Truth is, I've been out of all blogging and commenting for more than 3-1/2 months. Here's why:
1) I am serving as a volunteer consultant to help the Town of Cross Plains (Dane County WI) planning commission initiate their comprehensive planning process under WI S.66.1001.
All Wisconsin local governments that are required to have such plans must complete them by Jan 1, 2010. In the case of Dane County, which has countywide zoning, town governments that miss their deadlines lose to the county whatever leverage they previously had in determining their own land use issues. The implementation of these local comprehensive plans will be accomplished through ordinances rather than through resolutions. Which means they will be binding on town boards of supervisors unless and until amended.
My specific role in this process to-date has been to draft, for use by the planning commission:
-- a public participation process for the multi-year plan;
-- a "plan for carrying out the plan";
-- a 38-question written survey to determine public perceptions and preferences and gather other types of data from among town residents and other property owners.
I am not a member of the planning commission, and therefore have no vote. But suggestions based on facts and planning experience carry some degree of weight.
2) I have gotten heavily involved in testimony on behalf of regional intermodal public transportation planning for Dane County, i.e., the battle for a regional transit authority.
I think that without such planning and resultant implementation, it will be difficult or impossible for Dane County — now the fastest urbanizing county in Wisconsin — to accomplish rationally determined and controlled land use development around the county. Moreover, with Madison situated on its unique long and narrow isthsmus, no new cross-town highways can be built between the lakes; traffic on existing arterial roads routinely spills over into residential side-streets, and rush-hour gridlock will be as predictable on Madison area streets as it already is on greater Los Angeles freeways.
3) Along with one of my friends on the planning commission, I researched and got published (Wisconsin State Journal) an op-ed piece suggesting that American Transmission Company (ATC) consider upgrading of an existing double 138 kv power line from the Rockdale power station eastern Dane County, through the Fitchburg substation, and on to the West Middleton substation.
This suggested upgraded existing route would be used as a shorter alternative to the proposed route that loops all around southern and western Dane County. The other alternative, of course, is the short route along the Beltline Highway. All other things being equal, the cost of erecting a 32-mile or 36-mile 365 kv power line should be considerably lower than the cost of building that same power transmission line over a 55-mile route.
4) I am in the middle of a small research effort needed to select an appropriate replacement for my home gas furnace, which has burned out its heat exchanger after 36 years of continuous use. Heating contractors can cost you a lot of money if you fail to consider options most carefully.
5) Being as I am a physical fitness freak, I am conduced as always into diverting two hours a day on a morning trip to the big new Madison westside Princeton Club with my wife Stefi. (A 20-minute drive each way, 60 minutes on the treadmill at 4 mph, iron pumping for about 10-12 minutes.)
6) I still have to earn a living, even at 73. Which means running my mailing list and list processing service business.
Anyway, Sandi of Janesville WI, a regular on the Madison.com forum, found me posting there last night for the first time in about three months, and said she wondered why I had disappeared from that grid and Dean and Rosemary's.
1) I've been arguing for all this year that Mayor Rudi Giuliani and Senator will be the candidates respectively for Republicans and Democrats next year. I'm sticking with that assumption.
2) Prediction number two is that whichever of those people are sworn in as president on Jan 20, 2009, he or she will more or less continue President Bush's program in Iraq. A little bit of iraqization, a little bit of troop drawdown and redeployment, a little bit of muddlethrough. But neither candidate would admit to this during the campaign.
But no hightailed bugouts. And Senator Joe Biden's prediction of one of them presiding over the breakup of Iraq into separate sun'a and shi'a Arabs and of Kurds, that's both premature and unsubstantiable, even though I have favored this approach, on and off. Actually, I think General Petraeus called the shots fairly and accurately in his testimony before Congress. MoveOn.org, on the other hand, damaged its own reputation with their anti-Petraeus slur bought and paid for in the New York Times.
Remember when Murtha called the Haditha Marines cold-blooded killers? 8 were charged. Charges were dropped recently on 4 of them. A fifth has had recommendations that the charges be dropped. Are the apologies coming? No, he doesn't have to apologize because he served in Korea and Vietnam.
Remember this all of you veterans. Service to our country means never having to say you're sorry. EVER. You can be as much of a dick as you want, slander anyone and it's okay.
That is a sweet fringe benefit. If I weren't pushing 40, I might consider joining up. I hate saying sorry and I have to do way too often.
JEFFERSON CITY, Tenn. — A 4-month-old boy was found in a darkened room at a day care center with a pacifier taped into his mouth, the Tennessee Department of Human Services announced Wednesday.
The department responded Tuesday to an anonymous complaint that a caregiver at Noah's Ark Nursery and Preschool in Jefferson City was taping babies' mouths shut.
Upon arrival, an investigator heard muffled whining from the bathroom and found the boy's mouth covered with two pieces of two-inch-wide clear packing tape over a pacifier, department spokeswoman Michelle Mowery Johnson said.
The center was served with a suspension order from DHS and was closed Wednesday. A hearing was set for Thursday before an administrative judge.
Nursery owner Kim Trentham, who has run the daycare since 1993, did not answer repeated calls to the center or her home.
"It's absolutely unbelievable that this would happen," Johnson said. "They have no respect or concern for life. The child could have died."
What a horror. I would be suing everyone if my child went there.
I love this show. I enjoyed it and I had only one moment that made me recoil. Marie Osmond, you are supposed to be a little bit country NOT a little bit slutty!
I grew up watching Donnie and Marie and never in my wildest dreams did I think you were a tramp. Good for you, give me a few days I'll get over my shock. I'm okay a late 40's trampette. It gives me a goal to strive for...
Clinton said she couldn't promise to bring all U.S. troops home in her first term if she is elected president.
``I don't know what I'm going to inherit,'' Clinton said on ABC. ``I don't know and neither do any of us know what will be the situation in the region.''
Also proves that she isn't worried about kissing the ass of the reality-based nutroots community.
She also condemned an advertisement by the anti-war group MoveOn.org that Republicans and other critics said questioned the integrity of General David Petraeus, the U.S. military commander in Iraq.
``I think it's important that we end these kinds of attacks on the patriotism of those who serve our country,'' Clinton said on NBC's ``Meet the Press'' program. ``This is not a debate about an ad. This is a debate about the direction we should pursue in Iraq.''
She's not worried and she shouldn't be. She'll get the nomination and all those Edwards and Obama supporters will hold their nose and vote for her. She knows it, you know it and I know it. If she wins, we'll hear the kossites and everyone else in Leftblogistan sing her praises. And I?
I will be laughing at all of you for the next four years too.
I can't wait to see you guys genuflect to her greatness with your written words. When she keeps the troops in Iraq, you'll play contortionist and soon you'll convince yourself that you were for it all along. And I?
I will laugh. I will laugh and laugh.
And you? You will feel an odd pounding in your ears. It will drive you crazy. What is that pounding?! The doctors will be stumped. It will drive you nearly insane and then it will hit you. You will finally realize what has been haunting you...
Metro Detroit remains among the 10 most congested places for spending time stuck in traffic, with drivers losing an average of 54 hours a year, up three hours from about a decade ago, a new study found.
Nationwide, drivers lose an average of 38 hours a year — about 4.2 billion hours total — inching along clogged roads and freeways, according to the Urban Mobility Report released Tuesday by the Texas Transportation Institute at Texas A&M; University. The report is based on data from 2005.
The Detroit area ranked eighth nationwide. But the long-term trend is clear: Detroit-area drivers spend more than twice as many hours stuck in backups and congestion than they did in 1982, when the average was 25 hours.
No big shock, Dean spends 10+ hours a week just commuting. There are ways to improve your drive time, thanks to the internet. I started doing this for my brother-in-law when I was watching Aidan. He would call and tell me what office he was at and I would go online check the traffic reports and give him the fastest route or alt route home. When Dean started working 35+miles away, we plotted his route and all possible alt routes. The plan is a phone call telling me that he is leaving in a minute and then I examine the traffic situation and tell Dean which way to go. Works pretty good, unless the weather is really foul. Fortunately, weather affecting all traffic/freeways is pretty rare.
All this end the war now rhetoric is a big problem for the next administration, if, the next administration is run by Democrats instead of Republicans. Why? Because there is no way in hell they will end the war with the speed the Left demands. Because of that the next admin will face problems from those whose rhetoric they are courting..
Can I just point out that if Hillary Clinton—or really, anyone—wins the Presidency and then tries to "end the war and bring our troops home" without, you know, completely ending the war or bringing all of our troops home (or at least reducing US casualties to zero), The Left isn't going to take it any more. As Kevin Drum points out, Clinton leads Democrats on the question of who is "best at ending the Iraq war", which means that if she doesn't, she will disappoint a lot of her fans by the time 2010 or 2012 rolls around.
The Dirty Fucking Hippies—and I'm not talking about Code Pink, but the 25% of the public that's always been against the Iraq War without marching in the streets about it, plus the 30-35% of us who have become convinced there's nothing more that the US military presence can accomplish in Iraq—will have put up with a Kerry/Edwards ticket that sold itself as "Bush with better management" on Iraq, sat patiently as a Congress caved after the withdrawal veto, and endured serious dissembling from Clinton on the question of the US mission in Iraq. If Iraq continues to be a quagmire with no signs of progress or intent to withdraw, anti-war voters (and again, not just scruffy college kids but Midwesterners who don't see what we're accomplishing) will stay home in 2010 and find a primary challenger in 2012. Hell, I'd get on the Russ Feingold bandwagon at that point.
The reason Clinton seems so vague on the Iraq question is that she isn't stupid. She is trying to avoid screwing her future presidency with specific promises. She has the experience to know that being president means seeing things beyond black and white. There is so much gray it's depressing. Obama can say anything he wants because he won't get the nomination, he's the Howard Dean of this election cycle. Edwards has a snowball's chance in Hell and everyone else running is no more than a waste of oxygen.
It might do you guys some good to start being realistic now so you don't require straight-jackets and thorzine in the future.
Took the kids to our local church festival. Draco is wild about rides, he loved everything but especially the mini-rollercoaster. I'm really glad to know this because I've been clamouring to get to Cedar Point and now we know we can go next summer. Yay me!
A Dose of Reality for the "Reality-based Community"
For weeks we've heard the Left go wild over the news that the White House will be writing "The Petraeus Report™". OMG! Lies written by lying liars! When will it end? Who knows but I'm hoping the Lefties will stop lying about this thing soon.
Okay, I am not going to just assume the people at Think Progress, Josh Marshall and Markos Moulitsas are lying. I'm going to do what I always do, assume they are ignorant. This time ignorant of the LAW. The law that I'm talking about is the Supplemental Appropriations Law (Public Law 110-28, "U.S. Troop Readiness, Veterans’ Care, Katrina Recovery, and Iraq Accountability Appropriations Act, 2007") which funds the war in Iraq. That law mandates several reports. The law requires that the President submit the report, not Gen. Petraeus or Abm. Crocker. Here is the excerpt:
(A) The President shall submit an initial report, in classified and unclassified format, to the Congress, not later than July 15, 2007, assessing the status of each of the specific benchmarks established above, and declaring, in his judgment, whether satisfactory progress toward meeting these benchmarks is, or is not, being achieved.
(B) The President, having consulted with the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Commander, Multi-National Forces-Iraq, the United States Ambassador to Iraq, and the Commander of U.S. Central Command, will prepare the report and submit the report to Congress.
(D) The President shall submit a second report to the Congress, not later than September 15, 2007, following the same procedures and criteria outlined above.
Could one you liberals do me a favor and let your buddies know that they are mistaken about the report? Oh and there is also this thing here from that same law:
(3) Testimony before congress.—Prior to the submission of the President’s second report on September 15, 2007, and at a time to be agreed upon by the leadership of the Congress and the Administration, the United States Ambassador to Iraq and the Commander, Multi-National Forces Iraq will be made available to testify in open and closed sessions before the relevant committees of the Congress.
Also, let those same liberals know that I'm not going to treat them as they treat us, I'm still not going to call them LIARS. Just mistaken/misinformed.
I'm watching Fox and Friends this morning and they have Catholic League President Bill Donohue on and he is all irate with Kathy Griffin. Comparing her remarks with Don Imus, Mel Gibson, Isaiah Washington and others. I totally disagree with both his outrage and his comparisons. Let me tell you why. Kathy Griffin won a creative arts Emmy last weekend for her reality show, “My Life on the D-List,” when she accepted the award she said:
"A lot of people come up here and thank Jesus for this award. I want you to know that no one had less to do with this award than Jesus."
"Suck it Jesus, This award is my god now!"
Here is the difference, the others mentioned insulted people or actual groups of people directly. Kathy didn't say screw you Catholics, Christians, or etc. She snubbed Jesus. Her comments were on par with people that say Goddammit or people that insult the Virgin Mary, Moses, Buddha, and Mohammed.
I wasn't insulted by Kathy Griffin and neither was any other Christian. If you feel insulted then you need to get over yourself. The only person she insulted has already forgiven her because Jesus is really groovy that way.
A White House insider told me that the new AG will most likely be Former Solicitor General Ted Olson and the announcement will be soon.
Ted Olson is a good choice and the Democrats hate him too, so I like it. I told Dean that Bush should nominate Karl Rove. Nothing says "fuck you" like a Karl Rove nomination. My WH peep thought my Karl Rove idea was damn funny. He laughed and laughed. I kept saying that I was serious and he laughed even harder saying that I was hilarious. For the record, I wasn't serious, I thought it would be funnier to sound all innocent and claim to be serious. I can't help it, I was the class clown and I still have my moments.
The poll found that both Congress, whose approval rating now stands at its lowest level since Democrats took control from the Republicans last year, and Mr. Bush enter the debate with little public confidence in their ability to deal with Iraq. Only 5 percent of Americans — a strikingly low number for a sitting president’s handling of such a dominant issue — said they most trusted the Bush administration to resolve the war, the poll found. Asked to choose among the administration, Congress and military commanders, 21 percent said they would most trust Congress and 68 percent expressed most trust in military commanders.
Three suspected Islamist militants who were planning to attack U.S. installations in Germany had orders to act by Sept. 15....According to surveillance details published in Der Spiegel magazine, the men had been given a two-week deadline for their planned strikes in a late August call from northern Pakistan that was monitored by German police
Police eavesdropping on phone calls from Pakistan? Hey, we should have thought of that!
What's the point? Democrats have already decided that it doesn't matter what he says, they want out now. Republicans will oppose them. Why does Petraeus even bother to speak? Oh right, he's required to testify. Is Congress required to actually listen?
When it comes to proper behavior of our elected officials, look to the Republicans for example. The Republicans are the Family Values™ party, unless the Governor of the state, of any bad behaving Republican, is a Democrat. Then you get a pass.
yet. If you listened to Senator Craig's press conference, you may recall that he said that he "intends" to resign on September 30th. "Intends" gives him an out and he might just take it. I say good for him. I've been sorely annoyed that you can get arrested for trying to score some dirty bathroom sex. It's not like he was trying to pay for it, cough Vitter cough, that would've been a crime.