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Do You Need To Pay Property Taxes On An Igloo?

February 15, 2019

An igloo has been built on Lake Monona and it has occupants.  As seen from our home today.  I love winter!



See You In Court, Donald Trump

February 14, 2019

This will be a time in America to see who are the wheat or chaff.  Do not be surprised to see some of your loudest conservatives flying off in the wind.

Tonight it is being reported the Department of Justice has warned the White House an emergency declaration regarding wall funding is nearly certain to be blocked by the court, on at least a temporary basis.  But that is fine with Donald Trump as that allows him in a protracted court battle to use the wall as a partisan issue to play with his angry. weak-minded. white male base.

Preventing immediate implementation of the wall is, of course, the first goal of a nation that does not want to allow Trump to peddle racism, and in the process strip other programming dollars of their mission.  While Trump can think he will ultimately win on appeal in the Supreme Court is a stretch that most constitutional lawyers doubt can (or will) happen.  But if Trump wants to tangle with America, bring it on.

This is a fight we will take on and win.

Because there is NO national emergency.  By every standard the border is more secure than it was ten years ago, even 20 years ago.  In fact, one has to go back to the time President Nixon was in the White House to see this low of a number of border crossings. These numbers come from Trump’s own departments!   What Trump is attempting is a despicable political stunt that subverts the Constitution.

So Republicans and conservatives who care about the integrity of the Constitution, limited government, and checks and balances will have the chance to speak up, and act out against the executive taking actions that run counter to the foundations of our government.  I fear, however, this will be one of those times when many a Republican will look like the boy wearing his dad’s adult suit.   They will look plain silly by their lack of ability or spine.

I think reviewing what has constituted national emergencies in the past decades allows for some insight into what Trump is trying to pull off with the taxpayers money.

  1.  Wilson in 1917 RE: water
  2.  FDR to combat Great Depression
  3.  FDR response to Nazi Germany’s threats 1941
  4.  Nixon amid postal worker’s strike 1970
  5.  GW Bush after 9/11
  6.  Obama prevent swine flu pandemic 2009

You can then see why Trump failing at negotiating in congress, and Mexico never in a million years willing to pay for a racist wall does not meet the standards for a made-up ’emergency’.  To raid federal funds to pay for the Trump base nonsense would be a serious abuse of power by the Executive.

We will fight this in the courts and the majority in the nation will prevail.  Trump voters got their man elected.  That is true.   But they simply will never be allowed to undermine the Constitution or our Republic.

To them we say it very simply….

Karma Works, Again (Thank You, Colin Kapernick)

February 14, 2019

Republicans pretend to want market forces to be the final arbiter regarding the success, or not, of business.  This story today about rank bigotry which got up-ended makes for a smile on an otherwise cloudy day on the Madison isthmus.   The people have spoken with their money, and made it quite clear racism is not a pretty color on any business.

It is odd that this happened in Colorado Springs, given its noted address for a lot of white right-wing Christians.  Seems odd that the owner did not load up on Tebow jerseys, who ironically is known, also, for taking a knee….hmmmm.

After more than 20 years in business, Prime Time Sports Owner Stephen Martin says he can’t afford his monthly lease anymore at Chapel Hills Mall.

On Monday, staff hung 40% off signs all over the store.

“That’s definitely what brought us in for sure,” said Melissa Hansen, who came in to buy a Broncos hat.

But customers soon learned the discount came at a price, learning Prime Time would be going out of business.

“I just can’t keep the doors open anymore,” said Martin, telling News5 he made the decision to close for good on Sunday night.

It’s not the first time Martin has slashed prices like this–choosing to get rid of all Nike apparel last fall, following the company’s ad campaign with Colin Kapernick.


Opportunity Makes Memorable Front Page Of National Newspaper

February 14, 2019

Yesterday I posted about the end of Opportunity, the rover on Mars, on this site’s Facebook page.  This was the the front page of the Wall Street Journal today concerning that story.  It is a perfect memory of the rover that just kept working.

Perennial Presidential Candidate Dies

February 14, 2019

What comes to mind when thinking about Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. are the disjointed, illogical, and meandering paid campaign messages he would place on television.   He was clearly nuts, and rich enough to try for president over, and over, and over.   Those days are over.

Often described as an extremist crank and fringe figure, Lyndon H. LaRouche Jr. cut a shadowy and alarming path through American politics for half a century. He built a political organization often likened to a cult and ran for president eight times, once while in prison for mail fraud. In recent decades, he operated from a heavily guarded compound near Leesburg, Va.

Mr. LaRouche, who built a worldwide following based on conspiracy theories, economic doom, anti-Semitism, homophobia and racism, died Feb. 12. He was 96.

One Might Think Toriana Pettaway Story Was Early April Fools Day Joke, But…..

February 13, 2019

…incredibly, it is an actual happening being reported.

The campaign manager for Toriana Pettaway, Madison’s equity coordinator and a write-in candidate for mayor, is asking the four others challenging Mayor Paul Soglin to drop out and unite behind her as the best suited to address racial equity and social justice.

But the other hopefuls — Ald. Mo Cheeks, Nick Hart, former Ald. Satya Rhodes-Conway and Raj Shukla — are giving no indication of dropping out.

I know my readers are shocked that the other contenders are not cashing out their campaign accounts, and instead settling back with seed catalogs to ponder their spring plantings.  While I have read and heard many a campaign story over the decades I do not recall anything of this nature happening so close to an election.    Especially by a candidate who seems wedded to bumbling at every turn.

This is not the first embarrassing story concerning Pettaway.

She stated that “some White Supremacy BS” was behind a finding by the city clerk’s office when she failed to gather and submit enough signatures on her nominating petitions.  Therefore she is  ineligible to appear on the April 2 ballot.  That was an ugly moment as it attempted to undermine the professional staff at the city clerk’s office with an out-of-bounds racial slap.

Politics can be fun, even funny, at times.

But it should not be a comedy of errors.

Governor Evers Needs To Pull Plug On Wisconsin National Guard At Southern Border

February 12, 2019

Our nation is witnessing a most painful and gut-wrenching attack on people who are seeking asylum at the southern border.   Those who seek application are often women with children.  Yet they are referred to as some of the worst criminals who have nothing but treachery in their hearts.   If does not take a Rhodes Scholar to quickly draw the only conclusion that can be reached as to why  these rhetorical attacks are taking place.  Since the facts from our own government do not align with the hate-filled words, there is only pure partisanship left to be offered as to why this narrative continues.

President Trump manufactured an emergency at the southern border and requested states contribute 4,000 National Guard members to be used as props for his grand power-play.  Former Governor Scott Walker, in an election year, strongly supported Trump’s efforts by referring to them as “aggressive actions” to secure the border.  Walker stated that sending our troops to the border would help reduce drug trafficking.  Unless those troops are stationed at the ports of entry, where most of the drugs come to our country, they are not meeting the expectation of Walker.

We know why Walker made the choice to send our state residents on such a highly publicized mission.  It was to play to the same base of voters in Wisconsin who championed Trump’s original disingenuous claims about caravans and chaos galore.  Walker cared more about playing to the fear factor in the election than about the facts at the border.   It was painful on a moral and ethical level to see such disregard for those who sought asylum; simply assuming they did not meet the established criteria for entry to our nation.  The lack of humanity was stunning to witness.

But now we have a new governor.  And there needs to be a change in policy regarding our state troops at the border.   The men and women who signed up from Abrams to Yorkville should not be used to further a false and dehumanizing operation from the White House.   We need to value the reasons these state residents signed up for duty in the first place.   It was not to demonize people fleeing violence and economic privation.

Governor Tony Evers is a quiet man with a thoughtful approach to the issues of the day.  His attitude regarding our state troops, therefore, will not be one designed to rebuke Trump, or score a favorable headline in the press.  Evers can act from the high ground.  He can simply state that it should not be the mission of our guard to curtail or intimidate the vulnerable who seek a harbor from danger.  Every small town church, and large city pulpit in this state has preached the message of reaching out to the stranger.   Midwestern folks know the meaning of being ‘my brother’s keeper’.

Evers should not fear backlash for taking such a position in these political frothy times. either.  In President Reagan’s final address to the nation, prior to his leaving the White House, the conservative Republican had these words to say about immigrants and the larger message of America.

The past few days when I’ve been at that window upstairs, I’ve thought a bit of the ‘shining city upon a hill.” The phrase comes from John Winthrop, who wrote it to describe the America he imagined. What he imagined was important because he was an early Pilgrim, an early freedom man. He journeyed here on what today we’d call a little wooden boat; and like the other Pilgrims, he was looking for a home that would be free.

I’ve spoken of the shining city all my political life, but I don’t know if I ever quite communicated what I saw when I said it. But in my mind it was a tall, proud city built on rocks stronger than oceans, wind-swept, God-blessed, and teeming with people of all kinds living in harmony and peace; a city with free ports that hummed with commerce and creativity. And if there had to be city walls, the walls had doors and the doors were open to anyone with the will and the heart to get here. That’s how I saw it, and see it still.

And how stands the city on this winter night? More prosperous, more secure, and happier than it was 8 years ago. But more than that: After 200 years, two centuries, she still stands strong and true on the granite ridge, and her glow has held steady no matter what storm. And she’s still a beacon, still a magnet for all who must have freedom, for all the pilgrims from all the lost places who are hurtling through the darkness, toward home.

This is a time for leadership from Evers about the role our National Guard troops should play, and should not play when it comes to political theater.  This is an easy call which will resonate well with the factually grounded in our state.  It is time to bring our National Guard troops home to their family and friends.

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