Gay Marriage Equality Will Be In Democratic Party Platform

Though late in doing so… is the correct thing to do.

A Democratic Party source confirmed to The Huffington Post that the party will include a plank supporting marriage equality in its official platform at the upcoming convention.

The news, first reported by the Washington Blade, represents a historic and phenomenal win for LGBT rights groups, which could hardly have envisioned progress being made so quickly on this front.

The Democratic source relayed that officials unanimously agreed at a recent platform drafting committee meeting in Minneapolis to adopt language endorsing same-sex marriage. Several steps must be taken before the language is codified. A full platform committee will consider the draft in a meeting in Detroit in two weeks. It will then go to the convention delegates in Charlotte for final approval. But the deal is more or less final.

Retiring Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass), a member of the drafting committee who recently married his longtime partner, told the Advocate that the decision was reached without dissent.

Congressman Paul Ryan Showcased In The New Yorker

One heck of a read.

Small part…..

Ryan’s first significant policy fight came in 2004. As President George W. Bush campaigned for a second term, largely emphasizing counter-terrorism and national-security policies, Ryan laid the groundwork for the Republican agenda should Bush be elected. For the first time, Ryan had the chance to pursue some of the more daring libertarian ideas that had captivated him. As a thirty-four-year-old representative, he set out to privatize Social Security.

For decades, policy wonks on the Republican fringes had talked about turning Social Security, the government safety-net program for retirees, into a system of private investment accounts. The architect of the movement was Peter Ferrara, a former Harvard Law School student, who, calling it “the craziest idea in the world,” sold it, in 1979, to the small-government fundamentalists at the Cato Institute. (Ferrara is now at the Heartland Institute, best known for its denial of climate change.) They evangelized on behalf of the idea for more than two decades, before pushing it into mainstream Republican politics. Bush was the first Republican Presidential nominee to embrace the idea, but it wasn’t a priority in his first term, which was dominated by the response to 9/11 and the war in Iraq.

Ryan and other conservative leaders, among them Senator John Sununu, of New Hampshire, wanted to be sure that Bush returned to the plan in 2005. Under Ryan’s initial version, American workers would be able to invest about half of their payroll taxes, which fund Social Security, in private accounts. As a plan to reduce government debt, it made no sense. It simply took money from one part of the budget and spent it on private accounts, at a cost of two trillion dollars in transition expenses. But, as an ideological statement about the proper relationship between individuals and the federal government, Ryan’s plan was clear.

The release of the Social Security proposal was a turning point in Ryan’s career. Bush could have chosen to push a bipartisan idea, such as immigration reform, as the first domestic proposal of his second term. But, during the 2004 campaign, Ryan, with such allies as Kemp and Ferrara, kept up pressure from the right to force the White House to make a decision on Social Security. Many Republicans were still wary. Two weeks after Bush’s Inauguration, Ryan gave a speech at Cato asserting that Social Security was no longer the third rail of American politics. He toured his district with a PowerPoint presentation and invited news crews to document how Republicans could challenge Democrats on a sacrosanct policy issue and live to tell about it.

Conservative editorialists and activists cheered him on. “What Ryan and Sununu have proposed is historic,” Newt Gingrich wrote in an op-ed piece. “They have fashioned a plan that makes the idea of a personal-account option for Social Security not only politically viable but, indeed, politically irresistible.” Jack Kemp lauded his former aide: “It will be proven the most efficacious of all the reforms.” For the first time, Ryan enjoyed a round of worshipful media coverage. “THAT HAIR, THOSE EYES, THAT PLAN,” proclaimed the headline of a long home-state magazine profile in 2005.

But Ryan’s assurances proved to be wildly optimistic. Bush, urged by Karl Rove to keep his distance from Ryan’s plan, released a far more cautious proposal, with smaller accounts and less expensive transition costs. He spent months on a national tour promoting it, as Ryan had in Wisconsin. Democrats savaged the plan. Bush’s poll numbers sank, and the plan was effectively dead by the fall. The following year, the Republicans lost thirty House seats and the Democrats took over Congress. Other factors contributed to Bush’s failures in 2005 and 2006—Hurricane Katrina, escalating violence in Iraq—but his push for a version of the Ryan Social Security plan marked the start of the decline. Bush, in his memoir, writes that he regretted pursuing the issue when he did.

Too Many Wisconsin Bartenders Beat Wrap Of Over-Serving Drunks At Taverns

Wisconsin is awash in beer and alcohol sales, along with the deadly side-effects of too many intoxicated people on the roads.  This summer, like so many others in Wisconsin not only comes with plenty of sunshine but also too many drunk driving accidents, and deaths.

One of the ways to curtail the number of senseless deaths is creating laws that work to stem the problem.  One way to achieve this objective is to make sure that those who serve the drinks at taverns are stone sober.  Only then can sound judgements be made about who should, and should not be served. I suspect in a number of bars this is one contributing factor to over-serving patrons.

I support outright a requirement that people serving alcohol have none of it in their system. This bill has been introduced in past legislative sessions, most recently by Rep. Josh Zepnick.  There were plenty of people opposed to this measure from the beer-soaked Tavern  League, but I think it a correct idea.

I have long argued that those who own the bars, and pour the drinks, need to be held more accountable for their customers who leave with too much alcohol in their system. If a person pouring the drinks has a full sense of his/her surroundings they might be better able to determine who should, and should not, be buying another glass. There must be accountability by tavern owners for what they not only pour into a glass, but also pour out into the streets that then get behind a wheel.

It is too hard for police to show that a person at a tavern or bar was exhibiting signs of intoxication prior to be severed still more alcohol.   One of the times when a clear–at least in my mind–incident took place where a person was over-served took place in Marathon County.

Timothy L. Fehlandt 52, of Ringle, was drinking April 11, 2010, at Arrow Sports Bar & Grill in Weston. Amanda Bruski, a bartender at Arrow, later told Everest Metro police that she served Fehlandt two rum-and-Cokes and two or three shots of tequila, according to the criminal complaint. She also said that it appeared that Fehlandt had been drinking before he arrived at the tavern.

Bruski and other witnesses told police that Fehlandt refused offers for a ride home. Fehlandt then left the Arrow, rolled his vehicle on Schofield Avenue and was killed.

Sparks asked Marathon County District Attorney Ken Heimerman to file an overserving charge against Bruski and Heimerman obliged, but Bruski beat the charge after a judge ruled that police failed to demonstrate that Fehlandt showed signs of intoxication at the tavern.

There is a growing segment of the citizenry that knows there has to be a reduction of drunk drivers on the roads, and we are urging elected officials to ante up with sound and workable legislation. As many have noted with alarm and disgust, there is something wrong with Wisconsin, a place with so many drunk drivers and bloodshed, but also the place with the most lax laws on the books to deal with the problem.

Police and emergency responders came across a horrific crashscene during the early-morning hours of April 29.

The bodies of Scott Dean, 29, of Whiting; Nicholas Czech, 25, of Stevens Point; and Joseph Trzebiatowski, 19, of Linwood, were found on Highway 66 in the town of Linwood after their vehicle crashed after a night of bar hopping.

Dean, the suspected driver, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.34 percent at the time of the crash, authorities said.

Sheriff’s detectives investigated rumors that the three had been at multiple bars around Stevens Point before the crash, but only one — Morey’s Bar — confirmed the three had been there.

A bartender at Morey’s was given a citation for serving a minor — Trzebiatowski — but Portage County Sheriff John Charewicz said investigators couldn’t not find enough witnesses or other information to prove the three victims were overserved

Dick Cheney: Sarah Palin Was “A Mistake”

The whole world has been saying this for four years!  Now even Darth Vadar agrees.

In his first interview since receiving a heart transplant in March, Cheney told ABC News, that John McCain’s decision to pick Palin as his running mate in 2008 was “a mistake” — one that it is important from Romney not to repeat.

It’s subject on which Cheney has some unique experience. He helped Presidents Gerald Ford and George W. Bush lead their vice presidential searches and, of course, served as vice president for eight years. He’s also privately offered some advice to both Romney and Beth Myers, who is leading Romney’s search for a runningmate, on the process.

Cheney would not comment on what he told Romney and Myers, but he was harsh in his assessment of McCain’s decision to pick Palin.

“That one,” Cheney said, “I don’t think was well handled.”

“The test to get on that small list has to be, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?’”

Cheney believes Sarah Palin failed that test.

“I like Governor Palin. I’ve met her. I know her. She – attractive candidate. But based on her background, she’d only been governor for, what, two years. I don’t think she passed that test…of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake.”

Dwight D. Eisenhower Locomotive On The Move To Britain

Hat Tip to Rail Pro

Work began Saturday at the National Railroad Museum to move the Dwight D. Eisenhower.
The locomotive and its tender are being shipped to a museum in England as part of a two-year loan agreement.

The Eisenhower has been a popular sight at the Ashwaubenon museum for nearly 50 years.

Museum officials say the first step is just getting the train out of the building.

“Once everything is out, we’ll still have to load it onto flat cars, so there is still going to be quite a process to get those things loaded up. The first phase is getting it out of the building, which will probably take about three days total,” said curator of collections Daniel Liedtke.

The Eisenhower was built in Great Britain in the late 1930s.

As part of the loan agreement, while overseas, the locomotive and its tender will undergo restoration work.

The Eisenhower will also be part of a 75th celebration of the world steam locomotive speed record set in July 1938.

Video: Barry Gibb Live At The Grand Ole Opry With Ricky Skaggs “When The Roses Bloom Again”

Incredible performance that just has to be heard!

This weekend as I drove to the airport to pick James up  I was listening to the Friday night Grand Ole Opry on Sirius Radio.    The top was down, the radio was cranked, and this beautiful song was performed.  It was the first time Barry Gibb performed at the Opry, and he brought the house down!  I knew that once this video was posted on You Tube it would land on CP.

Turn the speakers up………..and enjoy.  Please note that Gibb gets to stand in the center of the famed circle…Hot Damn!!

And then there was this song….a classic.

Extremely Rare Photo Of Old Marquette School On Site Of Present Day Willy Street Co-Op

Carl Lang was so kind to send me this photo in the mail, and I am proud to place it on my blog.  This is the wonderful old school that once was located  at 1237 Jennifer Street, where the current Willy Street Co-op resides.  The school was on this site from 1894-1953.  The photo was taken by Gustav Lang.

Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s Mom “‘My Son, Is Unwell, And He Needs A Moment To Heal”

I think the Jackson folks need to hire  a PR firm.  A good one. And soon.


I admire and respect Rev. Jesse Jackson and that is why I am so befuddled over the sloppy way the whole matter has been handled with his son.

The latest continuation of bad press, and more than a muddled message came from the most unlikely of sources, Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s Mom!

The mother of U.S. Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr has broken the silence surrounding her son’s mysterious illness saying he’s struggled to deal with ‘enormous disappointment’ over recent years.

In an emotional and spiritual speech at the Operation PUSH annual conference on Friday, Jacqueline Jackson opened up about her son’s political disappointments and his illness, that doctors have called a ‘mood disorder.’

‘I’m not ashamed to say he thought he was going to be a senator. He thought he was going to have a chance to run for mayor. And young people don’t bounce back from disappointment like me and my husband,’ she told the Chicago crowd.

The scandal-hit congressman’s career was damaged after allegations of an extra-marital affair, as well as being tangled in the corruption surrounding former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Clearly emotional, Mrs Jackson asked for prays and privacy on Friday, the first time she has spoken out about her son’s condition: ‘My son, is unwell, and he needs a moment to heal. And I ask you to pray for me without cease. Do for me what I’ve done for you. I want you to respect that. Give us a moment. Most of all for him.