Only Thing Missing Is The Snow

I only wish there was a way for my readers to scratch their computer screen and smell the wood smoke that wafts out of this little shed set up at the local grocery store.  The wood stove inside this humble looking business is fed with branches, and the results of ‘fresh cuts’ which makes for the perfect scent when shopping for the Christmas Tree.

Everytime I see this location on Madison’s east-side I picture how it would look with a snow-covered roof.  With forecasters predicting at least another 7-10 days with no real precipitation a picture of that scene will have to wait.

For now we can only imagine.

Ron Paul Should Have Had The Podium At Republican Jewish Coalition Forum

Caffeinated Politics is not known for defending Ron Paul.  But this time the Republican Congressman and presidential candidate needs to be supported against those who tried to shut out his voice.

I have never supported those who want to shout down a speaker at a forum, such as on a college campus when rowdy elements heckle a speaker.  I think the back and forth of ideas in a frothy way is a vital part of the American experience, and as such should be encouraged.

But to get to the point of allowing for a frank discussion on any issue means one has to have the chance to mount the stage and take the podium.  Today Ron Paul was denied that opportunity when  a  forum hosted by the Republican Jewish Coalition did not permit him from taking part.

The reason for his absence from the forum, according to the RJC, it that Paul has “misguided and extreme views” on Israel.  Perhaps that is the case, perhaps it is not.  At the end of the day Paul’s views are not the issue here.

Since Paul is a candidate for president with a sizable following that is reflected in all the polls, along with the needed funds to run a long campaign, should automatically have allowed him time before the RJC.

That Paul was excluded makes the RJC the story.  It shows how little firmness the RJC must hold in their own positions that they fear the words of one voice from Texas.

It the RJC is any indication of the mindset of most Israeli supporters in America, than the lone democracy in the Middle East is in dire need of new allies.

Richfield Dairy Near Coloma Moves Toward Opening In Late 2012

There is forward movement by the owners of Richfield Dairy, which plans to operate a 4,300 cow farm near Coloma.  The DNR gave approval to the plans for the mega-farm this fall.  While ground-breaking has not been scheduled, the plans are to have the farm operational in about one year.

But there are still those who think a lawsuit might bring a different outcome for the ones opposed to this farm.  While I applaud the use of an attorney to make sure things are properly done according to a legal process, I am not convinced the use of monies by the farm’s opponents is a good decision given the laws that already exist in Wisconsin.

In the most recent lawsuit the dairy opponents say the approvals do little to protect property owners from damage the dairy could do to the environment, especially the lowering of water levels in lakes and streams.

Typically, permits such as the ones granted to Kaukauna-based Milk Source, Inc., which operates a number of large-scale dairies in the state and which will operate Richfield Dairy, do not limit the number of animal units. This is a major concern to the opponents, said Bob Clarke, one of the lawsuit filers. 

However, Mary Anne Lowndes, section chief for runoff management of the DNR, said her agency does have control over the number of cows. The plans for Richfield Dairy are for a facility housing 4,300 animals.

“There are only so many cows they can put in a barn. If they want more cows they’ll need more barns and approvals for expansion would be needed,” she said.

I can not see a different outcome, other than what the DNR has already allowed for, by the actions of this lawsuit.  In the end the lawsuit filed by Friends of Central Sands last week does not affect the timetable for construction of the Richfield Dairy.

Senator McCain Moving Towards Endorsing Mitt Romney

The establishment wing of the Republican Party will rally around Mitt Romney now more than ever.

Arizona Sen. John McCain, the GOP presidential nominee in 2008, is moving toward endorsing a candidate for 2012.

Republican sources familiar with his thinking say he will probably endorse his onetime political enemy, Mitt Romney.

There is virtually no chance, sources say, that he will pick former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), who has surged into the lead in polls, stoking consternation among his ex-colleagues on Capitol Hill.

His statements come as angst among Republicans in Washington is intensifying. Publicly and privately, GOP kingmakers have said they are dreading the possibility that Gingrich will capture the Republican nomination.