Republican Hijinks In Hancock, Wisconsin Over “Recall Walker” Sign

When I was growing up in Hancock, Wisconsin I was always under the impression that everything happened ‘elsewhere’.  As a child I thought be it good times or bad that my small town was immune to fun, or the harshness of life that made for news from everywhere else.

Part of those feelings were a natural result of being a kid, and then a restless teenager.  There was also the fact that Hancock was rural and quiet, and I had other ideas for my life.  Even for late nights around a Hancock campfire tales had to be imported from neighboring Plainfield where Ed Gein always made for a skin-crawling tale.

So while Hancock was a fine place to live it was often not the place where I felt connected to others in Wisconsin.  That small town image came to mind again when I read how statewide angst is making inroads in the place I once called home.

Today I read in the Waushara Argus (second time in a week that newspaper gets a CP nod) that the statewide uproar over Governor Walker, and the recall efforts now underway have hit Hancock.

Ginny Moon wrote a letter to the Argus stating her lighted “Recall Walker” sign (way to go Ginny!) was vandalized.  Not only was it taken, but Moon writes that the Republican thieves (my words) had to “pull their car over, park on the shoulder on a main highway, get out of their car, go down in the ditch, kick/snap the green lumber sign posts in half”.  In the process they also broke the spotlights.

Spirited debate on the issues (execpt for those that attack who we are as indivduals) has always been important to me.  That America was founded on frothy debate should only encouarge us to continue that grand tradition.

But for anyone, anytime, anywhere to resort to the low-class acts that Moon writes about is just contemptible.   Clearly the action was done by someone without the values that I was raised with in Hancock.

My father, Royce Humphrey, would have been appalled at such a story of which Moon writes.

In October 2008 I wrote about my Dad and the political lawn signs that he had placed in his yard.

Four years ago my once very conservative dad from the World War II generation who had faithfully voted for every GOP candidate who had been nominated switched parties, and started voting Democratic.  Dad and I were no longer political strangers, and as such he wanted lawn signs to show how upset he was with the direction the country was heading.  He had never placed lawn signs for anyone during all the decades I was alive, so I was more than pleased to get him the three he wanted for the various offices up for election.

I still recall the Sunday in 2004 I took them back home to Waushara County.  Dad placed those signs with the same precision that one plants a tree.  How it would look, and where it best could be seen by cars coming in both directions were of top concern to him.  He cared for the signs by taking them in when it rained, and placing them out again when the sun shined.

As a result of those signs my dad was able to talk with other voters about why he had changed parties, and he was able to educate some about the state of the nation.

There are too many uneducated among us who can not stand up and debate in a civil fashion the great issues of our time.  Instead they resort to vandalism.

CP hopes that Ginny Moon will place another sign out and remain grounded to her principles.  Those World War II vets who fought for the freedoms we enjoy would not want it any other way.

Mayor Soglin Correct: $16 Million TIF Wrong For Edgewater Project In Madison

I opposed the Edgewater project  in Madison for many reasons, but primarily due to how it impacts Mansion Hill, a historic part of the city that needs to be respected and protected.  It was most bizarre to have watched the undermining of the committee process that was aimed at evaluating historic needs in the city.  For some the hotel project was more important than anything else, including respecting our past history.  I reject that type of thinking.

I also was one of those opposed to the $16 million in TIF monies for this project.

Mayor Paul Soglin correctly noted today on his blog the whole idea of TIF monies for the Edgewater project is filled with problems.

The critical question for any TIF project is “Will it be a good investment for the City and for the taxing jurisdictions in the District?”

The $16 million TIF assistance for the Edgewater was far too expensive when measured by the public cost and the return to the taxpayers in terms of project value and its beneficial impact to the surrounding area. In addition the Edgewater TIF compared poorly to other major city TIF projects designed to revitalize the Capitol Square and the downtown.

Not only did the Edgewater demand a very high amount of TIF assistance, it was not consistent with City plans for the Mansion Hill historic residential neighborhood and was unlikely to generate additional development in the Mansion Hill Historic District. To the east is Mansion Hill, to the west Langdon Street with student and Greek housing, to the south is a well developed area with churches, recently renovated buildings, and historic homes and to the north is lake Mendota. There is only one signiifcant property in the area that might benefit from the Edgewater TIF and that is the adjacent Lake Mendota lot owned by National Guardian Life Insurance.

Vanity Fair Nails Rick Perry “The Question Of How And Where One Carries A Pistol In Sweatpants”

This is quite a read.

I offer a morsel.

On all matters of Texas machismo, in fact, Perry scores pretty close to a 10 out of 10. “Weather, football, hunting, fishing, all that—he’s expert at Texas bullshit,” Miller says. “He works hard at being liked, and that’s a big part of his appeal.” Another lobbyist, who has vacationed with Perry aides, says, “He can be the most crass guy you’ve ever met. I mean, in public, he’s smooth. But when he’s with the guys? Oh, God, it’s a different program. He tells dirty jokes in a whisper. He’s a whisperer, especially in groups. It’s the old mentality here in Austin, you know, with the old lobbyists. A guy they don’t like comes in the place and they lean over and whisper, ‘He’s gay.’ Perry’s got a real locker-room side.”

“Perry once said something in my presence that just appalled me,” says Paul Burka. It concerned a political rival at the time, the popular Democratic Speaker of the Texas House, Pete Laney. “A friend’s daughter was in a softball game,” Burka continues. “Perry asked me to come out with him. To see him with the guys. Perry was late getting there—he had a doctor’s appointment. So he finally shows up. You know, everyone goes, ‘Oh, how’d it go?’ He goes, ‘It was awful. He gave me a Laney,’ meaning an enema. How could he do that? Comparing Pete Laney to an enema? Laney was loved.”

That Perry can overplay the machismo card was evident in the skepticism that greeted his story of shooting a coyote. As he told it, the incident occurred last year, when he was jogging with his dog in a rural area of southwest Austin. He claimed—and has since repeated—that when the coyote menaced his dog he shot and killed it with a laser-sighted .380 Ruger pistol containing hollow-point bullets. Perry said he carried the gun because he feared rattlesnakes, but even in Texas, many couldn’t imagine doing such a thing—never mind the question of how and where one carries a pistol in sweatpants.

Can You Write Like A Sixth-Grader?

USA Today is looking for an Editor-in-Chief.

Linguistic complexity not required.

What Greta Van Susteren Fails To Mention On Faux News

George Will always reminds viewers on Sunday morning’s “This Week”  about his wife’s role in GOP politics, and I think that is most appropriate.  When Will gives a point of view about certain candidates it then can be better placed into a proper context.  Apparently all do not feel a need to be forthcoming to their viewers.

BTW, Will’s wife advises Rick Perry.

Like plenty of other cable news talk-show hosts, Greta Van Susteren anchored a segment on her top-rated Fox News show Tuesday assessing, among other things, the future of Herman Cain’s presidential candidacy in the wake of the allegation that Cain had a 13-year affair with a woman from Atlanta.

But unlike plenty of other cable news talk-show hosts, Van Susteren had an important relationship to the story, and to the Cain campaign. Her  husband–prominent Washington lawyer John Coale–is now acting as an adviser to Cain.

Van Susteren did not disclose her husband’s relationship to Cain on the air, opting instead to alert readers in a post on that Coale’s relationship with Cain is not an ethical issue because the Cain campaign is not paying him.

Pass Bowles-Simpson Now

Last week I again endorsed passing the results of the deficit reduction commission, chaired by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson.

I have never understood why President Obama did not support and hold tight to the findings of his own deficit reduction commission, chaired by Erskine Bowles and Alan Simpson.  There was a middle way, endorsed by many, which had a clear political path forward that would have produced the results the nation needed.  Never has it been explained in a manner I could agree with why this final commission product was not signed off on, and pushed by Obama.

Today the Wisconsin State Journal adds its voice to the call for sanity.  The problem for passage is that Congress is not able to act in any responsible fashion given the rigidity and timidity that reigns among those elected.

It would whack the Pentagon budget, increase the gas tax, reduce farm  subsidies and trim scheduled increases for Social Security. It would shrink the  size of the federal work force, simplify the tax code and ease the growth of  Medicare and Medicaid while preserving a solid safety net for the poor.

Many tax breaks would go away, including loopholes for corporations and  deductions for homeowners. Yet tax rates would fall. And for every $1  Bowles-Simpson would increase taxes, $3 in spending would be cut.

That won’t be good enough for anti-tax crusader Grover Norquist. Nor will it  please the mighty AARP. Lobbyists far and wide worked overtime to stop this  bipartisan effort a year ago.

But neither side in this debate can have everything it wants —not the  hard-core conservatives or the far-left liberals. The answer lies in the  sensible center of American politics, which is where Simpson, Bowles and a  majority of their commission found solutions.