Tag Archives: Scott Fitzgerald

Mined Over Matter

Mined Over Matter

Since my recent mining redux has generated more comments than any scribble in the nearly two-year-long tenure of this blog — even more than the name-calling, rotten produce throw, shit show that the “Unplanned Parenthood” piece inspired (feel free to seek it out if you’re feeling frisky for a cat fight) — what better idea could there be than continue yet anew with it.  Here’s the gist: Part 1 is about the money behind the mine.  Part 2 makes an argument to support Democratic state Senator Tim Cullen’s alternative mining bill.

Ready, set, Gogebic!

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The ABCs of Asymmetry (ICYMI)

The ABCs of Asymmetry (ICYMI)

Today marks the last day of the (ir)regular session of the Wisconsin State Legislature; good riddance to bad rubbish indeed!  While halfway through lent, this lapse Catholic is glad the state is giving up Republican mandates for a short while at least.  Plus spring has sprung, and with it that irrepressibly burning eternal.  Keeping with the lenten theme, the days are longer (lengthened, you might even say), the sun brighter and warmer.  With recalls soon to be set, there is light for sure at the end of this tunnel that has been the yearlong winter of our discontent, and hope outshining the audacity of dopes.
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United We Stand, Divided We Falk

United We Stand, Divided We Falk

In a moment of post-ironic solidarity conservatives across Wisconsin came together in mass thanks of the gift they received yesterday over the state’s largest public sector union endorsing the most union-sympathetic candidate running against Governor Scott Walker in a recall election.  Following the endorsement of WEAC — Wisconsin Education Association Council — the state’s largest teachers union only twelve days before, the state division of AFSCME, representing some 60,000 public workers, giddily rallied behind candidate Kathleen Falk, former Dane County Executive and two-time loser for statewide office.  Conservatives did not respond to our requests for an interview, but in an email a spokesperson summed it up in bold italics: “Told You So!” Read the rest of this entry »


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Welcome to Walkersha — Population: 7582

As best as I can recollect, this country founded itself on three essential matters: no taxation without representation (which credo is abrogated daily for the half-million residents of Washington, D.C., said country’s very capital, but that’s another story); self-rule by way of representational government (democracy, not monarchy); and freedom of (or from) religion.  The only thing that truly keeps us as a nation bound together is a piece of parchment that begins “We the People.”  Our common denominator is neither racial nor religious, unlike so many cultures of the world.  Even what literally grounds us could hardly be more incongruous; from the Olympic Mountains, rain forests, and glaciers of Washington to the swampy gators of the Florida Everglades, or the windswept hush of Kansas to the roar of the New Jersey Turnpike, our basic geography alone divides us.  Regional distinctions abound; for the reality of a back-to-the-land Vermonter might as well be its own subject of anthropology when compared next to a Sunbelt computer programmer in Tucson, a shrimper’s day to day humid toil in the Gulf of Mexico to a Montana rancher baling hay in the first snowstorm before Labor Day.  Our dialects and our diets wildly diverge; we are what we speak and eat where we’re from, and Southern ain’t New England any more than a Midwest casserole hotdish makes a lick of sense to a Tex-Mex plate of frijoles con carne asada.  No, what keeps us together is the Constitution, that we are a nation of laws.  And we vote.  Call us “e plebiscite unum.”  Read the rest of this entry »


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April Fools

Notwithstanding T.S. Eliot’s declarative that “April is the cruelest month,” I’d like to begin this a little atypically with the announcement of good news.  (I know, right?)

David Prosser

Former Governor Patrick Lucey has withdrawn his support of Justice Prosser and is instead backing Kloppenburg.  Released in a media statement last night he expressed his “increasing dismay and now alarm [over] the campaign of Justice David Prosser, whom I endorsed at the outset of his campaign and in whose campaign I serve as the honorary co-chairman.  I can no longer in good conscience lend my name and support to Justice Prosser’s candidacy. Too much has come to light that Justice Prosser has lost that most crucial of characteristics for a Supreme Court Justice — as for any judge — even-handed impartiality. Along with that failing has come a disturbing distemper and lack of civility that does not bode well for the High Court in the face of demands that are sure to be placed on it in these times of great political and legal volatility.”

You know who has endorsed Prosser however?  Sarah Palin.  Enough said.

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Labor’s Love Lost

As you probably know by now, the status of the publication/legality of the new collective bargaining law, aka Wisconsin Act 10, remains, like so many things since February 11th, in limbo.  Now it’s true that I’m no scholar of constitutional law, much less the enforceable actualities inherent in that august screed called the website of the Legislative Reference Bureau, but here’s what’s at play, in a nutshell: More or less on behalf of Minority Leader of the State Assembly, Peter Barca, Dane County District Attorney Ismael Ozanne is suing Majority Leader of the State Assembly Jeff Fitzgerald et al. over violating the open meetings law.  Related to this is Secretary of State, Doug La Follette, who is responsible for setting the date for all Wisconsin laws to be published in the state newspaper, The Wisconsin State Journal, who delayed this last step until March 25, 2011.  Before that, however, Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi issued a temporary restraining order blocking the bill from being published until further testimony regarding the open meetings law could be heard.  So far, so good?  OK, here’s where the Shakespearean elements come in from the wings: citing immunity while the State Legislature is in session, none of the Republicans need appear at court.  La Follette, being a state employee, was represented by the Department of Justice, as is standard operating procedure — in this case Maria Lazar, assistant Attorney General who (along with Steven Means) you might remember from such legalese classics as “Why Our Capitol Needs to Be Closed Off to the Public” and “What Do You Mean the DOA Favors Fox News?” only a few weeks ago.  But hang on for just a second, you’re probably thinking, didn’t the DOJ, most notably Attorney General JB Van Hollen himself, say that Circuit Court Judge Maryann Sumi lacked the authority to weigh in on this legislative matter?  (More on this elsewhere.)  So how can the Sec. of State, who disagrees with the misbegotten bastard bill-law and is on record as not allowing it to be published while there remains in effect a temporary restraining order, be represented in court by the DOJ who (a) believes the matter is established law by fiat of having been published on the LRB’s website and (b) doesn’t really think the Judge has the jurisdiction to opine on this in the first place?  Great questions all around!  Hence the emphasized “was represented” (above) because after much frustration and apparent conflict of interest, Judge Sumi ordered that he be represented by his own attorney, not the DOJ.  Read the rest of this entry »


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