Walker Hubris Shines Through During Debate

There were no real surprises at last night’s debate between Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker. Barrett took an aggressive stance, because he had to, and Walker just had to not mess up. I half blame the media and the electorate for not demanding more from Walker.

Walker should have to try harder to convince people he should remain in office. Instead he just has to put out there enough obsfucations, dog-whistle talking points, and mis-characterizations of why there is even a recall election at all to distract from not only his failure as a leader, but also his criminality. Oh yes, he should be so lucky to be recalled rather than have to resign due to legal problems.  Continue reading

A Terrorist Gave Me Lemonade

The ubiquitous Loose Juice cart, once owned and operated by Karl Armstrong. Courtesy: City of Madison

A man was arrested in May by Illinois State Police following a traffic stop after finding $815,000 in heat-sealed bags in the motor home he was driving. The cash smelled strongly of cannabis and while most people saw a 65 year-old man arrested for possible drug trafficking; I noticed that he was a convicted terrorist and he used to give me free lemonade.  Continue reading

The Invisible Made Visible

This American Life pulls off another great live stage show

Host Ira Glass giving his prologue as animation plays behind him. Photo by: Adrianne Mathiowetz

I waited to write about the recent “This American Life” stage show in New York (May 10), beamed live to theaters around the world, since Ira Glass intoned us to not give away all the surprises due to a rebroadcast scheduled for the following week. This show, “The Invisible Made Visible”, was a natural evolution of TAL’s first live simulcast in 2009 and featured elements you just can’t do on the radio like animation, dance numbers, and using a smartphone app to play along Rock Band-style with the hand bell wielding members of OK Go.

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Fine Swine on Willy Street

A Pig in a Fur Coat newest eatery on Williamson

The newly transformed Pig in a Fur Coat at 940 Williamson Street will open soon, likely before Memorial Day.

It’s not easy to find in Madison such dishes as wild boar black truffle sausage stuffed in a pig’s foot, veal breast with house-made sauerkraut, or egg yolk-filled ravioli with pancetta and brown butter sauce. But the wait may be over, as fine dining usually found in Chicago is coming to the 900 block of Willy Street, but with a relaxed casual style. A Pig in a Fur Coat, a communal-style eatery, is set to open later this month featuring Mediterranean dishes with a little touch of Kazakhstan.

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As Goes Janesville

Walker steps in it again with vid clip about his collective bargaining plans

With only precious weeks left before the June 5 recall election it is hard to know if the revelations in the recent video clip of Governor Scott Walker talking with a well-heeled donor from Beloit in January 2011 just weeks before he began his march to eviscerate collective bargaining in Wisconsin will sway those four to five percent of undecided voters.

In the clip, Walker tells billionaire widow Diane Hendricks how he plans to go after the public-sector unions in response to a question by Hendricks about how to make Wisconsin a “right-to-work” state and to turn the state “red”.

The clip is just the latest evidence that confirms the true motivations of Walker and his crowd was not to “save” Wisconsin from budgetary disaster but to permanently marginalize unions and by extension Wisconsin Democrats. If he wanted to improve the state’s economy and create those 250,000 jobs he promised, why did the Republican majority spend the entirely of last session largely on social legislation?

Lost in the inflammatory clip is the real story and the reason the documentarian Brad Lichtenstein was there to catch the moment in the  first place – to chronicle the long slow death of manufacturing in Janesville and its impact on its citizens.

An extended trailer of the film is presented above, you can see a sneak preview this Wednesday at Discovery World in Milwaukee.

Check out some additional perspective on this documentary from  the stellar Cognitive Dissidence Blog

Madison Craft Beer Week

O’so, salami, and brats at Mickey’s

O’so Brewing Company pours samples at Mickey’s Tavern May 10, 2012 during Madison Craft Beer Week.

I’ve been traveling so much that I almost missed Madison Craft Beer Week, but rectified that Thursday (May 10) at Mickey’s Tavern. A tasting event was held in the glorious late afternoon sun featuring beer from O’so Brewing Company of Steven’s Point, Pork and Goat salami samples from Underground Meats, and probably the most incredible tasting brats I have ever had.  Continue reading

Eastside Farmer’s Market Debuts

The Eastside Farmer’s Market made it’s 2012 debut in the parking lot of the Immanuel Lutheran Church across from the Wil-Mar Neighborhood center (953 Jenifer Street) on an eventful Tuesday this week. Earlier in the day Kathleen Falk voted at Wil-Mar in the Wisconsin Recall Primary and then moved to the parking lot to address the press as preparations for the market were underway.

A quick canvass of the vendors showed a nice mix of farm and garden-fresh produce, cheese, honey, potted plants, and even chemical-free lamb. The weekly market, sponsored by Wil-Mar and the Willy Street Co-op, will be held each Tuesday from 4 to 7 p.m. through December 18.


Falk Votes at Wil-Mar, Upbeat on Primary Chances

Kathleen Falk talks to the media after casting her vote in the Recall Primary on May 8, 2012.

Kathleen Falk cast her ballot in the Recall Primary for Governor and Lieutenant Governor at the Wil-Mar neighborhood center on the near east side of Madison today. In comments to the media after she voted, Falk was upbeat about her prospects even though statewide polls show her trailing Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett by double digits.

The election hasn’t happened yet, people are still voting and I hope to win,” Falk said. “I have been selected as the strongest candidate to run against Scott Walker by these organizations that have gotten this to this historic election”

Falk added that no matter what the results at the end of the day when it comes to the recall election next month, “We will be united.”

You can hear her comments here:
[jwplayer mediaid=”453″]

Kathleen Falk casts her vote at the Wil-Mar Neighborhood Center in Madison on May 8, 2012. Former Dane County Board Member Richard Wagner (Background) looks on.

Walker’s May Day or Mayday?

A Hawker-Siddeley HS125-400, similar to the one the author flew when the engine failed.

A Hawker-Siddeley HS125-400, similar to the one the author flew when the engine failed.

May Day over the history of the world started as a pagan celebration, has been co-opted by Christians, labor activists, Communists, and Anti-Communists (that’s why America has a separate Labor Day). The State of Wisconsin’s employment outlook has not improved and it reminds me of the day several years ago when I was flying a jet and one of the engines failed and we used the phrase “Mayday…”

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