I've also taken note of the survival battles of the small critters - - bees, Monarch butterflies and all the species damaged by oil spills.
With that in mind, you might take a look at this story:
We’ve killed off half the world’s animals since 1970
We’ve killed off half the world’s animals since 1970
Posted by James Rowen at 10:04 PM
Hunter education represents an expanding focus at MacKenzie, with Learn to Hunt classes this fall for pheasant, raccoon, bow deer and gun deer running through December. Remaining dates include the weekend of October 18-19, December 6-7 and 13-14. The classes introduce newcomers to Wisconsin's hunting heritage and include instruction and field work before a novice goes hunting with an experienced hunter.
Posted by James Rowen at 9:38 PM
Saying "there is very little time left to reach out to the public," the head of the Wisconsin Government Accountability Board announced Tuesday that he is asking the Legislature for nearly half a million dollars for a statewide campaign to notify voters that they must present a photo identification to vote Nov. 4.So after moving into the hen house, the fox is supposed to buy for the hens the tools they need to escape and then lock the fox out?
Posted by James Rowen at 6:00 PM
...conservatives on Supreme Courts in Washington, DC and in Madison, Wisconsin are, with the slimmest of margins, dragooning us by discounting ethics and fair play, law and process while tilting the scales of justice towards already-privileged and powerful Republicans and the corporate elites who fund them.
Take the Citizens United case, where a 5-4 ruling by the US Supreme Court gave corporations permission to release unlimited funding to third-party advocacy groups that support or oppose political candidates. The five Supreme Court Justices in the majority overturned precedent and law by agreeing that corporations, like people, had a free speech right to donate...
Regrettably, there is also the political and ethical mess that is the Wisconsin Supreme Court these days, where another one-vote majority - - here it's a 4-3 conservative majority - - has been helped to election wins and its ideological freedom by huge donations from conservative, third-party corporate groups, like the Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce - - and is following through by advancing a radical right-wing agenda pushed by GOP Governor Scott Walker and majorities in both legislative houses.
And its duty to guard against justice deprived? To maintain a level playing field - - at least a civil environment on the Court itself?
It was incumbent conservative Justice David Prosser who nearly threw away certain re-election in April against a virtual unknown by calling liberal Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson "a total bitch," and had threatened to "destroy" her.More, here.
Posted by James Rowen at 4:20 PM
For better or worse, this is the court Wisconsin has, and this court needs to decide cases, including these. Recusals could paralyze it.I disagree. When did it become OK for justice to lose that blindfold?
Posted by James Rowen at 11:52 AM
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Although ten judges voted on whether to reconsider Wisconsin’s voter ID law, there are actually eleven active judgeships on the Seventh Circuit. The eleventh seat, however, has been vacant for more than four years.
In 2010, President Obama nominated a University of Wisconsin law professor named Victoria Nourse to this vacancy — Nourse was one of four potential nominees suggested to the White House by a nominating commission sponsored by the state’s two senators. This nomination died, however, after Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) defeated incumbent Sen. Russ Feingold (D-WI) in the 2010 election...
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The foundation of Wisconsin's groundwater law is the belief that all groundwater in Wisconsin must be protected equally to assure that it can be used for people to drink today and in the future.
-------------------------------------------------------------You know that residents in rural, relatively-conservative Wisconsin are unhappy with the state DNR's pro-industry groundwater 'oversight' when the Kewaunee County Board of Supervisors votes 20-0 for tougher local regulation.
All 20 Kewaunee County Board members on Tuesday approved a public health and groundwater protection ordinance limiting winter and early spring waste spreading on thin soils over karst bedrock.
The measure passed despite opposition from the Dairy Business Association and other major Wisconsin agricultural groups that called it illegal...
the ordinance [is] intended to keep waste — including manure, plus industrial and human waste — from contaminating groundwater in particularly vulnerable areas.More, here.
|Wisconsin DNR photo|
Wisconsin has handled the growth in the industry much differently than Minnesota,
According to the report, the number of frac sand facilities in Wisconsin grew from seven in 2010 to 145 this year. In contrast, Minnesota has 19 active sand mines and 20 proposed facilities.
Monitoring by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources —less than 10 percent of the state’s 140 frac sand facilities are required to monitor their air emissions — has prompted Midwest Environmental Advocates to circulate a petition that asks the state’s Natural Resources Board to conduct a health and environmental study of the state’s fastest growing industry.
Kimberlee Wright, the group’s executive director, said citizens living near the sand mines have had their lives impacted by mining lights on 24-7, the noise from blasting, trucks and trains and people whose houses’ foundations are beginning to crumble from the repeated blasting nearby.
“Special interests have pretty much crippled the ability of DNR staff to do their jobs,” Wright said. “Sound science is being overruled … leaving citizens very much at risk.”
Posted by James Rowen at 2:48 PM
The U.S. economy's bounce-back last quarter from a dismal winter was even faster than previously thought, a sign that growth will likely remain solid for rest of the year.But...
Wisconsin ranked 33rd in private-sector job creation for the 12-month period ending in March, based on federal data released Thursday, the last update of its kind before the November election.This is why we call him Wrong-Way Walker.
Newly released data from the U.S. Census Bureau provides yet another indication of Wisconsin's glacial business-start-up rate.
The latest evidence comes from an extensive database called the Business Dynamics Statistics. It is based largely on administrative records, not surveys, and it offers insight into the life cycle of businesses.
In 2012, the Business Dynamics Statistics data shows, Wisconsin entrepreneurs created 5,757 businesses with employees.
That amounted to 5.8% of the state's universe of employer firms — third lowest among the 50 states.This is why we call him Wrong-Way Walker.
Posted by James Rowen at 12:42 AM
Will develop plan to keep Veterans Trust Fund solvent. "One of my first jobs as governor will be to develop a long-term plan to ensure the Veterans Trust Fund remains solvent."
Update September 10th, 2014: Cash infusions have kept it afloat, but deficit projections remain.Note that the budget failure was pointed out in the first few months of Walker's term, in early 2011.
Posted by James Rowen at 9:40 PM
Among the groups mentioned in the investigation are three that have spent heavily in court races to elect four of the court's seven justices. The Wisconsin Club for Growth is estimated to have spent $400,000 for Annette Ziegler in 2007; $507,000 for Michael Gableman in 2008; $520,000 for David Prosser in 2011; and $350,000 for Patience Roggensack in 2013.
Citizens for a Strong America spent an estimated $985,000 to help Prosser. That group was funded by the Wisconsin Club for Growth, which prosecutors have described as a "hub" that distributed funds to allies.
Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, which has received some funding from the Wisconsin Club for Growth and is the state's largest business lobbying group, spent an estimated $2.2 million for Ziegler; $1.8 million for Gableman; $1.1 million for Prosser; and $500,000 for Roggensack.
The estimates come from the Wisconsin Democracy Campaign, a group that tracks political spending and lobbies for more campaign finance regulations.
In response to [a tougher, independent proposal], the Wisconsin Realtors Association (“Realtors”) and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce (“WMC”) filed separate petitions. The petitions sought to amend the Judicial Code of Conduct to provide that recusal is not required in a proceeding based solely on any endorsement or receipt of a lawful campaign contribution from a party or entity involved in the proceeding. The petitions also sought clarification that a judge does not need to seek recusal where it would be based solely on a party in the case sponsoring an independent expenditure or issue advocacy communication in favor of the judge.
In a 4-3 decision, the Wisconsin Supreme Court denied the League’s petition and adopted the Realtors and WMC’s petitions. In a dissenting opinion, Justice Ann Walsh Bradley, joined by Chief Justice Shirley Abrahamson and Justice N. Patrick Crooks, criticized the majority’s decision to adopt the rules calling it “a dramatic change to our judicial code of ethics.” In particular, the dissent took issue with the majority’s decision to adopt petitions “proposed by special interest groups.” Dissatisfied with the majority’s decision, the dissent urged the Legislature to “engage in further study of judicial recusal.”
Wisconsin: F (35 points)
Wisconsin received a failing grade after its state supreme court adopted a recusal rule that literally instructs judges not to recuse themselves from cases involving campaign contributors.
In 2010, the four-justice conservative majority on the Wisconsin Supreme Court voted to institute a recusal rule written by the Wisconsin Realtors Association and Wisconsin Manufacturers & Commerce, a group that subsequently donated nearly $1 million to support conservative Justice David Prosser’s re-election in 2011. The rule says that recusal is not required “based solely on … a lawful campaign contribution.”
The majority’s comments that accompany the rule say that requiring recusal for campaign cash “would create the impression that receipt of a contribution automatically impairs the judge’s integrity.” In other words, the four justices in the conservative majority are worried that mandatory recusal would lead the public to think that judges are biased.
Posted by James Rowen at 11:54 AM
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"My belief is we shouldn't be paying for them to sit on the couch, watching TV or playing Xbox," Walker told cheering Republican campaign volunteers last week in West Bend. "We need to get them the skills to get back in the game and get back to work."The dog whistle, set to divide-and-conquer pitch, is getting louder: we have seen and heard this code from Walker before as he whipped up a partisan crowd in the Milwaukee exurbs towards the close of an election:
People do not want to see Wisconsin "become another Milwaukee," Walker said [at Oconomowoc Lake at the end of the 2012 recall campaign].And has Walker or his staff been trolling Heritage Foundation papers?
Posted by James Rowen at 5:38 PM
Walker posts op-ed that Times didn't publish
By Don Walker of the Journal Sentinel March 29, 2011
Gov. Scott Walker has posted on his website an op-ed piece he wrote for the New York Times that he said the paper declined to publish.
You can read the op-ed here.And when you click on "here," you get:
Uh oh, it seems you've come across a page that hasn't been created yetSo what is the important issue: whose words are being used and from what sources, or whose words were used, have been deleted, and why?
Posted by James Rowen at 1:31 PM
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|Erin O'Brien photo|
Posted by James Rowen at 12:13 PM
Senior members of Gov. Scott Walker's administration and his top campaign and political advisers are listed as attendees at a Republican Governors conference along with corporate titans and lobbyists who donated tens of thousands of dollars to the Republican Governors Association, according to documents published Wednesday by the New York Times.
Invites to such retreats with high-level decision-makers are listed as a benefit for contributing to the RGA, according to the documents, leading some good-government groups to criticize it as a pay-for-access scheme. Among those who were slated to attend the conference and retreat in California in July 2013 were Walker's Chief of Staff Eric Schutt, Secretary of Administration Mike Huebsch, campaign manager Stephan Thompson and political adviser Keith Gilkes.
Also listed were Deputy Chief of Staff Rich Zipperer, senior advisers Eileen Schoenfeldt and Waylon Hurlburt and Deputy Secretary of the Department of Health Services Kevin Moore.Note also in this list the presence of big donors from businesses and groups with a major presence in Wisconsin including Johnson Controls, MAXIMUS and the MMAC.
Posted by James Rowen at 10:56 AM
Time to Get WI Back on Track with High Speed Rail
Friday, September 19, 2014
CHICAGO, Ill. – Wisconsin now has to play catch-up, says Howard Learner, executive director of the Environmental Law and Policy Center (ELPC), noting the state has been left behind by its Midwest neighbors in high-speed rail.
The ELPC is expanding its advertising campaign in Wisconsin, erecting another billboard south of Milwaukee to encourage political leaders to support high-speed rail. Learner says it’s time to put partisan politics aside.
“Even though Republican Gov. Tommy Thompson and Democratic Gov. Jim Doyle were strong advocates of advancing high-speed rail in Wisconsin, Gov. Walker made the quixotic decision to turn down funding for higher speed rail going from Milwaukee to Madison that would have created jobs in Wisconsin,” says Learner.The new billboard is on
This blog has tracked the banishment by Scott Walker of new Amtrak trains, rail-line construction work and train assembly jobs in Wisconsin - - and noted the happy arrival in Oregon of two of the banned-but-built in Wisconsin trains:
Join us in a celebration
OUR TRAINS HAVE ARRIVED!On Friday, July 26 at the Eugene Amtrak station, we'll "officially" welcome the state's new 13-car passenger train sets. You're invited to the 2:30 p.m. ribbon-cutting! Get details here.
Posted by James Rowen at 10:00 AM