Gail Collins On Republicans Running For White House

Gail Collins is just a remarkable writer.  Her column today made me laugh out loud, and to such an extent that strangers were looking at me and wondering what was up.

Rick Perry is sounding as if English is his third language. Michele Bachmann is seeing invisible people who tell her terrible stories about killer vaccines. Newt Gingrich has contracted scary delusions of grandeur. (“The scale of change I am suggesting is so enormous I couldn’t possibly, as a single leader, show you everything I’m going to do …”) Rick Santorum is on Fox News, brightly announcing: “We finished fourth in the straw poll in Florida, which was a big help to us.”

The Republicans are running out of governors to put up against Romney. This week the cry has been for Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey to get into the race, although I am personally rooting for Gov. Butch Otter of Idaho because of his strong record of fiscal conservatism and the fact that I really enjoy writing “Butch Otter” over and over and over.

Unfortunately, the Otter boomlet has yet to take hold. Nancy Reagan, Henry Kissinger and George H.W. Bush all reportedly called Christie urging him to run. Those are very impressive names, although sooner or later he’s going to have to get some high-profile supporters under the age of 85.

Wait! Here comes George Pataki! “This country needs a straight-shooter and a proven leader. I urge Governor Chris Christie to run for president to fill the void and lead America forward,” the former governor of New York said in a statement. Pataki’s endorsement is extremely important because he coveted the nomination himself. He has been testing the waters in New Hampshire for some time, mainly by wandering up there every once in a while, hanging out in hotel coffee shops and waiting for somebody to notice him. This was very similar to the way he governed New York.

Picture Of 24-Pound Kohlrabi

How many pounds of butter would be needed to serve with this sized vegetable?

From the Dane County Farmers’ Market around the Capitol Square comes this item for conversation.


Wisconsin Badger Coach Bret Bielema Faces Blow-Back Over Comment About Football Tickets

No matter which side one is supporting in tonight’s over-hyped football game in Madison between the UW-Badgers and Nebraska one thing is clear.  Coach Bret Bielema put his foot in his mouth this week over comments he made concerning ticket holders who sold their seats for lots of cash.  Talk radio made the comments a topic of conversation, and the letters to the editor in the Wisconsin State Jounral also has been an outlet for people who think Bielema might be out of touch.

This letter.

However, his quote in Thursday’s paper shows that he is out of touch: “I can’t see anybody that’s a true Badger fan wanting to trade that in for some extra grocery money, but everybody’s entitled to their own opinions.”

Like most Wisconsin public employees, I took a hit to my paycheck this year. And I did not get an $800,000 increase in pay, as Bielema did! The money I received for selling my tickets is more than “some extra grocery money” to me. It’s a month of groceries or part of my mortgage.

Or this letter.

Bret Bielema owes every struggling Wisconsinite an apology for his insensitive and cavalier comment that, “I can’t see anybody that’s a true Badger fan wanting to trade that (their ticket) in for some extra grocery money… .”

Wow, that guy is really out of touch. I guess one can believe that sport is the be-all and end-all when one is a millionaire.

On the other hand, a junior on the team said: “Times are tough, I understand.” He shows more maturity than his coach, who is twice his age.

Part of the problem in this country is misplacement of priorities. I have been a true Badger fan for most of my life, but putting food on the table trumps football.

Let’s all grow up and remember what is important and what is fun— and the difference between the two.

Valerie Jarrett’s Father, Dr. James E. Bowman, Dies

Valerie Jarrett is a senior adviser to President Barack Obama and one of the most articulate advocates for the White House.

Dr. James E. Bowman, a widely recognized expert in inherited blood diseases and population genetics, was the first tenured African-American professor in the University of Chicago’s Biological Sciences Division.

On Thursday, Jarrett recalled that in all the times she played chess with her father, she won only once — he never let her win just to boost her ego.

“The first time I beat him in chess, I felt like I’d really earned it,” Jarrett said. “And that’s what he wanted me to feel. He wanted me to know that life is hard, you have to work really hard in order to achieve. He didn’t believe in shortcuts.”

He took a similar approach to at the U. of C.’s Pritzker School of Medicine, where he was an assistant dean for minority affairs at the U. of C.’s Biological Sciences Division.

“His goal was try to increase the number of underrepresented minority students who came to Pritzker, but he really wanted to emphasize that they had to be excellent,” said William McDade, deputy provost for research and minority issues at the University of Chicago. “He didn’t want to see different standards for minority students, he just wanted to have the most excellent minority students that we can train.”

Governor Scott Walker’s Chief Of Staff Resigns

Claims there is no connection to intensifying investigation of Governor Walker and his administration.

Gov. Scott Walker’s chief of staff, who helped guide the administration during the tumult over public-employee unions and passage of his first state budget, is stepping down. 

Keith Gilkes said that he’s resigning as of Oct. 8 to return to his business as a political consultant. He said that he might get involved if Democrats try to recall Walker in 2012. Gilkes led Walker’s successful gubernatorial campaign last year. reported that he will be replaced by Eric Schutt, the deputy chief of staff. 

Gilkes said his resignation is unrelated to an ongoing secret investigation that stemmed from questions of whether current and former Walker aides took part in political activity on taxpayer time. He said he just felt the time was right to return to the private sector. 

Cullen Werwie, one of Walker’s spokesmen, has been granted immunity in the probe. FBI agents earlier this month raided the home of Walker aide Cynthia Archer.

Saturday Song: Jack Greene And Jeannie Seely “Waltz Across Texas”