“Turbulent Marital History” Hurting Newt Gingrich, Triple Marriages Not So Much Fun Now

The woes of a family-loving conservative.

“Mr. Speaker, if you want to get large numbers of evangelicals, particularly women, to vote for you, you must address the issue of your marital past in a way that allays the fears of evangelical women,” Richard Land, president of the Ethics & Religious Liberty Commission of the Southern Baptist Convention, said in an open letter to the former House speaker. “You must address this issue of your marital past directly and transparently and ask folks to forgive you and give you their trust and their vote.”

Mr. Gingrich’s marital troubles, including two divorces have cast a shadow over his political career and presidential campaign, leaving many to wonder whether he can win over social conservatives in the nomination contest, which kicks off in Iowa where evangelicals play a major role.

“You need to make it as clear as you possibly can that you deeply regret your past actions and that you do understand the anguish and suffering they caused others including your former spouses,” Mr. Land wrote. “Make it as clear as you can that you have apologized for the hurt your actions caused and that you have learned from your past misdeeds. Express your love for, and loyalty to, your wife and your commitment to your marriage. Promise your fellow Americans that if they are generous enough to trust you with the presidency, you will not let them down and that there will be no moral scandals in a Gingrich White House.”

How Did Madison Alders Get Home The Night Of The Brian Solomon Saga?

The rather long and involved story concerning Madison Alderperson Brian Solomon, and the allegations of sexual assault, need not be rehashed here.  Lots of information has been released, and more will fill news columns in the weeks to come as the city council works to place tougher ethics rules for conduct by alders on the books.

No, I am not going to wade into the tangle of competing accounts involving that matter.  Instead I want to concentrate on one aspect of the drinking that took place that night.

No, I am not even going to suggest what role drinking may-or-may-not-have played in the tangle of events.  None of that is the purpose of this post.

Instead I want to know, in light of the facts that investigators have pieced together based on interviews with those present, how some Alders made it home after drinking?  Did they drive or call a taxi?

The detailed article by Steven Elbow in the CT section of today’s paper makes me wonder how serious some are about drinking and driving.  Long-time readers will know this topic is one I take seriously, and find no wiggle room for, especially from elected officials.

There is no dispute that a number of alders met at a pair of downtown taverns on the night of April 13, 2010.

The report included detailed interviews with Berg, Alds. Marsha Rummel, Mark  Clear, Schmidt, Solomon and Bruer, who constituted a group that was present  during a late-night gathering.

On the night of the alleged assault, a large group of alders and city  officials, after leaving a City Council meeting, went to the Brocach tavern on  the Capitol Square, where Berg had at least two drinks.

At about 10 p.m. the larger group broke up and Berg, Solomon, Bruer, Rummel  and Schmidt headed for the Bayou, where each of them had at least two  hurricanes, an intoxicating concoction of various liquors and fruit juices.

Berg, who is small and doesn’t typically drink to excess, became drunk. At  one point she went to the women’s bathroom, and Solomon, despite protests from  the group, followed her in, according to the alders present, though Solomon  denies having entered the bathroom. At Schmidt’s request, Rummel went in after  him. She told investigators that she found Solomon at the door of a stall with Berg inside, and that when Rummel appeared all three went back to the bar.

Berg later asked Schmidt if he could take her home, but Schmidt wanted some  time to sober up. Solomon volunteered to take Berg home, and he literally  carried her to her car as she passed in and out of consciousness, stopping  several times to rest on the way.

When they got to the car, the two realized that Berg’s keys were missing.  They went to the City-County Building and Solomon asked county employees to give  them access to Berg’s office so they could look for the keys. One county  employee later told investigators he remembered them as “tipsy,”….

I leave out the other details as they do not deal with the point I am trying to make.

While I do not begrudge these alders from unwinding after a long meeting and having some drinks, I do find it very troublesome to think how they got home.

I did not find in the story who the designated driver was for the evening.

Mayor Paul Soglin Opposed To Madison Firefighters “Fill The Boot” Campaign In City Streets To Help MDA

Last night at the Madison Common Council meeting one might have expected Mayor Paul Soglin to have been energized over the issue of why the city needed to forgive a $1.1  million loan to the Genesis Enterprise Center.  Not only did the city need to forgive the loan but do so amid questions about where money to the financially troubled business incubator had gone.

While Soglin had a couple of points to make about the risk factor in using block grants there was no fist on the table moment in trying to foster a better understanding of where the loan money was spent, or by whom.

No, Mayor Soglin was storing up his energy for another cause on the agenda that was more pressing to him.

Major Soglin relinquished his chair at the front of the council chambers, and took to the speaker’s podium to sternly state why Madison firefighters should not be allowed to take to city streets to raise monies from motorists to fight muscular dystrophy.

All over the country the sight of a firefighter holding a boot and collecting dollar bills to fight muscular dystrophy is one of those all-American moments.

But to hear Soglin speak last night one would think that these brave men and women were acting without regard to public safety, and merely creating traffic concerns.

That is just plain wrong.

I witnessed a number of Madison firefighters carrying the boots to cars at the John Nolen/Rimrock road intersection several weeks ago.  It was most inspiring to see countless windows rolled down, smiles passed, cash collected, and that connection between people who were on each side of the boot helping to make a difference for others they did not even know.

It was a quintessential American moment to see these firefighters who have long been a part of the MDA fulfilling their pledge to make a difference for those afflicted with muscular dystrophy.

The city council allowed the firefighters a three-year window to use the streets in this fashion at certain times for the “fill the boot” project.  After three years the policy will be evaluated to see if there are concerns, or if it worked so well that it should be continued.    But in true Paul Soglin fashion every policy that was not completed under his watch needs to be reviewed, and undone.

That is just wrong.

The Madison Common Council made it clear in a 14-5 vote that would not be the case with the firefighters.

Alderperson Steve King was emotional as he emphatically stated that “firefighters are the most trusted individuals we have” and added “they know what they are doing’.

Steve King ended his comments aimed at the few who wanted to undermine “fill the boot” with the bluntness of “get over it people”.

Isthmus Alder Marsha Rummel voted against the firefighters after stating she had witnessed cars and firefighters on Blair Street, and thought it was dangerous.  I mused to myself what Rummel would do if the vote were about the crazy bikers who often create real hazards on the streets.

I think it is most telling when the emotional moments at a council meeting take place over the topic of firefighters wishing to make a positive contribution, and those who somehow abuse $1.1 million get hardly a nod.

Stonehenge Mystery Deepens With Pits 16 Feet Wide, And 3 Feet Deep

Hat Tip To Rail Pro

Researchers say they’ve found two pits to the east and west of Stonehenge that may have played a role in an ancient midsummer ceremony. The discovery suggests that the 5,000-year-old circle of stones we see today may represent just a few of the pieces in a larger geographical, astronomical and cultural puzzle.

The previously undetected pits could provide clues for solving the puzzle.

“These exciting finds indicate that even though Stonehenge was ultimately the most important monument in the landscape, it may at times not have been the only, or most important ritual focus, and the area of Stonehenge may have become significant as a sacred site at a much earlier date,” Vince Gaffney, an archaeology professor at the University of Birmingham, said in a news release issued over the weekend.

The pits, which measure about 16 feet (5 meters wide) and at least 3 feet (1 meter) deep, have been covered over for centuries and can’t easily be spotted on the ground. But they showed up in a survey that was conducted using non-invasive mapping techniques such as ground-penetrating radar and magnetometry.

In addition to the pits, Gaffney and his colleagues found a previously undetected gap in the middle of the northern side of the eroded earthwork that defines the sides of the Cursus. They propose that ceremonial leaders entered the Cursus through that gap, and then gathered at the eastern pit to conduct sunrise rituals. Over the course of the day, participants in the rituals might have made their way westward, ending up at the western pit at sunset.

Where Is The Anger From Madison City Council Over $1.1M Genesis Enterprise Center Loan?

There must be some frank talk at tonight’s meeting of the Madison City Council.  The matter regarding Genesis has brewed for a long time, but there still needs to be answers.   LOTS OF THEM!

That no answers are forthcoming should infuriate those on the council who can bloviate about everything under the sun.  I look forward to seeing how the council will talk around this issue.

The Madison City Council is scheduled to decide Tuesday whether to forgive $1.1  million in loans to the Genesis Enterprise Center amid questions about where  money loaned to the financially troubled business incubator has gone.

The nonprofit entity associated with the enterprise center, Genesis Development  Corp., hasn’t filed required tax forms with the IRS since the 2007 tax year,  according to GuideStar, which tracks U.S. nonprofits. The forms are designed to  disclose payments to top officials, income and other financial information.

And the question remains: Where did all the money go?

Efforts to reach Jones, who also serves as Genesis’ attorney, and executive  director Richard Harris were unsuccessful Monday. Harris did not return an email  and phone call. Jones didn’t respond to two voice messages. In his letter to the  mayor, Jones said forgiving the loan would help ensure the center’s fiscal viability.

In March 2008, Harris told the State Journal he earned $2,000 a month from  the enterprise center but planned to eliminate his salary on Dec. 1, 2008 in a  cost-cutting measure.

At the time, Harris also earned $2,000 a month from the Genesis Social  Services Corp., another related entity with city and county contracts to provide  a variety of services to poor clients and ex-offenders.

Soglin is supporting forgiving the loans because they likely are uncollectible.

Might Mayor Soglin be also pissed enough to find out where the money floated off to?

Herman Cain May Drop Out Of Presidential Race, His Reason For Doing So Will Gag Us

As Herman Cain reassesses whether he will remain in the GOP race, I want to make a prediction.

Instead of leaving the race, if that is what he decides, and taking the blame for his failures as the reason his campaign must fold, I predict he will lay the reason on the hardship the ‘baseless accusations’ are causing his wife and family.  He will not ante up and allow for any real responsibility to fall on his shoulders.

I have never found Cain to be a stand-up type of man in this race, and so it will not surprise me if he takes the route I am sure he will use as a way to retreat.

That all this is happening today after Ginger White revealed the romp she and the conservative Republican shared for 13 years is no coincidence.  It has never failed to amuse me over  the past weeks how Herman Cain thought he was going to run a national campaign and not have his zipper problem come to light.

Charlie Douglas, Country Music DJ Hall of Fame Member, Dies

Country Music DJ Hall of Fame member Charlie Douglas reportedly passed away on Thanksgiving day. His career included stints at WWL New Orleans and WSM-AM Nashville, among other stations. He was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 1994. According to his bio on the Country Radio Seminar Web site, Douglas created the original all night radio show for truckers.

Among the memorable stunts Douglas has been credited with is his career was broadcasting from a hot air balloon in Texas before losing control of the navigation and winding up drifting over the Gulf of Mexico. He was also reportedly the first person to broadcast while parachuting from an airplane. He also broadcast while standing in a lion’s cage and riding on the back of a bull.  In 1975, Douglas took his show on the road, broadcasting from 40 different locations in 50 days.


Can You Imagine How Many Scott Walker Recall Signatures Will Come From Dane County?

Every year there are contests for the number of inches of snow that Madison will receive over the winter months.  Someone should start a contest for the number of signatures that Dane County will provide to make sure Scott Walker is recalled.

News that the recall signature process against Governor Scott Walker is throttling along at a fine pace should not be surprising to anyone who has even remotely listened to the political conversation in this state over the past months.  There is genuine anger over the way Governor Walker has conducted himself in office, and the voters who have the final say are being now being heard.

This morning the newspaper made known that there are now 300,000 signatures, more than half of what is required.  All this work only took 12 days, and that included a national holiday!  Some of the county totals thus far are impressive.

People have signed the recall petitions at the rate of about 1,040 per hour,  according to United Wisconsin. The group says signatures have been collected  from people in all 72 counties in Wisconsin, including:

• 10,033 residents from Columbia County.

• 4,713 in Pierce County.

• 3,698 in Oneida County.

• 16,845 in Eau Claire and Chippewa counties.

• 8,540 in Portage County.

But can you imagine what the totals will look like from Dane County, the center of the debate that forced a recall, and home to state workers, their families and friends?  Can you imagine the number of signatures from all the Democrats and Progressives in Dane County who know Walker to be one of the worst governors in the entire country?

No numbers for Dane County were released this week, but when they are finally known it will be breath-taking.