity to coach the Milwaukee Bucks this past season. Although my tenure was brief, it will forever be memorable.
“Thank you to all of the great Bucks fans for your love and support, you truly are some of the best fans in the NBA.
Abele happily touts his close working relationship with a Governor who lusts for the destruction of public employee unions and whose policies blatantly favor those who, like Chris Abele, are already rich and powerful.
In short, though he has styled himself as a Democrat and spreads a token bit of his wealth around by writing checks to Democrats – his actions as County Executive are more closely aligned with the policies of his Tea Party predecessor in that office.
Coming away from the 18-minute, 15-question news conference Tuesday to introduce new Bucks coach Jason Kidd to the city, you were reminded of that popular bit John Belushi used to do on “Saturday Night Live.”
Belushi played Pete, the owner at the Olympia Cafe, who was not going to serve anything other than a cheeseburger to every customer.
“Cheeseburger,” was his answer to every request by the customer for something on the menu….
All right, so it wasn’t quite as bad as that.
But transparent, it was not. Forthcoming, it was not. Joyful or celebratory or convivial – not, not, not.
CAFOs are cruel factories, locking cows in a box and spreading the tons of cow manure over surrounding waters, air and land by using massive quantities of water from water wells and then sending the water back into the environment laden with toxins.
“In a CAFO, animals are crammed by the thousands or tens of thousands, often unable to breathe fresh air, see the light of day, walk outside, peck at a plants or insects, scratch the earth, or eat a blade of grass,” notes CAFO: The Tragedy of Industrial Animal Factories.
Thursdays jobs report from the Labor Department made clear that the U.S. economy is moving steadily closer to full health after having shrunk at the start of the year. Growth is picking up even as major economies in Europe and Asia continue to struggle. On Thursday, the European Central Bank kept interest rates unchanged despite signs that the 18-country eurozone economy is losing momentum.
Wisconsin’s Medicaid fund faces a shortfall of $93 million in state tax dollars through the end of the biennium, according to a report sent to members of the Joint Finance Committee.
The shortfall is up from an estimated $20.3 million in March, when the Department of Health Services last sent an update to lawmakers.